[Meme] It Was Only a Matter of Time All Along

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Security, Servers at 10:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kamen Rider Build Banjou Ryuga: Hold it right there! Told ya!

Summary: Taking boot level control away from computer users was a bad idea all along; giving Microsoft control over Linux booting was the icing on the cake (having to ask Microsoft for certificate/permission), not to mention an FSF award for it

IBM and the Bomb – Part II: How IBM Sneaks Into Positions of Power (and Nuclear Power, Global Superpower, Nuclear Weapons)

Posted in IBM, Red Hat at 10:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This IBM Series/1 Computer still runs and manages some key nuclear operations. The US Army can’t let IBM go bust. This is like an ‘insurance policy’ for IBM.

The Department of Defense Air Force Strategic Automated Command and Control System, as pictured in the Government Accountability Office report.
The Department of Defense Air Force Strategic Automated Command and Control System. Photo/image source: United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) report [PDF] (when deep technical debt is someone’s cash cow/profit)

Summary: We remind readers of the role IBM played in unbridled armament (from which it profited a lot) whilst also picking diplomatic roles in the American government

IN our introduction and part 1 we provided some key findings, aided in part by recently-declassified material (State Department and more). After spending many hours researching for pertinent bits of information, which aren’t hard to find on the Net (although it predates the Internet or at least the Web), then cross-examining these with raw text, we’re happy to report what we believe to be an accurate account of history.

IBM does not directly — or firsthand — make weapons (except maybe digital weapons), but it participates a lot in wars (militarism/imperialism). It’s profitable. Very, very profitable. The face-saving spin is typically revolving around what proportions of the money IBM nets. It’s sort of missing the point that war itself is usually an injustice. It’s typically bloody, whereas diplomatic means can work better (without a single shot fired, albeit that’s less profitable to the war industry).

IBM was indirectly making nuclear submarines. As several sites recall [1, 2, 3], dating back a decade and a half ago and predating Techrights: “Big Blue on Monday said it will help get submarines into the deep blue sea faster. IBM announced a multiyear contract with General Dynamics to help its Electric Boat unit link partners and suppliers via the Web, a move aimed at accelerating the construction of submarines for the U.S. Navy.”

It also says: “The General Dynamics contract was snagged by IBM’s Global Services unit. The division raked in revenue of more than $36-billion last year, making up 45 percent of IBM’s total annual revenue.”

So they’re working for military giants, which Red Hat even showers with awards this year. Just recall who's running this company. Some of these people are pro-war and have killed a lot of people.

“Memoirs of a Defense Contractor,” a book that can be found online, recalls the following (highlights added by us):

Memoirs of a Defense Contractor

The LA Times also covered this interesting thing. This was only years after IBM’s ‘bigwig’ was acting as the US representative in USSR/Russia.


Those are huge amounts of money for that time (many billions by today’s currency): “The Navy said it plans to open future phases of a contract for a sophisticated computer system for submarines to competitive bidding–work that was to have been given to IBM. Navy and congressional sources said the decision reflects the Navy’s unhappiness with a projected $800-million cost overrun on the initial phase handled by IBM. IBM disputed that estimate, saying that the cost overrun will be less than $100 million.”

As a little bit of context, notice how the American stockpile of nukes grew over time in those years (before shrinking a bit):

US and USSR nuclear stockpiles

Weapons pile

And there have been dozens of accidents (some very serious and fatal). Also, about a dozen times in recent history USSR/Russia and the US came very close to nuclear war. We typically know about those incidents only decades later (when they’re declassified partly or fully). There have been many books on this topic.

Nukes safety

Regarding Watson the father (and IBM founder, i.e. father of IBM, not just father of his two politician sons, who had also managed IBM because of nepotism), the mainstream media/corporate press spoke of the tendency of doing business and politics in parallel, as if that somehow excuses the Hitler meeting in 1937 (it was a business meeting and the infamous medal was for business). They looked for ways to rationalise that dark era of IBM. Less than a couple of decades ago literature showed that IBM knew very well what it was doing and collaborated closely and directly with people who implemented the Holocaust.

So how did Watson the son become a key politician during the Cold War anyway? This isn’t just some arbitrary decision and position, as it was likely the most important convoy at the time (USSR, the only other superpower). Well, the US government’s archives recall:






As with Nixon and his brother, it turned out that money and connections can buy you a position inside the government (IBM still holds key positions in the Linux Foundation and USPTO). Here’s the full text from the above:




STATE 157149


Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014








STATE 157149



Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014






PAGE 04 STATE 157149




Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

A lot of the above is not related, but here’s a more relevant item:




The contents are still mostly obscured/occluded, but here’s what we have (until the next review cycle for declassification):


BERN 00682 051005Z


Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014


Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

ASAT is the anti-satellite weapon. That still exists, it is very expensive, and we shall come back to ASAT later in this series. As Wikipedia puts it: “Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) are space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes. Several nations possess operational ASAT systems. Although no ASAT system has yet been utilised in warfare, a few nations have shot down their own satellites to demonstrate their ASAT capabilities in a show of force. Only the United States, Russia, China, and India have demonstrated this capability successfully. The roles include: a defensive measure against an adversary’s space-based nuclear weapons, a force multiplier for a nuclear first strike, a countermeasure against an adversary’s anti-ballistic missile defense (ABM), an asymmetric counter to a technologically superior adversary, and a counter-value weapon.” It started with the Soviet Union and the United States. Very “big business” on both sides.

Karma or Hubris? Is #TorvaldsWasRight a Thing Now?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Security, Servers at 8:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is why perceived ‘rudeness’ is sometimes necessary and well deserved

Red Hat won't boot
As widely reported right about now

Summary: Techrights did not forget how UEFI ‘secure’ boot came into kernel space (see the below); This proposal came from Red Hat and then foisted/pushed onto Linus Torvalds by at least 3 Red Hat employees (the mainstream media blasted Torvalds for his response to this ‘offensive’ technical move by Red Hat, helping Intel and Microsoft control silicon at CA level)
Red Hat UEFI push

Red Hat UEFI push

Red Hat UEFI push

Red Hat UEFI push

Red Hat UEFI push

Links 31/7/2020: New Thunderbird and FreeBSD Foundation, Now 20, Has Got a New Look

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Want to run Mac OS 8 on Linux as an Electron app? Well, you can anyway

      After creating Electron-based version of Windows 95 in 2018, Felix is back with a new virtual machine package (and a new apology for creating it).

      Called macintosh.js, Felix brings Apple’s ancient Mac OS 8 system to the masses via the medium of JavaScript and everyone’s favourite app creation framework¹ Electron.

      His free-to-use-but-don’t-ask-me-if-Apple-approve version of Mac OS 8 runs like a champ on Windows, macOS and Linux (I tested it on the latter). It runs as a standalone app that boots the OS up directly, i.e. there’s no need to fuss around with installers or set up dialogs).

      “The virtual machine is emulating a 1991 Macintosh Quadra 900 with a Motorola CPU, which Apple used before switching to the PowerPC architecture (Apple/IBM/Motorola) in the mid 1990s,” Felix says of his effort.

      A suite of era-specific software and games is bundled inside as trials, demos, or shareware. This includes Adobe Photoshop 3, Adobe Premiere 4, Netscape Explorer, Duke Nukem 3D, and plenty more.

      While there’s no working internet connectivity (meaning the bundled copy of Internet Explorer must go unloved) this is a functional version of Mac OS 8. All of the apps work; this isn’t a superficial reconstruction with the veneer of usability — it works.

    • Linux PC maker System76 is designing a new customizable keyboard

      System76 has been selling Linux laptop and desktop computers for years. But for most of that time the company has been buying OEM designs and slapping its own software on top.

      Recently System76 started designing and manufacturing its own desktop computers. And now the company is working on its own custom keyboards.

      The upcoming System76 keyboard will be designed to work with the company’s Linux-based Pop!_OS operating system with support for a variety of keyboard shortcuts. But it’s not just the software that’s customizable — the keyboard is too.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • New KDE Slimbook available

        Linux fans everywhere now have more choices than ever. With distribution-specific laptops popping up left and right, it was only a matter of time before a desktop environment received the same treatment. So when the KDE Slimbook arrived, it was not only the first laptop to focus on the KDE desktop environment, it was a well-spec’d thing of beauty.

        And with the rise of popularity of the AMD Ryzen CPU, it makes perfect sense that the makers of the KDE Slimbook would migrate their laptops to AMD’s processor.

        This new laptop easily falls into the Ultrabook category. With a magnesium case that’s less than 20 millimeters thick and either a 14.1″ or 15.6″ display, the new laptops weigh only 1.1 kg (for the 14.1″ option) and 1.5 kg (for the 15.6″ version). The display is a full HD IPS LED panel and covers 100% of the sRGB range, so colors will be accurate.

    • Server

      • Linux runs on 500 of the top 500 supercomputers

        One of the primary testaments to the success of Linux is its amazing dominance in the area of supercomputing. Today, all 500 of the world’s top 500 supercomputers are running Linux. In fact, this has been the case since Nov 2017. I know this because the TOP500 organization has been tracking the 500 most powerful commercially available computer systems since 1993 and their data documenting Linux’ takeover of supercomputing since 1998 is nothing short of inspiring. A graph of Linux’ ascension is available on this TOP500 page.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Command Line Heroes – Season 5, episode 2: Where Coders Code

        Home office. Corporate park. Co-working space. Funland campus. Coders expect options when it comes to their workplace. The relocation of the average workspace from the office to the home has revealed the benefits of working from home—but also highlighted its tradeoffs

    • Kernel Space

      • Systemd 246 Released With Many Changes

        Systemd 246 is out today as the newest version of this dominant Linux init system and system/service manager. Systemd 246 has a lot of new functionality in time for making it into at least some of the autumn 2020 Linux distributions.

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: LLVM Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

        We are pleased to announce that the LLVM Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference!

        The LLVM toolchain has made significant progress over the years and many kernel developers are now using it to build their kernels. It is still the one toolchain that can natively compile C into BPF byte code. Clang (the C frontend to LLVM) is used to build Android and ChromeOS kernels and others are in the process of testing to use Clang to build their kernels.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Wayland’s Weston Compositor Introduces Kiosk/Fullscreen Shell

          While there is already the Cage kiosk full-screen shell as well as the likes of Ubuntu’s Mir Kiosk Shell, Wayland’s Weston reference compositor now has its own implementation.

          Collabora graphics developer Alexandros Frantzis has contributed “kiosk-shell” to Weston, Wayland’s official reference compositor. The Kiosk Shell is a full-screen shell for applications making use of the XDG-Shell protocol.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Debugging

          It’s another hot one, so let’s cool down by checking out a neat bug I came across.

          As I’ve mentioned previously, zink runs a NIR pass to inject a gl_PointSize value into the last vertex processing stage of the pipeline for point draws.

        • ACO Radeon Shader Back-End Adds Unit Testing Framework To Help Test Optimizations

          The popular “ACO” shader compiler back-end that recently was promoted to the default shader compiler for Mesa’s open-source Radeon Vulkan driver (RADV) has long been testing with shaders and traces while now a proper unit testing framework is being introduced for verifying optimizations are correctly handled, ensuring no regressions, etc.

          ACO continues on a nice upward trajectory this year with being the default over AMDGPU LLVM for the RADV driver in Mesa 20.2, Valve continuing to fund the developers working on it, RadeonSI OpenGL driver support still being worked on, and various performance optimizations continuing. For helping to keep on that trajectory, today a unit testing framework was merged for ACO.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle is live with lots of games

        The weekend is quickly approaching and you’re in need of some games? Seems Humble Bundle have you covered today with the launch of the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle.

      • Rocket League: The Epic Way

        When Epic bought Psyonix a while back, the writing was already on the wall. Soon after, Psyonix dropped the Linux and Mac versions of the game, and now, as the game becomes Free to Play, it has finally become what we all feared it would be: an Epic Store exclusive…


        The sellouts at Psyonix, after building their success on the shoulders of the Steam community, ended up leaving for a poorer, anti-competitive, Windows-only platform.

      • The 20 Best Funny Apps and Games for Android Device in 2020

        The Internet is deemed as a plethora of entertainment for all sorts of latest gadgets. However, it is too difficult for users to riffle through the funny elements from the scattered sources. Hence, there comes the apps and games which generate funny and hilarious content as per recent demands and trends. They help you abate your boredom and monotonous lifestyle and yet help you to laugh since laughter is great medicine for your body. Some of these funny apps and games for Android contain animations to make the caricature live and vivid, whereas some use the real or fabricated images for fun.

      • How to Play Android Games on Linux

        Fancy playing Android games on your desktop? We have shown you how to do so in Windows, but what about Linux? If you want to play Android games on Linux, we have the solution.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE archive tool flaw let hackers take over Linux accounts [Ed: This is overhyped nonsense. Compressed files that are from unknown and malicious source have long been a risk and they're framed as a major hazard, sometimes because people unwittingly execute them.]

          A vulnerability exists in the default KDE extraction utility called ARK that allows attackers to overwrite files or execute code on victim’s computers simply by tricking them into downloading an archive and extracting it.

          KDE is a desktop environment commonly found on Linux distributions that offers a graphical user interface to the operating system.

          Discovered by security researcher Dominik Penner of Hackers for Change, a path traversal vulnerability has been found in the default ARK archive utility that allows malicious actors to perform remote code execution by distributing malicious archives.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • We’ve Got a New Look

          The Foundation team is excited to announce a new look for our website! We hope you’ll find the new site easier to read and navigate. We’ve also added a FreeBSD Resources section that includes links to our how-to guides and other community training resources. If you have a blog, youtube channel, or other training materials you’d like us to include, please let us know.

          Also, as you may have noticed, not only are we unveiling a new site, but we’re also unveiling a 20th Anniversary logo. It’s hard to believe the Foundation has been supporting the FreeBSD Project for 20 years. You’ll hear more about that in the coming weeks. In the meantime, take a look around the site and let us know if you see something amiss.

        • FreeBSD Foundation Celebrates 20th Anniversary

          The FreeBSD Foundation has announced its twentieth anniversary. Founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by early FreeBSD developer Justin Gibbs in March 2000, the FreeBSD Foundation has helped FreeBSD to become one of the most widely distributed open source operating systems, and is used by Netflix, Apple, Sony, Intel, Microsoft, and tens of millions of deployed systems.

          From 2000 to 2005, FreeBSD Foundation activities were managed by its board of directors comprised of volunteers, including Gibbs. During this time, FreeBSD partnered with Sun Microsystems to license FreeBSD Java binaries, funded early work on network scalability for SMP systems, and fostered BSD conferences. In 2004, the FreeBSD Foundation acquired the FreeBSD trademark from Wind River.

          In 2005, the FreeBSD Foundation hired its first employee, Deb Goodkin, who came to the foundation with a technical background of 20 years in storage development as firmware engineer, logic designer, applications engineer, technical marketing and technical sales.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • My Thoughts On GNU Guix After Three Days

          I have spent several hours each of the last three days playing around with GNU Guix ( mostly watching packages build :D ). I have it running in a VM and on a Lenovo Thinkpad. There is a lot to love about Guix, but there are also some challenges with it. Some of the problems I initially had were configuring Guix to recognize new window managers that I installed. Also, running a “make install” doesn’t work on my Suckless builds. And qtile isn’t packaged for Guix and a “pip install qtile” fails on Guix. But I’m still having fun!

        • EndeavourOS 2020.07.15 overview | An Arch-based distro with a friendly community in its core.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of EndeavourOS 2020.07.15 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • New GeckoLinux Rolling Editions Are Out Now, Based on openSUSE Tumbleweed

          After announcing the latest versions of the GeckoLinux Static and GeckoLinux NEXT KDE Plasma editions, the developer also refreshed the GeckoLinux Rolling editions, which are based on the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system.

          Therefore, as you an imagine these new GeckoLinux Rolling editions are the most up-to-date ISO releases of the openSUSE-based distribution. GeckoLinux Rolling is available in seven variants with the KDE Plasma 5.19, GNOME 3.36, Xfce 4.14, Cinnamon 4.4, MATE 1.24, and LXQt 0.15 desktop environments, as well as BareBones flavor with the IceWM window manager.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Redefining RHEL: Introduction to Red Hat Insights – 2020 Update

          In 2019, Red Hat announced that we were including Red Hat Insights with every Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription. Now in 2020, we have expanded the capabilities that Insights includes and we wanted to take this opportunity to review what these expanded capabilities means to you, and to share some of the basics of Red Hat Insights.

          We wanted to make Red Hat Enterprise Linux easier than ever to adopt, and give our customers the control, confidence and freedom to help scale their environments through intelligent management.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu-driven Coffee Lake AI system features Myriad X, FPGA, and PoE add-ons

          IEI’s “FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit” runs Ubuntu on a 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake with 2x GbE, 2x HDMI, 4x SATA, 3x M.2, PCIe x4, and 2x PCIe x8 slots with optional Mustang cards with Myriad X VPUs and more.

          IEI Integration has launched high-end edge AI computer that runs a “pre-validated” Ubuntu 18.04 stack on Intel’s 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. The FLEX AIoT Dev. Kit has much in common with its earlier, 8th Gen Coffee Lake FLEX-BX200-Q370 system.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Thunderbird 78.1 Released with Full OpenPGP Support, Search in Preferences Tab

            Mozilla Thunderbird 78.1 is now rolling out today to all supported platforms as the first point release to the latest major Mozilla Thunderbird 78 release with a bunch of exciting new features.

            As you know, Mozilla Thunderbird 78 arrived two weeks ago with many exciting changes, including OpenPGP support, new minimum runtime requirements for Linux systems, DM support for Matrix, a new, centralized Account Hub, Lightning integration, and support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system series.

            Probably the most exciting new feature in Mozilla Thunderbird 78 is support for the OpenPGP open standard of PGP encryption, which lets users send encrypted emails without relying on a third-party add-on. However, OpenPGP support wasn’t feature complete in the Thunderbird 78 release and it was disable by default.

            With the Thunderbird 78.1 point release, Mozilla says that OpenPGP support is now feature complete, including the new Key Wizard, the ability to search online for OpenPGP keys, and many other goodies. But it’s still disable by default to allow more time for testing, so you need to enable it manually to take full advantage of the new Thunderbird release.

      • FSF

        • Free software in business: Success stories

          Even though the vast majority of software development and news articles on technology still predominantly focus on proprietary software, public pressure is increasingly shifting the conversation to include ethical considerations. Whenever you feel that free software is not making strong enough waves, I urge you to look at the LibrePlanet conference video collection (or listen to the talks), to strengthen your belief. Making free software a kitchen table issue in every home can at times seem like an insurmountable challenge, but there are so many community members doing incredibly inspiring work driving user freedom forward.

          This is why we have been updating our “Working Together for Free Software” pages in the last few weeks, with new testimonials from activists and enthusiasts. We have heard why people believe in free software, and how free software can make a difference in all industries. This third blog post in the series inspired by interviews with community members will bring some attention to the success that people have had advocating for free software through their occupations. It manifests how appeals to user freedom, and successful free software implementations, are driving forces behind the advancement of businesses all over the world.

        • GNU Projects

          • July GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 22 new releases!


      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Upgrade to pip 20.2, plus, changes coming in 20.3

            On behalf of the Python Packaging Authority, I am pleased to announce that we have just released pip 20.2, a new version of pip. You can install it by running python -m pip install –upgrade pip.

            The highlights for this release are:

            - The beta of the next-generation dependency resolver is available — please test
            - Faster installations from wheel files
            - Improved handling of wheels containing non-ASCII file contents
            - Faster pip list using parallelized network operations
            - Installed packages now contain metadata about whether they were directly requested by the user (PEP 376’s REQUESTED file)

          • Docs, Bugs, and Reports – Building SaaS #66

            In this episode, I created documentation for anyone interested in trying out the application. After documenting the setup, I moved on to fixing a bug with the scheduling display of courses. In the latter half of the stream, we focused on creating a new reports section to show progress reports for students.

            One of my patrons requested some documentation to explain how to get started with the project. We updated the README.md to show the commands that I use to set up my project. This includes virtual environment setup, package installation, Django bootstraping commands, and how to run the web server.

            After completing some documentation, we worked on a bug that my customer discovered during the last round of feedback that I collected from her. The problem was very specific to how courses would be displayed in the past. The customer wants to be able to hide courses that are complete, but still show past completed data. The existing implementation didn’t show the past. I wrote the unit test and made the code change to fix the issue.

            Finally, we started some new pages. The customer wants to see progress reports for students. I needed a new section that will display all the available reports in the future. I built a new ReportsIndexView that will be the new section for showing reports. We added the template view and started to put in context data.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Gianni Infantino: Legal proceedings launched against Fifa president

      Swiss prosecutors have launched legal proceedings against Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

      It is in relation to an alleged secret meeting the head of world football’s governing body held with the Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber.

      Lauber last week offered to resign after a court said he covered up the meeting and lied to supervisors during an investigation by his office into corruption surrounding Fifa.

      Both have denied any wrongdoing.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Herman Cain dies from coronavirus
      • How should policymakers use “pull” mechanisms to improve COVID-19 innovation incentives?

        As we have emphasized throughout this COVID-19 blog post series, even though patent law historically has been the primary field in which legal scholars consider questions of innovation policy, governments use a wide variety of policies to incentivize and allocate access to new innovations. One of the key dimensions for comparing these different policies is when the incentive occurs. Under ex ante or “push” policies such as grants or R&D tax incentives, innovators receive funding early in the research process, before the results are known; for ex post or “pull” policies such as patents or prizes, only successful projects receive a reward.

        In a recent talk for the Iowa Innovation, Business & Law Center’s speaker series on COVID-19 innovation policy, one of us (RS) explained why pull mechanisms are very effective innovation policy levers to achieve the kind of clear technological goals presented by the pandemic. Here, we will unpack these ideas and explain how lawmakers should be adjusting these policies to bring this crisis to a more rapid close.


        When faced with an innovation policy problem for which market rewards seem insufficient—like a global pandemic—Congress can raise or allocate funds distributable upon the success of some event or with certain conditions attached, thereby creating prize-like funding for specific goals. For COVID-19, part of the CARES Act contains prize-like inducements for industry. These include mandatory insurance coverage for SARS-CoV-2 tests (thereby expanding the tests’ market), the elimination of reimbursement restrictions on many telehealth visits that previously depressed the market for such services, and a commitment to purchasing a successful COVID-19 vaccine. With respect to vaccines, several recent proposals from congressional policymakers have focused on calibrating the government’s payout for a successful vaccine—most recently $25 billion. (Perhaps as a sign of government pull incentives’ paucity relative to push incentives, The New York Times labeled this move “unusual.”)

        Aside from Congress, federal and state agencies can also direct funds to prizes. While the primary incentive mechanism for federal agencies like NIH is ex ante grant distribution, Congress made clear in 2010 that federal agencies have authority to spend their appropriations on ex post prizes. And a 2011 report from the National Economic Council, Council of Economic Advisers, and Office of Science and Technology Policy further encouraged agencies to do so. An increasing number of agencies now post prize competitions at Challenge.gov, although prizes remain a small part of agencies’ overall innovation policy portfolio. NIH, to its credit, recently created a national innovation initiative for COVID-19 diagnostics.

        Government purchasing and reimbursement can also act as a strong, innovation-forward prize, increasing the market size for goods and service. Reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicare (CMS) for health technologies and services operates in just this fashion, encouraging the development of technologies by, essentially, subsidizing (and increasing) payment. For COVID-19, we suggested back in April that CMS should increase its reimbursement limits for scalable COVID-19 testing (such as at-home testing) as an incentive to encourage the development of new testing technologies. CMS has done just that, increasing its reimbursement level to $100 per test. Given the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic, pull incentives with quick payouts—such as prizes and purchases—are likely to be useful both for patients and industry.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Opera 70 is Here with Major Improvements to its Existing Features

          The Opera desktop web browser released its latest version 70 with usability improvements to its existing feature set. Coming up after a month of previous release Opera 69, this release focusing on improving your browsing experience.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open Mainframe Project Announces the Full Schedule for the Inaugural Open Mainframe Summit on September 16-17

              The Open Mainframe Project (OMP), an open source initiative that enables collaboration across the mainframe community to develop shared tool sets and resources, today announces the complete schedule of the inaugural Open Mainframe Summit. The virtual event takes place September 16-17 and will feature Ross Mauri, General Manager of IBM Z and LinuxONE at IBM; Greg Lotko, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mainframe Division at Broadcom; Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger; and The Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, and John Mertic, Director of Program Management.
              Open Mainframe Summit will focus on all open source projects and technologies impacting the mainframe. The event enables a collaborative environment that offers seasoned professionals, developers, students and leaders a forum to share best practices, discuss hot topics, and network with like-minded individuals who are passionate about the mainframe industry.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Fledge, an LF Edge Project, Enters Growth Stage as Release 1.8 Enables Open Industrial Edge Software with AI/ML, and Public Cloud Integration

                LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced maturing of its Fledge project, which has issued it’s 1.8 release and moved to the Growth Stage within the LF Edge umbrella. Fledge is an open source framework for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), used to implement predictive maintenance, situational awareness, safety and other critical operations. Deployed in industrial use cases since early 2018, Fledge integrates IIoT, sensors, machines, ML/AI tools-processes-workloads, and cloud/s with the current industrial production systems and levels, as per ISA-95.

                Fledge v1.8 is the first release since moving to the Linux Foundation. However, this is the ninth release of the project code that has over 60,000 commits, averaging 8,500 commits/month. Concurrently, Fledge has matured into a Stage 2 or “Growth Stage” project within LF Edge. This maturity level is for projects interested in reaching the Impact Stage, and have identified a growth plan for doing so. Growth Stage projects receive mentorship from the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and are expected to actively develop their community of contributors, governance, project documentation, and other variables identified in the growth plan that factor in to broad success and adoption.

              • Fledge, an LF Edge Project, Enters Growth Stage as Release 1.8 Enables Open Industrial Edge Software with AI/ML, and Public Cloud Integration
        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (webkit2gtk), CentOS (GNOME, grub2, and kernel), Debian (firefox-esr, grub2, json-c, kdepim-runtime, libapache2-mod-auth-openidc, net-snmp, and xrdp), Gentoo (chromium and firefox), Mageia (podofo), openSUSE (knot and tomcat), Oracle (grub2, kernel, postgresql-jdbc, and python-pillow), Red Hat (firefox, grub2, kernel, and kernel-rt), SUSE (grub2), and Ubuntu (firefox, grub2, grub2-signed, and librsvg).

          • Grub2 updates for Red Hat systems are making some unbootable

            As reported in the comments on the Grub2 secure-boot vulnerabilities report, the updates for grub2 for RHEL 8 and CentOS 8 are making some systems unbootable. The boot problems are seemingly unrelated to whether the system has secure boot enabled. It may be worth waiting a bit for that to shake out.

          • Servers at risk from “BootHole” bug – what you need to know

            That’s our tongue-in-cheek name for a cybersecurity vulnerability that not only gets assigned an identifier like CVE-2020-10713, but also acquires an impressive name plus a jaunty logo (and even, in one intriguing case, a theme tune).

            This month’s bug with an impressive name (see what we did there?) is called BootHole, and its logo rather cheekily shows a boot with a worm sticking out of a hole in the toecap.

            The bad news is that this bug affects the integrity of bootup process itself, meaning that it provides a way for attackers to insert code that will run next time you restart your device, but during the insecure period after you turn on the power but before the operating system starts up.

            The good news for most of us is that it relies on a bug in a bootloader program known as GRUB, short for Grand Unified Boot Loader, which is rarely found on Windows or Mac computers.

          • Why the GRUB2 Secure Boot Flaw Doesn’t Affect Purism Computers

            To understand why this flaw does not affect Purism computers, it helps to understand why UEFI Secure Boot exists to begin with, and how it and the security exploit works. Attacks on the boot process are particularly nasty as they occur before the system’s kernel gets loaded. Attackers who have this ability can then compromise the kernel before it runs, allowing their attack to persist through reboots while also hiding from detection. UEFI Secure Boot is a technology that aims to protect against these kinds of attacks by signing boot loaders like GRUB2 with private keys controlled ultimately by Microsoft. UEFI Firmware on the computer contains the public certificate counterparts for those private keys. At boot time UEFI Secure Boot checks the signatures of the current GRUB2 executable and if they don’t match, it won’t allow the executable to run.

            If you’d like to understand the GRUB2 vulnerability in more detail, security journalist Dan Goodin has a great write-up at Ars Technica. In summary, an attacker can trigger a buffer overflow in GRUB2 as it parses the grub.cfg configuration file (this file contains settings for the GRUB2 menu including which kernels to load and what kernel options to use). This buffer overflow allows the attacker to modify GRUB2 code in memory and execute malicious code of their choice, bypassing the protection UEFI Secure Boot normally would have to prevent such an attack.

            Unfortunately, UEFI Secure Boot doesn’t extend its signature checks into configuration files like grub.cfg. This means you can change grub.cfg without triggering Secure Boot and the attack exploited that limitation to modify grub.cfg in a way that would then exploit the running GRUB2 binary after it had passed the signature check.

            Further complicating the response to this vulnerability is the fact that it’s not enough to patch GRUB2. Because the vulnerable GRUB2 binaries have already been signed by Microsoft’s certificate, an attacker could simply replace a patched GRUB2 with the previous, vulnerable version. Patching against this vulnerability means updating your UEFI firmware (typically using reflashing tools and firmware provided by your vendor) so that it can add the vulnerable GRUB2 binary signatures to its overall list of revoked signatures.

          • Red Hat Enterprise Linux runs into Boothole patch trouble

            Sometimes the cure really is worse than the disease. The recently revealed Boothole security problem with GRUB2 and Secure Boot can, theoretically, be used to attack Linux systems. In practice, the only vulnerable Linux systems are ones that have already been successfully breached by an attacker. Still, the potential for damage was there, so almost all enterprise Linux distributors have released patches. Unfortunately, for at least one — Red Hat — the fix has gone wrong.

            Many users are reporting that, after patching Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2, it has rendered their systems unbootable. The problem also appears to affect RHEL 7.x and 8.x computers as well. It seems, however, to be limited only to servers running on bare iron. RHEL virtual machines (VM)s, which don’t deal with Secure Boot firmware, are working fine.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • [App Fridays] Secure, secret, and synced: how Telegram scores over WhatsApp

              According to App Annie Intelligence, Telegram was among the top 10 most downloaded and most used apps worldwide in Q2 2020, and jumped to 8th spot in the same period from 11th earlier. Telegram on Android has more than 500 million installs and a rating of 4.4 stars ratings.

              The app has been around for seven years, but we thought of reviewing it in the time of coronavirus when virtual meetups have become the norm.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • How the American Idiot Made America Unlivable

        America is a Poor Country Now, in Ways that are Likely to be Permanent


        We expect much, much poorer societies to be impoverished in public health. It’s a strange concept to have to think about precisely because we don’t expect it of a rich country. Perhaps one of a poor one, that’s never really developed at all. This is a syndrome unique to America — a form of poverty that Europeans and Canadians struggle to understand, because, well, they’ve mostly eliminated it. But in America, health poverty is endemic.

        So endemic that you can see America’s gotten shockingly poorer and poorer in health — right down to the resurgence of old, conquered diseases, from measles to mumps. Again, that’s the work of the American Idiot — the kind of person who won’t vaccinate their kids, which is an idea that in the end takes society right back to the medieval days of endemic smallpox and polio.

        So what was going to happen when a society

        impoverished in terms of health met a pandemic? Utter catastrophe. America’s mortality rate and infection rate are so high precisely because America was a time bomb of failing public health waiting to go off.
        What then are the results of creating a society impoverished in public health? Well, Americans face a gruesome choice that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the rich world, even in much of the poor one: your money or your life. “Medical bankruptcy” is the result — I put in quotes because it’s a notion that scarcely exists elsewhere.

        How did all that happen?

        Americans are culturally impoverished, too. The American Idiot has turned American culture into the one of the world’s regressive, short-sighted, narrow-minded, and, well…idiotic. Literally the tiniest shreds of decency and sanity come under a murderous, withering barrage of denial and false “debate” — from things as simple as wearing masks to ones as large as educating Americans about how the rest of the rich world and even the poor one now has vastly better functioning societies.

        Huge chunks of American culture are so hateful, foolish, or bizarre that they’d be either illegal, laughable, or bewildering in much of the rest of the world, from Canada, Europe, or Asia. “Debating” whether the answer to school shootings — which happen nowhere else — is to arm teachers? The idea that billionaires are somehow good for society, or that things like healthcare, retirement, pensions, income, and safety aren’t human rights? That money is all that should matter? Nearly everyone else in the world finds such notions jaw-droppingly foolish by now, which is how the American Idiot made his country a laughingstock the world over.

      • Cory Doctorow: Full Employment

        I don’t see any path from continuous improvements to the (admittedly impressive) ”machine learning” field that leads to a general AI any more than I can see a path from continuous improvements in horse-breeding that leads to an internal combustion engine.

        Not only am I an AI skeptic, I’m an automation-employment-crisis skeptic. That is, I believe that even if we were – by some impossible-to-imagine means – to produce a general AI tomorrow, we would still have 200-300 years of full employment for every human who wanted a job ahead of us.

        I’m talking about climate change, of course.

        Remediating climate change will involve unimaginably labor-intensive tasks, like relocating every coastal city in the world kilometers inland, building high-speed rail links to replace aviation links, caring for hundreds of millions of traumatized, displaced people, and treating runaway zoontoic and insectborne pandemics.

        These tasks will absorb more than 100% of any labor freed up by automation. Every person whose job is obsolete because of automation will have ten jobs waiting for them, for the entire foreseeable future. This means that even if you indulge in a thought experiment in which a General AI emerges that starts doing stuff humans can do – sometimes better than any human could do them – it would not lead to technological unemployment.

      • Cutting the $600 unemployment benefit could hurt the recovery, economists say
    • Monopolies

      • Prepping For The End Of YouTube? Distributing My Videos

        If you build yourself on one platform, you’re setting yourself up for failure, it’s as simple as that. This is true for uploading videos as much as it’s true for funding your work so I thought I’d talk a bit about what I’ve done recently to help bolster my position as a creator. In short I’ve started up a few extra pages on platforms like Facebook and Dailymotion so that I can distribute my video uploads and alongside those I have also started a few more recurring donation platforms besides just Patreon, those are SubscribeStar, Liberapay and Locals. If you’re not already preparing for whatever YouTube or platform you’re using to collapse, you’re not going to be ready when it does happen.

      • Patents

        • German Competition Authority Files Amicus Brief In SEP Litigation

          In 2019, Nokia filed a series of patent infringement complaints against Daimler before several German courts. Nokia alleged that connected cars made by Daimler infringed Nokia’s patents. Nokia considered the relevant patents as essential for certain wireless communication standards. Nokia v. Daimler, Case No. 2 O 34/19 (Mannheim District Court). On 18 June 2020, the litigation took a surprising turn: The German competition authority, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), filed an amicus curiae brief with the relevant patent infringement courts (FCO docket no. P-66/20).

          The FCO’s amicus curiae brief addressed a specific question in dispute between Nokia and Daimler: Can Nokia lawfully enforce standard-essential patents (SEPs) against Daimler while refusing to grant licenses under the relevant patents to suppliers of Daimler?

          This question is not limited to the dispute between Nokia and Daimler. Whether an SEP holder is obliged to “license to all,” i.e., to any wiling licensee, is a key question of SEP licensing and SEP enforcement that awaits clarification throughout Europe and the United States. Are SEP holders obligated to grant licenses to upstream component suppliers? Or is it sufficient for SEP holders to license end products only, i.e., to grant licenses to downstream makers of end products, such as automotive original equipment manufacturers? The possible consequences of a “license to all” obligation are multifaceted: If an SEP holder infringes the obligation, the SEP holder may breach any fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) undertaking. Not only that, but the SEP holder also may violate European competition law or abuse a dominant market position according to Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

        • In Judge Gilstrap’s Eastern COVID of Texas, patent trolls trump public health concerns: PanOptis v. Apple trial to go forward regardless

          Another day, another post calling out a court obsessed with advancing the cause of patent assertion entities and prepared to compromise public health in the process. Yesterday I reported on a courtroom insanity of potentially pathological proportions in Munich (Nokia v. Daimler), but regrettably a similar problem exists in the Eastern District of Texas–Munich’s role model in some respects–on an even larger scale.

          I think hard and long before naming and shaming judges, but Judge Rodney Gilstrap has hit a new low by exposing well over 100 people to significant health risks over the course of several weeks, only because he’s worried about his court’s ability to attract patent troll lawsuits. He’s made other decisions over the years that one can or must respectfully disagree with. This month he’s done something no reasonable person could possibly accept, much less condone–except for the most ruthless and reckless patent trolls out there, maybe.

          The Eastern District of Texas hasn’t really made itself a name as the cradle of patent litigation sanity, but at least one used to associate the region with honest, hard-working, mostly conservative people leading a healthy rural life in their picturesque cattle towns, remote from whatever plagues more densely populated areas such as the nearby Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Unfortunately, certain parts of East Texas, such as Harrison County (where the Marshall division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is based), have very recently been designated as “Red Zones” from an epidemiological perspective.


          Apple’s proposal was to wait until early October and re-evaluate the situation then. Obviously Apple, like pretty much any defendant to a patent infringement suit, may be suspected of “stalling” when bringing such a motion. But a litigant’s motives don’t matter when the public interest–specifically, the health of counsel, court staff, and the local community (potential and actual jurors)–is implicated…


          As for the trial itself, the courtroom was sealed for the entirety of the FRAND discussion, which is rather questionable as even the presiding judge himself initially indicated that the court deemed only part of that to involve confidential business information.

        • Irresponsible Munich judges provoked coronavirus superspreader event at today’s Nokia v. Daimler patent trial: no masks, no minimum distance

          I am shocked, disgusted, and concerned about my health because even the most basic rules for preventing the spread of the coronavirus were waived at a Nokia v. Daimler patent trial in Munich today, only because the court–as one of the judges explained–was so very eager to hold that trial. I can only hope that neither I nor anyone else got infected today. I will give further thought to the possibility of directing formal complaints to certain politicians and authorities. I furthermore wonder whether this might give rise to a retrial as today’s trial was held under unlawful circumstances.

          Most of my blog posts about Munich patent trials mentioned a judge whose panel is not at issue: much to the contrary, I commend Presiding Judge Dr. Matthias Zigann of the Munich I Regional Court’s 7th Civil Chamber for taking a perfect set of precautionary measures at last week’s Sharp v. Daimler trial. I arrived about one hour early, and it lasted five hours. It will come as no surprise that I felt relieved to take my mask off upon leaving the building. But it was undoubtedly warranted to wear masks, and everyone complied 100% of the time: the judges, the lawyers, the party representatives, and “the general public” (such as me). And, very importantly, there was plenty of distance between any two persons in the room. So, the court’s 7th Civil Chamber does what it can to prevent infections, but its 21st Civil Chamber has a reckless patent-centric attitude that the government of the Free State of Bavaria, which actually took the lead in Germany with respect to corona policies, should be ashamed of.

          I went to the Palace of Justice early this morning to attend a 9 AM trial (Nokia v. Daimler, case no. 21 O 3891/19 over German patent DE60240446C5 on a “hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) scheme with in-sequence deliver of packets”). Initially, everything looked just as proper as at last Thursday’s trial. But then, at around 8:30 AM, I noticed that one of the technicians setting up audio and videoconferencing equpiment in the courtroom wasn’t wearing his mask. I notified his supervisor or colleague, who then told him to put on his mask again. He did so, but only for a short while. At around 8:45 AM I asked the mask-refusing technician directly, as he was sitting quite close to me at the back of the room, and he walked by me several times at a close distance without a mask. He told me he “didn’t know” what the rule was, and we would see when the judges were going to enter the room.

        • Software Patents

          • $1,500 for prior art on Mountech patent

            On July 30, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $1,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of US Patent 7,991,784. This patent is owned by Mountech, an IP Edge subsidiary, a NPE. The ‘784 patent is generally relates to a method for automatic dynamic contextual data entry completion system. The ‘784 patent has been asserted in district court against ZTE, Samsung, Motorola, Blackberry, and LG.

      • Trademarks

        • The extended but not unlimited protection of trade marks with a repute: Hugo Boss loses battle against ‘BOSS SHOT’ due to the difference between goods at issue

          With an application filed in August 2017, the Applicant Boss Shot sought to register ‘BOSS SHOT’ as an EU trade mark (EUTM). Registration was sought for goods in Classes 30 (food flavorings) and 34 (electronic cigarettes) of the Nice Classification.

          Hugo Boss opposed the application under Article 8(5) EUTMR claiming that its own earlier EUTM ‘BOSS’ enjoys considerable reputation in the EU, and that the Applicant’s sign conflicted with its own EUTM designating Classes 14 (precious metals jewellery, clocks, and watches) and 25 (clothing, belts, shawls, accessories, ties, gloves, and shoes).

          In April 2019, the Opposition Division rejected the opposition by considering that – notwithstanding the similarity of the signs – the designated goods under the mark applied for are so different that the mark is unlikely to bring the earlier mark to the mind of the relevant public.

          Hugo Boss appealed.


          The evidence must show that reputation has been acquired for all the relevant goods and services. In the case at hand, Hugo Boss was able to demonstrate – by means of sales figures, marketing expenditure, and independent sources such as various surveys, studies and sponsorships – that its mark enjoys a high degree of recognition amongst the relevant public in Germany and in the EU for certain goods in Class 25. Whilst the Board found that reputation had been demonstrated for certain goods in Class 16, the same would not be true for services in Class 41.

          The ‘link’ between the signs

          In order to determine the existence of a risk of injury, it is necessary to demonstrate that the relevant public will establish a link between the signs. The necessity of a ‘link’ is not explicitly mentioned in Article 8(5) EUTMR but has been established through case law, notably in C-408/01, Adidas and C-252/07, Intel.

          On the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, the Board found that the contested goods have different natures, purposes, methods of use, origins, and distribution channels. Overall, electronic cigarettes are so distant from clothing that it is implausible that the public would be reminded of the earlier mark when purchasing the contested goods.

          The same applies to the contested ‘food flavourings’ in Class 30. They are equally dissimilar to the opponent’s clothing. Consumers will not expect that there is any relationship between ‘food flavourings’ producers and the opponent’s company offering clothing.

          Where, as in the present case, a link between the conflicting marks used in relation with the relevant goods and services cannot be established, the goodwill of the earlier mark, also in economic terms, is not affected, or at least not protected under Article 8(5) EUTMR.

          Unfair advantage of distinctive character or repute of the earlier trade mark

          In the absence of a ‘link’, it was considered inconceivable that use of the contested trade mark for those goods and services would take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or repute which the earlier trade mark.

      • Copyrights

        • Conservancy Applies to Renew Key DMCA Exemption

          Conservancy has once again pushed for a renewal of the exemption to smart TV’s, effectively allowing people to install and use free software on their own televisions. As part of a coalition with a group of researchers, our Executive Director, Karen Sandler also participated in filing the renewal application to continue the exemption for medical devices filed by the USC’s Gould School of Law. Both of these exemptions must refiled in the triennial review process to ensure that interacting with the software in these devices does not become unlawful.

          In 2015 the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was amended to expand the exemption process within the original sweeping 1998 legislation that criminalized many types of digital tinkering and improvements. The Copyright Office is tasked with soliciting and approving proposed exemptions to the law every three years to allow people to undertake non-infringing work on various devices. Many of the activities that are proscribed by the DMCA would hamper security research, interfere with commonplace after-market modifications to users’ devices or preclude trivial repairs by laypeople without clearly described exemptions. Once renewals are filed, there is a period of time for oppositions to those renewals to be filed. As in the past, Conservancy has succeeded in explaining why the exemption for smart TVs is so important and we are ready to respond to any opposition now.

        • [Guest Post] Warming Up: The Legality Issue of Fan Fiction Is Back on Appeal in Mainland China

          The legality of unlicensed fan fiction is quietly returning to judicial attention in Mainland China. In August 2018, the trial judgment of the first case concerning fan fiction was rendered in Cha v Yang et al. – more commonly referred to as Jin Yong v Jiang Nan, the pseudonyms of the complainant and the primary defendant [case reference: Tianhe District People’s Court of Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province (2016) Guangdong 0106 Minchuzi No. 12068 (in Chinese)]. See the full text of the ruling here. The trial was live-streamed and can be watched here].

          The trial court held that making fan fiction using characters from another author’s works did not infringe copyright, but the exploitation of said fan fiction amounted to unfair competition. The decision was appealed, but the complainant passed away shortly after the trial judgment was rendered. The litigation was therefore suspended for succession, so that it could be determined who should take the author’s place as appellee. Nearly two years have passed, and now the preparation for the appeal is once again underway. Thus, it is high time to take another look at the copyright rules relevant to fan fiction in Mainland China.


          The name of a character falls outside the scope of character design due to its general lack of originality and the impossibility to consider it a ‘work’. According to the definition of character design, characters are essentially protected as their characterisation, whereas a name is a sign that can identify that characterisation. On its own, a name is too short to reflect originality: true originality arises from cumulative expression, as is reflected by the content filtered out in the process of identifying original expression in character design. Isolated personality traits such as being resourceful or loyal, or having a birthmark, are not original; nor are simple relationships like those between family, lovers, a master and disciple, or colleagues, if they are not delineated in more specific detail by the plot. While a character design counts as original expression, a name is but an ontological reference to it. A character with a name but no characterisation is not protectable – for example, Godot from Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot.

          Regarding the second issue: using a character design from a written work does not automatically amount to unauthorised adaptation. Infringement of adaptation rights is determined by seeing whether there is a relationship of source and re-creation between the complaining and defending works [Yu et al. v Chen, case reference: Beijing High People’s Court (2015) Gaomin(zhi)zhongzi No. 1039 (in Chinese). See the commentary of the ruling here]. Such a relationship is established if the creator of the allegedly infringing work is likely to have accessed the claiming work and if the two works are substantially similar to suffice incremental creation. With fan fiction, access is rarely disputed, as fans are highly likely to have accessed the canon; thus, the debate mainly concentrates on substantial similarity.

          For story-telling works, substantial similarity requires at least both character design and plot design to support that the similarities between two works are both qualitatively and quantitatively substantial. The defending work is abstracted into character design and plot design, which are paired and compared with those of the claimant’s work. The question of adaptation rights infringement also considers background setting: on the one hand, a consistent background setting between two works (e.g. one being a sequel or prequel to the other) indicates incremental creation; but, on the other hand, any similarities arising from historical background should be dismissed, because such similarities must be attributed to history instead of any author’s original expression [Zhang v Lei et al., case reference: Supreme People’s Court (2013) Minshenzi No. 1049 (in Chinese). See the full text of the ruling here]. What separates fan fiction from conventional infringement of adaptation rights, such as plagiarism, is that fan fiction breaks the mutual confirmation of plot design and character design. Fan fiction creators use canon content primarily as reference, because they and their readers have little interest in repetition. In adapting character design to a new context, the character design is not necessarily used as expression. Therefore, fan fiction referring to canon through characters alone is not enough to constitute the substantial similarity required to establish the infringement of adaptation right.

Hillary Clinton Likely to Plough on After 2016 Election…

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 3:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Years after UPC died the UPC hopefuls (people who crafted this illegal and unconstitutional thing behind closed doors) aren’t giving up; some corrupt media still helps them (this is their business model, with this absurd article from midday today)

UPC likely to plough on after UK withdrawal

Summary: For Team UPC to pretend it’s still 2016 and to tell us (even in 2020!) that the UPC is coming may be a lot like telling us that Clinton will reverse the 2016 election (in 2020!) and become a US president later this year. “The UK’s formal withdrawal from the UPC raises questions about the renegotiation of the UPCA and the relocation of the London court,” it says, but relocation is not possible and “renegotiation” would require starting again from scratch (which is not possible given the lack of relevant ratifications, more so in light of growing concerns and constitutional complaints); this is a good example of lobbying or ‘fake news’ — a term used extensively by the Democratic Party before Donald Trump ‘hijacked’ it.

At ZDNet, Linux is Dangerous and Linux is Also Microsoft

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ZDNet latest

Summary: Notice how, as of today at ZDNet, “Linux” is actually Microsoft promotion (even where that has nothing to do with Linux) and WSL is promoted, as it’s an attack on GNU/Linux

Links 30/7/2020: System76′s ‘ Linux Keyboard’, OPNsense 20.7 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Reimagining the Keyboard

        Your keyboard is king when it comes to input. It’s responsible for your words and your code, carrying you from A to B faster than your mouse. By making the keyboard more efficient, we’ll vastly improve the way you interact with your computer. We’re approaching our keyboard in 3 different ways: Redesigning the keyboard itself, maximizing your efficiency when using it, and empowering you to fully customize your keyboard to your whims.


        There’s nothing more enjoyable than typing on a keyboard for hours on end without hitting the wrong key. That’s why we strongly opposed adding a ‘WRONG’ key to the keyboard. That’s also why we’re sticking to 3 key sizes in the design of the keyboard: 1U (letter/number keys), 1.5U (tab keys), and 2U (shift keys). Traditional keyboards are laid out with incredibly long space bars so you can’t use your thumbs, your strongest digit, for functions other than space. Our testing revealed that most space bars are much longer than what’s necessary to reliably and consistently hit the bar, so we decided to break up the space bar into 2 2U keys. Not only did this shorten the length of the space bar and bring useful functions closer to the center of the keyboard, but this also allows you to remap another commonly-used key to where it’s easy for you to smash with your other thumb.

        The new keyboard is designed to work in harmony with Auto-Tiling on Pop!_OS. CEO Carl Richell describes his experience testing the prototype: “I’ve found using the new keyboard layouts with Auto-Tiling is so addictive that when I go to another computer, it feels like I’m in a foreign land.”

      • System76 Talks Up Their Forthcoming Linux Keyboard

        Following in the steps of their hand-crafted Thelio desktops manufactured in-house in Colorado, Linux PC vendor System76 is also working to not only manufacture their own laptops but also other components like their own keyboard.

        System76 continues ramping up their manufacturing equipment and capabilities at their Denver facility and it’s looking like the premiere of their keyboard isn’t far out with already having prototypes internally.

    • Server

      • 4 ways I contribute to open source as a Linux systems administrator

        I recently participated in The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit North America, held virtually June 29-July 2, 2020. In the course of that event, I had the opportunity to speak with a fellow attendee about my career in Linux systems administration and how it had led me to a career focused on open source. Specifically, he asked, how does a systems administrator who doesn’t do a lot of coding participate in open source projects?

        That’s a great question!

        A lot of focus in open source projects is placed on the actual code, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The following are some ways that I’ve been deeply involved in open source projects, without writing code.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • OPNsense Makes Sense | Self-Hosted 24

        Chris figures out how hot is too hot, Alex performs an extreme remote firewall install, and we share some of our favorite SSH tricks.

      • BSD Now 361: Function-based MicroVM

        Emulex: The Cheapest 10gbe for Your Homelab, In Search of 2.11BSD, as released, Fakecracker: NetBSD as a Function Based MicroVM, First powerpc64 snapshots available for OpenBSD, OPNsense 20.1.8 released, and more.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Celeron G5900 + Pentium Gold G6400 Benchmarks – Low-Price Comet Lake CPUs

        While we have looked a lot at how the Core i9 10900K performs at the top-end of Intel’s Comet Lake line-up as well as with the likes of the i5-10600K and i3-10100, here is our first look at the very bottom of the stack with the new Celeron and Pentium processors. Benchmarked today are the Celeron G5900 as a ~$40 processor and the Pentium Gold G6400 that retails for around $60 and compared against other low-end Intel and AMD processors as well as older Intel Core i3 CPUs.

    • Applications

      • Brand new Kodi 19 ‘Matrix’ now available to download, plus the final release for Kodi 18 ‘Leia’

        It’s been a couple of months since the Kodi Foundation last rolled out a major update for its hugely popular home theater software, but today the wait is over as it has a new release for you to install. Kodi 18.8 comes with a number of changes and improvements, as well as some big news regarding the future of the software.

        According to the team this new build is “likely to be the final release in the 18.x ‘Leia’ series, before all effort now shifts to 19.x ‘Matrix’”. And in keeping with that announcement, it has switched Kodi 19 to the release cycle.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Svoboda 1945 is a historical follow up to Attentat 1942 and will support Linux at launch

        Created with the help of professional historians, Svoboda 1945 tells the story of the events that followed the end of the Second World War in a small Czech village. By uncovering the past, players can explore the experiences of those who survived the war.

      • Monster Sanctuary’s newest update adds a new area and story arc

        If you’re not familiar with Monster Sanctuary, it’s a mix of 2d exploration with RPG mechanics as you befriend and develop your own group of monster allies. Battling against other monsters is a big part of the game as is utilizing unique abilities to access and explore new areas of the map. Initially released into Steam’s Early Access over a year ago, the game has been in constant development since and quite a few significant updates have been made since.

        The newest update released earlier this month adds a new late-game area, mechanically-themed and boasts of a new story arc as well as new monsters to encounter and collect. Additionally, there’s also a large amount of new equipment for your party to discover and use.

        It should also be easier to sort aforementioned equipment thanks to a new category system in the inventory menu. Add to that beautiful new pixel art for all of the monsters in the in-game journal as well as an extension of the star-rating systems for combat and there’s plenty to love in this update. There’s a slew of balance and bug fixes as well which you might want to read for yourself in the patch notes.

      • Challenging sci-fi action RPG Hellpoint is now available

        After a successful crowdfunding campaign several years ago, the slick and violent Hellpoint has now released with same-day Linux support.


        As seems all too regular when humanity sticks its nose where it doesn’t belong, the game is set in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event know as the Merge. Stuck on a space station named Irid Novo, the game promises certain dynamism depending on the station’s orbit around a black hole as well as the player’s choices throughout the game. It’s hard to say just how much freedom the game will provide but I can say that, given the demos and trailers we’ve seen so far, there’s a lot of carnage to expect no matter what.

      • Godot Engine to get various improvements thanks to the Google Summer of Code program

        The open source Godot game engine is a really amazing project that’s quickly becoming even more amazing. Development continues unabated and, thanks to dedicated programmers, there’s plenty to look forward to in the works.

        The free, open source and cross-platform game engine Godot has been steadily improving for quite some time. The upcoming 4.0 version already promises neat new features such as Vulkan support and real-time global illumination. Now, thanks to Google’s Summer of Code program, a few student developers have been focusing on improving several areas of the engine and editor.

        All six of the projects are good improvements and generally add to the available tools but a few caught my attention more than others. Particularly the inclusion of document generation for Godot’s own scripting language as well as improvements to localization tools. Yes, I know, they may not be as obviously pleasing as better animation support or modelling improvements but solid documentation and the ability to painlessly edit a sprawling project is something that’s often sadly overlooked in the development world. Making an engine or editor more accessible is always a noble goal.

      • In Blood is an upcoming visual novel about toxic relationships and lovecraftian horror

        While, admittedly, this isn’t the usual fare that we cover, some of you might be interested in this upcoming project by developer Jaime Scribbles. Finding herself in another dimension, protagonist Eleadora struggles to get back to her own world while having to rely on potentially untrustworthy allies. Eleadora may well find herself changed both physically and mentally after her ordeal, mutating into something other than human if things don’t go well.

      • Godhood to ascend Early Access on August 11

        This god simulator by Abbey Games allows players to create their own religion, cultivate followers and grow the faith into glorious prosperity. Originally crowdfunded, Godhood has come a long way since its original pitch, adding a whole range of options and mechanics to better define your godly cult. Expect to issue commandments, manage disciple and engage in divine combat against other deities in a battle to establish yourself as the one true faith.

      • PlayStation 2 emulator PCSX2 continues to show improvements in latest progress report

        The quest for better emulation is never quite done, it seems. The open source PS2 emulator saw its first major stable release in years a few months ago and since then more exciting stuff has been under development.

        If you’re not familiar with PCSX2, it’s one of the oldest PlayStation 2 emulators around. While not completely perfect, it’s allowed for reasonably good emulation of titles for a long time and has gotten noticeably better on Linux as of the last few years. Back in May, PCSX2 released its first new stable version in four years and, with it, brought countless improvements and fixes as well.

        The development hasn’t slowed since and there’s plenty to love in a recent progress report. While there’s a fair bit of code refactoring and bug fixing, I’m mostly excited about some the accuracy improvements that have been implemented. Z-buffer improvements, for example, solve many text and HUD display issues while dithering support and blending improvements make things look more as they were originally intended.

        I’ve got quite a few PS2 games from back in the day and, as PCSX2 has steadily improved, it’s been fun to revisit those titles. While things aren’t quite perfect yet, there’s an impressive amount of compatibility. Even software rendering is relatively manageable for those few picky titles that don’t play nice yet. Still, projects like these are invaluable for preservation of old games even as the original hardware becomes more difficult to find.

      • EVERSPACE 2 continues to shape up in Alpha, shows off second star system

        The rather pretty open-world space action sim from ROCKFISH games looks to be steadily improving as it nears Beta quality. The developers have shown the adjustments made in response to feedback as well as new content they hope to add soon.

      • How to install Steam on Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, Majaro, Mint)

        In this article, you will learn how to install Steam on Linux. The guide applies to all the distributions.

        Steam is a very popular video game distribution service. It acts as a storefront where users can buy the game, play and update it directly through the Steam application. Apart from that, community features such as friends lists and groups, cloud storage, and in-game voice chat functionalities are also provided by Steam.

        The Steam platform is the largest digital distribution platform for PC gaming in the world, accounting around 75% of the market share.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 7 Best Free Compositing Window Managers

        A window manager is software that manages the windows that applications bring up. For example, when you start an application, there will be a window manager running in the background, responsible for the placement and appearance of windows.

        It is important not to confuse a window manager with a desktop environment. A desktop environment typically consists of icons, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpapers, and desktop widgets. They provide a collection of libraries and applications made to operate cohesively together. A desktop environment contains its own window manager.

        There are a few different types of window managers. This article focuses on compositing window managers.

        A compositing window manager, or compositor, is a window manager that provides applications with a separate and independent buffer for each window. The window manager then processes and combines, or composites, output from these separate buffers onto a common desktop. It also controls how they display and interact with each other, and with the rest of the desktop environment.

        Compositing window managers may perform additional processing on buffered windows, applying 2D and 3D animated effects such as transparency, fading, scaling, duplicating, bending and contorting, shuffling, and redirecting applications. The addition of a virtual third dimension allows for features such as realistic shadows beneath windows, the appearance of distance and depth, live thumbnail versions of windows, and complex animations.

        Here’s our recommendations. All of the software is free and open source goodness.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • OPNsense® 20.7 “Legendary Lion” released

          For five and a half years, OPNsense is driving innovation through modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple and reliable firmware upgrades, multi-language support, HardenedBSD security, fast adoption of upstream software updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing.

          20.7, nicknamed “Legendary Lion”, is a major operating system jump forward on a sustainable firewall experience. This release adds DHCPv6 multi-WAN, custom error pages for the web proxy, Suricata 5, HardenedBSD 12.1, netstat tree view, basic firewall API support (via plugin) and extended live log filtering amongst

          Download links, an installation guide[1] and the checksums for the images can be found below as well.

        • OPNsense 20.7 Released For This BSD-Powered Open-Source Firewall

          OPNsense 20.7 “Legendary Lion” released today as “a major operating system jump forward on a sustainable firewall experience” powered by HardenedBSD.

          OPNsense 20.7 adds DHCPv6 multi-WAN capabilities, custom error pages support within the web proxy, Suricata 5, a netstat tree view, a basic firewall API for interfacing via plug-ins, improvements to live log filtering, and various other changes. There is also the latest HardenedBSD 12.1 improvements on the BSD security front plus a variety of package updates.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Mageia 8 Artwork Contest

          As with every release, the artwork for Mageia 8 will come from you, the great community that supports and makes Mageia possible. With development well underway, Alpha 1 has just been released, it’s time to start getting the artwork ready. As in previous years, we’re looking for your contributions and ideas, but not just images and photos – if you have icons and logos, or ideas on how login screens or animations should look, then it’s time to discuss or show them off.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux ROLLING 999.200729 released

          GeckoLinux is pleased to announce the 999.200729 update to its ROLLING editions, thus completing the current refresh cycle of the entire GeckoLinux lineup. GeckoLinux ROLLING spins are generated directly from unmodified openSUSE Tumbleweed and Packman repositories, and the installed system can be updated directly from those official sources. This design decision has allowed GeckoLinux ROLLING users to install and update their systems in a constant rolling fashion over the past two years from the cutting edge and highly stable openSUSE Tumbleweed distribution. Now, GeckoLinux users that need an installation ISO to support very new hardware will find what they need in the GeckoLinux ROLLING 999.200729 set of updated spins.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • RHEL and CentOS 7 Receive Important Kernel Security Update, Patch Now

          RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) 7 and CentOS 7 operating system series received an important Linux kernel security and bug fix update that addressees four vulnerabilities and several other issues.

          Probably the most important vulnerability patched in this new Linux kernel security update for RHEL and CentOS 7 systems is a flaw (CVE-2020-10757) discovered in the way mremap handled DAX Huge Pages, which could allow a local attacker with access to a DAX enabled storage to escalate their privileges on the system.

          Also important is the buffer overflow (CVE-2020-12653) discovered in Linux kernel’s Marvell WiFi-Ex driver, which could allow a local user to escalate their privileges on the system. This was patched as well in the new kernel security update, but you can protect yourself by blacklisting the mwifiex kernel module.

        • Malwarebytes Achieves Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Certification for Endpoint Protection

          Malwarebytes™, a leading provider of advanced endpoint protection and remediation solutions, today announced that it has achieved Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 certification for its Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection for Servers product. This key certification gives users the confidence that they may more easily configure and deploy the product within Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 environments.


          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, designed to span the breadth of deployments across enterprise IT. For nearly any workload running on any environment, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 delivers one enterprise Linux experience to meet the unique technology needs of evolving enterprises in hybrid cloud environments. As part of the Red Hat partner ecosystem, Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection for Servers has proven that it can seamlessly deploy and operate within Red Hat Enterprise Linux ecosystems.

        • Defining cloud native, expanding the ecosystem, and more industry trends

          The impact: More and more companies are embracing the idea that there are customer problems they just can’t solve without help. Maybe that reduces the money that can be made from each individual customer as it expands the opportunities to engage more broadly into more problem spaces.

        • Red Hat partners pave the way for future success & growth

          It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through the year, and what a year it has been. Thank you to all of our partners for their contributions to drive success for our clients and for demonstrating impressive flexibility and creativity during these difficult times. While this year has certainly been one of continuous change and new challenges, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect on the momentum and innovation seen across our partner ecosystem thus far.

          As the marketplace continues to evolve in response to the global pandemic, the need for agility, automation and security in technology has become paramount for the enterprise. Additionally, we are experiencing a new age of organizational change and virtualization as people look for different ways of collaborating and staying connected. We were thrilled to have more than 10,000 members of our partner ecosystem register for the recent Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience, a testament to the dedication of our partners to the open source community.

        • How close are we to 5G edge cloud?

          New, enhanced, and useful customer experiences are vital to the successful adoption and monetization of new 5G services.

          As millions more devices connect to their networks, telecommunications service providers are migrating from hardware-based network appliances to virtualized infrastructure to enable them to rapidly and economically scale to meet ever increasing demands from customers.

          To deliver reliable 5G services, one way operators can improve application performance and reduce latency is by extending telco cloud infrastructure from their network core to the edge: closer to customers, devices, and data sources.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • This Week in Glean: Automated end-to-end tests for Glean

            Last year at the Mozilla All-Hands in Whistler, Canada I went for a walk with my colleague Mark Reid who manages our Data Platform team. We caught up on personal stuff and discussed ongoing projects as well as shared objectives for the next half-year. These in-person conversations with colleagues are my favorite activity at our semi-annual gatherings and are helpful in ensuring that my team is working on the most impactful projects and that our tests create value for the teams we support.


            For Mozilla, getting reliable data from our products is critical to inform our decision making. Glean is a new product analytics and telemetry solution that provides a consistent experience and behavior across all of our products. Mark and I agreed that it would be fantastic if we had automated end-to-end tests to complement existing test suites and alert us of potential issues with the system as quickly as possible.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU nano 5.0 Text Editor Released

            Version 5.0 of the popular open source GNU nano text editor has been released. This upgrade offers many enhancements and changes for Linux users, as listed on the nano website…

      • Programming/Development

        • Intel ISPC Compiler Lands GPU Code Generation Support

          Intel’s open-source ISPC (the Intel SPMD Program Compiler) now has preliminary support for code generation targeting their GPUs.

          The Intel SPMD Program Compiler that is focused on C programming with extensions around single program, multiple data programming concepts for leveraging SSE and AVX is now seeing initial support for exploiting the potential of Intel graphics processors.

          ISPC has long worked well for exploiting the potential of AVX/AVX2 and AVX-512 as well as SSE4 while now this SPMD program compiler can begin targeting Intel Gen/Xe Graphics.

          The ISPC support relies upon Intel’s oneAPI Level Zero for managing devices and other orchestration.

        • AMD’s ROCm AOMP Compiler 11.7-1 Brings OMPD Support, ROCgdb

          The AMD ROCm developer tool engineers have released a new build of AOMP, their LLVM Clang compiler downstream that adds OpenMP support for Radeon GPU offloading until that support ultimately makes it back upstream into LLVM/Clang.

          The ROCm engineers working on AOMP have been doing a great job on keeping their code re-based against the newest upstream LLVM code, which with this release is from just two weeks ago prior to the LLVM 11.0 branching. The AMD developers have been working on upstreaming more of their LLVM/Clang changes albeit that is a lengthy process especially with new Radeon OpenMP code continuing to be written and fine tuned.

        • Python

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Sources of Hope in Habermas

      In assembling a book on reading Habermas as learning theorist over the last couple of years, I discovered, perhaps more deeply than previous readings, that our human capacity to learn to solve problems at micro-and-macro-levels, as well as stepping back and reflecting on our condition, carries hope forward into the not-yet future. One of our irreducible interests is that of emancipation; this interest—propelled by social struggle—is in-built into our humanness. If this be so, then, clearly even though humans down through history have suffered immensely from overlords, we can organize an enlightenment learning process to reflect on our oppression. We can acquire the verve to act collectively to change the way the rich and powerful misperceive us and the structures that hold us down.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The 10 Best RSS News Readers [Ed: How on Earth did a site called “FOSSMint” manage to miss just about every RSS reader that is actually FOSS?]

          The RSS newsreaders may not be much in fashion these days but they have surely not been discontinued. They are still being used, plenty of people still rely upon them to pull together various news stories from different websites.

          RSS news readers provide a great way to stay current and updated. Though many websites do not keep an updated RSS feed anymore, there are still some great RSS readers available online.

          Through this article, we will introduce you to some of the best and top listed RSS newsreaders which will always keep you up to date.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open Mainframe Project Announces the Full Schedule for the Inaugural Open Mainframe Summit on September 16-17

              The Open Mainframe Project (OMP), an open source initiative that enables collaboration across the mainframe community to develop shared tool sets and resources, today announces the complete schedule of the inaugural Open Mainframe Summit. The virtual event takes place September 16-17 and will feature Ross Mauri, General Manager of IBM Z and LinuxONE at IBM; Greg Lotko, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mainframe Division at Broadcom; Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger; and The Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, and John Mertic, Director of Program Management.


              Conference Sessions Include:

              COBOL and the Modern Mainframe Movement – Jessielaine Punongbayan, Senior Software Engineer and Richelle Anne Craw, Senior Software Engineer, Broadcom
              Beyond the Mainframe Security Features, it is Time to Learn about Open Source Software Security – Javier Perez, Open Source Program Office Manager, IBM
              How Two Millennials Built a Mainframe Security Model on Top of Zowe in Six Weeks (and yes it works on all ESMs) – Kyle Beausolei, Software Engineer and Jordan Filteau, Software Engineer, Rocket Software
              Cloud Foundry Orchestrated by Kubernetes on Linux on IBM Z – Vlad Iovanov, Software Engineer, SUSE and Dan Pavel Sinkovicz, Student Mentee
              How Zowe and Open Source Made me Talk to the Mainframe (literally) – Youngkook Kim, Z/LinuxONE Solutions Architect, Vicom Infinity
              Zowe Conformance: High-reliability Extensions for Mainframe Tools, Guaranteed – Rose Sakach, Global Product Manager, Broadcom
              Open Source infrastructure-as-a-Service Automation for IBM z/VM – Mike Friesenegger, Solutions Architect, SUSE and Ji Chen, IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center Architect, IBM
              A 360 Degree View on LinuxONE Security & Compliance – Pradeep Parameshwaran, Technical Security Lead, LinuxONE & Linux on IBM Z, IBM

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • HVMI becomes A Xen Project Incubating Project

                Contributed by Bitdefender, a leading global cybersecurity company protecting over 500 million systems worldwide and a Xen Project Advisory Board member company, HVMI allows organizations to make sense of the view of memory provided by Virtual Machine Introspection within both the Xen and KVM hypervisors. While Bitdefender has used the technology for security purposes, open sourcing this technology opens up possibilities to extend HVMI’s value across many industries.

                HVMI is a subset of Bitdefender’s HVI which is used to understand and apply security logic to memory events within running Linux and Windows virtual machines. These mechanisms leverage Virtual Machine Introspection APIs at the hypervisor-level.

                Also being open sourced is Bitdefender’s ‘thin’ hypervisor technology, known as Napoca, which was used in developing HVI. Napoca may prove useful to researchers and open source efforts as it virtualizes CPU and memory, as opposed to virtualizing all hardware, and can be combined with HVI to protect physical systems.

                To learn more, read the Bitdefender press release or watch the webinar outlining details of this contribution.

              • Bitdefender Releases Groundbreaking Open Source HVI Technology through Xen Project

                Bitdefender, a leading global cybersecurity company protecting over 500 million systems worldwide, is proud to announce the contribution of its groundbreaking Hypervisor Introspection (HVI) to the open source community as a subset of Xen Project called Hypervisor-based Memory Introspection (HVMI).

                A member of the Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation-hosted Xen Project, Bitdefender is open sourcing the mechanisms of HVI used to understand and apply security logic to memory events within running Linux and Windows virtual machines. These mechanisms leverage Virtual Machine Introspection APIs at the hypervisor level.

                The code, formerly intellectual property of Bitdefender, allows organizations to make sense of the view of memory provided by Virtual Machine Introspection within both the Xen and KVM hypervisors. While Bitdefender has used the technology for security purposes, the possibilities extend to a range of other areas that can leverage and extend a unique, powerful sensor.

                HVI takes advantage of the position of hypervisors between underlying hardware and virtualized operating systems – Windows, Linux, desktops and servers – to examine memory, in real-time, for signs of memory-based attack techniques that are consistently used to exploit known and unknown vulnerabilities.

                The technology, first launched for general availability in 2017, earned widespread acclaim for stopping EternalBlue attacks, without requiring knowledge of the attack or underlying vulnerability. The WannaCry attacks which leveraged EternalBlue, and the success of HVI, make it clear that hypervisor security solutions such as HVI must become part of organizations’ security fabric.

                Also being open sourced is Bitdefender’s ‘thin’ hypervisor technology, known as Napoca, which was used in developing HVI. Napoca may prove useful to researchers and open source efforts as it virtualizes CPU and memory, as opposed to virtualizing all hardware, and can be combined with HVI to protect physical systems.

                “The Xen project is proving extremely fruitful, and the Xen Project hypervisor VMI capabilities have revolutionized security,” said Shaun Donaldson, Director of Strategic Alliances at Bitdefender. “We are excited to see the range of uses the community will come up with for the technology, and fully expect to see HVI and Napoca technology used in areas beyond the scope of Bitdefender’s security-focused purposes, that we could not anticipate today,” he added.

                Kurt Roemer, Chief Security Strategist and a member of the Office of the CTO at Citrix, says the creativity of the open-source community will further embed HVMI technology into a wealth of resources with surprising innovations that transcend the limitations of OS-based security models.

                “HVI has provided powerful threat insights and remediations into running Xen-based virtual machines. Now that the technology is open-source, the use cases to which HVMI can be applied will result in direct value realized by both security teams and their businesses – especially for emergent threats,” Roemer said.

        • Security

          • Version 7 of REMnux Malware Analysis Toolkit Released

            Version 7 of the REMnux toolkit for malware analysts is out. According to the product website, the REMnux Linux distribution, which is maintained by Lenny Zeltser, SANS Faculty Fellow, “is designed for reverse-engineering and analyzing malicious software” including compiled executables, document files, and scripts.

            REMnux provides a collection of free tools created by the community, which can be used by security researchers to examine and investigate malware. It also offers Docker images of popular malware analysis tools, so you can run them as containers without having to directly install them on your system.

          • New BootHole flaw in Secure Boot affects a huge number of Linux and Windows systems

            A new vulnerability has been discovered in Secure Boot that affects most Linux distributions and Windows devices that use the UEFI specification during boot. The vulnerability, called BootHole, was found by an enterprise security research firm, Eclypsium (spotted by Tom’sHardware). The flaw is specifically present in the GRUB2 file in Secure Boot and can be used by attackers to attain “near-total control” of the victim’s system.

            The firm says that the problem “extends to any Windows device that uses Secure Boot with the standard Microsoft Third Party UEFI Certificate Authority”, therefore putting a huge number of Windows desktops, laptops, workstations, servers, and other special-purpose equipment that use the technology are affected.


            The research firm believes that full mitigation of BootHole will require “coordinated efforts from a variety of entities” and that it expects deployment to be slow. For now, the recommendations for organizations include monitoring UEFI bootloaders and firmware, verifying UEFI configurations, testing recovery capabilities, and more.

          • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 148 is available for testing

            As we have already pre-announced some time ago this side-project inside the IPFire Project is finally ready for prime time.

            It comes with a new implementation to build, organise and access a highly optimised database packages with loads of helpful data for our firewall engines, as well as our analytics to analyse where attacks against the firewall are originating from.

            With it, IPFire can block attackers from certain countries, or do the opposite – only permit access to certain servers from certain places. Combining rules with the rate-limiting feature allows to limit connections from certain locations which is very helpful for DoS attacks.

            No new features have been added, but those that we had have been massively improved. The database is now being updated once a week which makes it more accurate and we no longer require complicated scripts to convert it into different formats to be used in different parts of the operating system.

            Instead the database can be opened and ready extremely quickly which allows access in realtime making pages on the web user interface load significantly faster.

            We hope that many other projects choose to use our implementation as well, since we have chosen a truly open license for the data as well as the library that works behind it.

            I will talk more about this in a later blog post and explain to you the advantages of libloc.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • The Future of Linux Security: Securing Linux-Based Systems in 4 Steps

              The world is increasingly interconnected and, as a result of this, the exposure to security vulnerabilities has dramatically increased as well. The intricacies of maintaining today’s Linux-based platforms make it very challenging for developers to cover every potential entry point. In 2019 there was an average of more than 45 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) logged per day.

              How does a development organization keep up with that? In order to stay on top of this, developers must increasingly spend more time and effort integrating CVE patches into their solutions, at the cost of spending time developing their applications.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Banning TikTok Will Accomplish Nothing. Fix Our Broader Security & Privacy Problems Instead.

              Earlier this month I noted how the calls to ban TikTok didn’t make a whole lot of sense. For one thing, a flood of researchers have shown that TikTok isn’t doing anything any different than a flood of foreign and domestic services. Secondly, the majority of the most vocal pearl clutchers over the app (Josh Hawley, etc.) haven’t cared a whit about things like consumer privacy or internet security, suggesting it’s more about politics than policy. The wireless industry SS7 flaw? US cellular location data scandals? The rampant lack of any privacy or security standards in the internet of things? The need for election security funding?

            • NIST Study Confirms The Obvious: Face Masks Make Facial Recognition Tech Less Useful, More Inaccurate

              At the end of last year, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its review of 189 facial recognition algorithms submitted by 99 companies. The results were underwhelming. The tech law enforcement and security agencies seem to feel is a game changer is just more of the same bias we’ve been subjected to for years without any AI assistance.

            • EU Plans To Use Supercomputers To Break Encryption, But Also Wants Platforms To ‘Create Opportunities’ To Snoop On End-To-End Communications

              They say that only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. But here on Techdirt, we have a third certainty: that governments around the world will always seek ways of gaining access to encrypted communications, because they claim that things are “going dark” for them. In the US and elsewhere, the most requested way of doing that is by inserting backdoors into encryption systems. As everyone except certain government officials know, that’s a really bad idea. So it’s interesting to read a detailed and fascinating report by Matthias Monroy on how the EU has been approaching this problem without asking for backdoors — so far. The European Commission has been just as vocal as the authorities in other parts of the world in calling for law enforcement to have access to encrypted communications for the purpose of combating crime. But EU countries such as Germany, Finland and Croatia have said they are against prohibiting, limiting or weakening encrypted connections. Because of the way the EU works, that means the region as a whole needs to adopt other methods of gaining access. Monroy explains that the EU is pinning its hopes on its regional police organization:

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Belarus arrested 33 Russian mercenaries outside of Minsk today. Here’s what we know, so far.

        In Belarus, law enforcement officers arrested 33 mercenaries from the Russian private military company (PMC) “Wagner,” the state-owned Belarusian news agency BelTA reported.

      • Russian mercenaries arrested outside of Minsk, says Belarusian state news

        Law enforcement agencies in Belarus arrested 33 militants from the Russian private military company (PMC) “Wagner”overnight on July 29, reports the state-owned Belarusian news agency BelTA. 

      • ‘Not One More Pandemic Relief Dollar for the Pentagon’: 75 Groups Slam GOP Effort to Use Covid-19 Funds for Weapons of War

        “Make no mistake: the Senate GOP is choosing to let people die in order to line the pockets of weapons manufacturer CEOs.”

      • The UK’s Russia Report on the “Londongrad Laundromat”

        The UK parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), drawn from MPs and peers of all parties, last week published its report on possible Russian interference in UK politics.

      • ‘We Will Coup Whoever We Want’: Elon Musk and the Overthrow of Democracy in Bolivia

        On July 24, 2020, Tesla’s Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that a second U.S. “government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people.” Someone responded to Musk soon after, “You know what wasn’t in the best interest of people? The U.S. government organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there.” Musk then wrote: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.”

      • No papers, no rights: Understanding Syria’s civil documentation crisis

        In a nine-and-a-half-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands and forced millions to flee their homes, paperwork might seem like a trivial issue. But for the many Syrians who lack ID cards and other documents crucial for accessing healthcare, education, and aid, it’s anything but.

        As families have been splintered and scattered throughout the conflict, papers have been lost or destroyed, and many Syrians have been cut off from the bureaucracy of President Bashar al-Assad’s government – the only authority that can officially register births and deaths and issue the paperwork that keeps track of these events.

        For years, UN assessments have found that the majority of Syrians in the country lack various types of civil documentation, and communities polled consistently say they consider this to be a pressing concern.

        Laura Cunial, an information, counselling, and legal assistance specialist with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), which has worked extensively on documentation problems in Syria, explained to The New Humanitarian why something as seemingly simple as an ID card is crucial for daily life: “It is necessary for anything related to registering in school, to passing through a checkpoint, to qualifying for certain social security and welfare benefits, to just being able to have some form of personal identity – which everyone has a right to.”

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Moderation Of Racist Content Leads To Removal Of Non-Racist Pages & Posts (2020)

        Summary: Social media platforms are constantly seeking to remove racist, bigoted, or hateful content. Unfortunately, these efforts can cause unintended collateral damage to users who share surface similarities to hate groups, even though many of these users take a firmly anti-racist stance.

      • Facebook Employee Revolt Shows, Yet Again, That There Are Other Incentives Beyond Section 230

        One of the most frustrating claims that critics of Section 230 make is that because of Section 230 the big internet companies have no incentive to deal with awful content (abuse, harassment, bigotry, lies, etc.). Yet, over and over again we see why that’s not at all true. First of all, there’s strong incentive to deal with crap content on your platform because if you don’t your users will go elsewhere. So the userbase itself is incentive. Then, as we’ve discussed, there are incentives from advertisers who don’t want their ads showing up next to such junk and can pressure companies to change.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘The Withdraw Is Conditional’: After Oregon Governor Says Federal Agents Are Leaving Portland on Thursday, DHS, White House Say Not Yet

        “The federal occupation of our community has brought a new kind of fear to our streets.”

      • As Some States Reopen, People in Prison Continue to Face Harmful Lockdowns

        By early June, most of Indiana had already entered Stage 3 for reopening. But at the Indiana Women’s Prison (IWP), the opposite was happening: Women began being locked into their cells for extended periods of time. IWP currently holds 642 women and has tested less than 10 percent for COVID-19. As of July 27, 25 of the 64 women tested at the Indiana Women’s Prison had coronavirus.

      • Law & Order vs. Anarchy, Personal Freedom vs. Medical Science

        Seldom do situations provide so much self-evident clarity that only few words are needed. We are now in such a situation or would be if what words mean had not returned to a new Tower of Babel. There is an anarchy in our thinking and our chosen twittering that makes it difficult to rid ourselves of the demons of our American mass psyche.

      • Video Shows Plainclothes NYPD Officers Throwing Protester Into Unmarked Van

        Plainclothes officers from the New York City Police Department on Tuesday snatched an 18-year-old protester off the streets, threw her into an unmarked minivan, and sped away without explanation, a disturbing incident that immediately drew comparisons to the authoritarian tactics recently used by federal agents in Portland, Oregon.

      • Police arrest former Dagestani prime minister’s son on murder charges

        On July 29, police arrested Murtazili Medzhidov — the son of former Dagestani Prime Minister Mukhtar Medzhidov — on suspicion of murdering a 21-year-old student at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in April 2018. The alleged victim, a woman from Kazakhstan named Tomiris Baisafa, fell from a fourth-story window on the university’s campus and later died in the hospital.

      • “Unrest” Is Not the Enemy. Fascism Is.

        Kelly Hayes: As Black Lives Matter protests continue to play out around the country, images of protesters squaring off with police in Portland have inflamed debates about “peacefulness,” violence and respectability. Some liberal figures have argued that Trump’s law and order narrative is facilitated by imagery of police dueling with protesters, and that unity will be needed to halt the march of fascism. Such critics have pointed to the riots of the late ‘60s, claiming that the Civil Rights Movement was derailed by those who resorted to violent tactics in the streets.

      • “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Picks on Portland to Pick Up Votes

        Trump’s quest for scenes of urban chaos may not be over, but for now, it could be ending with a whimper not a flashbang.

      • Ridiculous, Corny, Dead

        Like many writers of my socioeconomic, educational, and psychochemical background, I often find myself bound up in mental contortions over problems that, under sober scrutiny, are not problems at all, but that—left to foxtrot about in the recesses of one’s mind—present themselves as urgent questions. Questions like: What is the role of realist fiction in an age of political upheaval? How should a critic’s identity bear on her reading, and how should a writer’s identity bear on how he is read? And what should we do, now, with all the well-heeled, hetereosexualish, white-man writers who, up until quite recently, might have strolled chest first onto the literary scene, but who now find themselves met with a healthy dose of corrective skepticism?

      • Bill Barr Grilled by House Lawmakers on Protest Crackdown and Voter Suppression

        We play highlights from Attorney General William Barr’s grilling by the House Judiciary Committee over how he sent militarized federal forces to confront Black Lives Matter protesters, and his opposition to voting by mail, and get response from a close friend of Congressmember John Lewis who is now running for Senate. “In spite of the machinations of Donald Trump and those who do his bidding, including the attorney general, the good news is that we’re seeing a multiracial coalition of people pouring out into American streets,” responds Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, “saying that we’re concerned about the soul of our democracy.” Rev. Warnock is running as a Democrat for Senate in Georgia.

      • Black Lives Matter and the Nuclear Family

        “We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

      • In Portland, Getting Out of Jail Requires Relinquishing Constitutional Rights

        Federal authorities are using a new tactic in their battle against protesters in Portland, Oregon: arrest them on offenses as minor as “failing to obey” an order to get off a sidewalk on federal property — and then tell them they can’t protest anymore as a condition for release from jail.

      • Federal Agents in Portland to Leave the City, Oregon Governor Says

        The federal agents who have wielded tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang devices against protesters nightly for the past two months in Portland, Oregon, will soon be leaving the city, according to an announcement from Gov. Kate Brown.

      • Citing Fears of a Defeated Trump Who Won’t Go Willingly, Warren Calls on Cabinet Officials to End Deployment of Federal Agents Against Protests

        “This is an urgent matter for American democracy and for the safety of Americans peacefully protesting in their communities.”

      • ‘This Is…Kidnapping’: Video Shows Plainclothes NYPD Officers Throwing Protester Into Unmarked Van

        “Our civil liberties are on the brink,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “This is not a drill. There is no excuse for snatching women off the street and throwing them into unmarked vans.”

      • Laborers’ Lives: Migrating Feet, Settled Grief

        In the slums of Mumbai where I grew up, the grocery store in our neighbourhood would fill up every evening, around 6 p.m. The year was 2000. Small buyers crowded the big shop – for a quarter kilo rice, red chilli powder and salt for one rupee, cooking oil worth a rupee or two, black mustard seeds and turmeric powder for 25-50 paisa, one or two onions, a quarter kilo each of tur dal and wheat flour, and some kerosene for the stove.

    • Monopolies

      • As Big Tech CEOs Face Historic Anti-Trust Hearing, New ‘Merger Tracker’ Reveals Outsized Power of Silicon Valley Titans

        “Policymakers and enforcers have allowed these big tech barons to bully workers, consumers, and businesses for far too long.”

      • Facebook’s Unchecked Power Endangers Civil Rights

        If Mark Zuckerberg truly believes in giving everyone a voice, the company must integrate a power, race, and social analysis into its policies and their enforcement.

      • Under Investigation For Antitrust Abuse, Trump DOJ Rubber Stamps Major Ad Industry Consolidation

        While the Trump administration and its allies (like Josh Hawley) like to talk a lot about monopolization in “big tech,” they couldn’t actually care less about monopolies or their impact on competition. For example while Hawley and the Trump FCC/DOJ have made an endless stink about the power of “big tech,” that’s largely for performative political reasons, namely to perpetuate the utterly false claim that Conservatives are being “censored,” to bully tech giants away from encryption, or to frighten them away from finally doing something about the (profitable) bigotry and disinformation problems that plague their networks.

      • Patents

        • Federal Circuit rejects RPI arguments, Remands under Arthrex

          On July 28, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected the arguments of Fall Line Patents, LLC that real party-in-interest determinations were reviewable on appeal after Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP et al, 140 S.Ct. 1367 (2020), and their argument that Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., No. 2018-2140, 941 F.3d 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2019) was wrongly decided, and remanded for a new Board panel decision, in line with Arthrex. See Fall Line Patents, LLC v. Unified Patents, LLC, No. 19-1956 (July 28, 2020) (Judges O’Malley, Bryson, and Hughes) (slip op.). This appeal came after the PTAB issuing a final written decision in Unified Patents Inc. v. Fall Line Patents, LLC, IPR2018-00043, holding as unpatentable claims 16-19, 21, and 22 of U.S. Patent No. 9,454,748.

          In the non-precedential decision, Judge O’Malley noted that ESIP Series 2, LLC v. Puzhen Life USA, LLC, 958 F.3d 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2020) held that Thryv precluded judicial review of the institution-based real party-in-interest determinations of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Notably, Fall Line did not appeal any aspect of the merits of the Board’s decision concerning the validity of their claims. Unified was represented by James Barney and Daniel Cooley of Finnegan, and by in-house counsel, Jonathan Stroud and Ashraf Fawzy.

      • Trademarks

        • Stone Brewing Is Very Upset That People Don’t Like Its Trademark Bullying

          It was just days ago that we were discussing Stone Brewing’s new campaign to jealously protect all uses of the word “stone” on alcohol branding. The one time advocate brewer claiming to stand up for craft brewing against “Big Beer” has since devolved into a corporate gorilla smashing up the USPTO to get trademarks cancelled and firing off cease and desist notices to small breweries. All this, mind you, as it also wages war on a second front with MillerCoors over Keystone’s rebranding as simply “Stone”. In that suit, MillerCoors complained that lots of breweries use the word “stone”, which appears to have set Stone Brewing off on its bout of aggression.

        • David Simon: Trademark Law and Consumer Safety

          I was happy to read David Simon’s new article, Trademark Law and Consumer Safety, forthcoming in the Florida Law Review. Simon argues trademark law should pay more attention to the physical harms that products pose for consumers, rather than just economic harms. The conventional view is that trademark law exists to prevent consumer confusion and lower consumers’ search costs for finding the products they want. At the same time, trademark law protects sellers’ investments in product quality and advertising.

          Simon’s article argues that trademark law does, or should do, a lot more than this: it should protect consumers from physical injury.

          Simon begins with the following example. Imagine a consumer seeks a supplement to make her brain work better. By protecting the trademark BRAINSTRONG for a pill claiming to perform this function, trademark law helps consumers find the pill they want by preventing consumers from mistakenly buying a fake version sold by another infringing seller. The law also protects the investments of the real seller of BRAINSTRONG in making its pills work as claimed and in advertising the pills to consumers.

          But Simon draws attention to the physical side of this story. He observes that some trademarks, like BRAINTSTRONG in this example, implicate health and safety. There are two avenues for this. First, what if the consumer buys a fake version of the pill by a trademark infringer, and the fake pill has devastating effects on her mind and body? Second, what if the consumer buys the real BRAINSTRONG, and it has devastating effects on her mind and body?

      • Copyrights

        • TikTok signs copyright licensing agreements with music publishers

          Social media platform TikTok has caused anarchy in the music industry – on the one hand, it is pushing music up the charts but on the hand, it has been in a year long disagreements with industry representatives about copyright. However, TikTok has now signed a copyright licensing agreement with US National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA).


          At the moment, the terms and conditions of TikTok state that when users upload content, they permit other users to re-use it. This is different from other social media platforms such as Instagram, which state that users either upload their own original content or content that they have permission to use. From a social media perspective, these TikTok terms make practical sense because the whole point in the platform is sharing and re-using sound clips to re-create derivative videos. However, of course, from a copyright perspective this is a total evasion.


          In a post last year, our Asia Correspondent Kat Tian reported that the Chinese version of TikTok, called Douyin, successfully argued copyright infringement when a video that was originally uploaded to Douyin was later uploaded to Huopai – a similar video-sharing platform. Huopai argued that there was no infringement because the video was unoriginal and therefore did not qualify as a copyright work, stating that there was limited room for creativity in a 13 second video. However, the Court found that the video did fulfil the requirement of originality as a work created by a process similar to cinematography; stating: “For the works created on the same theme by different authors, the expressions of which are creative and independently completed, the authors enjoy independent copyrights in relation to the corresponding works.”

          It is also interesting that the parties in this case were the two platforms and not the individual users, meaning that the licence granted enables the social media platform to enforce the copyright of the creator. s

[Meme] GitHub Looking to Replace Free/Libre Git With Proprietary Software, Centralised and Controlled by Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wake up, Linus Torvalds

Dancing HotDog meme: Hello there, Git; Watch out for the train

Days ago:

Git as GitHub
Final and RC coverage/announcement both laden with GitHub links as if Git is Microsoft

Summary: Sometimes it feels like Microsoft bought Git — not GitHub — like it entered the very competition of Windows by ‘buying’ the Linux Foundation (Torvalds parented both Git and Linux, as well as three daughters)

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