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11.23.19

Links 2311/2019: X.Org Server 1.20.6 and GNU Health 3.6.2

Posted in News Roundup at 2:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • IBM

        • IBM paid $34B for this: Where Red Hat is taking OpenShift

          IBM already had a Linux. Linux is no more the lead product of a computing company than aspirin is the lead product of a pharmaceutical company. When IBM announced in October 2018 its purchase of Red Hat, its executives explained the move using marketing-speak, calling it an investment in the hybrid cloud. Business news services duly noted that Red Hat was the producer of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which is generally believed to have at least a two-thirds market share in enterprise servers.

        • IBM-Red Hat Strategy Yields Latest Cloud Pak for Security

          IBM Cloud Paks, the fruit of IBM’s RedHat acquisition, got a new addition this week — Cloud Pak for Security.

          Cloud Pak for Security is open-source technology designed to uncover hidden threats and respond to those threats using automated capabilities. IBM has introduced six IBM Cloud Paks — application, data, integration, automation, multicloud management and security.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2019-11-22 | Linux Headlines

        Kodi seeks help for an unexpected part of its project, Google axes yet another service, The Linux Foundation offers a new training course, and Data Viper uncovers a massive data dump.

      • Popey on Thinkpads | Jupiter Extras 34

        Chz sits down with Alan Pope (Popey) to discuss his thoughts about Thinkpads, and why they might be the perfect Linux laptop.

        Find out what those model numbers really mean, plus our tips for picking which one is right for you.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5 Cycle Kicks Off Next Week With Exciting Changes On Tap

        The Linux 5.4 kernel is to be released on Sunday and that will in turn kick-off the Linux 5.5 merge window. Here is a look at some of the changes on the table for what will in turn be the first major stable kernel release of 2020.

      • Intel SVM Support Published For Linux – Another Step On The March To Xe GPUs

        Ending out the week is an exciting development in the Intel open-source graphics driver space… Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) support! This is another step towards their upcoming discrete Xe GPUs and ultimately their exciting oneAPI conquest.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Various Game Emulators Are Faster On Mesa Drivers Now Thanks To OpenGL Threading

          A few days ago 7 Days to Die saw a performance boost on Mesa Git from its “glthread” threading implementation while now a number of game emulators have seen similar whitelisting.

          The Dolphin GameCube/Wii emulator sees about 17% better performance from Mesa OpenGL threading, the Citra Nintendo 3DS emulator saw a 12% rise in performance, and the Yuzu Nintendo Switch emulator saw a 29% rise in performance from this whitelisting.

        • Linux 5.6 Will Bring Another Radeon Run-Time Power Management Improvement

          While the Linux 5.5 cycle begins next week, looking ahead to early next year when the Linux 5.6 cycle will begin, there is expected to be another power management improvement coming for AMD Radeon graphics cards.

          Right now the Linux kernel doesn’t support run-time power management for AMD display audio hardware meaning wasted energy when not using the DisplayPort / HDMI audio. As part of the recent work on the AMDGPU driver’s “BACO” (Bus Active, Chip Off) support, run-time power management for the audio hardware has been in the works.

        • X.Org Server 1.20.6 Released With Many Bug Fixes – Helps XWayland, PRIME + Other Bits

          X.Org Server 1.20.6 has some fixes around PRIME GPU handling, XWayland now expands the RandR screen size limits, modesetting DDX driver fixes, various XWayland fixes, GLX vendor selection support courtesy of NVIDIA, syncing of the Intel PCI IDs from Mesa for the DRI code, and a variety of other fixes. There are ten bug fixes to XWayland code in 1.20.6 making for this being a fairly notable update.

        • xorg-server 1.20.6
          A variety of bugfixes across the board, primarily in Xwayland and PRIME.
          This release also includes GLX vendor selection support. Thanks to all
          who contributed with testing and fixes!
          
          Aaron Plattner (3):
                GLX: Set GlxServerExports::{major,minor}Version
                xfree86: Call ScreenInit for protocol screens before GPU screens
                os: Don't crash in AttendClient if the client is gone
          
          Adam Jackson (7):
                xwayland: Expand the RANDR screen size limits
                miext/sync: Fix needless ABI change
                glx: Fix previous context validation in xorgGlxMakeCurrent
                meson: Fix another reference to "gl" 9.2.0
                meson: Apparently 1.2 is < 1.2.0
                mi: Add a default no-op miSourceValidate
                dix: Call SourceValidate before GetImage
          
          Alex Goins (5):
                xsync: Add resource inside of SyncCreate, export SyncCreate
                randr: Fix RRCrtcDetachScanoutPixmap() segfault during server teardown
                modesetting: Fix ms_covering_crtc() segfault with non-modesetting slave primary
                modesetting: Fix ms_covering_crtc() segfault with non-xf86Crtc slave
                modesetting: Implement ms_covering_randr_crtc() for ms_present_get_crtc()
          
          Alexander Tsoy (1):
                configure: Set libdrm flags correctly if only XORG is enabled
          
          Alexander Volkov (1):
                shm: Use memfd_create when possible
          
          Andres Rodriguez (1):
                xf86: Disable unused crtc functions when a lease is revoked
          
          Carlos Garnacho (4):
                xwayland: Reset scheduled frames after hiding tablet cursor
                xwayland: Separate DamagePtr into separate window data
                xwayland: Refactor surface creation into a separate function
                xwayland: Handle the case of windows being realized before redirection
          
          Eric Anholt (2):
                shm: reindent shm_tmpfile to follow our standards.
                shm: Pick the shm dir at run time, not build time.
          
          Hans de Goede (1):
                glamor/xwayland: Define EGL_NO_X11
          
          Kyle Brenneman (3):
                GLX: Add a per-client vendor mapping.
                GLX: Use the sending client for looking up XID's
                GLX: Add a function to change a clients vendor list.
          
          Marco Trevisan (Treviño) (1):
                Xi: Use current device active grab to deliver touch events if any
          
          Marvin Schmidt (1):
                build: glx: Lower gl version to work with libglvnd
          
          Matt Roper (1):
                dri2: Sync i965_pci_ids.h from mesa
          
          Matt Turner (3):
                dix: Assert noPanoramiXExtension is false in PanoramiX code
                xfree86: Test presence of isastream()
                xserver 1.20.6
          
          Michel Dänzer (2):
                Revert "present/scmd: Check that the flip and screen pixmap pitches match"
                miext/sync: Make struct _SyncObject::initialized fully ABI compatible
          
          Olivier Fourdan (7):
                xwayland: Avoid a crash on pointer enter with a grab
                xwayland: Check status in GBM pixmap creation
                glamor: Make pixmap exportable from `gbm_bo_from_pixmap()`
                xwayland: Update screen pixmap on output resize
                xwayland: Do not free a NULL GBM bo
                compiler.h: Do not include sys/io.h on ARM with glibc
                present/wnmd: Relax assertion on CRTC on abort_vblank()
          
          Samuel Thibault (2):
                Fix crash on XkbSetMap
                Fix crash on XkbSetMap
          
          Sven Joachim (1):
                modesetting: Fix broken manpage in autoconf build
          
          git tag: xorg-server-1.20.6
          
    • Benchmarks

      • RADV’s ACO Back-End Is Helping Radeon Navi Linux Gaming Performance

        It’s been almost two months since last looking at the RADV ACO performance for this shader compiler back-end alternative to the AMDGPU LLVM code. ACO is making its debut in the upcoming Mesa 19.3 release while since the last round of testing have been more optimizations and fixes as well as getting the Navi/GFX10 support in place. In this article are some fresh benchmarks of the Vulkan RADV ACO support for not only Polaris and Vega but also the Radeon RX 5700 Navi graphics cards.

        With a Radeon RX 590, RX 5700, RX 5700 XT, and VII graphics cards I tested Mesa 20.0-devel Git as of this week paired with Linux 5.4 Git — the Linux 5.4 kernel upgrade also helps gaming performance. This is our first look at the ACO performance for new Navi graphics processors plus a fresh look in general with the ever-evolving state of Mesa Git. There are also new game tests included, namely the recently ported Shadow of the Tomb Raider by Feral Interactive for seeing how that benefits from the ACO back-end.

      • POWER9 Blackbird Performance On Ubuntu 19.04 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 Benchmarks

        We have done a lot of benchmarks on Intel/AMD x86_64 for Ubuntu 19.10 for seeing how its performance is looking, but what about IBM POWER9 with the likes of the libre Raptor Blackbird? Here are some Ubuntu 19.04 vs. 19.10 POWER benchmarks I recently carried out.

        Using the great Blackbird POWER9 system from Raptor Computing Systems, I compared the performance of clean / out-of-the-box installs of Ubuntu 19.04 and Ubuntu 19.10.

    • Applications

      • Mutt is a command line email app for Linux and here’s how to set it up

        Mutt is a command line email app for Linux; we continue our series of reviews for Linux-based command line applications. Check out MusicCube (music player) or nnn (file manager).

        Like many terminal programs, it too has a learning curve, perhaps more than the average app. We’ll try to help simplify the process to set it up and explain how to use it.

      • QOwnNotes 19.11.19 Build 4927

        QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud).

      • Linux File Managers and OwnCloud Integration

        In this article, I am going to show you how to integrate your OwnCloud account with your Linux desktop and access OwnCloud files from Linux file managers i.e Nautilus, Nemo, Dolphin etc. The process shown in this article should work on Ubuntu, Debian and Linux Mint distributions. So, let’s get started.

      • Audacity 2.3.3 Released Today- Available for Linux, Mac & Windows!

        Audacity 2.3.3 Released: Audacity team announced today the official version of Audacity 2.3.3 version has been released. This new version is available for all major OS including Windows. Mac & Linux.

      • Proprietary

        • Best graphic design software of 2020: designing for print and printing

          It’s a vector design tool that offers broad file support, extensive text manipulation and both Bezier and Spiro curve types. It also has an extension model that allows new features to be easily installed, and there are some amazing ones available.

          The only reservations we have are that even on a powerful PC it can be slow at times when a complicated process involves rendering.

          As a GPL licensed app, along with Windows, Linux and Apple Mac versions, you can also download the source code and compile it for whatever version of Linux you use.

        • Amazon Sues Over Loss of Pentagon Cloud Deal to Microsoft

          The lawsuit, which was filed under seal in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, marks Amazon’s most aggressive push to defend its competitive edge in the lucrative and cutthroat world of federal government contracts.

          Amazon previously said it planned to formally protest its loss of the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud contract because the evaluation process was deficient.

        • Amazon Contests Pentagon’s $10 Billion Microsoft Cloud Contract

          “The complaint and related filings contain source selection sensitive information, as well as AWS’s proprietary information, trade secrets, and confidential financial information, the public release of which would cause either party severe competitive harm,” Amazon said in a court document seeking a protective order. “The record in this bid protest likely will contain similarly sensitive information.”

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • EA/Origin Rewards Adopters Of Extra Security By Scaring The Shit Out Of Them

        In our ongoing discussions about the new platform wars going on between Steam and the Epic Store, perhaps we’ve been unfair to another participant in those wars: EA’s Origin. Except that no we haven’t, since Origin is strictly used for EA published games, and now EA is pushing out games on Steam as well. All of which is to say that Origin, somehow, is still a thing.

      • ESPlay Micro: Open Source ESP32 Game Console

        Today we’ll take a look at the ESPlay Micro, an open source game console built around the ESP32 WROVER SoC. Aside from being a lightweight game console for retro emulation these boards also make for a great development platform to learn low level systems programming. The hardware and software are both open source and pretty straightforward.

      • Wield the power of the gods in the dungeon crawler Viking Vengeance, now on Kickstarter

        Taking a lightning strike of Norse mythology with a pinch of alternate timeline, Viking Vengeance looks like a dungeon crawling rogue-lite that could be a lot of fun.

        Posted about here on GamingOnLinux back in July, the developer was open to providing Linux support. Now their Kickstarter campaign has gone live, they’re committed. Rather than going for a dark and gritty style, Lowpoly Interactive decided to go a different path with a low-poly almost cartoon like style. The the way you gain abilities and powers certainly sounds relatively unique too, with you choosing a god and if they like you enough, you might even be able to gain their powers.

      • The second Beta of Godot Engine 3.2 is out with more WebAssembly work

        Just over two weeks after the first, the second Beta for the big upcoming Godot Engine 3.2 release is now available.

        The big highlight coming with this release is WebAssembly support for Mono exports, which they say means you can now run things built in Godot Engine with C# and run them on the web. That actually sounds pretty awesome, will be fun to see what people cook up with that.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Bugzilla integration in the KDE wikis

          The Bugzilla integration in the KDE wikis is now usable again.

          KDE wikis were using a long time ago the Bugzilla integration extension developed by Mozilla. This was used for example by some KDE components to keep track of the feature planned for a new release.

          Sadly this extension wasn’t keep up to date and was not compatible with recent MediaWiki extension.

          So I developed a new extension. This doesn’t have all the features of the old extension but all the one needed for KDE.

        • KF6 Sprint – Day Two

          Given I am the KTextEditor maintainer, the group I was in picked that up.

          We could remove the KIconThemes dependency, easy, beside that, we created a task to take a look at the KF6 porting hints we have in the framework.

          All the tedious removing of deprecated Qt stuff and porting e.g. away from Q_FOREACH was luckily already done, thanks again to all people working on that in the past and future!

        • Plasma Mobile: weekly update: part 7-8

          The Plasma Mobile team is happy to present the seventh weekly blogpost. This week’s update is full of application updates and phone calls are a work in progress on Pinephone.

    • Distributions

      • Fedora Family

        • It’s election time in Fedora-land

          Over few iterations, I’ve noticed that my choice is little influenced by the interviews; I put more weight to what I remember about individuals from the mailing list traffic. I mean mainly fedora-devel, although I follow -infrastructure and -server, too. That in turns means, I won’t be voting for Haralds, Kevins and Johns juniors haunting those lists, no matter how awesome their interview may be. Abrasive people should be extinguished, not promoted.

          There’s a minority of people I know personally. Often I do respect their skills, so Zbigniew got my vote.

          But over the last few elections, interviews gave me hints who not to vote for. Candidate putting too much weight on modularity raises a red flag, and quickly falls into “do not vote” bucket.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint vs Ubuntu : A comparative overview

          Ubuntu looks very resource hungry when compared to Linux mint. It is because of the GNOME DE. It requires powerful hardware to run smoothly. From data mining to financial modeling, Ubuntu is the perfect choice for any resource-intensive environment. On the other hand, Linux mint uses the Cinnamon DE by default. It does not require powerful hardware to run properly since it uses very low resources as compared to GNOME, and if you go with other Desktop environments like Mate or KDE then Linux mint will use even lesser resources. It can run on old and entry-level hardware with ease. So if you own an old laptop or pc in which newer operating systems refuse to run, then Linux Mint can blow a new spirit to the hardware.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open Source LibreTorrent Client Kicked Out By Google Play

        Popular Android torrent client LibreTorrent has been removed from Google Play, who informed its developer that the open-source “Free Software” tool violated the platform’s “spam policy”. The developer believes this may be due to a flood of abusive cloned copies of LibreTorrent but Google doesn’t seem interested in investigating further.

      • Events

        • KubeCon San Diego 2019 Flashback

          KubeCon San Diego 2019 was a blast; lot’s of sun, beer, food, amazing projects and learning opportunities! It was great to see the community come together for the love of all things Kubernetes.

          The Canonical booth was buzzing with excitement around MicroK8s, Multipass and Kubernetes clustering on that DIY Raspberry Pi clusters running Ubuntu and Kubeflow!

          [...]

          The Canonical team was busy at the booth showcasing our multi-cloud Charmed Kubernetes and the exciting features of MicroK8s. Clustering and Kubeflow on Raspberry Pis, platform-agnostic Kubernetes deployments and full enterprise Kubernetes in a micro package.

          It was a joy to see people’s reaction hearing about our MicroK8s and Kubeflow products. Single-line install of Kubernetes with Kubeflow on a Raspberry Pi in seconds; meet MicroK8s! We loved distributing an army of stickers, tees and beer to the wonderful attendees.

        • qutebrowser meetup Berlin (2019-11-28)

          I (The-Compiler) am currently in Berlin – I’ve met with Qt/QtWebEngine developers at Qt Contributors Summit and had some very interesting development discussions there. There are some writeups available in the Qt Wiki.

          Next Thursday (28th) I’d like to have a small qutebrowser user meetup here :) We’ll meet at 19:00 in the AfRA Hackerspace in Berlin Lichtenberg.

        • Southern California Linux Expo 2020 (SCALE 18x)

          Presentations will be allotted a time slot of about 45 minutes. Please ensure that presentations are done in open non-proprietary format. In case you run into any problems during the submission process, for help, please email info@socallinuxexpo.org. Proposal abstracts are reviewed by an expert committee and evaluated solely on merit. Given the number of high quality submissions received every year, we request that submission dates be strictly honored in order to provide the committee enough time to choose the best set of proposals.

          Important Dates

          14 Sep, 2019: CFP Opens

          30 Nov, 2019: Deadline for abstracts/proposals submissions

          5 Mar, 2020: Conference starts

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox WebExtensions – Two years later, functionality test

            It’s been roughly two years since Firefox 57 was introduced and the abrupt transition to WebExtensions happened. Overnight, a decade of work made by thousands of developers was made obsolete, turning existing extensions into a legacy heap of nostalgia and code, some of it darn good code. We were told that modern times require modern means AKA mobile nonsense, and this is the future.

            Fast forward to NOW, and I’m not happy or optimistic. Firefox usage has declined further, just as I predicted, because the more Firefox became like Chrome the less incentive there was for its loyal users to recommend it to other people. Only recently, with the explosion of privacy nonsense do people realize how important it is to have a healthy underdog browser, and in this regard, Firefox is the last bastion, i.e. the least worst browser of the bunch, although they are all quite annoying. But. Maybe the future is rosy? So I decided to take stock of my current extensions, the new crop, evaluate what they do, and if indeed, we’re in a better place than we were when XUL ruled supreme. After me.

          • This Week in Glean: Glean in Private

            In the Kotlin implementation of the Glean SDK we have a glean.private package. (( Ideally anything that was actually private in the Glean SDK would actually _be_ private and inaccessible, but in order to support our SDK magic (okay, so that the SDK could work properly by generating the Specific Metrics API in subcomponents) we needed something public that we just didn’t want anyone to use. )) For a little while this week it looked like the use of the Java keyword private in the name was going to be problematic.

          • Announcing the Async Interviews

            Hello all! I’m going to be trying something new, which I call the “Async Interviews”. These interviews are going to be a series of recorded video calls with various “luminaries” from Rust’s Async I/O effort. In each one, I’m going to be asking roughly the same question: Now that the async-await MVP is stable, what should we be doing next? After each call, I’ll post the recording from the interview, along with a blog post that leaves a brief summary.

            My intention in these interviews is to really get into details. That is, I want to talk about what our big picture goals should be, but also what the specific concerns are around stabilizing particular traits or macros. What sorts of libraries do they enable? And so forth. (You can view my rough interview script, but I plan to tailor the meetings as I go.)

      • Linux Foundation

        • KiCad Joins Linux Foundation to Advance Electronic Design Automation
        • KiCad Joins Linux Foundation to Advance Electronic Design Automation

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced that it will host KiCad, a free, open source software suite for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). The program facilitates the design of schematics for electronic circuits and their conversion to Printed Circuit Board (PCB) designs. Under the Linux Foundation, KiCad will expand its community and ensure long-term sustainability.

          “KiCad is a set of applications used by engineers focused on board design,” said Michael Dolan, VP of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation. “It’s a professional and free piece of software that gives engineers the freedom to use the software anywhere and across any platform, not tying them to specific hardware architectures. Its progress in creating an integrated environment for schematic capture and PCB layout design has been massive and the Linux Foundation’s infrastructure and governance model will give it the required support to sustain that growth for the long term.”

      • Healthcare

        • GNU Health patchset 3.6.2 released !

          GNU Health 3.6.2 patchset has been released !
          Priority: High

          [...]

          We provide “patchsets” to stable releases. Patchsets allow applying bug fixes and updates on production systems. Always try to keep your production system up-to-date with the latest patches.
          Patches and Patchsets maximize uptime for production systems, and keep your system updated, without the need to do a whole installation.

        • Molly de Blanc: Health care

          One of the most important issues for free software within the US is one we rarely talk about: healthcare. That is why I am going to write about it.

          These days, sustainability in FOSS is a hot topic. In my experience, for many years this conversation focused nearly exclusively on making FOSS -profitable- for companies, in order to create jobs. Now, the conversation is shifting to ask: what conditions do we need to create so that everyone who wants to work in FOSS can do so?

          The answer is not the same for everyone, nor is it the same in every country. Someone supporting a family of two, three, four, or however many has greater income needs than I do, as my biggest financial responsibilities are debt and a cat. However, I also have a condition with a mortality rate estimated at 15%. Access to affordable, comprehensive health care is not just a nice perk, but crucial for my continued survival.

          Access to health insurance has been the primary factor in all of my professional decisions: staying places where I was miserable, doing work I hated, even choosing where to apply. Access to health insurance was a major factor in my moving to Massachusetts, which offers health insurance to all residents.

          While my free software career has been amazing — I am extremely lucky that I was able to cultivate a skill set and social network that enabled me to work in the greater sphere of FOSS (and previously open ed) — I would have made different decisions had I not been reliant on employers to provide me with health insurance.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Glimpse 0.1 Released As The Rebranded Fork Of The GIMP

          The inaugural release of Glimpse is now available, the fork born out of calls for renaming The GIMP project to something not considered offensive.

          Following the calls earlier this year to rename the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) due to gimp also being slang for a physically disabled person, Glimpse was formed to provide fresh branding as well as other improvements.

        • 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives In 2019

          The first famous and free alternative to Photoshop on the list is GIMP. GNU Image Manipulation Program or often abbreviated as GIMP is a reliable software that can be used for photo manipulation, artwork creation, and graphic designing.

        • GNU Radio first steps: a FM receiver

          I will show you how to use GNU Radio (and the GUI tool Companion) with a SDR to capture a portion of spectrum containing public FM broadcasting and decode it to audio.
          Recently, someone has suggested on Hacker News to do a basic walk-through capturing some data from radio to a file and demodulating it. So here is my take. I also did this live at InstallFest 2016, but the commentary is unfortunately in Czech. (also, I don’t think I’m really into making screencast in English: but maybe I will try some time, sounds like fun :)

        • FSF Blogs: The FSF’s EmacsConf 2019 satellite was an M-x success!

          On Saturday, November 2nd, the office of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was lively with discussion on everyone’s favorite extensible editor, GNU Emacs. We were proud to join the 200ok collective in ZĂźrich, Switzerland as one of two physical satellites to the conference, which was the first installment to be held since 2015. EmacsConf 2019 was conducted live over the Web through a fully free software setup utilizing Jitsi and Icecast. To assist the organizers, the FSF tech team employed some of the technical know-how we’ve gained from years of streaming the LibrePlanet conference. Such an undertaking would have been unthinkable a decade ago, but highlights the enormous advances free software has made since the days when the FSF sold Emacs for $200 USD on reel to reel tape.

      • Licensing/Legal

      • Programming/Development

        • Learn Python For Free With These Courses and eBooks

          Want to learn Python for free? Here, we list some of the best Python courses and books that you can use to learn Python online without spending any money.

          Python is a popular programming language. It’s also preferred by sysadmins for writing scripts.

          Python 3 is the latest major version available. Even though Python 2 was very popular among the devs, it is reaching its end of life on January 1, 2020.

          So, if you’re trying to learn Python, I’d recommend you to start with Python 3. While I am trying to learn python – in this article, I focus on pointing out some of the best free Python learning resources I’ve come across.

        • Winter 5: Eta-Expanding ReaderT

          Incidentally, if you look at the code at the end of all my optimizations, there is no mention of etaReaderT any more: Subsequent optimizations simplified the code so much that eventually GHC was able to be able to do this transformation without my help.

        • “Hands-On Docker for Microservices with Python” is now available!
        • Getting Twitch out the Door (but not as Twitch)

          As part of trying to get testing done for a PyOpenGL release, I finally got around to testing Twitch, porting it to Python 3.6 and doing a release, only to discover that in the 4 years (!) since I last worked on it, the original package name got used on PyPI. Duh. So Twitch is now formally Twitch OGLC/twitchoglc (for OpenGLContext, on which it’s based). If you don’t release early and often you lose, folks.

        • The Fundamental Problem in Python 3

          This expands on my recent post The Incredible Disaster of Python 3. I seem to have annoyed the Internet…

          Back in the mists of time, Unix was invented. Today the descendants of Unix, whether literal or in spirit, power the majority of the world’s cell phones, most of the most popular sites on the Internet, etc. And among this very popular architecture, there lies something that has made people very angry at times: on a Unix filesystem, 254 bytes are valid in filenames. The two that are not are 0×00 and the slash character. Otherwise, they are valid in virtually any combination (the special entries “.” and “..” being the exception).

          This property has led to a whole host of bugs, particularly in shell scripts. A filename with a leading dash might look like a parameter to a tool. Filenames can contain newline characters, space characters, control characters, and so forth; running ls in a directory with maliciously-named files could certainly scramble one’s terminal. These bugs continue to persist, though modern shells offer techniques that — while optional — can be used to avoid most of these classes of bugs.

          It should be noted here that not every valid stream of bytes constitutes a stream of bytes that can be decoded as UTF-8. This is a departure from earlier encoding schemes such as iso-8859-1 and cp437; you might get gibberish, but “garbage in, garbage out” was a thing and if your channel was 8-bit clean, your gibberish would survive unmodified.

        • Dimensionality Reduction in Python with Scikit-Learn

          In machine learning, the performance of a model only benefits from more features up until a certain point. The more features are fed into a model, the more the dimensionality of the data increases. As the dimensionality increases, overfitting becomes more likely.

          There are multiple techniques that can be used to fight overfitting, but dimensionality reduction is one of the most effective techniques. Dimensionality reduction selects the most important components of the feature space, preserving them and dropping the other components.

        • Python Socket File Transfer Send

          The intention of this article is to learn how to transfer a text file over network through python program. This file transfer is based on server client model to use socket programming in python3+.

        • “17% women in tech is not enough”

          Technology should be for everyone, but it has to be built by everyone to be for everyone. At Raspberry Pi, we work to empower everyone to become a tech creator and shape our collective digital future, and we hope that our work will help to increase the tech sector’s diversity.

        • Laurent Rosenfeld Weekly Review: Challenge – 005

          This is derived in part from my blog post made in answer to the Week 5 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar as well as answers made by others to the same challenge.

        • Meet The Champion: Perl Weekly Challenge – 034

          Welcome to the weekly series “Meet The Champion”.

  • Leftovers

    • Across the Warring Balkans: From Zurich to Zagreb

      An account of a journey from Croatia to Kosovo, by way of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia, and with a detour into Montenegro. This is part I of a series.

    • We Know the End the of the World; It’s the Sound of Silence

      My reading choices, outside of reading for our book club, like my movie watching, proceed according to what I find here at home, and on occasional visits to towns with good used book stores – sort of the luck of the draw. Alarmed as I am by the way so many people feed themselves constantly with the au current Hollywood release, HBO series, NY Times Bestsellers, Netflix documentaries and MSNBC news, – the very same people who limit their politics to lesser evilism – I strike, rather solitarily, against them. Not that I don’t frequently feel left out, and a bit envious of the sense of belonging that comes with watching Game of Thrones, or with knowing who Amy Adams or Emma Stone is. My reading isn’t completely random, but it’s no disciplined pursuit, which would be impracticable in my life dominated by family, small business responsibilities, existing within a limited household economy, and my writing.

    • Dylan in Ithaca

      There come moments in any long car trip when you have to decide between forging on ahead or turning off to take in the sights. When blasting across the middle of South Dakota on I-90 it requires immense resolve to charge past the exit for Mt. Rushmore, a thirty minute detour. You’ve driven a couple of thousand miles across the country and several hundred across the seemingly endless Great Plains, so what’s another fifty or sixty on the odometer?

    • Science

      • An Urgently Needed Alternative Educational Model

        In 1975-8, the “Teachers Groups” at the Tvind alternative high school in Jutland, Denmark constructed the first multi-megawatt wind turbine – 54 meters tall with a 54 meter wingspan – in order to offset the energy crisis and to show that there was an alternative to nuclear power and fossil fuels.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • No Fruit of This Labor: the Crisis of Kashmir’s Apple Trade

        Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Mir has 300-400 apple trees in his 13-acre orchard, which usually give him 3,600 boxes, each containing 20 kilos of the fruit, every year. “We used to sell a box for 1,000 rupees. But now we are only getting 500-700 rupees for one box,” he says.

      • Medicare for All or Endless Wars?

        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.

      • Trump’s Course Correction on E-Cigarettes: Great Idea, No Matter His Reasons

        Annie Karni, Maggie Haberman, and Sheila Kaplan  of the New York Times describe US president Donald Trump’s proposed ban on flavored e-cigarette products as “a swift and bold reaction to a growing public health crisis affecting teenagers” that Trump backed away from “under pressure from his political advisers and lobbyists to factor in the potential pushback from his supporters.”

      • Finding Peace Amid the New Opium Wars

        It was evening and we were in a windowless room in a Massachusetts jail. We had just finished a class — on job interview skills — and, with only a few minutes remaining, the women began voicing their shared fear. Upon their release, would someone really hire them? Beneath that concern lurked another one: Would they be able to avoid the seductively anesthetizing drugs that put them in jail in the first place?

      • The Future of Meat

        “The Meat Question: Animals, Humans, and the Deep History of Food”

      • Ralph Nader: American Seniors Are Being Duped

        While the Democratic presidential candidates are debating full Medicare for All, giant insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare are advertising to the elderly in an attempt to lure them from Traditional Medicare (TM) to the so-called Medicare Advantage (MA)—a corporate plan that UnitedHealthcare promotes to turn a profit at the expense of enrollees.

      • Americans Love Their CBD, But It’s a Totally Unregulated Market

        One in seven Americans say they use CBD products, according to Gallup.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Dozens of VNC Vulnerabilities Found in Linux, Windows Solutions

        The flaws were found in LibVNC, TightVNC 1.X, TurboVNC, and UltraVNC VNC solutions examined by Kaspersky’s Industrial Systems Emergency Response Team (ICS CERT) security researcher Pavel Cheremushkin — the highly popular RealVNC as not analyzed because it did not allow reverse engineering.

        [...]

        A VNC implementation consists of two parts, a client and a server, allowing the users to remotely access a machine running the VNC server with the help of a VNC client using the RFB protocol to transmit “screen images, mouse movement and keypress events”.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Intelligence of Tomorrow

        “Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. Back in the day, our forefathers would have put a bullet in her [expletive].”

      • Douma, Chlorine Gas and Occam’s Razor

        On June 21, 2019 I wrote an article for CounterPunch titled “The Douma Gas Attack: What’s the Evidence It was a False Flag?” It was a critique of a self-described whistleblower’s report that implicitly absolved Bashar al-Assad for the April 7, 2018 chlorine gas attack that left between forty and fifty people dead in Douma, a town six miles northeast of Damascus. The author was Ian Henderson, an employee of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), but not part of the official Fact-Finding Mission team that identified airborne weaponized chlorine tanks for the slaughter. Since Assad was the only one who had helicopters at his disposal, the evidence implicated him even though the OPCW’s charter prevents it from assigning blame in such instances.

      • Ukraine: Ten Talking Points for Rational People

        1. Ukraine is the largest nation in Europe, with a 1400 mile land border with Russia. The U.S. government under administrations since Bill Clinton’s has sought to integrate Ukraine into the anti-Russian NATO military alliance.

      • Will America’s Billionaires Start a Second Civil War?

        The current issue of The Atlantic magazine, founded itself in the years just before the Civil War, is ominously titled, “How to Stop a Civil War.”

      • Trump’s Recognition of Israeli Settlements Is Rooted in Bipartisan Support

        Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement this week that the United States will no longer accept the international consensus on the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank should come as no surprise. Indeed, both Republicans and Democrats have been pushing for such a move for decades.

      • Pompeo Scorns the Law Because He’s Never Had to Follow It

        Michael Pompeo – let’s use his real name – was very revealing when he ripped up the latest bit of international law which didn’t favour Donald Trump or Benjamin Netanyahu in the Middle East. Jewish colonies in the West Bank were not against international law. “Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn’t worked,” he boasted. This was not only egregious. It was a lie.

      • Mystery Grows Over Withholding of Aid to Lebanon

        The Trump administration is withholding more than $100 million in U.S. military assistance to Lebanon that has been approved by Congress and is favored by his national security team, an assertion of executive control of foreign aid that is similar to the delay in support for Ukraine at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

      • JFK: What the CIA Hides

        When I launched JFK Facts, a blog about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, in 2012, I was often asked by strangers, “So who killed JFK?”  “I don’t know,” I shrugged. “It’s too early to tell.” Given that the handsome liberal president had been shot dead a half-century before, my answer was a lame joke based on an apocryphal story. Henry Kissinger once said that when he asked Zhou Enlai, “What was the effect of the French Revolution on world history?” the Chinese statesmen replied, “It’s too early to tell.”

      • Can the Religious Left Take Down Nuclear Weapons?

        Pope Francis will travel to Hiroshima and Nagasaki this weekend. On Sunday, he will give a public address at the ground-zero site of the nuclear attack on Nagasaki. He is expected to give the clearest articulation yet of the Vatican’s position, since 2017, that condemns the “very possession” of nuclear weapons. This is something Plowshares activists have been arguing — and acting upon — since 1980.

      • The Calling Cards of a Rightwing Coup

        The coup d’etat in Bolivia has divided not only that country but the world.

      • Stand With the Bolivian People for Self-Determination

        The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) stands with the Bolivian people in their continuing struggle for self-determination against the current attacks of US imperialist-backed coup supported by the local ruling elites and right-wing opposition.

      • What Bolivia Needs From Bernie

        Coups are delicate actions that require ideal conditions to congeal. As quickly as they spring into life they can dissolve into mush. When things hang in the balance a final push is still required, and Bolivia’s far-right military coup is in jeopardy of failing.

      • The Coup in Bolivia: Who is Responsible?

        Brighter days were ahead for Bolivia in early 2006. Elected overwhelmingly, Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, took office in company with Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linare. They’d been candidates of the Movement toward Socialism party and would build a political revolution with socialist characteristics. It ended abruptly on November 10 with their forced removal. It was a coup, and the U.S. government was in charge.

      • The OAS Has Deceived the Public, Terribly, on the Bolivian Election

        What is the difference between an outright lie — stating something as a fact while knowing that it is false — and a deliberate material representation that accomplishes the same end? Here is an example that really pushes the boundary between the two, to the point where the distinction practically vanishes. And the consequences are quite serious; this misrepresentation (or lie) has already played a major role in a military coup in Bolivia last Sunday. This military coup overthrew the government of President Evo Morales before his current term was finished — a term to which nobody disputes that he was democratically elected in 2014. More violent repression and even a civil war could follow.

      • Bolivia’s Foreseeable Coup

        Did a coup d´état take place in Bolivia with the removal of President Evo Morales? Certainly, an internal coup was a major cause, along with a rebellion calling for Morales’ resignation. When the commander of the armed forces, backed by many generals, publically calls for the president to abdicate, that is an internal coup. Did the US orchestrate this coup? Well, it would be nothing new.

      • Organization of American States in Bolivia and Haiti

        Organization of American States (OAS) election observers have played an important role in subverting Bolivian democracy.

      • Pompeo Calls It ‘Democracy’ in Bolivia as Post-Coup Violence Grows and Fear of Civil War Intensifies

        “The military has guns and a license to kill; we have nothing. Please, tell the international community to come here and stop this.”

      • “They’re Killing us Like Dogs” – A Massacre in Bolivia and a Plea for Help

        I am writing from Bolivia just days after witnessing the November 19 military massacre at the Senkata gas plant in the indigenous city of El Alto, and the tear-gassing of a peaceful funeral procession on November 21 to commemorate the dead. These are examples, unfortunately, of the modus operandi of the de facto government that seized control in a coup that forced Evo Morales out of power.

      • Silencing the Beast of Bolivian Populism

        The risible tension between the tailored elitism of the Bolivian bourgeoisie and the restive pueblo of indigenous peasants was memorably captured in the 2005 film Our Brand Is Crisis. The documentary colorfully exposes the sleazy underbelly of American political influence. Yes, the very thing our wizened mandarins in Washington have been raising such a clamor over since the wrong candidate was elected by the dull, unseeing demos. Congressional luminaries like the walleyed Adam Schiff, presiding like a demented pontiff over his carnival of moral outrage, continually effect, with little effect, the most astonished reactions to claims of Russian meddling.

      • Washington’s Consensus on Neofascist Coups in Latin America

        However much they war on the domestic political front, Washington’s Democrats and Republicans are on the same page when it comes to the imperial war on democracy and social justice in Latin America.

      • Blowing the Whistle on the Iraq War

        SPOILER ALERT — Plot lines of the film Official Secrets revealed.

      • David Harris, Presente!

        David Harris is a hero, and he is one of my heroes. While this may sound maudlin to some, it was David Harris who was there at the beginning of the antiwar movement during the Vietnam War and who preceded that era with his work in the civil rights movement in the US South.  David Harris remains true to the high principles that motivated so many.

      • After Al-Baghdadi’s Death, Media Failed to Ask Where ‘War on Terror’ Is Going

        The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October, during a raid by US special forces in Syria’s Idlib province, would have been an opportune time for US media to reflect on the 18-year-long “War on Terror,” and US policy more broadly in the Middle East. But the circumscribed coverage of al-Baghdadi’s death represented yet another artful evasion of any critical discussion of imperial foreign policy.

      • Defecting Chinese spy offers information trove to Australian government

        A Chinese spy has risked his life to defect to Australia and is now offering a trove of unprecedented inside intelligence on how China conducts its interference operations abroad.

        Wang “William” Liqiang is the first Chinese operative to ever blow his cover. He has revealed the identities of China’s senior military intelligence officers in Hong Kong, as well as providing details of how they fund and conduct political interference operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia.

      • The Military-Industrial Complex Is Swelling. It’s Time for a Reckoning.

        When, in his farewell address in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the “unwarranted influence” wielded by the “military-industrial complex,” he could never have dreamed of an arms-making corporation of the size and political clout of Lockheed Martin. In a good year, it now receives up to $50 billion in government contracts, a sum larger than the operating budget of the State Department. And now it’s about to have company.

        Raytheon, already one of the top five U.S. defense contractors, is planning to merge with United Technologies. That company is a major contractor in its own right, producing, among other things, the engine for the F-35 combat aircraft, the most expensive Pentagon weapons program ever. The new firm will be second only to Lockheed Martin when it comes to consuming your tax dollars — and it may end up even more powerful politically, thanks to President Trump’s fondness for hiring arms industry executives to run the national security state.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Billionaire Walton Family Behind Pro-Charter School Protest at Warren Rally

        The senator spoke with the parents who protested her education plan after the event.

      • A Sacramento King’s Ransom: Local Tax Dollars and an NBA Owner’s Wealth

        It was an historic first of local, national and global scope. The Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team played an exhibition game against the Indian Pacers in Mumbai, India recently. Reporting in a flagship U.S. newspaper is instructive.

      • Empowerment as an Ethical Endeavor

        By the 1980s empowerment was a very popular concept influencing the actions of all sorts of powerful companies. Everywhere corporations—from Kodak to Wal-Mart to Kentucky Fried Chicken—were implementing employee empowerment programs. Books extolling empowerment were selling millions of copies in a general atmosphere of corporate doubt and fear. Many fine ideas—freedom, dignity, and self-governance—swept into corporate boardrooms and on to factory floors. Yet the concept has remained enigmatic, with definitions and understandings pounded out on different forges (participatory management supporters, Total Quality Management (TQM), corporate culture theorists, organizational learning advocates, organizational development proponents and a stray socialist or two).

      • The Trump Administration Gutted the Staff Overseeing $1 Billion in Aid to Iraq. A Watchdog Is Raising Red Flags.

        Iraq is one of the top recipients of American assistance, and the U.S. foreign aid agency manages more than $1 billion in projects there, including funding for Iraqi religious minorities pushed by Vice President Mike Pence. But increasingly, the agency doesn’t have people on the ground to make sure the money is being well-spent.

        The U.S. Agency for International Development has been forced to cut nearly 80% of its non-Iraqi staff in Iraq in the last year, even as the agency funds large, ambitious and complex aid projects there. A critical government watchdog report released this week said USAID officials reported the cuts “have had significant adverse effects” on the oversight and management of grants.

      • Where Do Venture Capital Firms Get Their Money From?

        The idea for the fund came about as founders become aware of where venture capital firms get their funding. Saudi Arabia has been a major source of funding for startups, specifically SoftBank’s massive Vision Fund.

        There is major concern over Saudi Arabian funding due to the kingdom’s multiple human rights violations and brutal murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Congress Has No Other Option Than to Impeach and Remove the President From Office

        The American people deserve a president who will respect the solemn oath they take to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and our democracy. As the U.S. House finishes up its public impeachment hearings, it’s clear that President Trump has violated that oath and shown a pattern of deception, obstruction, corruption, and abuse of power.

      • Lula Vows to ‘Battle for Democracy’ Against Bolsonaro Push to ‘Destroy’ Decades of Progress in Brazil

        The former Brazilian president gave his first interview with a foreign newspaper since his release from prison two weeks ago.

      • With Circles Under Our Eyes

        Sometimes I feel worn down by the entrenched, privileged, delusional, reactively misleading manipulations which pass for a government under which I live in what passes for the United States of America. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am more privileged than many other people and I know that the opportunities available to me are connected to the suffering of many other people. This knowledge is a major source of what wears on me and I know that it wears on most people – even as we try to avoid letting it completely disable us.

      • I Do Want, Always, Corruption and Other Hits From the Ramones

        It’s been a week. It ended with Trump’s hour-long batshit crazy “parade of fever dreams” on Fox News, ranting Schiff is “sick,” Pelosi is “crazy as a bedbug,” Ukraine has the DNC server, Marie Yovanovitch is “no angel,” he’s never met those (Trump-appointed) people saying bad things about him. Mental health experts say his behavior is “alarming” and “delusional.”

      • ‘We Cannot Continue to Live Like This’: Mass Protests in Colombia Latest in Latin American Uprisings

        “What happened in Chile sent a forceful message.”

      • Colombia President Orders Curfew in Capital Following Unrest

        Colombian President Iván Duque ordered a curfew in the nation’s capital Friday amid continuing unrest following a massive march a day before that brought tens of thousands to the streets in a strong message of rejection against his conservative government.

      • Impeachment and Trump’s 2020 Campaign Takes Shape

        A truism of American politics assumes that a politician’s reelection campaign begins the day after s/he wins an election. This has been especially the case for Donald Trump, the nation’s 45th president.

      • The Power Tie
      • Want More Proof of Corporate Media’s Anti-Bernie Bias? Look at MSNBC’s Democratic Debate

        Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate was hosted by MSNBC, and the result could have been expected for anyone who read In These Times’ recent two-month study of the network’s coverage of the three nationally leading candidates.

      • Is Pete Buttigieg Just a Shill for Corporations and the Donor Class?

        Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, the fourth-largest town in Indiana, is the shiny new object in the race to become the Democrats’ candidate for president in 2020. Coming from almost nowhere, he’s finished first in several recent Iowa polls.

      • The Self-Unravelling Trump Cannot Avoid

        I. The Dangers of Autocracy

      • Michael Edison Hayden on Stephen Miller, Mallory McMaster on Katie Hill

        This week on CounterSpin: Calls are coming in for the resignation of Trump policy advisor Stephen Miller, after leaked emails show him promoting white nationalist books and ideas to the far-right outlet Breitbart. I wouldn’t call the documents a “smoking gun”; the smoking gun is the 70,000 migrant children held in US government custody over the past year. The emails just reveal the recipe—invoking the same warped “Great Replacement” ideas you’ll find in the manifesto of a mass shooter, for example. We’ll talk with the investigative reporter behind the story, Michael Edison Hayden from Southern Policy Law Center’s Hatewatch.

      • Is Bernie Sanders Electable?

        In his 2007 classic “Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War”—a book that, in the age of Donald Trump, is more relevant than ever—Joe Bageant makes an observation that cuts to the nub of the matter. America, he says, isn’t composed of some great middle class; it is an overwhelmingly working-class country. “If we define ‘working class’ simply as not having a college degree, then fully three-quarters [or at least two-thirds] of all Americans are working-class.” He continues:

      • National Nurses United Endorses Sanders, Centrist Democrats Campaign on Illusions

        Though I vote Green and hope to vote for an ecosocialist candidate of that party, I also take my good news wherever I can find it. And the fact that many young people have swelled the ranks of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in all 50 states is undeniably good news. The public conversation about democracy and socialism is bigger and healthier, and most importantly has gone under, over and around MSNBC and FOX News. People are in motion and are willing to vote for class conscious candidates and public policies.

      • Biden Under Fire for Telling Immigrant Rights Activist Demanding End to Deportations to ‘Vote for Trump’

        The former vice president also told climate activists that they “listen to Bernie too much” after they demanded he reject corporate cash.

      • The Myth of Voter Fraud – And the Truth About What’s Threatening Our Elections

        We now know for a fact that Trump is encouraging foreign leaders to interfere in our elections — asking the President of Ukraine to investigate his political opponents in exchange for military aid and publicly calling on Russia and China to also interfere. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell continues to block common-sense legislation to protect our elections against future foreign interference, such as requiring all voting machines to have backup paper ballots and imposing automatic sanctions for nations that interfere in elections. To have safe and secure elections in 2020 and beyond, we need to pass this legislation.The next time you hear Trump and his enablers claim widespread voter fraud, know the truth. Their lies are intended to make it harder for millions of Americans to vote, while they ignore the real threats to our democracy.

      • Three Political Ad Policies and No Good Answers

        Observations of election manipulation on social media, and fears about how it could get worse in future elections, are prompting several platforms to take action. Twitter’s new political ads policy goes into effect today, just days after Google announced changes to its own ads policy and in the midst of potential adjustments to the policy Facebook announced last month.

        Social media advertising, because it is so inexpensive compared to broadcast and print, is a valuable tool for campaigns and causes with less funding. Nevertheless, these giant platforms can and should make changes to prevent the use of their advertising tools from distorting the political process.

      • What’s Up With Trump and “The Deep State”?

        Our Commander-in-Chief has attitudes that seldom rise to the level of ideas. For the most part, they are noxious and stupid, though the ones that descend from old fashioned “isolationism” are at least less lethal than the Cold War and empire-friendly attitudes that nearly all Democrats evince. Or rather they would be if anything ever actually came of them.

      • Jim Jordan and the Whistleblower

        After listening to Jim Jordan’s reasoned analysis of the impeachment process at the conclusion of the first day of the impeachment hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, a number of readers have written asking me to explain why, at this stage of the proceedings. it is so important for people like Jim Jordan to be able to talk to the whistleblower to discover what happened?  To help readers understand the process, a simple made-up example may provide an answer.

      • The War on Words in Donald Trump’s White House: How to Fudge, Obfuscate, and Lie Our Way Into a New Universe

        These days, witnessing the administration’s never-ending cruelty at the border, the shenanigans of a White House caught red-handed in attempted bribery in Ukraine, and the disarray of this country’s foreign policy, I feel like I’m seeing a much-scarier remake of a familiar old movie.

      • Talking to Rudy, Trumpist Hand Grenade: Impeachment Days Four and Five

        The impeachment process is about power. Who has it and who gets to keep it? The trumpists, having taken over the Republican Party, the Senate and the White House, are determined to keep their hold on these points of power. Naturally, they hope to regain control of the House of Representatives and are most likely assuming they own the judicial system, at least in terms of the Supreme Court. To various degrees, neither the Democrats nor the trumpists acknowledge the power of the people. This understanding goes a long way in explaining why the trumpists insist on portraying the hearings as a coup instead of an investigation of corruption and the abuse of power. It is also why the Democrats have limited the focus of the hearings at this point. Despite this lack of acknowledgement, the people will feel the effects.

      • YouTube Promised to Label State-Sponsored Videos But Doesn’t Always Do So

        In a recent episode of “60 Minutes,” a political talk show broadcast on Russian television, the hosts discussed the case against Maria Butina, the Russian gun activist who was recently released from prison in the U.S. after pleading guilty to conspiracy to act as a foreign agent. One of the co-hosts remarked that while the Americans charged Butina with spying, “all of it turned out to be nonsense.” Sympathetic to this interpretation of events, the studio audience erupted in applause.

        The hourlong show — not to be confused with the venerable CBS program — airs weeknights on the state-owned Russia 1 television network, which boasts the second-largest viewership in the country. Episodes can also be watched on YouTube, where the channel has 353,000 subscribers. Under a policy YouTube instituted last year, a box should have appeared beneath the video about Butina, explaining that the program is “funded in whole or in part by the Russian government.” Earlier this week, it didn’t, potentially leading some viewers to mistake its nationalistic commentary for a nonpartisan news report.

      • False Equivalence in the Age of Trump

        Even in the Trump era, corporate media, forever insistent on an “objective” approach that always hears out “both sides,” continue to exhibit a dangerous blindness to their own biases.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Sasha Baron Cohen Delivers Blistering Takedown of Facebook
      • Sacha Baron Cohen Is Wrong About Social Media, Wrong About Section 230… And Even Wrong About His Own Comedy

        I honestly did not think I’d ever be writing about Sacha Baron Cohen’s thoughts on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but this is 2019 and nothing makes sense any more. And because nothing makes sense any more, I’m going to start out discussing Sacha Baron Cohen’s views on CDA 230 by actually talking about magician Penn Jillette. Jillette has a podcast called Penn’s Sunday School that is often really, really good. And he actually talked about Sacha Baron Cohen in the latest episode — which, bizarrely, is not on the page I linked to, because it appears that Penn and his team stopped updating their podcast webpage last month.

      • ‘Vile and stupid’ tweets from IU professor won’t get him fired. ‘They’d lose in court’

        Rasmusen said the efforts to protect students from bias are actually encouraging it, “even requiring it, as a condition of teaching.”

        “There are views you’re not supposed to express, even outside of class, and God help the conservative student whose professor checks Facebook and Twitter before grading term papers,” Rasmusen said.

      • Iran: Environmentalists Sentenced

        An Iranian revolutionary court has sentenced at least six environmental experts detained since January 2018 after an unfair trial where the defendants apparently could not see the full dossier of evidence against them, Human Rights Watch said today. The court informed the detainees on November 20, 2019 that they had been convicted of “collaborating with the enemy state of the United States” and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 4 to 10 years. 

      • Iran Keeps Internet Mostly Off for 7th Day as US Levies Sanctions

        In its first punitive response to the [Internet] shutdown, the Trump administration sanctioned Iranian Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi on Friday.

        The Treasury Department said Azari Jahromi’s ministry has been responsible for restricting the Iranian people’s access to the [Internet], including popular messaging apps used by tens of millions of Iranians to communicate with each other and the outside world. It added Azari Jahromi to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list, freezing his assets under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting Americans from any dealings involving those assets.

        British rights group Amnesty International has said it documented the killings of 106 protesters in the crackdown by security forces during the period Nov. 15-19.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • About Face: Ending Government Use of Face Surveillance

        EFF wants to help end government use of face surveillance in your community. To aid in that effort, we’ve partnered with community-based organizations in the Electronic Frontier Alliance—and other concerned civil society organizations—in launching About Face. Our About Face campaign is a way for residents in communities throughout the United States to call for an end to government use of face surveillance.

        TAKE ACTION

      • ‘The time is now to have a federal privacy bill,’ says Tim Cook [iophk: Microsoft is wrongly omitted from the list]

        But while many are focused on splitting up companies like Facebook into separate, smaller entities, Cook also said regulators are too focused on antitrust action and not focused enough on data privacy. Breaking up big tech companies without paying attention to how much user data is still being collected is pointless, he said. “Unless you take an action where there’s materially less data in the companies that are left,” Cook told ABC, “you haven’t done anything.”

        The news comes as tech giants including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google face numerous antitrust investigations from the Justice Department as well as many state attorneys general. The companies are being accused of anti-competitive business practices that may have hurt consumers.

      • Unprecedented ‘Architecture of Surveillance’ Created by Facebook and Google Poses Grave Human Rights Threat: Report

        “Their insidious control of our digital lives undermines the very essence of privacy and is one of the defining human rights challenges of our era.”

      • The NSA Warns of TLS Inspection

        Transport Layer Security Inspection (TLSI), also known as TLS break and inspect, is a security process that allows enterprises to decrypt traffic, inspect the decrypted content for threats, and then re-encrypt the traffic before it enters or leaves the network. Introducing this capability into an enterprise enhances visibility within boundary security products, but introduces new risks. These risks, while not inconsequential, do have mitigations.

      • Taking Back the Internet: Wins & Victories

        It’s true that there is a lot at stake, and there are many well-funded adversaries. But we’ve seen some important victories in taking back the [Internet]. The Tor Project’s growth and continued existence despite billion-dollar global efforts to limit the free flow of information is one. And we’re not alone in the fight against surveillance, tracking, and censorship. Many people and organizations are, and have been, working to take back the [Internet] and resist the surveillance state. Change happens with persistence.

      • Uber Is Going to Start Recording Audio During Rides

        The feature won’t tell drivers and passengers if the other has chosen to record a specific ride. Rather, Uber will issue a “blanket warning” to users about the possibility of recording in areas trialing the feature.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Dropped Investigations: Julian Assange, Sex and Sweden

        Sex, the late Gore Vidal astutely observed, is politics, and not merely from the vantage point of those who wish to police it. In the case of whistleblowers, claims of aberrant, unlawful sex serves the purpose of diminishing credibility, tarring and feathering the individual and furnishing a distraction. Forget what was disclosed; focus, instead, on the moral character of the person in question. The rotter could not have been good anyway.

      • The Prosecution of Julian Assange Calls for the Public’s Defense of Free Speech

        On Saturday, The New York Times published a front-page article on the leaked files that exposed the Chinese government’s coordinated crackdown on ethnic minorities. In covering the story, the newspaper noted that although the source and the methods through which documents were gathered are unclear, the disclosure of 403 pages of internal documents is one of the most significant leaks in decades shedding light on the internal working of China’s ruling Communist Party.

      • Shadowproof Launches Weekly Show Highlighting Whistleblower Stories, Developments With WikiLeaks

        Shadowproof launched a show that will stream weekly on YouTube and cover whistleblowing, WikiLeaks, and related press freedom stories.

        The show, “The Dissenter Weekly,” is hosted by Kevin Gosztola, the managing editor of Shadowproof. Brian Sonenstein, the publishing editor of Shadowproof, will also join future shows to help Kevin navigate through stories.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Stain on America’s Soul That Will Not Wash Away

        Guantanamo Bay has become a name synonymous with torture and lawlessness. Years after the so-called “War on Terror” began, information about operations in this U.S.-controlled section of Cuba have slowly leaked out. In an astounding new book titled “A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantanamo,” University of San Francisco law professor Peter Jan Honigsberg documents the firsthand accounts of 52 of the 780 detainees held at Guantanamo Bay by U.S. authorities.

      • There’s an Emergency Ban on Isolated Timeouts in Illinois Schools. What’s Next?

        Two days after Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered Illinois schools to immediately stop secluding children alone in timeout rooms, educators and parents tried to grasp the implications of the new prohibition on a practice that had been embedded in schools for decades.

        School districts sent letters to parents saying they would no longer put children in locked rooms, while the head of the Illinois State Board of Education apologized to families and said the law that had been in effect “did not sufficiently regulate” isolated timeout, causing “lasting trauma.”

      • Readers Choked Back Tears. Some Struggled to Keep Reading. We Understand.

        This week, we published an investigation in collaboration with the Chicago Tribune about the use — and misuse — of seclusion rooms that children are shut inside, alone, in public schools across Illinois.

        We had worked on the story for nearly a year. Day after day, night after night, we read the details of more than 20,000 incidents of “isolated timeout” and entered them by hand into a database we created. We did the same for physical restraint, when staff members put their hands on a child; we’ll publish that story in the next few weeks.

      • Surprising No One, The FBI’s Watchdog Says The Agency Is Handling Its Informants Improperly

        Confidential informants are only as trustworthy as their law enforcement handlers. The FBI isn’t the only agency to have problems with handling confidential human sources (CHSs), but it’s one of the more notorious, thanks to its botched handling of James “Whitey” Bulger.

      • The Trump Administration Was Ordered to Let These Migrants Seek Asylum. It Didn’t Tell the Judges Hearing Their Cases.

        The Trump administration appears not to have informed immigration judges or prosecutors about a federal court ruling this week that ordered it not to block asylum for migrants who had agreed to wait at the U.S.-Mexico border.

        As a result, immigration judges are still hearing these migrants’ cases without realizing they are eligible for asylum — and some asylum-seekers may have had their claims erroneously denied.

      • No Justice a Decade After Philippines Massacre

        Ten years ago, news of the Maguindanao Massacre in the southern Philippines shook the world. On November 23, 2009, gunmen hired by the powerful Ampatuan clan executed 58 people. A decade later, justice remains elusive as many suspects have not been brought to trial or remain at large.

      • Nicaragua: Cruel Response to Hunger Strikes

        The Ortega government’s use of repressive tactics to disrupt hunger strikes should prompt renewed international efforts to press for accountability for abuses in Nicaragua.

      • Human Rights Watch Names Colin Mincy Chief People Officer

        Colin Mincy will join Human Rights Watch in January 2020 as the organization’s first Chief People Officer. His appointment elevates Human Rights Watch’s efforts to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and to ensure a resilient and thriving staff in ways that reflect Human Rights Watch’s global role, identity, and mandate.

      • [Older] China ‘dictatorial, contemptible’: foreign ministry

        The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday protested after China forced the organizers of the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) in South Korea to change Taiwan’s status from a “nation” to a “region” in a set of slides.

        At the opening of the conference, which took place at the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center in Seoul from Tuesday to yesterday, the organizers released a set of introductory slides containing graphics showing the numbers of publications or attendees per nation, including Taiwan.

        However, the titles on the slides were later changed to “per country/region,” because of a complaint filed by a Chinese participant.

      • Another US court says police cannot force suspects to turn over their passwords

        The state’s Supreme Court said compelling a password from a suspect is a violation of the Fifth Amendment, a constitutional protection that protects suspects from self-incrimination.

        It’s not an surprising ruling, given other state and federal courts have almost always come to the same conclusion. The Fifth Amendment grants anyone in the U.S. the right to remain silent, which includes the right to not turn over information that could incriminate them in a crime. These days, those protections extend to the passcodes that only a device owner knows.

        But the ruling is not expected to affect the ability by police to force suspects to use their biometrics — like their face or fingerprints — to unlock their phone or computer.

      • Outrage in Pakistan after feminism panel includes no women

        In overwhelmingly patriarchal Pakistan, having an all-male panel discuss feminism didn’t seem the obvious way to tackle gender inequality.

      • ‘We failed to reach Europe – now our families disown us’

        When she got back, she called her brother. But his reaction terrified her. “He told me, ‘You should not even have come home. You should just die where you went, because you didn’t bring anything back home.’”

      • Only Queers Can Save the Flaming Refugees of Love: Time to Decriminalize Polygamy

        Massacres aren’t exactly unusual in the failed narco-state of Mexico, especially since the US pushed its beleaguered southern neighbor to declare all-out war on the cartels a couple of decades back. More blood irrigates the Sonora Desert than acid rain. Barely a week goes by without some horrendous Bataille-esque crime of absurdly grotesque proportions popping up on the CNN news ticker, – 16 heads found in Juarez Chucky Cheese ball-pit, no tongues or eyes – But it’s rarely enough to steal Anderson Cooper’s attention from the latest minute kink in the Ukrainegate circus. This month was different though. This month, in early November, the cartels crossed the ultimate Rubicon of corporate news hysteria. They killed a bunch of pretty white people. 9 to be exact. 3 mothers and 6 children, savagely slaughtered in what appears to be a tragic case of mistaken identity.

      • Getting Rid of Treacherous Friends

        Backing the wrong horse, again

        The United States has a long record of befriending the wrong people—authoritarian leaders who rely on military and police power to enforce social inequality and dictatorial rule. Washington’s usual justification is promoting the national interest, meaning either strategic or economic advantage rather than human interest concerns. That transparently false argument eventually catches up with an administration as the ally commits enough outrages to weaken support even among hardliners in Washington. Past US administrations sometimes reacted by promoting regime change or outright abandonment, for example the removals of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, Ngo Dinh Diem and Nguyen Van Thieu in Vietnam, Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic, and the Somoza family in Nicaragua.

        Today, dancing with dictators is again in fashion, but now for personal no less than for political or economic gain. Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are among the beneficiaries of Trump’s tolerance, for which he is well rewarded. It’s time to ditch these regimes, along with their DC lobbyists and other supporters. Reportedly, John Bolton, hardly an exemplary diplomat, couldn’t tolerate Trump’s policy-for-profit foreign policy. But his critique only addresses one element of that policy. The other elements are use of “family” members (in the Mafia sense of the word) to conduct sensitive foreign relations, and the rejection of these countries’ authoritarian politics as a factor in policy making.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Nonprofit Community Stands Together to Protect .ORG

        EFF and 26 other organizations just sent a letter to the Internet Society (ISOC) urging it to stop the sale of the Public Interest Registry (PIR)—the organization that manages the .ORG top-level domain—to private equity firm Ethos Capital. Our message is clear: .ORG is extremely important to the non-governmental organization (NGO) community, and our community should have a voice in decisions affecting the future of .ORG. From our letter:

        EFF was stunned when ISOC announced the sale last week. We’ve spent the last six months voicing our concerns to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) about several terms in the 2019 .ORG Registry Agreement, urging ICANN to remove provisions that would make it easier for people in power to censor NGOs’ websites. Other organizations objected to ICANN’s removal of the price cap on .ORG domains, which allows the owners of .ORG to charge NGOs unlimited fees for continuing to keep their .ORG domains.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix Starts To Harden Its Stance On Password Sharing

        For years now, streaming video providers like HBO and Netflix have taken a relatively lax approach to password sharing. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has gone so far as to say he “loves” password sharing, and sees it as little more than free advertising. Execs at HBO have similarly viewed password sharing in such a fashion, saying it doesn’t hurt their business. If anything, it results in folks signing up for their own accounts after they get hooked on your product, something you’ll often see with kids who leave home, or leave college and college friends behind.

    • Monopolies

      • Apple and Intel Sue SoftBank-Funded Patent Troll, Claiming Antitrust Violations For Patent Trolling

        For years, I’ve argued that since patents and copyrights are government granted monopolies, it seems pretty straightforward to me that abusing those laws to stifle speech, innovation, or competition should be viewed as an antitrust violation. It’s taken a while, but earlier this decade, the Supreme Court actually agreed with regards to patents (it’s not there yet on copyright…).

      • FTC seeks to defend chip-level licensing part of Qualcomm antitrust ruling with right-for-the-wrong-reasons strategy

        The part I’m most interested in–as always in this context–is chipset-level licensing. When I commented on Qualcomm’s opening brief in the summer, I agreed with them in part. The problem with the Aspen Skiing (more recently endorsed in Trinko) logic applied by Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is that the abandonment of a prior profitable and voluntary conduct is key–and in Qualcomm’s case the problem is that they didn’t really want to grant exhaustive licenses to rival chipset makers and only did so because they relied on an exhaustion theory that the Supreme Court disagreed with in Quanta. So at a minimum they can argue that they did not do knowingly and willingly what they did until the Quanta decision came out and they changed their licensing strategy.

        Another–potential–problem with the Aspen Skiing logic is that the refusal to license rival chipset makers allows Qualcomm to collect more from end-product makers (“humongously more lucrative” as Qualcomm told the IRS), but there isn’t a lot of time that passes between the two steps (refusal at chip level and collection at end-product level)–much less is it a strategy that works only by forcing someone else out of business in order to then turn a monopolist’s profit (even with competitors around, it’s more profitable).

        In order to affirm the district court’s ruling under the Aspen/Trinko standard, one would have to overcome some hurdles. The FTC apparently concludes it’s smarter to lower the standard in order to prevail.

      • EU-based industry body outlines criteria for standard-essential patent pools to have positive impact on innovation

        Earlier this month, the Brussels-based Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) announced (press release) a set of recommendations on standard-essential patent (SEP) pools (document). The primary conclusion is that patent pools can increase the efficiency of SEP licensing and, provided that the terms are FRAND (which, among other things, includes the availability of licenses to all levels of the supply chain), make a net-positive contribution to innovation, with a particular focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).

        Let’s start with terminology. The FSA’s paper mostly uses the term “patent pool” and makes a few references, mostly when quoting other documents, to “licensing platforms.” So what’s the difference between a pool and a platform? A European Commission competition enforcement official explained how the 3G Patent Platform Partnership (“3G3P”)–not to be confused for the 3G Project Partnership (“3GPP”)–sets itself apart from a “patent pool”…

        [...]

        The FSA’s paper also says “[m]ultiple patent pools for a given standard may lead to duplicative royalty demands that do not take into account the aggregate royalty burden for a standard.” The potential problem of royalty stacking is well-known (and even rampant). However, it may in some cases actually be better to have at least two types of pools–one with FRAND terms and one for the unreasonable ones among the licensors. Then competition enforcers–or parties that have the ability and the determination to challenge supra-FRAND demands–can focus on the unreasonable group. If there’s only one pool for a standard, there is a risk of companies that would actually make more reasonable demands deciding to joina pool for convenience–even if it means they have to support license terms that go beyond what they would normally seek. Getting back to the Avanci example, it’s not like all Avanci contributors are unreasonable licensors–but the convenience Avanci promises may have led some of them to join a pool that makes supra-FRAND demands.

      • FTC seeks to defend chip-level licensing part of Qualcomm antitrust ruling with right-for-the-wrong-reasons strategy

        The part I’m most interested in–as always in this context–is chipset-level licensing. When I commented on Qualcomm’s opening brief in the summer, I agreed with them in part. The problem with the Aspen Skiing (more recently endorsed in Trinko) logic applied by Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is that the abandonment of a prior profitable and voluntary conduct is key–and in Qualcomm’s case the problem is that they didn’t really want to grant exhaustive licenses to rival chipset makers and only did so because they relied on an exhaustion theory that the Supreme Court disagreed with in Quanta. So at a minimum they can argue that they did not do knowingly and willingly what they did until the Quanta decision came out and they changed their licensing strategy.

        Another–potential–problem with the Aspen Skiing logic is that the refusal to license rival chipset makers allows Qualcomm to collect more from end-product makers (“humongously more lucrative” as Qualcomm told the IRS), but there isn’t a lot of time that passes between the two steps (refusal at chip level and collection at end-product level)–much less is it a strategy that works only by forcing someone else out of business in order to then turn a monopolist’s profit (even with competitors around, it’s more profitable).

        In order to affirm the district court’s ruling under the Aspen/Trinko standard, one would have to overcome some hurdles. The FTC apparently concludes it’s smarter to lower the standard in order to prevail.

      • Patents

        • IPR: Evidence Relied Upon Must be Derived from the IPR Petition [Ed: The patent maximalists hope to limit what fake US patents can be thrown out by PTAB, not based on underlying facts but based on technicality]

          After IPRL sued ZTE for infringement (D.Del), that ZTE (et al.) turned around and petitioned for inter partes review of IPRL’s U.S. Patent No. 8,380,244 (dual mode communications using cellular and WiFi networks). The PTAB originally sided with the patent challenger — finding all of the challenged claims obvious. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit vacated that decision as to Dependent Claim 8 that particularly required CDMA compatibility. In particular, the Federal Circuit found insufficient evidence to “support the Board’s articulated motivation to combine the asserted references to arrive at the invention defined in claim 8.” In particular, although the cited prior art states that data connections could be provided via CDMA, the reference did not teach using CDMA to “maintain a communication session” as required by the claim. IPRL I Decision.

        • Doctrine of Equivalents at the Federal Circuit

          The chart below provides a small bit of information – the annual number of Federal Circuit decisions discussing the Doctrine of Equivalents.

          [...]

          See John R. Allison & Mark A. Lemley, The (Unnoticed) Demise of the Doctrine of Equivalents, 59 Stan. L. Rev. 955 (2007) (DOE used to be important, but not anymore); Lee Petherbridge, On the Decline of the Doctrine of Equivalents, 31 Cardozo L. Rev. 1371 (2010) (confirming the demise and remarking that the result “is the culmination of a concerted and prolonged court-driven effort to make [DOE’s] favorable application the exception, not the rule.”); and David L. Schwartz, Explaining the Demise of the Doctrine of Equivalents, 26 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1157, 1159 (2011).

      • Copyrights

        • CJEU follows up on Soulier and Doke and rules that presumption of consent of performers in relation to exploitation of recordings is not necessarily contrary to EU law

          Readers will recall that back in 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decided the important Soulier and Doke case [Katposts here], ruling that EU law mandates the recognition of the ‘author principle’, that is the need for the consent – whether express of implied (the latter is however to be strictly defined) – of authors to the doing, by third parties, of acts restricted by copyright in relation to their works.

          Indeed, the protection afforded by copyright is not solely concerned with the enjoyment of rights, but also with their exercise.

          The CJEU held that that authors must be individually informed of the future third-party uses of their works and the means available to prohibit them if so they wish. In the absence of any actual prior information relating to that future use, authors are not in a position to prohibit such use, if necessary, so that the very existence of implicit consent appears purely hypothetical in that regard. Thus, without guarantees that authors are actually informed as to the envisaged use of their works and the means at their disposal to prohibit it, it is virtually impossible for them to adopt any position whatsoever as to such use.

        • French Court Orders ISPs to Block Torrent Sites and File-Hosters

          A Paris court has ordered five French Internet providers to block access to thirteen websites that link to pirated content. While pirate site blockades are nothing new, this is the first European court order that targets file-hosting services. The order, which also affects torrent sites, was issued following a complaint from the local anti-piracy group SCPP.

        • DISH Sues Multiple ‘Pirate’ TV Streaming Sites

          DISH Network has filed a new lawsuit against the currently unknown operators of several streaming websites. DISH says that despite numerous demands to cease-and-desist, the sites – which all embed live TV channels from companies around the world – have continued to infringe the broadcaster’s copyrights. DISH is demanding an injunction, millions in damages, and domain seizures.

        • The Curious Case Of The Bogus CC License On A 3D Scan Of A 3000-Year-Old Bust Of Nefertiti

          Techdirt has written a number of stories about museums and art galleries claiming copyright on images of public domain works. That’s really not on for institutions that are supposedly dedicated to spreading appreciation of the masterpieces they hold. The latest example of this unfortunate habit is a complex and fascinating tale involving the famous bust of Nefertiti, found a century ago, currently displayed in Berlin’s Staatliche Museen.

        • Introducing the Updated Creative Commons WordPress Plugin

          WordPress is one of the top platforms for creators on the internet who both produce and consume CC-licensed content. Therefore, it’s important that we are able to integrate with WordPress as seamlessly as possible in order to promote the use of CC licenses. With that in mind, we recently added new features to our WordPress plugin—which are now live!

German Constitutional Court Attempts to Distance Itself From Prof. Huber’s ‘Interview’ With Team UPC

Posted in Europe, Interview, Patents at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A possible ethical violation akin to what Randall Rader had done before his career as a judge ended

CAFC corruption

Summary: Critical comments continue to be published regarding Justice Huber’s decision to speak to a mouthpiece of Team UPC about an ongoing case of financial interest to Team UPC

THIRTEEN years ago we barely wrote about the EPO because we thought that the European patent system was reasonably OK and the main problem was the USPTO granting loads of software patents for CAFC (or the above chief judge) to accept. It was CAFC that brought software patents into existence in the first place (decades prior).

Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101 changed a lot, as was the departure of the disgraced Randall Rader (full name Randall Ray Rader, close to Watchtroll and other patent maximalists, even lobbyists). He is in many ways as immoral as the career-climbing António Campinos and sociopath Battistelli. They not only accepted software patents “as such”; they came up with new buzzwords by which to celebrate these.

“It’s all about money, not justice or truth or science or whatever.”We’re now in situation where Europe’s largest patent office grants loads of Invalid Patents (IPs) — patents that have no chance in European courts. The EPO hoped to replace those courts with something that turns such slim chances into presumption of guilt/validity/infringement. It’s all about money, not justice or truth or science or whatever.

Sadly, based on a recent paper, the European Parliament is in the pockets of Team UPC. As Benjamin Henrion noted: “UPC will raise the cost for SMEs, as it is based on the case of parallel litigation over 3 countries https://patentstrategy.managingip.com/Articles/143 #upc #uk The JURIO report commissioned by the European Parliament does not even talk about the problems raised in other countries, like CZ, HU, BE, DE.”

“What was he thinking? Whose idea was it?”And Spain also; very large country. So what we need right now is a proper, legitimate, objective and independent court to step in and explain why the UPC is inherently unconstitutional (for a number of different reasons). Germany is the largest economy that can do this and there’s an impending case on the matter.

Sadly, to our surprise (and other people’s surprise as well), a judge from such a court blew it all. What was he thinking? Whose idea was it? Managing [to Lie] IP did an ‘interview’ with this judge and even the word “bullshit” was used by this judge, who added a sort of self-imposed deadline on himself and his colleagues. Shouldn’t a decision be released when it’s ready and when the time is right? It oughtn’t be rushed and details about the case oughtn’t be divulged, either. That’s just common practice. It seems totally inappropriate — as even patent people agree — for the judge to speak to media, especially media which is so blatantly a megaphone for Team UPC (with stake in the outcome of this case). We’re still seeing new comments on the matter, for example:

“I guess he wanted to say that internal UK politics is no concern of his, his concern being exclusively the DE Constitution and EU law.”

So why did he give his “exclusive” interview to a UK-based IP “penny dreadful” rather than something homegrown and more serious like JUVE ?

There’s nowt as quare as volk …

“Old Shatterhand” wrote:

According to information released by the author it looks that the FCC press spokesman arranged Prof. Huber’s interview with this London lawyer press outlet and that it was conducted on the phone and in English language. As this is indeed an unprecedented move, is there probably more behind this?

If there is one general judicial rule without an exception, it is that judges do not speak to the press about pending proceedings. All the more, why should a German court deem it necessary to address an English publication and one from which it cannot truly expect unbiased reporting? This has been done for a reason. Is the court so fed up with being molested by certain circles trying to influence its decision and apparently even putting pressure on it? Huber’s words pretty much sound like it. Was this unusual step taken to send these circles a message and do so through a channel which the court can assume to reach most of them, trying to put an end to their lobbying activities?

I would not be surprised if there was more to this than meets the eye.

“MaxDrei” said that ‘Prince’ “Andrew thought it a bright idea, to give a press interview. This equally cunning Baldrick-ian plan at the FCC looks to me just as misguided as Andrew’s. From the FCC, I expect better.”

We’re gratified to see that almost every commenter, except some in Team UPC, agrees with our initial reaction. This interview was a mistake and whatever the outcome of the case, people might go back to this incident, using it as evidence of impartiality lacking or lobbying having an effect.

Here’s the full comment:

Thank you Shatter for your surmises. Could it really be though, that the FCC is such a delicate flower, that it finds lobbying from interested parties so intolerable?

If so, I have some advice for the precious FCC PR officer. He or she should think herself lucky they aren’t a politician offering themself for election, and being on the receiving end of Twitter storms including plausible threats of murder. This is a serious threat to the future of representative democracy. If you have a family, do you not these days seriously hesitate before offering yourself for election, and then decide not to do it? Perhaps the precious judges could think a bit about that, and the need to give meaningful protection to those standing for election.

Compared with that, a bit of heckling (about the UPC, of all things) is totally harmless.

Andrew thought it a bright idea, to give a press interview. This equally cunning Baldrick-ian plan at the FCC looks to me just as misguided as Andrew’s. From the FCC, I expect better.

But let’s look on the bright side. Perhaps they are neophytes at PR, and will learn something from the experience.

There has also been discussion about this in social control media. One UPC booster said: “At outset, it should be recalled that, irrespective of the contents, the decision will be rendered by a body of judges (chamber of Senate). Obviously, as reporting judge, ProfH, would have substantial clout in shaping the opinion of that body, however. I understand that [] the answers were given in English (astonishing as it may seem re: “bullshit”). Quote1: “It is quite a detailed process that we follow because we have to look at every detail of how we formulate and word the [ruling].” “But it is likely that we will get along with it.””

Way to discredit the FCC. An own goal.

The lobbying group Managing [to Lie] IP proceeded to pushing some more UPC propaganda, this time in longer form. It starts like this: “Attorneys say ambiguity persists after a European Parliament report said UK membership of the UPC is a legal possibility after Brexit if the EU’s highest court maintains some jurisdiction over patent law”

“There’s no UPC,” I responded to them, “there are many remaining barriers to it, yet here you are pretending that the sole question is UK participation.”

“Way to discredit the FCC. An own goal.”IAM envied. “MIP got a great UPC scoop,” it wrote. “They would never, under any circumstances, make quotes or stories up. It’s not what any of us do. In our market, it would be ruinous.”

But this is what IAM did numerous times (and even worse things). Funny to see IAM speaking about journalistic morality. IAM also tweeted [1, 2, 3]: “For all the renewed UPC talk, especially about UK participation, it’s worth remembering that the British government minister who announced the UK would ratify the agreement was Sam Gyimah, who subsequently left the Conservative Party over disagreements on Brexit policy … It is also worth remembering that Boris Johnson, who was then the Foreign Secretary, actually effected the ratification. But he has travelled a long way on Brexit since then and now favours a far more distant relationship with the EU than he once did … In short, despite UK ratification of the UPC an awful lot has changed politically since then. There is absolutely no guarantee that the UK would now choose to take part even if the CJEU said that it could and Germany’s Constitutional Court gave the agreement the green light.”

Later on IAM wrote an article outside the paywall about it: [via]

Our colleagues on MIP caused quite a stir earlier this week when they broke news that the German Constitutional Court could soon finally issue its long-anticipated ruling on the legality of Germany ratifying the Unified Patent Court agreement. Speaking exclusively to MIP’s Patrick Wingrove, Peter Huber – who is the judge rapporteur in the case – said that, depending on his fellow justices playing ball, his intention is that a decision will be handed down in the first few months of next year.

A lot of controversy was caused by a quote from Huber that rumours the case had been delayed by uncertainties over Brexit were “bullshit”. Although he is sad that the UK is leaving the EU, Huber stated, “we are a court that responds to the constitution and the law, and Brexit is of no concern to us.”

Doubts were cast on Twitter that a German judge would ever use such language in public and the story was labelled by some as “fake news”. However, the substance of the piece, as well as the fact that an interview did take place, were both subsequently corroborated by German publication Juve, so putting to bed any idea that it was not based on reality.

JUVE’s editor Mathieu Klos, who has contacts with the court (he did have some insider insights in the past), wrote: “Yesterday, GCC judge Peter Huber announced a judgment in the #UPC challenge for early 2020. It’s still uncertain whether the court will decide in time for the UK to participate in the new patent court. But the announcement has reanimated the UPC.”

A UPC booster, quoting Klos, added: “With the dust settling over fact that Prof. Huber did give @ManagingIP a phone interview, it may be worthwhile looking at the substance of the verbatim quotes (thread). I understand from @juveVerlag_MK that Prof. Huber did not and did not attempt to convey the Court´s view. [] Prof. Huber ManagingIP comments concerning his ambition to have the UPC constitutional complaint decided early 2020 confirmed by Court though labelled as his personal opinion and accompanied by caveats.”

“Notice how it was only Team UPC mouthpieces covering the words of the FCC’s judge, speaking about the UPC complaint.”The court has no control over its constituent justices? Makes one wonder.

So even the court now recognises that speaking to Team UPC for agenda-steering purposes wasn’t good for the reputation of the court,

We’ve so far seen articles about it in MIP, IAM, IP Kat, Kluwer, Bristows (they pushed this into media, possibly for a fee), putting worthless "tweets" aside. Notice how it was only Team UPC mouthpieces covering the words of the FCC’s judge, speaking about the UPC complaint. Nobody else in the media even touched it.

EPO Misuses Patent-Granting Powers to Help Litigation, Not Science

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Future and present science students won’t view the EPO as a friend and might not bother applying for patents

Science students

Summary: The number of patent applications is declining at the EPO; patents run down like water, ‘diluting’ the very concept of what a patent is and what it takes to get one (courts obviously throw out many of these patents, rendering them less desirable)

THE previous post spoke of how the European Patent Office (EPO) had lost sight of its mission. That’s an understatement because “lost sight” sounds too passive, whereas in practice Battistelli and then Campinos actively demolish that mission, rendering the Office nothing but a money-making machine by breaking the law and misusing the authority given to the Office (granting monopolies).

A couple of days ago UKIPO was seen linking to the EPO’s site, then (soon) to be retweeted by EPO itself. It said: “Come and join us and the @EPOorg at the @TheCIPA in #London on 27 or 28 Nov. We will be providing an update on our latest and upcoming online service developments. Sign up now via the registration form here: https://www.epo.org/learning-events/events/search/details.html?eventid=13812 … pic.twitter.com/vhFyw22UJY”

“The EPO now travels to another country with few European Patents for some photo ops…”Completely and totally inappropriate. CIPA is a front group of patent litigation, software patents and UPC etc. and if a patents-granting authority is in bed with it — like the British patent office (UKIPO) might be too — whose system is it? Who does it exist to serve?

The EPO now travels to another country with few European Patents for some photo ops (“EPO signs reinforced partnership agreement with Indonesia” (warning: epo.org link) was published before the weekend). Indonesia isn’t of strategic interest to the EPO; same for Malaysia (recently). They export loads of palm oil to Europe (less so in recent years, perhaps owing to boycotts), but their patents are a drop in the ocean to the EPO. So why this?

EPO President António Campinos and the head of the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) of Indonesia, Freddy Harris, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Reinforced Partnership between their two offices at the EPO in Munich yesterday. The agreement is a result of a longstanding and fruitful co-operation between the EPO and Indonesia going back to the 1990s, and builds on previous MoUs on technical co-operation, the last one having been implemented from 2014 to 2018.

That’s Battistelli. The EPO soon retweeted some EUIPO nonsense about their so-called ‘study’ (we wrote many responses to this) and added: “Negotiation is the preferred way to solve potential infringement issues; litigation is regarded as a last resort.”

“Does the EPO have real SMEs in mind or just trolls and law firms?”They had the audacity to add #IPforSMEs to it. By granting loads and loads of fake patents, however, the EPO allows offending parties to leverage false claims, resulting in frivolous litigation and the EPO's management is aware of it.

Does the EPO have real SMEs in mind or just trolls and law firms? Maybe the EPO and EUIPO can bribe a few more scholars to issue some lies (“studies”) about SMEs — lies by which to googlebomb the term and wash away the truthful information. As Benjamin Henrion put it: “Tuning the court system for SMEs is useless, as we don’t have the finances nor the time to defend ourselves” (with appeals too the prices can reach millions of euros).

“The EPO violates the EPC every day. So why even pretend that it cares about it?”The EPO tweeted: “Ever thought of waiving a further communication under Rule 71(3) EPC? Find out when you might want to…”

The EPO violates the EPC every day. So why even pretend that it cares about it? EPO management views the EPC as nothing but an obstacle, an obstruction to be worked around by cheating.

Rose Hughes (AstraZeneca) has meanwhile remarked on T 1299/15 — a case that we mentioned here before. It concerned burden of proof and Hughes uses the typical, bogus narrative in which bogus patents being questioned is an “attack” (but not the party suing or blackmailing another). To quote:

The legal reasoning in this decision is similar to that of T 63/06, in which the opponent was able to shift the burden of proof with regards to the sufficiency to the patentee. In T 63/06 the Board found that the patentee was relying on only a weak presumption that the invention was sufficiently disclosed. The opponent was successfully able to shift the burden of proof by arguing that the skilled person would have difficult in putting the invention into practice.

The recent case T 1299/15 is similarly a reminder that insufficiency attacks may be applicable even to the mechanical field. As is often the case with insufficiency disputes, the issue of how much work would need to be done by the skilled person (and whether inventive endeavour would be required) was a key issue. Following on from this, if the patentee has not provided an embodiment of the claimed invention, the burden of proof is shifted to the patentee if there is serious doubt that a skilled person could perform the invention without inventive skill.

Hughes could point out, as IP Kat did before it got corrupted (several notable changes), that EPO Boards of Appeal still lack independence as EPO violates the EPC, rendering these decisions constitutionally invalid or at best questionable. Not the judges’ fault by the way; they’re besieged by corrupt Office management.

“Not the judges’ fault by the way; they’re besieged by corrupt Office management.”Last but not least, will these boards soon approve yet another type of software patents? The President of the Office already pressures the judges in that direction and he also referred to them the ridiculous question as to whether the EPO can grant fake patents on life and nature in defiance of the law. This is about corporations stealing from nature, claiming a monopoly over our bodies. How far will patent scope bend for the EPO to fake ‘production’ (essentially by granting invalid patents)? This new press release says that “Cellectis Wins Patent Challenge in Europe for a Method Using CRISPR-Cas9 for Gene Editing in T-Cells” and the EPO’s mouthpiece IAM (its main mouthpiece for patents on life, Adam Houldsworth) has published “Shorter EPO opposition process requires new approaches from life sciences patentees” — the latest in a string of such ‘reports’ from patent maximalists. This is the patent trolls’ lobby celebrating fake patents on life (it’s almost certain courts would throw these out), granted only because patent examiners and those responsible for oppositions aren’t given enough time to (re)evaluate. They also lack freedom; all they have is “quotas” or “targets”.

Britain ‘Taking Back Control’ From the Wrong Institution; the EPO is the Greater Culprit

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 12:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Europe’s second-largest institution, the European Patent Office (EPO), is vastly more problematic than the EU

EU is not the problem. The EPO and its immunity is the problem.Summary: The institution which poses risk to the European economy isn’t the EU/EC/EP but a certain unaccountable monopoly-granting authority which ceased to obey even its own rules and instead became a ‘cash machine’ of gambling officials who are corrupt and uncaring (they don’t care about Europe, they only care about how to rob Europe)

IT IS probably safe to say that people who have patents or deal with patents in the UK are pro-EU. There are various intuitive markers that suggest so. Techrights core members are also pro-EU and our series about Breton is motivated by concern for the EU’s reputation (if Macron’s choice/nomination goes ahead and becomes an appointment — in effect reaffirming some views of staunch EU critics).

António Campinos is a former EU official and Battistelli is connected to Breton and others. It’s rather sickening because the deeper we look into it, the closer this whole cabal seems. These people openly promote software patents in Europe, no matter what actual software professionals say, and they’ve made Europe more receptive/open towards such patents than the US is (after 35 U.S.C. § 101 caselaw stabilised a year or two ago).

“The EPO was established to promote science, innovation and so on. Nowadays, however, the EPO makes it abundantly clear that it exists and operates for litigation and predation.”The EPO is not listening to Europe; far less so than the EU, that’s for sure…

The EPO is far too busy traveling the world, granting the lion’s share of European Patents to people and companies that aren’t even European.

The EPO was established to promote science, innovation and so on. Nowadays, however, the EPO makes it abundantly clear that it exists and operates for litigation and predation. It’s also bribing our media and our scholars. It’s corrosive to European democracy on more than a single front, which is why it has become such a central issue here in Techrights.

Maybe it’s time for nations not to ponder “exits” from the EU but from the EPO (unless the EPO sobers up and starts to obey the EPC; right now it deliberately violates the EPC and then hides the effect).

IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 22, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:51 am by Needs Sunlight

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