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12.09.19

Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC banana

Summary: FFII’s call to demonstrate against the UPC

FFII calls to demonstrate against Unitary Software Patents, the third attempt to impose software patents in Europe. Software patents are a threat to small- and medium-sized software companies that cannot defend themselves. The UPC (Unified Patent Court) is an international court made outside of the European Union, which would have the last word on the question of software patenting. The court would favour “patent trolls” which steal our jobs and extort money.

  • Location: Parlement Régional Bruxellois, Rue du Lombard 69, 1000 Brussels
  • Time: from 12H00 to 14H00
  • Consignes: take a ring of keys with you which make noise, preferably the “keys of the kingdom”
  • Tshirts: we will bring new yellow tshirts “NO Unitary Software Patents”
  • Organisateur: Benjamin Henrion, FFII eV, @zoobab
  • Contact: zoobab at gmail.com, +32 484 566109

Manifestation contre le Brevet Logiciel Unitaire, jeudi 12 décembre à Bruxelles

FFII appelle à manifester contre le Brevet Logiciel Unitaire, la troisième tentative de valider les brevets logiciels en Europe. Le Brevet Logiciels sont des dangers pour les petites entreprises du secteur, qui ne peuvent se défendre. La Cour UPC est une cour internationale captive située au dehors de l’Union Européenne, et aura le dernier mot sur la question des brevets logiciels. La Cour UPC favorisera les “trolls des brevets” qui volent nos emplois.

  • Lieu: Parlement Régional Bruxellois, Rue du Lombard 69, 1000 Bruxelles
  • Heure: de 12H00 à 14H00
  • Consignes: pensez à prendre un trousseau de clefs qui fait du bruit, les clefs du royaume
  • Organisateur: Benjamin Henrion, FFII eV, @zoobab
  • Contact: zoobab at gmail.com, +32 484 566109
  • Tshirts: nous amenerons des tshirts jaunes “NO Unitary Software Patents”

Fin.

Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 3:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Breathe Life Back Into Your Late 2013 Or Older Apple Mac With Linux

        I receive a ton of great questions about using Linux, but it’s challenging to answer them all personally. Going forward, I’ve decided to write answers to some of these questions so a wider audience can benefit from them. One recurring theme that’s constantly hitting my inbox centers around installing Linux on an older MacBook.

      • China orders officials to remove foreign tech from computers

        China began building its own operating system to replace Microsoft Windows or iOS in 2013, with the help of a British company Canonical.

        Canonical was founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth to market commercial support and related services for Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system which is open-source and not owned by an individual or company.

        Canonical provided technical support to build Chinese users an Ubuntu open-source operating system named Kylin, at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

        Earlier this year the US banned American companies from doing business with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. Google, Intel and Qualcomm stopped working with the technology company.

        Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that the future of Chinese technology companies in the UK could be on the line after vowing not to involve Huawei in upcoming 5G networks if it would create a rift with security allies like the US.

    • Server

      • Embracing digital transformation with containerisation and Kubernetes

        While digital transformation is creating new business opportunities, it is also bringing a host of challenges and technological barriers with its wave of progress. With changes ongoing and always around the corner, organisations are having to re-evaluate how they can modernise their often-out-dated digital infrastructure in order to keep up. Is there any way to make the transition simpler?

        Enter Kubernetes. The word is taken from ancient Greek, where it translates as ‘helmsman’ or ‘pilot’. So, it makes sense that your IT business strategy can be guided, not through the Aegean, but through the waters of digital transformation towards stability and efficiency. What began life as Google’s original open source container-orchestration system, has now paved the way for a reliable precedent to automating, controlling and extending modern IT applications.

      • Datacenters Are Hungry For Servers Again

        Server consumption is a pretty good proxy for how enterprises of all shapes and sizes feel about their particular business. And judging by the number of machines and the aggregate revenue they drove in the third quarter – despite all of the uncertainty in the world – they must be feeling pretty good.

      • IBM

        • New Linux Kernel Update for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 & CentOS 7 Fixes Two Bugs

          The new Linux kernel update, which is available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and CentOS Linux 7 systems, is only a bugfix release, not a security update, addressing a bug that made applications consume the entire allocated CPU quota, as well as to backport the “sched: Fix race between task_group and sched_task_group” fix.

          Users are advised to update their kernel packages in all the supported systems (see below for details) to kernel-3.10.0-1062.9.1.el7.x86_64.rpm and related packages, all of which are available to install for free from the stable software repositories of all supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system variants and CentOS Linux 7.

        • CodeReady Workspaces devfile, demystified

          With the exciting advent of CodeReady Workspaces (CRW) 2.0 comes some important changes. Based on the upstream project Eclipse Che 7, CRW brings even more of the “Infrastructure as Code” idea to fruition. Workspaces mimic the environment of a PC, an operating system, programming language support, the tools needed, and an editor. The real power comes by defining a workspace using a YAML file—a text file that can be stored and versioned in a source control system such as Git. This file, called devfile.yaml, is powerful and complex. This article will attempt to demystify the devfile.

        • Building freely distributed containers with Podman and Red Hat UBI

          DevNation tech talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions and code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about building containers with Podman and Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI) from Scott McCarty and Burr Sutter.

          We will cover how to build and run containers based on UBI using just your regular user account—no daemon, no root, no fuss. Finally, we will order the de-resolution of all of our containers with a really cool command. After this talk, you will have new tools at the ready to help you find, run, build, and share container images.

        • Backfitting SLES 12 for IBM z15 – It’s in Our DNA

          For 20 years, SUSE has partnered with IBM to advance Linux on Z. From the early days of the IBM Linux Tech Center to an elaborate open source ecosystem, you might say that supporting IBM Z is part of our DNA.
          Several months ago, SUSE included support for the newly announced IBM z15 and IBM LinuxONE III systems as part of SLES 15. Now, with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM Z and LinuxONE 12 SP5, we are backfitting all the latest IBM Z support for pervasive encryption and more.
          The latest IBM z15 system is designed to support your mission-critical initiatives and allow you to be innovative as you design and scale your environment. Combined with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM Z and LinuxONE, these state-of-the-art systems provide an ultra-secure data serving platform to support the global economic growth we are seeing today.

        • Red Hat’s Adam Young: Containers from first principals

          Computing is three things: calculation, movement, and storage. The rest is commentary.

          What are containers? I was once told they were “just” processes. It took me a long time to get beyond that “just” to really understand them. Processes sit in the middle of a set of abstractions in computer science. Containers are built on that abstraction. What I’d like to do here is line up the set of abstractions that support containers from the first principals of computer science.

          Computation is simple math: addition and the operations built from it like subtraction and multiplication, and simple binary tricks like left shift which are effectively forms of multiplication.

          A CPU takes a value out of memory, performs math on it, and stores it back in memory. Sometimes that math requires two values from memory. This process is repeated endlessly as long as your computer is on.

          Storage is the ability to set a value somewhere and come back later to see that it has the same value. If maintaining that value requires electricity, we call it volatile memory. If it can survive a power outage, we call it persistent storage.

          The movement of information from one location to another involves the change of voltage across a wires. Usually, one value is used to select the destination, and another value is transferred.

          That is it. That is the basics in a nutshell. All other abstractions in computer science are built from these three pieces.

          One little quibble: there is a huge bit I am skipping over: interactions with the outside world. Input, from sensors, and various parts of the output story as well. I’ll just acknowledge those now, but I’m not going to go in to them in too much depth.

        • What’s new in Red Hat Integration

          The latest release of Red Hat Integration is now available, and with it we’ve introduced some exciting new capabilities aimed at helping customers better manage APIs at scale, enhancements for Apache Kafka-based environments, and API policy extensibility.

          Red Hat Integration is a comprehensive set of agile and flexible integration and messaging products that provide API connectivity, data transformation, service composition and orchestration, real-time messaging, cross-datacenter message streaming, and API management to connect apps across hybrid architectures and enable API-centric business services.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 13×50

        Listener feedback.

      • Linux Action News 135

        Ubuntu Pro is a click away, and their kernel goes rolling on AWS. We process the range of announcements, while Mozilla cranks up the security and impresses us with DeepSpeech.

        Plus why Ubuntu is taking the Windows Subsystem for Linux so seriously.

      • The $2000 Dollar Linux Phone | Librem 5 USA

        Well isn’t this interesting… a $2000 dollar Linux phone. Yeah, that is three zeros and I must say this phone… is different

    • Kernel Space

      • Re: [GIT PULL] treewide conversion to sizeof_member() for v5.5-rc1
        On Sat, Dec 7, 2019 at 11:48 AM Kees Cook wrote:
        >
        > Please pull this mostly mechanical treewide conversion to the single and
        > more accurately named sizeof_member() macro for the end of v5.5-rc1.
        
        So this one I'm _still_ not convinced about. It makes yet another name
        for something we've had before, which just annoys me. And maybe it's
        the 13-year old in me, but "sizeof_member()" just makes me go "that's
        puerile".
        
        I _can_ see why we'd want to standardize on one of the tree versions
        we have, but I can't really see the problem with the existing #define
        that we have, and that is used (admittedly not all that much):
        sizeof_field().
        
      • Linus Rejects “Size Of Member” Change From Linux 5.5 Kernel

        This weekend was the last-minute pull request by Google’s Kees Cook to introduce the new sizeof_member() macro that had been previously rejected from Linux 5.4. Well, it was again rejected by Linus Torvalds prior to tagging the Linux 5.5-rc1 kernel.

        The sizeof_member() macro has been aimed to unify 2~3 other macros within the kernel tree currently and using the size-of-field moniker, but Cook argued that for measuring the size of a member of a C struct, the new macro is more appropriate and converted usage of the old macros to this new single macro.

      • WireGuard Sends Out Latest Patch Revision In Preparing For Linux 5.6

        While there are some pretty great features for Linux 5.5, one that didn’t make it quite in time was the long-awaited introduction of WireGuard as the in-kernel secure VPN tunnel. While it was a bummer it didn’t make 5.5, all indications are at this point is that it will be in Linux 5.6.

        With Linux 5.5 the crypto subsystem adopted some elements of WireGuard’s “Zinc” crypto code and that in turn opened the door for merging WireGuard now that the cryptography side was sorted out. But WireGuard was too late for introduction in net-next even with a last minute attempt trying to get it into 5.5, but instead it’s aiming early for merging to net-next to ensure it’s timely introduction with Linux 5.6.

      • WireGuard Lands In Net-Next While It Waits For Inclusion In Linux 5.6

        The WireGuard secure VPN tunnel kernel code has landed in net-next! This means that — barring any major issues coming to light that would lead to a revert — WireGuard will finally reach the mainline kernel with the Linux 5.6 cycle kicking off in late January or early February!

        Quick action overnight surprisingly saw WireGuard already land in net-next. It was just last night before sleeping that I wrote of the latest patch review for WireGuard and its prospects for Linux 5.6 after being just too late for Linux 5.5.

      • WireGuard VPN is a step closer to mainstream adoption

        As of this morning, Linux network stack maintainer David Miller has committed the WireGuard VPN project into the Linux “net-next” source tree. Miller maintains both net and net-next—the source trees governing the current implementation of the Linux kernel networking stack and the implementation of the next Linux kernel’s networking stack, respectively.

        This is a major step forward for the WireGuard VPN project. Net-next gets pulled into the new Linux kernel during its two-week merge window, where it becomes net. With WireGuard already a part of net-next, this means that—barring unexpected issues—there should be a Linux kernel 5.6 release candidate with built-in WireGuard in early 2020. Mainline kernel inclusion of WireGuard should lead to significantly higher uptake in projects and organizations requiring virtual private network capability.

        Normal, day-to-day Linux users probably won’t see in-kernel WireGuard until late 2020. Ubuntu is one of the faster-moving mainstream distributions, and its next Long Term Support (LTS) release is in April 2020. But the Linux 5.6 kernel and Ubuntu 20.04 will likely be in release candidate status at the same time, so its inclusion in 20.04 seems unlikely. The interim 20.10 Ubuntu release seems like a much safer bet for Canonical’s first use of a 5.6 or later kernel. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) inclusion will likely be a year or more beyond that; the current RHEL 8.1 shipped in May 2019 with the 4.18 kernel, which was already 9 months old.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.5-rc1

        Linus has released the 5.5-rc1 kernel prepatch and closed the merge window for this development cycle.

      • Facebook’s New Linux Slab Memory Controller Saving 30~40%+ Of Memory, Less Fragmentation

        Back in September we wrote about Facebook’s Roman Gushchin working on a new slab memory controller/allocator implementation that in turn could provide better memory utilization and less slab memory usage. This wasn’t ready in time for the 5.5 kernel but a revised patch series was sent out last week.

        Roman continues to talk up this new slab memory controller with it turning out much better than the existing slab memory code, which he says in Facebook production workloads is only seeing 45~65% slab utilization and at best case around 85%. This controller rework aims for better slab utilization and also sharing of slab pages between multiple memory cgroups. The memory accounting is done now per-object rather than per-page, among other changes.

      • KubeCon gets bigger, the kernel gets better, and more industry trends

        The impact: The kernel’s continued relevance is a direct result of the never-ending grind to keep being where people need it to be (i.e. basically everywhere).

      • Graphics Stack

        • ADriConf GUI Control Panel Support For Mesa Vulkan Drivers Is Brought Up

          One of the most frequent complaints we hear from Linux gamers running open-source GPU drivers is over the lack of the hardware vendors supporting any feature-rich control panels like they do on Windows. There are many Linux driver tunables exposed by these open-source graphics drivers, but often they can only be manipulated via command-line options, environment variables, boot parameters, and other less than straight-forward means especially for recent converts from Windows and other novice Linux users. ADriConf has been doing a fairly decent job as a third-party means of helping to improve the situation and now there is talk of it supporting Vulkan driver settings.

        • Vulkan 1.1.130 Released With New Tooling Extension

          The new extension with Vulkan 1.1.130 is VK_EXT_tooling_info. The VK_EXT_tooling_info extension is for letting the Vulkan application/game/engine query what development tools are running right now. In particular, this is for tools like RenderDoc and other Vulkan profilers/debuggers. This extension will offer some uniformity and assistance to developers in debugging potential compatibility issues between Vulkan tools and other problems.

        • New graphing tool for PipeWire debugging

          PipeWire, the new and emerging open source framework that aims to greatly improve the exchange and management of audio and video streams inside a Linux system, has seen a number of improvements and bug fixes over the past year. With many developers now actively contributing to it, PipeWire is maturing quickly and is well on its way to becoming the new standard.

          At Collabora, we have been busy helping clients work with PipeWire, notably Automotive Grade Linux who have chosen to adopt PipeWire for its implementation of the low-level platform audio service, replacing previous solutions like 4A, PulseAudio and AudioManager. Assisting early adopters such as AGL has brought us to design and implement new elements within PipeWire, such as the session & policy management component WirePlumber, which George Kiagiadakis presented in October at the GStreamer Conference in Lyon.

    • Benchmarks

      • Clear Linux On The OnLogic Karbon 700 Boosted Performance By 13% Over Ubuntu With 141 Benchmarks

        Last month we reviewed the OnLogic Karbon 700 as a passively-cooled, industrial-grade PC powered by an eight-core / sixteen-thread Intel Xeon, 16GB of RAM, 512GB NVMe storage, and a plethora of connectivity options in suiting to industrial use-cases. The performance was great and even the thermal performance was very good for being a fan-less PC. In seeing how well other Linux distributions were panning out on the Karbon 700, I tested five popular Linux distributions on the Xeon Coffee Lake system and once again Intel’s performance-optimized Clear Linux squeezed out much more performance potential.

    • Applications

      • Odio is a Classy Looking Radio Player for Linux Desktops

        If so, check out Odio (styled ‘odio’). This is a free Electron-based radio streaming app for Windows, macOS and Linux desktops.

        Odio has super clean UI that is, to my eyes at least, somewhat inspired by Spotify’s desktop client (no bad thing). Plus, the app touts broad internal radio station support (over 20,000, apparently) and offers a couple of handy customisation options.

      • Google is bringing a Tab Strip to Chrome for Windows and Linux

        If you have used the Microsoft Edge web browser, classic or new, you may have stumbled upon the browser’s Tab Strip feature. Just click on the arrow icon on the tab bar to display thumbnail images of the sites and resources open in the browser.

        It appears that Google is attempting to bring a similar feature to the company’s Chrome web browser. Already in Chrome OS, Google engineers are working on introducing Tab Strip functionality in the Chrome browser.

        The feature introduces an option in the Chrome browser to display a strip of tabs. While it is unclear yet how it would be activated by the user, it is likely that Google is adding an icon to the browser’s tab bar to activate and deactivate the Tab Strip view in the browser.

      • Matroska (MKV) Creation Software Suite MKVToolNix Sees New 41.0.0 Release

        MKVToolNix, a free and open source set of tools for creating, editing and inspecting Matroska (MKV, MK3D, MKA, and MKS) files, has seen a new release which brings support for reading Opus audio and VP9 video from MP4 files for mkvmerge, improvements for predefined track names, and more.

        MKVToolNix is made of 4 command line tools: mkvmerge (create Matroska files from other media files), mkvinfo (show Matroska file information), mkvextract (extracts tracks / data from Matroska files), and mkvpropedit (change the properties of existing Matroska files without a complete remux), as well as MKVToolNix GUI (a Qt GUI for mkvmerge, mkvinfo and mkvpropedit). The tools are available on Linux, *BSD, Windows and macOS.

        With the latest MKVToolNix 41.0.0, Vorbis, Opus and VP8 stream comments (Vorbis comments) are converted to Matroska attachments for cover art, and Matroska track tags for other comments. This has been implemented for both the Matroska and Ogg readers.

      • Deb-pacman : A Pacman-style Frontend For APT Package Manager

        Apt, Advanced Packaging Tool, is a powerful command line tool used to install, update, upgrade and remove packages in Debian and its derivatives like Ubuntu. There are several frontends available for Apt, such as Aptitude, Synaptic and Ubuntu software center to name a few. Today I am going to introduce yet another frontend for APT package manager called Deb-pacman.

        Deb-pacman is a Bash script that emulates the functionality of Pacman (the package manager for Arch Linux and its variants). Using Deb-pacman, you can use the pacman commands, as the way you use them under Arch Linux to install, update, upgrade and remove packages, in a Debian-based system. You can simply invoke “pacman” instead of “apt” command in your Ubuntu system. Deb-pacman simply emulates the Archlinux’s Pacman package manager feel for Debian users who may prefer the style of Pacman over Apt. This can be helpful for those who get used to pacman.

        As you know already Apt itself was originally designed as a front-end for dpkg, which was developed by Ian Murdock (founder of Debian project) for Debian OS to install, remove and provide information about .deb packages. So technically speaking Deb-pacman is a front end for APT which is a frontend for Dpkg. In other words, it is just a wrapper.

      • Kiwi TCMS 7.2

        We’re happy to announce Kiwi TCMS version 7.2! This is an improvement & bug fix release which includes new database migrations and API methods, internal refactoring and updated translations. You can explore everything at https://public.tenant.kiwitcms.org!

      • Daniel Stenberg: This is your wake up curl

        One of the core functionalities in libcurl is the ability to do multiple parallel transfers in the same thread. You then create and add a number of transfers to a multi handle. Anyway, I won’t explain the entire API here but the gist of where I’m going with this is that you’ll most likely sooner or later end up calling the curl_multi_poll() function which asks libcurl to wait for activity on any of the involved transfers – or sleep and don’t return for the next N milliseconds.

        Calling this waiting function (or using the older curl_multi_wait() or even doing a select() or poll() call “manually”) is crucial for a well-behaving program. It is important to let the code go to sleep like this when there’s nothing to do and have the system wake up it up again when it needs to do work. Failing to do this correctly, risk having libcurl instead busy-loop somewhere and that can make your application use 100% CPU during periods. That’s terribly unnecessary and bad for multiple reasons.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Uncover the truth in Interrogation: You will be deceived, out now

        With a seriously cool Noir style, the detective conversational puzzle-sim Interrogation: You will be deceived is out now.

      • Indie FPS Ravenfield’s work in progress Conquest Mode gets a tech tree

        Ravenfield, the highly amusing and incredibly moddable indie FPS that’s in Early Access continues expanding the new Conquest Mode.

        While Ravenfield has been fun for a while, only recently has it gained a game mode that has you do more than just run around, shoot and laugh at the ragdolls. The new (and heavily work-in-progress) Conquest Mode has you fight against the AI across map-nodes, acting as a sort-of lengthier campaign option. While it’s early, it’s very promising and certainly quite different for an FPS to have a game mode like this.

      • Abstractanks, the indie fast-paced RTS continues evolving into a fun niche strategy game

        Ever tried Abstractanks? It’s an indie real-time strategy game we took a look at a long time ago and it’s gained some huge features.

        The core idea of the game is that it’s simple and streamlined, fast and easy to get into while also giving you a healthy challenge that will keep you wanting to come back for more. Battles can end up huge too, with each side controlling swarms of units.

      • Trick the world in the Fake News update to Plague Inc: Evolved

        Plague Inc: Evolved just got another big free update with a fun new Fake News scenario giving you a chance to deceive the whole world.

        A great game you could already have a lot of fun with, as I did before naming a Bacteria after someone close. Now though, you’re not dealing with coughs and colds but the spread of misinformation. Starting off with only one person being Deceived, you begin writing your Fake News Manifesto to evolve the information and it shall begin to spread.

        I decided to spread some fake news in the USA, that was started by Aliens because they just wanted to watch the world burn. You certainly can make some amusing things with it.

      • In AI Dungeon 2 the game is created as you play and it can be both impressive and ridiculous

        I can’t even begin to understand the fancy AI learning stuff behind the scenes, but AI Dungeon 2 is certainly a very fun idea and a possible look into the future of games.

        AI Dungeon 2 is a text adventure, like the classics but with a huge twist as it’s built with OpenAI opening up a huge amount of ever-expanding actions that are possible. It can be impressive, there’s some really surprising and amusing interactions you can have with it.

      • OBS Studio 24.0.4 is out with numerous bug fixes, better Linux Window Capture

        A few days ago, a “Hotfix” update was released for the video capture and livestreaming FOSS application OBS Studio.

        OBS Studio 24.0.4 is quite a small release, but for those of you creating video content on Linux you might find this version working a lot better. For Linux especially, the Window Capture function got multiple fixes like certain windows just not appearing and sometimes multiple 0×0 windows would appear. Display Capture on Linux was also fixed up where the crop value would shift the cursor’s captured position incorrectly.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Use the Fluxbox Linux desktop as your window manager

        The concept of a desktop may differ from one computer user to another. Many people see the desktop as a home base, or a comfy living room, or even a literal desktop where they place frequently used notepads, their best pens and pencils, and their favorite coffee mug. KDE, GNOME, Pantheon (and so on) provide that kind of comfort on Linux.

        But for some users, the desktop is just empty monitor space, a side effect of not yet having any free-floating application windows projected directly onto their retina. For these users, the desktop is a void over which they can run applications—whether big office and graphic suites, or a simple terminal window, or docked applets—to manage services. This model of operating a POSIX computer has a long history, and one branch of that family tree is the *box window managers: Blackbox, Fluxbox, and Openbox.

        Fluxbox is a window manager for X11 systems that’s based on an older project called Blackbox. Blackbox development was waning when I discovered Linux, so I fell into Fluxbox, and I’ve used it ever since on at least one of my active systems. It is written in C++ and is licensed under the MIT open source license.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Slimbook & Kubuntu – Combat Report 11

          The Slimbook remains a smart, useful choice. I am amazing that a whole year’s gone by. The laptop is holding amazing well. I’m using it outside quite some, and yet, there are no scratches or dents or anything, and neither the heat nor the cold phase it, and the battery change remains full and fresh, as good as new. People are also drawn to its sleek, understated look, and often comment and ask me about the name.

          Kubuntu 18.04 is also top-notch. I do have some small struggles, and I’d like to see several outstanding issues polished. But then, all in all, you get a slick, aesthetic product, it looks like something you could pay money for and feel it’s the right thing to do, and overall, it’s highly consistent and robust. That would be all for this episode. No great drama or fuss, which is exactly how I like my productivity. Take care.

        • Akademy 2019

          At this year’s Akademy I had great moments with new and already known people. Akedemy gives me much power for hopefully the rest of the year. I really enjoyed the daytrip to the lake. It was calm and beautiful environment. The daytrip helped me to calm down again. Together with Leiner, Florian and Valorie we sat down to discuss issues for newcomers attending Akademy the first time while having an amazing lunch. Is it often hard to remember how hard it can be to attend the Akademy the first time without knowing lots of people. The outcome of this discussion will feed back to community after some more cleanup of our notes. Hopefully we can make the next Akademy even better for newcomers next year!

          My highlights from the first two days of great talks are Kirogi and “Developers Italia”. I really enjoyed seeing that Open Source reaches more and more domains and now you can even control your drone with Open Source named Kirogi. The software itself looks already quite usable and I’m looking forward what features we will see there in future…

          “Developers Italia” was an eye opener, in how governments can change the laws so administrations must invest in Open Source. In Italy, administrations are forced to search for an existing solution in Open Source and then use this solution. If the software does not work for them they can pay developers to implement their needed features, but still the code will be owned by the administration and they need to publish the code afterwards under an Open Source license. I’m very interested to see how this will develop in future, because at the moment I still have the bad feeling that some big companies may have the ability and also the desire to destroy this revolutionary idea, with the result that only some big companies will get all the big grants, and the result will be bloated unusable Open Source software. But none the less, let’s give the Italy administrations a warm welcome and give them a hand to become good Open Source citizens.

          I also enjoyed the talk by Albert about the status of fuzzing KDE software. Albert explained, that the first Frameworks are covered by fuzzing, and the results that were found by the fuzzer. The first days and weeks spit out a lot of interesting issues, but nowadays, the fuzzer takes a lot of time to find new issues. So it is time now to add the next set ready to be fuzzed. I talked with Albert about what would be the most valuable parts of KDEPIM that should be covered by fuzzing. The first set is KMime, KContacts and KCalenderCore as they handle input without any user interaction.

        • Gamechuck sponsors Krita

          Gamechuck, a new studio based in Zagreb, has just released the first trailer for their upcoming role-playing adventure game Trip the Ark Fantastic. Trip the Ark Fantastic is planned for release in 2022 on PC/Mac/Linux and consoles, and Gamechuck has created the game entirely with free software.

          What’s more, they have also decided to sponsor Krita’s development!

          Trip the Ark Fantastic is a story-driven roleplaying adventure set in the Animal Kingdom on the verge of both industrial and social revolution. The story follows Charles, a hedgehog scholar on a mission by the lion king to save the monarchy, but his decisions could end up helping reformists or even to bring about anarchy.

        • Interview with teteotolis

          I have a webcomic (95% worked in Krita) called “emery”, take a look!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Developing Leaderboard for GNOME Hackers

          After completing my Google Summer of Code assignment, I had an idea in my mind for a project where the hard-working people on GNOME, known as GNOME Hackers, could be appreciated based on the amount of work they do for the FLOSS community. In the quest for the same, I wrote a leaderboard web app, GNOME Hackers. It was an awesome experience and I utilized my weekends very well by learning many new things. I will give a brief of them below.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • elementary OS 5.1 Hera releases with Flatpak native support, several accessibility improvements, and more

          In elementary OS 5.1 Hera, the greeter and onboarding have seen major changes in order to give users an improved first-run experience. In addition to looking better, the redesigned greeter addresses some of the key reported issues including keyboard focus issues, HiDPI issues, and better localization. Hera also ships with a new Onboarding app that gives you a quick introduction to key features and also takes care of common first-run tasks like managing privacy settings.

        • Elementary OS 5.1 Has Arrived

          One of the most highly regarded Linux desktop distributions has released its next iteration.

          If you’ve not heard of Elementary OS, chances are you don’t know what Linux is. If, on the other hand, you have heard of Elementary OS, and you’ve yet to give it a try, now’s a great time. Why? The latest release, 5.1 (aka “Hera”) is available and it promises to be the best release yet.

          Elementary 5.1 brings a number of new and exciting changes to what is often considered the most elegant desktop operating systems on the market.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 5 is Generally Available

          As you know, SUSE Linux Enterprise service packs are released on a yearly cadence. Service Pack 5 is the next service pack since the release of Service Pack 4 in Dec 2018. In addition, Service Pack 5 is also the last service pack for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 release. With the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 5 on December 9th, general support for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 4 will end on June 30th, 2020. Customers wishing to maintain support of their SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 4 installations after June 30, 2020 can continue support through the purchase of Long Term Service Pack Support.

          [...]

          If you are currently running SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP4, you can migrate to Service Pack 5 as part of your active subscription until June 30, 2020.

      • Fedora Family

        • Contribute at the Fedora Test Week for Kernel 5.4

          The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.4. This version was just recently released, and will arrive soon in Fedora. This version has many security fixes included. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Monday, December 09, 2019 through Monday, December 16, 2019. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

        • Fedora Prepares To Roll-Out Linux 5.4 Kernel Update But Needs Help Testing

          Fedora users eager to see the Linux 5.4 stable kernel can engage by helping to test their newly-spun 5.4-based kernel image prior to it officially landing as a stable release update.

          Fedora remains one of the few non-rolling-release distributions that is willing to send down major kernel updates as part of their stable release updates for existing distributions. They are in the process of sending down Linux 5.4 but are hoping for more widespread testing first.

        • F31-20191206 update Live isos released

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F31-20191206 Live ISOs, carrying the 5.3.8-300 kernel.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have 800+MB of updates)).

          A huge thank you goes out to irc nicks dowdle, ledeni, Southern-Gentleman for testing these iso.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical’s Multipass 0.9 Released For Easily Spinning Up Ubuntu VMs

          Multipass, the Canonical-led open-source project that aims to make it easy to spin up Ubuntu VM instances on Linux and Windows and macOS, is up to version 0.9 ahead of a possible 1.0 release for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          Multipass is the Canonical-led lightweight VM manager focused on quickly and easily creating new Ubuntu instances. Multipass builds atop KVM on Linux while on Windows has Hyper-V or VirtualBox and macOS has HyperKit and VirtualBox at its disposal. Multipass is a lot like Vagrant and makes it easy to fetch the latest distribution images, quickly and easily launching new instances with a single command, and other features. In catering to Ubuntu, it’s also friendly with Snaps for deployment.

        • First Look: Ubuntu Cinnamon, Beautiful Remix Worthy of Becoming Official Flavor

          As we reported over the weekend, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix has seen its first ever release as an unofficial Ubuntu Cinnamon flavor featuring the beautiful and modern Cinnamon desktop environment, which is developed and maintained by the developers of the Linux Mint distribution.

          To make things clear, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is called a “remix” because it’s not yet an official flavor recognized by Canonical, but we believe it has all the odds to become an official Ubuntu flavor. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t get all the benefits of Ubuntu.

        • The Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Pre-release Survey

          In what is becoming an incredibly insightful tradition, we have built a 5 to 10-minute survey to collect direct feedback from as many operating system users as we can. Not just those on Ubuntu desktop but also those using Ubuntu server and Ubuntu in the cloud. Before our last LTS release, we sent out a call to action for developers to tell us how can we make Ubuntu better. Today, we would like to ask our broader community for similar feedback. With our next LTS release on the horizon, there is still time to influence the final picture and Ubuntu’s future roadmap. And not just for 20.04, but beyond. The results here will be used to inform decisions for several releases to come. But like all new things, its success ultimately depends on the user. You.

          Throughout the development process, our teams are in the various forums and threads, listening to your feedback to help inform our decision making. Our engineers themselves are incredibly passionate about Linux, and the Ubuntu community in general, and our decision-making process will always revolve around this fact.

          But in the run-up to something big like an LTS release, is it possible we find ourselves lost in an Ubuntu bubble? Are there developments in open source or trends on a level that we’re just not seeing? And if so, what are they?

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Survey Launched — You Can Help Shape Ubuntu’s Future

          The Ubuntu 20.04 LTS survey is set to run until January 10, 2020 and hopes to gather feedback from a diverse pool of Linux users.

          The responses garnered by the survey will be used to “inform” the future direction of Ubuntu, its roadmap, feature set, and so on.

          Heck, it’s even possible that the results could affect the eventual makeup of the upcoming LTS release, due next April.

        • Canonical Needs Your Help to Improve Ubuntu, Take the Ubuntu 20.04 Survey Now

          Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, have published today a survey to encourage the community to contribute suggestions and ideas to make future Ubuntu releases even better than before.

          Dubbed Focal Fossa, Ubuntu 20.04 will be the next LTS (Long Term Support) series of Ubuntu Linux, due for release in April 2020. Development kicked off officially back in October, and daily build ISOs are already available for public testing, but Canonical now asks the entire community for feedback to make Ubuntu 20.04 LTS the release of their dreams and also shape future Ubuntu releases.

        • Canonical Releases Updated Ubuntu Images for All Supported Raspberry Pi Boards

          Canonical released today updated Ubuntu images for all supported Raspberry Pi single board computers with out-of-the-box USB ports functionality and various bug fixes.

          Last month, Canonical pledged to fully support its popular Ubuntu Linux operating system on all Raspberry Pi boards, including Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3, and the latest Raspberry Pi 4 model. Ubuntu 19.10 shipped with a Linux kernel bug blocking the use of USB ports out of the box in the official arm64 image on the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 4GB RAM.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Updated images of Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and 4

          Updated 32-bit and 64-bit images of Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi family of devices have just been released. Innovators around the world can now download 32-bit images for the Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and 4, as well as 64-bit images for the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4.

          With the new images, USB ports are now fully functional out of the box on the 4GB RAM version of the Raspberry Pi 4. A kernel bug was limiting our official support to the 1GB and 2GB versions of the board. A temporary workaround was proposed to enable USB on the 4GB RAM version. This bug is now fixed, and the limitation lifted.

          We are on a journey to offering outstanding official support for Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi boards. As next steps, we will deliver Ubuntu Server LTS and Ubuntu Core on the Raspberry Pi boards. We aim to collaborate with the Raspberry Pi foundation to have an officially supported image of Ubuntu available at every new release of a Raspberry Pi board. We ambition to make developers’ favorite operating system always available on makers’ favorite single-board computer.

          Next year will be exciting for makers and developers who chose to innovate on Ubuntu. Besides additional official image

        • New, fully working Ubuntu Linux images now available for Raspberry Pi

          While most Raspberry Pi owners opt for Raspbian as their operating system, the tiny barebones board can run a number of other Linux distros, including Ubuntu.

          There was a major problem with the previous Ubuntu images though — a kernel bug prevented USB ports from working on the 4GB RAM model of the Raspberry Pi 4. A temporary workaround was proposed, but Canonical has finally fixed the flaw, and made updated 32 and 64-bit images of Ubuntu available for the Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and 4, which you can download now.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What Free Software, FOSS, and Open Source Share in Common

        In any field, activists can be each other’s worst enemies — and FOSS is no exception. Simply for suggesting that free software and open source have more similarities than differences, I have been denounced as a capitalist-shill, and worse. Yet, even a casual glance around proves FOSS is an alliance of overlapping yet separate interests. True, many of us have little in common with certain members of the alliance — I, for example, couldn’t care less about why corporations support FOSS, despite the denouncements — but that’s the nature of an alliance. Moreover, without those sometimes competing interests, I doubt FOSS would be such an overwhelming success.

        I count at least four major interests within FOSS today: the academic, the corporate, the hobbyists, and the political. Almost certainly, there are more.

      • NVDA 2019.3beta1 now available for testing

        Beta1 of NVDA 2019.3 is now available for download and testing. For anyone who is interested in trying out what NVDA 2019.3 has to offer before it is officially released, we welcome you to download the beta and provide feedback.

        NVDA 2019.3 is a very significant release as there are a great deal of under-the-hood changes which improve security and allow for some pretty cool innovations in the future. The most significant changes are the upgrade of Python 2 to Python 3, and a major re-write of NVDA’s speech subsystem.

        As these changes require add-ons and custom synthesizer drivers to be re-written, we plan to make the 2019.3 beta cycle much longer than normal, so that we can ensure that add-on developers have plenty of time to upgrade and test their add-ons with NVDA 2019.3 betas before 2019.3 stable is officially released. the current plan is to release several more betas over this month, and hopefully make the official release very early in the new year.

      • NVDA 2019.3 Beta 1 is available
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Secure your addons.mozilla.org account with two-factor authentication

            Accounts on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) are integrated with Firefox Accounts, which lets you manage multiple Mozilla services from one login. To prevent unauthorized people from accessing your account, even if they obtain your password, we strongly recommend that you enable two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your account by adding an additional step to the login process to prove you are who you say you are.

            When logging in with 2FA enabled, you will be asked to provide a verification code from an authentication application, in addition to your user name and password. This article on support.mozilla.org includes a list of supported authenticator applications.

            Starting in early 2020, extension developers will be required to have 2FA enabled on AMO. This is intended to help prevent malicious actors from taking control of legitimate add-ons and their users. 2FA will not be required for submissions that use AMO’s upload API.

            Before this requirement goes into effect, we’ll be working closely with the Firefox Accounts team to make sure the 2FA setup and login experience on AMO is as smooth as possible. Once this requirement goes into effect, developers will be prompted to enable 2FA when making changes to their add-ons.

      • FSF

        • At SeaGL 2019, free software was in fine feather

          While the satisfactions of software freedom are quite enjoyable on your own, some of the greatest joys of free software come from our opportunities to flock together with other members of our community: to collaborate on our work, teach new skills, or simply show off new achievements. A grassroots gathering like the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference (SeaGL) is fun because it’s so thoroughly participatory: everyone comes into the room with something they’re excited to tell you about, and they’re equally excited to hear what you’re working on. The people at the front of the room giving a keynote talk are just as likely to be sitting next to you in the next session, so you can tell them what you thought of their talk, and even find out how to participate in their projects!

          As someone who is fairly new to the free software world and comparatively short on tech knowledge, I mostly attended talks on free software culture and more easily understood technological talks, although these were hardly the only topics on offer. Having unfortunately missed the opening keynotes by Lisha Sterling and Abigail Cabunoc Mayes due to some bad allergies, I began the day with a talk on DIY decentralization, by Aeva Black. Black set an irreverent tone for their talk with a reference to the notoriously goofy nineties movie Hackers, but quickly veered into much more serious territory: major digital communication platforms have exercised bias and even overt censorship against marginalized groups. How do we navigate around the power of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and the rest? Decentralization, federation, and self-hosting provide some good solutions, and a quick demonstration showed that if you have some basic know-how and tools, anyone can do it.

        • Free Software program Basis Provides Advantages and Merchandise In Its Annual Fundraiser

          An nameless reader writes:
          The Free Software program Basis is holding its annual fundraiser, with a aim of attracting 600 new members by the tip of December. (New members to date: 112.) “We’re nonetheless combating the oppressive nature of proprietary software program,” explains the marketing campaign’s net web page. “Now we have made strong inroads, and the neighborhood is as passionate as ever.”

          As a 501(c)(3) charity the group’s membership dues are all tax deductible, and affiliate memberships are simply $10 a month ($5 for college kids). They arrive with particular advantages together with as much as 5 electronic mail aliases within the member.fsf.org area, eligibility to hitch the nonprofit Digital Credit score Union, free admission to the annual LibrePlanet convention in Boston, and 20% reductions on FSF merchandise and GNU gear (together with this pleasant stuffed child gnu).

        • Licensing / Legal

          • Mark J. Wielaard: Software Freedom Conservancy Donor Match

            Please support the Software Freedom Conservancy by donating so they will be able to provide a home to many more communities. A donation of 10 US dollars a month will make you an official sponsor. Donations will be matched and so count double. And new Supporters will even have their donations tripled!

      • Programming/Development

        • How to Boost Your Programming Skills

          Anyone with an old computer that they don’t use anymore should install Ubuntu on it in order to improve their programming skills. It’s a free Linux-based operating system that can run on a wide range of hardware. Successfully using Ubuntu will require you to learn more about Python, which is considered one of the most simplified and beginner-friendly programming languages in use today. – Bryce Welker, The Big 4 Accounting Firms

        • Python

          • It’s Time to Upgrade to Python 3 – Time Is Running Out!

            As of January 1, 2020, Anaconda will no longer be adding new packages built for Python 2.7 to repo.anaconda.com default channels. The Python 2.7 packages available prior to that date will remain available.

            This means, for instance, that if there is a newly released version of TensorFlow after the first of the new year – it will not be available in defaults for Python 2.7.

            The one exception is that Python 2.7.18 is slated to be released in mid-April 2020 according to PEP-0373. Packages for Python 2.7.18 will be built and made available on the repo.anaconda.com defaults channel.

          • MicroPython: An Intro to Programming Hardware in Python

            Are you interested in the Internet of Things, home automation, and connected devices? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to build a blaster, a laser sword, or even your own robot? If so, then you’re in luck! MicroPython can help you do all of those things and more.

            [...]

            Python’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. These days, it’s used everywhere from DevOps to statistical analysis, and even in desktop software. But for a long time, there was one field where Python use was conspicuously missing. Developers working with microcontrollers had not yet adopted the language.

            All of that changed in 2013 when Damien George launched a Kickstarter campaign. Damien, an undergraduate at Cambridge University, was an avid robot programmer. He wanted to move the Python world from machines that worked with capacities in the gigabytes down to the kilobytes. His Kickstarter campaign was an attempt to back his development while he turned his proof of concept into a finished implementation.

            Many developers jumped at the chance, not only to use Python on microcontrollers but also to get an early version of Damien’s own reference hardware, which was built especially for the task! In fact, by the end of the campaign, Damien had blown past his £15,000 goal. Thanks to over 1,900 backers, he reached just shy of £100,000.

          • Creating Command Line Utilities with Python’s argparse

            Most of the user-facing software comes with a visually pleasing interface or via a decorated webpage. At other times, a program can be so small that it does not warrant an entire graphical user interface or web application to expose its functionality to the end-user.

            In these cases, we can build programs that are accessible via a Command Line Interface, or CLI.

            In this post, we will explore Python’s argparse module and use it to build a simple command-line tool to help us shorten URLs swiftly.

          • Learn all About Installing & Updating Packages in Python

            In this tutorial, we will learn the basics of installing, working and updating packages in Python. First, we will learn how to install Python packages, then how to use them, and finally, how to update Python packages when needed. More specifically, we are going to learn how to install and upgrade packages using pip, conda, and Anaconda Navigator.

            Now, before we are going to learn how to install Python packages we are going to answer the question “what is a package in Python?”

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Canonical sponsors WSLConf at Microsoft HQ [Ed: Mark Shuttleworth donates money to Microsoft’s attacks on GNU/Linux]

            Canonical is announcing today it will be a featured sponsor of WSLConf, the first conference dedicated to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) platform. WSLConf is scheduled for March 10th-11th, 2020 and is being held on the campus of Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The conference brings together developers, start-up founders, academics, enterprise, community members, and teams from Microsoft and Canonical around Windows Subsystem for Linux. The conference will include two densely-packed days of presentations and workshops on the latest developments on the rapidly evolving platform.

          • Openwashing

            • LibreCorps mentors humanitarian startups on how to run the open source way

              Free and open source software are no longer workplace taboos, at least not in the same way they were fifteen years ago. Today, distributed collaboration platforms and tools empower people around the world to contribute code, documentation, design, leadership, and other skills to open source projects. But do newcomers actually have a deep understanding of free and open source software?

              If you hang around in open source communities for long enough, you realize there is more to open source than slapping a free software license on a project and throwing it over an imaginary fence to wait for contributors who never come. To address this problem in the humanitarian sector, the LibreCorps program, led by Rochester Institute of Technology’s FOSS initiative at the Center for Media, Arts, Interaction & Creativity (MAGIC,) partnered with UNICEF to develop a set of resources to help new open source maintainers chart an “open source roadmap” to build a community.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • IOTA Works With Dell And Linux On Project Alvarium To Establish Measurable Trust In Data

                According to a recent blog post released by the Linux Foundation, this new project will be working in order to facilitate intrinsic trust in data and appk¡lications spanning heterogeneous systems of systems.

                Dell Technologies is the firm that will place the seed investment and other industry leaders such as IBM, Arm, IOTA Foundation OSIsoft, Unisys and MobiledgeX, among others, will also be supporting the development of this project.

                The Trust Fabric is a framework that has been developed through a wide range of technologies that help increase trust in the whole data path. This makes it easy for AI models to analyze the data and scale digital transformation initiatives.

                Furthermore, the new project aims at building a collaborative community that will focus on unifying and creating trust insertion technologies.

        • Security

          • Networking attack gives hijackers VPN access

            Researchers have discovered a security flaw in macOS, Linux, and several other operating systems that could let attackers hijack a wide range of virtual private network (VPN) connections.

          • Serious Vulnerability Allows Hijacking of VPN Connections Across Many Linux Based Systems (Including Android and MacOS)

            A serious vulnerability has surfaced affecting VPN connections on many systems. Upon exploitation, this vulnerability allows a potential attacker to sniff on other users’ VPN data. The attacker can also hijack VPN-tunneled connections.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (SDL), Debian (htmldoc, librabbitmq, nss, openjdk-7, openslp-dfsg, and phpmyadmin), Fedora (chromium, community-mysql, kernel, libidn2, oniguruma, proftpd, and rabbitmq-server), Mageia (ansible, clamav, evince, firefox, graphicsmagick, icu, libcryptopp, libtasn1, libtiff, libvncserver, libvpx, lz4, nss, openexr, openjpeg2, openssl, phpmyadmin, python-psutil, python-twisted, QT, sdl2_image, SDL_image, sysstat, thunderbird, and tnef), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-ibm and nss), Scientific Linux (firefox and kernel), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (nss).

          • Exploiting a Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

            Buffer overflow flaws can be present in both the web server and application server products that serve the static and dynamic portions of a site, or in the web application itself. Buffer overflows found in commonly-used server products are likely to become widely known and can pose a significant risk to users of these products.

          • Securing your Kubernetes cluster with Webhook and Keystone

            As we move into complex K8s cluster deployments, we need to consider a robust user and role management for our clusters. The native K8s user management is primitive and vulnerable to access and DOS attacks.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Linux users can now enjoy Disney+

        When Disney+ launched, Linux users were shut out. Attempting to stream content resulted in an error message reading: “Something went wrong. Please try again. If the problem persists, visit the Disney+ Help Center (Error Code 83).”

        The problem stemmed from the way in which Disney chose to implement digital rights management but now the company has tweaked the way DRM is used, lowering the security settings it had in place, meaning that it is now possible to enjoy Disney+ on Linux.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Patent case: Judgment of Zaragoza Court of Appeals No. 450/2019, Spain

          Following the 2017 revamp of the Spanish patent system, only certain courts in Barcelona, Madrid and some other industrial hubs now have jurisdiction in patent matters. However, decisions from other courts in cases brought under the old rules are still trickling in. In this case, the Zaragoza Court of Appeal delivers a judgment which contains some interesting findings, particularly in the context of novelty assessment, which call for some important observations and qualifications.

        • Nokia v. Daimler Mannheim trial postponed from tomorrow to March 2020: rare case in which postponement is bad for defendant

          Tomorrow’s Mannheim patent trial between Nokia and Daimler, with many suppliers intervening, has been postponed to March 17, 2020, as Judge Dr. Joachim Bock, the court’s spokesman, confirmed to me today.

          In most cases, pushing back a trial date is in the defendant’s interest. What’s obviously a different situation is when the “defendant” is actually a declaratory-judgment plaintiff and seeks to get a ruling in one jurisdiction in time to influence a decision in another (such as UK complaints designed to get German cases stayed). But this is the very first time in my observation for a postponement of a German patent infringement case to benefit the plaintiff, not the defendant.

      • Trademarks

Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

Posted in News Roundup at 5:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Linux Setup – Kezz Bracey, Web Designer/Developer

        I found Kezz on Twitter and I’m so glad I did because this is a wonderful interview. First of all, I love the KDE details. Because while I don’t use KDE, I respect it. I wish I could tame it the way Kezz has. Instead, I tend to bow to its will, when really, if I knew how, like Kezz, I could bend it to mine. I also appreciate the screencasting information. I don’t do it very often anymore, but I do know that at some point, there were concerns about the lack of a good Linux screencasting program. Apparently that’s no longer an issue, which is great to hear.

      • [Older] The Linux Setup – Akash Angle, Blogger

        I’m an avid Linux user who ditched Windows for some unknown reason, trying to make my life fully compatible with free and open source software. I’m a distro-hopper, a hardware enthusiast, blogger, and, in my leisure time, a console gamer. I was introduced to Linux back in mid-2008 by a school friend. I’m a senior support networking specialist currently working on the outskirts of Navi Mumbai, India.

    • Server

      • 5 Not to miss Linux hosting providers

        Next to this, Linux based servers have proved to be stable and capable of handling numerous requests at the time. Because no one wants a site that crashes when visitors are trying to get to it. It can be very annoying and bad for business. Linux has a very dedicated community and on the various forums, you can find useful information in dealing with a certain problem that you may encounter.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat’s David Egts Talks Open-Source Approaches to Digital Transformation

          David Egts, chief technologist of Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) North American public sector business, has said that open-source procedures can help organizations meet digital transformation goals while promoting mobility and addressing a skills gap.

          In a Fedscoop interview posted Monday, Egts noted that Red Hat’s Open Innovation Labs works with government customers to help them reduce workload processing time through new software development methods.

        • Empowering the open source community

          Red Hat invests heavily in open source communities, offering our employees’ time and skills in many upstreams to advance the pace of innovation and support our customers’ interests. And when Red Hat purchases a company, it ensures that any proprietary software becomes available as open source. For instance, just this month, Red Hat shared Quay, the formerly proprietary container registry and security scanner software, as an open source upstream available to all.

          [...]

          Awareness of open source in the Middle East is growing in many sectors, particularly in the telecommunications sphere. As operators seek to evolve from physical to digital players, open source ecosystems and solutions are being implemented to optimise and simplify operations, reduce costs, and facilitate digital transformation agendas. From Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, to everywhere in between, open source solutions are being unlocked as cost-effective, flexible, reliable, secure, and alternative foundational systems to drive innovation and digital transformation. For telecommunications organisations, open source will enable improved delivery of digital services, the ability to introduce new digital services faster, and the capabilities to leverage insights from data to create new revenue streams.

        • Coders are the new superheroes of natural disasters

          The film, produced by IBM and directed by Austin Peck, centers on the increasing incidents of the devastation of natural disasters, and a cadre of coders who’ve dedicated their attentions and tech talent to help facilitate and expedite the responders’ response to natural disasters. The social-activist developers serve as a frontline defense against some of the society-at-large greatest dangers.

        • Explore Kubernetes with OpenShift in a workshop near you

          The Kubernetes with OpenShift World Tour is a series of in-person workshops around the globe that help you build the skills you need to quickly modernize your applications. This World Tour provides a hands-on experience and teaches the basics of working with the hybrid-cloud, enterprise container platform Red Hat® OpenShift® on IBM Cloud™. You learn coding skills in the world of containerized, cloud-native development with expert developer advocates, who have deep technical experience building cloud microservices and applications with Red Hat OpenShift.

        • IBM VP of ‘opentech’ on the open road ahead

          Moore and his team of open source developers work with open source communities such as the Apache Software Foundation, Linux Foundation, eClipse, OSGi, OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, Docker, JS, Node.js and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5-rc1
        We've had a normal merge window, and it's now early Sunday afternoon,
        and it's getting closed as has been the standard rule for a long while
        now.
        
        Everything looks fairly regular - it's a tiny bit larger (in commit
        counts) than the few last merge windows have been, but not bigger
        enough to really raise any eyebrows. And there's nothing particularly
        odd in there either that I can think of: just a bit over half of the
        patch is drivers, with the next big area being arch updates. Which is
        pretty much the rule for how things have been forever by now.
        
        Outside of that, the documentation and tooling (perf and selftests)
        updates stand out, but that's actually been a common pattern for a
        while now too, so it's not really surprising either. And the rest is
        all the usual core stuff - filesystems, core kernel, networking, etc.
        
        The pipe rework patches are a small drop in the ocean, but ended up
        being the most painful part of the merge for me personally. They
        clearly weren't quite ready, but it got fixed up and I didn't have to
        revert them. There may be other problems like that that I just didn't
        see and be involved in, and didn't strike me as painful as a result ;)
        
        We're missing some VFS updates, but I think we'll have Al on it for
        the next merge window. On the whole, considering that this was a big
        enough release anyway, I had no problem going "we can do that later".
        
        As usual, even the shortlog is much too large to post, and nobody
        would have the energy to read through it anyway. My mergelog below
        gives an overview of the top-level changes so that you can see the
        different subsystems that got development. But with 12,500+ non-merge
        commits, there's obviously a little bit of everything going on.
        
        Go out and test (and special thanks to people who already did, and
        started sending reports even during the merge window),
        
        Linus
        
        
      • Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Development of Linux Kernel 5.5, First RC Is Out Now

        The two week-long merge window that opened with the release of the Linux 5.4 kernel series last month ended today with the launch of the first release candidate of Linux kernel 5.5, which was announced by Linus Torvalds himself.
        That’s right, Linus Torvalds has officially kicked off the development cycle of the next major Linux kernel series, Linux 5.5, which is now available for public testing from the kernel.org website. Linux kernel 5.5-rc1 is the first milestone in many to come and gives the community a first look at the new features and changes.

        “We’ve had a normal merge window, and it’s now early Sunday afternoon, and it’s getting closed as has been the standard rule for a long while now,” said Linus Torvalds. “Everything looks fairly regular – it’s a tiny bit larger (in commit counts) than the few last merge windows have been, but not bigger enough to really raise any eyebrows. And there’s nothing particularly odd in there either that I can think of: just a bit over half of the patch is drivers, with the next big area being Arch updates.”

      • Linux 5.5-rc1 Kernel Released With 12,500+ Commits

        Linus Torvalds has just issued the first release candidate of the Linux 5.5 cycle following the traditional two week long merge window.

        See our newly-published Linux 5.5 feature overview to learn about all of the new changes and improvements in this kernel — there’s a lot.

      • Linux 5.5 Feature Overview – Raspberry Pi 4 To New Graphics Capabilities To KUnit

        Linux 5.5-rc1 is on the way to mirrors and with that the Linux 5.5 merge window is now over. Here is a look at the lengthy set of changes and new features for this next Linux kernel that will debut as stable in early 2020.
        Among the many changes to find with Linux 5.5 are support for the Raspberry Pi 4 / BCM2711, various performance changes still being explored, support for reporting NVMe drive temperatures, a new Logitech keyboard driver, AMD HDCP support for content protection, wake-on-voice support from Chromebooks, the introduction of KUnit for unit testing the kernel, new RAID1 modes that are quite exciting for Btrfs, and much more. Below is a more detailed look based upon our original monitoring and reporting.

      • Unified sizeof_member() Re-Proposed For Linux 5.5

        After not being merged for Linux 5.4, the new sizeof_member() macro as a unified means of calculating the size of a member of a struct has been volleyed for Linux 5.5 for possible inclusion on this last day of the merge window.

        The Linux kernel to now has supported SIZEOF_FIELD, FIELD_SIZEOF, sizeof_field as means of calculating the size of a member of a C struct… The new sizeof_member looks to clean-up that code cruft that has accumulated over the years with converting all usage of the old macros over to this new unified macro.

    • Applications

      • gorss – simple RSS/Atom reader written in Golang

        A news aggregator is software which collect news, weblog posts, and other information from the web so that they can be read in a single location for easy viewing. With the range of news sources available on the internet, news aggregators play an essential role in helping users to quickly locate breaking news.

        There are a number of different file formats which information publishers use. Popular formats are RSS and Atom. RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a defined standard based on XML with the specific purpose of delivering updates to web-based content. In other words, RSS is a Web content syndication format.

        For individuals that read lots of weblogs, a news aggregator makes keeping track of them effortless, and particularly useful if the weblogs are only updated occasionally. If you follow specific writers, publications and channels, an RSS reader app helps you see all new content that interests you in a central source.

        Our roundup of RSS readers recommends FeedReader, Liferea, and Akregator. And there’s other alternatives available. One RSS reader we’ve not previously covered is gorss. It’s first release was only a few months ago.

      • App Highlight: Open Source Video Transcoder Handbrake

        HandBrake is a quite useful tool which helps you to convert a video from one format to some of the widely supported codecs (.mp4/.m4v/.mkv/.webm)

        It can support any video format and help you convert it. In addition to that, you have several features on board to customize the video attributes while converting.

        If you are looking for a Format Factory alternative, this is your best bet.

      • The 20 Free and Open Source CRM Solutions for Small Enterprises

        Customer satisfaction is arguably among the most critical tasks for emerging businesses. It’s hard for companies to find success without providing excellent customer support. Thankfully, a plethora of modern CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution is available to make this job easy for enterprises. And, companies need to choose the perfect CRM for their business if they want to be successful. If you’re a new business, we suggest you go with an Open Source CRM. Moreover, they can also be useful for established enterprises due to their extendibility. Continue reading to find out the 20 best free CRM for your business.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 Makes It Easier to Enter Emoji

          brand new emoji picker tool is currently in development for KDE Plasma 5.18. This smorgasbord of smilies will be accessible through a meta + . key binding (one assumes ‘meta’ is KDE speak for the super key, but you may want to check).

          And below is a currently glimpse at what the glyph selection palette currently looks like…

        • Contributing to KDE is easier than you think – Porting websites to Markdown

          This will be a new series of blog posts explaining different ways to contribute to KDE in an easy-to-digest manner. I plan for this series to be parallel to my keyboard shortcuts analysis so that there can be content being published (hopefully) every week. I was also feeling a bit bad about the fact that this blog is available over planet.kde.org (a feed for blog posts made by KDE contributors that also shows a bit of their personal lives and projects), but my other series was focusing more on other DEs, despite also being a project to improve KDE.

          The purpose of this series originated from how I feel about asking users to contribute back to KDE. I firmly believe that showing users how contributing is easier than they think is more effective than simply calling them out and directing them to the correct resources; especially if, like me, said user suffers from anxiety or does not believe they are up to the task, in spite of their desire to help back.

          It is true that I had the initiative to contact Nate Graham and Carl Schwan through Reddit, but it is also true that, had they not shown me how contributing back can be done in several small, feasible ways too, I would likely not have started contributing back.

          Out of respect and due to the current need for help with updating the KDE websites, my first post on this subject will document how to help Carl Schwan port older websites to Markdown, despite there being easier tasks than that. Currently, and as to my knowledge, Carl Schwan and Adrián Chaves Fernandez are the only two main KDE websites contributors, with help and mentorship from other KDE contributors such as Jonathan Riddell and, of course, the whole Promo team, who handles websites as well. This is quite the low number of contributors for such a huge amount of websites to be updated, you see; that’s why your help would be much appreciated!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • HTML overlays with GstWPE, the demo

          Once again this year I attended the GStreamer conference and just before that, Embedded Linux conference Europe which took place in Lyon (France). Both events were a good opportunity to demo one of the use-cases I have in mind for GstWPE, HTML overlays!

          As we, at Igalia, usually have a booth at ELC, I thought a GstWPE demo would be nice to have so we can show it there. The demo is a rather simple GTK application presenting a live preview of the webcam video capture with an HTML overlay blended in. The HTML and CSS can be modified using the embedded text editor and the overlay will be updated accordingly. The final video stream can even be streamed over RTMP to the main streaming platforms (Twitch, Youtube, Mixer)! Here is a screenshot:

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Project Trident Void Alpha

          As one should expect with an initial alpha release, Trident’s Void branch is not yet ready for the general public. At the moment it is more of a proof of concept – that Void’s base can be set up with an alternative installer and use ZFS on root. It’s a good beginning, but I suspect there are still a few months to go before Trident’s new branch will provide a live desktop and boot environments. When that happens, I think Trident will offer a good experience, and the ZFS snapshots will provide insurance against broken updates from Void’s rolling repositories. For now Trident’s Void branch is an interesting idea and I hope it gets rounded out by the time a stable release happens early in 2020.

      • New Releases

        • The new elementary OS 5.1 Hera is a valuable addition to the Linux landscape

          This week, on Tuesday December 3, 2019, Co-founder Cassidy James Blaede announced in an extensive blog that the 5.1 successor to the previous elementary OS Juno 5.0, which was already introduced more than a year ago, is immediately available for download. The new Linux distribution elementary OS 5.1 has been named Hera. Hera is a Greek goddess and also the wife of the God Zeus. This is nicely in line with Juno, which is the Latin name that the ancient Romans used for this same goddess Hera. Many of the improvements in Hera have, due to the somewhat rolling nature of elementary OS, been released to users in various interim updates in recent months. But this official new major update offers many more improvements in addition to these already released changes. In this blog post I will only give a global overview of what this release has to offer. When I have been able to work productively with this latest version for a while I will come back with a blog post with a more in depth and detailed description of everything that this distribution has to offer. So let’s see if the update to elementary OS 5.1 Hera is a valuable addition to the Linux landscape.

        • Easy Buster 2.1.9 and 2.1.9.1 released

          Another release of EasyOS Buster series, versions 2.1.9 and 2.1.9.1. The reason for the two version numbers, is the 2.1.9 build is with the 5.2.21 kernel, and 2.1.9.1 is with the 5.4.2 kernel.

          And the reason for building with two different kernels, is that audio does not work on some hardware with the 5.4.x kernel (so far, 5.4, 5.4.1 and 5.4.2).

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Begins Vote On Supporting Non-Systemd Init Options

          “It’s been five years already since the vote to transition to systemd in Debian over Upstart,” reports Phoronix, noting that the Debian developer community has now begun a 20-day ranked-choice vote on eight different proposals for “‘init system diversity’ and just how much Debian developers care (or not) in supporting alternatives to systemd.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix Version Released & Available for Download!

          buntu Cinnamon Remix Released: The team behind the Ubuntu Cinnamon Unofficial flavour announced the release date after many months of development. This is the first-ever remixed Ubuntu Cinnamon version released by the Team! Ubuntu is one of the major distros of the Linux Operating system. The official version of the Ubuntu comes with the major essential environments like Gnome, KDE Plasma & Mate, Budgie. The team behind the Ubuntu cinnamon remixed version decided to add the “Cinnamon Flavour” to the Ubuntu operating system.

          The creator of the Remixed Flavour version of Ubuntu is “UbuntuCinnamon“. After many months of developing, the Ubuntu remixed version comes with the Ubuntu-based open-source environments like Gnome, KDE plasma, Budgie, Mate & Xfce. The creator named this edition as “Ubuntu Cinnamon Remixed” version. You can find the official download version from the Sourceforge.net website.

        • Comparison between LXC and LXD

          Traditionally, we would have a physical computer and expect to run a single operating system on it. One way to go over this limitation, is to use virtualization, which allows us to run multiple operating systems (virtual machines) on a computer. For virtualization to work efficiently, we would need special virtualization support from the CPU (Intel CPUs: VT-x, AMD CPUs: AMD V). Relevant virtualization software include KVM, Xen, VirtualBox, Hyper-V and VMWare.

          Virtualization is good, but takes lots of system resources because you boot up a full operating system for each virtual machine. Can we have an additional option for lightweight virtual machines that do not require to boot their own Linux kernel but can reusing the running Linux kernel of the host? Well, we can, and these are the Linux Containers.

        • Discussion on running X11 applications from within LXD system containers

          With LXD, you can create system containers. These system containers are similar to virtual machines, while at the same time they are very lightweight.

          In a VM, you boot a full Linux kernel and you run your favorite Linux distribution in a virtualized environment that has a fixed disk size and dedicated allocation of RAM memory. To get a graphics application to run in a VM, you need a virtualized GPU, such that will have hardware accelerated access to the host graphics driver.

          In contrast, in a system container, you keep using the running Linux kernel of the host, and you just start the container image (runtime, aka rootfs) of your favorite Linux distribution. Your container uses as much disk space are needed from a common storage, and the same goes with the memory (you can also put strict restrictions, if you need). To get a graphics application to run in a container, you need to pass a Unix socket of your existing X server (or a new isolated X server).

        • [Older] Ubuntu Touch: reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated

          Remember the times when Canonical was working on a Qt-based desktop and mobile phone? Remember Unity, the default Ubuntu desktop that was about to be rewritten in Qt under the name as Unity8 shortly before Canonical killed the project and switched to GNOME? And Remember Ubuntu Touch, the Linux-based operating systems for tablets and smartphones based on Ubuntu with a QML-based user interface? Turns out that the Ubuntu-based mobile operating system is living on and thriving in an independent community under the auspices of the UBports project. Quite possibly, being driven by a community of passionate volunteers may be turning out as one of its strongest points. Time to try it out!

          Wouldn’t it be cool if besides Android and iOS there was a mobile operating system that was truly open source not only by license but also by spirit, one in which you you could actually be in full control over your device and personal data, one which you could change as you please, one which you wouldn’t have to “jailbreak” and fiddle around with to get at a Linux root shell and to install a system-wide ad blocker? One where you could send a pull request on GitHub with a realistic change of it being reviewed and merged?

    • Devices/Embedded

      • ROCK Pi SATA HAT Targets ROCK Pi 4 & Raspberry Pi 4 NAS

        Raxda ROCK Pi 4 is a single board computer (SBC) powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and inspired by Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Internet of Things Smart Board open-source development platform

          Makers, hobbyists, engineers and developers looking for an open source development board to create Internet of Things projects may be interested in the aptly named Smart Board. At the heart of the OpenSensIOT main board is a STM32F4 microcontroller which is based on Arm Cortex-M4 32-bit RISC core, operating at frequency up to 180 MHz.

        • Open-source driving customisation which drives new chip industry players

          “We fully believe in industry standards and the importance of open-source,” says UltraSoC CEO Rupert Baines (pictured), “by donating this encoder we can help industry adoption of RISC-V, strengthen the ecosystem and support compatibility and consistency. Open-source is a familiar model in the software world, but in hardware we’re just beginning to unlock the possibilities of this powerful approach. The RISC-V ISA has provided initial momentum, and industry bodies such as the OpenHW Group are now taking it a step further. At the same time, the legal framework has developed to allow hardware IP companies to confidently license their technologies.”
          The open-source movement is creating a new wave of IC customisation, reckons Baines, leading to a more disaggregated chip industry as more companies want to make their own chips which leads to more companies emerging to help those companies which are getting into developing custom silicon.
          ”We’re in the customisation cycle of Makimoto’s Wave,” Baines told EW, “car companies are designing their own chips, basestation companies are designing their own chips, the big Silicon Valley guys have huge silicon teams. We can help all of them.”

        • Trade War Concerns Push RISC-V to Move HQ

          The RISC-V Foundation is moving its headquarters from the U.S. to Switzerland after concerns among its members of potential restrictions on the core technology that could arise from the U.S. China trade war.

          Speaking to Reuters, the RISC-V Foundation’s CEO Calista Redmond said she wants to ensure that universities, governments and companies outside the United States can maintain access to and develop the open-source RISC-processor core technology. She said that its members, which include Qualcomm, NXP Semiconductors, Huawei and Alibaba, are concerned about possible geopolitical disruption.

        • UltraSoC Tackles RISC-V Support Challenge by Donating Trace Encoder
        • UltraSoC donates RISC-V trace implementation to enable true open-source development

          UltraSoC today announced it will offer an open-source implementation of its industry-leading RISC-V trace encoder via the OpenHW Group. The availability of a production-grade, standards-compliant processor trace solution is a key enabler for developers, and supports the OpenHW Group’s aim of creating an open, commercial grade ecosystem for development based on open-source processors.

          Rupert Baines, CEO of UltraSoC, said: “We fully believe in industry standards and the importance of open-source; by donating this encoder we can help industry adoption of RISC-V, strengthen the ecosystem and support compatibility and consistency. Open-source is a familiar model in the software world, but in hardware we’re just beginning to unlock the possibilities of this powerful approach. The RISC-V ISA has provided initial momentum, and industry bodies such as the OpenHW Group are now taking it a step further. At the same time, the legal framework has developed to allow hardware IP companies to confidently license their technologies.”

        • David Williams Is “FPGA-Curious”

          If you hadn’t noticed, we had a bit of an FPGA theme running at this year’s Superconference. Why? Because the open-source FPGA toolchain is ripening, and because many of the problems that hackers (and academics) are tackling these days have become complex enough to warrant using them. A case in point: David Williams is a university professor who just wanted to build a quadruped robotics project. Each leg has a complex set of motors, motor drivers, sensors, and other feedback mechanisms. Centralizing all of this data put real strains on the robot’s network, and with so many devices the microcontrollers were running out of GPIOs. This lead him to become, in his words, “FPGA-curious”.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source luminaries turn up spotlight on GitHub over ICE deal

        An open letter to Git Hub demanding that it drop its controversial contract with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was heading towards 400 signatures from open source maintainers and developers as of Friday.

        The open letter, posted, naturally, on GitHub, referenced a previous open letter four years ago that lit a fire under the company and forced to fix a range of issues that had been troubling users.

        “Now, we are asking you to help again,” the signatories wrote, going on to say that as it enforces the Trump administration’s immigration policies, ICE “is actively committing numerous crimes and human rights violations, in contravention of both US and international law”.

        “At the core of the open source ethos is the idea of liberty,” the letter writers say. “Open source is about inverting power structures and creating access and opportunities for everyone.”

      • A group of developers sent a letter demanding GitHub cancel its ICE contract, saying it puts the Microsoft-owned company at odds with its own community and values
      • Software freedom vs human freedom: A surge of activism is rocking open source developers, as programmers fight to stop their software from being used for ‘evil’
      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: GraalWasm

        GraalWasm is a WebAssembly engine implemented in GraalVM. It can run WebAssembly programs in the binary format, generated with compiler backends such as Emscripten.

        “Supporting WebAssembly expands the set of languages GraalVM can execute with a whole other set of languages to the ones supported by GraalVM and further step towards making it a universal platform for programming language execution,” the developers behind the project wrote in a blog post.

      • Scientists Created Open Source Tools to See in Animal Vision

        Given that every animal species sees colors, patterns, and brightness differently due to their unique eye adaptations, there are countless modes of vision that humans have never experienced. That’s why scientists have developed free, open-source software that can be run on photos taken with an average smartphone to simulate the perspective of animals. The platform is described in a paper published on Tuesday in Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

        Called the Quantitative Colour Pattern Analysis (QCPA) framework, the platform enables people to customize digital photos to match properties associated with animal visual systems.

      • This open-source tool ‘Doccano’ provides annotation features for text classification

        Doccano is an open-source text annotation tool for machine learning professionals. It sets annotation features for sequence labeling, text classification and sequence to sequence tasks. It has multiple applications like creating labeled data for sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, text summarization and so on.

      • When – and When Not – to Use Open Source Apache Cassandra, Kafka, Spark and Elasticsearch
      • Doubts Surface in Open Source Survey
      • Open Source Still Rolling, But Roadblocks Loom
      • Can open source software be gender-biased? Yes, say NAU professors who are working to eliminate gender-biased ‘bugs’ [Ed: This is not a FOSS thing; equally applicable to nonfree software, but that doesn't seem to matter when gender issues are leveraged in a partisan fashion]

        The cycle of open source software (OSS) development and gender representation is, perhaps, unsurprising—women are vastly underrepresented among OSS developers. As a result, women miss out on development and professional opportunities, and as jobs in OSS development open up, women lack the experience to get them. And the cycle continues.

        It’s so pervasive that it’s likely built right into the software itself, say four researchers, which is an entirely separate problem—one they’re aiming to resolve through finding these bugs and proposing redesigns around them, leading to more gender-inclusive tools used by software developers.

      • Can an open source virtual assistant take on Alexa?

        Based on the data collected and patterns determined (such as purchasing a specific orange juice in every grocery order), virtual assistants can identify our preferences and help their vendors build a profile of ourselves, and users collectively.

        From one perspective, this could lead to the development of personalized customer experiences as a result, on the other, it can raise concerns over the privacy of a system consumers trust to put in their own home and uncertainty around what the end uses are for the data it collects.

        [...]

        The virtual assistant is also embedded with Genie, a deep learning model that trains Almond to understand more complex commands across more domains. Presently, Almond has achieved an accuracy of 68 percent of the user’s input and the continuous training of Almond would allow the virtual assistant to acquire more skills, on par with today’s commercialized virtual assistants.

      • 3 Ways Open Source is Accelerating Geoint for Defense Missions [Ed: Free software leveraged by militarism too (white-washed as "defence")]

        That’s why open-source software development has quickly become indispensable to defense missions. With open-source maps and search engines, users can drop layers from unique indices into a single dashboard and filter across them in real time to search for all kinds of location data—from geopoints (like longitude and latitude) to geoshapes (like polygons, circles and lines)—enabling speedier analyses that scale through dynamic visualizations. Now, defense analysts can query geodata faster than ever before, resulting in improved situational awareness, monitoring, tracking and spatial analysis capabilities essential to the missions of our troops.

      • Benefits and importance of open source technology for enterprises

        Technology should be carefully selected to actively grow business over the long term, so it requires careful consideration and foresight. Open source has been gaining popularity or a long time due to the benefits it comes with. Those who don’t know the difference between the two, open source software’s source code is available to everyone. Anyone can modify its code while proprietary software is owned by enterprises or individuals and its source code can only be modified by its owners. Enterprises that use open source software enjoy many advantages over those using proprietary software. These are enumerated below.

        [...]

        Compared to proprietary software, open-source software is inexpensive. In an enterprise environment, it is more affordable than proprietary software of similar capabilities. Furthermore, in enterprise environments, the capabilities of open source software often exceed those of proprietary software. Using such software also makes sense for enterprises because as they scale the software scales with them. Because fledgling enterprises have modest budgets such software is ideal for them.

      • TIBCO Adds Support for Apache Pulsar to Messaging Solution

        TIBCO Software Inc., a global leader in integration, API management, and analytics, announced its plans to add Apache Pulsar as a fully supported component in TIBCO® Messaging. Continuing its commitment to open source technologies, this addition will ensure that users of the highly popular Apache pub-sub messaging system can now leverage TIBCO Messaging to create a single, fully integrated application integration infrastructure, giving developers the freedom to choose the right messaging tool for the job at hand.

      • Tibco dials into Apache Pulsar

        Software integration and analytics company Tibco has added Apache Pulsar as a fully supported component in its own messaging brand, TIBCO Messaging.

        By way of definition and clarification then…

        Apache Pulsar is a distributed ‘pub-sub’ messaging platform with a flexible messaging model and an intuitive client API.

      • Events

        • Paris Open Source Summit 2019 (in english)

          Just so you know, the Fedora-fr community will be present at the 2019 edition of Paris Open Source Summit. This year, POSS will be held on December 10th and 11th from 9am to 6pm and, like every year, will be held at Dock Pullmann, in Aubervilliers. We will have a stand on the associative village (booth A34, to be quite exact).

          We will be there to answer any questions about Fedora, offer to burn an image of Fedora 31 on your USB key. We will have Fedora goodies for people who are interested. Feel free to come to the Salon if you have time during the 2 days in question and drop by to say hi if you’re there!

        • Advent of Code 2019

          My work does not involve that much coding any more. I probably spend more time doing email, attending meetings, and preparing presentations than anything else these days. Still, my fingers itch if I don’t get to write some code now and then.

          This has resulted in small apps such as Mattemonster, where I pushed myself to get it into a presentable state so that I could publish it to Google Play. Any one with kids starting with maths should try the app – my son loves it!

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • If you want an example of how user concerns do not drive software development, check out this Google-backed API

            A nascent web API called getInstalledRelatedApps offers a glimpse of why online privacy remains such an uncertain proposition.

            In development since 2015, Google has been experimenting with the API since the release of Chrome 59 in 2017. As its name suggests, it is designed to let web apps and sites determine whether a corresponding native app is installed on a user’s device.

            The purpose of the API, as described in the proposed specification, sounds laudable. More and more, the docs state, users will have web apps and natives apps from the same source installed on the same device and as the apps’ feature sets converge and overlap, it will become important to be able to distinguish between the two, so users don’t receive two sets of notifications, for example.

        • Mozilla

      • Data Transfer Project

        • It’s Now Easy to Shift Facebook Pics to Google (in Europe Anyway)

          A beta of the photo-transfer tool is rolling out today in Ireland with a wider release expected during the early months of 2020. The tool will move photos and their related metadata—including the folders they are in, file names, and any other information attached to the image. Transferring to Google comes first, with other services to follow at a later date.

          But Facebook isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its own heart. Data portability, as its known, is a key part of GDPR. And that means being able to easily shift your Facebook photos to another service. They’re your photos, after all, so why not? “We’re increasingly hearing calls from policymakers and regulators, particularly those focused on competition, that large platforms should be doing more to enable innovation,” Satterfield says. “Including by allowing people to move their data to different providers.”

        • Facebook’s new tool lets you transfer pictures to Google Photos

          Facebook is releasing a new tool today that will allow its users to transfer photos directly to Google Photos. The tool is being released initially in Ireland, and will be available worldwide in the first half of 2020. “For almost a decade, we’ve enabled people to download their information from Facebook,” explains Steve Satterfield, director of privacy and public policy at Facebook. “The photo transfer tool we’re starting to roll out today is based on code developed through our participation in the open-source Data Transfer Project.”

        • Facebook launches a new tool that will make it easier for users to transfer photos and videos OFF the social network and onto other services like Google Photos

          Do you have thousands of photos uploaded to Facebook that you’d like to move onto another app or website? Now the social media company will let you do just that.

          The new image transfer tool will let users copy all their photos and videos from Facebook to Google Photos, and eventually other social networking sites.

          It was built as part of the open-source Data Transfer Project – a technology partnership between major social networking and digital companies designed to make information hosted on one social media service available on other services.

          The new Facebook tool will only be available in Ireland initially, but will be rolled out worldwide in 2020.

      • CMS

        • Revitalizing the Canadian government’s online presence

          Many government branches rely on proprietary software to power their websites and digital services. Using licensed technology can leave users locked in to costly and outdated platforms that are not easily updated, says Chris Smith, the CEO of Ottawa digital agency OPIN Software.

          Several government organizations have teamed up with OPIN over the past year to make the switch to Drupal, providing a more streamlined and functional experience for Canadians and giving government IT managers more flexibility.

        • Open Source Technology Could Be a Boon to Farmers

          Chang, who started farming eight years ago and works full-time in information technology off-farm, searched for a different solution for his 14-acre organic vegetable and cut flower farm in northeastern Connecticut, finding software aimed at CSAs, which he doesn’t run, or marketing and sales, which he didn’t need. Then he discovered farmOS, a free, open source record-keeping software built on the web platform Drupal.

        • Open source technology could be a boon to farmers

          Robert Chang’s fellow small-scale farmers turn to each other when they need low-cost tech to stay organized as they plant dozens of varieties of vegetables each season and seek to consistently fill their community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes each week.

          [...]

          In the case of farmOS, on the other hand, Chang says, “Nobody is mining it or monetizing it in any way. It’s yours. You can export it in whatever way you want.” And it is infinitely customizable, if you’re tech savvy. “Since it’s open source, you can change the code, if you want to do your own customizations.”

      • Healthcare

        • Researchers Develop Open Source EEG Visualization Tool
        • Open source EEG visualization tool

          Researchers at UT have developed a free open source computer program that can be used to create visual and quantitative representations of brain electrical activity in laboratory animals in hopes of developing countermeasures for opioid use disorder.

          The program is described in a paper published in JoVE. Lead author Christopher O’Brien is a UT graduate who manages the research laboratory of Helen Baghdoyan and Ralph Lydic, both co-authors on the paper and professors in UT’s Department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology.

          In the paper, the researchers describe the steps they took to create a multitapered spectrogram for electroencephalogram (EEG) analyses with an accessible and user-friendly code. They validated the program through analyses of EEG spectrograms of mice that had received different opioid treatments.

        • Researchers develop open source EEG visualization tool

          “There is a misconception that opioids promote sleep, but in quantitative studies of states of sleep and wakefulness using electroencephalographic recordings of brain waves, opiates are shown to disrupt sleep,” Lydic said. “Additionally, drug addiction studies show that abnormal sleep is associated with increased likelihood of addiction relapse.”

        • Open-source gaining momentum in the healthcare industry

          Following the ongoing global digital revolution, the continuously evolving role of information technology (IT) in the healthcare sector is only set to gain more weight going forward. While new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and big data have already started making headway within healthcare, IT continues to play a vital part from an administrative point of view, enriching the quality and efficiency of healthcare.
          Healthcare IT practitioners can choose from options such as open-source tools, licensed vendor tools, hybrid software environment or in-house tools to fulfill their operational requirements. Of these options, open-source technology is often the most affordable and accessible solution. Built upon the concept of collaboration, open-source software deploys publicly accessible code, allowing constant engagement with a vast developer community. This results in a well-designed, reliable and constantly evolving software product that can prove to be vital for healthcare IT infrastructural needs.

        • Researcher to Make Workhorse Microscopes More Powerful

          Kevin Eliceiri, professor of medical physics and biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, plans to improve the architecture and infrastructure of μManager, an open-source software package for control of automated microscopes.

          Open-source software is crucial to modern scientific research for advancing biology and medicine while also providing reproducibility and transparency. Yet, even the most widely used research software often lacks dedicated funding.

      • Funding

        • $100M open source fund via Codefresh launches

          From the deck of the HMS Surprise pirate ship at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, on the eve of Kubecon, Codefresh announced the establishment of a $100 Million Open Source Fund offering grants up to $1 Million. This “heave-ho” is designed to foster the growth and expediency of open source projects from development and deployment to ongoing maintenance.

          “Open source is part of every project and drives change in the modern world at an incredible pace,” said Dan Garfield, Chief Technology Evangelist of Codefresh. “Codefresh has contributed to open source projects related to Kubernetes such as Helm and Chart Museum, and many open-source projects have used Codefresh to power their CI/CD and software delivery supply chain. The Codefresh $100 Million Open Source Fund is a way to give even more back to the community that has embraced and empowered Codefresh from the beginning.”

        • WhiteSource and Codefresh Combine Forces to Offer Built-in Open Source Management in CI/CD Pipelines [Ed: Codefresh now liaising with anti-FOSS Microsoft 'proxy', WhiteSource. This makes one wonder what or who Codefresh will help with money...]
      • Public Services/Government

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • How Open-Source Product Information Management is Bringing SMBs On a Level Playing Field with Big Tech Firms?

          As detailed above, open-source PIM systems are an absolute blessing for SMBs looking to move toward an Omnichannel customer engagement strategy. This is especially true for organizations that have strong IT teams or partners because successfully customizing and implementing open source software often requires specialized IT knowledge. Luckily, even if you don’t have the right skill sets on hand, you can simply outsource the implementation to the PIM system provider or a third party IT services firm. At the same time, you may also consider nurturing software development talent in-house to achieve the best results at optimal costs.

        • Cooperatives Europe builds open-source index for the co-op movement
        • Intellegens and Optibrium announce success in the Open Source Malaria global initiative

          Intellegens, an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, and, Optibrium™, leading providers of software and services for drug discovery, today announced joint success in the Open Source Malaria (OSM) global initiative aimed at identifying the best predictive models for antimalarial compounds. Together, the companies developed one of the top models, deploying a cutting-edge deep neural network algorithm, Alchemite™, to accurately predict active compounds with novel mechanisms of actions that could be critical to future malaria control and elimination. As one of four prizewinning models selected, the project will now progress through the next phase of the initiative that includes the proposal of new compounds that are predicted to be active, for synthesis and testing against the malaria parasite.

        • Open Data

          • These Reporters Rely on Public Data, Rather Than Secret Sources

            Leaked documents and interviews with whistle-blowing sources will always be a part of investigative journalism. But thanks to the rise of digital technology, and the easy availability of data that has gone with it, reporters have more ways to get stories than ever before.

            “You can be on your couch in front of your computer and solve a mystery of a missile system downing a plane,” said Aliaume Leroy, a journalist who is part of the BBC’s Africa Eye team.

          • News Organizations are Engaging More Proactively in Open-Source Journalism to Rebuild Trust in News Media

            As news media skepticism grows worldwide and digital tools become increasingly robust and available, reporters and news organizations are engaging more proactively in open-source journalism—a practice in which reporters investigate and construct stories based on publicly available data, including via social media, per The New York Times.

          • India’s first open source integrated geospatial data observatory launched

            India Observatory, country’s first socio, economic, ecological open source integrated Geospatial data platform, was launched on Tuesday at Hyderabad in GeoSmart India conference.

          • SFU global collaboration creates world’s first open-source database of natural microbial products

            Surprisingly, despite our extensive knowledge of the chemical compounds found in nature, there has never been a comprehensive, open-source database for researchers to store information on the chemistry produced by bacteria and fungi. Until now.

            Simon Fraser University associate professor Roger Linington and a team of international collaborators have created the Natural Products Atlas, which holds information on nearly 25,000 natural compounds and serves as a knowledge base and repository for the global scientific community.

        • Open Access/Content

          • Promoting success: Music professor involved in Open Educational Resources
          • Open Source Emoji System: OpenMoji

            With the widespread use of smartphones, the use of emojis has increased to a new level. The new open source emoji system OpenMoji has been released with a collection of 3,180 characters to improve this language.

            If you’re looking for an open-source, good-looking emoji set, OpenMoji with 3,180 emojis is just for you.

            According to OpenMoji’s website, OpenMoji is the first open source and standalone emoji system. The project involved more than 50 students and two professors from the Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd University in Germany. All emojis are approved and licensed Creative Commons.

          • Meet OpenMoji, a Free and Open Source Emoji Set

            According to OpenMoji’s website, the project is the first open-source and independent emoji system. The project is the team-effort of over 50 students and 2 professors at the HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd (Design University). All the emojis are approved and are available with a Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International) license.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 4 open source automation tools for admins

          Open source offerings are an easy way to bring automation into your organization. When selecting software, evaluate the user experience, main features offered and Linux support.

        • Why front-end development may be the new frontier

          Google frameworks lead Nicole Sullivan praised Next.js at the October JAMstack_conf_19 in San Francisco. Though React started within Facebook (and AngularJS started within Google), developers are less concerned with origins and more focused on direction. Google Chrome has a mandate to make the web faster, she said, and React-centric Next.js is part of that mandate. Rauch was also featured with a walk-on presentation during the keynote address at Google’s Chrome Dev 19 conference in San Francisco last month.

        • 11 top open-source test automation frameworks: How to choose

          If you’re thinking about building your own test automation framework, think again. In most cases, you’d do better to consider one or more of the open-source options available.

          That’s because, in general, a framework is a set of best practices, assumptions, common tools, and libraries that you can use across teams. You simply don’t need to build one that’s unique to your dev environment. A framework will help make your test automation code reusable, maintainable, and stable.

          Teams that take these benefits to the extreme by building their own elaborate automation frameworks from scratch drive me crazy. That’s because they could have easily made use of existing open-source tools and libraries that would have met their needs without writing any code—and, in most cases, with better results.

        • Google Code-In 2019 Underway

          Google Code-in (GCI) is a unique opportunity for students to work on real open source software projects and for open source projects to gain extra help as well. Over the past nine years, more than 11,000 students from 108 countries have successfully completed over 55,000 tasks in GCI and this year 29 organizations, all of which have participated in Google Summer of Code, are devising over 2,500 task for teenager to choose to work on.

        • The most copied StackOverflow Java code snippet contains a bug

          Nine years later, developer corrects code snippet.

          [...]

          An academic paper [PDF] published in 2018 identified a code snippet Lundblad posted on the site as the most copied Java code taken from StackOverflow and then re-used in open source projects.

        • Testing NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit with and without Fan

          A few weeks ago I received NVIDIA Jetson Nano for review together with 52Pi ICE Tower cooling fan which Seeed Studio included in the package, and yesterday I wrote a getting started guide…

        • Python

          • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Sebastian Steins

            This week we welcome Sebastian Steins (@sebastiansteins) as our PyDev of the Week! Sebastian is the creator of the Pythonic News website. You can find out more about Sebastian by checking out what he’s been up to over on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know him better!

          • Podcast.__init__: Debugging Python Projects With PySnooper

            Debugging is a painful but necessary practice in software development. The tools that are available in Python range from the built-in debugger, to tools integrated with your coding environment, to the trusty print function. In this episode Ram Rachum describes his work on PySnooper and how it can be used to speed up your problem solving in complex or legacy applications.
            Summary

            Debugging is a painful but necessary practice in software development. The tools that are available in Python range from the built-in debugger, to tools integrated with your coding environment, to the trusty print function. In this episode Ram Rachum describes his work on PySnooper and how it can be used to speed up your problem solving in complex or legacy applications.

          • Nash publishes open-source Python trading bot for market-making

            Nash recently announced that it has released a simple, open-source bot designed to help traders perform automatic market-maker strategies. Written in Python 3, the Makerbot is set up to allow for trading on Nash in its default configuration.

            Trading bots are commonly used to improve liquidity on an exchange. The Nash Makerbot uses a symmetric market-maker algorithm, aiming to take advantage of the concept of “intrinsic volatility” in a market. Makerbot will watch the order book for a programmed trading pair until it is triggered to trade within a fixed price range.

          • pydeps: a very useful program

            A few weeks ago, I was doing some refactoring of Friendly-traceback and had some minor difficulty in avoiding the creation of circular imports. For some reason (age perhaps), I could not visualize the file structure properly. Enter pydeps. After I used it to generate a graph for all the files internal to Friendly-traceback, I was able to use that graph to figure out a better way to structure my program.

            Today, as I stared at that graph, after including it in the newly styled documentation, I noticed that the “version” file I had created early on, was really redundant since its content (a single variable) could easily be incorporated in the Public API file.

          • Coverage 5.0 beta 2

            I mean it this time, coverage.py 5.0 is nearly ready. I’m putting out coverage.py 5.0 beta 2 for a week before declaring it really done. Please try it.

          • Test-Driven Development with PyTest – Part 2

            For part two of the TDD with Pytest.

            I would be covering the project structure where your test cases will reside.

            The creation of test cases as a class or function under pytest.

            Do head to part 1 of the series before proceeding with part 2.

            It is assumed that a Linux system is used for this series.

            Please use a Linux variant like Ubuntu or a cloud IDE like Codenvy running a Linux virtual container.

  • Leftovers

    • [Older] Everything is Amazing, But Nothing is Ours

      One of the funny outcomes of this half-mobile half-desktop world is where our de facto file system remerged. In absence of a coherent, logical file system across these two worlds, we trampled down a desire path and made our own: our email inboxes.

    • Science

      • NCCA Test for Espionage and Sabotage Administration Guide

        It should be noted that in a secret experiment conducted at the National Center for Credibility Assessment (then called the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute), 80 percent of subjects succeeded in beating the Test for Espionage and Sabotage after an hour-long training session.

        There is no documented instance of the Test for Espionage and Sabotage ever catching a spy or saboteur.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Nail Salon Workers Face Respiratory Illness and Cancer Risks, Study Shows

        Anyone who has walked past a nail salon is familiar with the noxious odors that emanate from acrylic nails, polishes and removers. Customers getting manicures and pedicures endure the smell temporarily, but manicurists who inhale these evaporating chemicals for hours expose themselves to health risks.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Let’s Push Democratic Presidential Hopefuls to Address U.S. Bases on Okinawa

        As Democratic presidential contenders gear up for the next debate on December 19, they are addressing many issues around foreign policy. However, it seems that all of them are neglecting to even discuss one major issue.

      • The Word Is Love

        It was 39 years ago Sunday that John Lennon was murdered by a deranged fan in front of his apartment – or, in the bitter words of Jimmy Breslin that night, “became another person who died after being shot with a gun on the streets of New York.” He was 40. Yoko Ono posted a searing tribute: Alongside her devastating photo of John’s blood-spattered glasses, she described his loss as “a hollowing experience” and mourned that 1,400,000 Americans have been killed by guns since his death, or roughly 100 a day. It’s difficult to confirm the number – in 2015, other sources cited the figure of 1.15 million – but the proximate reality is, regardless, horrific. A final, lengthy interview a few days before his death reveals the buoyant, conscientious, sometimes dark, always forthright human being we lost – on being an imperfect father: “I’m doing me best.” We can only imagine the art we lost as well. These dark days, God knows we could use his voice, heart, wit and enduring hope: “Imagine all the people/ Living life in peace/ You may say I’m a dreamer/ But I’m not the only one/ I hope someday you’ll join us/ And the world will live as one.” RIP.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Truth has been the first casualty of Britain’s election

        Winston Churchill once said that “in wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” If Britain’s election is anything to go by, these days lies are so precious that they need to be attended by a bodyguard of further lies. This election has been marinated in mendacity: big lies and small lies; quarter truths and pseudo-facts; distortion, dissembling and disinformation; and digital skulduggery on an industrial scale. The public is so disillusioned with the political process that, when a member of the public asked Boris Johnson during a televised debate whether he valued truth, the audience burst into laughter. Mr Johnson is the favourite by a substantial margin.

    • Environment

      • Gone with the Wind: How to Lose a Lifetime of Soil Health

        Agriculture’s past sometimes is separated from its present by the barest degree, and the glaring story of soil loss in North Dakota, highlighted by the efforts of researcher Dave Franzen, is a signpost account of cost and consequence, with relevance for the entire farming industry. Even today, after a grower works a Dakota field and looks in the back window—the soil appears as black as it did in years past. It is not. As Franzen bluntly summarizes: “People can’t believe how much soil we once had in this state. The really rich stuff is long gone and some farmers never realize that.”

      • Study Confirms Hurricanes Are Stronger, More Frequent, More Destructive Than Ever

        Danish researchers have settled a problem of US disaster accounting, confirming that in the last century North America’s worst hurricanes have become three times more frequent – and significantly more destructive.

      • Migrant Women and Girls Are Leading the Battle Against Climate Change

        Into the late afternoon hours, the blistering light gave way to soft, horizontal rays that crisscrossed over Lebanon’s Beqaa valley. The rays played with the children, casting long silhouettes of their forms, while they chased each other. As the temperature subsided, the elders of the community descended to the lowest level of the mosque-turned-refugee shelter.

    • Finance

      • The Pitchforks Will Come Out Eventually

        Failing to address wealth inequality means only one thing for a civilization: the end is near.

      • Trump Official Who Doesn’t Want Poor People to Have Publicly-Funded Healthcare Wants Public to Pay for Stolen Ivanka Jewelry

        New reporting by Politico reveals that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma filed a claim for over $40,000 for items stolen while she gave a speech bashing Medicare for All.

      • Schumer: Federal Workers to Get 12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave

        The Senate’s top Democrat said Sunday that congressional leaders have reached a “real breakthrough” deal to give 12 weeks of paid parental leave to millions of federal workers as part of the annual defense policy bill.

      • China to exempt US soybeans and pork from tariffs
      • Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith accused of helping North Korea evade sanctions

        A special agent for the FBI interviewed Griffith back in May 2019. It was a consensual interview and he talked about his presentation titled “Blockchain and Peace” with the agent. He showed photos of his trip and said he would like to attend the same conference next year.

        Griffith discussed his presentation with another individual via a messaging app. “Individual-1 asked, in sum and substance, what interest North Koreans had in cryptocurrency. Griffith replied, in sum and substance, ‘probably avoiding sanctions… who knows,’” the complaint says.

      • Huawei is now shipping smartphones with zero US components

        No US components is an improvement over Huawei’s previous flagship, the P30 Pro. We did our own version of this analysis back in May for the P30, where we looked over teardowns for US components. The P30 Pro is Huawei’s previous flagship smartphone, and while it was designed and launched before the US export ban, it still didn’t have a heavy reliance on US manufacturers. Huawei says it has been working to reduce its reliance on US companies for some time, with Huawei’s deputy chairman, Ken Hu, writing in May that “The company has known [a US export ban] could be a possibility for many years. We have invested heavily and made full preparations in a variety of areas, including R&D and business continuity, which will ensure that our business operations will not be greatly affected, even under extreme conditions.” So far, Huawei’s preparations seem to be working.

        On the older P30 Pro, Huawei already had its own SoC, thanks to its HiSilicon chip design division. HiSilicon was also responsible for several smaller chips, like audio, the RF transceiver, power-management, and mid-band 5G chips. From there the P30 components were a whirlwind tour across the world: a display from BoE in China, cameras from Sony in Japan, RAM from SK Hynix in South Korea, an NFC chip from NXP in the Netherlands, and a battery from Huizhou Desay Battery Co. in China. The biggest US components were the flash memory from Micron, LTE antennas from Skyhook and Qorvo, and SMPS (switched-mode power supply) chips from Broadcom.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • All-Female Ticket? Warren Says America Is Ready

        CHARLESTON, S.C.—Elizabeth Warren said Sunday she believes Americans are ready for a presidential ticket with two women at the top, rejecting concerns from some Democrats that a woman can’t beat President Donald Trump.

      • The Missing Stories: Three Big Issues the Media Is Missing

        When the media and both political parties represent the interests of the oligarchy, attempts to prop up corporate centrists will fail, and surprises like Trump will be inevitable.

      • Pressure Mounts for Deeper Investigation of Devin Nunes in Ukraine Scandal

        Problems continue to mount for one of Trump’s fiercest defenders in the House, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California). On December 3, the House Intelligence Committee revealed in its impeachment report that Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani’s indicted associate Lev Parnas made calls to Nunes on April 10 and April 12. The report only states the existence of the calls, not their content, but highlights that they occurred four days after an opinion piece containing disinformation about Joe Biden was published in The Hill. The Intelligence Committee report alleges this was part of a “coordinated effort by associates of President Trump” to push “false narratives publicly.”

      • Beating Trump Is Not Enough: The Real Change Democrats Must Pursue

        If we have another Obama-type presidency, without real change, we will eventually get Trumpism without Trump

      • Social Media Penetrates Every Aspect of Our Online Lives for Profit

        When powerful players in politics and media gather in secret and their meeting is exposed, is it any wonder that people would see straight through the stagecraft to the leading actors rehearsing their parts? In today’s growing political authoritarianism, there is little doubt that control and consolidation of communications is necessary to manage an agenda and major narratives. In light of the recent meeting between President Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, what new productions are now on the horizon for the people to parse?

      • Southern States Take Up Fight for Bold Democracy Reforms

        On Jan. 3 of this year, the first day of the 116th U.S. Congress, the new Democratic majority in the House introduced as its first bill a sweeping reform of the country’s elections. H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a bold package of measures aimed at improving voting access, tackling Big Money’s corrupting influence in politics, and bolstering ethics rules. The Washington Post called it “perhaps the most comprehensive political-reform proposal ever considered by our elected representatives.”

      • ‘Pushing Blatant Antisemitism’: Trump Rebuked for ‘Disturbing’ Comments

        “Trump’s antisemitism and his racism are two sides of the same coin.”

      • Hackers with high-placed daddies ‘Evil Corp’ member designated by U.S. Treasury is son of former Russian mayor

        Meduza has learned that one of the members of the hacker group “Evil Corp,” which U.S. official say is “behind the world’s most egregious cyberattacks,” is Andrey Kovalsky, the son of former Khimki Mayor Vladimir Strelchenko. 

      • Prince Charles demands Andrew be ‘open and honest’ about Epstein ‘issue’

        Prince Charles has ordered a crisis meeting with brother Andrew — demanding he comes clean about his dealings with Jeffrey Epstein before a potentially damaging TV special, according to a report Sunday.

        Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the throne, has ordered the meeting with his scandal-scarred brother before Monday night’s BBC special with key accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the Sunday Mirror said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • When the Voiceless Speak

        “Invisible People: Stories of Lives at the Margins”

        [...]

        This is how Alex Tizon starts his deeply personal essay, “My Family’s Slave.” The article ran in The Atlantic after his sudden death in 2017, and is the centerpiece of a collection of Tizon’s works called “Invisible People: Stories of Lives at the Margins.” He was hardly a household name. Tizon was one of three Seattle Times reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for “their investigation of widespread corruption and inequities in the federally-sponsored housing program for Native Americans, which inspired much-needed reforms.” Despite this towering professional achievement, Sam Howe Verhovek, a friend and colleague of Tizon when he worked at the Los Angeles Times, thinks he deserves more, and has edited this collection of Tizon’s stories and articles. Through a diverse catalog, Verhovek showcases Tizon’s unique gift for giving voice to those invisible people whom the world has chosen to ignore.

        Tizon brings a wide breadth of subjects to life, from a native woman at the edges of civilization to a man in search of UFOs, from a teenage gang member in prison for murder to a Khmer Rouge survivor facing lifelong trauma. But Tizon was no ordinary reporter: In every story, Tizon lifts the voice of his subject with an eloquence and dignity that reflect a deep human respect for each of them.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Now You can Stream Disney+ On Linux Operating Systems
      • Linux Users Can Now Use Disney+ After DRM Fix

        When Disney+ was first launched, Linux users who attempted to watch shows and movies were shown an error stating “Something went wrong. Please try again. If the problem persists, visit the Disney+ Help Center (Error Code 83).”

        As explained by Hans de Goede, this error was being caused by the Disney+ service using the highest level of security for the Widevine Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. As some Linux and Android devices did not support this higher DRM security level, they were unable to stream Disney+ shows in their browsers… Yesterday, Twitter users discovered that Disney+ had suddenly started working on Linux browsers after the streaming service tweaked their DRM security levels…

    • Monopolies

      • China Bids to Lead World Agency Protecting Intellectual Property

        Of all nations, China has been perhaps the most aggressive in stealing intellectual property, especially from U.S. companies—a key issue in U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing. Now, Beijing has its sights on leading the global organization that is supposed to protect IP, and which sets international standards for patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

        Earlier this month, China nominated a candidate to head the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, signaling its desire to more actively shape the international system for defining intellectual property rights.

        Given China’s long track record of corporate espionage, rampant IP theft, and support for U.S. enemies, many trade experts are wary, to say the least. Several years ago, the United States even opposed the creation of a patent office in China on the grounds that stringent safeguards for protecting the confidentiality of trade secrets in patent applications might be subject to intrusions in China, according to James Pooley, a former deputy director-general at WIPO who managed the agency’s international patent system. A WIPO official said the agency has no intention of opening a patent office outside the agency’s high-security office in Geneva.

        Under WIPO rules, patent applications remain confidential for 18 months before they are approved and then made public.

      • Patents

        • Ford Patent Application Shows New ‘Skateboard’ EV Truck Chassis Design
        • New Notice of U.S. Patent Allowance Granted to Axim® Biotechnologies for Suppository Formulations Comprising Cannabinoids
        • To compete and win, the US needs to get into the game

          For the U.S. to “win” we need to compete smarter and more aggressively. We must get far better at multilateral leadership campaigns, anticipating leadership changes, and identifying and placing qualified Americans or others who will champion the U.S. reform agenda in roles in these organizations.

          This is not a Republican or Democratic problem. This is an American problem.

          The multilateral system, for all its faults, is an effective vehicle for collective action and burden-sharing. The U.S. created the World Bank, regional development banks, the UN, and other multilateral organizations to advance broad U.S. interests. If we didn’t have these institutions, we would have to invent them — or, worse — they would be invented and led by others, such as China.

          It doesn’t help our credibility when we don’t pay our dues and owe a massive amount of arrears to the UN. Not paying our dues could work 20 or 30 years ago, but in a world where we have less influence than we used to, this strategy impacts our ability to project U.S. influence and instead tempts others to fill the financial and leadership void.

          There is a sense in Washington that these institutions are not “ours” and thus we tend to favor bilateral solutions to problems. However, while bilateral engagement can be uniquely effective, we cannot underestimate U.S. leverage in the multilateral system and miss opportunities for low-cost and high-impact engagement.

          Right now, it seems the Chinese are “winning” the UN appointments game. For example, in May, the Chinese at the World Health Organization (WHO) barred Taiwan from participating in the WHO assembly, where Taiwan has observer status. In 2015, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was taken over by Chinese national, Fang Liu. The leadership position has historically been held by Europeans or Americans. The ICAO, with the appointment of Liu, now follows China’s “One China” policy and refuses to allow Taiwan to attend ICAO meetings.

        • Attacking Innovation

          Economists generally agree that innovation is important to economic growth and that government support for innovation is necessary. Historically, the U.S. government has supported innovation in a variety of ways: (1) a strong legal system for patents; (2) direct support through research performed by government agencies, grants, loans, and loan guarantees; and (3) indirect support through various tax incentives for private firms. In recent years, however, we have seen a weakening of the U.S. patent system, a decline in direct funding of research, and a weakening of tax policy tools used to encourage new innovation. These disruptive changes threaten the future of innovation in the United States, potentially driving innovation activities offshore to Europe and China. This Article concludes that the current innovation crisis demands changes to both the patent and tax systems in order to instill confidence in the innovation landscape.

        • Solicitor General Recommends That Supreme Court Deny Certiorari in Hikma Pharmaceuticals v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals

          On Friday, the United States filed its brief in response to the March 18, 2019 order of the Supreme Court inviting the Solicitor General to express the views of the United States on the petition for certiorari filed by Petitioners Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and Hikma Pharmaceuticals International Ltd. in Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. The Solicitor General concluded that “[i]n the view of the United States, the petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied,” stating that the case was “not an optimal vehicle for bringing greater clarity [to the Court's recent § 101 precedents] because the court of appeals majority arrived at the correct result.”

          [...]

          The District Court determined that Hikma’s proposed products would infringe Vanda’s patent, rejecting Hikma’s argument that the ’610 patent claimed a patent-ineligible natural law. The Federal Circuit affirmed, with the majority (Judges Lourie and Hughes) concluding at step one of its Mayo/Alice analysis that the claims of the ’610 patent are patent-eligible because they are not directed to a patent-ineligible natural law, but rather are “directed to a novel method of treating a disease.” As explained in the Solicitor General’s brief, “[t]he majority explained that, although ‘[t]he inventors recognized the relationships between iloperidone’ and genetically linked side effects, they had not claimed the relationship itself, but instead had ‘claimed an application of that relationship’ that requires the administration of a specific dosage, ‘depending on the result of a genotyping assay.’” The brief also explained that Chief Judge Prost, writing in dissent, “stated that, ‘[w]hatever weight can be ascribed to’ Mayo’s suggestion that ‘a new way of using an existing drug’ may be patent-eligible, lower courts ‘remain beholden’ to what she described as Mayo’s contrary ‘holding.’” Following the Federal Circuit’s denial of rehearing en banc, the Hikma filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, offering the following Question Presented…

        • Software Patents

          • VirnetX patent win against Apple vacated by U.S. appeals court

            A U.S. appeals court on Friday voided a jury’s calculation that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) should pay $503 million for infringing patents owned by licensing firm VirnetX Holdings Corp , setting the stage for another potential trial in a decade-old legal battle.

            In a partial victory for VirnetX, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit left in place a Texas jury’s finding that Apple iPhones infringed two VirnetX patents relating to secure communications technology.

          • Apple Must Fight Credit Card Tech Patent Lawsuit in Texas (1)

            Apple Inc. failed to convince an East Texas federal district court to move a patent infringement dispute involving its Apple Wallet application to a court closer to its California headquarters.

            The Nov. 27 ruling is a win for Marshall, Texas-based Quest NetTech Corp., which is suing Apple for allegedly infringing its U.S. Patent No. RE38137 that describes a electronic credit card system to store financial account and transaction data.

      • Copyrights

        • RIAA Shut Down DBR.ee, Now Obtains Subpoenas to Target Replacement

          The RIAA, IFPI, and Music Canada teamed up earlier this year to shut down file-hosting platform DBR.ee, claiming it infringed their members’ copyrights. A replacement site, that later appeared at a new URL, is now being targeted by the RIAA after it obtained subpoenas against Namecheap and Cloudflare.

        • Google Sees DMCA Anti-Circumvention Notices Skyrocket

          Copyright holders are increasingly targeting Google with DMCA anti-circumvention notices. The number of complaints has already doubled compared to last year, and skyrocketed compared to the years before. The notices are particularly effective as there is no standard mechanism to file a counter-notification.

        • Juice WRLD Dead at 21 After Sudden Seizure at Chicago Airport

          Rapper Juice WRLD (aka Jared Higgins) was pronounced this dead this morning after suffering a massive seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport.  The rapper was 21.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:13 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 12:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent maximalists are among the biggest culprits

Buzz me up!
Buzz me up!

Summary: In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents

OVER THE past year the European Patent Office (EPO) often promoted software patents disguised not only as “hey hi” (AI) but also “blockchains” (in both cases there are two aspects to it; one pertains to patent searching and another to patent applications). Hours ago we found this report which talks about blockchains (the real thing) and bemoans the gold rush to patents on algorithms. To quote:

Over the last few years, the number of patent applications filed for blockchain technology has been on the rise globally, with the U.S dominating the charts. According to reports, the notable patent filers in the blockchain technology space have been banks. But, don’t patents question the very existence of blockchain? A technology that is supposed to be open, permissionless and transparent?

Along the same lines, James Gong, the Co-founder of LongHash, has said that “patents go against the spirit of blockchain technology.” In the latest LongHash post, Gong stated,

Not only that; in the US that goes against 35 U.S.C. § 101 (which USPTO administrators like to sweep aside and ignore). In Europe we have Team Campinos/Battistelli misusing the term — a concept they clearly don't even understand (see this talk from Campinos, complete with nonsense such as “CII”, “4IR”, “IoT”, “AI” and “Blockchain”).

“Off-the-shelf implementations of algorithms such as these have long been available, even before Microsoft’s GitHub existed (the article perpetuates the idea that GitHub is the only thing which counts).”We’ve entered a dangerous era in the patent world. WIPO (UN) issues reports that glorify patents on buzzwords (“hey hi”), they’re always calling everything “IP” (patents are not property) and they deliberately conflate things, such as blockchains for storage and search and blockchains as precondition for patent grants (pseudo-novelty to bypass strict limits on patenting).

Hours ago we also saw that Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP’s Theodore Claypoole had published this nonsense in Lexology and other patent maximalists’ journals. It uses the term “Open Source” along with “IP” and “Machine Learning” (what many in this profession call “hey hi”). To quote:

Businesses know that machine learning systems and artificial intelligence programs can be customized to meet a company’s specific needs. Most are at a loss to know how to begin developing them. Many are worried about teaching a machine learning system their pivotal secrets and losing rights to the system itself.

We have talked and written extensively on the risks of artificial intelligence that many business executives may be too intimidated to seek its rewards. This hesitation is unwise and unnecessary.

Probably the best way to resolve these concerns is for companies to start building their own AI for improving internal processes. While the prospect may seem foreign and scary, a universe of open source tools exists to make it easier.

Off-the-shelf implementations of algorithms such as these have long been available, even before Microsoft’s GitHub existed (the article perpetuates the idea that GitHub is the only thing which counts). I know this as someone who worked in that area for over a decade and a half. The above perpetuates several other falsehoods, which basically glorify statistical analysis, training and pattern matching as something new and innovative when it face it goes many decades back. The main difference is the availability or cost of computational resources available to us at scale.

“Our society is quickly devolving into a pool of marketing terms (“apps”, “cloud” and so on), so having meaningful technical discussions — e.g. in the patenting domain — is too difficult. The lawyers prefer it that way (BlahLaw).”It seems reasonable to conclude that patent offices and law firms could really use some training or education about those buzzwords they keep dropping. Public officials too could use some lessons to avoid being bamboozled. Our society is quickly devolving into a pool of marketing terms (“apps”, “cloud” and so on), so having meaningful technical discussions — e.g. in the patenting domain — is too difficult. The lawyers prefer it that way (BlahLaw).

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