Links 22/11/2019: Mesa 19.2.6, webOS OSE 2.1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Why You Should Be Using Linux

      How many times have you been happily working away when, out of nowhere, Windows either forced a reboot to update, stopped responding, or completely crashed? With Linux, those events are a thing of the past. Because of the way Linux was designed, you (the user) have complete control over nearly everything.

      Say, for example, an application fails on you. Instead of that application taking the entire desktop along for the ride (an issue that often stumps even software development providers), you can log into what’s called a virtual console and force that crashed application closed via the command line. Yes, that does take a bit more skill than the average user possesses, but once you know how it’s done, it becomes second nature.

      The likelihood of that actually happening, however, is low. The few instances where this has happened to me was due to my using beta or “nightly” releases of software, which the average user wouldn’t be working with.

      Linux simply works and works with an almost unheard of reliability.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes and the misconception of multi-cloud portability
      • IBM

        • Cloud-native integration with Kubernetes and Camel K

          Our first DevNation Live regional event was held in Bengaluru, India in July. This free technology event focused on open source innovations, with sessions presented by elite Red Hat technologists.

          In this session, Kamesh Sampath shows how to apply common Enterprise Integration Patterns (EIP) with Apache Camel, Kubernetes, and Red Hat OpenShift. You will see how the new Camel K framework helps in deploying Camel DSL code as “integrations” in Kubernetes/OpenShift.

        • Artificial Intelligence Apps with TensorFlow and Joget on OpenShift

          Containers and Kubernetes are key to accelerating the ML lifecycle as these technologies provide data scientists the much needed agility, flexibility, portability, and scalability to train, test, and deploy ML models.

          Red Hat OpenShift is the industry’s leading containers and Kubernetes hybrid cloud platform. It provides all the above benefits, and through the integrated DevOps capabilities and integration with hardware accelerators, OpenShift enables better collaboration between data scientists and software developers. This helps accelerate the roll out of intelligent applications across hybrid cloud (data center, edge, and public clouds).

          Joget is an open source no-code/low-code application platform that empowers non-coders to visually build and maintain apps anytime, anywhere. By accelerating and democratizing app development, Joget is a natural fit for modern Kubernetes Hybrid Cloud platforms like Red Hat OpenShift.

        • Break down support system silos with agile integration and modernize telco customer and network operations

          When any systems – including communications service provider (CSP) operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) – are delivered with a narrow, siloed purpose, they tend to be pretty inflexible. As CSPs look to transform their businesses for success in increasingly competitive and dynamic markets, this inflexibility can stall their modernization efforts.

          Service providers rely on OSS/BSS to support their services. But for many providers, their OSS/BSS generally lack interoperability. This can limit the exchange of data and access to metrics needed to synthesize more holistic views and address complex problems among the disparate systems. Bottom line: without close integration between OSS and BSS, CSPs may struggle to become digital service providers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E33 – The Sentinel

        This week we’ve been to the Linux Application Summit in Barcelona. We round up news from the Ubuntu and desktop Linux community and bring you our picks from the wider tech news.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 33 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • systemd 244-RC1 Released With Many Changes

        It looks like a big new systemd release will be out in time for Christmas.

        The first release candidate of systemd 244 was made available today for testing. Systemd 244-RC1 has also already been uploaded to the likes of Fedora Rawhide for further vetting.

      • Linux 5.5 To Finally Expose NVMe Drive Temperatures Via HWMON

        Linux for years has supported monitoring NVMe drive temperatures when installing the nvme user-space utility and run as root, etc. But now finally with Linux 5.5 the kernel is supporting NVMe drive temperature reporting through the hardware monitoring “HWMON” infrastructure alongside other hardware sensors.

        Come the Linux 5.5 stable release in early 2020 is the NVMe HWMON support to allow reporting the current NVMe drive temperature sensor(s) and min/max thresholds via this kernel infrastructure. This in turn allows user-space to simply query the data over sysfs without the need for any utilities, no root requirement, and should gracefully work with the various programs that report HWMON sensor readings to Linux desktop users.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia Outs New Linux/BSD Graphics Driver with GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER Support

          For Linux- and BSD-based platforms, the Nvidia 440.36 proprietary graphics driver is here to add support for the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER graphics card, which Nvidia claims it’s up to 50 percent faster than the original GTX 1650 and up to 2X faster than the previous-generation GTX 1050.

          Now BSD and Linux gamers who bought an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER GPU can use it to play games at full performance if they install the Nvidia 440.36 proprietary graphics driver, which is available to download only for 64-bit operating systems from Nvidia.com or via our free software portal here and here.

        • NVIDIA 440.36 Linux Driver Released With Official GTX 1650 SUPER Support

          Building off the NVIDIA 440 stable Linux driver release from earlier this month, the NVIDIA 440.36 Linux driver is out today as a small update.

          The principle update with the NVIDIA 440.36 driver and warranting this Friday release is officially supporting the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER graphics card. The NVIDIA Linux driver has already unofficially supported this new budget Turing GPU but only recognized it as a “Device” but now the strings are in place so the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER is officially supported.

        • Mesa 19.2.6
          Hi list,
          I'm releasing a new mesa 19.2.x release to address being unable to compile on
          PPC due to a bad backport. There are a couple of additional patches in here
          because I didn't want to tease them apart and they're all stable anyway.
          Alejandro Piñeiro (1):
                v3d: adds an extra MOV for any sig.ld*
          Dave Airlie (1):
                llvmpipe/ppc: fix if/ifdef confusion in backport.
          Dylan Baker (4):
                docs/relnotes/19.2.5: Add SHA256 sum
                meson: generate .pc files for gles and gles2 with old glvnd
                docs: Add release notes for 19.2.6
                VERSION: bumpre to 19.2.6
          Eric Engestrom (1):
                vulkan: delete typo'd header
          Hyunjun Ko (1):
                freedreno/ir3: fix printing output registers of FS.
          Jose Maria Casanova Crespo (1):
                v3d: Fix predication with atomic image operations
          Yevhenii Kolesnikov (1):
                glsl: Enable textureSize for samplerExternalOES
          git tag: mesa-19.2.6
        • Mesa 19.2.6 Released Due To POWER Fallout

          Mesa 19.2.5 was just released earlier this week but now v19.2.6 has already been released due to the previous point release breaking IBM POWER builds.

          Mesa 19.2.5 brought support on PowerPC 64-bit in LLVMpipe for using LLVM’s large code model for JIT-compiled shaders since for large processes like GNOME Shell and Firefox there could be address space issues with the medium/small code models. Using that larger code model doesn’t bring any measurable hit to the LLVMpipe performance but the commit introduced some problems when it was back-ported to the Mesa 19.2 series.

    • Benchmarks

      • TURNIP Mesa Vulkan Driver Lands Performance/Power-Helping UBWC Support

        Universal Bandwidth Compression is now enabled for the open-source “TURNIP” Mesa Vulkan driver.

        TURNIP is the open-source Vulkan driver being written around Qualcomm Adreno hardware as part of the “Freedreno” umbrella. With the Freedreno Gallium3D driver in good shape already for OpenGL support across multiple generations of Adreno graphics processors, TURNIP is of growing work by the developers involved — primarily from Google — in advancing this Vulkan driver support.

      • PHP 5.3 To PHP 7.4 Performance Benchmarks On AMD EPYC

        With the big PHP 7.4.0 release due out next week, yesterday we published our PHP 7.4.0 benchmarks using the near-final build for this annual update to PHP. Those benchmarks compared previous releases as far back as PHP 5.6. But out of curiosity after that article I went to do some benchmarks going back to PHP 5.3 through PHP 7.4 and PHP 8.0-dev.

        With the AMD EPYC 7642 server running Ubuntu 19.10 used in yesterday’s article, I ran the final PHP 5.3/5.4/5.5 benchmarks added in to yesterday’s data. So for those curious how the historical PHP5 performance compares to the imminent PHP 7.4, these benchmarks are for your enjoyment today.

    • Applications

      • Audacity 2.3.3 Open-Source Audio Editor Released with Better AAC/M4A Exports

        Audacity 2.3.3 is mostly a bug fix release that addresses multiple issues reported by users from previous versions, but it also brings some improvements, such as a new quality setting for AAC/M4A exports, the ability to skip leading silence (blank space) in exports, as well as “What you hear is what you get” for exports.

        This release also splits the equalization effect into two effects, namely Filter Curve and Graphic EQ, which supports presets using the Manage button and two points at same frequency for steep steps. Furthermore, Audacity 2.3.3 removes some functionality that confused users, such as Nyquist Workbench, Vocal Remover, On-Demand aliased files, and “Normalize on Load.”

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Patches Coming To Allow UMIP Emulation – Works Around Issues For Ryzen 3000

        Coming up this weekend with the Linux 5.4 kernel is emulation/spoofing of the SGDT/SIDT/SMSW instructions around UMIP for allowing newer 64-bit Windows games to run on Wine and Steam Play (Proton). With newer CPUs like the AMD Ryzen 3000 series that support UMIP, these instructions are not allowed to run in user-space with Wine due to UMIP. So while the first stable kernel release is about to land with this support, some Wine-based emulation not contingent on the kernel patches is also in the works.

    • Games

      • Valve are making the Index VR kit available in more countries

        If Valve want the new Half-Life: Alyx to be a success, they need to push VR into every possible country they can and they’re working a bit more towards that.

        Announced early this morning (around 1AM UTC), the Valve Index is now being made available in Canada and Japan in addition to the availability in Europe and the USA. Half-Life: Alyx doesn’t require the Index though, Valve did say it will work with any PC VR kit but this will probably give the best experience.

      • Supernatural horror adventure ASYLUM looks creepy as hell in the latest footage

        ASYLUM is an upcoming supernatural horror adventure from developer Senscape, it’s high up on our list to check out when it releases and the latest footage is looking great.

        Released a few days ago is a new short video, with what Senscape say is entirely “100% in-game without any processing”.

      • Dota Underlords adds Duos team creation and ranked play, next major update coming soon

        Dota Underlords is steadily getting better and another update is now out with some interesting new features for playing with a friend in the Duos mode.

        You can now get a persistent team for people you regularly team up with. Once you’ve played three matches with another, it will also unlock the ability for you to actually name your team. You’ll be able to change your team name every three matches. Making it more interesting, it tracks some stats too like number of matches played and your record.

      • Completely bizarre 90′s internet simulator Hypnospace Outlaw adds mod support

        Hypnospace Outlaw could easily win the award for the strangest game of the year, giving you a retro-futuristic look at the internet and now it’s getting bigger.

        No More Robots and Tendershoot just recently gave it modding support, so now you can create pretty much anything in it. Webpages, images, wallpapers, soundscapes, entire zones, fonts, characters, file downloads and a huge amount more. They said it’s now possible for someone to create their own full Hypnospace story.

      • Try out some monster catching in Monster Sanctuary, now with an updated demo

        Currently in Early Access, Monster Sanctuary might not be finished by so far it’s turned out a lot of fun. They’re giving more people a chance to now try it, with an updated demo.

        This demo update comes shortly after a big update to the full game, which included a whole new area to explore with Horizon Beach. A new story arc based around a treasure hunt, eight new monsters to collect (most of which water themed) along with new items and rare equipment. All sounds pretty great. You can also find the Monster Farm, a place to let all your creatures go out into the open and see them, which does look pretty sweet.

      • Some early first impressions of Google Stadia played on Linux

        Stadia has launched if you have the Founder Edition, our unit and code came a little late but it’s here and surprisingly it all seems to be working well.

        This new game streaming service from Google is powered by Debian Linux and the Vulkan API, so I’ve been rather keen to what it has to offer. Keep in mind you will need a good internet connection for it and you do always need to be online, although it’s supposed to keep your place for 15 minutes to help with drop-outs and changing devices.

        Quite a rough start, as they were clearly sending out codes slowly in batches. Something which wasn’t explained properly. However, every Founder should now have access with them moving onto sending codes for those with the Premier Edition next week. I do hope Google learn to communicate better in future.

      • Stadia Issues Continue And It’s The One Thing That Can’t Happen If We’re Going To Give Up Our Consoles

        Karl Bode had a nice write up earlier this week about the ongoing issues with Stadia, Google’s play to get gamers to give up their home consoles and GaaS (Game as a Service). As Karl noted, Stadia faces inherent challenges in these United States, given the laughably substandard broadband resulting from full regulatory capture at the hands of a few telecom players. In addition, Google, with all of its resources, seems fully committed to punishing early adopters with a big price tag for what is essentially a public beta alongside some reports of failed hardware deliveries. So big price tag, maybe you get what you bought in order to use the streaming service, and maybe that streaming service works with your broadband connection. Cool.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s Plasma Mobile Now Supports Phone Calls on the PinePhone Linux Smartphone

          As we reported earlier this month, KDE Plasma Mobile is already running well on the PinePhone, but not all things are working properly, such as phone calls, which the Plasma Mobile team reports that they managed to add multiple patches to integrate telephony functions with the graphical UI.

          “Bhushan Shah submitted multiple patches in postmarketOS to integrate telephony functions with user interface. Using which PINE64 Pinephone can connect calls from user interface. Currently audio is a work in progress however, and we hope to have this resolved soon,” said the Plasma Mobile team.

        • KF6 Sprint – Day One

          Today we started our KF6 sprint at the MBition office in Berlin.

          Beside the people attending in person, we have David Faure joining us via web conference.

          Thanks already to the people at MBition that spend time on making it possible to host the sprint there.

          First stuff to be discussed were some high level things, like does the monthly release scheme work out well. Short answer: yes :) The short period works well, allows people to fix issues directly in frameworks and still have that reasonable fast provided to the users. And the overhead of release creation is low, thanks to automation.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • A Review of GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.34

          The last GNOME release, named “Thessaloniki”, was busy for GNOME Shell and Mutter. Many changes, ranging from code cleanups to architectural changes to performance improvements to new features landed.

          Let’s take a look at the major highlights for the GNOME 3.34 release.

    • Distributions

      • Zorin OS 15 Lite – The Best Replacement For Windows 7

        The distro keeps getting new features in each update but this time the work done in making the XFCE desktop environment look beautiful is really appreciatable.

        Most of my life, I have heard Windows users saying how beautiful Windows 7 is. Now Windows 7 is going to reach its end of life next year, 2020, all users should think about moving to another beautiful and more importantly more secure operating system. Any Linux distribution can fill the gap but if the design and look matters to you, there is no better place to start than Zorin OS 15.

        The best is that all Linux distros are more secure and respect privacy. None of your information is being shared with third-party services while you’re using your computer.

      • Breathe new life into your aging PC with Zorin OS 15 Lite

        Yesterday, Zorin released Zorin OS 15 Lite, the slimmed-down version of its more robust big brother, Zorin OS 15. The latest lite version of the OS is custom-tailored toward older lower spec laptops and PCs.

        The minimal specs are astonishing considering the aesthetically visual appeal of Zorin’s latest release. The minimal requirements are as follows…

      • Porteus Linux: A portable Linux with a difference

        I’m writing this in Porteus Linux v5.0rc1 for x86_64, a Live Linux distribution booted from a USB pendrive. It is fast, good-looking and has a good range of applications and utilities. I stumbled upon Porteus recently while looking for a compact Live Linux distribution to install on a couple of spare SD cards. It seemed ideal, as it is a portable distribution designed for USB pendrives and CDs, and optionally can be configured to be persistent between reboots and shutdowns. Porteus is based on Slackware, although I gather the developers might switch to Arch Linux at some undefined future date. Spins of Porteus with various Desktop Environments are available, and I settled on Xfce after trying a couple of the others.

        Although my original objective was to install a portable Linux distribution on SD cards, I only managed to install Porteus on an SD card by using YUMI Multiboot USB Creator for Windows, which I run using WINE in Linux, rather than in Windows. The reason Porteus boots from an SD card when installed by YUMI is because YUMI installs its own boot manager on the SD card and chainloads the OS. Actually, if an SD card or USB pendrive has sufficient capacity, YUMI can install several OSs on a single SD card or single USB pendrive and you can choose on the YUMI bootloader menu which OS to boot.

        Anyway, Porteus is interesting because, optionally, it can be configured quite easily to be persistent. I.e. if you want it to, Porteus can save new files, applications you install, browser bookmarks, edited configuration files and so on between reboots/shutdowns. However, I was unable to get persistence working with Porteus installed by YUMI on an SD card, but persistence works perfectly when I install Porteus on USB pendrives, which is the medium Porteus is really designed to be installed on.

      • Reviews

        • Cleverly Reimagined Slax Distro Pushes Portable Linux’s Limits

          Slax runs on a wide range of different file systems, including EXT (ext2,ext3,ext4), btrfs, and even FAT and NTFS.

          It took me about one hour to download the must-have computing applications and accessory tools that fit my needs. The installation of each program takes longer than a distro installed to a hard drive. USB drives are much slower than an internal hard drive.

          Once I had all of my needed software up and running, I generally was pleased with how Slax Linux performed.

          Slax is not a perfect Linux platform, at least not yet — but for me its convenience and flexibility outweigh its current shortcomings.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/47

          Another week, in which openQA did block some of the snapshots – and some issues it was unfortunately not able to see. Anyway, during the week 2019/47 we have released three snapshot into the wild (1116, 1118 and 1119), containing those changes:

          Mesa 19.2.4: fixes critical rendering issues from earlier Mesa 19.2.3. As this rendering issue did not happen on all graphics adapters, openQA had no chance of spotting it
          Linux kernel 5.3.11
          KDE Plasma 5.17.3
          Subversion 1.13.0
          binutils 2.33.1

        • YaST Team: Highlights of YaST Development Sprints 88 and 89

          A few weeks ago, we wrote about the new ItemSelector widget that is finding its way into YaST user interfaces. It turned out that just a simple on/off status is not enough in some cases, so we had to extend that concept. For example, software modules may have dependencies, and we want to show the difference between one that was explicitly selected by the user and one that was auto-selected because some other software module requires it.

          This kind of shook the foundations of the underlying classes; all of a sudden a bit is no longer just a bit, but it needs to be broken down into even smaller pieces. Well, we cheated; we now use integer values instead. Most of the class hierarchy still only uses 0 and 1, but the new YCustomStatusItemSelector also supports using higher numbers for application-defined purposes.

          For each possible status value, the application defines the name of the icon to be displayed (for graphical UIs like the Qt UI), the text equivalent (for text mode / the NCurses UI), and an optional nextStatus which tells the widget what status to cycle to when the user changes the status of an item with a mouse click or with the keyboard. A value of -1 lets the application handle this.

          So this is not a one-trick-pony that is useful only for that one use case (the software modules), but a generic tool that might find good uses in other places all over YaST as well.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Atomic Host Nearing End Of Life

          Fedora 29 will be End Of Life soon. With it Fedora Atomic Host will have its last incremental release (based on the Fedora 29 stream). Please move to the Fedora CoreOS preview if you can.

          Last year we introduced the plans for Fedora CoreOS including that Fedora CoreOS would be the successor to Fedora Atomic Host and Container Linux (from CoreOS Inc.). As part of that succession plan we decided that Fedora 29 Atomic Host would be the last stream of Fedora Atomic Host to be released.

          Fedora 29 Atomic Host has served us well, but with Fedora 29 End of Life coming soon , so will the last release of Fedora 29 Atomic Host. The next release of Fedora 29 Atomic Host (in the next few weeks) will be the last two-week release. It will contain all of the latest content from Fedora 29. After that release, Fedora 29, and Fedora 29 Atomic Host will no longer receive any updates.

        • PHP version 7.2.25 and 7.3.12

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.12 are available in remi repository for Fedora 30-31 and in remi-php73 repository for Fedora 29 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPM of PHP version 7.2.25 are available in remi repository for Fedora 29 and in remi-php72 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Sharing Fedora

          For example, if you go out to lunch with a group of colleagues periodically, you might find it natural to talk about Fedora with them. If someone shows interest, you can suggest to get together with them for a Fedora show and tell. There isn’t any need for formal presentations or prepared talks. This is just having lunch and sharing information with people you know.

          When you’re with friends, relatives, colleagues, or neighbors, conversation often turns to things computer related, and you can bring up Fedora. There are usually opportunities to point out how Fedora would partially if not completely address their concerns or provide something they want.

          These are people you know so talking with them is easy and natural. You probably know the kind of things they use PCs for, so you know the features of Fedora that will be attractive to them. Such conversations can start anytime you see someone you know. You don’t need to steer conversations toward Fedora — that might be impolite, depending on the situation. But if they bring up computer related issues, you might find an opportunity to talk about Fedora.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 8th OSM Hackfest: the highlights

          The 8th OSM Hackfest is over, but the OSM (Open Source MANO) project continues to evolve and is now looking forward to landing release SEVEN. It was an exciting week in Lucca, Italy. We’ve seen a lot of interest from those who attended the event for the first time and a strong commitment from the community to drive the project towards new challenges.

          This was also an important week for Canonical as we’ve officially launched our own distribution – Charmed OSM!


          By delegating an experienced team of telco experts, Canonical delivered a plenary session about native charms and a presentation about CNF (container network function) workloads deployment with Juju K8s charms, a feature that is expected in OSM release SEVEN. The session about native charms followed with a brief update on a new charm tech framework. The charm tech framework is event-based which makes charming experience much more intuitive. An example of how to migrate from the reactive framework to the new framework was provided too. The charm tech framework is coming with Juju 2.7 release.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Goldman Sachs is planning on giving some of its most valuable software to Wall Street for free

        Goldman Sachs wants to give away some of its most valuable software.

        The investment bank spent countless hours over 14 years developing a platform called Alloy to help it access and analyze the growing set of financial databases being created across the firm. Now Goldman is taking the unusual step of making that program, as well as the language underlying it, available to the rest of Wall Street for free as open-source software in collaboration with a nonprofit called Finos.

        The software and language “have grown to become critical tools within our firm across the trade lifecycle that help us price, assess and evaluate risk, clear transactions, and perform regulatory reporting,” said Neema Raphael, co-chief data officer at Goldman. By making it publicly available, “we’ll unlock tremendous value for the industry when we co-develop and share models.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Arm Has Been Working To Boost The Chrome/Chromium Browser Performance

            Arm engineers have been working to speed-up the open-source Chromium web browser on 64-bit ARM (AArch64) and ultimately to flow back into Google’s Chrome releases. Their focus has been around Windows-on-Arm with the growing number of Windows Arm laptops coming to market, but the Chromium optimizations also benefit the browser on Linux too.

            Arm has been focusing on Chromium optimizations not only for the Chromium/Chrome browsers itself but also for software leveraging the likes of CEF and Electron that rely upon Chromium code for rendering.

        • Mozilla

          • TenFourFox FPR17b1 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 17 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). SourceForge seems to have fixed whatever was making TenFourFox barf on its end which now might actually be an issue over key exchange. For a variety of reasons, but most importantly backwards compatibility, my preference has been to patch up the NSS security library in TenFourFox to support new crypto and ciphers rather than just drop in a later version. We will see if the issue recurs.

            This release fixes the “infinite loop” issue on Github with a trivial “hack” mitigation. This mitigation makes JavaScript slightly faster as a side-effect but it’s because it relaxes some syntax constraints in the runtime, so I don’t consider this a win really. It also gets rid of some debug-specific functions that are web-observable and clashed on a few pages, an error Firefox corrected some time ago but missed my notice. Additionally, since 68ESR newly adds the ability to generate and click on links without embedding them in the DOM, I backported that patch so that we can do that now too (a 4-year-old bug only recently addressed in Firefox 70). Apparently this functionality is required for certain sites’ download features and evidently this was important enough to merit putting in an extended support release, so we will follow suit.

            I also did an update to cookie security, with more to come, and cleared my backlog of some old performance patches I had been meaning to backport. The most important of these substantially reduces the amount of junk strings JavaScript has hanging around, which in turn reduces memory pressure (important on our 32-bit systems) and garbage collection frequency. Another enables a fast path for layout frames with no properties so we don’t have to check the hash tables as frequently.

          • Week notes – 2019 w47 – worklog

            Week Notes. I’m not sure I will be able to commit to this. But they have a bit of revival around my blogging reading echo chamber. Per revival, I mean I see them again.

            The Open Data Institute just started one with a round about them. I subscribed again to the feed of Brian Suda and his own week notes. Alice Bartlett has also a very cool personal, down to earth and simple summary of her week. I love that she calls them weaknotes She’s on week 63 by now.

          • Marco Zehe: My extended advent calendar

            This year, I have a special treat for my readers. On Monday, November 25, at 12 PM UTC, I will start a 30 day series about everything and anything. Could be an accessibility tip, an how-to about using a feature in an app I use frequently, some personal opinion on something, a link to something great I came across on the web… I am totally not certain yet. I have ideas about some things I want to blog about, but by far not 30 of them yet.


        • Glimpse, the G-Rated GIMP Fork, Issues Its First Release

          But before we go on to look at what’s on offer in this release I need to stress that I am not here to tell you what you should think.

          That said, forks of well known software projects (even super duper popular ones like The GIMP) happen all the time, for a variety of reasons, some of which might seem trivial or pointless to you.

          So regardless of whether the word “GIMP” does have negative connotations in your world or it doesn’t is by the by. With its first release now out of the door, the Glimpse image editor is beginning to stand on its own merits, to pursue its own path, and deserves to be evaluated on that basis.

        • GNU Guile 2.9.5 (beta) released

          We are delighted to announce GNU Guile 2.9.5, the fifth beta release in preparation for the upcoming 3.0 stable series. See the release announcement for full details and a download link.

          Besides the usual set of optimizations, this release adds an –r6rs option for better R6RS support out of the box, and also adds a new –r7rs corresponding to R&RS. Guile’s core exception handling has also been rebased onto the raise-exception and with-exception-handler primitives, enabling better compatibility going forward with structured exception objects, which are more common in the broader Scheme community than Guile’s old throw and catch.

          GNU Guile 2.9.5 is a beta release, and as such offers no API or ABI stability guarantees. Users needing a stable Guile are advised to stay on the stable 2.2 series.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Open source transparency comes to root of trust hardware

            Geopolitics have put enterprise data centers in the crosshairs of international espionage. From all corners of the globe, hackers of all sorts, including those aligned with national spy agencies, are zeroing in on hardware roots of trust.

            For any computing platform, the root of trust is the ultimate line of defense against cybersecurity attacks. No matter how secure your operating system and applications appear to be, they are acutely vulnerable if running on a hardware platform whose root of trust has been compromised by an unauthorized party.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python CSV

          A CSV (Comma Separated Values) format is one of the most simple and common ways to store tabular data. To represent a CSV file, it must be saved with the .csv file extension.

        • Python, Javascript, and Web automation

          In the last few months, I’ve been trying to compare the languages that I’ve worked with so far. The reason being, I often find myself in situations when I have a task at hand, and I realize there are multiple different ways to do it in multiple languages, and I get analysis paralysis.

          Anyways, the focus of this post is Python, Javascript, and their use in Web automation. To be fair, both languages have different histories and evolved very differently, but web automation is one area that I feel where both languages have something to offer. I’ll try to compare Python and Javascript in the context of different usage patterns and ways of performing web automation.

        • Higher Performance Python (ODSC 2019)

          Building on PyDataCambridge last week I had the additional pleasure of talking on Higher Performance Python at ODSC 2019 yesterday.

        • Transferring Files Using Python’s Built-in HTTP Server

          The need to transfer files over a network is one that arises often. GNU/Linux systems support multiple protocols and tools for doing so, some of which are designed for somewhat permanent file sharing (such as SMB, AFP, and NFS), while others such as Secure Copy (SCP) are used for quick manual and scripted file transfers. Among these is the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the versatile and ubiquitous protocol on which the World Wide Web relies.

          Python, which is included by default in most Linux distributions, provides simple HTTP servers through the “SimpleHTTPServer” and “http.server” modules. The former is found in the Python 2 Standard Library, while the latter is included in Python 3. These lightweight HTTP servers require no separate installation and can be started instantly with a single command.

  • Leftovers

    • Cloud Print becomes the latest product to face Google death squad

      At the end of 2020, after over a decade in beta, Google will pick up its product-ending shotgun and take Cloud Print for a talk behind the back shed, from which it will never return.

      “Beginning January 1, 2021, devices across all operating systems will no longer be able to print using Google Cloud Print,” Google said in a support note.

      “We recommend that over the next year, you identify an alternative solution and execute a migration strategy.”

      Last week for its own Chrome OS operating system, Google added CUPS printing, which it will use instead of Cloud Print.

    • Google shuts down its Cloud Print service after 10-year Beta

      Google revealed plans to shut down Cloud Print, a cloud-based printing solution, at the end of 2020 permanently.

      The company launched Cloud Print back in 2010 as a solution to print from any Internet connected device to compatible printers. The main benefit of the solution was that users did not have to install printer drivers on their client devices and that devices did not need to be in the same local network as the printer. The solution enabled printing on devices without official support from the printer’s manufacturer or drivers for that particular device.

      On Windows users could install the Google Cloud Printer application to add cloud printing functionality to the operating system.

    • Google Cloud Print will be shut down on December 31, 2020

      After offering printing from any device, from any location, to any web-connected printer with Cloud Print, Google is shutting down the service that has technically been a beta product since 2010. Cloud Print will be gone by the end of next year and users will need to find an alternative before December 31, 2020. Chrome OS, which originally relied on Cloud Print entirely for printing needs, eschewing the need to develop native printing controls, is now going full native.

      Chrome OS already handles some administrative tasks for printers that use the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS). Google promises to expand administrative options through the end of the year, and add more robust support for external print servers and other security policy administration in 2020. Since Chrome OS and its apps relied entirely on Cloud Print, Google will also be developing APIs for third-party developers to handle printing tasks.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dpdk, mingw-djvulibre, mingw-hunspell, mingw-ilmbase, mingw-OpenEXR, php-symfony, php-symfony3, and rsyslog), openSUSE (chromium and squid), SUSE (aspell, cups, djvulibre, and dpdk), and Ubuntu (djvulibre).

      • Roboto Botnet network building, DDoS not a priority
      • Google quintuples top reward for hacking Android to $1 million

        Google, which has already paid security researchers over $15 million since launching its bug bounty program in 2010, today expanded its Android Security Rewards program. Most notably, the company is introducing a top prize of $1 million. The previous top prize was $200,000. That’s technically a quintupling, although the maximum reward could be even higher. Google is launching a 50% bonus for exploits found on specific developer preview versions of Android, meaning the top reward could net you $1.5 million.

      • Bad Binder: Android In-The-Wild Exploit (Project Zero)

        Over on the Project Zero blog, Maddie Stone has a lengthy post about a zero-day exploit that was found and fixed in the Android Binder interprocess communication mechanism. The post details the search for the problem, which was apparently being used in the wild, its fix, and how it can be exploited. This is all part of an effort to “make zero-day hard”; one of the steps the project is taking is to disseminate more information on these bugs.

      • Bad Binder: Android In-The-Wild Exploit

        On October 3, 2019, we disclosed issue 1942 (CVE-2019-2215), which is a use-after-free in Binder in the Android kernel. The bug is a local privilege escalation vulnerability that allows for a full compromise of a vulnerable device. If chained with a browser renderer exploit, this bug could fully compromise a device through a malicious website.

        We reported this bug under a 7-day disclosure deadline rather than the normal 90-day disclosure deadline. We made this decision based on credible evidence that an exploit for this vulnerability exists in the wild and that it’s highly likely that the exploit was being actively used against users.

        In May 2019, Project Zero published a blog post and spreadsheet for tracking “in-the-wild” 0-day exploits. In July 2019, I joined Project Zero to focus on the use of 0-day exploits in the wild. We expect our approach to this work will change and mature as we gain more experience with studying 0-days, but the mission stays the same: to “make zero-day hard”.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Korean Peninsula Troubles Pose U.S. Security Challenge

        Defense Secretary Mark Esper is returning from Asia with the U.S. still facing a trio of troubles on the Korean peninsula that pose risks to the national security of the U.S. and one of its most important alliances in the region.

      • America Will Never Live Down Trump’s War Crime Pardons

        Donald Trump loves him some bluster, worships machismo, and always has. Spectacle over substance has long been the name of his game. Decades before his successful presidential run, back when he was still a cartoon billionaire playboy, Trump took out a full-page newspaper advertisement that argued that New York state should bring back the death penalty for five adolescents arrested in 1989 for allegedly beating and raping a jogger—even though the boys hadn’t yet been convicted. Turns out that the infamous Central Park Five were later exonerated by DNA evidence. To this day, Trump refuses to apologize, even though his suggestion would have resulted in the execution of five innocent kids. But regret isn’t part of The Donald’s playbook.

      • What’s Happening In Bolivia Is a Violent Right-Wing Coup

        The coup d’etat in Bolivia has divided not only that country but the world. The mainstream press, the Trump administration, the Washington-compliant Organization of American States, and right-wing governments have hailed the ousting of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president. 

      • Christianity is the Religion of Imperialism

        Saba Mahmood is a very talented scholar who has assimilated a post-colonial sensibility. She has learned to look at the world through the eyes of those who have been the pedagogical objects of European colonialism. The literature on Orientalism is vast; and the evidence suggests that Europe cannot easily shake off the deep-seated assumption that its way of life and scholarly products are the Archimedean point for comprehending the entire world. Tomoko Masuzawa (The invention of world religions [2005]) demonstrated provocatively that the idea of “world religion” is an intellectual construction that implicitly assumes that Christianity is the only universal religion that breaks free from locale and particularity.

    • Environment

      • Open Letter to the People of Planet Earth

        The Galactic Gardeners’ Forum

        This may not be the best time to contact you, but waiting may only make things worse. Since we’re your first neighbors in the galaxy to make contact, we hope you’ll consider us a welcoming committee with a warning. We’ve hacked into all your major channels of communication to transmit our message in every human language. We do not want to go through “official channels” or speak only with your corrupt rulers. We want our words to reach everyone.

        We come from a remote handful of living planets and moons scattered across this galaxy. We are a network of galactic gardeners who nurture life by sharing our stories, experiences, knowledge, and ideas. We offer each other encouragement, constructive criticism, advice, and hard-won wisdom. But unfortunately, the vast distance between our worlds deprives us of the joy of actually meeting face-to-face. We’ve decided to contact you because we cherish life everywhere we find it—and life on your planet is in grave danger.

        You inhabit an astounding planet. It supports a living tapestry of great vibrancy and splendor. We’ve witnessed Earth-life evolve for eons. Because you are such a young, impetuous species, we’ve refrained from contacting you. We did not know how making contact would affect you, since your awareness remains fractured by conflicts between the powerful rich and the powerless poor; as well as between nations, races, and religions. But we felt compelled to act because your carbon-addicted way of life has made you a threat to yourself and the magnificent biosphere that made you.

        Your consciousness has yet to reach the level of holistic awareness and life-preserving empathy so essential for you to become a vital part of your biosphere’s immune system. We hoped this was the path you were on since your ecological sciences and some of your spiritual beliefs extol the need for all humans to care for each other and your “Mother Earth.”

      • Is Greta Thunberg a Time Traveler ‘Here to Save Us’ From Climate Emergency’? 120-Year-Old Photo Sparks Flood of Conspiracy Theories

        “Wishing her all the best and success in her mission to save the Earth. We can use [all] the help we can get!”

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

Understanding Thierry Breton: More Influential Friends in High Places

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Understanding Thierry Breton

Further parts pending review and research

Lagerfeld and Breton
Bernadette Chirac, Karl Lagerfeld, Valerie Breton and Claude Pompidou attend the Chanel Haute Couture Fall-Winter Fashion show during Paris Fashion Week in Paris (6 July 2006).

Summary: “So it comes as no surprise to find Valerie and Thierry rubbing shoulders with members of the Rothschild family at social events.”

As we saw in the last part, Thierry and his wife Valerie have a penchant for attending “high society” events organised by the likes of the LVMH Foundation.

Another of these foundations is the Pompidou Foundation which was set up in 1970, by Claude Pompidou, widow of Georges Pompidou who served as Prime Minister under Charles de Gaulle from April 1962 to July 1968 and as President of France from 1969 until his death in 1974. Before entering politics, Pompidou was the general manager of the Rothschild Frères bank having been recruited by Guy de Rothschild from his job as a teacher in 1953.

“Before entering politics, Pompidou was the general manager of the Rothschild Frères bank having been recruited by Guy de Rothschild from his job as a teacher in 1953.”The Claude Pompidou Foundation was set up by Pompidou’s widow in 1970 to help disabled children, the elderly and hospitalised.

The foundation has close links with the Chiracs, another prominent political family aligned with the UMP.

Claude Pompidou with Jacques Chirac
Claude Pompidou with Jacques Chirac in September 1999.

Jacques Chirac served as the Treasurer of the Foundation for over three decades.

“As we’ll see later on, Thierry Breton also has some close connections to another former French President of the European Patent Office, the notorious Benoît Battistelli.”His wife Bernadette Chirac, a regular guest at Foundation events, took over as president of the Foundation, following the death of Mme Pompidou in 2007.

In March 2008, Valerie was spotted sharing a table with the bon viveur Prof. Alain Pompidou, the adopted son of George and Claude Pompidou, at a Gala Evening organised by the Friends of The National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Valerie Breton with Alain Pompidou
Valerie Breton with Alain Pompidou at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (March 2008)

This was shortly after Prof. Pompidou had returned to Paris following a three-year sojourn in Munich as President of the EPO between July 2004 and June 2007.

As we’ll see later on, Thierry Breton also has some close connections to another former French President of the European Patent Office, the notorious Benoît Battistelli.

Before concluding our look at his influential friends in high places, it’s worth recalling that the former Minister for the Economy spent a brief period as a “senior advisor” to Rothschild & Cie Banque after he finished his stint in Bercy in 2007 and before he moved to Atos in 2008.

So it comes as no surprise to find Valerie and Thierry rubbing shoulders with members of the Rothschild family at social events.

Rothschilds and Bretons
Valerie and Thierry rubbing shoulders with the Rothschilds
From left to right: Éric de Rothschild, Arielle Malard de Rothschild, Philippine de Rothschild

It’s time now to turn our attention to Thierry’s connections in the world of French politics and we will start by looking at a bromance that failed to stand the test of time.

Links 22/11/2019: Slimbook’s GNU/Linux Laptops, Kubernetes Hype

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Slimbook’s New Pro Laptop Wants to Take on Apple, Costs Less Too

        Meet the Slimbook Pro X 15, a new 15-inch Linux laptop from Spanish hardware company Slimbook.

        Their new device is powered by an Intel i7-9750H processor (6-core, 4.5GHz turbo boost) with a beefy NVIDIA GTX 1650 Max-Q Turing graphics card and supports unto 32GB RAM — a compelling combination that certainly helps to put the “pro” in “proformance”


        The Slimbook Pro X 15 touts a high-resolution 2k 15.6-inch IPS display (16:9) with thin bezels (0.4 cm) and full 100% sRGB colour coverage. This should make it especially good for graphics designers, photographers and those who work with video.

        A large multi-touch trackpad and full-size backlit keyboard with choice of layout come as standard.

        Two webcams are included: one at 720p for video chats; the other a biometric facial detection webcam that (once again depending on distro and DE) can be used to login in to Linux using your face!

      • System76 To Design And Build Laptops In-House

        System76 has been selling laptops and desktops, preinstalled with Linux, since 2005. But up until recently, their desktop machines were designed by third-party OEMs. That all changed in 2018 when System76 began selling their in-house designed and built desktops, the Thelio. The Thelio machines have been met by glowing reviews across the globe, and can be specced high enough to accommodate serious loads.

        As for laptops? System76 has been depending on Sager and Clevo to design their hardware. These laptops have served the company (and consumers) well. But once System76 proved they could build one of the finest Linux-powered desktops on the market, they set out to discover if it was possible to also produce laptops in house.

    • Server

      • Just how popular is Kubernetes?

        In its study of usage data from thousands of companies and more than 1.5 billion containers, the company found “roughly 45% of Datadog customers running containers use Kubernetes, whether in self-managed clusters or through a cloud service.” Not bad for a technology that’s just over five years old.

        What’s more telling though is that almost half of all Datadog container users have already turned to Kubernetes. It’s Kubernetes’ growth rate that really tells the story. In the last year, Kubernetes’ numbers of users grew by 10%.

        In the meantime, other container orchestration programs, such as Marathon and Docker swarm mode, have simply not caught fire. Indeed, their parent companies, D2iQ, formerly Mesosphere, and Docker both started offering Kubernetes to their customers. Need more be said?

        Datadog also found that Kubernetes is very popular on the public cloud. In particular, managed Kubernetes services such as Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) dominates the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Since Kubernetes ancestry goes back to Google that comes as no surprise.

      • Rancher CEO on k3s: Kubernetes is the new Linux; you run it everywhere

        Once, Kubernetes was just some geeky cloud-native project for orchestrating containers (a virtualized method for running distributed applications). Isn’t it funny how it’s worked its way into practically every tech conversation in just a few years? In fact, thanks to technologies that shrink and simplify it, Kubernetes is about to find its way into even more use cases.

        With the technology and its uses expanding so rapidly, how do we even define it anymore? Sheng Liang (pictured), co-founder and chief executive officer of Rancher Labs Inc., has an idea: “Kubernetes is the new Linux, and you run it everywhere.”

        Cloud, on-premises data center, bare metal, internet of things edge, Raspberry Pi, surveillance camera? Check. The developer ecosystem is invading more and more spaces through tweaks that make Kubernetes easier than ever to deploy.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat advances Debezium CDC connectors for Apache Kafka support to Technical Preview

          After a couple of months in Developer Preview, the Debezium Apache Kafka connectors for change data capture (CDC) are now available as a Technical Preview as part of the Q4 release of Red Hat Integration. Technology Preview features provide early access to upcoming product innovations, enabling you to test functionality and provide feedback during the development process.

        • Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2 Brings New Tooling to Cloud-Native Development

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the release of Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2, a cloud-native development workflow for developers. The new release of CodeReady Workspaces enables developers to create and build applications and services in an environment that mirrors that of production, all running on Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform.

        • What’s EPEL, and how do I use it?

          RHEL ships with only a subset of packages that you’ll find in Fedora Linux. This makes sense, because there’s a lot of software in Fedora that isn’t needed in an enterprise environment or falls outside the scope of RHEL. Red Hat maintains and supports the packages in RHEL far longer than the lifespan of a Fedora release, and we select the software we feel is necessary for our customers to be successful in deploying and using RHEL to run their workloads.

          But Fedora users sometimes find that they miss this or that application that’s available in Fedora but not through RHEL. So, EPEL was formed. Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) is a special interest group (SIG) from the Fedora Project that provides a set of additional packages for RHEL (and CentOS, and others) from the Fedora sources.

          To get a package into EPEL, it has to be in Fedora first. EPEL follows the Fedora Packaging Guidelines to ensure successful integration, and only includes free and open source software that isn’t patent encumbered. So you won’t find any proprietary software in EPEL or things like multimedia codecs that are restricted by patents, even if software enabling them is under an open source license.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 148 – Is Linux Slower?, Google Tracking Your Health Records, Bytecode Alliance

        Topics covered in this episode:

        Mozilla, Intel, fastly, and Red Hat Form the Bytecode Alliance
        Kdenlive 19.08.3 Released
        Volla Phone Kickstarter
        Google Project Nightingale
        If Linux Feels Slower, That’s Because It Is
        Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown
        Helvetii Coming To Linux

      • 2019-11-21 | Linux Headlines

        Google joins the bare-metal cloud club, Jetpack gets an important security patch, Fedora election voting begins, and Codefresh has some clarifications about its new open source fund.

      • Energy Drinks, Teen Titans GO!, Bad Superheroes, and Don Cherry

        Marcel Gagne and Evan Leibovitch riff on Linux, Open Source, computers, technology, privacy, the digital economy, movies, video games, the Internet, security, breakfast cereal, and anything else related to the modern, open world.

      • Is Vegan TV Art? | User Error 79

        Disposing of hard drives, what a TV really is, and the veganism of software.

        Plus the serious business of coffee, why modern music sucks, and making Popey feel bad.

        00:00:48 With better technology, why don’t we necessarily see better art?
        00:09:03 Is Linux (or FOSS) the vegan option within software?
        00:13:43 Do you own a TV?
        00:20:24 How do you prepare your coffee?
        00:25:05 How do you forgive yourself?
        00:32:19 How do you dispose of your old hard drives for security purposes?

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3.12

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.3.12 kernel.

        All users of the 5.3 kernel series must upgrade.

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

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

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


      • Linux 4.19.85
      • Linux 4.14.155
      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Open-Source Gallium3D Driver Achieves OpenGL 4.6 Conformance

          The Khronos Group has officially confirmed Intel’s new “Iris” Gallium3D driver as being a conformant OpenGL 4.6 implementation.

          The Khronos Group has awarded the Intel Iris Gallium3D driver as being a conformant OpenGL 4.6 implementation in successfully passing all of the necessary OpenGL CTS test cases. As we’ve been saying, the Intel Gallium3D driver is in great shape with Mesa 19.3 and these Khronos conformance results confirm that it’s successfully behaving in-line with their specification.

    • Benchmarks

      • PHP 7.4 Performance Benchmarks Show A Nice Improvement – But PHP 8.0-dev Is Running Even Faster

        PHP 7.4 is due to be released next week as the annual major iteration to PHP7. Like we have seen through the PHP7 releases, while new features continue to be tacked on for this popular web-based programming language the performance has continued evolving. Here are the latest benchmarks of PHP 5.6 through PHP 7.4 while also looking at the PHP 8.0-dev performance that is in development on Git master.

        Outside of the performance realm, PHP 7.4 is another exciting update thanks to finally introducing FFI support. The Foreign Function Interface for PHP allows accessing C structs/functions/variables from native PHP code for making it easier to interact with C libraries from PHP.

        In addition to the headlining FFI support of PHP 7.4, this next release has a preload function to preload functions/classes to speed-up the loading of scripts by 30~50%, language alterations, TLS 1.3 support in PHP OpenSSL streams, and a variety of other smaller additions.

      • A Look At The GCC Compiler Tuning Performance Impact For Intel Ice Lake

        For those wondering if it’s worthwhile for performance recompiling your key Linux binaries with the microarchitecture instruction set extensions and tuning for Ice Lake, here are some GCC compiler benchmarks looking at that impact for the Core i7 1065G7 on the Dell XPS 7390.

        In particular, this article is looking at the affect on generated benchmark binaries when built under the following CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS configurations:

        -O3 -march=skylake – Just optimizing for conventional Skylake processors.

        -O3 -march=skylake-avx512 – Optimizing for Skylake AVX-512 processors like Skylake-SP/Skylake-X. The Skylake AVX-512 enables use of the AVX512F, CLWB, AVX512VL, AVX512BW, AVX512DQ and AVX512CD instructions.

        -O3 -march=icelake-client – Optimizing for Icelake client/desktop processors. New instructions exposed here not found with Skylake/Skylake-AVX512 include AVX512VBMI, AVX512IFMA, SHA, CLWB, UMIP, RDPID, GFNI, AVX512VBMI2, AVX512VPOPCNTDQ, AVX512BITALG, AVX512VNNI, VPCLMULQDQ, and VAES. Note there is also the “icelake-server” target for future Ice Lake Xeon Scalable processors where additionally PCONFIG and WBNOINVD are flipped on.

    • Applications

      • Top 10 Best Linux Video Editing Software

        If you aspire to become a professional video editor but hate the idea of switching to a different operating system just to use video editing software, we have good news for you: Linux has many fantastic video editing software applications that let you easily edit videos right in your favorite Linux environment.

        What’s great about most Linux video editing software applications is that they tend to be free and open source, which means that anyone can peek under the hood and implement new features or fix bugs. The video editors featured in this article are loosely arranged according to their popularity, but we recommend you go through the entire list because even less popular video editors have a lot to offer.

      • The 10+ Best Linux Wallpaper Changer Software in 2019

        Every person wants a customized desktop environment based on his choice. The most important visual element of a desktop environment is its wallpaper or background. You can easily set your desired wallpaper in the Linux system. Just like Windows PC, you can even create a wallpaper slideshow. But if you want full control and more customization, you need to download an extra piece of wallpaper changer for your Linux or Ubuntu system. With these Linux wallpaper changer programs, you can download wallpapers from different sources, schedule them and customize your desktop in your style.

      • Bauh – Manage Snaps, Flatpaks and AppImages from One Application

        Snaps, Flatpaks, AppImages and your distribution’s own packages. There are way too many of them and bauh enables you to use all of them from one single app.

      • Linux Candy: CMatrix – terminal based “The Matrix”

        Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

        Linux Candy is a new series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We’re only going to feature open-source software in this series.

        The subject of this article is CMatrix. CMatrix is an ncurses program that simulates the display from “The Matrix”, and is based on the screensaver from the movie’s website.

        If you have been living in a cave for the past few decades, you might not know The Matrix is a hugely popular 1999 American science fiction film starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano.

      • Blender 2.81 Released With NVIDIA RTX Optix Back-End, Intel Open Image Denoise Support

        Blender 2.81 features some exciting changes like a NVIDIA OptiX back-end for use on RTX/Turing GPUs for faster rendering performance than the CUDA/OpenCL back-ends, Intel Open Image Denoise support, adaptive subdivision support for Cycles, new Sculpt tools, outliner improvements, a better grease pencil tool, and a lot more.

      • Proprietary

        • Ransomware Bites 400 Veterinary Hospitals [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The source told KrebsOnSecurity that NVA suffered a separate ransomware infestation earlier this summer that also involved Ryuk, and they expressed concern that the first incident may not have been fully remediated — potentially letting the attackers maintain a foothold within the organization.

          “This is the second time this year Ryuk struck NVA,” the source said. “The first time, NVA was rather open to all facilities about what happened. This time, however, they are simply referring to it as a ‘system outage.’”

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Half-Life: Alyx Releasing In March 2020 With Linux Support

        Half-Life: Alyx is powered by SteamVR on Valve’s Source Engine 2. On Linux that means Vulkan rendering. Half-Life: Alyx will work with all PC-based VR headsets.

        More details on Half-Life: Alyx at Half-Life.com and the Steam page. It’s been close to a year since last pulling out the HTC Vive, so at least this will make for a fun and fresh Linux VR look next year.

      • Set between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Valve have now properly announced Half-Life: Alyx (updated)

        Half-Life: Alyx, the first Half-Life title in far too long has now been officially revealed with the Steam store page for it now available and you can also pre-purchase. However, their email clearly stated that Half-Life: Alyx will be “Free for owners of the Valve Index VR headset”.

        This is a title built from the ground up for Virtual Reality, so only those with a VR kit will be able to play. Valve said it has “all of the hallmarks of a classic Half-Life game” including exploration, puzzle solving, visceral combat and a story that connects it all together with the Half-Life universe. Valve also said it will be compatible with “all PC-based VR headsets”, it’s powered by their own Source 2 game engine and it will release in March 2020.

      • Humble are giving away Serial Cleaner free for their Fall Sale now live

        You have around 72 hours to grab Serial Cleaner completely free, along with the start of the Humble Store Fall Sale.

        As always, there’s tons of titles on sale. Plenty of indie games, plus multiple publishers have all put their games up with big discounts on them too.

      • BATTLETECH Heavy Metal has firmly stomped its way to release

        BATTLETECH Heavy Metal, the latest expansion to the turn-based strategy game that has you fight with massive lumbering ‘mechs is out now.

        We’ve been told this is the definitive expansion, so it’s likely to be the last as Harebrained Schemes move onto their next game. Quite an exciting expansion though and the naming of the expansion is very on point, since it comes with a bunch of classic ‘mech designs from the original ​BATTLETECH​ board game plus a new ‘mech designed just for Heavy Metal.

      • Parkitect – Taste of Adventure is out expanding your theme park building possibilities

        Possibly one of the most relaxing and engrossing games release last year, Parkitect just expanded with a free update and a big Parkitect – Taste of Adventure DLC.

      • Warlords I + II given the DOSBox and DRM-free treatment over on GOG

        Sometimes a lot of newer strategy games can be a bit much, perhaps a little retro flavour is in order? Warlords I + II, two strategy titles from the 90′s are now on GOG.

        Both of them have been nicely packaged up for Linux gamers so you can just buy them both together, install and then it will run with a pre-configured DOSBox with no hassle. That’s the way I like my retro gaming to be, a solid bit of nostalgia without some headaches.

      • How to Show FPS Counter in Linux Games

        Linux gaming got a major push when Valve announced Linux support for Steam client and their games in 2012. Since then, many AAA and indie games have made their way to Linux and the number of users who game on Linux have increased considerably.
        With the growth of Linux gaming, many users started to look for proper ways to display “frames per second” (FPS) counter as an overlay on running Linux games. An FPS counter helps in tweaking performance of running games as well as in benchmarking a PC’s overall ability to play games at different resolutions.

        Unfortunately there is no single unified way to display FPS counter in all Linux games that is independent of underlying technologies a game is running upon. Different renderers and APIs have different ways to display FPS counter. This guide will explain various methods that can be used to display an FPS counter in Linux games.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Snapcraft secret sauce: KDE neon extension

          Simplicity is the magic ingredient in any product design. For members of the KDE community, snap development has become that much simpler, thanks to the recent introduction of the KDE neon extension.

          Last year, we talked about the KDE build and content snaps, which can greatly speed the build of KDE application snaps and save disk space. The extension takes this effort one step farther, and allows for faster, smoother integration of snaps into the Linux desktop. While there are no shortcuts in life, you can rely on a passionate community of skilled techies to make the journey easier.

        • KDE e.V. board meeting in Berlin

          Just back from Barcelona – with a brief pause at home for some mathematical cabaret, a board meeting for my local badminton club, music lessons and an afternoon of volunteering at a local charity second-hand shop – and I’m off to Berlin again.

          The train is not particularly fast, but it’s a relatively predictable six hours from here to HBf and I do have some “home” feeling in Berlin. At least I have a favorite chocolate place. In Berlin we’re combining a KDE e.V. board meeting with the KDE Frameworks 6 sprint. Both events are basically “planning for the future” on an organizational and technical level.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Screencasting with OBS Studio on Wayland

          For the past few months, I’ve been doing live coding sessions on YouTube showing how GNOME development goes. Usually it’s a pair of sessions per week, one in Brazilian Portuguese so that my beloved community can enjoy GNOME in their native language; and one in English, to give other people at least a chance to follow development as well.

          We are quite lucky to have OBS Studio available for screencasting and streaming, as it makes our lives a lot easier. It’s really a fantastic application. I learned about it while browsing Flathub, and it’s what actually motivated me to start streaming in the first place. However, I have to switch to X11 in order to use it, since the GNOME screencast plugin never really worked for me.

          This is annoying since Mutter supports screencasting for years now, and I really want to showcase the latest and greatest while streaming. We’re still not using the appropriate APIs and methods to screencast, which doesn’t set a high standard on the community.

          So I decided to get my hands dirty, bite the bullet, and fix this situation. And so was born the obs-xdg-portal plugin for OBS Studio! The plugin uses the standard ScreenCast portal, which means it should work inside and outside the Flatpak sandbox, in Wayland and X11, and on GNOME and KDE (and perhaps others?).

        • Some GNOME / LAS / Wikimedia love

          About LAS 2019:

          Linux App Summit
          Linux App Summit 2019

          And about the previous LAS format:

          Libre Application Summit
          Libre Application Summit 2018

        • Ismael Olea: Linux Applications Summit 2019 activity

          And finally, I helped the local team with some minor tasks like moving items and so.

          I want to congratulate all the organization team and specially the local team for the results and the love they have put in the event. The results have been excellent and this is another strong step for the interweaved relations between opensource development communities sharing very near goals.

          My participation at the conference has been sponsored by the GNOME Foundation. Thanks very much for their support.

    • Distributions

      • Zorin OS 15 Lite Linux distro can rejuvenate your aging Windows PC

        A common complaint I hear from friends and family is their Windows PC is slow and barely usable. They explain that the computer is old and they think they may need a new one. I immediately ask them what they use the PC for, and almost always, they spend most of the time in a web browser. To save them money, I often suggest installing a lightweight Linux-based operating system. Why buy new hardware if you don’t need it? A better operating system can often make the computer run fast again.

        Today, you can download an excellent such Linux-based operating system. Called “Zorin OS 15 Lite,” it is not only lightweight, but thanks to the Xfce desktop environment and integrated Flatpak support, it should be quite familiar to those switching from Windows. In fact, the developers are intentionally targeting existing Windows 7 users, as Microsoft’s operating system will be unsupported beginning January 2020. Zorin OS 15 Lite, in comparison, is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and supported until 2023! It even comes with the very modern Linux kernel 5.0.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Sourcetrail is now free and open-source

        Sourcetrail is very useful when you try to study/navigate large C++ codebases like @firebirdsql / @LibreOffice

      • Open-Source Intel TXT Support Published For Coreboot

        Thanks to work done by 9elements Cyber Security for an unnamed client, there is now working open-source Intel TXT support for Coreboot with the patches under review for upstream inclusion.

        This is the culmination of work that started months ago for getting Intel Trusted Execution Technology working with Coreboot. Intel TXT offers authenticity capabilities for the platform, extending the trust to the operating system, and other security features built around TPM and crypto functionality.

      • Events

        • Accepted stands

          New this year is that some stands will switch between Saturday and Sunday, so we can give more projects the opportunity to present themselves to the community.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Linux Foundation Training Announces a Free Online Course-Introduction to Hyperledger Sovereign Identity Blockchain Solutions: Indy, Aries & Ursa

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced enrollment is now open for a new, free, course – Introduction to Hyperledger Sovereign Identity Blockchain Solutions: Indy, Aries & Ursa. This course is offered through edX, the trusted platform for learning.

          To the surprise of absolutely no one, trust is broken on the Internet. Any identity-related data available online can be subject to theft. Breach Level Index says that over 5,880,000 records are stolen every day. The 2019 MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report shows that reported breaches in the first half of 2019 were up 54% compared to midyear 2018 (over 4.1 billion records exposed), with web being the number one breach type for records exposed, and hacking being the number one breach type for incidents. Wherever you go online, the advice is the same–make sure you understand what is behind each button before you click it.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • Is the future of farming under water?

          “[The] first thing we did was open source our model. In the new economy, we make things accessible to everybody. Anybody with 20 acres and a boat and $30,000 can start their farm and be up and growing the first year. Our farms require minimal capital costs and minimal skill. The potential of replication is tremendous: A network of small ocean farms about the size of Washington State could feed the world and, as bio-fuel, replace all the oil in the United States, while simultaneously capturing five times the amount of carbon as land-based plants,” Smith predicts.

          The 3D ocean farming model consists of an underwater rope scaffolding system, anchors on the floor, and ropes up to the surface as well as horizontal ropes. Farmers grow their crops within this system, such as kelp (“the soy of the sea”). Mussels, scallops, and oysters are grown on the floor, and plants are grown in the mud.

          GreenWave is disseminating its model for restorative 3D ocean farms through open source manuals, farmer training programs, and an online collaboration platform to create a network of restorative ocean farming communities. Outside of ongoing replication along the waters of Long Island Sound, 3D ocean farmers anywhere in the world will be able to select appropriate native species to restore productive ecosystems along the coast, as reported by the Buckminster Fuller Insititute.

        • Seeds Or Code?

          I’d like to congratulate Microsoft on a truly excellent PR stunt, drawing attention to two important topics about which I’ve been writing for a long time, the cultural significance of open source software, and the need for digital preservation. Ashlee Vance provides the channel to publicize the stunt in Open Source Code Will Survive the Apocalypse in an Arctic Cave. In summary, near Longyearbyen on Spitzbergen is: [...]

        • What Is DeepMind? A Peek into the World’s Leading Neural Network

          Deep learning refers to an emerging area of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks to make decisions on our behalf as they are more reliable than human decisions. It consists of many interrelated fields including natural language processing (NLP), cognitive computing, recommender systems, board game programs, and image recognition.

          Ever since its takeover by Google, DeepMind has become the world’s foremost deep learning neural network. Let’s look at the story behind the AI engine, its ongoing applications and whether you should have concerns about privacy in the smart devices where it’s used.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Get started with… Arduino?

            Yes, you read that title right, and no, you haven’t accidentally stumbled upon the Arduino Foundation’s website. Today, we’re pleased to announce a new addition to the Raspberry Pi Press family: Get Started with Arduino, a complete how-to guide to help you get hands on with the other pocket-sized board.

          • Exploring Zyxel GS1900 firmware with Ghidra

            Earlier this year the NSA released Ghidra, a reverse engineering suite with support for a large number of CPU/MCU instruction sets. While I have some experience with Hopper and radare2 I wanted to play with Ghidra to poke around the firmware for my Zyxel GS1900-8 switch which runs on a 32-bit MIPS CPU. All in all this has turned out to be an interesting exploration of both Ghidra and the GS1900-8-2.40(AAHH.2)C0.bix firmware image.

            Initially I wanted to write about poking around the firmware image and showing how one can use Ghidra to explore unknown binaries, but whilst looking around some libraries that are used by this switch I realised there is actually an interesting vulnerability to write about.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python Anywhere: System update on 21 November 2019

          This morning’s system update went smoothly; some websites did take a bit longer than we expected to start up afterwards, but all is well now.

          There are two big new features that we have introduced which are going through some final post-deploy tests before they go live — a new system image (called fishnchips) to support Python 3.8 and to add on a number of extra OS packages that people have been asking us for, and an update to our virtualization system that will fix a number of problems with specific programs. We’ll be posting more about those when they’re ready to go live.

        • PyCharm 2019.3 Release Candidate

          The release of PyCharm 2019.3 is right around the corner and we’re excited to announce we now have available a release candidate version. Check it out by downloading it from our website!

        • #11 Ways How To Make Home Education More Effective

          As you can see, in order to get things done, you have to actually start doing something and be creative at that. We’ve presented those points that we believe can be the most beneficial when attempting home education. But these are more like preferable advice rather than strict rules to success. Find something that suits you and work around it. We believe that anyone with enough desire to try can achieve great things!

        • Punch 2.0.0 is out

          This is the latest release of the project that I started to replace bumpversion. Update your version while having a drink!

          Punch is a configurable version updater, and you can use to automate the management of your project’s version number.

        • Navigating Python Code with Wing Pro 7 (part 2 of 3)

          Last week we looked at goto-definition, find uses, and project-wide search as tools for navigating Python code in Wing 7. This time, we’ll take a look at the code indices that Wing provides.

        • Multi-Value All The Wasm!

          There are a few scenarios where compilers are forced to jump through hoops when producing multiple stack values for core Wasm. Workarounds include introducing temporary local variables, and using local.get and local.set instructions, because the arity restrictions on blocks mean that the values cannot be left on the stack.

          Consider a scenario where we are computing two stack values: the pointer to a string in linear memory, and its length. Furthermore, imagine we are choosing between two different strings (which therefore have different pointer-and-length pairs) based on some condition. But whichever string we choose, we’re going to process the string in the same fashion, so we just want to push the pointer-and-length pair for our chosen string onto the stack, and control flow can join afterwards.

        • Python and shell tools

          I’m not a pythonista, and what little I know about Python for data work amounts to a few published recipes. Out of curiosity, I sometimes re-do those recipes with the GNU/Linux tools I use every day. Below are three such re-doings from Python 2.7 (default on my Debian 10 system, but soon to reach end-of-life).

          Please note that this post isn’t meant to be a “which is best?” contest between Python and shell tools. Each world of commands has its pro’s and con’s, and Python users have access to a large number of general and specialised data-processing tools. Personally, I like the versatility of shell tools and command chains, and I like AWK’s speed and flexible syntax (as readers of this blog will know).

        • KDevelop – possibly new release coordinator

          After many days and weeks of thinking and waiting for better person to appear (nobody appeared) I decided to take the initiative (it took a lot) and try my luck at becoming new KDevelop release coordinator.

          My reasoning as I mentioned in my mail is that if there was someone better for the job the position would be filled by now. And I wish for KDevelop to be a healthy project which can rival those monsters like MSVS, NetBeans, Eclipse, Atom, MSVC…

        • Modernizing Java to keep pace in a cloud-native world

          Java is no spring chicken and some are even referring to it as a “vintage language”. Despite its popularity, there are some complaints about it. In our new cloud-native world, why does Java need to evolve? In order to evolve to keep up with modern, cloud-native apps, Java needs to keep all of what makes it so dependable, while also being able to function in new app environments.
          Don’t worry, you are not the only one who feels old when you hear Java being described as a “vintage” programming language. While Java has been around since 1995, it is certainly not ready to retire (or rather, be retired), and continues to rank among the top languages TIOBE index. In fact, no other language has been so popular for so long.

          However, it is not without its issues, including sometimes being too clunky to keep up with some of the newer programming languages, not agile and flexible enough to work in this new world of containers, and not really relevant in applications that are not coded to be Java first. While they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, you can rethink how it performs what they already know.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Choosing the correct representation for storing Dates and Times

          There are multiple ways of representing the same moment in time. Each representation can store one or more distinct pieces of information. The more information we have, the wider we can use the DateTime unit. In the example of tracking package delivery times, we want to know two different things: the local date and time, as well as the absolute UTC date and time.

        • Opinion: Blocking the Disabled on the Web Means Blocking Innovation

          Without the inspiration and innovation of two disabled individuals, the digital world likely wouldn’t be what it is today. Yet that same world so summarily excludes disabled individuals today that we’re eliminating the very people we will need to solve the web’s future problems.

          Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, our nation has worked to accommodate the needs of the disabled. Because of this, almost one in five disabled adults are now employed. But equal access has been ignored in the digital world. Almost 98 percent of the homepages of the top million websites are to some degree inaccessible today.

  • Leftovers

    • Prince Andrew stepping back: What does it mean for the royal family?

      Will this be enough to quell the furies railing against Andrew in the wake of his car-wreck BBC interview in which he attempted to explain why he remained friends with Epstein long after Epstein pleaded guilty to sex crimes in Florida in 2008?

      And will Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the woman who says she was forced by Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, be satisfied with Andrew’s disappearance from his public royal life?

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Majority of Americans Agree With Me and Bernie’: Michael Moore Makes Powerful Case for Medicare for All on Post-Debate MSNBC Panel

        “The healthcare industry has caused more pain and harm and anxiety for the American people than practically any other industry, and we should never side with candidates that say we’re going to keep this private profit-making thing going.”

      • Most Adolescents Do Not Exercise Enough to Stay Healthy, Study Finds

        A new report finds most adolescents around the world do not get enough physical activity on a daily basis to be healthy and to stay healthy as adults. This World Health Organization study presents the first-ever global estimates of insufficient physical activity among adolescents ages 11 to 17.

        Data for this study was collected from 1.6 million adolescents across 146 countries. It finds girls were less active than boys in all but four countries —Tonga, Samoa, Afghanistan and Zambia.

        The report says the biggest gender gaps are seen in the United States and Ireland where 15 percent more girls than boys were physically inactive. The World Health Organization recommends adolescents do moderate or vigorous exercises for one hour every day of the week to stay fit.

      • Stocks for marijuana companies jump after House committee passes legalization bill

        Shares of companies connected to the marijuana industry soared Thursday following a House Committee’s vote Wednesday to pass a bill that effectively legalizes marijuana on a federal level.

      • Pot stocks soar as U.S. House committee clears bill on federal weed legalization

        The latest bill, which has more than 50 co-sponsors, enables states to set their own policies while allowing to expunge federal marijuana convictions and arrests.

        Additionally, the bill will authorize a 5% federal sales tax on marijuana products that are manufactured in or imported into the United States.

      • It’s Our Choice: Medicare for All, or Endless War?

        If you’re following the presidential race, you’ve heard plenty of sniping about Medicare for All and whether we can afford it. But when it comes to endless war or endless profits for Pentagon contractors, we’re told we simply must afford it—no questions asked.Where can we find it? In a giant pot of money that’s already rampant with waste and abuse: the Pentagon. | By Lindsay

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Fedora (oniguruma and thunderbird-enigmail), openSUSE (chromium, ghostscript, and slurm), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (kpatch-patch), Slackware (bind), SUSE (python-ecdsa), and Ubuntu (bind9 and mariadb).

      • Princesses make terrible passwords

        When the Disney+ streaming service rolled out, millions of people flocked to set up accounts. And within a week, thousands of poor unfortunate souls reported that their Disney passwords were hacked. According to media reports, some Disney+ account holders have lost their account access while hackers have sold their logins online.

        When setting up accounts, Lockwise can help you select something complex and unique that you never would have thought of on your own. Then you can save that tricky password straight into your browser and use it directly from the app, secured behind a master password or fingerprint login protected in the most delightful way for when you need it.

        We can’t guarantee that various services and platforms you use won’t ever be compromised, but we can help you create complex unique passwords to minimize your exposure should it occur. And with Firefox Monitor, we can alert you when breaches happen.

      • Two ways Firefox protects your holiday shopping

        We’re entering another holiday shopping season, and while you’re browsing around on the internet looking for thoughtful presents for friends and loved ones, it’s also a good time to give yourself the gift of privacy. Your research and shopping behavior has the potential to be a huge gift to the advertisers collecting data about your habits. If you’re not using Firefox, every weird search for every weird gift could get packaged up in a marketplace where companies and advertisers will be buying, selling and trading this data about you in their own holiday shopping bonanza. Using Firefox is the preventative measure you need during the holiday season (but really anytime you’re shopping online) to protect you from two potential problems…

      • Linux Webmin Servers Under Attack by Roboto P2P Botnet

        A newly-discovered peer-to-peer (P2P) botnet has been found targeting a remote code execution vulnerability in Linux Webmin servers.

        Vulnerable Linux Webmin servers are under active attack by a newly-discovered peer-to-peer (P2P) botnet, dubbed Roboto by researchers.

      • Monero attackers used Linux, Windows binaries to steal currency: Report

        On 19 November, a Reddit user warned the Monero community about CLI binaries being compromised. Soon after it was brought to light, the issue escalated and the official Monero website acknowledged having been hacked. The hack was intended to deliver currency-stealing malware to users who were downloading wallet software, according to a blog released by officials.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Kremlin says mercenary torture and beheading of Syrian deserter won’t damage Russia’s reputation

        Ekho Moskvy: Have you seen the report that includes a video from Syria taken in 2017 where a group of people — one of whom, as Novaya Gazeta found, is a Russian citizen — brutally kill and then dismember the body of a Syrian servicemember?

      • ‘Years From Now, It’ll Be Clear to Everyone There Was a Coup in Bolivia’
      • In Two-Hour 2020 Democratic Debate, No Mention of Deadly Trump-Endorsed Military Coup in Bolivia

        Sen. Bernie Sanders was the only presidential candidate on the debate stage who has condemned the coup that ousted Bolivia’s elected socialist President Evo Morales.

      • China ready to ‘fight back’ over US Hong Kong Bill

        The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed the House of Representatives by 417 to 1 on Wednesday, one day after the Senate unanimously passed the measure.

        The Bill requires the US president to annually review the favourable trade status that Washington grants to Hong Kong, and threatens to revoke it if the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s freedoms are quashed.

      • China Threatens ‘Profound Disaster’ for Taiwan After Vice Presidential Candidate’s Pro-Independence Comments

        But China does not consider Taiwan to be an independent nation, and under its “One China” policy has vowed to bring the island back under Beijing’s control, whether by diplomatic or military means.

        Beijing is deeply sensitive to any sentiment from Taiwan pushing for formal independence. Tsai and Lai’s Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally supported formalizing Taiwanese autonomy from the mainland, though Tsai has said she is not currently pushing to change the current balance.

      • Ghost ships, crop circles, and soft gold: A GPS mystery in Shanghai

        Now, new research and previously unseen data show that the Manukai, and thousands of other vessels in Shanghai over the last year, are falling victim to a mysterious new weapon that is able to spoof GPS systems in a way never seen before.

        Nobody knows who is behind this spoofing, or what its ultimate purpose might be. These ships could be unwilling test subjects for a sophisticated electronic warfare system, or collateral damage in a conflict between environmental criminals and the Chinese state that has already claimed dozens of ships and lives. But one thing is for certain: there is an invisible electronic war over the future of navigation in Shanghai, and GPS is losing.

      • Chicago Man Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS

        Osadzinski is a U.S. citizen who resides in Chicago. The complaint alleges that Osadzinski designed a process that uses a computer script to make ISIS propaganda more conveniently accessed and disseminated by users on a social media platform. Osadzinski earlier this year shared his script – and instructions for how to use it – with individuals whom he believed to be ISIS supporters and members of pro-ISIS media organizations, the complaint states. Unbeknownst to Osadzinski, the individuals were actually covert FBI employees and a person confidentially working with law enforcement, according to the complaint.


        The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The material support charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

      • Accused bike-path terrorist Sayfullo Saipov tells judge he only answers to Allah

        The comments followed a hearing regarding jury selection ahead of the alleged ISIS militant’s trial for driving a truck down a crowded bike path on Halloween 2017, killing eight people.

    • Environment

      • Arctic’s oldest ice shows signs of change

        There’s change afoot even where scientists least expect it, among the Arctic’s oldest ice. If it goes, so does the wildlife.

      • Energy

        • Stanford Study Says Renewable Power Eliminates Argument for Using Carbon Capture with Fossil Fuels

          Jacobson’s study, published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Energy and Environmental Science, concludes that carbon capture technologies are inefficient at pulling out carbon, from a climate perspective, and often increase local air pollution from the power required to run them, which exacerbates public health issues. Replacing a coal plant with wind turbines, on the other hand, always decreases local air pollution and doesn’t come with the associated cost of running a carbon capture system, says Jacobson.

        • Strike for Sunshine

          Ten years later, decarbonization will have to happen much faster. The transition could be brutal for workers in the fossil fuel and related industries—but it doesn’t have to be. Climate action doesn’t have to mean lost jobs—it can mean better work for most people than what’s on offer today. Mere job training, however, isn’t going to cut it. Beyond high-quality retraining and new work in the clean-energy sector, a just transition for labor would transform work more broadly and increase the power of all workers in relation to their bosses, by offering real alternatives to bad jobs and strengthening labor’s right to organize.

          To win all this, workers themselves will have to fight for it. That means we need a long-term vision that delivers material improvements along the way, building worker power step by step.

        • Projected Fossil Fuel Production ‘Dangerously Out of Step’ With Global Climate Goals, UN Report Reveals

          “Governments are planning to produce about 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway and 120% more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.”

    • Finance

      • Prosecutors Investigating the Trump Organization Zero In on Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg

        Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s criminal investigation of the Trump Organization is scrutinizing the actions of one of the president’s oldest and most trusted deputies, ProPublica has learned.

        The focus on Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, a 72-year-old accountant now running the business with Trump’s two adult sons, stems from his involvement in arranging a payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump (which Trump has denied).

      • IMF: Delay Vote on Equatorial Guinea Loan

        The International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board should delay a planned December 2019 vote on a $280 million loan agreement with Equatorial Guinea, eight human rights and good governance organizations and eight prominent experts said today in a letter to the IMF Executive Board. The program preceding the loan agreement and planned conditions for the loan are insufficient to address deep-rooted rights violations, corruption, and related impunity in Equatorial Guinea in line with IMF requirements.

      • Nonprofit Workers Join the Movement to Unionize

        The past few years have seen a rash of union victories in supposedly white-collar workplaces, from prestige publications to art museums to nonprofit think tanks and service organizations.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Alexander Vindman Now Threatens Bogus SLAPP Suit Against Fox News & Laura Ingraham

        SLAPP suits and SLAPP threats are flying back and forth these days. The latest is that Lt. Col. Alex Vindman, who is a key player in the impeachment hearings, is threatening a highly questionable defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Laura Ingraham, because she had on a guest who suggested Vindman was guilty of espionage (he’s not). The threat letter was sent by David Pressman, a lawyer who works for Boies Schiller Flexner, a law firm which has a history of sending around bogus threat letters to the media for doing reporting.

      • Billionaires and Corporations Love Anti-SLAPP Laws, Why Does John Oliver?

        John Oliver recently dedicated his HBO show to why we need a federal anti-SLAPP law. Like most of his stuff, the episode was witty and engaging. It was also sloppy, thoughtless and poorly researched. From now on, I’ll wonder whether I can trust anything he says.

      • Former Devin Nunes’ Aide Uses Nunes’ Lawyer To File SLAPP Suit Against Politico

        Steven Biss is the lawyer who filed Devin Nunes’ SLAPP suit against a satirical cow on Twitter (and against Twitter and political consultant Liz Mair), as well as Nunes’ various other lawsuits against a variety of journalists and critics.

      • Lawyer With Neo-Nazi Ties Loses Defamation Lawsuit Against SPLC For Calling Him A Neo-Nazi

        People keep suing the Southern Poverty Law Center and they just keep losing. More specifically, certain types of people keep suing the SPLC and losing. The type suing most frequently are individuals with bigoted beliefs who aren’t too thrilled the SPLC considers them to be bigots.

      • Iran’s Internet Mostly Down into 6th Day, With Slight Easing of Access in South [iophk: tweets in place of real sources, no fact checking :( ]

        In a series of Thursday tweets, London-based internet monitoring group NetBlocks said Iran’s almost-total internet shutdown began to ease after 113 hours, with the national connectivity rate rising from 5% to 10%, and later to 15% by early Friday local time. Connectivity had plummeted to about 5% late Saturday and mostly remained at that level until Thursday afternoon.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • State Duma prohibits sales of new devices without pre-installed Russian-made apps

        Russia’s State Duma has cast a final round of voting in favor of a new law that prohibits the sale of personal devices unless those devices have Russian-made software pre-installed.

      • Congress Just Temporarily Extended the Government’s Spying Powers
      • Microsoft is bringing Gmail accounts to Outlook on the web

        The integration works by tethering a Google account to an Outlook account. Once that’s done, all your mail, calendar entries, heck, even your Google Docs will start to appear.

        Entries are kept separate in matching inboxes/calendars, so it’s easy to tell what came from where. Google Drive documents can’t be managed from within Outlook, but once access is granted, you’ll be able to select and attach individual files to your mail – regardless of whether you’re using your Outlook or Gmail account.

      • Uber Is Recording Some Riders’ Trips, Raising Privacy Worries

        The increased surveillance of rides at Uber coincides with a spike in demand from U.S. and Canadian regulators and law enforcement officials for companies to share their customers’ information. The number of requests from U.S. state and federal law enforcement agencies increased to 3,825 in 2018, up 30% from the year before, according to Uber’s transparency report released Wednesday.

      • Bandit opens a ‘mobile-only’ coffee shop in New York

        If you wander into the Bandit coffee shop in Midtown New York, you won’t be able to just walk up to the counter and order something. Instead, you’ll need to download a mobile app.

      • Donald Trump had undisclosed dinner with Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel at White House, Facebook confirms

        Facebook today confirmed what has long been rumored: Donald Trump hosted a dinner which was not disclosed to the public in October 2019 with Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel, at the White House.

        The secret White House dinner with Trump, Thiel, and Zuckerberg happened around the time when Zuck testified before Congress about the Libra cryptocurrency project, which failed.

      • Trump hosted Zuckerberg for undisclosed dinner at the White House in October

        A source familiar with the dinner told NBC News that Thiel was also present. It is unclear why the meeting was not made public or what Trump, Zuckerberg and Thiel discussed.

        The White House declined to comment.

        The dinner was the second meeting between Zuckerberg and Trump in a month. Zuckerberg also met with the president in the Oval Office during a September visit to the capital.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Talvivaara bosses’ conviction upheld on appeal

        Terraframe was also at the centre of a press freedom scandal in December 2016 when then Prime Minister Juha Sipilä sent a number of emails to Yle journalists complaining about the broadcaster’s reporting on his reported on his relatives’ links to the state-supported company.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T Exec Insists That No Broadband Company Is Violating Net Neutrality Even Though AT&T Is Absolutely Violating Net Neutrality

        For a couple of years now, AT&T has been trampling net neutrality without much of anybody giving a damn. Like many ISPs eager to take full advantage of limited US broadband competition, AT&T imposes arbitrary and unnecessary usage caps and overage fees on its broadband lines. If you’re an AT&T broadband customer who uses more than 150 GB (DSL) to 1 terabyte (fiber) monthly, you’ll suddenly face having to pay $10 per each additional 50 gigabytes consumed. Again to be clear: there’s no technical reason for these limits to exist outside of nickel-and-diming captive customers.

    • Monopolies

      • JMLS IP Conference (Report 1): Antitrust, IP, data and FRAND – time for a retool?

        Chief Judge Wood explained that, in her view, there are reforms that could be helpful to rejuvenate the intersection between IP and Antitrust law, particularly on the procedural side, but also in some substantive respects. The question to be asked is: has the right balance been struck to date between intervention and restraint? To date the approach taken, whilst not being completely hands off, has been fairly cautious which begs the question as to whether that has been a mistake for 21st century industries.

        Whilst there are things that can be done to preserve competition as it is in the market, once a tight oligopoly is established, the tools for fixing that are quite limited. This is true in relation to both conventional property and IP. IP is of course a type of property; it is simply harder to define, but for the purposes of antitrust the same analysis is applied: agencies do not presume that IP creates power in the antitrust context, rather it depends on the usual criteria.

        Importantly, IP is a whole and should be considered that way. However, that is not how it is considered procedurally; where instead patents are carved off into one corner and everything else is dealt with separately. A choppy system is created as patent appeals are dealt with by the Federal Circuit, whereas anything else goes to the state Appeal Courts. This means that all types of cases that deal with patents more generally don’t go to the Federal Circuit, for example licensing disputes which end up in the regular Appeal Courts. Another lacuna is created by the fact that the statue dictates that “compulsory” counter claims for patents fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit, whereas “permissive” counter claims go to the regional courts.

      • Patents

        • Apple joins Intel in suing Softbank-owned Fortress for anticompetitive patent abuse through web of trollish subsidiaries

          Last month, Intel brought an antitrust ocmplaint in the Northern District of California over Softbank-owned Fortress Investment’s patent aggregation, obfuscation, and litigation tactics. Fortress’s web of hyperaggressive patent assertion entities includes a huge and growing number of legal entities, some of whom have such names as Uniloc (which sued Apple 25 times and Google even 35 times), VLSI, DSS, Inventergy (which threatened an alleged infringer with an “IP bloodbath”), IXI, Seven Networks, and KIP CR (the CR in that name stands for “crossroads”).


          The amounts that some Fortress trolls are seeking from Apple are shocking. For an example, “VLSI claims up to $7.1 billion in connection with eight patents in the California Action and multiple billions of dollars in damages in the Delaware I Action.” And that’s just a small and limited part of the overall litigation activity by Fortress-controlled companies against Apple. Another group of Fortress entities, Uniloc, is seeking damages from Apple in the range of $2.6 billion to %5.1 billion from only 4 (!) of the 25 aforementioned Uniloc v. Apple cases as you can see on pages 30 and 31 of the complaint. According to Apple, “Uniloc “simply adopted the amounts that Apple sought from Samsung in litigation for Apple’s patents.” What Apple means is what Uniloc wants on a per-unit basis. I’ve criticized Apple very strongly for some of its damages claims against Samsung, but even if one agreed with what Apple wanted from Samsung at the time, it just wouldn’t make sense to copy and paste an amount when it’s about completely unrelated patents.

        • Avoiding Judge Hughes

          One obvious quirk is that the petition was filed with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and not the Federal Circuit. The 5th Circuit has some good law for the patentee — having previously told Judge Hughes that “he cannot enter an order after a Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) dismissal.” (quoting from patentee’s brief). In Bechuck v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 814 F.3d 287, 291 (5th Cir. 2016), Judge Hughes had similarly issued a post-dismissal order that “If Bechuck sues Advantage (ASM) for the same cause of action, he must do so before this court.” The 5th Circuit ruled that statement ineffective — rather the plaintiff’s dismissal under “Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) necessarily allows him to choose his forum anew.”

          By Statute, the Federal Circuit has jurisdiction over patent cases appealed from district courts. 28 U.S.C § 1295. However, the statute specifically is directed toward an “appeal from a final decision.” The statute does not indicate the proper course of appeal of mandamus actions. However, the Federal Circuit has also ruled that extraordinary writs associated with district court patent cases are also “plainly” within the court’s jurisdiction. In re Princo Corp., 478 F.3d 1345, 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2007); In re Regents of the Univ. of Cal., 964 F.2d 1128, 1130 (Fed. Cir. 1992). Although the Federal Circuit has grabbed-power, the 5th Circuit has not clearly relinquished power — in that I’m not aware of a 5th Circuit decision affirming Princo. (I have not done an exhaustive search).

      • Copyrights

        • Why Was Oracle v. Google in the Federal Circuit?

          Last week, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Google v. Oracle, preparing to review the Federal Circuit’s decision that application programming interfaces (APIs) are copyrightable and that the replication of an API to implement compatibility is not a fair use. There are numerous legal flaws with the Federal Circuit’s decisions, flaws addressed at length in the Disruptive Competition Project’s comprehensive coverage of the case, but one thing that isn’t in the case is a patent—it’s all about copyright.

          So why did the Federal Circuit, the appellate court whose jurisdiction centers largely around hearing patent cases, decide key issues of copyright?


          It’s not impossible to fix, though. Several alternatives to the present situation come to mind.

          First, the Federal Circuit could lose jurisdiction over a case if no patent issue existed when the case was appealed. However, simply changing the law so that they would not hear such cases would incentivize plaintiffs to leave patent claims in a case during the appeal as a means of forum shopping, a counterproductive result.

          Second, the Federal Circuit could lose its exclusive jurisdiction over patent matters. This would result in some appeals being directed to the regional circuits. However, since the party that appeals would effectively be able to pick its appellate forum, we’d likely see forum shopping and races to appeal that would produce more expensive and less predictable appellate litigation. It also runs the risk of reducing the uniformity of patent law as regional circuits apply Federal Circuit law—though the alternative is having the Federal Circuit apply regional circuit law. And that uniformity has been more elusive than hoped, given the significant differences between district courts reflected in the forum shopping that went on prior to the TC Heartland decision.

          Third, we could implement a predominance test. If the predominance of the issues in a given appellate case are governed by regional law, the regional circuit would take the case; if patent law predominates, the Federal Circuit would. This would be closest to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vision of cases not being forum-shopped to the Federal Circuit if a patent claim is added in order to manipulate jurisdiction. At the same time, it would add one more issue to be litigated as part of appeals, prolonging cases, and the question of who decides predominance in contested cases would need to be resolved.

          Fourth, we could codify bifurcation of appeals. If a case has both patent and non-patent components, the Federal Circuit would hear the appeal of the patent issues and the regional circuit would take on the non-patent issues. This would increase litigation cost and complexity due to the need to have separate appeals, and potentially raises complex questions as to how to bifurcate the case when the regional and patent law questions are interdependent. It would avoid non-uniformity of patent law and misapplication of regional circuit law by the Federal Circuit. (An alternative, but similar, approach would be a certification procedure similar to that used between federal courts and some state courts, where the Federal Circuit takes the case and asks the regional circuit to certify what the appropriate rule is on an issue of state law. Despite its attraction, that approach might have Constitutional infirmities.)

          Finally, the Federal Circuit might simply be a failed experiment. Earlier commissions reviewing the question of whether to create a specialized patent court worried that specialized judges would succumb to “tunnel vision”, making the law in its area even more esoteric and arbitrary and even allowing the judges to “impose their own views of policy” rather than complying with the law. There’s some evidence that that may have happened with the Federal Circuit, resulting in its capture by pro-patent interests. Maybe it’s time to end the specialized court experiment and return patent law to generalist judges.

        • Scooter Braun Breaks Months-Long Silence, Pleads for Taylor Swift to Sit Down and Talk

          “I know this is going to be the most controversial thing I say. I don’t know where we got messed up along the way that we decided being politically correct is more important than having conflict resolution. … People are allowed to grow as human beings. They’re allowed to have conversations. They’re allowed to change their mind. They’re allowed to go from not liking to each other to liking each other, and vice versa. But you don’t find that out just yelling at each other. You find that out by showing each other respect and having a conversation.”

        • UK Man Admits to Selling £400,000 in Pirate Streaming Subscriptions

          A UK man who sold access to pirate streaming services admitted to copyright and fraud charges in court today. According to a police investigation, instigated by anti-piracy group FACT, the man sold roughly £400,000 worth of unauthorized streaming subscriptions.

        • Gears Reloaded: FBI Just Took Everything, Says Pirate IPTV Boss OMI IN A HELLCAT

          YouTube sensation and founder of ‘pirate’ IPTV Gears Reloaded ‘OMI IN A HELLCAT’ says that he’s been raided by the FBI who “took everything”, including his huge car collection. With a rumored net worth of around $50m, OMI was recently seen on YouTube apparently buying $300K of diamonds. According to him, the FBI are investigating IPTV, tax, and money laundering.

Techrights is Still a Team Effort

Posted in Site News at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Back in 2011: Techrights is a Group Effort

Enter the IRC channels now

Thanksgiving table

Summary: Getting involved in what we do is not difficult and it is even encouraged

THERE is a tendency to assume that because most if not all articles appear under the same name (limitation of the CMS) there’s only one person behind the site. But the site is actually more like a trusted community of people, some of whom know one another since before this site’s existence. The identities aren’t too secret (some of us use real names in IRC) and we publish logs about how things operate to assure those willing enough (it only takes time) that we aren’t working for a company or a state or whatever. Most of us are motivated by Software Freedom and some are inspired by more political ideology. Progressive/liberal tendencies are probably in the majority.

“In many ways we operate like a newsroom, except we’re 100% independent, we oppose censorship in all forms, and our goal is to expose corruption, not glorify/whitewash the corrupt.”This month turns out to be the busiest one in terms of European Patent Office (EPO) coverage, mostly because of the Breton series (the EPO and Battistelli connections will become more apparent soon). Anyone out there who can offer input can contact us as usual, even anonymously. In many ways we operate like a newsroom, except we’re 100% independent, we oppose censorship in all forms, and our goal is to expose corruption, not glorify/whitewash the corrupt.

Guest Post/Off-Topic: Koalas Caught in Australian Bushfire

Posted in Australia at 2:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By Rianne Schestowitz

If you donate I can go home safely

Summary: Australian volunteers and rescuers need help to rescue helpless animals facing danger

Watching videos/photos of Koalas being rescued from a charred/burning forests in Australia is heart-breaking and devastating. More than 350 Koalas are reported being dead and these numbers are growing. Those who live far from Australia (just like me) can’t help physically rescue them, but a small amount of money/donation to sustain the hospital/facilities, volunteers and rescuers is of great help. Koala is just one of the many species that perish from the bushfire and they need our help, so please donate through the GoFundMe page and through other legitimate websites. Help those who support animal welfare.

Global Patent Warming

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I cannot grant those patents. So I will change the rules.

Summary: The old term “Global Patent Warming” comes to mind when one assesses the neoliberal approach of today’s EPO, where the sole goal is making piles of money by granting loads and loads of illegal European Patents

UNDER the reckless management of Campinos and Battistelli the European Patent Office (EPO) makes it a lot easier for examiners to allow European software patents (sometimes compelling them to grant in defiance of the EPC because of the misguided guidelines), at least within the Office, not outside (national courts). Lawyers would admit and they occasionally say that it’s even harder to get software patents from the USPTO (after AIA and 35 U.S.C. § 101) than from the EPO.

“Off-the-shelf Free/libre software libraries allow programmers to paint just about everything as “hey hi” within less than one hour.”It’s very troubling to us, especially geeks. The EPO makes it easier to get illegal patents on statistics and mathematics by misusing buzzwords like "hey hi" (AI) — a term that nowadays refers to all sorts of things ranging from automation to computing. Off-the-shelf Free/libre software libraries allow programmers to paint just about everything as “hey hi” within less than one hour. It’s very ‘plug-n-play’; and still… it all boils down to algorithms.

Grzegorz Wesela-Bauman (JWP Patent & Trademark Attorneys) has published in Mondaq this piece entitled “New EPO Guidelines – Easier Procedures For Patenting AI-Based Inventions” and we’ll quote just the relevant pieces of text while highlighting key parts:

The EPO has made considerable changes to both the procedural issues, which are important for patent attorneys, and in recognizing the patentability of inventions, which is of importance for inventors.

Among the procedural changes, it is worth pointing out the simplified representation for applicants before the EPO before granting the patent, or the simplified method of obtaining discounts for application payments and substantiative examinations when there is more than one applicant.

Substantive changes include granting AI-based inventions the status of technical solutions. A significant change has also been made in the area of novelty search, which may affect the procedures required for inventions in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences. Additionally, facilitation is on the way for demonstrating the level of inventiveness, in particular for biotechnological and pharmaceutical inventions.

The number of changes is enormous and exceeds the scope of this post. Below is a short presentation of selected changes.


At present, the European Patent Office is working on clarifying the issue of patentability of inventions which were previously considered non-technical. This is relevant because recognizing the technical character is the first and foremost condition for an invention to be considered as such. The examination of the novelty and inventive step cannot begin until the first condition has been met.

Inventions that were previously denied technological character were the so-called computer implemented inventions (CIIs). Last year the EPO decided that those inventions are in fact technical. Artificial intelligence-based inventions (AI) and machine learning-based inventions (ML) have recently followed suit.

In the previous versions of its guidelines, the EPO demonstrated that it should be assumed that AI/ML inventions are non-technical. In the new version of its guidelines, the EPO has changed that approach and stated that the EPO’s experts must assume that AI/ML-based inventions may have technical character.

Although this change may seem only superficial, it offers a significant improvement for the applicants. To be more precise, after the guidelines come into force, what the EPO experts will have to demonstrate is a lack of technical character of an AI/ML-based invention, whereas earlier it was the applicant who had to prove that the invention had technical character.

It is worth noting that there is a chance that the procedure for AI/ML inventions will become even friendlier for applicants this year. The European Patent Office is currently deliberating whether inventions based on computer simulations can be patented. Should this happen, it will become easier for applicants to not only demonstrate the technical character but also to demonstrate that this type of invention involves an inventive step.

So just like that they ignore caselaw, violate the EPC, throw away instructions from Parliament and trample over software developers (who were never consulted about this).

Lobbying by the litigation industry, helped by their media (with buzzwords and hype waves), may have yielded results.

“Lobbying by the litigation industry, helped by their media (with buzzwords and hype waves), may have yielded results.”The EPO is basically stepping away further and further — even more so under Campinos — from the rules that govern it. Then it goes to other countries for photo ops that yield this kind of piece from J A Kemp LLP (patent litigation firm). To quote: “It has been announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has signed an agreement with the government of Georgia to enable European patents to be validated in Georgia. The validation agreement will enter into force once it has been adopted into Georgian law.”

So EPO guidelines become another country’s too? Even outside Europe? Even if the EPO violates the law? We don’t suppose Georgia’s ‘IP’ people understand that nowadays many European Patents are fake/invalid patents. We’ve also just noticed this new puff piece from World Intellectual Property Review, reminding us once again that it’s little but a megaphone of litigation zealots and — by extension — EPO management. To quote: “The European Patent Office (EPO) has released new search tools in a bid to improve the world’s largest free collection of patent documents. In an announcement yesterday, November 19, the EPO said the new Espacenet is a “substantially revised and improved version” of its existing patent information search tool. It said new functions will make it easier for users to conduct searches and access more than 110 million patent documents from across the world for free.”

“Good luck to the lone inventor, searching monopolies or millions of submarine patent ambushing him/her, awaiting litigation opportunities to bankrupt his/her business.”For free!

Good luck to the lone inventor, searching monopolies or millions of submarine patent ambushing him/her, awaiting litigation opportunities to bankrupt his/her business. Good for innovation?

Why aren’t there BILLIONS of documents? Not yet? Maybe trillions? That would be lots and lots of “innovation”… correct?

We’ve meanwhile also learned from this self-promotional article in Lexology that “a recent European Patent Office (EPO) case has shown that further measures may well be needed” to “keep information truly confidential…”

But wait, isn’t patenting all about publication?

Terence Broderick from UDL Intellectual Property [sic] writes about T2239/15, which concerns MPEG. These MPEG patents are very likely bogus software patents (geometry, mathematics etc.) that are grouped in massive numbers to make it far too expensive to invalidate them all. The EPO should not grant any of these, but in practice it even offers special awards to the person who's responsible for hundreds of these. From the article:

In recent case T2239/15 the EPO considered whether documents which were said to be ‘private’ were also ‘confidential’, in the absence of any agreement to say so.

Two prior art documents were cited in examination proceedings which the applicants claimed were confidential working documents, circulated as part of the MPEG (Motion Picture Expert Group) working group. The applicants submitted that a confidentiality agreement was in place within the working group.

A variety of submissions were filed to support this stance which centred on the secrecy associated with national standards bodies, obligations set out in guidelines for delegates and files which set out that documents resulting from meetings of the working group (known as input documents) were considered ‘private’.

However, the flexible nature of the working group couldn’t support an obligation of confidentiality on the members. Indeed, the documents themselves even indicated that members of the group were encouraged to seek external expertise. It was said that the number of members was indefinite and that no absolute obligation of confidentiality existed.

Therefore, the problem wasn’t sharing documents, but that it couldn’t be guaranteed that all members of that group were covered by an explicit obligation of confidentiality — even if documents shared between the members are accepted as being ‘private’.

The EPO does not care about confidentiality; the EPO violates confidentiality and then covers it up. It’s a crime, sure, but if the EPO hides evidence of it, will it count? And even if it got caught, nobody would be punished because of immunity.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:58 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Teaser: “Enriching Exchanges”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This tweet is just… rich

Breton and Battistelli

Summary: Ahead of the fourteenth part in the Breton series this old tweet seems increasingly relevant

Breton and Battistelli lineup
In Battistelli‘s theatre in Paris (where millions of EPO euros ended up)

Breton on EIA stage
Breton on EIA stage

Breton on EIA stage (another angle)
Breton on EIA stage (another angle)

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