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11.27.19

Links 27/11/2019: Proxmox Mail Gateway 6.1 and Krita 4.2.8

Posted in News Roundup at 1:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Android, Linux smartphone-computer: Dual-screen Cosmo Communicator is out

      The Cosmo Communicator is inspired by old-school PDAs such as the Psion Series 5, Nokia Communicator, and Sharp Netwalker.

      In fact Planet Computers can trace the Cosmo Communicator’s lineage back to Psion, since it was designed Martin Riddiford, the UK designer behind the original Psion Series 5 PDA from the 1990s.

      Planet Computers kicked off a crowdfunding campaign late last year, which attracted just under 4,000 backers and €1.86m ($2.05m) in funding for the concept.

      The Cosmo Communicator is meant to address some of the problems with its predecessor, the Gemini from 2017 – Planet Computers’ first attempt to revive Psion-like PDAs.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 to design and manufacture their own Laptops

        System76 recently announced that they are following up on the success of its popular Thelio desktop with their very own laptops. The Denver-based hardware manufacturer and Pop_OS! developer already offers a wide array of laptops for sale designed and manufactured by outside computer manufacturers such as Clevo and Sager. This will be the company’s first foray into the world of laptop design and manufacturing.

        It’s been a busy couple of years for System76. Their desktop series, Thelio, featuring their Pop_OS! software rolled out in 2018, and more recently, Pop_OS! 19.10, their Ubuntu 19.10-based distribution, debuted earlier this year in October.

        System76 CEO Carl Richell explains that the company’s first order of business in their newest venture is to lock down the aesthetic of the laptop and how various materials look and feel. They will also simultaneously speak with display and component manufacturers and begin work on aspects of the supply chain.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • dventures in fixing suspend/resume on a HP x2 Detachable 10-p0XX

          I got contacted by a user with a HP X2 10 p018wm 2-in-1 about the device waking up 10-60 seconds after suspend. I have access to a HP X2 10 p002nd myself which in essence is the same HW and I managed to reproduce the problem there. This is when the fun started:

          1. There were a whole bunch of ACPI related errors in dmesg. It turns out that these affect almost all HP laptop models and we have a multiple bugs open for this. Debugging these pointed to the hp-wmi driver. I wrote 2 patches fixes 2 different kind of errors and submitted these upstream. Unfortunately this does not help with the suspend/resume issue, but it does fix all those errors people have been complaining about :)

        • Flatpak 1.5.1 Prepares For Protected/Authenticated Downloads – Future App Purchasing

          Flatpak 1.5.1 was released today as a new development release for this Linux application sandboxing technology. With Flatpak 1.5.1 it also begins laying the groundwork for a future payments system around Flathub as what’s starting off for allowing donation-based software acquisition but could ultimately turn into a paid app store.

          The noteworthy change with Flatpak 1.5.1 is introducing the notion of protected applications and authenticating downloads. These new features aren’t yet stable but found in Flatpak 1.5.1 for encouraging testing / early adoption work by developers. Flatpak 1.5.1 also adds optional support for parental controls, better handling in low disk space situations, and various other changes. The parental control support is making use of the malcontent library.

        • Red Hat Customer Success Stories: Migrating to SAP S/4HANA with RHEL for SAP Solutions and more

          Automation and management are important tools for organizations looking to modernize, improve efficiency, and expand their IT systems without having to add staff. When faced with these problems, some companies turn to Red Hat to help them use enterprise open source to solve their problems. See how Mann & Schröder Cosmetics, Swiss Federal Railways, and Česká spořitelna worked with Red Hat to improve their IT.

        • Handling Angular environments in continuous delivery with Red Hat OpenShift

          In this article, I will cover how we can deploy the same Angular application image but use a different configuration for each environment. Before we start, however, let’s review what we mean when we talk about “continuous delivery.”

        • CentOS Working To Increase Transparency, Revamp Branding

          Recently the CentOS Board met for the first time since the recent CentOS 8.0 and CentOS Stream releases. It was an interesting outcome.

          The CentOS Board of Directors has decided to increase the transparency into the board. For example, they are now (finally) publishing minutes from their meetings and they are also working on more transparent processes moving forward. Additionally, the CentOS BoD is looking to add new/more directors, encouraging sub-groups within CentOS to also work on transparency best practices, and other actions.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • linux-5.4-ck1, MuQSS version 0.196 for linux-5.4

        Announcing a new -ck release, 5.4-ck1 with the latest version of the Multiple Queue Skiplist Scheduler, version 0.196. These are patches designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity with specific emphasis on the desktop, but configurable for any workload.

      • Linux 5.4-ck1 Kernel Released With MuQSS Patched In

        While the release of Linux 5.3-ck1 with MuQSS was quite tardy and only arrived a few weeks ago, Con Kolivas has returned to his punctuality in releasing Linux 5.4-ck1 with the updated MuQSS scheduler intended to improve the responsiveness of desktop/mobile class Linux systems.

        MuQSS 0.196 is the new version of his MultiQueue Skiplist Scheduler. The BFS-derived MuQSS scheduler is re-based for Linux 5.4 source compatibility but doesn’t appear to have any visible changes compared to the earlier revision.

      • Newer Loongson 3A Variant Being Supported By Linux 5.5 Along With The SGI Octane

        As covered earlier this month, the next version of the Linux kernel is finally offering mainline support for SGI’s Octane / Octane II MIPS workstations from the SGI IRIX days about two decades ago. Not only is the vintage SGI IP30 hardware seeing mainline kernel support, but there is other new MIPS hardware support too.

        Complementing the SGI Octane support as part of the Linux 5.5 MIPS updates is also supporting the Loongson 3A R4 variant, a newer version compared to what the kernel already supported on the Loongson front, the Chinese MIPS64 CPUs.

      • Many RISC-V Improvements Ready For Linux 5.5: M-Mode, SECCOMP, Other Features

        The RISC-V kernel code has some interesting changes ready for Linux 5.5.

        Among the RISC-V changes for the in-development Linux 5.5 kernel include:

        - M-Mode support, which is the highest privilege mode for RISC-V and typically reserved for the system firmware. The M-Mode has access to all resource and interrupts while normally RISC-V kernels run in the lower S-Mode privilege level. The motivation for the M-Mode kernel support appears to be CPU-level interrupt controller functionality.

        - SECCOMP secure computing mode support now works on RISC-V.

      • Linux 5.2+ Hit By AVX Register Corruption Bug – Affecting At Least Golang Programs

        The Linux 5.2 kernel and newer appears to be suffering from an AVX register corruption bug stemming from signal delivery. This register corruption issue is manifesting itself at least for Golang programs leading to a variety of bug reports when running on Linux 5.2 through at least the newly-minted Linux 5.4.

        Golang developers have traced back many recent bug reports to being a corruption issue on Linux 5.2 and newer while being built with the GCC 9 compiler (using the GCC 8 compiler does not seem to bring this kernel bug to light). Golang developers and users are finding run-time errors over invalid memory addresses / pointer dereferences, segmentation violations, and related issues.

      • Linux Kernel 5.4 released with kernel lockdown and exFAT support

        However, the most anticipated updates are, without a doubt, the exFAT support and kernel LOCKDOWN mode.

        Late last summer, Microsoft published the exFAT specification and made the popular file-system open-source. Linux kernel developers wasted no time in integrating exFAT file-system support into the kernel. Ensuring that support was included in the stable kernel 5.4 is a direct result of those efforts by kernel developers.

        The Linux LOCKDOWN functionality is, in most cases, to provide Linux functionality for pairing with UEFI SecureBoot, as well as other security-sensitive environments.

        If you want more detailed information on the 5.4 kernels, please check out our more in-depth article featuring the release from September.

        The 5.4 kernels will be the last stable release of the year, with Linux kernel 5.5 slated for release in late January or early February 2020. Rest assured that FOSS Linux will keep you posted.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon ROCm 2.10 Released With SUSE 15 SP1 Support, rocBLAS For Complex GEMM

          While AMD announced ROCm 3.0 earlier this month at SuperComputing 19 as the next major iteration to Radeon Open Compute, it looks like they aren’t quite ready to ship it and instead released ROCm 2.10.

          ROCm 3.0 support was noted in their SC19 press release with having new HIP-clang improvements for better running CUDA codes on Radeon GPUs, expanded HPC programming model support with the likes of OpenMP / NAMD / LAMMPS, and new support for system/workload deployment tools like Kubernetes. ROCm 3.0 sounds like it should be a great release, thus surprising today they diverted to releasing ROCm 2.10.

        • Wayland’s Weston 8.0 Bringing Direct-Display Extension, HDCP On DRM Back-End + More

          Simon Ser has stepped up again to manage the upcoming release of the Weston 8.0 Wayland reference compositor. No Wayland update itself is planned with nothing real to release at this point, but Weston 8.0 should arrive before the end of January.

          For making a January release target for Weston 8.0, Simon has laid out plans for the initial alpha release around 6 December, a beta release on 20 December, and the first release candidate on 17 January. If all goes well with Weston 8.0 RC1, the actual release could be on or around 24 January.

        • X.Org’s Modesetting Driver Gets Smarter – Queries Mesa For Which GL Driver To Use

          There is a list of PCI ID driver mappings that has needed to be maintained for correlating graphics hardware to the respective DRI driver that should be loaded. That’s been another maintenance burden and rather vintage, but now a modern solution has landed thanks to Intel’s Ken Graunke. Since earlier this year has been the MESA_query_driver EGL extension for being able to query the name of the running 3D/OpenGL driver on the system. EGL_MESA_query_driver is now being used for dynamically querying the driver that was loaded by Mesa rather than having to duplicate the PCI ID driver mapping logic within X.Org Server.

          Besides the burden of having to maintain multiple graphics PCI ID mappings in 2019, the motivation for Graunke to get this change made is for Intel’s transition to the “Iris” Gallium3D driver he has been leading. With Intel Gen12 / Tiger Lake graphics, only Iris is supported and starting with Mesa 20.0 they intend to default to this Gallium3D driver over the “i965″ classic driver. Rather than having to work this logic into their mapping for the xorg-server, EGL_MESA_query_driver can simply leverage the logic from Mesa’s driver loader.

    • Benchmarks

    • Applications

      • Open Source Music Notations Software Musescore 3.3 Released!

        You can even use a MIDI keyboard as input and simply play the tune you want to create the notation of.

        In order to make use of it, you need to know how sheet music notations work. In either case, you can just play something using your MIDI keyboard or any other instrument and learn how the music notations work while using it.

        So, it should come in handy for beginners and experts as well.

        You can download and use Musescore for free. However, if you want to share your music/composition and reach out to a wider community on the Musescore platform, you can opt to create a free or premium account on Musescore.com.

      • Timekpr-nExT Is A Linux Parental Control Program For Limiting Computer Usage

        Timekpr-nExT is graphical parental control tool for Linux, useful if you want to limit child activity on a computer. The application, which uses Python / GTK3, works with multiple desktop environments, including GNOME, Xfce, Cinnamon, KDE Plasma, Unity, Deepin and Budgie, under both X11 and Wayland.

        The application can limit computer usage for some user accounts by setting predefined access rules. You can set daily computer time usage limits — either by setting the number of hours/minutes per day an account can have access to the computer, or by specifying an hour interval. You may also specify weekly and monthly computer usage limits. After the time expires, the user is automatically logged out.

        The client (the user account for which you’ve set computer access limits — see screenshot at the top of the article) can see the remaining time for today, the daily limits, as well as configure the display of notifications when the time is about to expire or when there are limit changes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The ridiculously large Stardew Valley 1.4 update is out

        Stardew Valley, that relaxing and colourful game about taking over a worn-down farm just had a big 1.4 update release with a ton of new content and bug fixes.

        The full details of the update are…how do I put this? Humongous? Yeah, that sounds about right. Looking over the changelog, I honestly don’t know where to begin to talk about it.

      • Football Story sounds like an incredibly weird mix with a story-based campaign and competitive multiplayer

        From publisher Crytivo (The Universim) and Russian developer Fructus Temporum we have Football Story, an incredible intriguing Football (Soccer to some of you…) adventure game with a narrative campaign and competitive multiplayer matches.

        It blends together a sort-of exploration adventure RPG in the story mode, giving you a massive city loaded with quests to run around in with four customizable characters, each with skills you can progress. On top of that, when playing matches online with others each player on the team is controlled by someone. It sounds thoroughly amusing and it certainly sounds like something I want to try.

      • World of Warcraft Classic: Hell is other people

        I didn’t play World of Warcraft when it launched 15 years ago when I played some World of Warcraft with friends seven years ago, around the time of the Mists of Pandaria expansion. I hadn’t played it before and I didn’t get into the lore. I enjoyed running around in the big open world, seeing new places, and completing quests.

        This year I got the opportunity to experience the original game with the release of World of Warcraft: Classic. The game rolled back the clock and got back to its roots. The Classic game is less complicated with fewer distinct systems to keep track of. There’s less to do in the world, but I don’t miss the busywork that has been added to the modern game. I thought I’d give it a try.

      • The unique online RPG Book of Travels from the dev of Shelter has been funded

        Not exactly surprising to see but Book of Travels, the unique small online RPG from Shelter developer Might and Delight has been fully funded over on Kickstarter so that’s another game coming to Linux.

      • Dota 2 just got massive overhaul with The Outlanders Update

        The Outlanders Update has arrived for Dota 2, with it introducing new heroes and some pretty big changes to the gameplay. As someone who has always enjoyed the gameplay of Dota 2 but found some elements of it highly frustrating, the gameplay update sounds fantastic.

      • Dota Underlords also got a huge update with a new Knockout game mode and multiple heroes

        It’s not just Dota 2 seeing a massive upgrade, as Valve also pushed out The Outlanders Update for Dota Underlords as well with a new fast game mode and a better on-boarding experience for new players.

        Like Dota 2, Underlords has also gained two brand new heroes with Snapfire and Void Spirit. Void was also joined by Storm Spirit, Ember Spirit, and Earth Spirit entering the White Spire to create the new Spirit Alliance as well.

        Heroes work quite differently in Underlords though so let’s take a quick look at their abilities.

      • Quake II RTX got an update to further improve the graphical fidelity

        It seems NVIDIA aren’t quite done with Quake II RTX, seemingly now using it as a testing area to keep pushing more advanced features for ray tracing.

        Yesterday, an update was released for Quake II RTX to update over 400 textures used to improve the image quality. They also improved the rendering of metals, which together enhance the look quite a lot, especially since it’s quite an old game now. In addition, rendering with water was improved as well. There’s now underwater god rays and god rays in reflections and refractions.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.2.8 Released

          The Krita team is pleased to announce another bug fix release of Krita 4.2: Krita 4.2.8. Part of Krita’s core team is now working on rewriting the way Krita loads and saves resources like brushes or gradients. This is a big task that takes up a lot of time, so there are fewer bug fixes in this release than there were for 4.2.7. Still, there has been a lot of work done on vector shapes, the transform tool and, especially, saving on Windows.

          Windows usually only writes out saved files to the actual disk when it feels like it. So if you’d cut the power to your computer before Windows did that, you might get corrupted files. With 1,500,000 distinct Windows 10 users of Krita in the past month, chances are good for that happening (just like there are people who work exclusively with unnamed autosave files — don’t do that!), so we now try to force Windows to write files to disk after saving. This does make saving slower on Windows, but the added security should be worth it.

          The autoprecision setting in the brush preset editor has been rewritten as well, which should result in better performance and nicer lines, too.

    • Distributions

      • Kali Linux 2019.4 includes new undercover mode for pentesters doing work in public places

        Offensive Security, maintainers of the popular Kali Linux open source project, released Kali Linux 2019.4, the latest iteration of the Kali Linux penetration testing platform. The new release includes several new features, including a new default desktop environment, a new theme and a new undercover mode for pentesters doing assessment work in public places.

      • Latest Kali Linux OS Added Windows-Style Undercover Theme for Hackers

        While working on my laptop, I usually prefer sitting at a corner in the room from where no one should be able to easily stare at my screen, and if you’re a hacker, you must have more reasons to be paranoid.
        Let’s go undercover:
        If you’re in love with the Kali Linux operating system for hacking and penetration testing, here we have pretty awesome news for you.
        Offensive Security today released a new and the final version of Kali Linux for 2019 that includes a special theme to transform your Xfce desktop environment into a Windows look-a-like desktop.
        Dubbed ‘Kali Undercover,’ the theme has been designed for those who work in public places or office environments and don’t want people to spot that you’re working on Kali Linux, an operating system popular among hackers, penetration testers, and cybersecurity researchers.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GK Software and SUSE: A Proven Partnership in the Retail Ecosystem

          The partnership between GK Software and SUSE goes back several years when GK first certified the GK/Retail Business Suite with SLES 11. Since then, collaboration between the two companies has expanded to certify on SLES 12, and more recently on SLES 15.
          The GK/Retail Business Suite provides market-leading solutions for stores, enterprise headquarters and contemporary omni-channel retail concepts. Today, GK Software has over 300,000 installations in more than 60 countries.

      • Debian Family

        • Proxmox Mail Gateway 6.1 released

          Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH has released version 6.1 of its open-source email security solution Proxmox Mail Gateway. The anti-spam and anti-virus filtering solution is a complete operating system based on the latest Debian 10.2 (Buster) with a 5.3 kernel and uses the Postfix MTA, ClamAV and SpamAssassin. Deployed between the firewall and the internal mail server the Proxmox Mail Gateway works as a full-featured mail proxy and protects organizations against spam, viruses, trojans, and phishing emails.

          Proxmox Mail Gateway 6.1 comes with updated SpamAssassin rules easily adjustable in the web-based user interface, added DKIM signature support for email authentication, and a new attachment quarantine. The high availability cluster usability brings improved handling of the Configuration and Rule changes.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why do we contribute to open source software?

        Organizations as a whole contribute to open source software projects for a variety of reasons.

        One of the most important is that the open source development model is such an effective way to collaborate with other companies on projects of mutual interest. But they also want to better understand the technologies they use. They also want to influence direction.

        The specific rationale will vary by organization but it usually boils down to the simple fact that working in open source benefits their business.

        But why do individuals contribute to open source? They mostly see some kind of personal benefit too, but what specifically motivates them?

      • Some Open Source Android Applications that Available on Google Play!

        Smartphone is one of the gadgets that are currently becoming people’s needs. Many people use smartphones for other purposes besides communication, for example, for playing games, multimedia purposes, writing and for business. Based on the Netmarketshare website, Android is one of the mobile operating systems that is widely used by people around the world. That is, many people who use smartphones with the Android operating system.

        We can install android applications through Google Play or other app stores. There are paid applications, some are free but contain advertising content or in app purchase. But we can also find several mobile applications for Android open source.

      • Events

        • Linux App Summit and Capitole du Libre 2019

          This year, the Linux App Summit was held in Barcelona, Spain, which is just a few hours away from Montpellier so there was no way I wouldn’t attend it!

          There I’ve been able to talk about how I helped porting GNOME to mobile devices, and I demoed it on a Librem 5 devkit in the corridors.

          [...]

          Unfortunately I had to leave Barcelona on the last day and head to Toulouse to attend Capitole du Libre. There I helped my colleague François hold the Purism booth and I gave the same talk I did at GUADEC, but in French. I love these kind of free software conventions, you meet lots of end users with varying degrees of tech-savviness, it helps a lot to keep your feet on the ground when developing. On the booth we demoed the Librem 5 devkit, the excitement was very high!

      • FSF

        • Come together for free software

          Here at the Free Software Foundation (FSF), we strongly believe that one person can make a difference. Our main task, as the principal organization in the fight for user freedom, is one of connection; to bring people together around an unwavering set of principles. We will achieve global software freedom by staying the course, by focusing on education, and by making tools and solutions available, all by working together with this passionate and diverse community.
          Every individual that takes action now will help us reach our goal of welcoming 600 new associate members by December 31st. Associate members give us the strength to amplify the free software message — each new member exponentially increases our reach and our ability to make change. Visit fsf.org/appeal to learn more about all the different ways we can stand strong together and for access to engaging images to help you spread the message using the hashtag #ISupportFreeSoftware!
          The FSF is supported by thousands of individuals like you who form the heart of the movement. Thank you for being an associate member we can depend on. While it’s humbling to have thousands of people around the world giving us their votes of confidence, we also know we need to connect with millions more. Please take this moment to publicly share your passion for free software. If each associate member inspires just one other, we can double our strength. Plus, if you manage to get a minimum of three people to mention you as a referral before December 31st, you will receive an exclusive year-end gift. If you can do a little more, any extra donation you can make will help us reach even more people on your behalf.
          This year, our staff of only fourteen used your financial support to unite people all over the world around our mission, with increased opportunities both in-person and online.

        • FSFE

          • FSFE Newsletter – November 2019

            This month, we present our Portuguese friends from ANSOL and their success story on solving the problems DRM creates in their country and gives tips on how you can take similar actions in your country. Episode 2 of the FSFE’s Software Freedom Podcast is out and we dedicate it to the KDE Community and the transformations and updates they are currently undertaking. You can discover upcoming events and interesting stories with visuals from the events where our community promoted Free Software across Europe. We offer a sneak peak into this year’s FSFE Annual Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy before the official report. In the Get Active section, we ask for your help with the new “Public Money? Public Code!” initiative. We need more municipalities and public sector bodies to embrace the principles and become part of the signatories.

            How DRM was fixed in Portugal
            DRM technologies restrict individuals from doing things with their media that are otherwise perfectly legal. For example we might not be able to put together a mix of music files we bought legally or to lend an e-book to a friend. Even backups can be restricted. Following up with the Day against DRM, in November we published a guest article by our friends from the Portuguese Association for Free Software (ANSOL), Paula Simões and Marcos Marado. Together with the Portuguese Association for Free Education (AEL) they were working towards resolving the DRM policies in Portugal for 15 years. They finally accomplished the solution they sought and in their article they shared with you the insights of that success. ANSOL and AEL have been able to show policy makers what was wrong with DRM and how its implementation hinders citizens and other actors from exercising their rights and take advantage of the legally foreseen copyright exceptions. Their story may inspire you to do the same in your country or simply learn insights on how policy-making can be influenced for the better.

      • Programming/Development

        • Rust 2020

          First, some history about myself in the Rust community — I started learning Rust a few years ago, had a go at Advent Of Code 2016 in it, completed that, wrote a testing tool in Rust, and then promptly did nothing with Rust except read blogs and reddit for a year. Then I went and did Advent of Code 2017 in Rust and reminded myself of why I enjoyed the language. This time I decided I’d do more with Rust and started playing around. I wrote bits and bobs through 2018, but still failed to do anything major until once again, December rolled around and I did Advent of Code 2018 in Rust, learning an awful lot about procedural macros and other useful things. This was the time of the 2018 Rust edition which also spurred me on to do more useful stuff.

          While I was enjoying the fun coding through December, I sat down and decided how I wanted 2019 to play out. I was very aware that I was failing a number of open source communities I was part of, and so I resolved (a) to be a net positive influence on any community I remained active in, and (b) to specifically work to be part of the wider Rust community because I wanted to give back to a community which had been welcoming to me and given me so much joy in coding. I went looking for ways to contribute, did a small patch to the panic wording as per an open issue, and then looked at the developer tools surrounding Rust. I noted that rustup needed some TLC and so I ended up filing my first PR on rustup, I then filed others, and on the 18th Of December 2018, my PR to update rustup to the 2018 edition was merged and thus began my time as a rustup contributor.

          Fast-forward to mid-January 2019 and the Rustup working group is established and I was invited to be a member of that. Zoom on to mid-May and I’m asked to take on the mantle of leading the working group, and from there I ended up also helping on rustdoc and various other bits and bobs. I’ve ended up quite involved in an exciting and interesting community which has always made me feel welcome.

        • Qt / QML introduction tutorial release

          We are proud to announce that the release of the first module of our Qt/QML Introduction training was very well received. Since the release, we got a lot of positive feedback and most of all: no thumbs down. We would like to thank all of you for watching, liking, commenting and supporting our videos.

          Because the digital era constantly moves and evolves, we seek to learn and explore change with it. One thing we’ve noticed, among others, is that we tend to do more and more self-guided learning via online videos. To that end, we have been working for more than 6 months now to capture our regular Qt/QML Introduction training on video.

          Looking into our analytics, it is clear that the majority of our viewers are located in Germany and the US. In light of that, we are currently looking into adding subtitles in various languages to make our content accessible to a larger number of countries. Though it will likely take quite some time before it will be ready for release, do let us know if you are interested in subtitles in your region.

        • Is your code inclusive?

          I have been involved with assistive technology for about ten years now, beginning with a stint as an assistive technology tutor with the Kenya Society for the Blind.

          Assistive technology helps improve the lives of people with cognitive, physical or sensory challenges. It comprises a wide range of hardware, specialist software such as screen readers, as well as accessibility features in general software.

          Over the ten years that I have worked with assistive technology, it has vastly improved. This is due in part to the advent of more powerful technologies, as well as better education and stronger disability rights legislation across much of the world. However, progress has been uneven and much of the legislation, well-meaning as it is, is poorly enforced, so there is still work to be done.

        • Perl / Raku

        • Python

          • Manhole service in Twisted Application.

            Manhole is an in-process service, that will accept UNIX domain socket connections and present the stack traces for all threads and an interactive prompt.

            Using it we can access and modify objects or definition in the running application, like change or add the method in any class, change the definition of any method of class or module.

            This allows us to make modifications in running an application without restarting the application, it makes work easy like debugging the application, you are able to check the values of the object while the program is running.

          • Awesome Full Stack Python Resources

            When I first decided to learn Django. I relied on tons of Youtubers who had created tutorials to help me get started.

            Which leads me to pick up Two Scoops of Django (this was one of my best investments).

            Besides taking a Udacity React Nanodegree course and watching videos on using Django.

            Now as years goes by I would like to revise this list of bookmarks for anyone.

            Who is just starting out to help them get started on their journey as a Full Stack Python developer.

          • Browser Automation Using Selenium (Python)

            SELENIUM is a web based & open source tool which is used to control the web browser through many programming languages. It is a third party tool and is available for many programming languages (e.g. Java, Python, C#, PHP etc.). It has the support for almost all the browsers. In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to use Selenium with Python because Python provides a comfortable environment to use this tool. Selenium API for Python lets your program directly control your browser in a similar fashion as a human does. It can open new tabs for you, fill out your information, submit forms, click on different links and other similar actions. Here we will see how we automate our web browser using selenium with Python.

          • How to write a Python web API with Flask

            Python is a high-level, object-oriented programming language known for its simple syntax. It is consistently among the top-rated programming languages for building RESTful APIs.

            Flask is a customizable Python framework that gives developers complete control over how users access data. Flask is a “micro-framework” based on Werkzeug’s WSGI toolkit and Jinja 2′s templating engine. It is designed as a web framework for RESTful API development.

            Flask is one of the fastest-growing Python frameworks, and popular websites, including Netflix, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, have incorporated Flask into their development stacks. Here’s an example of how Flask can permit users to fetch data from a server using the HTTP GET method.

          • From webscraper to wordcloud
          • There’s no wrong way… to eat a Bite of Py
          • How to Update Legacy Code Successfully
  • Leftovers

    • Oprah Winfrey Remembers Acclaimed Writer Toni Morrison

      Last Thursday, literary luminaries and social leaders from around the country gathered at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan to honor Toni Morrison, one of the nation’s most influential writers. She died in August at the age of 88 from complications of pneumonia. In 1993, Morrison became the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. She also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for her classic work Beloved. Much of Morrison’s writing focused on the black female experience in America, and her writing style honored the rhythms of black oral tradition. In 2012, President Obama awarded Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ta-Nehisi Coates, Edwidge Danticat and Oprah Winfrey were among those who spoke about Toni Morrison’s life and legacy. We air Oprah’s eulogy.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • So-Called ‘Army Built to Fight Medicare for All,’ Says Healthcare Expert, Really ‘Just Hired Guns Hired by Corporate Stooges’

        “We have to take this evil deadly seriously,” another critic said of the for-profit healthcare industry’s efforts to kill single-payer legislative proposals.

      • We read the World Anti-Doping Agency’s new Russia recommendations so you don’t have to

        The World Anti-Doping Agency’s Compliance Review Committee has recommended suspending Russia from international competitions for four years. The committee developed new recommendations for WADA’s Executive Committee after a WADA report indicated that doping data from a Moscow laboratory may have been manipulated. The Executive Committee will issue a decision after debating the recommendations during a December 9 hearing in Paris.

      • Our children await a radioactive legacy

        We are leaving our children a radioactive legacy, the lethal waste that current governments still cannot make safe.

      • Gilead’s HIV Patent Spat With HHS Could Keep Drug Prices High

        The Trump administration’s lawsuit against Gilead Sciences Inc. over the company’s alleged infringement of government-owned patents for the HIV-prevention drug PrEP could unintentionally lead to higher drug prices, according to attorneys watching the case.

        The issue is that the government’s patents don’t cover the drug itself but the regimen that has patients take one pill daily.

        Patents like this—that cover process rather than an invention—are controversial because they’re often filed late in a drug’s original patent life by brand-name companies to extend monopolies on their products. These so-called follow-on patents delay the entry of lower-cost generic versions to the market.

        Now, with its lawsuit against Gilead in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, the government appears to be taking the position that extending the market life cycle of brand-name drugs in this way is a valid approach.

        “It is a bit contradictory because they are on the one hand trying to lower drug prices, but this could increase drug prices,” said Michael Carrier, a professor at Rutgers Law School who specializes in intellectual property law and who has testified before Congress on drug pricing issues.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Wladimir Palant: Assorted Kaspersky vulnerabilities

          The first vulnerability affects Kaspersky Protection browser extension for Google Chrome (not its Firefox counterpart) which is installed automatically by Kaspersky Internet Security. Arbitrary websites can trick it into uninstalling Chrome browser extensions (CVE-2019-15684). In particular, they can uninstall Kaspersky Protection itself, which will happen silently. Uninstalling other browser extensions will make Google Chrome display an additional confirmation prompt, so social engineering is required to make the user accept it. While this prompt lowers the severity of the issue considerably, the way it has been addressed by Kaspersky is also quite remarkable. The initial attempt to fix this issue took eight months, yet the issue could be reproduced again after making a trivial change.

          The second vulnerability is very similar to the one demonstrated by Heise Online earlier this year. While Kaspersky addressed their report in a fairly thorough way and most values exposed to the web by their application were made unsuitable for tracking, one value was overlooked. I could demonstrate how arbitrary websites can retrieve a user identifier which is unique to the specific installation of Kaspersky Internet Security (CVE-2019-15687). This identifier is shared across all browsers and is unaffected by protection mechanisms such as Private Browsing.

          Finally, the last issue affects links used by special web pages produced by Kaspersky Internet Security, such as the invalid certificate or phishing warning pages. These links will trigger actions in the application, for example adding an exception for an invalid certificate, overriding a phishing warning or disabling Safe Money protection on a banking site. I could find a way for websites to retrieve the value of one such link and from it to predict the value assigned to future links (CVE-2019-15688). This allows websites to trigger actions from special pages programmatically, without having to trick the user into clicking them via clickjacking or social engineering.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • IOTA news: Contest for sustainability and update on the cooperation with Linux

                In a new blog post, the IOTA Foundation has announced a competition in which the IOTA community is to submit proposals for a sustainable future based on the Tangle technology. The three best proposals, together with experts from the international development sector, will be invited to Berlin for a full-day workshop on 10 December 2019.

                The competition will be held with regard to IOTA’s cooperation with the EIT Climate-KIC. This is a leading European initiative for climate protection, supported by the European Union (EU). Regarding the motivation for the project, Florian Doebler of the IOTA Foundation explained in the blog post that people often make decisions based on short-term thinking.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (bsdiff, libvpx, tiff, and xmlrpc-epi), Fedora (freeimage, imapfilter, kernel, mingw-freeimage, and thunderbird), openSUSE (cups and djvulibre), Oracle (SDL), SUSE (ardana-db, ardana-keystone, ardana-neutron, ardana-nova, crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, openstack-barbican, openstack-heat-templates, openstack-keystone, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-gbp, openstack-neutron-lbaas, openstack-nova, openstack-octavia, openstack-sahara, python-psutil, release-notes-suse-openstack-cloud, freerdp, mailman, and slurm), and Ubuntu (ruby2.3, ruby2.5).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • America’s Mask Bans in the Age of Face Recognition Surveillance
            • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Says Compelled Password Production Violates The Fifth Amendment

              The Fifth Amendment prevents compelled production of passwords, the top court in Pennsylvania has ruled. (h/t ACLU) It joins a handful of other state courts finding passwords to be testimonial, including Indiana, Illinois, and Florida. Unfortunately, there’s no SCOTUS opinion uniting the states, so Fifth Amendment coverage remains spotty.

            • EU raises eyebrows at possible US encryption ban

              The growing battle over end-to-end encryption took another turn last week, when EU officials warned that they may not take kindly to a US encryption ban or insertion of crypto backdoor technology.

              In June 2019, senior US government officials met to discuss whether they could legislate tech companies into not using unbreakable encryption. According to Politico, the National Security Council pondered whether to ask Congress to outlaw end-to-end encryption, which is a technology used by companies to keep your data safe and secure.

              To recap briefly, US law enforcement worries about its targets such as criminals and terrorists “going dark” by using this technology to shield their communications. Banning it outright would make it easier for government agencies to access those messages and documents. Encryption advocates counter that making encryption breakable would also allow malicious actors such as foreign governments to steal domestic secrets and they also worry about unlawful access to information by their own governments.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Russian Orthodox fundamentalist who threatened to burn down movie theaters in 2017 has been freed

        On November 26, a court sentenced Alexander Kalinin, the leader of the group “Christian State,” to a year already served in pretrial detention for issuing violent threats to movie theaters that showed the historical romantic drama film “Matilda.” He went free in the courtroom. The ultra-conservative Christian activist previously faced extremism charges, but this case was dropped after the partial decriminalization of Russia’s hate speech laws. 

      • The US Has Tried to Divide Iraqis. Now Protests Are Uniting Them.

        In Iraq, more than 340 people have died since anti-government protests began in early October. More than 15,000 Iraqis have been injured. Tires were set on fire Monday and main roads and bridges were blocked in the cities of Basra and Nassiriya. Over the weekend, security forces opened fire on civilians in Baghdad and other cities. Demonstrators are protesting corruption and lack of jobs and basic services, including clean water and electricity. In Baghdad, many university students are taking part in the demonstrations. To talk more about the protests in Iraq we are joined by the Iraqi poet, novelist, translator, and scholar Sinan Antoon. He was born and raised in Baghdad and his most recent novel is titled, The Book of Collateral Damage. “What’s really important is the reclaiming of Iraqi identity and a new sense of Iraqi nationalism that transcends the sectarian discourse that was institutionalized by the United States in 2003,” Antoon says.

      • End the Wars, Win the Antiwar Vote

        Like anyone else who was around that day, I can tell you exactly where I was on 9/11.I was a Catholic school eighth grader, fresh off my 14th birthday. The school day lurched along for a while, but eventually we dropped the pretense of carrying on. Teachers ushered us into the adjoining church for a prayer service, then sent us home early.

      • Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Refugees’ Movements Restricted

        Security forces for Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have arbitrarily imposed restrictions on movement for most residents of Makhmour refugee camp for Turkish Kurds since mid-July 2019, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • Syria: Civilians Abused in ‘Safe Zones’
      • The Legacy of Uganda’s Kasese Massacre

        Three years ago, the Ugandan army attacked the Rwenzururu royal palace in the town of Kasese, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people. But the families of those killed are still waiting for answers, amid fears of reprisals for pressing for justice.

    • Environment

      • ‘The Science Is Screaming’: UN Report Warns Only Rapid and Transformational Action Can Stave Off Global Climate Disaster

        “Failure to heed these warnings and take drastic action to reverse emissions means we will continue to witness deadly and catastrophic heatwaves, storms, and pollution.”

      • Climate Change is a War Crime
      • Energy

        • Russia’s largest independent oil-processing plant loses one of Putin’s ex-classmates and gains another, sources tell ‘Kommersant’

          Former Putin classmate Ilham Rahimov has replaced another peer from the president’s university days at the Antipinsky oil refinery, Russia’s largest independent oil-processing plant. Sources told the newspaper Kommersant that Ilham Rahimov, a partner at the “Kievskaya Ploshchad” real-estate group, has acquired shares in the Antipinsky refinery. According to the newspaper, Rahimov and former Lukoil senior vice president Valery Subbotin are the ultimate beneficiaries of the offshore firm “Nitron Investments,” through which a chain of other companies has a stake in “Sokar Energy Resource,” the owner of 80 percent of the Antipinsky refinery.

        • Oil and Gas Industry Rebukes Fracking Ban Talk as UN Shows Just How Much Fossil Fuel Plans Are Screwing Climate Limits

          API’s video is part of a broader strategic campaign by the oil and gas industry to quash public support for a national ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and to promote itself as the “natural gas and oil industry.” The lobbying group released its video last week to coincide with the fifth Democratic presidential debate, saying, “some Democratic presidential candidates are now proposing restrictive energy policies that would erase a generation of American progress.”

      • Overpopulation

        • The Choice Is Ours: Extinction or Rebellion?

          In the early twentieth century, tens of millions died under the Stalinist regime. We blame these deaths on the wickedness of socialism. Later, in Germany, around 6 million Jews were systematically murdered in gas chambers. We blame these deaths on the ills of fascism. At the other end of the Eurasian continent, around 22 – 45 million died under Chairman Mao between 1958-1962.

        • Hunger Games: Food Abundance and Twisted Truths

          The world already produces enough food to feed 10 billion people but over two billion are experiencing micronutrient deficiencies (of which 821 million were classed as chronically undernourished in 2018). However, supporters of genetic engineering (GE) crops continually push the narrative that GE technology is required if we are to feed the world and properly support farmers.   

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • We’re Grateful for the Constitution
      • It’s Past Time Congress Reined in the President’s Emergency Powers
      • Bloomberg Scandals Don’t Bother the Billionaire’s Punditry Class Cheerleaders

        Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the crowded presidential race hasn’t caused big changes in polling for the top three Democratic candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. It has, however, brought a number of media cheerleaders for the city’s richest resident out of the woodwork.

      • A Tale of Two Princes

        Prince Andrew and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia have both had a bad week.

      • If Not for Damage to Future Presidents, Trump Claims He Would ‘Love’ to Have Pompeo, Mulvaney, Perry, Bolton, and Others Testify

        “Donald Trump,” responded one sarcastic critic, “famed for his consideration of other Presidents.”

      • No ‘Revolution’ Without Palestine: a Letter to Bernie Sanders

        On Tuesday, November 12, Israeli forces assassinated Islamic Jihad Commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata, along with his wife, in their home in the besieged Gaza strip.

      • Waging War Against the Rule of Law

        There is no doubt about it: at our present moment in history it is embarrassingly hard to be a defender of the rule of law. This is particularly so when such laws seek to assert and protect human rights. It is embarrassing because being supportive of such regulations should be a “no-brainer.” Instead, it pits you against the U.S. government and its closest ally, Israel.

      • Zelenskyy and Putin had one phone call, but their teams put out two very different press releases about it

        On November 18, the Russian government returned the Berdyansk, the Nikopol, and the Yany Kapu to Ukraine a year after the three ships were seized as material evidence in a border violation case. Kyiv complained that all of the vessels’ equipment had been removed, including “ceiling lamps, electrical outlets, and toilets.” The Russian Federal Security Service responded that the ships had been returned “in normal condition and with functional sanitary equipment.”

      • House Judiciary Committee Sets Dec. 4 Impeachment Hearing

        The House Judiciary Committee is set to take over the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump next week, scheduling a Dec. 4 hearing on the question of “high crimes and misdemeanors” set out in the Constitution.

      • Bringing Shame To Our People and Our Country: Miller (Still) Must Go

        Democrats, civil rights groups and other sentient humans have demanded the removal of Nazi-fan-boy, xenophobe and, yes, Jew Stephen Miller after emails leaked of him peddling white nationalist conspiracies and ranting about white genocide. Now, after more damning leaks, multiple Jewish groups say he must go; they include a broad progressive coalition and three branches of

      • Obama Privately Considered Leading ‘Stop-Bernie Campaign’ to Combat Sanders 2020 Surge: Report

        “From lofty heights, Obama has now become a dampener of hope, a barrier to change, and a threat to progress.”

      • Obama Is Wrong to Push Democratic Party Centrism

        Former President Barack Obama recently offered some pointed criticism of the Democratic party’s “activist wing,” cautioning candidates to not move too far left and to remain “rooted in reality.”“The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it,” Obama told an audience in Washington, D.C.

      • The Age of Trump, the End of What?

        French king Louis XV reputedly said, “Après moi, le déluge.” (“After me, the flood.”) Whether that line was really his or not remains unclear, but not long after his death did come the French Revolution. We should be so lucky! Our all-American version of Louis XV, Donald I, is incapable, I suspect, of even imagining a world after him. Given the historically unprecedented way he’s covered by the “fake” or “corrupt” news media, that “enemy of the people,” I doubt they really can either.

      • Misinformation Efforts Over Kentucky Vote Could Be Playbook for 2020

        The right-wing radio personality took to Twitter not long after the polls had closed and it seemed the Democtratic candidate had prevailed in the excruciatingly close race for governor of Kentucky.

        “Today #ELECTIONFRAUD and what is going on in #kentucky is REAL,” the host of “Tore Says,” streamed on the Red State Talk Radio website, tweeted on Nov. 8. “How do I know? I am actually have EVIDENCE because me and my family are VICTIMS of it.”

      • Judge Says Trump Can’t Block Officials From Testifying

        In a legal ruling that has major implications for the impeachment inquiry, a federal judge on Monday ordered former White House counsel Don McGahn to comply with a congressional subpoena and testify before House impeachment investigators.

      • Jeremy Corbyn Denies Chief Rabbi’s Charge of Anti-Semitism

        Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn sought Tuesday to defuse harsh criticism about anti-Semitism leveled at the party by Britain’s chief rabbi.

      • European Pirates voted against the new European Commission

        n today’s vote, Pirates MEPs voted against the new European Commission under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen. Neither the digital policy, nor the personal composition, nor the process of Commission setup are satisfactory.

        Pirates disagree on the program, which is often in direct contradiction with the principles of free internet and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, such as the right to privacy. “Ursula von der Leyen advocates upload filters, and even on such a simple matter as promising not to deepen the interference with the privacy of Europe’s citizens (surveillance moratorium), she failed to make a clear commitment,” said Marcel Kolaja, head of the Pirates’ delegation. “Freedom of the Internet and digital rights are key issues for our voters and us, which we have come to defend in the European Parliament, and this Commission does not have our confidence,” said Pirate MEP Patrick Breyer.

        The newly elected Commission shall act as defender of the Treaties in the member states. “Commissioners nominated by Hungary, Poland or Czechia remain in close contact with the ruling nationalistic parties of the countries. Such a conflict of interests effectively prevents independent actions on behalf of Commission to protect the Rule of law in the countries,” comments Mikuláš Peksa, chairperson of the European Pirate party. “French commissioner Breton responsible for IT industry is close to the board of a major digital company thus establishing a danger for data protection of European citizens. ” adds Peksa.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Doctors Petition UK Home Secretary Over Julian Assange

        We write this open letter, as medical doctors, to express our serious concerns about the physical and mental health of Julian Assange. Our professional concerns follow publication recently of the harrowing eyewitness accounts of Craig Murray and John Pilger of the case management hearing on Monday 21 October 2019 at Westminster Magistrates Court. The hearing related to the upcoming February 2020 hearing of the request by the US government for Mr Assange’s extradition to the US in relation to his work as a publisher of information, including information about alleged crimes of the US government.

        Our concerns were further heightened by the publication on 1 November 2019 of a further report of Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in which he stated: ‘Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.’

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘This Is Meant to Scare Workers’: Vows to Fight Back After Google Fires Four Employees Who Led Organizing

        “They think this will crush our efforts, but it won’t. For every one they retaliate against, there are hundreds of us who will fight.”

      • Russia’s Justice Ministry refuses to share the materials it used to designate anti-corruption activists as ‘foreign agents’

        Russia’s Justice Ministry has refused to share a copy of the evidence it used to designate the Anti-Corruption Foundation as a “foreign agent,” the organization’s director, Ivan Zhdanov, revealed in a tweet on Tuesday.

      • Moscow university student charged with ‘justifying terrorism’ says federal agents tortured him in the school library

        Marat Nigmatulin, the first-year Moscow State University philosophy student charged with “justifying terrorism,” says federal agents tortured him on school grounds. Nigmatulin told the television network Dozhd that the incident occurred on November 20, when two Federal Security Service agents confronted him at the MGU library and demanded that he sign a confession stating that he “created a terrorist organization with 100 members,” “arranged terrorist attacks in Kerch, Arkhangelsk, and Blagoveshchensk,” “built close ties with German, French, British, and Cuban intelligence,” “worked for the Vatican for many years,” and “sold Russia’s military secrets to foreigners.”

      • Bangladesh Turning Refugee Camps into Open-Air Prisons

        Bangladesh Army Chief Gen. Aziz Ahmed said this week that a plan to surround the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar with barbed wire fences and guard towers was “in full swing.”

      • Chile Despertó! Chile Has Woken Up! The Rising Fight Against Neo-Liberalism in Chile

        ¡Chile despertó!¡Piñera, renuncia!¡Piñera ya fue!¡Que se vayan los milicos!Chile Has Woken Up!Piñera Resign!Piñera Has Gone!Let the “Milicos” leave! (“Milicos” is a derogatoryword for police and military personnel)

      • Chile: Police Reforms Needed in the Wake of Protests

        Chile’s national police, Carabineros, committed serious human rights violations, including excessive use of force in the streets and abuses in detention, after thousands of Chileans took to the streets on and in the weeks following October 18, 2019. Human Rights Watch met with President Sebastián Piñera on November 26 and recommended a series of reforms directed to help prevent police misconduct and strengthen oversight in the wake of compelling evidence of excessive use of force and abuses against demonstrators and bystanders. 

      • Chilean Government Cracks Down as Protest Becomes Deep Movement for Change

        Moving into the sixth week of massive protests, Chilean authorities have shown few signs of resolving the crises that began over a public transportation fare hike and quickly evolved into widespread criticism of the country’s profound inequality and neoliberal policies. Instead of seeking democratic solutions that engage relevant social and political sectors, President Sebastián Piñera’s government has responded with brutal force to subdue popular dissent.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Empty T-Mobile Promises Convince Texas To Back Off Merger Lawsuit

        While the DOJ and FCC have rubber stamped T-Mobile’s controversial $26 billion merger with Sprint, the megadeal still faces stiff opposition from more than a dozen state AGs. What began as a coalition of ten states had been slowly expanding over the last few months to include states like Texas. Collectively, state AGs have made it very clear that every meaningful economic metric indicates the deal will erode competition, raise rates, and result in thousands of layoffs as redundant employees are inevitably eliminated.

      • Weather forecasters lost the battle for strict interference limits on 5G

        Weather forecasters pushing for strict limits on 5G’s rapidly growing footprint were dealt a blow today by the World Radiocommunication Conference in Egypt. Delegates there voted to create a new international standard that places much looser limits on interference from 5G operating in a specific radio frequency that’s crucial to accurate weather forecasting. Meteorology experts worry that this decision could one day seriously impact their ability to forecast severe storms, leaving communities around the world vulnerable to extreme weather events.

    • Monopolies

      • ‘Law on steroids’: students reveal IP career expectations

        IP provides an opportunity to be creative and is seen as more “playful” and dynamic than other areas of law, according to students about to embark on a career in the industry.

      • Examining Pharmaceutical Exceptionalism: Intellectual Property, Practical Expediency, and Global Health

        Advocates, activists, and academics have criticized pharmaceutical intellectual property (“pharma IP”) rights as obstacles to access to medicines for the global poor. These criticisms of pharma IP holders are frequently exceptionalist: they focus on pharma IP holders while ignoring whether others also bear obligations to assist patients in need. These others include holders of other lucrative IP rights, such as music copyrights or technology patents; firms, such as energy companies and banks, that do not rely on IP; and wealthy private individuals. Their resources could be used to aid patients by providing direct medical assistance, funding prizes or biomedical research, or purchasing pharmaceutical patents and granting rights to the disadvantaged.

        After identifying this exceptionalism, this Article evaluates several arguments in its defense. These are that pharma IP holders are unique in (1) owning what poor patients need, (2) being in special proximity to these patients, (3) being able to assist at low cost to themselves, (4) having a professional duty to help these patients, or (5) being implicated by their past conduct in these patients’ plight. It concludes that none of these arguments are compelling: while IP holders have a duty to help, this duty is not fundamentally different from the duties others owe.

        Even though this project criticizes exceptionalism, it does not absolve pharma IP holders of duties to help the sick. Rather, it argues that spreading the costs of aiding patients in need across a greater number of market actors, via publicly funded “pull” programs like prizes and patent buyouts or “push” programs like grants, would be preferable. So would allowing pharmaceutical firms to seek contribution from others who are able to help. However, if others cannot be held to account, imposing burdens on pharma IP holders can be justified in order to promote global health: treating wealthy firms arbitrarily is preferable to ignoring the urgent needs of the global poor.

      • Patents

        • FTC leverages its assets against Qualcomm’s appeal: “strikingly consistent” industry testimony, Qualcomm’s own documents, heightened deference to witness credibility findings

          In its answering brief to Qualcomm’s Ninth Circuit antitrust appeal, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) downplays the importance of Judge Lucy H. Koh’s holding that Qualcomm has an antitrust duty to license rival chipset makers. The FTC describes that part as “secondary” in the greater scheme of things. But that’s a gross understatement. The FTC may take a holistic perspective and/or may be more interested in Qualcomm’s “No License-No Chips” policy, but a firm obligation to extend exhaustive licenses, on FRAND terms, to rival chipset makers has enormous problem-solving potential and definitely matters to the industry at large.

          By electing to rely on a contract-antitrust combination (arguing that the violation of competition law lies in a breach of a contract that is, as I put it, a cartel remedy), the FTC actually makes the chipset licensing part even more applicable to automotive supplier Continental’s antitrust lawsuit in the same district as Nokia, too, signed ATIS’ and TIA’s FRAND licensing pledges, and could be held in violation of antitrust law on the same grounds as Qualcomm. By contrast, even if an attempt to push the Aspen Skiing duty-to-deal envelope succeeded to the extent that Judge Koh’s related decision could be upheld on the original grounds, one would still have to prove–in order to establish an antitrust violation–that a company like Nokia abandoned a prior voluntary and profitable course of dealing, which would be hard to do in most if not all cases.

          [...]

          Of the passages of the FTC’s brief that address precedent, I liked the part on linkLine best. I’ve talked about that case before and will address it again between now and the appellate hearing–but that’s not a suitable topic for this bird’s-eye view post.

        • Added DoE Flexibility Sticks: Federal Circuit Denies Rehearing in Ajinomoto [Ed: The patent zealots call the law, justice, judges, courts “awful”… because they don’t swallow the zealots’ pill, allowing fake patents]

          Yes – this is awful. Its not me; Lets blame the courts who wanted to empower patentees with the doctrine of equivalents but then became afraid that they had gone too far.

          In Ajinomoto, the Federal Circuit found that the patentee had found its way through the DoEPHETAN maze. As originally filed, the patent claims covered the accused genetically engineered E. coli. During prosecution the claims were narrowed to avoid a particular prior art references. However, the accused bacteria is also different from the amended-around prior art and so the Federal Circuit found the amendment merely tangential to the equivalent and therefore did not bar the patentee from relying upon the Doctrine of Equivalents. In the original decision, the majority (Judges MOORE and TARANTO) sided with the patentee while Judge DYK dissented in part.

          In recent filings, the adjudged infringer (CheilJedang) asked for rehearing — arguing that the majority “applied an expansive approach” the “merely tangential” exception rather than the proscribed “very narrow” application.

        • CRISPR Housekeeping

          Part of every interference are a variety of housekeeping matters which, while not dispositive, are important to recognize for their effects (or potential effects) on the proceedings. Some are simple matters: for example, on October 28th, the Board granted the Broad’s request for authorization to file a Reply to CVC’s (the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Vienna; and Emmanuelle Charpentier) opposition to the Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 1 (which the Broad filed on November 4th), and CVC filed its revised protective order on November 7th, pursuant to the Board’s earlier authorization.

          More recently, the Board issued an Order denying CVC relief requested on two grounds. First, CVC requested authorization to file a sur-reply to Broad’s reply to CVC’s opposition to Broad’s Motion No. 1. The Board denied this motion for now, saying that it could reconsider after it had had the opportunity to review the Broad’s motion, CVC’s Opposition, and the Broad’s Reply. This result logically followed from the grounds CVC asserted in support of its sur-reply request, including that the Broad in its reply had mischaracterized CVC’s arguments in its Opposition.

          [...]

          Finally, for now, on November 20th CVC provided an updated Notice of Related Proceedings, informing the Board and the Broad of the following newly granted patents (as well as additional pending applications), none of which are involved in this interference…

        • Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Wyeth LLC (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Today, in Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Wyeth LLC, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded two final written decisions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board finding claim 18 of U.S. Patent No. 8,562,999 to be nonobvious. The ’999 patent, which is directed to formulations for stabilizing polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines, is assigned to Wyeth LLC.

          Polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines are derived from capsular polysaccharides present on the surface of certain disease-causing bacteria. These capsular polysaccharides can be used by the human immune system to detect different serotypes (or strains) of a bacterial species. Polysaccharide vaccines can be monovalent (comprising a single serotype) or multivalent (comprising multiple serotypes). Because such capsular polysaccharides may have low immunogenicity, it is desirable to enhance the effectiveness of vaccines comprising such polysaccharides by conjugating the polysaccharides to a carrier protein with high immunogenicity. As the ’999 patent explains, however, polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines aggregate when exposed to silicone oil, which is commonly used as a lubricant in vaccine storage containers.

        • Sony Patent Tweaks DualShock Design for PlayStation 5

          As with every new hardware generation, it’s not just the games console being upgraded, we also get a new controller iteration, too. A new patent filing by Sony has revealed what looks to be the design of the DualShock 5.

          As VentureBeat reports, a new patent filed by Sony has appeared at the Japanese patent office for what’s clearly a new DualShock controller for the PlayStation 5. The good news is for anyone who enjoys gaming with their DualShock 4, the DualShock 5 is almost exactly the same design with a few minor, but important tweaks.

        • BMW sued for patent infringement over hybrid engine technology

          BMW has been hit with a patent infringement lawsuit from a U.S. hybrid engine technology provider.

          Paice and nonprofit The Abell Foundation said BMW has infringed on their patents involving hybrid engines, according to a suit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Maryland. Baltimore-based Abell Foundation is an investor in Paice, which is also based in Baltimore.

          Infringement is claimed on eight BMW hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, including the 330e iPerformance, 530e iPerformance, 750e xDrive iPerformance, i8 Roadster Plug-in and Mini Countryman Plug-in.

          “Paice shared intimate details of our hybrid vehicle technology with BMW in good faith,” Paice CEO Robert Oswald said in a statement. “Rather than negotiate a license for our technology, BMW took what it learned from Paice and used it for its own gain.”

        • Apple Will Continue Licensing Acquired Intel Patents

          Over the summer, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) acquired the bulk of Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) smartphone modem business in a $1 billion deal that will accelerate the timeline for Apple’s in-house 5G modem. That transaction was precipitated by Apple settling its legal war with Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), which was followed by Intel announcing it was abandoning the 5G modem market.

          The Cupertino tech giant is now the owner of numerous cellular standards-essential patents (SEPs). Any entity that owns SEPs is expected to license out the intellectual property (IP) on a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis. This week, Apple published a statement committing to doing exactly that.

        • Software Patents

          • Court Examines Inadvertent Waiver in Patent Prosecution Context

            Lawyers give advice. It’s a big part of the job. Sometimes it’s legal advice and sometimes it’s business advice and sometimes (particularly for lawyers who focus on technology and intellectual property) it’s hard to tell. And that can be a problem. Because the conversations clients have with their lawyers are protected—until they aren’t. The idea that a client can talk freely and confidentially with her lawyer without fear that the conversation will be disclosed is fundamental to the American legal system. Lawyers and lay people alike understand that concept implicitly, and most probably assume that the protection is extremely broad, which in many cases it is.

          • Apple patent aims for more streamlined control of your home lighting

            It’s not uncommon for a patent filing to send the rumor mills into overdrive, and a recent Apple patent has succeeded in doing exactly that. The patent describes a method for maintaining the same level of ambient light in a room no matter the placement of the sun. For example, the described sensor would be able to detect when the sun moves behind a cloud and brighten the lights in the room, or vice-versa.

      • Trademarks

        • China apex court Honda decision a boon for brand owners

          Brand owners have welcomed a ruling by China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) that marks a turning point for trademark enforcement against those producing and exporting counterfeit goods.

        • When is Harvard not Harvard ?

          In the recent IPOS decision of Harvard Club of Singapore v President and Fellows of Harvard College [2019] SGIPOS 14, the President and Fellows of Harvard College (the body corporate constituting Harvard University) (“Applicant”) filed two applications to register “HARVARD CLUB OF SINGAPORE” and “HARVARD UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE” in Class 41, both for “Club Services [education or entertainment]”. They were opposed by the Harvard Club of Singapore (“Opponent”).

          The Opponent was registered in 1969 and, for most of its existence, was recognised by the Applicant as the official Harvard Club in Singapore. However, in 2015, the Applicant’s Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) terminated its relationship with the Opponent and revoked its status as a recognised Harvard alumni club, as a result of the Opponent’s failure to comply with HAA’s request that its president Dr Irene Lee step down.

          [...]

          Section 7(5) TMA In relation to “HARVARD CLUB OF SINGAPORE”, the Opponent relied on S7(5) TMA, which states that a “trade mark shall not be registered if or to the extent that its use is prohibited in Singapore by any written law or rule of law”. The written law relied on was S4(3) of the Societies Act, which states that the Registrar may refuse to register a society if inter alia its name is identical to that of an existing society. The argument was that the Applicant, by applying to register “HARVARD CLUB OF SINGAPORE” intended to form a new society under that name and the Register of Societies would have to reject it.

          This argument was rejected by the Registrar, who held that S7(5) TMA concerned actual “use” in the real world, which was clearly different from the act of registration of a society.

          Accordingly, the Opponent failed on all grounds of opposition.

          [...]

          The author understands that an appeal to the High Court has just been filed.

        • Crystal Head vodka 3D shape mark invalitiy application: Who you gunna call?!

          Is a skull shaped bottle for vodka devoid of distinctive character and does it substantially enhance the attractiveness of the goods and strongly influence consumer preferences? A recent decision of the Cancellation Division considered the absolute grounds for resual of a 3D shape mark, which offered this Kat the opportunity to post a cat in a Ghostbusters costume!

          [...]

          The Cancellation Division found that the applicant failed to demonstrate that the proprietor emphasised the aesthetic qualities of the EUTM first when promoting its products. There was no evidence of a systematic promotional campaign that placed the primary emphasis on the design of the bottle, which could have been demonstrated with adverts or screenshots of the proprietor’s website. Instead, most of the extracts seemed to be commentaries on events or interviews which was not deemed evidence of a regular marketing campaign focusing on the aesthetics of the bottle.

          The Cancellation Division took the view that the applicant merely demonstrated that there are people who like the appearance of the crystal head bottle, but not that the EUTM proprietor promotes the appearance and aesthetics of its bottle to the extent that it has become an essential part of its branding, increasing the appeal, and therefore the value, of the product contained within the bottle. Furthermore, the proprietor demonstrated that the appearance of the bottle did not strongly sway the preference of the consumer, who is primarily intent upon purchasing a luxury vodka product, by way of several compelling items of evidence, such as winning blind taste test awards. Therefore, concluding that the applicant failed to prove that the design of the EUTM was an essential element of the branding policy of the proprietor which increased the value of the product and the application was rejected.

        • Cannabis Trademarks and the First Amendment

          A review of Supreme Court trademark litigation interpreting the First Amendment as well as recent trademark litigation at the state and federal levels. The prohibition on immoral trademarks has been steadily eroding as a result of First Amendment litigation at the United States Supreme Court. In light of recent Supreme Court decisions on trademark registrations and free speech, the question then becomes: Is the ban on cannabis trademark registrations justifiable in light of the First Amendment in view of these recent cases? The issue of whether the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) should or will issue registrations in light of this recent line of cases is discussed.

      • Copyrights

        • Kylie Minogue not so lucky in IPEC copyright infringement claim

          BCPL, the defendant, is owned by Caprice Bourret, a well-known model and TV star. BCPL makes and sells bed linen products (among other things) under the “By Caprice Home” brand; two of these products, a duvet cover and a matching runner, were the subject of the dispute (the “Amore products”).

          It was common ground that Ashley Wilde owns copyright in the prototype fabric design (an artistic work) for the “Evangeline” duvet cover in the “Kylie Minogue at Home” range. The cover was sold in the UK online and in physical stores in 2014-15 at least. As readers can probably see for themselves, the design (top of the below image) features a repeating horizontal pattern of “scallop-style” pleats.

          [...]

          In a way, this case concerns simply the good old-fashioned idea/expression dichotomy. Although the parties’ respective products were both available in the UK within a few years of each other, the evidence showed that scallops and pleats were “having ‘a moment’” in the fashion and interior design industries in 2016, when the Amore products were designed. Although conceptually the parties’ products were similar, the respective expressions of the relevant idea were not particularly similar.

          Ashley Wilde was clearly left spinning [around] by the total rejection of its expert evidence on the basis of partiality. Because there was no “smoking gun” hidden in BCPL’s story of independent creation, Ashley Wilde needed its evidence regarding close similarities to be persuasive. Unfortunately for Ashley Wilde, this was not to be.

        • Google v Oracle could ‘restore us to the world before’

          Lawyers say that Google v Oracle has the potential to upend common understanding of software copyright, but alternatively that the US Supreme Court decision might not provide any clarity at all.

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