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12.15.19

GitHub is All About Control

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

These are a few of my favorite things about this proprietary software trap

Spying, Scanning, Banning, Censoring, Discriminating

Summary: GitHub is not a platform for sharing and collaboration but social control and manipulation of the Free software community

2019 in Review: Worst Year Ever for Software Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 2:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A railway station

Summary: A look back (and ahead) as the year’s end fast approaches, marking the end of a mostly bad year

THE first half of the last month of the year is now over. Free software is doing extremely well in the sense that it’s widely used (more than ever before), but listening devices (commonly euphemised as “smart” “assistants”; they’re neither) apparently continue to spread, sometimes even as holiday “gifts”. Yesterday I found out that a fellow Ph.D. student, whom I shared an office with a decade and a half ago, had left the company where he worked for about 15 years. It’s a small company we rely on for hosting (at my night job). I won’t name him or the company; they’re likely victims of the whole “clown computing” hype — the idea that all data and all computing should be outsourced to few monoliths — typically in another continent and with lucrative military contracts (those include access to all the data!).

“I couldn’t possibly imagine that Richard Stallman would leave the FSF later in the year…”In 2019 we cut down most USPTO coverage; that’s a decision I made almost exactly a year ago when I was in Berlin; coverage about European Patent Office (EPO) scandals was prioritised and seeing that European software patents were making a comeback in “hey hi” form (also in the US, where bypassing 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn’t simple) it seemed important to tackle.

I couldn’t possibly imagine that Richard Stallman would leave the FSF later in the year; nor could I envision a number of other setbacks to come, including the rapid deterioration of the Linux Foundation (total deviation from its identity and mission statement), demise of Linux.com (all writers fired except one who isn’t even using GNU/Linux!), and closure of Linux Journal. There were several other bits of bad news; what an awful year it has been! Our associates largely share that sentiment.

The important thing is that we remain vigilant and fight back. The software keeps spreading, but it doesn’t always spread freedom with it (for various different reasons, depending on one’s definition/interpretation of freedom).

“The important thing is that we remain vigilant and fight back.”We started a number of initiatives, including Delete GitHub. Earlier this year, for a number of months, we had the Openwashing Report. We ended it when it started to feel a tad repetitive. At the moment figosdev works on Systemdisenfranchised, which neatly fits into the Librethreat Database. Seeing the democratic process in Debian this month, there’s hope they’ll choose to become separable from Red Hat/RHEL. If that’s not too late…

At the moment I use 3 laptops; one runs GNOME, another runs KDE Plasma and the main one runs Openbox. The main one is satisfactory for work and the setup suits my workflow; this machine turns 11 next year. I use it without battery (it hasn’t worked for nearly a decade), without a screen (it’s broken, so I use this laptop only with an external monitor) and the keyboard too is mostly busted, so I use an external one (for years now). That’s difficult to explain when guests come over, but all these issues are hardware issues, nothing to do with GNU/Linux…

“At the moment I use 3 laptops; one runs GNOME, another runs KDE Plasma and the main one runs Openbox.”In 2020 we expect more actions at the EPO (protests, strikes) and far too much apathy on the subject of software patents. Almost nobody but us is left to speak about this issue (which is sad and unfortunate). On the Free software side of things, we hope to see fewer companies/projects joining GitHub (Microsoft) and more leaving it; the same goes for Windows and Azure. From what we’ve been hearing, even from former Microsoft insiders, things aren’t rosy at Microsoft. People are leaving, both staff and customers. Microsoft is aware and it seems to be busy chasing contracts with authoritarians in China, the Pentagon, ICE and Big Polluters (oil giants that drill the seas).

If the fake news has an element of truth to it, Microsoft has some sort of Arctic vault. Good. Maybe they make burial plans for the company itself. That’s long overdue. Is the vault large enough to accommodate the many hundreds of dead Microsoft products and projects? Will Bill Gates outlast the company? If not, he can always use his Epstein contacts posthumously to meet lots of young ladies, making up for the loss of youth he cannot buy back. Imagine… no more “Bill says” articles.

Links 15/12/2019: Hacker-Friendly Hardware Success Stories and Mozilla Woes

Posted in News Roundup at 1:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Google prevents some Linux users from signing into its services

        Google, and much of the web and internet infrastructure that powers the world’s digital revolution today, relies squarely on Linux. Linux is the kernel whose development started more than 25 years ago, and today the term applies to a number of operating systems building on that kernel and powering anything from the world’s top supercomputers to every Android phone – and much of the vast expanses of tech that lie in between.

      • Several Linux Browsers Blocked from Accessing Google Services

        Users are reporting on reddit that a number of Linux browsers can no longer be used to log in to Google services, such as Gmail and Google Docs, with the error page indicating that the apps may no longer be supported.

        The blocked browsers include Konqueror, Falkon, and Qutebrowser, according to the linked discussion thread.

    • Server

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 19.3 To Arrive With Open Source OpenGL 4.6 And Several New Vulkan Extensions Supported By Intel And AMD Radeon Drivers

          The upcoming quarterly update to Mesa 3D Graphics Library, which brings the version to Mesa 19.3, is expected to pack a lot of benefits, including support for the latest Open Source OpenGL v4.6, and several new Vulkan extensions. The Mesa 19.3 update could land as soon as this week itself, and experts argue it is by far the biggest or most significant improvement before the current year ends. Linux desktop users have been eagerly awaiting the critical component additions to the Mesa 3D Graphics Library, as the update was severely challenged and hence delayed, due to ‘blocker’ bugs.

        • Intel Revises The Shared Virtual Memory Support For Their Linux Graphics Driver

          In their journey towards the Intel Xe GPUs expected to launch initially next year in the form of Ponte Vecchio, just about one month ago Intel posted patches implementing Shared Virtual Memory support for their Linux graphics driver. Those SVM patches have now been revised for further review in potentially making it for Linux 5.6 should everything look good.

          Shared Virtual Memory support allows a single address space to handle threads operating on both CPU backed and GPU discrete memory. SVM is important for OpenCL, oneAPI, and other modern pointer-based programming models. Intel’s SVM support is built atop the Linux kernel’s Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM) infrastructure.

        • AMD’s GPU Performance API Library 3.5 Drops ROCm/HSA Support

          Released on Friday was a new version of AMD’s GPU Performance API “GPUPerfAPI” project under the GPUOpen umbrella. This is the AMD library used by CodeXL, Radeon Compute Profiler, and others for tapping GPU performance counters and to help in analyzing performance/execution characteristics for Radeon hardware. But this new GPUPerfAPI 3.5 release comes with a rather surprising change.

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1 released with enhanced 3D support, UI

        Oracle, the California-based software manufacturing company, just released VM VirtualBox 6.1.0 today. This is the first major release of the free and open-source hosted hypervisor software since version 6.0 release December of last year.

        VirtualBox 6.1.0 includes better integration with the public Oracle Cloud, user-interface improvements, further work on the 3D support introduced in VirtualBox 6.0 and a plethora of other changes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Customize your Linux desktop with the Trinity Desktop Environment

        When KDE 4 was released in 2008, KDE 3 went into support mode until support was dropped entirely. That’s the usual lifecycle of software, desktops included, but the KDE 3 fanbase wasn’t universally pleased with KDE 4, and some of them decided a fork was in order.

        Some of them formed a new project with the mission of preserving the look and feel of KDE 3, starting from KDE 3.5.10 (the last official release in the 3.x series), and then forking Qt 3 into TQt to keep the underlying technology updated. Today, the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) delivers a traditional desktop environment that looks and feels essentially the same as KDE 3 did 10-plus years ago.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Zorin 15.1 released with improved Office compatibility, and Game mode

          It’s been more than half a year since the release of Zorin 15, but now the new point release of this operating system is finally here with plenty of new features and improvements that are sure to get the users excited.

          Not too long ago, Zorin 15 was made available to the general public. So, before discussing the new point release, it only makes sense to highlight the features of Zorin 15, as most of them would be included in Zorin 15.1.

          The Ubuntu-based operating system accompanies a Windows-like appearance, which it’s most famous for. When it comes to its features, it also sports a new touch mode, auto dark theme support, and Zorin Connect (which connects your computer to your phone and allows you to control your cursor through your phone and do a bunch of other cool stuff). The operating system is also available in Lite flavor, which you can get to know more about here.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Open Suse Asia Summit 2019, Bali

          When you travel for the very first time Internationally there are lot of things going in your head. Especially for someone like me, who is a vegetarian and is travelling all alone with no experience of flight. I was a lot nervous, was thinking about the culture of the place I am going, was nervous about flight itself, I watched a lot of “How to save yourselves” videos while travelling in flights.

          [...]

          I was in the flight, slept for a while ( It was midnight flight) , and then it hit me, I saw that crew was up whole the time making sure that we sleep well, I was so touched by this, and I reached out to the crew and talked about this, they were very welcoming and talked about their job and I had a nice talk with them, All of the whole experience was just so nice.

          In the end, they reached out to me, and shared a token of gratitude, they gave me “Singapore airlines playing cards and a ball point pen”, with a letter that they enjoyed having me as a passenger. Well, I was not aiming for any gifts or something, I just went to them and asked about their job and appreciated their hard-work genuinely.

      • Debian Family

        • Giovanni Mascellani: Debian init systems GR

          I don’t think that nowadays the choice of the init system can neutral: like the choice of a kernel, a libc and some other core components, you cannot just pretend that everything can be transparently swapped with anything else, therefore Debian rightly has to choose a default thing (Linux, glibc, the GNU userland, and now systemd) which is the standard proposal to the casual user. Systemd has clearly become the mainstream thing for a lot of good reasons, and it is the choice the most Debian users and developers should adopt (this is not to say that systemd, its development mode or its goals are perfect; but we have to choose between alternatives that exist, not between ideal ones). This is the reason why imposing that any init system should be supported at the same level is silly to me, and therefore why option E is the last one, and the only one below Further Discussion; in much the same way as it would be silly to impose that kFreeBSD, Mach and musl should be supported at the same level of their default counterparts (although I would be pretty excited to see that happening!). We cannot expect any Debian contributor to have the resources to contribute scripts/units for any init system randomly appearing.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • The 20 Best Raspberry Pi OS Available to Use in 2020

        Raspberry Pi is the most popular SBC – Small Board Computer around the world. It can do pretty much everything that a desktop computer can do and suitable for all ages who are keen to explore computing. Raspberry comes with all the software; you require for basic computing. But if you want to extend the functionalities to some extent, you will need to take the help of OS running on your device. It performs as a bridge between the user and Raspberry hardware. OS is the most crucial program that helps you to develop and execute programs. It enables the hardware to communicate with the software for generating meaningful interactions. Also, it manages CPU, memory, disk drives, printers, establishes user interface, and provides services for applications software. Although Raspbian is the official Raspberry Pi OS, there are other alternative operating systems also available out there you can run on the Raspberry Pi projects.

      • FreeMesh is a $150 open source mesh WiFi system (1 router + 2 nodes)

        Mesh WiFi systems have taken off in the last few years, with pretty much every company that makes routers offering a mesh option or two. But they tend to be on the pricey side, since you typically have to buy two or more devices to get the most out of a mesh system. And like most routers, they tend to run proprietary software.

        FreeMesh is designed to be an open source, relatively inexpensive alternative.

        For $150 you can pick up a FreeMesh WiFi router and 2 nodes that run an open source operating system based on OpenWRT.

      • Onion Omega2 Dash Enables Touch-based UI’s, Features Omega2S WiFi Module (Crowdfunding)

        Onion, the team behind the Omega2 series self-styled computing modules has launched the Omega2 Dash a self-contained Omega2S module with a touchscreen.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Stackable Open Source 3D Printer Enclosure

          One of the unfortunate realities of desktop FDM 3D printing is that environmental factors such as ambient temperature and humidity can have a big impact on your results. Even with the exact same settings, a part that printed beautifully in the summer can warp right off the bed during the winter months. The solution is a temperature-controlled enclosure, but that can be a daunting project without some guidance. Luckily, [Jay Doscher] has spent the last few months designing a very impressive enclosure that he’s released to the community as open source.

        • Open-Source Satellite Propulsion Hack Chat

          When you look back on the development history of any technology, it’s clear that the successful products eventually reach an inflection point, the boundary between when it was a niche product and when it seems everyone has one. Take 3D-printers, for instance; for years you needed to build one if you wanted one, but now you can buy them in the grocery store.

        • Codasip partners with Western Digital on open‑source processors

          A supplier of configurable RISC-V embedded processor IP, Codasip GmbH announced it has joined forces with Western Digital Corp. to become the preferred provider of hardware implementation packages and expert technical support for users of Western Digital’s SweRV Core EH1, a RISC-V core currently available to the open-source community and further supported by the open-source development organization CHIPS Alliance.

          CHIPS Alliance is a barrier free environment which allows collaboration for open-source software and hardware code.

          The SweRV Core EH1 is a 32-bit, 2-way superscalar, 9-stage pipeline core introduced earlier this year by Western Digital, a leader in data infrastructure. With performance of up to 4.9 CoreMark/MHz and a small footprint, it offers compelling capabilities for embedded devices supporting data-intensive edge applications, such as storage controllers, industrial IoT, real-time analytics in surveillance systems, and other smart systems. The power-efficient design also offers clock speeds of up to 1.8 GHz on a 28nm CMOS process technology.

        • Codasip Teams Up with Western Digital to Support Adoption of Open-Source Processors

          The SweRV Core EH1 is a 32-bit, 2-way superscalar, 9-stage pipeline core introduced earlier this year by Western Digital, a leader in data infrastructure. With performance of up to 4.9 CoreMark/MHz and a small footprint, it offers compelling capabilities for embedded devices supporting data-intensive edge applications, such as storage controllers, industrial IoT, real-time analytics in surveillance systems, and other smart systems. The power-efficient design also offers clock speeds of up to 1.8 GHz on a 28nm CMOS process technology.

        • CutiePi open source tablet crowdfunding campaign in the works, open source design files already available

          The CutiePi is a tablet powered by a Raspberry Pi Computer Module 3 Lite. It’s designed to run Linux-based software such as Raspbian, and the design of the tablet is also open source.

          First revealed earlier this year, the hardware and software are a little closer to final at this point — the CutiePi developers have posted some pictures and a video showing the custom CutiePi printed circuit board in action, and the design files are all available at github for anyone who wants to try manufacturing their own PCB and assembling their own tablet.

        • Bangle.js open source smartwatch hands on

          After a successful crowdfunding campaign the fantastic open source smartwatch which is completely hacker bore and programmable has now made the jump from concept to production. If you missed out on the Kickstarter campaign the Bangle.js smartwatch is now available to pre-order from the Espruino shop priced at £70 or approximately $92.

        • CORE-V Chassis SoC open source project calls for participation

          With the CORE-V Chassis project, the recently formed OpenHW Group aims to tape out a heterogeneous multi-core processor evaluation SoC, capable of running the Linux operating system during the 2nd half of 2020.

          The CORE-V Chassis will see a CV64A 64-bit core running alongside a CV32E 32-bit coprocessor core.

          Based on the proven NXP iMX platform, the resulting CORE-V Chassis evaluation SoC will also feature 3D and 2D GPUs, MIPI-DSI and CSI display and camera I/O, hardware security blocks, PCIe connectivity, a GigE MAC, USB 2.0 interfaces, support for (LP)DDR4, and multiple SDIO interfaces, along with a wide range of further peripheral blocks.
          The 64-bit CV64A core in th

        • Cobham Introduces Two New Open Source Processor IP Cores

          Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions revealed Thursday that it has introduced two new offerings to its Cobham Gaisler family of Open Source IP Cores. The new LEON5 IP core implements the SPARC V8 32-bit Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), a 32-bit architecture. And Cobham’s new NOEL-V supports RISC-V, an open, free ISA that enables processor innovation through open standard collaboration. NOEL-V is Cobham’s initial RISC-V solution and the company plans to introduce a range of RISC-V offerings.

        • Cobham Unveils New Open Source Processor IP Cores

          Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions announced today that it has introduced two new offerings to its Cobham Gaisler family of Open Source IP Cores. The new LEON5 IP core implements the SPARC V8 32-bit Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), a 32-bit architecture. Based on VHDL, Cobham’s LEON5 super-scalar dual-issue processor provides software backward compatibility with previous generation LEON processors, while increasing performance both in terms of maximum achievable operating frequency and amount of computations performed per system clock cycle. Cobham’s new NOEL-V supports RISC-V, an open, free ISA that enables a new era of processor innovation through open standard collaboration. Cobham, a Gold-Level Member of the RISC-V Foundation, plans to introduce a wide range of RISC-V offerings. NOEL-V, Cobham’s initial RISC-V solution, is a RV64GC compliant processor Intellectual Property (IP) core, a 64-bit architecture, written in VHDL. Both of Cobham’s new Processor IP Cores will be available for initial download into Xilinx UltraSCALE FPGAs.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Organizing open source for cities

        Cities and municipalities around the world are facing serious problems that are affecting citizens’ safety and access to government services. Take Baltimore, for example, the home of Mosslabs.io and its founder/organizer Jacob Green, which experienced a ransomware attack that shut down the city’s digital services for most of the summer, preventing people from buying real estate and doing other everyday business with the local government.

      • Your open source gift giving guide for 2019

        The holiday season is upon us, and that means you’ll be giving gifts to family and friends. But what do you do when those gifts are going to fans and users of open source software? Fortunately, you don’t have to fret, as there are plenty of options available that are sure to please your Linux and open source friends.

        And just because your recipients are supporters of open source, it doesn’t mean that every gift you hand out must be released under the GPL or be powered by the Linux operating system. In fact, you have plenty of options.

        Here are my picks for the best open source gift options of the year.

      • Librecorps: an organization that connects student free/open source software developers with humanitarian NGOs

        Librecorps is a program based at the Rochester Institute for Technology’s Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) initiative that works with UNICEF to connect students with NGOs for paid co-op placements where they build and maintain FOSS tools used by nonprofits.

      • Healthcare Industry: Open-Source is gaining momentum
      • The future of open source: 3 discoveries

        The majority (60%) of tech professionals said their involvement in open source has increased for three key reasons: They enjoyed it, they wanted to learn new skills, or they found their contributions fulfilling, a DigitalOcean report found. The popularity of open source isn’t a huge surprise, since the market for open source is forecasted to exceed $32 billion by 2023, according to the report.

      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Apache APISIX

        “The APISIX will help speed development time and support configurable plugins for enterprise personality configuration,” the team added “APISIX is based on Nginx and etcd. Compared with traditional API gateways, APISIX has dynamic routing and plug-in hot loading, which is especially suitable for API management under micro-service system.”

        It includes dynamic load balancing to balance across multiple upstream services, additional security layers such as ACL, CORS, Dynamic SSL and IP restriction. It also has traffic control, analytics, monitoring and logging plugins.

      • Open Source and AI: Ready for primetime in government?

        The Office of Management Budget released its open source policy in 2016.

        [...]

        The policy requires agencies to examine the total life cycle cost of IT purchases. Open source software has a huge pricing spectrum from free to very expensive. There is a reason that IBM recently paid $34 billion for Red Hat, the largest provider of open source-based solutions. More often than not, there is an enterprise edition of open source software that packs a commercial license, and only a stripped-down “community edition” with a free license.

      • Open Software Means Kinder Science

        As a marine ecologist, I never expected I would one day advocate that science should operate more like the tech industry.
        This is not about “moving fast and breaking things.” For me, it is about openness.
        Open software, both a driver and a result of Silicon Valley’s success, has been game-changing for me as a scientist. Its transformative power has improved my ability to analyze data and collaborate with other scientists.
        But it is not only about the tool sets and skill sets. It is about mind-sets and culture: An unsung part of open software are its communities that promote and enable a more inclusive, kinder culture.
        When I truly began learning the open-source programming language R in 2014, I was part of a small team of marine ecologists who needed R to bring order to the chaos of repeating an annual and massive analysis of global ocean health. The first thing that surprised me was that R software was created by real people—real and incredibly nice people whom I could actually talk with and who made intentional efforts to welcome and include me.

      • Where To Get Noticed By Recruiters Before The Job Posting Goes Live

        Open-Source Technology Projects

        For software engineering and data science positions, recruiters will often spend time looking through open-source technologies that are relevant to the job descriptions. Specifically, who was contributing, and who was following?

        Similar to conferences, this is another way to measure who is actively interested in the same technologies and projects. Why is this important? Showing a drive to learn more means that a candidate is already likely a good fit as long as they have the right skills (both technical and soft).

        Often, people who are working on/contributing to these projects are doing it on their own time because it is one of their passions. Many of them would love to do it as a full-time job but haven’t found that position yet. As a recruiter, sourcing from these open-source projects means that you are catching them before their search has started, which saves them time.

      • Survey Reveals Talent, Tech and Compliance Key Drivers for Financial Institutions to Engage in Open Source

        For financial firms, seeing the value of engaging in open source isn’t something that happens overnight-it requires a strategic commitment and understanding of the technology’s long-term benefits. Aite Group’s new report called, “From Secret Sauce to Open Source,” addresses this issue and revealed key findings for firms looking to engage in open source. The report was commissioned by FINOS (the Fintech Open Source Foundation), a nonprofit member organization whose mission is to foster adoption of open source, open standards and collaborative software development practices in financial services and released at yesterday’s Open Fintech Forum.

      • An Overview of Cloud Migration and Open Source

        The role and emergence of open source technologies simplified the equation of overall expenditure for all enterprises and organizations of any industry domains. Year by year, more open source projects are coming up and solve major challenges which businesses are facing. Companies such as Red Hat and communities like Linux Foundation have a major role in promoting open source projects at the heart of digital transformation.

      • A Guide to Open Source Support Providers
      • How open-source software took over the world

        What’s more, lots of this software is actually developed collaboratively, created and maintained by an army of thousands, from unpaid volunteers to employees at competing tech companies.

        This is the world of open-source software, where code is written and distributed freely. So how did a business model that essentially revolves around giving away information and products take over the world?

      • This Mozilla Project Can Be A Game Changer Speech Recognition
      • How to Make Your Own Open-Source Voice Assistant With Raspberry Pi

        Want an open-source alternative to Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant? Download Mycroft onto Raspberry Pi for a privacy-focused voice assistant.

      • BP goes all-in on AWS migration of European mega data centres

        Oil and gas giant BP is planning on shutting down its two European data centres and shifting 900 applications to the cloud with Amazon Web Services (AWS) over the next two and half years, as part of an ambitious cloud migration strategy.

        After already shifting the majority of workloads from its Houston, Texas data centre to both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services public cloud infrastructure, BP has decided to go all in with AWS for its European cloud migration.

      • Huawei, Intel, Bosch Et Al Take On Open Source Edge Computing

        The launch of the Edge Native Working Group sees the likes of ADLINK, Bosch, Edgeworx, Eurotech, Huawei, Intel, Kynetics, and Siemens collaborating as founding members.

        The Edge Native Working Group is a vendor-neutral and code-first industry collaboration that is set to drive the evolution and broad adoption of open source software for edge computing.

        With open source still yet to unleash its full potential, the Edge Native Working Group is focused on the near-term creation of an end-to-end software stack that will support deployments of today’s most transformative technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, and more.

      • Huawei’s HarmonyOS source code will be available to developers next year
      • Huawei’s HarmonyOS source code will be available to developers next year
      • Events

        • Why OFFDEM?

          FOSDEM is approaching its 20 year anniversary.

          It is customary to many large festivals to have an Off version at the margin of the main festival, to give space to proposals that are not represented in the official one.

          The idea of OFFDEM is to address intersectional questions that are not present at FOSDEM, in a format that attracts people who usually do not go there: at OFFDEM, everyone is a user.

          FOSDEM misses cosy and quiet spaces for collectives to meet, focus, hack and work together in good conditions, away from the noise and seasonal rain, shielded from the usual stress of too much sollicitation and perceptual saturation ; the main attraction of OFFDEM should be its absence of both concurrent tracks and a main track, so that ad-hoc organization, free conversation and unexpected activities can take place.

          OFFDEM should also act as an overflow mechanism for a number of free software groups that could not obtain a devroom due to the saturation of physical space at FOSDEM.

        • Release Notes: Join us for Demo Night in Boston next Tuesday!

          On December 17, MuckRock, Code for Boston, and Hacks/Hackers are putting together a demo night to highlight a number of open source projects, including MuckRock’s newest government transparency tool, GovLens.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Remains Confident Despite Dip In Revenue

            As far as revenue is concerned, 2018 saw a 20% decline on the previous year, dropping from USD 562,279,000 to USD 450,860,000. Royalties, the fees which Mozilla receives received from companies like Google, Baidu and Yandex for including their search engines in Firefox and which represents 95% of Mozilla’s revenue went down, in percentage terms, slightly more than the total revenue. Relying so much on Royalties puts Mozilla in a vulnerable position since it relies on keeping on good terms with the Goliaths of the industry, in particular Google with which it is in direct competition for browser traffic. Mozilla has plans for augmenting its revenue with paid-for services and has recently launched its first two branded products. Firefox Premium for Enterprises was launched, in the US only, in September 2019. Its Basic service is Free, so there is no suggestion of paying to use Firefox, but for a fee starting at $10 per supported installation, enterprise users can benefit from private bug submission, critical security bug fixes, or even “concierge bug entry with guaranteed response time”. A Service Level Agreement Management tool is another benefit on offer.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Funding

        • Creators of the Open Source ​DAML​ Smart Contract Language Digital Asset – Raises $35 Million in Series C

          The creators of the open-source ​DAML​ smart contract language, ​Digital Asset​ (DA), has raised approximately $35 million in Series C funding from new and existing investors. According to DA, the latest financing round brings the total amount raised by the company to $150 million.

        • High Fidelity lays off half of staff, pulls plug on open-source VR platform

          High Fidelity is laying off half of its workforce and halting development on its open-source VR platform. High Fidelity CEO Philip Rosedale announced the moves in a blog post yesterday.

          It is the second big pivot for the company this year. In May, it laid off 25% of its employees as it switched gears from building a VR “metaverse” to a narrower goal of building its tech for virtual office spaces.

          “We plan to continue to use our technology as our company’s primary virtual office but we have decided not to commercialize the virtual workplace application at this time,” Rosedale said. “Simply put, having taken a close look, while we can see that remote work is going to continue on its growth trajectory and we do have customers using it — the opportunity is not big enough today to warrant additional development.”

      • FSF

        • Licensing / Legal

          • GSA Satellite-Navigation Data May Be A Lot to Digest!

            Why is such software so important? The problem is that Galileo navigation signals travelling through the ionosphere can be significantly delayed by the electrical charges in this atmospheric layer before reaching the end-users’ terminal. To compensate this perturbation in the signal, Galileo receivers integrate a dynamic model of the ionosphere composition known as the NeQuick G model. Receiver manufacturers will now be able to benefit from an open version of the NeQuick G correction algorithm that implements a new coding approach.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development/Admin

        • The Eclipse Foundation Launches the Edge Native Working Group to Deliver Production-Grade Code for Open Source Edge Computing

          The Eclipse Foundation today announced the launch of the Edge Native Working Group, a vendor-neutral and code-first industry collaboration that will drive the evolution and broad adoption of open source software for edge computing. With edge computing code from the foundation already deployed in production environments, the Edge Native Working Group is focused on the near-term creation of an end-to-end software stack that will support deployments of today’s most transformative technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, and more. Founding members of the Edge Native Working Group include ADLINK, Bosch, Edgeworx, Eurotech, Huawei, Intel, Kynetics, and Siemens.

          “Edge computing has emerged over the past few years as the way to process data and deliver services for AI, autonomous vehicles, 5G, IoT, and important industrial use cases by leveraging distributed, localized compute,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “Within the Eclipse community, we already have a mature code base of open source edge computing platforms with production deployments in the field. The Eclipse Foundation is happy to host this vendor-neutral industry collaboration to accelerate the adoption of distributed applications at the edge.”

          Edge computing, a distributed computing architecture that brings compute power and storage physically closer to applications in order to improve performance and increase efficiency, is forecast to generate a market worth $16.5 billion within the next five years (Allied Market Research, 2019). The Eclipse Foundation already hosts production-ready code that enables developers to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications at the edge at enterprise scale.

        • Rootconf Hyderbad, 2019

          Rootconf is the conference on sysadmins, DevOps, SRE, Network engineers. Rootconf started its journey in 2012 in Bangalore, 2019 was the 7th edition of Rootconf. In these years, through all the Rootconfs, there is a community that has developed around Rootconf. Now people do come to attend Rootconf not just to attend the conference but also to attend friends and peers to discuss projects and ideas.

        • A bit of fun with awk

          I learned a few tidbits in awk this week. awk is a language I have, at best, looked at only very superficially, even though I use it frequently if very basically: to chop a line into fields. I tend to use it more than cut(1) because I can print additional data to that which I’ve cut out (without having to add sed(1) so awk just is more versatile for me.

        • How Unix Works: Become a Better Software Engineer

          I’ll put just enough commands for us to play along, assuming you’re starting from scratch. We’ll explore concepts, see them in practice in a shell, and then scream “I GET THIS!”. Along the way, we’ll also figure out what a shell really is.

          But we can’t begin without getting into the minds of the creators: exploring Unix’s philosophy.

          For now, we can assume Linux is Unix. If you want to know why that’s not really the case, you can skip to the bottom and come back. We’ll end the Unix vs linux confusion once and for all.

        • wireguard

          wireguard (wg) is a modern vpn protocol, using the latest class of encryption algorithms while at the same time promising speed and a small code base.

          modern crypto and lean code are also tenants of openbsd, thus it was a no brainer to migrate my router from openvpn over to wireguard.

        • Python

          • Python Software Foundation: Mozilla and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative are funding pip with $407,000

            The Mozilla Corporation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative are funding the Python package installer pip with $407,000 USD to support work that is planned for 2020. Where is pip headed next year? The roadmap has been laid out, so let’s have a look at what the future holds.
            As the Python Software Foundation (PSF) announced in a blog post, it is receiving $207,000 USD from Mozilla via the Mozilla Open Source Support Award and $200,000 USD from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) as Essential Open Source Software for Science grant.

            The funds are designated to support a three-phased working plan for pip in 2020 to make the package installer “easier for people to use and troubleshoot”, and here’s what’s going to happen.

          • A Tiny Python Exception Oddity

            If you go back to the first case I discussed, with the unmatched parenthesis, in Friendly-traceback, I rely on the location of the error shown by Python to indicate where the problem arose and, when appropriate, I look *back* to also show where the potential problem started. Unfortunately, I cannot do that in this case with CPython.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • If You ARIA Label Something, Give It A Role

          The longer version is that several elements created extraneous amount of announcements in screen readers in the past that were not really useful. Especially in the ARIA 1.0 days where a lot of things weren’t as clear and people were still gathering experience, this was an issue for elements or roles that mapped to regions, multiple landmarks of the same type on a page, etc. Therefore, best practice has become to label both widgets (which should be labeled anyway), and landmarks with means such as aria-label or aria-labelledby, to make them more useful. This is important for several reasons…

        • A small Wisconsin company stored thousands of people’s CDs, then suddenly vanished

          Last month, almost a million CDs stored in Wisconsin seemed to disappear. For years, thousands of people paid a Madison-based company, named Murfie, to rip, stream, and store their CDs, vinyl, and cassettes. But a few weeks ago, Murfie’s website went offline and nearly all communication from the company ceased. Now, customers fear their physical music collections may be lost forever.

          Murfie’s main service was digitizing people’s audio CDs for high-fidelity cloud playback. You’d mail in your collection, Murfie would rip them to the cloud, and if you kept paying a storage fee, Murfie would hold onto your physical collection and even let you buy and sell with other users. For nine years, it had done that. But late last month, the service stopped, and customers who went to the website found it had gone offline.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • A Kung Fu Master’s Leap Breaks the Internet—but Not Physics

        Yep, once he pushes off the ground, his center of mass actually follows a normal parabolic trajectory. Just like when you toss a ball into the air, the only force acting on him at that point is the gravitational interaction with Earth. That means he has a constant downward acceleration, producing that familiar path. At this level, it’s normal projectile motion.

        But he’s not just a rigid ball; his body is still working as he moves through the air, and that’s where the magic happens. To sort it all out, I ran this clip through my Tracker video-analysis app.

      • As I See It: When Gates Was Young

        And all of this malignant online activity has real-world consequences. Children are bullied to the point of suicide; immigrants and LGBTQ people are harassed, attacked, and sometimes killed; neo-Nazis are emboldened to march through our streets; women and children are sexually exploited to feed the boundless appetite for pornography; and dangerous divisions grow around the world as orchestrated lies feed suspicions and fuel hatreds.

        Nations now have low-cost, non-military means to influence, disrupt and divide their adversaries. In the run up to the Brexit vote, Russian trolls were able to convince a sizeable portion of the British electorate that Turkey was going to be welcomed into the European Union and, as a result, England would be invaded by millions of Turks seeking a better life. None of it was true, but enough people believed it to fracture the European Union. It was the first known instance of an economic and cultural alliance being shattered from remote desktops.

        And here in the United States, Russian electoral interference helped – depending on your orientation – elect either the man chosen by God to save the country, or that fraction of a human being who resides in the White House. In nations where freedom is a threat, digital Berlin walls are being constructed. Paul Krugman describes China’s efforts to keep its people ignorant and docile.

        “China created its Great Firewall to seal off the Internet inside China from the global Internet – so Beijing could censor all news and online internal discussions, freezing out Google, Facebook, and Twitter. China, as well as other countries, has also begun ring-fencing certain data pools, software and technology stacks to make sure that all of them, or at least key elements, are stored on domestic servers and not accessible from abroad.”

        And so, these marvelous, miraculous creations – personal computers, the Internet, social media – the gifts of the digital Magi, have been weaponized. The dreamers and idealists were right: They did change the world, but could not have imagined the direction the changes would take, or all of the ways their inventions would be abused.

        The fearful, vile, and opportunistic have historically used the brilliance of their betters to harm the object of their fears. I think it was Ayn Rand who posited that the person who harnessed fire was probably the first to be burned at the stake. Regardless, technological progress continues at an accelerated pace. It races out ahead of our ability to integrate it. It is the evolution of human consciousness that lags so frightfully behind.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Medicare for All or Profits for a Few

        On a level democratic playing field, the for-profit healthcare industry’s fear mongering would gain little traction, as its talking points are easily refuted.

      • Opinion: What Canada can learn about two-tier health care from Ireland

        Be careful what you wish for, Canada.

        One way or the other, Canadian courts are about to make some key decisions about the role of private financing and practice in the health care system; the Cambie case in British Columbia is just the latest attempt to overturn fundamental components of publicly funded medicare.

        Closing arguments were made last week and the decision in this legal case, which is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court, will have ramifications for decades and for millions of people.

      • [Old] USMCA (NAFTA 2.0): tightening the constraints on the right to regulate for public health

        The most significant chapter in terms of access to medicines is Chapter 20 (Intellectual Property Rights [sic]). This chapter includes many of the ‘TRIPS-Plus’ rules from the TPP as originally negotiated, including the following obligations, which were subsequently suspended in the CPTPP:

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Houses of Worship Attacked With Deadly Frequency in 2019

        On Dec. 1, a band of assailants opened fire on worshippers at a small-town Protestant church in Burkina Faso, an impoverished West African country where the Christian minority is increasingly a target of attacks. The victims included the pastor and several teenage boys; regional authorities attributed the attack to “unidentified armed men” who, according to witnesses, got away on motorcycles.

      • Fighting Rages Near Libya’s Capital Amid Push by Rebel Army

        Just two days after rebel Libyan commander Khalifa Hifter declared a “final” and decisive battle for the capital Tripoli, heavy fighting raged for a 24-hour period between his troops and militias loosely allied with the internationally backed government based in the city, officials said Saturday.

      • Between Hope and Horror: Sandy Hook Families Still Breathe Tiny Shards of Glass
      • Where Is the Outrage Over the War in Afghanistan?

        On Monday, The Washington Post began a new series called “The Afghanistan Papers,” based on documents obtained by the newspaper of an internal military report on “lessons learned” from Afghanistan since the American invasion in 2002. The Post deliberately echoed the Pentagon Papers in the title, and the series explicitly draws parallels with the earlier scoop. This comparison might seem like hype, but the revelations in the Afghan report live up to its precursor. Like the Pentagon Papers, the Afghanistan Papers make clear that policy-makers consistently held a much more pessimistic private view of the Afghan War than they ever admitted in public. A feel-good story of progress was sold to the American people by military leaders and politicians who knew the truth was very different.

        And yet, unlike the Pentagon Papers, the Afghanistan Papers are not making a splash. [...]

      • Turkey is getting military drones armed with machine guns

        A drone with a machine gun attached can hit targets with high precision, according to its makers. Turkey is set to become the first country to have the drone, when it gets a delivery this month.

        The 25-kilogram drone has eight rotating blades to get it in the air. Its machine gun carries 200 rounds of ammunition and can fire single shots or 15-round bursts.

      • Palantir Wins New Pentagon Deal With $111 Million From the Army

        The new Defense Department deal will represent about 10% of Palantir’s revenue next year, according to people familiar with the company’s finances. It’s the first step in what could be a four-year, $440 million deal with the Army.

        The Silicon Valley company will provide software to connect human resources, supply chains and other Army operations systems into a single dashboard. The Army considered earlier proposals for related work from Accenture Plc, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and Microsoft Corp.

      • Killer Robots Aren’t Regulated. Yet.

        “We call them precursors,” Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, said in an interview between meetings at the United Nations in Geneva. “We’re not quite there yet, but we are coming ever closer.”

        So when will more advanced lethal autonomous weapons systems be upon us?

        “I think we’re talking more about years not decades,” she said.

    • Environment

      • Depth of Field: Greta Thunberg Takes on the World

        Over the course of the last two weeks, at the 25th Conference of the Parties in Madrid—referred to as COP25, an annual United Nations summit that gathers global leaders, scientists, and activists on issues of environmental justice—16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg has commanded an unusual pull. Fortunately for the planet, Thunberg is not alone. Her voice joins a youth-led climate movement that is demanding a course correction from the politicians, governments, and private corporations that have led to skyrocketing levels of greenhouse gas emissions. To put it plainly, the planet is getting too hot too fast. We’re in deep trouble.

      • “Market Solutions” Won’t Bring Climate Justice. Eco-Feminism Is the Alternative.

        As world leaders descended on Madrid, Spain, during the first two weeks of December 2019 for the annual United Nations climate summit (COP25), a video of blindfolded women filling plazas across Latin America and Europe went viral; the women stomping, symbolically squatting and singing in unison, in Spanish, to the beat of a drum: “The patriarchy is the judge/ It judges us for just being born/ And our punishment / is the violence you don’t see.” The lyrics escalate, “The rapist is you/ It’s the cops/ The judges/ The state/ The president.” In Madrid, feminists from around the world gathered near COP25 to perform the piece, “A Rapist in Your Path.”

      • U.N. Climate Talks in Limbo as Chair Chile Bids for Compromise

        Chilean officials presiding over this year’s U.N. climate talks said Saturday they plan to propose a compromise to bridge yawning differences among countries that have been deadlocked on key issues for the past two weeks.

      • In Final Hours, COP 25 Denounced as ‘Utter Failure’ as Deal Is Stripped of Ambition and US Refuses to Accept Liability for Climate Crisis

        “The only thing more disastrous than the state of UN climate negotiations at COP 25 is the state of the global climate.”

      • Climate Policy Should Reflect the Resilience of Northern Indigenous Communities

        This year, Canada experienced record-breaking temperatures across the nation, with a larger increase above normal temperatures in the north than in the south. Canada’s annual average temperature has warmed 1.7C since 1948, but in northern Canada it has increased by 2.3C.

      • Energy

        • ALEC Behind Ohio Bill Criminalizing Protests Against Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

          When anti-protest legislation pushed by oil, gas and utility interests was introduced in the Ohio state Senate this year, it met a receptive audience and passed easily on a mostly party-line vote. It has since moved to the state House, where almost one-third of legislators are ALEC members, and will likely pass at the beginning of 2020.

    • Finance

      • Danny Glover Supports Landmark Reparations Fund in Chicago Suburb

        The Hollywood actor spoke at an Evanston town hall in support of a new policy to use revenue from marijuana legalization to narrow racial economic gaps.

      • How McKinsey Makes Its Own Rules

        It’s not easy being McKinsey & Company these days.

        For most of its 90-odd-year existence, the prestigious management consultancy prided itself on remaining above the fray. McKinsey consultants plied the executive suites of Fortune 500 companies, counseling chief executives with discretion and quietly building a business that, with $10 billion in annual revenues, is now bigger than many of the entities it serves. The substance of the company’s work, and even the identities of its clients, lie concealed under an institutional code of silence. That reticence, enforced by a nondisclosure agreement, bedeviled Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign until last Monday, when McKinsey granted him a rare dispensation to reveal the names of his former clients.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • For Real Democracy, We Need Political Participation at All Levels of Public Life

        Yavor Tarinski is an independent researcher and activist whose publications and talks center on the possibilities of direct democracy and commoning practices as an alternative to the current social imaginary. He is the author of Direct Democracy: Context, Society, Individuality (Durty Books Publishing House, 2019). He is a member of the editorial team of the Greek political journal Aftoleksi, bibliographer at Agora International and member of the administrative board of TRISE. In the past he has co-founded “Adelante” — the first social center in Bulgaria as well as the first Bulgarian Social Forum.

      • The Perry and the Tweet

        “It all made sense thanks to a simple trumpian tweet…”

      • Postal Pay Cuts Provoked a General Strike in Finland. US Postal Workers Deserve the Same Solidarity.

        The prime minister resigned over the nationwide protests, catapulting a 34-year-old woman into Finland’s top job.

      • Ukrainian Foreign Influence Operation Bankrolled by Secret Donors

        Foreign agents peddling influence for a controversial Ukraine politician were part of a coordinated effort bankrolled through a secretive network of shell companies and offshore entities, according to new foreign lobbying records.

      • Bolsonaro’s Revisionist History of Brazil

        The Brazilian government announced the creation of a new video series with which it intends to “combat leftist ideas” and offer a false narrative of Brazilian history.

      • House Judiciary Committee Recommends Impeachment of Donald Trump

        On Friday the 13th of December, the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. After a 14-hour hearing, the committee voted 23-17, along party lines, to recommend to the House of Representatives that Trump be impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

      • Following Warren and Sanders, Candidates Vow Not to Cross Picket Line for Debate

        As the hospitality workers’ union Unite Here Local 11 said that next week’s Democratic presidential debate could be threatened by stalled contract negotiations for workers at Loyola Marymount University, which is hosting the debate, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders led the Democratic field in announcing they would be on the side of the workers if a deal is not reached in the coming days.

      • Ilhan Omar Joins Sanders in Drawing 1,300 People to Largest New Hampshire Rally of 2020 Primary So Far

        “If believing that 500,000 Americans should not be forced into medical bankruptcy every single year is radical, than we’re proud to be radical.”

      • Don’t Let the Smears That Sank Corbyn Tank Bernie Sanders

        “Labour’s worst performance since 1983 carries an important lesson for the grassroots left-wing campaign in the United States to elect Bernie Sanders as president: You must defeat false anti-Semitism smears at all costs.”

      • Johnson’s Win May Deliver Brexit but Could Risk U.K.’s Breakup

        Leaving the European Union is not the only split British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has to worry about.

      • Boris Johnson’s election win means we’re all heading off a cliff

        Not much of a cliff-hanger, was it? Despite every squalid disappointment of this dull, dishonest election and all that driving rain, Boris Johnson’s winter gamble has paid off. Now his troubles really begin. He has refashioned his party in Nigel Farage’s harsher image and has promised to deliver many impossibles. He has the Commons majority he asked for. No more excuses for the World King. No more hope of reversing Brexit. That re-set Brussels clock is ticking again towards a weak deal, a no-deal or a One Nation chameleon’s U-turn.

      • Key committee passes Trump impeachment charges

        Friday’s hearing lasted just over ten minutes before the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstructing Congress – were passed by 23 votes to 17.

        The vote had been expected on Thursday but was delayed after more than 14 hours of rancorous debate. Republicans criticised that decision by Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Nadler, accusing him of pushing back the vote to ensure more TV coverage.

        In the abuse of power article, Mr Trump is accused of soliciting a foreign country to help him politically by trying to force Ukraine to launch a corruption investigation into his political rival Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential contender.

        He is also accused of obstructing Congress by failing to co-operate with the House investigation.

      • Showdown in Wisconn Valley

        Whatever Foxconn is building in Wisconsin, it’s not the $10 billion, 22 million-square-foot Generation 10.5 LCD factory that President Trump once promised would be the “eighth wonder of the world.” At various points over the last two years, the Taiwanese tech manufacturer has said it would build a smaller LCD factory; that it wouldn’t build a factory at all; that it would build an LCD factory; that the company could make any number of things, from screens for cars to server racks to robot coffee kiosks; and so on.

        Throughout these changes, one question has loomed: given that Foxconn is building something completely different than that Gen 10.5 LCD facility specified in its original contract with Wisconsin, is it still going to get the record-breaking $4.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies?

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Future of Sex Work Slams Up Against Big Tech

        There was just one problem. Around the time Blanco opened his account,v (Blanco embraces the term sex worker; not all influencers on these sites are as unabashed in welcoming the label.) Today, building a sustainable brand requires cross-platform synergy—a kind of digital harmonic convergence—which means many creators often leverage their following on Instagram to promote their fan accounts, typically adding a link in their bio. As first reported by XBIZ, Facebook updated its community guidelines over the summer, fine-tuning specific language around sexual expression; this applied to content not only on Facebook but also on Instagram, which it owns. (The platforms share “sexual solicitation” policies, the company confirmed.)

        According to a Facebook spokesperson, the update aimed “to help people better understand our policies, but nothing changed in terms of the policy itself or how we enforce it. In other words, it was simply a clarifier for the community.” The company said in an email to WIRED that it has AI “constantly running” to find content that violates its policies.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • How the FCC lets your ISP paint a rosy picture of [Internet] speeds

        According to the WSJ, companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast have worked to influence the reports and have used a variety of tactics over the years to boost their numbers. In doing so, the FCC’s reporting system could be showing connection speeds that are far faster than what customers actually get.

      • Planned $1.1B Sale of .Org Angers Many Open Source Crypto Developers

        “.Org is usually the namespace for non-profits, foundations, governmental research institutes, and others. Being owned by a private equity firm usually stands for maximizing profits and revenue. The big problem is that non-profits have limited funds and they fear that the domain prices will rise beyond a level that they can afford,” said Peter Wilfahrt, co-founder of Versangigant.

        While not many open-source blockchain projects depend on the .org TLD, the move from the non-profit Internet Society (INSO) to the for-profit Ethos could hasten the end of the public-domain Internet. In fact, INSO’s parent, the so-called PIR – which stands for Public Interest Registry – “has confirmed it will discard the non-profit status it has held since 2003 as a result of the sale,” according to a Register report.

        Although moving the TLD into private hands shouldn’t change much technically, it effectively removes the price cap associated with .org domains, allowing squatters to set outlandish prices for sought-after domains.

    • Monopolies

      • Billboard is changing its albums chart to count YouTube streams

        Billboard has announced that YouTube streams will be factored into the Billboard 200 albums chart starting early next year. Video streams from other platforms will also count, including Apple, Spotify, Tidal, and Vevo, and Billboard says the change will also impact genre album consumption charts, like country, Latin, and others. Billboard’s charts have historically been seen as a barometer of success within the music industry.

      • WIPO Public Consultation on AI and IP

        The World Intellectual Property Organization has launched a public consultation process on artificial intelligence and intellectual property policy, inviting feedback on an issues paper designed to help define the most-pressing questions likely to face IP policy makers as AI increases in importance.

        In January 2019, WIPO issued a study that surveyed the landscape of AI innovation. The WIPO Technology Trends report offers evidence-based projections to inform global policymakers on the future of AI. Subsequently, in September 2019, WIPO held a Conversation on IP and Al bringing together member states and other stakeholders to discuss the impact of Al on IP policy, with a view to collectively formulating the questions that policymakers need to ask.

        [...]

        Looking at issues around Inventorship and Ownership, Patentable Subject Matter and Patentability Guidelines, Inventive Step or Non-Obviousness, Disclosure and General Policy Considerations for the Patent System.

      • Prime Leverage: How Amazon Wields Power in the Technology World

        Software start-ups have a phrase for what Amazon is doing to them: ‘strip-mining’ them of their innovations.

      • Patents

        • One man’s crusade to open-source cannabis DNA

          By 2018, Medicinal Genomics’s ability to map the genome of cannabis strains had advanced greatly. So when a cryptocurrency gave McKernan’s company 150 DASH (approximately $67,500 at the time of the grant) to map a strain called Jamaican Lion, the genome was assembled and publicly available within 60 days of the payment.

          Blockchain technology didn’t just fund the effort. Jamaican Lion’s actual genomic information was also encoded directly into a blockchain. That made sure the data was published publicly and securely, with a globally recognized timestamp, in a way that can’t be edited after the fact.

          [...]

          That paper trail is important because it predates the patent applications of Biotech Institute LLC, a shadowy cannabis science company profiled extensively in Part 2 of this special report. Which means that if Jamaican Lion can be proven to have exhibited the same properties described in Biotech Institute’s first patent at least a year prior to when the Biotech patent was issued, then that would effectively invalidate Biotech’s claims.

          But that’s far from a sure thing. Cannabis patent law remains in its infancy, and the plant remains federally illegal in the United States, so it’s pretty much impossible to predict how the government will weigh a claim based in part on a High Times sponsored harvest contest.

        • Nokia stresses confidentiality of EU antitrust mediation with Daimler and suppliers

          I asked Nokia, which has recently issued a couple of public statements on its EU antitrust row with Daimler and four of its suppliers, for comment on Continental’s new licensing offer. Nokia declined to comment, and stressed that they “respect confidentiality, including that of the mediation process, which will itself be confidential.”

          This means we’re unlikely to hear anything for some more time. EU competition commissioner Vestager said she was going to wait until mid-February.

        • USMCA

          • NAFTA 2.0 Does Little to Reverse the Damage of Its Predecessor

            On Tuesday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Democrats had reached a deal with the Trump administration to advance the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), also referred to as “NAFTA 2.0.” In explaining the deal, she said: “There is no question of course that this trade agreement is much better than NAFTA.”

          • With USMCA Moving Forward, American Farmers Seek More Trade Deals

            The USMCA replaces the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. A key part of the new agreement is to lower or end tariffs and boost markets for U.S. crops – most notably corn and soybeans – in countries bordering the United States.

          • United States–Mexico–Canada Trade Fact Sheet Modernizing NAFTA into a 21st Century Trade Agreement

            The United States, Mexico, and Canada have reached an agreement on a modernized, high-standard Intellectual Property (IP) [sic] chapter that provides strong and effective protection and enforcement of IP rights critical to driving innovation, creating economic growth, and supporting American jobs.

          • [Old] USMCA: Intellectual Property [sic] Rights [sic] (IPR)

            Patents protect new inventions, such as pharmaceutical products, chemical processes, business technologies, and computer software. USMCA definespatentable subject matter asnew productsand processes, as well as new uses, methods, or processesof a known product. Under TRIPS, patented inventions must receive a minimum term of 20 years of protection. USMCA requires adjustments of patent termsfor “unreasonable” delays in the patent examination or regulatory approval processes. “Unreasonable delays” include a delay of more than five years from the date of filing or three years after a request for examination of an application, whichever is later. USMCA includes a notification system and procedures(e.g., judicial or administrative proceedings) to assert patent rights or to challenge a patent’s validity. These procedures are more flexible than “patent linkage”—a provision common to many prior U.S. FTAs whereby regulatory authority cannot grant marketing approval to a generic drug without the patent holder’s permission

          • USMCA: The 3 most important changes in the new NAFTA and why they matter

            The new agreement includes stronger protections for patents and trademarks in areas such as biotech, financial services and domain names – all of which have advanced considerably over the past quarter-century. It also contains new provisions governing the expansion of digital trade and investment in innovative products and services.

      • Copyrights

        • Two Las Vegas Men Plead Guilty in U.S. Criminal Streaming Piracy Case

          Two defendants have pleaded guilty for their role in the operation of two streaming services that offered access to pirated movies and TV-shows. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, ]iStreamItAll and Jetflicks were among the biggest illegal streaming services in the US. The platforms used torrent and Usenet sites to source thousands of pirated videos for their platforms, which were offered to the public for a monthly subscription fee.

European Patents Losing Their Appeal, Lustre and Glamour

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Presumption of validity an elusive dream now

IAM on quality at EPO

Summary: Years of assaults on EPO staff — including EPO judges — have taken their toll and the quality of patents is nothing like it used to be

WHETHER it’s Iancu (USPTO) or Campinos — or his predecessor Battistelli — the trend in Western patent offices isn’t encouraging. For a little while, with Michelle Lee at the USPTO for example, there was a glimmer of hope. Will these offices quit their obsession with quantity? Will they focus on quality instead (not just mention the word “quality”)?

“Patent maximalists are devaluing the patent pool and harming the perception associated with patents.”Ask European patent examiners what they’re seeing; they know patent quality is being reduced. Even recent court cases show that many European Patents are ‘fake’, e.g. SolarEdge. Fewer firms than before are writing a whole press release and paying to spread it just to say that the European Patent Office (EPO) — with all its issues — granted a monopoly; over the past few weeks if not month we found only one example of it [1, 2] (4 days ago).

Patent maximalists are devaluing the patent pool and harming the perception associated with patents. This new article (“The Rise Of Patent Wars In Europe’s Gene Therapy Space”) reminds us that monopolies on genetics are being granted by the EPO (patents that are in violation of the EPC, instructions from Parliament and so on). The part about these patents is behind the paywall and it’s preceded by loads of hype and jingoism:

The gene therapy industry is in an exciting phase of growth, undergoing significant mergers and acquisitions activity, product sales and new marketing authorizations that are being issued with increasing regularity globally.

Recent reports have estimated that the market is likely to be almost four times its current value by 2025[1], with up to 20 new product approvals expected every year[2].

This rapid growth brings inevitable challenges. Significant issues relating to regulatory standards in manufacturing plants, establishing acceptable reimbursement policies and antitrust investigations are among a few.

There are now many patent disputes and law firms profit from these. Many of the underlying patents perish in courts (we’ve given several examples earlier this year). That’s not really a problem for law firms because they profit regardless and days ago in Mondaq Marta Kawczynska (Polservice) was trying to ‘sell’ patent ‘services’, including at the EPO, citing the EPC which the EPO violates every day:

In accordance with the EPC, a European patent application may be filed by any natural or legal person, or by any equivalent to a legal person by virtue of its governing law. For the purposes of proceedings before the European Patent Office, the applicant is deemed to be entitled to exercise the right to the European patent. The application may be in the name of one applicant or joint applicants. The application may also be filed by two or more applicants designating different contracting states. It is possible that a first applicant may designate one group of contracting states and a second a different group of contracting states, while both applicants jointly designate a third group of contracting states.

It would be useful to be told about the rapidly-declining patent quality and low validity rates this entails. National patent offices (NPOs) likely provide much better services than the EPO, based on people who have worked with both. The way things are going, some time soon European Patents (EPs) will be synonymous with Invalid Patents (IPs). The EPO nowadays grants patents on animals, life, nature, plants, seeds, maths, and statistics. It’s really ridiculous.

Incidentally, promoted in Lexology the other day was this article by UDL Intellectual Property’s Terence Broderick, noting that “the EPO found that the documents could be passed without any legal barrier” in a case initially mentioned here a few weeks ago (it’s regarding a trolling conglomerate with a pile of software patents wrongly granted in Europe). To quote:

This year, the European Patent Office (EPO) considered this exact point, examining the public availability of shared documents in the context of a disclosure which would prejudice the patentability of an invention.

The documents were produced as part of the MPEG standardisation process. Standardisation can often involve collaboration between organisations and the employees involved will often pass documents between each other without stopping to consider the confidentiality implications.

However, in this particular case, the EPO found that the documents could be passed without any legal barrier to individuals not bound by confidentiality. The documents were found to be publicly available as it was possible for them to be accessed by individuals not bound by an explicit confidentiality obligation.

So, if your employees are collaborating with others and sharing confidential information, you must ensure that all of the parties are bound by explicit obligations of confidentiality. Otherwise, you may find that one of your employees has accidentally invalidated one of your patents before it’s filed.

When it comes to lack of confidentiality, there have been vastly worse scenarios over this past year. The EPO just isn’t acting like a law-abiding institution; it’s hardly even trying.

Software Freedom and The U.S. Constitution

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Law at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

US Constitution

Summary: “We need to stand for the freedom to not use the software — we need to enjoy that freedom without giving up the rest of the existing Free software ecosystem.”

I think it’s unlikely that Stallman was considering the Constitution as the primary inspiration for the Free Software Definition. One reason I think it’s unlikely is I’ve never read that he did, and he’s the sort of person to say so more than once. But whether intentionally or inadvertently, I think what he did is actually create a constitution for software users.

The United States Constitution represents the nature of the American government, according to the will of the people. This is the nicest way of putting it, as a “2/3 majority” is not exactly what people sometimes assume it is. All the same, the British monarchy invites someone to create a government — and in the Constitution, Americans provide their consent to the government’s existence.

In order for this consent to be reached, a list of amendments had to be added. The states would not agree to ratify the Constitution if it created too much centralised authority, and the Bill of Rights was a list of deal-breakers — they were freedoms that were demanded before consent would be given.

“I think it’s unlikely that Stallman was considering the Constitution as the primary inspiration for the Free Software Definition.”Obviously, I am not going to propose that the Free software Definition is like the Constitution in every way. But I think some of the similarities are instructive, or at least interesting.

The Free software Definition began with three freedoms, including the rights to study, change and share any software that met this definition. If a law violates the Constitution, it is invalid and should be struck down. If software comes with a license that denies one of these freedoms, it is considered non-free and should either be avoided or (according to those who consider software freedom more ethically imperative than license restrictions) disobeyed. Personally, I prefer to avoid using software that doesn’t offer the freedoms in the FSD.

As to what gives people any moral right to disobey a software license that denies the user the rights to control their own computer, it goes back to the idea that just laws should be followed, but unjust laws should not. Who decides which laws are which? Ultimately, it is the people whose decision matters. Sure, that complicates things, but that is the nature of ethics.

“As to what gives people any moral right to disobey a software license that denies the user the rights to control their own computer, it goes back to the idea that just laws should be followed, but unjust laws should not.”I am generally happy to simply boycott non-free software or at least work to remove it from the computers that I control, because I believe we create a better world for computer users and even developers when we do this. But when it comes to other works, such as books and movies and music, disobeying unjust laws becomes very important and also extremely common — almost universal. So unless you wish to plead a very special case for obeying unjust software licenses, I can’t fully disagree with at least the concept of disobeying them, even if I think there are more practical (even generally safer, one might add wiser) alternatives like using Free software instead.

The most common protest of this reasoning is that who is going to pay artists or programmers for their work? What Stallman says about this with regards to software development is well known.

With regards to artists, it is probably easier to make money (on average) as a musician now than at any other point in history, and people have more unpaid access to music than at any point in history as well. The existence of free libraries has the effect of increasing, rather than diminishing author revenue, because libraries lead to better book sales. Even if you’ve read a book, the odds are increased you will buy that book as a gift, and so on. These facts fly in the face of rhetoric from monopolists and copyright expansionists.

There are also ways for programmers to make money that don’t involve the very predatory nature of end-user-license agreements and non-free software licenses.

Just as the Constitution and Bill of Rights outlined a system that the people were willing to consent to, the Free software Definition outlines a system that free users and developers are willing to participate in. For those who believe Free software is vital, they do not consent to software licenses that violate the Four Freedoms.

Of course it is Four Freedoms now, because like the Constitution, the Free software Definition was eventually amended to include the freedom to use the software, for any purpose. So we had the freedom to study, change, share the software — plus the obvious freedom to use the software.

“There are also ways for programmers to make money that don’t involve the very predatory nature of end-user-license agreements and non-free software licenses.”It’s not very practical to study, change or share the software if it can’t be used, but adding the freedom to use the software clarifies an important point — the freedom to use the software can be unreasonably limited. DRM made the arguably implicit freedom to use worth clarifying and making explicit. But does it limit the freedom to change the software?

A sophist may tell you that the freedom to change the software includes the freedom to change it so that other people can’t use it. This is sophistry because that comes down to the freedom to limit the freedom of others. The freedom to change the software never really included the freedom to change it so that others can’t use it, because the freedom to change it also implies the freedom of others to change it so they can use it.

“A sophist may tell you that the freedom to change the software includes the freedom to change it so that other people can’t use it. This is sophistry because that comes down to the freedom to limit the freedom of others.”Which is more relevant to freedom, really–the freedom to change the software so people can’t use it, or the freedom to change it so people can? Clearly if you have the freedom to change it, you have the freedom to change it so you can use it! So freedom 0 is not an amendment that violates freedom 3 (or at least, I firmly believe this is better reasoning than the alternative.)

With regards to an amendment that says you have the freedom to NOT run the software, a freedom 4, I will apply the same kind of reasoning. Let’s look at the exact wording of Peter Boughton’s freedom 4 as I’ve tailored it to fit the Four Freedoms:

The freedom to NOT run the software, to be free to avoid vendor lock-in through appropriate modularization/encapsulation and minimized dependencies; meaning any Free software can be replaced with a user’s preferred alternatives (freedom 4).

And here are the exact original words for comparison:

Here would be my fifth: replace – the freedom to not run the software, to be free to avoid vendor lock-in through appropriate modularization/encapsulation and minimized dependencies – meaning any Free software can be replaced with a user’s preferred alternatives.

“Up till now, Linux has greatly benefited from the integration / componentization model pushed by previous UNIX’s. Additionally, the organization of Apache was simplified by the relatively simple, fault tolerant specifications of the HTTP protocol and UNIX server application design.” https://www.gnu.org/software/fsfe/projects/ms-vs-eu/halloween1.html

Let’s look at these key words, which are bound to be disputed as compatible with the existing freedoms:

A. “the freedom to not run the software,”

B. “to be free to avoid vendor lock-in through appropriate modularization/encapsulation and minimized dependencies -”

C. “meaning any Free software can be replaced with a user’s preferred alternatives.”

Regarding A., if you have the freedom to change the software (freedom 3), which is more important — the “freedom” to change the software so users have no choice but to run it, or the freedom to change it so you have the choice?

Regarding B., if you have the freedom to change the software, which is more important — the freedom to change the software so as to avoid vendor lock-in, or the freedom to change the software to create it?

Regarding C., which is more important, the freedom to change the software so components can be changed or replaced, or the freedom to change it so that components cannot be?

“If you look around, you can see people spending years to remove lock-in created by very deliberate and obvious (and of course, sometimes denied but sometimes, even gloated about!) effort to force people to use the software.”It is sophisty to claim that Free software authors have a right to create increasing amounts of lock-in. The more lock-in they create, the less free the user is — the less control they have over their computing.
Taken to its extreme, the user has no freedom 3 at all. So why would we call it “freedom” when suddenly it is only halfway there? There is no crime on Earth which does not suffer from similar pedantry used to deny the problem — all the way up to people and governments not taking action against genocide because essentially, “how do we know it’s really genocide if some of them are still around?”

“OSS projects have been able to gain a foothold in many server applications because of the wide utility of highly commoditized, simple protocols. By extending these protocols and developing new protocols, we can deny OSS projects entry into the market.” https://www.gnu.org/software/fsfe/projects/ms-vs-eu/halloween1.html

As with freedom 0, the freedom to use outweighs any “freedom” to change software so as to lock out the user with Tivoisation. With freedom 4, the freedom to choose not to use outweighs the “freedom” to change in a way that forces people to use software.

As to whether people are being “forced” to use software via lock-in, again, that’s the hardest thing to prove, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell. If you look around, you can see people spending years to remove lock-in created by very deliberate and obvious (and of course, sometimes denied but sometimes, even gloated about!) effort to force people to use the software.

“There are similar problems with the Constitution today.”The freedom to not use the software was for most of our history, implicit until these attacks came along 5 or more years ago. The fifth freedom makes that freedom explicit.

The freedom to to use the software was also implicit, at least with Free software, until DRM came along. It was most likely DRM that made freedom 0 necessary to reinforce the other three freedoms. It is considered more fundamental — it supports the other freedoms.

The freedom to not use the software supports the freedom to change the software. If you are being effectively forced to use software, if your entire software ecosystem is being attacked in a way that makes it take half a decade to remove the offending software, if running away from it and boycotting it only results in it steamrolling through every distro you try, even the ones that exist specifically for the purpose of avoiding it — then you have a real problem.

“The First Amendment is a limitation on Congress to abridge the freedom of speech.”There are similar problems with the Constitution today. For both the Constitution and the Free software ecosystem, the overarching reason that freedom is threatened is that both the country and Free software are being taken over by the same monopolistic entities that Free software (and the United States) were created to resist.

The First Amendment is a limitation on Congress to abridge the freedom of speech. It is from this freedom of speech that software freedom (software is, very easily, a form of speech — it is a written work, and as some of us argue it ought to be as unabridged as the right to do mathematics) is easiest and most obvious to justify as a human right.

And yet worse in terms of precedents than abridging free speech is compelled speech. Compelled speech has its ethical domain in P.O.W. camps and totalitarian regimes, the sort of regimes that Microsoft has enjoyed creating with its software. Do not turn off your computer, we will these run updates now, whether you need to turn it off or not. Compelled speech violates the freedom of thought, not just the freedom of speech.

“We’ve seen Microsoft play this game before, and they’re very good at it. When it works, Microsoft wins a monopoly lock. Customers lose.” https://www.gnu.org/software/fsfe/projects/ms-vs-eu/halloween1.html

“Of course we should resist compelled software, with the same disdain and distrust we reserve for compelled speech. The alternative to this compelled software continues to be attacked and eroded.”Compelled software is the theft your CPU cycles, a denial of service attack on the installment plan. If you decide to spend those cycles, that’s one thing. But traditionally, software that uses those cycles without the permission of the user was called malware.

Of course we should resist compelled software, with the same disdain and distrust we reserve for compelled speech. The alternative to this compelled software continues to be attacked and eroded.

The legitimacy and the institution of those who claim to stand for software freedom is hurt when they excuse increasing and incessant attempts to compel oppressive and overbearing corporate software, as much as it hurts the legitimacy and office of a president who signs unconstitutional laws and orders. These are people who speak of freedom, while signing it away in our name. And they ought to be impeached for it, but at the very least they should be roundly criticised and condemned.

Freedom 0, to use the software for any purpose, could be said (metaphorically) to go back at least as far as the Declaration of Independence and that the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I am aware that “Happiness” meant “wealth” and I am taking a few liberties with this metaphor, to be certain. The Constitution and the Declaration were not the first things of their kind at any rate, as with GNU they also took some inspiration from older documents and systems.

“The original goal of the patent system for example, was to give incentive for people to document their inventions and avoid relying as heavily on trade secrets.”Freedom 1, the freedom to study the software, is the very basis of science, education and free thinking. Article I of the Constitution offers the only justification for the monopolies of today as “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts…” The original goal of the patent system for example, was to give incentive for people to document their inventions and avoid relying as heavily on trade secrets.

It was intended to increase the ability of people to study and improve (change) inventions, rather than lock them up indefinitely. This is why all monopolies that Congress may grant can only be granted “for limited times.” All inventions are intended to enter the public domain, and the monopolies are granted as an incentive to help that along and encourage contribution to that public domain.

Freedom 2, the freedom to share the software, was inherent to all works during the framing the Constitution — all works were in the public domain, and no real restriction on sharing them (only publishing, not even non-commercial copying) existed. In fact for the first 204 years of the existence of the USA, until 1980, there was no restriction on sharing software, as copyright did not apply to software at all until that year.

Freedom 3, the freedom to change the software, is built into the constitution as well.

As with freedom 3 in the Free software Definition, this constitutional freedom is one of the originals, as found in Article V. You could call this “The fifth freedom of the Constitution” (rather than the Fifth Amendment) as Article V. states, among few other things:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress;

In plain English, the Constitution itself can be amended either by Congress, or if Congress is corrupt or otherwise uncooperative, “when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof”.

By this process, not only can you change the laws (the software) but the Constitution itself; even if the federal government is corrupt or otherwise uncooperative.

Article V not only lets you change the software, it gives you the freedom to not run it, and even the ability to peacefully dissolve the government itself.

“Article V not only lets you change the software, it gives you the freedom to not run it, and even the ability to peacefully dissolve the government itself.”On paper at least, there is no freedom that Americans do not enjoy. But despite having that freedom on paper, we know that corporations deny us basic freedoms every day. They are entrenched, and our lack of greater attention to freedom costs us our wealth, our health and indeed our freedom.

The freedom to not use the software is implied in the freedom to change it, but freedom 0 was added to clarify and codify what was implicit before.

To fulfill freedom 3, we should now clarify and codify the freedom to not run the software that was implicit until it was (as with DRM violating what is now freedom 0) so thoroughly and routinely violated and threatened for years now, until the present day.

I happen to think that the wording of freedom 4 is acceptable as it is, but the freedom to not use the software must remain inviolate, and it is time we stood for that freedom and (as we do regarding other forms of non-Free software.)

Remember that it is the Constitution that outlines your freedom in the United States, and the laws that try to make it work. The laws of the nation are not what fundamentally define your freedom.

Similarly, it is the Free software Definition, not Free software licenses, that actually define your freedom as a proponent of Free software. GPL 2 left you “free in license only” when it came to Tivoisation, and GPL 3 fixed that to protect freedom 0 better than the GPL ever had previously.

“Licenses do not guarantee freedom. They try to make it work.”This is very important:

Tivoisation, despite GPL 2 demonstrates that compliance with the GPL could not by itself prove that your software is sufficiently free.

It is just as ridiculous to say that an act’s compliance with American law proves that you are free.

If software is compliant with the latest version of the GPL, that provides good evidence that it is Free software, but it is not proof.
Licenses do not guarantee freedom. They try to make it work.

Software must comply with the Four Freedoms at least, in order to be Free software.

“Software must comply with the Four Freedoms at least, in order to be Free software.”In other words, it is possible to have software under the GPL 2 or (potentially even the) GPL 3 license, that actually violates freedom 3.

“The objective is to make the new protocols a checklist item for gullible corporate buyers, while simultaneously making the writing of third-party symbiotes for Microsoft programs next to impossible. (And anyone who succeeds gets bought out.)” https://www.gnu.org/software/fsfe/projects/ms-vs-eu/halloween1.html

“We need to stand for the freedom to not use the software — we need to enjoy that freedom without giving up the rest of the existing Free software ecosystem.”What is not possible to say without question is “of course it respects your freedom, it is under a free license.” This is a fallacious dismissal, and can be made in error. People who rely on this argument to prove software is free really should recognise that it is unsound and already once shown to be untrue. This doesn’t dispute that GPL compliance is a very good indicator, in most instances, but it does not automatically mean that your software is free.

We need to stand for the freedom to not use the software — we need to enjoy that freedom without giving up the rest of the existing Free software ecosystem. Another way of saying exactly that, is that we need modularity, or “appropriate modularization/encapsulation and minimized dependencies” in order for the user to be free.

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 14, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:14 am by Needs Sunlight

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