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09.16.19

Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

Posted in News Roundup at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Can a Raspberry Pi 4 really replace your PC?

        I have written several times already about the recently-released Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (see my first impressions, how-to setup, my hands-on experience, and my thoughts two months in). Now I’m going to look at one of the practical aspects that I think a lot of people have been wondering about – is it (finally) good enough to use as an every-day desktop system?

        We’ve been through this several times before, when the original Raspberry Pi, the Pi 2 and the Pi 3 came out – and each time the answer was “only if you have enough patience”. Although the amount of patience required decreased each time, it was still too slow on many everyday tasks, or too limited in configuration (primarily memory) for most people to be satisfied using it. So maybe this time it will make the grade?

    • Server

      • This $8,000 super computer can be yours for pennies

        With companies of all sizes looking to boost their computing power, the amount of competition to provide such services is keener than ever.

        20 years ago, the world’s most powerful computer was the Intel-powered ASCI Red. It had nearly 10,000 cores, a peak performance of 3.21 Tflops and had a cool price tag of $55 million.

        [...]

        Ubuntu 18.04 is included as the default operating system and you can upgrade it to WIndows Server 2019. As with all Ionos dedicated servers, there’s also a 1Gbps unlimited data pipe, and you can choose the location of your server (either US or Europe).

      • IBM

        • 9 steps to awesome with Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift

          Our first DevNation Live regional event was held in Bengaluru, India in July. This free technology event focused on open source innovations, with sessions presented by elite Red Hat technologists.

          Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for hybrid cloud portable application architecture, and in this session, Burr Sutter shows why Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift provide the ideal solution for deploying and managing microservices in your organization.

          This live hands-on session is for any developer who is interested in Linux containers and cloud-native application architecture. Our examples will primarily be in Java, as there is some special “care and feeding” related to Java in a container, but the lessons are applicable to any programming language.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 13×38

        First up: all about mcookie, mesg, and namei from util-linux. Then, a discussion of how one might transition to running Linux exclusively. Do you have a story of how you switched to Linux full-time? Do you not run Linux and just run as much open source as possible?

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Released, This is What’s New

        Linux 5.3 was announced by Linus Torvalds on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (lkml) in the founder’s trademark modest style. No major “quotable” quips from Linus thus time around, save for background on the unplanned eighth release candidate.

        This release follows the well-received Linux 5.2 release back in July and comes with a raft of improvements, optimisations, and new hardware support.

        For instance, Linux 5.3 introduces early support for AMD Navi GPUs, makes 16 million new IPv4 addresses available, and is compatible with Intel Speed Select used in Intel Xeon servers.

      • Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.3: Kernel fixes are about user impact, nothing else

        Linux kernel boss Linus Torvalds has finally announced the release of Linux 5.3, after eight release candidates and a delay of one week.

        But that delay has been a good thing, according to Torvalds, because it gives kernel developers an important lesson in what’s important and how to frame issues when reporting bugs.

        Torvalds had a busy schedule last week, speaking with ZDNet’s open-source authority, Steven J Vaughan-Nichols, at not one but two core Linux conferences – the Kernel Maintainers Summit and the Linux Plumbers Conference, held in Lisbon, Portugal last week.

      • The 5.3 kernel is out

        The 5.3 kernel is available at last. The announcement includes a long discussion about user-space regressions — an ext4 filesystem performance improvement had caused some systems to fail booting due to a lack of entropy early after startup. “It’s more that it’s an instructive example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole ‘no regressions’ kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn’t change any API’s, and it didn’t introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a user. So it got reverted.”

      • Linux 5.2.15

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.15 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.2.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.2.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 4.19.73
      • Linux 4.14.144
      • Linux 4.9.193
      • Linux 4.4.193
      • GNU Linux-libre 5.3-gnu
        GNU Linux-libre 5.3-gnu sources and tarballs are now available at
        <http://www.fsfla.org/selibre/linux-libre/download/releases/5.3-gnu/>.
        It didn't require any deblobbing changes since -rc7-gnu, the first
        published rc-gnu.  Freesh binaries are already available!, thanks to
        Jason Self; others are on the way.
        
        
        Besides recognizing new false positives (sequences that our blob hunter
        would report as suspicious, but that are neither blobs nor requests for
        blobs), updating the deblobbing scripts for 5.3 required adjusting
        cleaned up drivers for updated blob names, recognizing one new Free
        piece of firmware with binary and corresponding sources embedded in the
        kernel sources, and disabling blob loading introduced in a few drivers:
        QCOM, DRM (HDCP), Allegro-DVT, and Meson-VDEC.
        
        This last one was particularly disappointing: the firmware sources were
        supposed to be available from LibreELEC, and though the link to the
        alleged sources there is broken, I managed to find the "source" repo
        containing them, only to find out the "source" was just a binary blob
        encoded in C as an array of char, just like Linux used to do back when I
        got involved with Linux-libre.  Oh well...  Request disabled...
        
        If anyone can find Freely-licensed actual source code for that, or for
        any other file whose loading we disable, please let us know, so that we
        can refrain from disabling its loading.
        
        
        For up-to-the-minute news, join us on #linux-libre of irc.gnu.org
        (Freenode), or follow me (@lxoliva) on Twister <http://twister.net.co/>,
        Secure Scuttlebutt, GNU social at social.libreplanet.org, Diaspora* at
        pod.libreplanetbr.org or pump.io at identi.ca.  Check my web page (link
        in the signature) for direct links.
        
        
        Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.
        
      • GNU Linux-libre 5.3 Continues Deblobbing & Dealing With Firmware Trickery
      • GNU Linux-Libre 5.3 Kernel Arrives for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs
      • Google’s FS-VERITY File Authentication Called For Inclusion In Linux 5.4 Kernel

        Linux kernel engineer Eric Biggers of Google has sent in a pull request adding FS-VERITY support to the Linux 5.4 but it remains to be seen if Linus Torvalds is content with pulling the code at this stage.

        FS-VERITY is the code Google has been working on for a while now in the context of Android. The focus is on providing transparent integrity/authenticity support for read-only files on an otherwise writable file-system. See this presentation to learn more on this file-based authenticity protection.

      • Linux 5.4 Brings Working Temperature Reporting For AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs

        Due to a combination of poor timing and an oversight at AMD, the CPU temperature reporting under Linux for the Ryzen 3000 series processors isn’t in order until this new Linux 5.4 cycle. Back at the Ryzen 3000 series launch event I was told everything was “all good” from the Linux support perspective for thermal monitoring, after having been closely following the situation for past Zen CPUs and ended up myself adding the Linux CPU temperature monitoring support for Threadripper 2 among other hudles in the past. That all-good though just ended up meaning that there is no Tcontrol offset needed for these new CPUs, which is great news no longer needing the temperature offset by an arbitrary amount. But the oversight was the Family 17h Model 70h ID was never added to the AMD k10temp driver. As a result, temperature monitoring wasn’t actually working and took an extra kernel cycle before this trivial addition landed.

      • Linux Foundation

        • All about Reactive Foundation,The Linux Foundation’s new baby

          The Linux Foundation has announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation, a community of leaders established to accelerate technologies for building the next generation of networked applications. The foundation is made up of Alibaba, Lightbend, Netifi and Pivotal as initial members and includes the successful open source RSocket specification, along with programming language implementations.

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end-user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability, and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.

          [...]

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end-user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability, and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.
          “From the beginning of our work on RSocket during my time at Netflix, our intent was to have an open system that encouraged broad adoption, which is essential for networking technology. We’re thrilled to be hosted at the Linux Foundation with commitment from leaders and disruptors in the industry, and are excited to make progress enabling reactive programming,” said Ryland Degnan, Co-Founder, and CTO at Netifi and Foundation community chair.

    • Applications

      • New WireGuard Snapshot Offers Better Compatibility With Distributions/Kernels

        WireGuard sadly isn’t slated for the now-open Linux 5.4 merge window, but lead developer Jason Donenfeld has put out a new development snapshot of this open-source secure VPN tunnel.

        Coming barely two weeks since the previous WireGuard snapshot, this newest development release isn’t too heavy on the changes but the focus is on better portability/compatibility.

      • PulseAudio 13 Released with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support, More

        Released three months after the PulseAudio 12 series, PulseAudio 13 is here with support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, support for the SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB headset, improved initial card profile selection for ALSA cards, as well as S/PDIF improvements for CMEDIA USB2.0 High-Speed True HD Audio.

        The PulseAudio 13 series also adds several new module arguments, including “max_latency_msec” for module-loopback, “stream_name” for module-rtp-send, and “avoid_resampling” for module-udev-detect and module-alsa-card, and no longer uses persistent Bluetooth card profile choices by default, recommending users to use A2DP by default.

      • Apple Watch Series 5, $500, or Linux PineTime smartwatch, $25?

        A new open-source smartwatch is in the works with a planned price of $25.

        [...]

        But the PineTime isn’t quite a reality yet. Pine64 said it is still “waiting for some love from developers” and that for now it is a side project, similar to the Pine64 CUBE, an open-source IoT camera.

        Besides Apple, no Android smartphone maker besides perhaps Xiaomi has been able to carve out a dominant position in the smartwatch category.

        The cheapest decent smartwatches today can be found generally for about $40, so Pine64′s promise of a smartwatch that looks similar to the Apple Watch for $25 does sound interesting. And it runs on Arm MBed or FreeTOS, a sure selling point for those who want to avoid the mainstream.

        The smartwatch announcement follows Pine64′s plans to launch the PinePhone, a follow-up to its cheap Pinebook Pro laptops and its Raspberry Pi rival boards.

      • cmus – free terminal-based audio player

        It took me a few years to appreciate console-based software. Repairing a broken system using the ubiquitous vi text editor was a turning point in my Linux journey. Now I spend a lot of time at the terminal, and listening to music. Best combine the two!

        When it comes to console-based music software, I really admire musikcube, a wonderful audio engine, library, player and server written in C++.

        This review looks at an alternative to musikcube. It’s called cmus. It shares many similarities with musikcube. Both are designed to run on a text-only user interface, reducing the resources required to run the application.

        cmus is written in C.

      • Rclone Browser Fork With Fixes And Enhancements

        Rclone Browser is a fairly popular cross-platform GUI for Rclone. Its development was stopped in 2017, but a Rclone Browser fork was created recently to fix some “small not working bits and pieces”, like the transfer progress not working, while also adding some enhancements.

        Let me tell you a few things about Rclone, in case you haven’t heard of it, and then continue with Rclone Browser. Rclone is like rsync, but for cloud storage. The command line tool can synchronize files between your filesystem and cloud storage services like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Nextcloud, Yandex Disk, Dropbox, Amazon Drive and S3, Mega, pCloud, and others (and having WebDAV, FTP and SFTP support), as well as directly between cloud storage services. It also supports mounting these cloud storage services so you can access your files using desktop applications.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • It Stares Back, an RTS with a really wild style will be coming to Linux

        Always on the lookout for my next strategy game fix, I recently came across It Stares Back after it pulled my in due to the wild visuals.

        Currently, it’s only available for Windows in Early Access on Steam. However, the developer confirmed to me on the Steam forum that it’s planned for Linux just like their last game, Castle Battles. The Linux version should come once the game is complete.

      • Receiver, the experimental FPS from Wolfire Games had a big update recently

        Receiver is a name I’ve not heard in a long time, the indie FPS released back in 2013 by Wolfire Games and it’s just seen a big update.

        There’s no new enemies or levels in this update, instead Wolfire focused on the tech that runs the game. In this case it’s the Unity game engine and they gave it quite a big update. It also adds in some graphical prettiness and other bits like that.

      • Ocean exploration game Beyond Blue has a new story trailer and voice cast reveal

        Beyond Blue, the near-future ocean exploration game from E-Line Media (publisher of Never Alone) has a new story teaser.

        If you’ve not heard of it before, this is not some survival game like Subnautica. Instead, it’s a game about exploring the depths of our oceans. Think of it like Blue Planet: The Game, that sums it up quite well especially since they’ve teamed up with BBC Studios (who did the Blue Planet documentary).

      • NARWHAR Project Hornwhale, a really wacky shoot ‘em up that reminds me of the Amiga days

        The developer of NARWHAR Project Hornwhale emailed in recently about their new arcade style shoot ‘em up being released with Linux support. It’s a bit wild.

        I’ll admit the name, along with the setting of this thoroughly made me chuckle to no end. Space Narwhals that rule with an iron fist, with you playing as one of two Rays that shoot lasers? The damn Narwhals took away all the free milkshake, so naturally a rebellion happened. What’s not to love about such a crazy setting?

      • Buoyancy, a city-builder where you manage a floating city has a Linux test build up

        Sometimes when you ask if a game is coming to Linux it’s a no, others say it’s planned and when it’s Buoyancy the developer just puts up a build soon after asking.

        Yep, that’s what happened here. After asking about Linux support on Steam, developer replied to say “yes”. When asking if they knew when, they went ahead and uploaded a build. If only it was always that easy…

      • The latest Overcooked! 2 expansion sounds more crazy than ever with the Carnival of Chaos

        Overcooked! 2 is no doubt one of the best, most hilarious and most infuriating co-op experiences around all in one. It just got bigger again too, with another great sound DLC out now.

      • Fantastic looking beat ‘em up Shing! confirmed to be releasing for Linux

        One we completely missed from Gamescom is Shing!, a new beat ‘em up from developer Mass Creation releasing next year and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

        Curiously, it appeared recently in my Steam searching with a SteamOS/Linux icon but the store page only has Windows system requirements. When going to message the developer, I checked the Steam forum and as expected someone asked about Linux support. The reply from the developer was a very clear “Yes – Shing will be available on Linux.”.

        They’re saying it’s so good, they’ve called it a “beat-em-up 2.0″. With Shing! Mass Creation say they’re mixing in classic arcade-style gameplay with modern graphics and an innovative control scheme. This is not going to be a button basher, instead you use the right stick of a gamepad to directly control your weapon. It sounds good on paper but does it look good? Sure does! Take a look at their recent gameplay reveal:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • New webpage for Plasma Desktop

          In my quest to improve the website of KDE, I updated the Plasma Desktop webpage. This is a huge improvement to the old website, which didn’t show any screenshots and didn’t list any Plasma features.

          I already teased the improvements I made in the Plasma BoF in Milan to the Akademy.

          The redesign got a lot of positive feedback by the Plasma team and after some small modifications the changes landed.

        • Interview with Julius Grels

          At one point I started to search for open source alternatives for the myriad number of programs I was using, and Krita was a recommendation somewhere to replace Photoshop, with high ratings from users.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Firmware App Launches Officially to Make Updating Firmware Easier on Linux

          Promising to make firmware updates easier to deploy, GNOME Firmware is a graphical application for power users that lets them check for new firmware for their devices, update or downgrade current firmware, as well as to install new firmware. GNOME Firmware is designed as an optional utility for GNOME users, as well as users of other desktop environments.

          “GNOME Firmware is designed to be a not-installed-by-default power-user tool to investigate, upgrade, downgrade and re install firmware,” said Richard Hughes in a blog post. “GNOME Software will continue to be used for updates as before. Vendor helpdesks can ask users to install GNOME Firmware rather than getting them to look at command line output.”

        • A Simple Review of GNOME 3.34

          That’s all for now. As always, I love how simple and beautiful GNOME release announcement was. After testing in 3 days, I immediately like this version more than the previous one for the speed improvement and I hope Ubuntu and other distros adopt it soon. Ah, I forgot, regarding Ubuntu, good news for us: next October’s Ubuntu Eoan Ermine will feature 3.34! Regarding GNOME, I don’t know if this is coincidence or what, but this year’s KDE Plasma is faster and smoother and so is GNOME. I think next GNOME 3.36 will be faster and better as well. Finally I would love to say thank you GNOME developers! You all did well in last 6 month.

          How do you think about 3.34? Let me know in the comment section!

        • Internet Speed Indicator for GNOME 3.34
    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Chuwi AeroBook review: Testing 5 Linux distributions

          Chuwi is likely not a brand familiar to many, though the Chinese firm has established its abilities in producing budget-focused notebooks and tablets—essentially, attempting to provide a full Windows experience at a price point of an average Chromebook. Chuwi’s upmarket Chuwi Aerobook could be the right price for an Ultrabook form factor at a $500 price point.

          Support for Linux on fundamentally consumer hardware has improved considerably over the last decade, largely preventing the need to perform extensive manual configuration. In 2019, minor compatibility issues—tiny papercut-like problems that are harder to actually solve—can pop up for specific hardware configurations. Depending on the return policies of your preferred marketplace, it might be impossible or cost-prohibitive to return a product like this if it doesn’t work with Linux.

      • Debian Family

        • Why Debian Is the Gold Standard of Upstream Desktop Linux

          If you don’t follow the fortunes of Linux distributions, you might think that the days of Debian’s dominance are long since gone. However, superficial appearances can be deceiving. Not only does Debian consistently appear in the top ten of Distrowatch’s page hit ranking, it’s used as the base of the majority of other distributions as well, far eclipsing rivals like Fedora and Red Hat or openSuse. In fact, Debian might be said to be the most influential distro ever.

          That may seem an overstatement, but the figures are hard to argue with. For at least eight years, Debian has been by far the most dominant distribution. Some details of its dominance have changed, but the overall pattern has been constant. Without Debian, modern Linux would be vastly different.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • QMO: Firefox 70 Beta 6 Testday Results

            Hello Mozillians!

            As you may already know, Friday, September 13th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 70 Beta 6.

            Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: Gabriela (gaby2300), Dan Caseley (Fishbowler) and Aishwarya Narasimhan!

            Result: Several test cases were executed for Protection Report and Privacy Panel UI Updates.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments

          Open saucy messiah Richard Stallman has found himself in a bit of a mess after he was quoted as defending Marvin Minsky’s association with dead sex-pest Jeffrey Epstein.

          On MIT’s internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listserv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was “accused of assaulting” one of Epstein’s victims. Stallman argued that “the most plausible scenario” is that “she presented herself to him as entirely willing” — even if Epstein coerced her into doing so — whereas the phrase “assaulting” implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls “accusation inflation… Whatever conduct you want to criticise, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.”

      • Programming/Development

        • The State Of Qt Quick Vulkan Support With Qt 5.14

          Of the exciting changes so far for Qt 5.14, one of the big ticket items on the path to Qt 6 is the experimental implementation of Qt’s new graphics API independent scenegraph renderer. Rather than being limited to OpenGL, Qt 5.14+ can target Vulkan, Direct3D 11, and even Apple’s Metal API for rendering.

        • How to get current date and time in Python?

          There are a number of ways you can take to get current date. We will use date class of the datetime module to accomplish this task.

        • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Veronica Hanus

          This week we welcome Veronica Hanus (@veronica_hanus) as our PyDev of the Week! Veronica is a regular tech speaker at Python and other tech conferences and meetups. You can see some of her talks and her schedule on her website. She has been active in the Python community for the past few years. Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Warning Issued For Millions Of Microsoft Windows 10 Users

        The September KB4515384 update is already a menace. Introduced to fix CPU spiking, reports state it has broken Windows 10 search, the Start Menu, Action Centre, USB connections and caused audio problems. And now it is gunning for your Internet access.

        Windows Latest has spotted that users are reporting on Microsoft’s community forum, Windows 10’s Feedback Hub and social networks that network adapters have stopped working after applying this update. Impacted users primarily appear to have Intel chipsets (Asus, MSI and Gigabyte motherboards are mentioned) and both their Ethernet and WiFi connections are affected.

        “Cumulative update (KB4515384) causes the NIC to fail to enable with a code 10 error,” warns one user on the Windows 10 Feedback Hub. “Reinstalling network drivers from Intel or Windows Update sources does not resolve the issue. However removing the update through the ‘Programs & Software’ panel or using a recovery point set *before* the update fully resolves the issue.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Possibly by accident, Moscow officials released the decryption key for the city’s online votes. We put it to use and found some weird stuff.

        In three of Moscow’s voting districts, the city’s September 8 legislative elections also served as a test for a new online voting system. In one of those districts, the online vote proved decisive: While independent candidate Roman Yuneman won the most paper ballots in District 30, he lost to pro-regime candidate Margarita Rusetskaya thanks to the latter’s electronic results. Moscow City Hall published the results of the city’s online voting but did not provide access to the raw voting data behind those results. We found the key to that data, decrypted all of Moscow’s online votes, and reconstructed the three races that used online voting down to the minute.

      • By unknown means, Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation reportedly obtains list of Moscow online voters

        Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has reportedly obtained a complete list of the Moscow residents who were registered to vote online during the city’s limited run of a new Internet election system on September 8. The list includes 12,000 names (9,810 people ultimately submitted online ballots) as well as contact information.

        A statement on Navalny’s website did not specify how the FBK had obtained the list. Moscow city officials said they would investigate the matter. They did not confirm or deny the list’s authenticity, saying only that their official voter list was stored in a different format.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Edward Snowden wants to come home: “I’m not asking for a pass. What I’m asking for is a fair trial”

        “I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal. But if I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom line demand that we have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won’t provide access to what’s called a public interest defense,” Snowden told “CBS This Morning.”

        The former NSA contractor is shedding new light on his decision to reveal classified documents about the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program back in 2013. Snowden disclosed government programs that collected Americans’ emails, phone calls and internet activity in the name of national security and was subsequently charged under the Espionage Act for doing so. A congressional report said his disclosures “caused tremendous damage to national security.”

        In his new memoir, “Permanent Record,” Snowden tells his story in detail for the first time and speaks about his life in exile in Russia. Snowden, who now identifies himself as a privacy advocate, said his biggest issue with standing trial in the U.S. is that the government won’t allow the jury to consider his motivations.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • CJEU declines to assess unfriendly SPCs based on third-party MAs in Eli Lilly v. Genentech (C-239/19)

          One of the features that render the European Union’s Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) unique in comparison to similar legal instruments in other jurisdictions, including the United States and Japan, is that there is no legal provision expressly calling for any specific relationship or agreement between the patent proprietor (and SPC applicant) on the one hand, and the holder of the marketing authorization relied upon for the SPC filing on the other hand. In line with this, and following the CJEU’s judgment in Biogen (C-181/95), it has become common practice that SPCs are granted to patent proprietors who rely on a marketing authorization held by a third party, including even a competitor, without the consent of that third party. Yet, the validity of this practice has stirred controversy for more than 20 years, which has never been fully resolved.

          [...]

          While this result is not entirely unexpected, it is deeply disappointing that the fundamental question whether or not the consent of the holder of a marketing authorization is required for the filing of an SPC remains unresolved. Yet, chances are that this same question could be referred to the CJEU again in the near future, possibly in contentious proceedings between the same parties in another EU member state or in the context of a different case with similar factual circumstances, of which there are more than a few.

        • State of Minnesota Petitions for Certiorari in Regents of University of Minnesota v. LSI Corp.

          The issue is not whether the university’s patents can be challenged, because the State has asserted these patents against Respondent in district court litigation. The issue, according to the brief, is that the State has the constitutional right to choose the forum before which its patents are put at issue. This position is contrary to the Federal Circuit’s blanket determination (begging for Supreme Court review) that IPRs are not subject to any sort of sovereign immunity, based on the appellate court’s decision in St. Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 3:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Bad news for Microsoft as Huawei starts shipping Matebooks with Linux

        Huawei’s struggles with the US government is still far from over, with the company currently only 30 days into a 90-day reprieve from the US Commerce Department’s ban which prevents US companies from trading with the Chinese giant.

        While there is a possibility that this ban will be extended again and again, there is also the possibility that come December Huawei will no longer have access to Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

        On smartphones, Huawei is working on Harmony OS to replace Android. While this operating system could run on the desktop it would need a lot more development.

        There is however a readymade free OS for the desktop already, Linux, and today Betanews reports that Huawei has started selling their MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro running the OS in China.

      • Linux In, Windows Out: Huawei Laptops Coming With Deepin Linux Pre-Installed

        The mid-May sanction has forced the Chinese tech giant to look for alternatives, and while everybody knew Linux was the first option, Huawei has been working hard on its very own operating system as well.

        Called HongMeng, this project eventually turned to be a platform for IoT devices, but it can easily convert to mobile and desktop if needed.

        However, Linux appears to be Huawei’s choice in the short term, and the company thus launched the very first devices running this operating system in its home market.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Talking About Communities and ‘People Powered’ with Leo Laporte

        I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the TWiT team and more specifically Leo Laporte. Years ago I used to co-host FLOSS Weekly on their network and occasionally I pop over to the studio for a natter with Leo.

        With ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘ coming out, I thought it would be fun to hop over there. Leo graciously agreed and we recorded an episode of their show, Triangulation.

      • Linux Action News 123

        Speed is the big story around GNOME 3.34, two new major Firefox security features start to roll out, and we explain the CentOS 8 delay.

        Plus our thoughts on the PineTime, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3 Released
      • Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

        Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8.

      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Released By Linus Torvalds With Support For AMD Navi GPUs

        After 8 release candidates, Linus Torvalds has finally released Linux Kernel 5.3. It is a major upgrade that brings many new features in terms of better hardware support, changes specific to Arm architecture and a couple of bug fixes.

        The extra release candidate RC8, as Torvalds says, was because of his busy travel schedule. Nonetheless, RC8 has allowed developers to bring in some essential bug fixes.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D

          Now that the first beta of Qt 5.14 is getting closer, it is time to start talking about one of the big new features. We cannot possibly cover all the details around the graphics stack improvements and the road to Qt 6 in one post, so in part 1 and 2 we will describe the background and take a closer look at what 5.14 will ship with, and then dive into the technical details and future directions in another set of posts later on.

        • Linux Drivers Entries Suggest two APU AMD Lines in 2020

          A Linux patch reveals that AMD is actively working on two APU series, Dali and Renoir. If chatter is correct then Renoir is to focus on the mobile and the desktop market whereas Dali will be targeted at budget-friendly small form factor builds and mobile systems.

          Renoir likely will be making use of Vega architecture (not NAVI). However, the processor cores would be likely be based on Zen 2 at a 7nm fabrication process.

    • Applications

      • Feh is a light-weight command-line image viewer for Linux

        The default image viewer in most Linux distros is a fine option for many users, but if you want a distraction free alternative, Feh is a good option.

        Feh’s interface is as barebones as it gets as it does not have any toolbars or buttons but is a command line interface application; because of that, it is very light on resources and still easy enough to use even for users who shy away from using the command line whenever possible.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • EndlessOS | Review from an openSUSE User

          EndlessOS is a distribution of Linux I have been watching from afar and almost dabbled with several times. Unfortunately for me and my biases, I didn’t take the time to get to know this distribution sooner. This is an incredibly interesting project that has been given a lot of time and care with plenty of thought. In no way should Endless ever be confused with a casual passion project. This is a serious, well designed and well thought out distribution of Linux that should be part of any Linux user’s growth in an open source enthusiastenthusiest.

          Bottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.@endlessglobalBottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.

        • BlackWeb 1.2

          BlackWeb is a penetration and security testing distribution based on Debian. The project’s website presents the distribution’s features as follows:

          BlackWeb is a Linux distribution aimed at advanced penetration testing and security auditing. BlackWeb contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering. Starting from an appropriately configured LXDE desktop manager it offers stability and speed. BlackWeb has been designed with the aim of achieving the maximum performance and minimum consumption of resources.

          There are 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds of BlackWeb available on the distribution’s website. I downloaded the 64-bit build which is 2.6GB in size. Booting from the media brings up a menu asking if we would like to try BlackWeb’s live desktop, run the installer or run the graphical installer. Taking the live desktop options presents us with a graphical login screen where we can sign in with the username “root” and the password “blackweb”.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • Sam Hartman: Free as in Sausage Making: Inside the Debian Project

          Recently, we’ve been having some discussion around the use of non-free software and services in doing our Debian work. In judging consensus surrounding a discussion of Git packaging, I said that we do not have a consensus to forbid the use of non-free services like Github. I stand behind that consensus call. Ian Jackson, who initially thought that I misread the consensus later agreed with my call.

          I have been debating whether it would be wise for me as project leader to say more on the issue. Ultimately I have decided to share my thoughts. Yes, some of this is my personal opinion. Yet I think my thoughts resonate with things said on the mailing list; by sharing my thoughts I may help facilitate the discussion.

          We are bound together by the Social Contract. Anyone is welcome to contribute to Debian so long as they follow the Social Contract, the DFSG, and the rest of our community standards. The Social Contract talks about what we will build (a free operating system called Debian). Besides SC #3 (we will not hide problems), the contract says very little about how we will build Debian.

          What matters is what you do, not what you believe. You don’t even need to believe in free software to be part of Debian, so long as you’re busy writing or contributing to free software. Whether it’s because you believe in user freedom or because your large company has chosen Debian for entirely pragmatic reasons, your free software contributions are welcome.

          I think that is one of our core strengths. We’re an incredibly diverse community. When we try to tie something else to what it means to be Debian beyond the quality of that free operating system we produce, judged by how it meets the needs of our users, we risk diminishing Debian. Our diversity serves the free software community well. We have always balanced pragmatic concerns against freedom. We didn’t ignore binary blobs and non-free firmware in the kernel, but we took the time to make sure we balanced our users’ needs for functional systems against their needs for freedom. By being so diverse, we have helped build a product that is useful both to people who care about freedom and other issues. Debian has been pragmatic enough that our product is wildly popular. We care enough about freedom and do the hard work of finding workable solutions that many issues of software freedom have become mainstream concerns with viable solutions.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • MIT scientist defends pedophile Jeffrey Epstein [Ed: This headline is patently false. Stallman defends all sorts of crazy things, but he did not “defend Epstein” as corporate media keeps telling us (probably distorting the story intentionally).]

          Richard Stallman, a well-known MIT computer scientist who’s previously suggested that President Donald Trump stole the 2016 presidential election, has been accused of not only defending deceased billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes but also smearing his victims.

        • Epstein Victim Likely Was Willing, MIT Scientist Says [Ed: Check what Stallman actually said. Nothing like what these headlines claim. Tactless? Sure. Even tasteless. But this is distortion.]

          MIT’s Jeffrey Epstein awkwardness isn’t going away yet. Days after the director of the MIT Media Lab resigned after being accused of accepting and covering up donations from Epstein, emails have surfaced that show a famed computer scientist excusing sexual assault. Richard Stallman wrote that it’s likely that a woman who says she was recruited for sex at age 16 was “entirely willing,” the Daily Beast reports, logic that would excuse the late Marvin Minsky, who founded MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab.

        • MIT computer scientist describes Jeffrey Epstein victim as ‘entirely willing’ in alleged sexual assault
        • [libreplanet-discuss] Is Stallman nuts?
          Remarkably, in order to make their allegations against Stallman, both
          Selam G. and Edward Ongweso Jr. must speak untruthfully about what
          Stallman wrote. 
          
          Selam G., for example, writes:  "…and then [Stallman] says that an
          enslaved child could, somehow, be "entirely willing"."   Yet, what
          Stallman actually  wrote was that if the victim were being coerced by
          Epstein, he thinks it most likely that she would have been directed to
          conceal that coercion from Minsky and others.    The two statements are
          very different.   What Salem G. falsely attributes to Stallman would
          indeed be very damning -- but it is not what Stallman wrote at all. 
          
          Edward Ongweso Jr. offers this slander:  "Early in the thread, Stallman
          insists that the "most plausible scenario" is that Epstein's underage
          victims were "entirely willing" while being trafficked."   The truth,
          however, is that Stallman wrote: "We can imagine many scenarios, but the
          most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely
          willing."   Two two statements are, again, very different.  Ongweso
          Jr.'s false paraphrase is about whether the young woman was willing. 
          Stallman's is about how, under the circumstances, the young woman might
          have appeared to Minsky to be willing, for example if she were directed
          to conceal the coercion. 
          
          Accusations such as Salem G. and Ongweso Jr. make are made to cause harm
          to the accused.  That is how  they appear to be made in this context:
          with the aim of harming Stallman.  Yet in order to accomplish this harm,
          both Salem G. and Ongweso Jr. must abandon the truth in favor of
          statements falsely attributed to Stallman. 
          
          It would be appropriate, in my opinion, for both writers to retract
          their critical misstatements of fact. 
          
          
        • Statements about Epstein

          I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

          Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

          I’m sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.

        • Richard Stallman Challenges ‘Misleading’ Coverage of His Comments on Marvin Minsky

          On MIT’s internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listerv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was “accused of assaulting” one of Epstein’s victims. Stallman argued that “the most plausible scenario” is that “she presented herself to him as entirely willing” — even if she was coerced by Epstein into doing so — whereas the phrase “assaulting” implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls “accusation inflation… Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.”

          An angry MIT alumni who was forwarded the email then “started emailing reporters — local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations” — and then not receiving quick enough responses, published it herself in a Medium essay titled “Remove Richard Stallman. And everyone else horrible in tech.” And then leaked the whole thread to Vice.

        • Preliminary fact-finding about MIT and Jeffrey Epstein

          Joi sought the gifts for general research purposes, such as supporting lab scientists and buying equipment. Because the members of my team involved believed it was important that Epstein not use gifts to MIT for publicity or to enhance his own reputation, they asked Joi to agree to make clear to Epstein that he could not put his name on them publicly. These guidelines were provided to and apparently followed by the Media Lab.

          Information shared with us last night also indicates that Epstein gifts were discussed at at least one of MIT’s regular senior team meetings, and I was present.

          I am aware that we could and should have asked more questions about Jeffrey Epstein and about his interactions with Joi. We did not see through the limited facts we had, and we did not take time to understand the gravity of Epstein’s offenses or the harm to his young victims. I take responsibility for those errors.

          While the fact finding will continue, we have already identified flaws in our processes that need to be addressed.

          I am confident that, once Goodwin Procter submits its final fact-finding to the Executive Committee and me, and the Provost’s internal review is complete, MIT will have the tools to improve our review and approval processes and turn back to the central work of the Institute.

      • Programming/Development

        • Constraint programming by example

          There are many different ways to solve problems in computing. You might “brute force” your way to a solution by calculating as many possibilities as you can, or you might take a procedural approach and carefully establish the known factors that influence the correct answer. In constraint programming, a problem is viewed as a series of limitations on what could possibly be a valid solution. This paradigm can be applied to effectively solve a group of problems that can be translated to variables and constraints or represented as a mathematic equation. In this way, it is related to the Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP).

          Using a declarative programming style, it describes a general model with certain properties. In contrast to the imperative style, it doesn’t tell how to achieve something, but rather what to achieve. Instead of defining a set of instructions with only one obvious way to compute values, constraint programming declares relationships between variables within constraints. A final model makes it possible to compute the values of variables regardless of direction or changes. Thus, any change in the value of one variable affects the whole system (i.e., all other variables), and to satisfy defined constraints, it leads to recomputing the other values.

        • Samuel Sutch: Why Python Has Become an Industry Favorite Among Programmers

          With the world stepping towards a new age of technology development, it isn’t hard to imagine a future that will be full of screens. And if so be the case then, demand for people with strong programming skills will definitely rise with more number of people required to develop and support the applications. Python Training is always a good idea for those wishes to be a part of this constantly developing industry. Python language is not only easy to grasp, but emphasizes less on syntax which is why a few mistakes here and there doesn’t give as much trouble as some other languages does.

  • Leftovers

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The World’s Most Important Political Prisoner

        We are now just one week away from the end of Julian Assange’s uniquely lengthy imprisonment for bail violation. He will receive parole from the rest of that sentence, but will continue to be imprisoned on remand awaiting his hearing on extradition to the USA – a process which could last several years.

    • Environment

      • Naomi Klein: ‘We Are Seeing the Beginnings of the Era of Climate Barbarism’

        In a North American context, it’s the greatest taboo of all to actually admit that there are going to be limits. You see that in the way Fox News has gone after the Green New Deal—they are coming after your hamburgers! It cuts to the heart of the American dream—every generation gets more than the last, there is always a new frontier to expand to, the whole idea of settler-colonial nations like ours. When somebody comes along and says, actually, there are limits, we’ve got some tough decisions, we need to figure out how to manage what’s left, we’ve got to share equitably—it is a psychic attack. And so the response [on the left] has been to avoid, and say no, no, we’re not coming to take away your stuff, there are going to be all kinds of benefits. And there are going to be benefits: We’ll have more livable cities, we’ll have less polluted air, we’ll spend less time stuck in traffic, we can design happier, richer lives in so many ways. But we are going to have to contract on the endless, disposable consumption side.

      • NaomiKlein: ‘We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism’
      • Globalwarming hot spots pass safe limit

        A study says Earth’s hot spots have already warmed by more than the safe limit for avoiding dangerous climate change.

      • Why DeSmog Is Joining a Global News Collaboration to ‘Cover Climate Now’

        Since then, we’ve been telling the stories overlooked by mainstream media: debunking early arguments of climate science deniers, exposing their funding sources and networks, and examining the questionable claims (and finances) of the “fracking revolution” that has contributed to the climate crisis, just to name a few.

      • Attacks on Greta Thunberg Are About More Than Anti-Environmentalism

        “Freak yachting accidents do happen…”

      • How to Live With the Climate Crisis Without Becoming a Nihilist

        The climate crisis has moved into everyday life and it can feel overwhelming.Hurricane Dorian, which left more than 70,000 people homeless, was an instance of this climate breakdown. A hotter ocean means stronger storms, a higher sea means worse flooding, a hotter atmosphere means more rain. Worsening wildfires in California and elsewhere…

      • Energy

        • Drone attacks cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half

          Moreover, the attacks come at a sensitive time for the oil markets in general and for Aramco in particular, which is preparing to list a portion of its shares in what is expected to be the largest initial public offering ever. In preparation for its listing, Saudi Arabia has been keen to show both that it can support the oil price and that it can produce crude reliably, despite mounting security threats. Recent events reveal the limits of its ability to do either.

        • Trump authorizes use of emergency oil reserve after Saudi attacks

          “Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Instagram is helping drive a black market for succulent poachers

          While there are documented cases of succulent poaching in dating back at least two decades, officials say it has recently increased in frequency and severity. Plant experts tell Salon poachers take these plants from private and public properties. And such poaching is destroying California’s coastal ecosystem, already compromised by invasive plants and human development.

          [...]

          Suba added that people don’t need poachers to enjoy these plants, noting that they are easy to grow. A pinch of seeds, he said, can produce ten thousand plants.

    • Finance

      • Teaching Democrats to Talk About Socialism

        It doesn’t matter who the Democratic nominee for president is next year, they will be attacked for being “socialist.”  It will be relentless and merciless.  The problem is that none of the current candidates know how to talk about socialism, so they always seem to be on the defensive.  They’re always back on their heels, explaining, evading, apologizing.

      • From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing’s Glass House

        I don’t know about you, but I take a teeny weeny bit of offense when a guy in a glass house lobs a great big stone and expects me not to notice the sound of shattering. Which brings me to National Public Radio.

        [...]

        This had me picking through the shards when they went on to explain that Lansing comes to NPR from the United States Agency for Global Media, a federally-funded organization whose express mission is to interfere in journalism by doing it, in such as way as to promote American policy values all across the world.

        NPR’s new CEO story came with a picture of Lansing in his capacity as CEO of USAGM, testifying in Congress about the scourge of Russian media meddling. “The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching, malign influence campaigns,” he said.

      • Reasons for Optimism

        The arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern. Whenever privilege and power conspire to pull us backward, we eventually rally and move forward.

      • Auto Workers Vote to Strike at General Motors Plants

        The United Auto Workers union announced Sunday that its roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. would go on strike just before midnight because contentious talks on a new contract had broken down.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trapped, alone and ‘desperate to come home.’ American siblings barred from leaving China

        The State Department has warned Americans about China’s growing use of exit bans – stating in a Jan. 3 travel advisory that Chinese authorities have sometimes used exit bans to keep Americans in China for years.

        “China uses exit bans coercively,” the State Department cautioned, “to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations, to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.”

      • Israel: Two Elections, One Apartheid State

        Israelis are getting ready to head to the polls for the second time in 2019. Israel’s last national elections were five months ago in April, ending in a razor-tight finish with Netanyahu’s Likud party winning 35 Knesset seats and the Blue and White party winning 35 Knesset seats.

      • 3 Democratic Candidates Call for Kavanaugh’s Impeachment

        At least three Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a new, uninvestigated, allegation of sexual impropriety when he was in college.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Should apps share details of women’s menstruation and sex lives with Facebook and other sites? Some already do

        Aside from the high level of intrusion this kind of tracking represents, there’s another worrying aspect. Judging by the 187,000 reviews of Maya on Google Play, almost nobody is aware of how their most personal information is being passed around. That’s not a surprise: Privacy International had to use some fairly sophisticated software tools in order to study the data flows from these period tracking apps. Few general users would be able to do that, even if it occurred to them to try. But the more sensitive the personal data that is being collected, the stronger should be the protections to keep it safe at all times, and the greater should be the transparency about how it used.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • India: Free Kashmiris Arbitrarily Detained

        Indian authorities should immediately release detained Kashmiris who have not been charged with a recognizable offense.

      • China: Xinjiang Children Separated from Families

        Chinese authorities should immediately release to their families children held in “child welfare” institutions and boarding schools in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should cease unnecessarily separating Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim children from their families. 

    • Restrictions

      • Congress Is Investigating Apple’s Repair Monopoly

        For years, the independent repair community has said that Apple has engaged in anticompetitive behavior by refusing to sell parts to repair shops who are not “authorized” by the company. The company has also lobbied heavily against so called right-to-repair legislation, which would require it and other electronics companies to sell parts and tools to the general public. It has sued independent repair companies for using aftermarket and refurbished parts and worked with the Department of Homeland Security to seize unauthorized repair parts from small businesses both at customs and from individual shops. And, as the committee’s letter notes, Apple cut a deal with Amazon that restricted who is allowed to sell refurbished Apple devices on Amazon.

        Apple has made small strides toward opening up the repair ecosystem. Earlier this month, the company said it would begin to sell repair parts to certain independent repair shops, though it has not said how much they will cost or what parts will be available.

        The internal communications are due to the committee on October 14.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Platform Exclusives Could Boost Piracy, UK Govt Report Notes

          One of the prerequisites of beating piracy is that content is available legally for a fair price. In recent years, however, movies and music are increasingly becoming fragmented over a variety of paid subscription services. According to a UK Government report, this may be the reason why piracy is making a comeback.

        • UK ‘Pirate’ IPTV Users’ Favorite Channels “Are Free-to-Air”

          TV viewers in the UK are blessed with a wealth of channels provided free-to-air, such as the world-famous BBC and ITV selections. Interestingly, however, the operator of a ‘pirate’ IPTV service says that people are increasingly turning to platforms like his to access the same channels due to a better viewing experience.

09.15.19

Richard Stallman’s Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates’ Vastly Worse Role

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 9:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

All attention has been shifted

Media manipulation
Reference: Media manipulation

Summary: It’s easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman’s personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant

“Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone,” Richard Stallman said a long time ago.

It certainly feels like politics or social issues are now being weaponised against Free software. I’ll explain. Please read the whole article before leaping to any conclusions (I am not defending Stallman but adding some context, instead).

“His views are not a crime and don’t imply behaviour that constitutes a crime.”Stallman’s views on underage sex (he typically means adolescents/teens) go a long way back. This isn’t new. At least 8 years or about a decade ago he wrote about it on his Web site, typically citing some news reports and interpreting various scenarios from a moral and legal perspective. I don’t share his views. The vast majority of people don’t share such views, either. It’s not a crime to merely express such views. ESR expresses similar views in his blog.

There’s no need to try to defend these statements; it’s possible to support the man’s work in the area of software while politely disagreeing with him on lots of other things, including politics (some people cannot tell the difference).

His views are not a crime and don’t imply behaviour that constitutes a crime. He did not commit a crime. Cordially agreeing with him on Software Freedom while strongly disagreeing with him on those other things is a perfectly reasonable stance to have.

With that in mind, we assume a lot of readers still don’t know what it’s all about. Maybe it’s better that way. Maybe worse.

“Stallman is, without a doubt, not happy about it. It’s a crisis to his reputation and credibility.”We’ve just mentioned it in our latest daily links (in the title even!) and there’s an almost-complete compilation of coverage here (blog posts and press reports). If we’ve missed something, let us know. Our goal is to merely document those things.

Stallman is, without a doubt, not happy about it. It’s a crisis to his reputation and credibility. We’re a lot less likely to ever hear/see the explanation he said he was working on (about his Microsoft visit which we covered here [1, 2, 3, 4]). He has a far bigger reputation issue to deal with at this moment.

Some readers wrote messages to us — messages to that effect (that he will probably have bigger issues if not scandals to deal with right now). These readers also took note of how it helps distract from the scandal Bill Gates found himself in last week — to the point of having his PR people bombarding the media with face-saving PR and excuses for nearly a week (if people search the Web for information they’re likely to see dishonest denials and distractions rather than original, factual reports).

“To Meeks this is nothing new; to a lot of Free software developers and hackers this is not new. A lot of them very well know about Stallman’s views on sexuality.”Stallman’s views are hardly even new views; they have been public as well (for a long time). I’ve known about these for about a decade and saw them blasted in various forums about “Linux”. Those aren’t a secret; they’ve never been secret. The main news is a particular exchange echoing these views. It’s about a few E-mails. The negative press still isn’t ending and there’s lots more in ‘social’ media (e.g. here) and sites of developers. Michael Meeks (known for LibreOffice/GNOME mostly) wrote on Saturday: “Luckily I don’t look to RMS for ethical statements on sexuality to try to live by…”

To Meeks this is nothing new; to a lot of Free software developers and hackers this is not new. A lot of them very well know about Stallman’s views on sexuality. Some call it gross, obscene, and perverse. Peculiar? Unusual? For sure. Has he done something illegal? No. Developers have known about it for a long time and the media already pointed out his joke about making love to flowers and his “former Personal Ad”; it says “(Currently for amusement only.)”

How about this one or various other forum posts? Maybe Stallman overuses terms like “sex” — sometimes failing to foresee how the humour would be (mis)comprehended. There may also be infidelity issues, but again, this is not a crime.

“This whole Stallman focus/angle helps distract from Bill Gates’ direct links to Epstein and bribery of MIT’s Media Lab (where Stallman is/was), via Epstein himself.”The reaction to press reports (which we won’t reproduce here) has been mostly anger, sometimes disappointment and rarely fury. Yes, we saw more strongly-worded responses from other developers and few which were sort of understanding. A lot of people made it clear that they don’t share Stallman’s view on the subject. Neither do I.

But putting ethics in perspective, let’s look what this media storm helps distract from. In fact, some readers wrote to us about it. They want to point this out.

This whole Stallman focus/angle helps distract from Bill Gates’ direct links to Epstein and bribery of MIT’s Media Lab (where Stallman is/was), via Epstein himself.

Again, Stallman’s views do not reflect his own actions; we got more mail to that effect, some urging a focus on more direct connections to Epstein. Bill Gates has those connections; Stallman hasn’t.

Remember that it’s not Stallman who met Epstein, even after the sexual crimes were known; it wasn’t him who flew the “Lolita Express”. That was Bill Gates of Microsoft. He met him in person even after he had been informed of these crimes. Why?

“Remember that it’s not Stallman who met Epstein, even after the sexual crimes were known; it wasn’t him who flew the “Lolita Express”. That was Bill Gates of Microsoft. He met him in person even after he had been informed of these crimes.”It wasn’t Stallman whose house got raided for child porn. That too was Bill Gates of Microsoft. Stallman doesn’t have child porn. Bill Gates' house does. It was reported in the mainstream media 4 years ago. Various associates of Bill Gates are also connected to Epstein and Epstein decided to leave one of them lots of inheritance money. Those are facts that cannot be denied, only distracted from.

It wasn’t a GNU developer who admitted that he had molested/raped kids (and was arrested for that months ago). That was Microsoft Peter, who is still in prison (his employer has collapsed since, partly due to severe credibility issues). Microsoft Peter spent nearly a decade attacking GNU/Linux constantly; he also played an instrumental role in the openwashing of Microsoft and pushing the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie. He acted as Microsoft’s PR courier and came to dominate the Open Source section (all of the articles in that section were about Microsoft when he was arrested).

It wasn’t and isn’t GNU people pushing child porn; that’s what Microsoft does. Microsoft's stance on child porn may shock you. This has to be read to be believed! I was rather shocked by it myself…

The latest bunch of reports about Epstein will definitely haunt Bill Gates for some time to come (maybe decades); no matter how many press companies he has bribed for reputation laundering, as he still does, quite a few outlets still report on it. They dig deeper and find a growing number of connections between Gates and Epstein. This won’t be good for his fake ‘charity’. It’s used for lobbying and bribery, including of media outlets all around the world.

Can someone explain to us why bribing colleges (or admissions) is an arrestable offence when you’re ‘only’ a celebrity and not a crime when you’re a famous rich criminal (found guilty already)?

“Bribing colleges (or admissions) is not hard, especially when you have a fake ‘charity’ and can bribe the universities/colleges ‘upstream’ (above admissions), as a certain college dropout does a lot, under the guise of ‘charity’.”There’s lots of press about an arrest for that (in recent days; it’s everywhere).

Bribing colleges (or admissions) is not hard, especially when you have a fake ‘charity’ and can bribe the universities/colleges ‘upstream’ (above admissions), as a certain college dropout does a lot, under the guise of ‘charity’. On at least one occasion (MIT) he made the payment through Epstein himself; that’s how close they are.

Speaking of bought media, on numerous occasions over the years Gates bribed NPR (we covered that several times before). Now NPR is a megaphone of Microsoft with its truly hypocritical and laughable statements [1, 2]. PR or NPR? Follow Bill’s money.

We’re supposed to think Microsoft is some sort of moralistic company or ethical authority. That’s what NPR basically tells us, having received untold millions from Bill Gates through his so-called ‘charity’. This sort of reputation laundering is why the Saudis, Epstein and Gates pay all sorts of institutions. That’s nothing new. They know what they pay for. Microsoft loves being Microsoft. This attracts the world’s worst offenders because they love working for a company that is above the law because of "connections" (it’s still bribing officials).

“A lot is being gained here by Microsoft; they’re shaming GNU developers by association — as it to imply that by contributing to GNU they engage in pedophilia — in the same way that Torvalds was shamed in the media a year ago until he took a month-long break.”When the corporate media wants to paint Stallman as a criminal (by innuendo, citing personal E-mails) it can ignore much bigger things, such as the above. As one reader put it, there are quotas for writers per topic, so when they focus on Stallman they can excuse not covering similar stories about Gates and MIT. As we noted here recently, citing another reader who is deeply familiar with Microsoft, media companies seem to be deflecting to Google in order to distract from Microsoft's vastly worse abuses of the same kind.

Suffice to say, we don’t mean to insinuate an elaborate ‘conspiracy’. Nothing is intended to suggest some Gates-coordinated campaign against Stallman (it all started with a blog post actually); the way the media picks it up, however, is a tad interesting. Even Fox News picked it up over the weekend and it put Stallman’s face at the forefront (Fox is owned by a close friend of Gates, Mr. Rupert Murdoch).

“Torvalds hasn’t been the same since.”A lot is being gained here by Microsoft; they’re shaming GNU developers by association — as it to imply that by contributing to GNU they engage in pedophilia — in the same way that Torvalds was shamed in the media a year ago until he took a month-long break. Thinly-veiled accusations from self-professed feminists started it. Need we add that the person who calls for removal of Stallman is the same person who did this to Torvalds half a decade ago (piggybacking those very same feminists)? Torvalds hasn’t been the same since. He’s weak. He has been quiet since then; he’s not allowed to criticise anything without huge backlash. In that sense, he lost a lot of his authority over his own project. Microsoft is happy to take advantage [1, 2]. Torvalds has not even expressed an opinion on exFAT. Radio silence. Linux is becoming Windows in file systems space (Torvalds used to bemoan those things, e.g. case-insensitive filesystems). Nothing to see here, move along…

The main filesystems maintainer of Linux has already been slandered as “rape apologist” by the same person (as above). He did object to exFAT, even on the mailing lists. It rests on facts, not bigotry. It’s about law and technicality.

There’s a growing push in various YouTube channels, readers have told us, to remove both Stallman and Torvalds (founders of GNU and Linux, respectively). Rendering them invisibles (from the public scene). If that happens, the effect will be devastating. For morale, for leadership, for identity…

We know who wishes to take their place or replace them. It’s not hard to see. Their agenda is a matter of public record.

Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux VR Headset

      Since most VR Headsets support Windows platforms today, there are very few options for Linux users. Despite its support, many people have faced troubles setting up and running their Headsets on Linux. However, not anymore. The VR gaming experience is now getting better!

      The all-new Xrdesktop is an open-source development that lets you work with various desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. Since this project is under progress right now, we can hope for more features like Steam, Valve and other platforms for gaming and Virtual Reality experience.

      In addition, the Xrdesktop will also offer integration with Windows as well. Once completed, it will be a great step towards traditional Linux desktop environments. The program is available for installation in both packages for Ubuntu Linux and Arch Linux.

    • VRChat for Linux

      VRChat is a massive multiplayer online virtual reality platform launched in 2017 by VRChat Inc. The game was initially released for Microsoft Windows and was accessible by Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and regular PC users. It was later launched for Oculus Quest platforms in May 2019

      VRChat in non-technical terms is a meeting ground where you can create your own world and avatar, play games, watch anything you like, and just discover as you would in real life. It has players from around the world who you can be friends with during your time while playing. For anyone getting their hands on VRChat for the first time, follow the guide to get started. Also, find out how to download VRChat if you are a Linux user.

    • Top 5 VR games to play on Linux

      The gaming world has also evolved a lot and the current trends are very VR oriented. A large number of games are being ported to VR systems along with regular releases. The good news about this is that developers are also acknowledging the need for stable releases for VR games on Linux systems.

    • Desktop

      • Huawei embraces deepin Linux as Microsoft Windows 10 future remains uncertain

        Huawei makes some of the best laptops around — the company actually puts Apple’s design team to shame. This focus on elegance cannot be said for many other Windows PC manufacturers, as they often just set their sights on cutting corners to keep prices down.

        And that is why Donald Trump’s xenophobic attacks on Huawei are so tragic. Huawei’s computers and smartphones are wonderful, but with uncertainty about access to Windows and proper Android (with Google apps), consumers are correct to be a bit concerned.

      • Op-Ed: Some Huawei laptops in China now come loaded with Deepin Linux

        For its smartphones Huawei has been using Google’s Android operating system (OS). It can still use the system but only the open source version that lacks key features and important apps that the proprietary system had. Huawei has developed its own Harmony OS but so far is used only in smart TVs. It is not clear yet if it will be developed for smart phones.

        In the case of Huawei laptops Huawei had been using Windows 10 another US product by Microsoft. However, in China it is now replacing Windows 10 by Deepin Linux a Chinese release of Linux. There are numerous Linux versions most of them free.

      • Huawei releases Linux variants of the MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro

        The prices for the three Huawei Linux laptops are advertised as 5,399 yuan (~US$763) for the MateBook 13, 5,699 yuan (~US$805) for the practically identical but slightly larger MateBook 14, and 8,699 yuan (US$1,229) for the high-end MateBook X Pro. The three devices are scheduled for availability in September, but it’s not known if Huawei plans on releasing laptops operating on Deepin OS outside of China.

    • Server

      • SUSE Enhances Delivery of Modern Containerized and Cloud Native Applications

        SUSE® today announced updates to its application delivery solutions that help customers accelerate production of modern containerized and cloud native applications. These updates advance SUSE’s delivery and support of solutions to create, deploy and manage workloads anywhere – on premise, hybrid and multi-cloud – with exceptional service, value and flexibility.

      • With its Kubernetes bet paying off, Cloud Foundry doubles down on developer experience

        More than 50% of the Fortune 500 companies are now using the open-source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service project — either directly or through vendors like Pivotal — to build, test and deploy their applications. Like so many other projects, including the likes of OpenStack, Cloud Foundry went through a bit of a transition in recent years as more and more developers started looking to containers — and especially the Kubernetes project — as a platform on which to develop. Now, however, the project is ready to focus on what always differentiated it from its closed- and open-source competitors: the developer experience.

      • Kubernetes in the Enterprise: A Primer

        As Kubernetes moves deeper into the enterprise, its growth is having an impact on the ecosystem at large.

        When Kubernetes came on the scene in 2014, it made an impact and continues to impact the way companies build software. Large companies have backed it, causing a ripple effect in the industry and impacting open source and commercial systems. To understand how K8S will continue to affect the industry and change the traditional enterprise data center, we must first understand the basics of Kubernetes.

      • Google Cloud rolls out Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes

        Google Cloud is trialling alpha availability of a new platform for data scientists and engineers through Kubernetes.

        Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes combines open source, machine learning and cloud to help modernise big data resource management.

        The alpha availability will first start with workloads on Apache Spark, with more environments to come.

      • Google announces alpha of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes

        Not surprisingly, Google, the company that created K8s, thinks the answer to that question is yes. And so, today, the company is announcing the Alpha release of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes (K8s Dataproc), allowing Spark to run directly on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)-based K8s clusters. The service promises to reduce complexity, in terms of open source data components’ inter-dependencies, and portability of Spark applications. That should allow data engineers, analytics experts and data scientists to run their Spark workloads in a streamlined way, with less integration and versioning hassles.

      • IBM

        • Fedora Is Beginning To Spin Workstation & Live Images For POWER

          If you are running the likes of the Raptor Blackbird for a POWER open-source desktop and wanting to run Fedora on it, currently you need to use the Fedora “server” CLI installer and from there install the desired packages for a desktop. But moving forward, Fedora is beginning to spin Workstation and Live images for PPC64LE.

          Complementing Fedora’s Power Architecture images of Fedora Everything and Fedora Server, Workstation and Live images are being assembled. This is much more convenient for those wanting an IBM POWER Linux desktop thanks to the success of the Raptor Blackbird with most Linux distributions just offering the server/CLI (non-desktop) images by default for PPC64LE.

        • Are Application Servers Dying a Slow Death?

          There has been concern for nearly five years application servers are dead. Truth be told, they are not dead, but is their usage in decline? The simple answer is yes. Over the years, it appears corporate environments have decided the “return on investment” is not there when looking at Java application servers. On the surface, one might assume that the likes of WebSphere or WebLogic might be the ones in decline due to cost. Perhaps it is just affecting the proprietary choices, while their open source based derivatives are growing or remaining steady? Appears not. Whichever Java application server you choose, all of them are in a state of decline.

          Whether it be proprietary options such as WebSphere or WebLogic, or open source alternatives JBoss or Tomcat, all are in decline based on employment listings we review. However, they are not declining at the same pace. From our collection of data, WebSphere and WebLogic’s decline has been more muted. The rate of reduction for each of these application servers is in the neighborhood of 25-35% over the last couple years. At the same time, the likes of JBoss and Tomcat have declined around 40-45%. Not a drastic difference, but one that still is notable.

        • Red Hat’s David Egts: Commercial Open Source Software to Drive Federal IT Modernization

          David Egts, chief technologist for Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) North American public sector division, advises federal agencies to adopt commercial open source software to help advance their information technology modernization efforts, GovCon Wire reported Aug. 23.

          He said Aug. 22 in an FCW thought piece that agencies should seek software vendors that are well-versed in open source technology as well as government security certifications in order to successfully modernize federal IT processes.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3
        So we've had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we
        ended up having that extra week and the final rc8.
        
        Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather
        than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in,
        including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there's some
        unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also
        had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues.
        
        One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring
        the version change itself) done just before the release, and while
        it's very annoying, it's perhaps also instructive.
        
        What's instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn't
        actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do,
        and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that the much
        improved IO patterns it caused then ended up revealing a user-visible
        regression due to a real bug in a completely unrelated area.
        
        The actual details of that regression are not the reason I point that
        revert out as instructive, though. It's more that it's an instructive
        example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole "no
        regressions" kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn't change any
        API's, and it didn't introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing
        another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a
        user. So it got reverted.
        
        The point here being that we revert based on user-reported _behavior_,
        not based on some "it changes the ABI" or "it caused a bug" concept.
        The problem was really pre-existing, and it just didn't happen to
        trigger before. The better IO patterns introduced by the change just
        happened to expose an old bug, and people had grown to depend on the
        previously benign behavior of that old issue.
        
        And never fear, we'll re-introduce the fix that improved on the IO
        patterns once we've decided just how to handle the fact that we had a
        bad interaction with an interface that people had then just happened
        to rely on incidental behavior for before. It's just that we'll have
        to hash through how to do that (there are no less than three different
        patches by three different developers being discussed, and there might
        be more coming...). In the meantime, I reverted the thing that exposed
        the problem to users for this release, even if I hope it will be
        re-introduced (perhaps even backported as a stable patch) once we have
        consensus about the issue it exposed.
        
        Take-away from the whole thing: it's not about whether you change the
        kernel-userspace ABI, or fix a bug, or about whether the old code
        "should never have worked in the first place". It's about whether
        something breaks existing users' workflow.
        
        Anyway, that was my little aside on the whole regression thing.  Since
        it's that "first rule of kernel programming", I felt it is perhaps
        worth just bringing it up every once in a while.
        
        Other than that aside, I don't find a lot to really talk about last
        week. Drivers, networking (and network drivers), arch updates,
        selftests. And a few random fixes in various other corners. The
        appended shortlog is not overly long, and gives a flavor for the
        changes.
        
        And this obviously means that the merge window for 5.4 is open, and
        I'll start doing pull requests for that tomorrow. I already have a
        number of them in my inbox, and I appreciate all the people who got
        that over and done with early,
        
                        Linus
        
      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

        Linus Torvalds announced today the release of the Linux 5.3 kernel series, a major that brings several new features, dozens of improvements, and updated drivers.

        Two months in the works and eight RC (Release Candidate) builds later, the final Linux 5.3 kernel is now available, bringing quite some interesting additions to improve hardware support, but also the overall performance. Linux kernel 5.3 had an extra Release Candidate because of Linus Torvalds’ travel schedule, but it also brought in a few needed fixes.

        “Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad Btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues,” said Linus Torvalds.

      • Linux 5.3 Kernel Released With AMD Navi Support, Intel Speed Select & More

        Linus Torvalds just went ahead and released the Linux 5.3 kernel as stable while now opening the Linux 5.4 merge window.

        There was some uncertainty whether Linux 5.3 would have to go into extra overtime due to a getrandom() system call issue uncovered by an unrelated EXT4 commit. Linus ended up reverting the EXT4 commit for the time being.

      • Intel Continues Investing In Execute-Only Memory Support For The Linux Kernel

        One of the steps Intel’s open-source developers continue working on for Linux is supporting “execute only memory” that will already work with some of today’s processors and serve as another defense for bettering the security of systems particularly in a virtualized environment.

        Ultimately they have been working on an implementation to create execute-only memory for user-space programs similar to work already done for other architectures as well as the kernel itself. This “not-readable” memory would help when paired with other precautions like address space layout randomization (ASLR) for leaking less data about the system (i.e. where different bits are in memory) to make other exploits more difficult.

      • AMD Dali APU Spotted On Linux Patch, Mobile Devices Could Have Budget APU in 2020

        Salvador Dali apparently is going to be the inspiration for the next generation of APUs besides the Renoir APUs that have already been discussed because we’re actually finding out in Linux drivers that there is potentially a new AMD APU class called Dali. It’s not clear what this is going to be, especially since Renoir is supposed to be Zen 2 CPU with Vega graphics. Maybe, potentially this is nice pit balling Dali is likely going to be Zen + CPU with Nova graphics and they’re just gonna complicate everything in differentiating APUs. Last week updated Linux patch appeared on Freedesktop.

      • Linux 5.4 Cycle To Begin With exFAT Driver, EPYC Improvements & New GPU Support

        The Linux 5.3 kernel is expected to be released as stable today and that will mark the opening of the two-week Linux 5.4 merge window. Here is a look ahead at some of the material expected to make it into this next version of the Linux kernel that will also be the last major stable release of 2019.

      • This PPA Lets You Try an exFat Kernel Module Based on Samsung Code

        A new PPA gives Ubuntu users the opportunity to try an alternative exFAT kernel module based on the latest Samsung code.

        You may recall that, back in August, Microsoft announced it would help bring exFAT to the Linux kernel under a permissible license. This move ended years of legal uncertainty and should allow exFAT to be fully supported in the mainline Linux kernel.

      • An Alternative exFAT Linux File-System Driver Based On Samsung’s sdFAT

        While the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel cycle is finally bringing a driver for Microsoft exFAT file-system read/write support, it’s dated on an old Samsung code drop that has seen little public work over the years. Since queued for staging-next, there has been a big uptick in clean-ups and other activity, but there also exists another alternative out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver.

      • Linux Foundation

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa Vulkan Drivers Now Tracking Game Engine/Version For Handling More Workarounds

          Currently the Mesa OpenGL/Vulkan drivers have relied upon matching executable names for applying game/application-specific workarounds. But with Vulkan as part of the instance creation information and VkApplicationInfo it’s possible to optionally advertise the rendering engine and version in use. The Mesa Vulkan drivers are now making use of that information to allow for more uniform workarounds.

          Rather than having to match and apply workarounds to each specific game in the case of broad game engine defects, the Radeon RADV and Intel ANV drivers have introduced the infrastructure for tracking the exposed engine name and version for allowing workarounds to be applied at that higher-level rather than just each executable name.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel’s Gallium3D Driver Is Running Much Faster Than Their Current OpenGL Linux Driver With Mesa 19.3

        Last month I did some fresh benchmarks of Intel’s new open-source OpenGL Linux driver with Mesa 19.2 and those results were looking good as tested with a Core i9 9900K. Since then, more Intel Gallium3D driver improvements have landed for what will become Mesa 19.3 next quarter. In taking another look at their former/current and new OpenGL drivers, here are fresh benchmarks of the latest code using a Core i7 8700K desktop as well as a Core i7 8550U Dell XPS laptop.

        This month so far Intel’s new Gallium3D OpenGL driver has seen OpenGL 4.6 support added, an optimization to help the Java OpenGL performance (one of the deficiencies noted by our earlier rounds of benchmarks), and other performance work.

        For some weekend benchmarking fun I tested the Core i7 8700K desktop and Dell XPS 13 laptop with Core i7 8550U graphics while comparing the OpenGL driver options. The driver state for both the i965 and Iris Gallium3D drivers were of Mesa 19.3-devel Git as of this week and also running with the near-final Linux 5.3 kernel.

    • Applications

      • Linux Shell Roundup: 15 Most Popular Open Source Linux Shells

        Unix systems have captivated the world since its inception in the 70s. One of the fundamental features that helped Linux and BSD distributions in securing their current stature is the Linux shell. The shell is one of the essential tools for many Linux aficionados due to its immense power and diverse applications. It is a command-line interface to your operating system, which allows you to perform any kind of operation depending on your criteria. Moreover, Linux shells are not just an interface but also a full-fledged scripting language with its own set of syntax and semantics.

      • MusicBrainz Picard 2.2 Released with Built-in Media Player

        MusicBrainz Picard, a cross-platform music tagger, released version 2.2 a day ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 4.16 Released with Improvements

        Wine (i.e “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, macOS, & BSD. Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.

    • Games

      • Pavlov VR | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

        Pavlov VR running through Steam play.

      • DiRT Rally is Currently FREE on Steam, Saving You $39.99 [Limited Offer]

        Codemasters, who publish the game, have teamed up with Steam to give away a free, fully-featured version of the game to any Steam user who wants it — saving them $39.99!

        DiRT Rally delivers an exceptional rally racing experience with more than 40 rally cars available to race on more than 70 stages.

        [...]

        You?ll need a valid Steam account (free, requires e-mail) in order to redeem the offer, as well as to download and install the game.

      • Minecraft Game Free Download for Linux

        Minecraft is a Swedish video game. Minecraft is a Sandbox and survival game developer Markus Persson. Minecraft developed and published by Mojang. The Minecraft has been described one of the most influential greatest video games in the history and won the numerous awards. The Minecraft game has been used in educational environment especially in computer systems. The game was released in November 18, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, masOS, Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • digiKam 6.3.0 is released

          We received a lot of excellent user feedback after publishing the third digiKam 6 release in August 2019. We are now proud to briefly announce the new digiKam 6.3.0, a maintenance version which consolidates this feedback and acts as an important phase of this 3-year-old project.

        • This week in KDE

          See, I told you I’d continue to blog about the cool things that have happened in KDE-land.

        • KDE’s KWin Options UI Improved, Various Other Enhancements During Akademy Week

          KDE’s annual Akademy developer conference took place this past week in Milan, Italy. But even with that in-person event the development of the KDE desktop environment didn’t let up in landing new improvements.

          While the KDE Usability & Productivity initiative is over with now KDE focusing on Wayland, consistency, and application improvements, KDE contributor Nate Graham is continuing with his weekly blog posts highlighting the usability/productivity changes and other improvements to the KDE stack.

        • KDE Akademy 2019 Recap

          After eight densely packed days Akademy 2019 is over. As always it was very nice to meet everyone again, as well as to meet some people I have been working with online for the first time in real life.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Nostalgia is a GNOME Wallpaper App with a Twist

          Nostalgia a free GTK app for the Linux desktop that enables you to browse through official GNOME desktop wallpapers, and quickly set them as your desktop background.

          Like Ubuntu, each new release of the GNOME desktop comes bearing its own unique wallpaper (which, again like Ubuntu, tend to stay within a loose theme).

          While GNOME’s default wallpapers aren’t as well known or as revered as Ubuntu’s default wallpapers (by lieu of the fact they’re usually not used by default, i.e. so fewer people see them) they’re still high-quality pieces of art.

        • GNOME and gestures, Part 2: HdyLeaflet

          A folded HdyLeaflet, just like GtkStack, shows one of its children at any given moment, even during child transitions. The second visible child during transitions is just a screenshot. But which child is “real” and which is a screenshot? Turns out the real child is the destination one, meaning the widget switches its visible child when the animation starts. It isn’t a problem if the animation is quick and time-based, but becomes very noticeable with a gesture. Additionally, it means that starting and cancelling a gesture switches the visible child two time.

          One solution would be only switching the visible child at the end of the animation (or not at all if it was canceled). The problem is that it’s a major behavior change: applications that listen to visible-child to know when to update the widgets, or sync the property between two leaflets will break.

          Another solution would be to draw both children during transitions, but it still means that visible-child changes two times if the gesture was canceled. The problem here is similar: applications wouldn’t expect the other child to still be drawn, but at least it’s just a visual breakage. And it still means that starting and canceling the gesture would mean two visible-child changes.

          The second solution may sound better, and yet the current WIP code uses the first one.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS Buster version 2.1.3 released

          EasyOS version 2.1.3, latest in the “Buster” series, has been released. This is another incremental upgrade, however, as the last release announced on Distrowatch is version 2.1, the bug fixes, improvements and upgrades have been considerable since then. So much, that I might request the guys at Distrowatch to announce version 2.1.3.

        • EasyOS Pyro version 1.2.3 released

          Another incremental release of the Pyro series. Although this series is considered to be in maintenance mode, it does have all of the improvements as in the latest Buster release.

        • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 136 is available for testing

          the summer has been a quiet time for us with a little relaxation, but also some shifted focus on our infrastructure and other things. But now we are back with a large update which is packed with important new features and fixes.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • An Easy Fix for a Stupid Mistake

          I waited a long time for Mageia 7 and for OpenMandriva Lx 4. When both distros arrived, I was very happy.

          But new distros bring changes, and sometimes it is not easy to adapt. Mageia 7 has been rock-solid: it is doing a great job in my laptop and both in my daughter’s desktop and in mine. There is one thing, though. I have been avoiding a strange mesa update that wants to remove Steam.

          OpenMandriva is also fantastic, but this new release provided options like rock, release, and rolling. When I first installed the distro, I chose rock because I was shying away from the rolling flavor. Eventually, I had to move to rolling because that was the only way in which I could manage to install Steam in both my laptop and desktop machines.

      • Arch Family

        • Manjaro 18.1 ‘Juhraya’ Released: A Beginner-friendly Arch Experience

          In response to the same, the Manjaro team clarified that it was an independent decision and no money was exchanged.

          The team also changed their stance by letting the users choose between LibreOffice and FreeOffice during the installation process. As a result of this change, Manjaro 18.1 has become the first version to give users this choice. Now, during the installation itself, you’ll be asked to choose the office suite. Alternatively, you can go without an office suite at all.

      • Debian Family

        • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities (August 2019)

          The Debian Community Team (CT) had a meeting where we discussed some of our activities, including potential new team members!

        • miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus – Oct 25-27 2019 – Call for Presentations

          We’re opening the Call for Presentations for the miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus now, until October 20, so please contribute to the MiniDebConf by proposing a talk, workshop, birds of feather (BoF) session, etc, directly on the Debian wiki: /Vaumarcus/TalkSubmissions We are aiming for talks which are somehow related to Debian or Free Software in general, see the wiki for subject suggestions. We expect submissions and talks to be held in English, as this is the working language in Debian and at this event. Registration is also still open; through the Debian wiki: Vaumarcus/Registration.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Workarea Commerce Goes Open-source

        The enterprise commerce platform – Workarea is releasing its software to the open-source community. In case you don’t already know, Workarea was built to unify commerce, content management, merchant insights, and search. It was developed upon open-source technologies since its inception like Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and Ruby on Rails. Workarea aims to provide unparalleled services in terms of scalability and flexibility in modern cloud environments. Its platform source code and demo instructions are available on GitHub here.

      • Wyoming CV Pilot develops open-source RSU monitoring system

        The team working on the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program in Wyoming have developed open-source applications for the operation and maintenance of Roadside Units (RSUs) that can be viewed by all stakeholders.

        The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot implementation includes the deployment of 75 RSUs along 400 miles (644km) of I-80. With long drive times and tough winters in the state, WYDOT needed an efficient way to monitor the performance of and manage and update these units to maintain peak performance. With no suitable product readily available, the WYDOT Connected Vehicle team developed an open-source application that allows authorized transportation management center (TMC) operators to monitor and manage each RSU at the roadside. The WYDOT team found that the application can also be used as a public-facing tool that shows a high-level status report of the pilot’s equipment.

        [...]

        For other state or local agencies and departments of transportation (DOTs) wishing to deploy a similar capability to monitor and manage RSUs, the application code has been made available on the USDOT’s Open Source Application Development Portal (OSADP). The code is downloadable and can be used and customized by other agencies free of charge. WYDOT developed this capability using USDOT funds under the CV Pilot program as open-source software and associated documentation. The application represents one of six that the program will be providing during its three phases.

      • You Too Can Make These Fun Games (No Experience Necessary)

        Making a videogame remained a bucket list item until I stumbled on an incredibly simple open source web app called Bitsy. I started playing around with it, just to see how it worked. Before I knew it, I had something playable. I made my game in a couple of hours.

      • From maverick to mainstream: why open source software is now indispensable for modern business

        Free and open source software has a long and intriguing history. Some of its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when Richard Stallman first launched the GNU project.

      • Analyst Watch: Is open source the great equalizer?

        If you had told me 25 years ago that open source would be the predominant force in software development, I would’ve laughed.

        Back then, at my industrial software gig, we were encouraged to patent as much IP as possible, even processes that seemed like common-sense business practices, or generally useful capabilities for any software developer.

        If you didn’t, your nearest competitor would surely come out with their own patent claims, or inevitable patent trolls would show up demanding fees for any uncovered bit of code.

        We did have this one developer who was constantly talking about fiddling with his Linux kernel at home, on his personal time. Interesting hobby.

      • Scientists Create World’s First Open Source Tool for 3D Analysis of Advanced Biomaterials

        Materials scientists and programmers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia and Germany’s Karlsuhe Institute of Technology have created the world’s first open source software for the 2D and 3D visualization and analysis of biomaterials used for research into tissue regeneration.

        [...]

        Scientists have already tested the software on a variety of X-ray tomography data.

        “The results have shown that the software we’ve created can help other scientists conducting similar studies in the analysis of the fibrous structure of any polymer scaffolds, including hybrid ones,” Surmenev emphasised.

      • Making Collaborative Data Projects Easier: Our New Tool, Collaborate, Is Here

        On Wednesday, we’re launching a beta test of a new software tool. It’s called Collaborate, and it makes it possible for multiple newsrooms to work together on data projects.

        Collaborations are a major part of ProPublica’s approach to journalism, and in the past few years we’ve run several large-scale collaborative projects, including Electionland and Documenting Hate. Along the way, we’ve created software to manage and share the large pools of data used by our hundreds of newsrooms partners. As part of a Google News Initiative grant this year, we’ve beefed up that software and made it open source so that anybody can use it.

      • Should open-source software be the gold standard for nonprofits?

        Prior to its relaunch, nonprofit organization Cadasta had become so focused on the technology side of its work that it distracted from the needs of partners in the field.

        “When you’re building out a new platform, it really is all consuming,” said Cadasta CEO Amy Coughenour, reflecting on some of the decisions that were made prior to her joining the team in 2018.

      • Artificial intelligence: an open source future

        At the same time, we’re seeing an increasing number of technology companies invest in AI development. However, what’s really interesting is that these companies – including the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce and Uber – are open sourcing their AI research. This move is already enabling developers worldwide to create and improve AI & Machine Learning (ML) algorithms faster. As such, open source software has become a fundamental part of enabling fast, reliable, and also secure development in the AI space. So, why all the hype around open source AI? Why are businesses of all sizes, from industry behemoths to startups, embracing open source? And where does the future lie for AI and ML as a result?

      • How open source is accelerating innovation in AI

        By eradicating barriers like high licensing fees and talent scarcity, open source is accelerating the pace of AI innovation, writes Carmine Rimi

        No other technology has captured the world’s imagination quite like AI, and there is perhaps no other that has been so disruptive. AI has already transformed the lives of people and businesses and will continue to do so in endless ways as more startups uncover its potential. According to a recent study, venture capital funding for AI startups in the UK increased by more than 200 percent last year, while a Stanford University study observed a 14-times increase in the number of AI startups worldwide in the last two years.

      • Adam Jacob Advocates for Building Healthy OSS Communities in “The War for the Soul of Open Source”

        Chef co-founder and former CTO Adam Jacob gave a short presentation at O’Reilly Open Source Software Conference (OSCON) 2019 titled “The War for the Soul of Open Source.” In his search for meaning in open source software today, Jacob confronts the notion of open source business models.

        “We often talk about open source business models,” he said. “There isn’t an open source business model. That’s not a thing and the reason is open source is a channel. Open source is a way that you, in a business sense, get the software out to the people, the people use the software, and then they become a channel, which [companies] eventually try to turn into money.”

        [...]

        In December 2018, Jacob launched the Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities (SFOSC) project to advocate for these ideas. Instead of focusing on protecting revenue models of OSS companies, the project’s contributors work together to collaborate on writing core principles, social contracts, and business models as guidelines for healthy OSS communities.

      • New Open Source Startups Emerge After Acquisition, IPO Flurry

        After a flurry of mega-acquisitions and initial public offerings of open source companies, a new batch of entrepreneurs are trying their hands at startups based on free software projects.

      • TC9 selected by NIST to develop Open Source Software for Transactive Energy Markets

        TC9, Inc. was selected by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop open source software for Transactive Energy Bilateral Markets based on the NIST Common Transactive Services.

        Under the contract, TC9 will develop open source software (OSS) for agents for a transactive energy market. The software will be used to model the use of transactive energy to manage power distribution within a neighborhood. Transactive Energy is a means to balance volatile supply and consumption in real time. Experts anticipate the use of Transactive Energy to support wide deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) across the power grid.

      • Open Source Software Allows Auterion to Move Drone Workflows into the Cloud

        “Until today, customizing operations in the MAVLink protocol required a deep understanding of complex subjects such as embedded systems, drone dynamics, and the C++ programming language,” said Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion. “With MAVSDK, any qualified mobile developer can write high-level code for complex operations, meaning more developers will be able to build custom applications and contribute to the community.”

      • Events

        • ApacheCon 2019 Keynote: James Gosling’s Journey to Open Source

          At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, James Gosling delivered a keynote talk on his personal journey to open-source. Gosling’s main takeaways were: open source allows programmers to learn by reading source code, developers must pay attention to intellectual property rights to prevent abuse, and projects can take on a life of their own.

        • 20 Years of the Apache Software Foundation: ApacheCon 2019 Opening Keynote

          At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, the opening keynote session celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), with key themes being: the history of the ASF, a strong commitment to community and collaboration, and efforts to increase contributions from the public. The session also featured a talk by astrophysicist David Brin on the potential dangers of AI.

      • Databases

        • MariaDB opens US headquarters in California

          MariaDB Corporation, the database company born as a result of forking the well-known open-source MySQL database…

        • ScyllaDB takes on Amazon with new DynamoDB migration tool

          There are a lot of open-source databases out there, and ScyllaDB, a NoSQL variety, is looking to differentiate itself by attracting none other than Amazon users. Today, it announced a DynamoDB migration tool to help Amazon customers move to its product.

        • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

          ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

        • ScyllaDB Secures $25 Million to Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-compatible API

          Fast-growing NoSQL database company raises funds to extend operations and bring new deployment flexibility to users of Amazon DynamoDB.

        • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

          ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

        • ScyllaDB powers up Alternator: an open Amazon DynamoDB API

          Companies normally keep things pretty quiet in the run up to their annual user conferences, so they can pepper the press with a bag of announcements designed to show how much market momentum and traction that have going.

          Not so with ScyllaDB, the company has been dropping updates in advance of its Scylla Summit event in what is perhaps an unusually vocal kind of way.

          [...]

          Scylla itself is a real-time big data database that is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra and is known for its ‘shared-nothing’ approach (a distributed-computing architecture in which each update request is satisfied by a single node –processor/memory/storage unit to increase throughput and storage capacity.

        • Percona Announces Full Conference Schedule for Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019

          The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019 is the premier open source database event. Percona Live conferences provide the open source database community with an opportunity to discover and discuss the latest open source trends, technologies and innovations. The conference includes the best and brightest innovators and influencers in the open source database industry.

        • Thwarting Digital Ad Fraud at Scale: An Open Source Experiment with Anomaly Detection

          Our experiment assembles Kafka, Cassandra, and our anomaly detection application in a Lambda architecture, in which Kafka and our streaming data pipeline are the speed layer, and Cassandra acts as the batch and serving layer. In this configuration, Kafka makes it possible to ingest streaming digital ad data in a fast and scalable manner, while taking a “store and forward” approach so that Kafka can serve as a buffer to protect the Cassandra database from being overwhelmed by major data surges. Cassandra’s strength is in storing high-velocity streams of ad metric data in its linearly scalable, write-optimized database. In order to handle automation for provisioning, deploying, and scaling the application, the anomaly detection experiment relies on Kubernetes on AWS EKS.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Funding

        • Square Crypto Grants $100,000 to Open-Source Crypto Payment Processor

          Bitcoin (BTC)-supporting payments service Square Crypto is giving the first of what will be many grants to support open-source Bitcoin projects to BTCPay Foundation.

        • CasperLabs Raises $14.5M Series A Round, Aims to Scale Blockchain Opportunities for Everyone

          CasperLabs, the open-source blockchain platform powered by the Correct-by-Construction (CBC) Casper proof-of-stake consensus protocol, today announced it has raised $14.5M in Series A funding led by Terren Piezer, the “Zelig of Wall Street,” through his personal holding company, Acuitas Group Holdings. Other major investors include Arrington XRP Capital, Consensus Capital, Axiom Holdings Group, Digital Strategies, MW Partners, Blockchange Ventures, Hashkey Capital, and Distributed Global. The new investment will be used to accelerate product development and expand hiring of world-class engineers.

        • Akeneo raises $46 million for its product information management service

          Akeneo started as an open-source PIM application. Today, thousands of companies actively use that open-source version. But Akeneo also offers an enterprise edition with a more traditional software-as-a-service approach. The startup has managed to attract 300 clients, such as Sephora, Fossil and Auchan.

        • Where have all the seed deals gone?

          When it comes to big business, the numbers rarely lie, and the ones PitchBook and other sources have pulled together on the state of seed investing aren’t pretty. The total number of seed deals, funds raised and dollars invested in seed deals were all down in the 2015-2018 time frame, a period too long to be considered a correctable glitch.

          [...]

          Gone were the days of investing millions of dollars in tech infrastructure before writing the first line of code. At the same time, the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated and freely available open-source software provided many of the building blocks upon which to build a startup. And we can’t forget the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and, more importantly for startups, the App Store in 2008.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • MIT scientist appears to DEFEND Jeffrey Epstein
        • MIT professor defended Jeffrey Epstein associate in leaked emails, claimed victims were ‘entirely willing’

          In the email thread, leaked by MIT alum Salam Jie Gano to VICE on Friday, Stallman argued that the late Marvin Minsky – an AI pioneer who died in 2016 and is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, – had not actually assaulted anyone.

          “The word ‘assaulting’ presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex,” he wrote, referring to an article about Giuffre’s testimony against Minsky. “The most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him an entirely willing.”

        • Remove Richard Stallman

          I’m writing this because I’m too angry to work.
          I’m writing this because at 11AM on Wednesday, September 11th 2019, my friend sent me an email that was sent to an MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) mailing list.
          This email came from Richard Stallman, a prominent computer scientist.
          In it, he’s responding to a female student’s email about this Facebook event, which calls for a protest by MIT students and affiliates regarding Jeffrey Epstein’s donation.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Sandboxie’s path to open source, update on the Pentagon’s open source initiative, open source in Hollywood, and more

          In 2016, the White House mandated that each government agency had to open source at least 20 percent of its custom software within three years. There is an interesting article about this initiative from 2017 that laid out some of the excitement and challenges.

          According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon’s not even halfway there.

          In an article for Nextgov, Jack Corrigan wrote that as of July 2019, the Pentagon had released just 10 percent of its code as open source. They’ve also not yet implemented other aspects of the White House mandate, including the directive to build an open source software policy and inventories of custom code.

          According to the report, some government officials told the GAO that they worry about security risks of sharing code across government departments. They also admitted to not creating metrics that could measure their open source efforts’ successes. The Pentagon’s Chief Technology Officer cited the Pentagon’s size as the reason for not implementing the White House’s open source mandate. In a report published Tuesday, the GAO said, “Until [the Defense Department] fully implements its pilot program and establishes milestones for completing the OMB requirements, the department will not be positioned to take advantage of significant cost savings and efficiencies.”

        • GAO: DoD Not Fully Implementing Open-Source Mandates

          The Department of Defense has not fully implemented mandates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to increase its use of open-source software and release code, according to a September 10 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

          The report notes that the 2018 NDAA mandated DoD establish a pilot program on open source and a report on the program’s implementation. It also says that OMB’s M-16-21 memorandum requires all agencies to release at least 20 percent of custom-developed code as open-source, with a metric for calculating program performance.

          However, DoD has released less than 10 percent of its custom code, and had not developed a measure to calculate the performance of the pilot program. In comments to GAO, the DoD CIO’s office said there has been difficulty inventorying all of its custom source code across the department, and disagreement on how to assess the success for a performance measure. While the department worked to partially implement OMB’s policy, the department had not yet issued a policy.

        • Pentagon moves slowly on open-source software mandate amid security concerns

          The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit.

        • DOD struggles to implement open source software pilots

          The Department of Defense’s congressionally mandated efforts to create an open source software program aren’t going so well.

          DOD must release at least 20 percent of its custom software as open source through a pilot required by a 2016 Office of Management and Budget directive and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Open source software, OMB says, can encourage collaboration, “reduce costs, streamline development, apply uniform standards, and ensure consistency in creating and delivering information.”

        • GAO report on open-source software

          The Sept. 10, 2019 Government Accountability Office report finds that the Defense Department “has not fully implemented an open-source software pilot program and related Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements as mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.”

        • DOD drags feet with open-source software program due to security, implementation concerns

          The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit. Since 2016, DOD has been required by law to implement an open-source software pilot program in accordance with policy established by the Office of Management and Budget.

        • DOD pushes back on open source
        • DOD pushes back on open source
        • CONNECT Interoperability Project Shifting to the Private Sector

          The CONNECT project, an open source project that aims to increase interoperability among organizations, is transitioning from federal stewardship to the private sector and will soon be available to everyone.

          Developed ten years ago by a group of federal agencies in the Federal Health Architecture (FHA), CONNECT was a response to ONC’s original approach to a health information network. The agencies decided to build a joint health interoperability solution instead of having each agency develop its own custom solution, and they chose to make the project open source.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • Is Open Source licensing irretrievably broken?

          Jonathan Ellis is the CTO and Founder of DataStax. At ApacheCon 2019 in Las Vegas, he gave a keynote that will make many in the industry uncomfortable. The focus of that keynote was the state of open source licensing. Ellis believes that there is a problem, if not what some would call a looming crisis in how open source software licences are being used.

          He believes that the last 10 years, in particular, have seen a significant change in attitudes around what open source means. One of the big changes has been the shift from a hobbyist, part-time code development role to venture capital funded companies. Many of these like the open source model. As Ellis told Enterprise Times, making something open source is about instant exposure to a wider audience.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Color Open-Sources Playbook for Population Genomics Programs

          By open-sourcing this playbook, Color is supporting global efforts to make genetics and precision health programs accessible, convenient, and cost effective, while offering responsible clinical grade return of results to all participants.

          Despite rapidly decreasing sequencing costs and growing interest in population-scale genomics, many programs have struggled to launch and scale as expected for two primary reasons.

          First, many programs have been rebuilding critical components of the architecture from the ground up, including lab infrastructure, bioinformatics, clinical interpretation & reporting, as well as secure and flexible data management systems. This process often dramatically extends timelines and forces programs to incur unnecessary costs and implementation risks.

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Delta X open source delta robot kit hits Kickstarter from €179

            After previously being unveiled earlier this month the Delta X open source delta robot kit has now launched via Kickstarter offering open source hardware, firmware and software for the community. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Arduino powered 3D printed open source robot kit which is now available from €179.

            The Delta X offers both a complete desktop robot and a modular kit and can be combined with a range of end effectors to complete a wide variety of different applications, offering increased speed and flexibility when compared to other robotic arm kits on the market.

          • AXIS open source 3D printer from $125

            An affordable 3D printer has launched via Kickstarter this week in the form of the AXIS 3D Printer which is priced from just £99, $125 or €115. Complete with dual 3D printing head the 3D printer is based on open source technology with “tried and tested industry standard components designed to work right, first time” say it’s creators.

          • Freemelt raises $1.6 million in investment round for open-source EBM 3D printer
          • 3D printing stethoscopes, tourniquets and crucial dialysis-machine parts in Gaza

            Tarek Loubani is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor who works with the Glia Project, a group that creates open-source designs for 3D-printable medical hardware. Their goal is to let local populations manufacture their own medical wares at prices considerably lower than in the marketplace, and in situations where — because of distance or war — it may not even be possible to ship in equipment at any price. Some of their early work has been in blockaded Gaza, for example.

            So far, Glia has designed a stethoscope that can be made for about $2.83, and a tourniquet that costs about $7 to make.

          • GameShell Kit – Open Source Portable Game Console

            This portable console has a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system that lets you play all kinds of retro games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, MAME, MD, PS1, and more. You can even create your own games if you want. Get one for yourself or build it together with your kids. Check out more details by clicking the link above.

          • Play classic games on an open-source console with GameShell: $143 (Orig. $199)
          • The GameShell Open Source Portable Game Console is 28% off today

            But when it comes to truly great games, the classics never fade. The GameShell Kit: Open Source Portable Game Console allows you to play thousands of classic games on an incredibly portable console, and you’ll even be able to create your own games using simple code—all for over 25% off at just $142.99.

      • Programming/Development

        • Hey, We’re Open Source Again! Eclipse Unveils Jakarta EE 8

          The enterprise developers’ edition of Java has gone completely open source with a new version managed entirely by the Eclipse Foundation. The Foundation released Jakarta EE 8 with a flourish yesterday.

          Jakarta took a winding road to get to this point. Originally called J2EE when released in 1999, it was renamed to Java EE in 2006. Then, Oracle bought Sun three years later, which locked the product up in Fort Larry for the best part of a decade.

          Citing a wish to make things more open, it agreed to give Java EE back to the open source community in 2017, choosing the Eclipse Foundation. While it gave the Foundation the IP rights to the code, though, it held onto the name. So Eclipse had to find another one. Hence, Jakarta.

        • Jakarta EE now operates under open, community-driven process

          After transitioning from Oracle to the Eclipse Foundation in 2017, Jakarta EE (previously known as Java EE), has reached another major milestone.

          With today’s release of the Jakarta EE 8 Full Platform and Web Profile specification, the project now has a new baseline for having an “open, vendor-neutral, community-driven process.” Now, Java vendors, developers, and consumers will have a foundation for migrating Java EE applications to a standard enterprise Java Stack.

        • The Eclipse Foundation releases Jakarta EE 8, the first truly open-source, vendor-neutral Java EE

          Yesterday, the Eclipse Foundation announced the release of the Jakarta EE 8 full platform, web profile specifications, and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). This marks the completion of Java EE’s transition to an open and vendor-neutral evolution process.

          Explaining the vision behind this release, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation said, “There are tens of thousands of companies with strategic investments in Java EE and over 10 million Java developers globally. The finalization of the Jakarta EE 8 specifications means that the transition of Java EE to our new open, vendor-neutral, and community-based process has been completed, and paves the way for an entirely new era in Java innovation for enterprise and cloud workloads.”

        • The Eclipse Foundation Releases Jakarta EE 8 Specifications; Completes Transition to Eclipse Foundation as the New Home for Open Source Cloud Native Java
        • Top 20 Best Python IDE for Linux. Some of Them are Open Source

          Python is a programming language. User can apply it for general purposes to design program from the backend web development, scientific computing, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. Moreover, it works on developing Apps, games and productivity software, and many more purposes. Python is one of the most popular and extensively used programming languages because of its easy to use and simple nature. Additionally, IDE implies an Integrated Development Environment that facilitates debugging, testing, and writing code easier way. It offers highlighting code insight, code completion, and resource management for the users.

        • Python Programming Language Is Considered Better Than Other Languages

          Python is a high-level scripting language. It is easy to learn and powerful than other languages because of its dynamic nature and simple syntax which allow small lines of code. Included indentation and object-oriented functional programming make it simple. Such advantages of Python makes it different from other languages and that’s why Python is preferred for development in companies mostly. In industries, machine learning using python has become popular. This is because it has standard libraries which are used for scientific and numerical calculations. Also, it can be operated on Linux, Windows, Mac OS and UNIX. Students who want to make future in Python are joining online video training courses and python programming tutorial.

        • Python inotify examples
        • How to work with Jupyter Notebooks in PyCharm
        • Immer, “Most Impactful Contribution” JavaScript Open Source Award Winner, Releases V4

          Alec Larson released a few days ago the fourth major iteration of award winner JavaScript library Immer, patching an important edge case. Immer is a JavaScript package which allows developers to work with immutable state as it were mutable, by implementing a copy-on-write mechanism. Immer was recently distinguished this year with the Breakthrough of the year React open source award and the Most impactful contribution JavaScript open source award.

        • Ballerina Reinvents Cloud Native Middleware as a Programming Language, Puts ESB on the Path to Extinction

          Ballerina 1.0, which is available under the Apache License, is being announced in conjunction with ApacheCon North America 2019. Ballerina, an ApacheCon Gold Sponsor, will offer technical sessions and demos of the new Ballerina release at the event. WSO2 CTO Paul Fremantle will also hold a session on Tuesday, September 10 at 2:30 p.m., “Ballerina – Re-inventing Middleware in a Programming Language.” ApacheCon North America 2019 is being held September 9-12, 2019 at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

        • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Ballerina

          The open-source programming language Ballerina hit 1.0 generally availability this week.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: pinp 0.0.9: Real Fix and Polish

          Another pinp package release! pinp allows for snazzier one or two column Markdown-based pdf vignettes, and is now used by a few packages. A screenshot of the package vignette can be seen below. Additional screenshots are at the pinp page.

  • Leftovers

    • The End of Aquarius and The Dawn of a Death Star: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

      Quentin Tarantino’s latest (and last?) film was under fire for its subject matter (a mostly fictional retelling of the Manson murders) even before it went into production, and has since taken hits on multiple fronts from the thumb sucking segment of the peanut gallery, convinced that the director is hiding a fugitive agenda at odds with their prevailing group think imperatives. Chief among them: A howling mob should be put at the helm of a film to ensure the audience is safely strapped into their car seats. As usual, Tarantino’s detractors are flinging birdshot at a master flame thrower.

    • How China Sees the World
    • Bearing Witness at Aeon’s End: the Wound Becomes the Womb

      PR: Kenn, this question haunts me: Is it still possible, amid constant inundation by the mass and social media simulacrum, for literature, poetry or a music to rouse the heart and foment rebellion against one’s complicity in what amounts to a bondage of sensibility? Naturally, we are given to outrage but, for the most part, it is directed, if we are honest, at our own sense of powerlessness against the mind-stupefying roil of events.

    • From Bach to ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ here’s the music Russia’s government is using to inject the youths with ‘cultural literacy’

      Russia’s Culture Ministry has issued a new set of recommendations for what it calls “The Schoolchild’s Cultural Standards.” This new educational project is intended to bolster “the spiritual, aesthetic, and artistic development of Russian schoolchildren and increase the cultural literacy of our rising generation.”

    • Science

      • Here’s to the Last Philosophes, the Frankfurt School

        The “Frankfurt School” refers to a group of unorthodox Marxist intellectuals associated with Frankfurt, Germany’s Institute for Social Research. The most famous first-generation members, whose collective work spans from the 1930s into the early 1970s, include Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse. They wondered why advanced capitalist societies were sinking into new forms of barbarism rather than, as Marx envisioned, transitioning to a humane society that uses technological gains to abolish toil and promote human flourishing. To supplement Marx’s theories of ideology and social reproduction, they drew on a wide range of thinkers, including Sigmund Freud and Max Weber, developing a sizeable canon of radical and often pessimistic analyses of a “totally administered society.”

      • When You Mess With Creation Myths, the Knives Come Out

        I would have ended my challenge to “Hamilton, The Revolution” after a four night reading of the script that took place at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe last January. It was one of the actors, Robert Mailer Anderson, a filmmaker (Windows on the World) and novelist, who said that he’d put up money for a full production. He doubled the amount that he promised. The second largest contributors were the late Toni Morrison and her son, Ford, who saved us big bucks by making their New York apartment available to us during rehearsals and performances. Plus audience members sent us donations.But even the reading, which cost me $5,000.00, the backlash from “Hamilfans” was furious.

      • Dissociative Identity Disorder: The woman who created 2,500 personalities to survive

        Contemporary Australian experts refer to Jeni’s condition as Dissociative Identity Disorder, and say it is heavily linked to experiences of extreme abuse against a child in what is supposed to be a safe environment.
        “DID really is a survival strategy,” Dr Pam Stavropoulos, a childhood trauma expert, told the BBC.
        “It serves as a very sophisticated coping strategy that is widely regarded as extreme. But you have to remember, it’s the response to extreme abuse and trauma the child has undergone.”
        The earlier the trauma and the more extreme the abuse, the more likely it is that a child has to rely on disassociation to cope, leading to these “multiple self-states”.

      • Shirish Agarwal: Freedom, Chandrayaan 2 and Corporations in Space.

        Before we get to Chandrayaan 2, there are few interesting series I want to talk about, share about. The first one is AltBalaji’s Mission Over Mars which in some ways is similar to Mars 6-part series Docu-drama made by National Geographic and lot of movies, books etc. read over years. In both these and other books, movies etc. it has been shown how Corporate Interests win over science and exploration which the motives of such initiatives were and are. The rich become richer and richer while the poor become more poorer.

        There has been also lot of media speculation that ISRO should be privatized similar to how NASA is and people saying that NASA’s importance has not lessened even though they couldn’t have been more wrong. Take the Space Launch System . It was first though of in the 2010 after the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 came into being. When it was shared or told it was told that it would be ready somewhere in 2016. Now it seems it won’t be ready until 2025. And who is responsible for this, the same company which has been responsible for lot of bad news in the international aviation business Boeing. The auditor’s report for NASA while blaming NASA for oversight also blames Boeing for not doing things right. And from what we have come to know that in the american system of self-regulation leaves much to be desired. More so, when an ex-employee of Boeing is exercising his fifth Amendment rights which raises the suspicion that there is more than just simply an oversight issue. Boeing also is a weapons manufacturer but that’s another story altogether. For people interested in the arms stuff, a wired article published 2 years back gives enough info. as to how America is good bad or Arms sale.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Defence/Aggression

      • From A Russian: Our Planet is So Small that We Must Live in Peace

        “Our planet is so small that we must live in peace” said the head of the organization for mothers of military veterans in Yakutsk, Siberia, Far East Russia and called for “mothers to unite against war,” a sentiment that, despite the actions of our politicians and government leaders, is one of the many common threads that ordinary Russians and ordinary Americans share.

      • Son of Bin Laden Killed in U.S. Strike, White House Says

        The White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

      • Democratic Debate’s Top Ten in Texas

        Well, as CNN’s Jake Tapper told Stephen Colbert Thursday night after the Democratic presidential debate, one thing’s for certain: Beto O’Rourke isn’t leaving the race to run for the US Senate from Texas.Not after what he said about guns. “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he declared.

      • Cowardly Democratic Senator Coons Attacks Beto for Standing Up to NRA

        O’Rourke: “But the time for letting status quo politics determine how far we can go is over. If we agree that having millions of weapons of war on the streets is a bad idea, we have to do something about it. “

      • Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Attack Key Saudi Oil Sites

        DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies.

      • All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace A Chance (Bring It Home!)

        As you come to know the seriousness of our situation – the war, the racism, the poverty in the world—you come to realize it is not going to be changed just by words or demonstrations. It’s a question of living your life in drastically different ways. – Dorothy Day

      • Despite GOP Death Threat, Beto Doubles Down on “We’re Going to Take Your AR-15″ Promise

        “Hell yeah, we’re going to take your AR-15 and your AK-47.”

      • Never Forget

        Never forget. Never forget. Never forget.

        Never forget that the U.S. government was warned that Osama bin Laden was determined to strike within the United States.

        Never forget that the hijackers who used airplanes as weapons on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, not from Afghanistan and Iraq.

        Never forget that George W. Bush spoke to a joint session of Congress and to the American people, saying, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” before launching a war that would become never-ending.

        Never forget that George W. Bush called the 9/11 terrorists enemies of freedom.

      • Biden Takes Iraq Lies to the Max at Democratic Debate

        Presidential candidate Joe Biden is adding lies on top of lies to cover up his backing of the Iraq invasion.At last night’s Democratic Party debate hosted by ABC News Biden lied about his Iraq record, just like he did at the first two debates.

      • #NeverForget the War in Afghanistan

        When President Donald Trump announced this week that a highly anticipated peace deal with the Taliban was dead, Afghans braced for more violence. Their fears were realized as fresh fighting broke out immediately between Taliban forces and U.S.-backed Afghan government forces.

      • Yemen as Arabian Vietnam

        It wasn’t supposed to end this way. The last soldiers and agents of the world’s biggest and deadliest empire, fleeing Saigon with their thorned tails between their legs as a rag-tag army of half-starved guerrillas inched closer by the hour. The last Bell helicopters, stuffed to the brim with bourgeois refugees of the fascist Yankee quisling state of South Vietnam, bumbling about before they scatter like highway vultures interrupted by a semi as they attempt to pick the last bone clean on a withering carcass. This was unthinkable just a decade earlier, when LBJ decided to turn a contentious civil war into a full blown holocaust. We had thrown everything but the White House kitchen sink at those yellow commie savages; bombs, napalm, agent orange, near institutionalized campaigns of rape and slaughter. We had turned the jungles of Indochina into a living hell, just a few Pinkville’s shy of a full tilt genocide. But they just kept coming. Tiny men and women in black pajamas with hearts like lions, throwing their malnourished bodies into the guts and gears of the war machine. At the end of the day, the empire’s efforts were all for nothing. Billions of dollars, millions of lives, and the sterling reputation we had built on the myths of the Good War were gone like dust scattered to the wind. Was there a lesson to be learned here? Was anybody but Charlie interested in learning it?

      • At #SandtonShutdown, South African Women Disrupt Business as Usual as Fury Over Gender-Based Violence Boils Over

        “My body is not your war zone,” read one protest signs.

      • Challenging Biden on Iraq War Vote, Sanders Denounces Bloated Trump Pentagon Budget During Democratic Debate

        “I don’t think we have to spend $750 billion a year on the military when we don’t even know who our enemy is.”

      • Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics

        As we move past the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, it helps to be aware of the changes in U.S. political culture that have transformed this nation over the last two decades. I teach a history class at Lehigh University, “The War on Terrorism in Politics, Media, and Memory,” which is billed as examining the “meaning” of this war, via an exploration of “personal experiences and critical perspectives on the war,” as depicted in official rhetoric, the news media, and popular film.

      • Taliban Negotiators Go to Moscow After Trump Declares Talks ‘Dead’

        MOSCOW—A negotiating team from the Taliban arrived Friday in Russia, a representative said, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump declared dead a deal with the insurgent group in Afghanistan.

      • The Age of Constitutional Coups

        The contemporary global neofascistic right has become adept at seizing power through legal and parliamentary coups that do not involve military units dramatically taking over government headquarters and radio and television and rounding up opponents.

      • The Russian officials responsible for authorizing supposed CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov’s trip abroad have reportedly been punished

        The state officials who allowed suspected CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov to leave Russia have been punished, a source told the news agency Interfax. Smolenkov took his family to Montenegro on vacation in 2017 and never returned. According to Interfax’s source, the trip was permitted, despite the fact that Russia barred state officials from traveling to Montenegro at the time.

      • The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care?

        On Saturday September 7, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a prisoner swap which has brought hope of improved relations between the two countries and an end to the 5-year long conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Snowden Tells Life Story and Why He Leaked in New Memoir

        Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has written a memoir, telling his life story in detail for the first time and explaining why he chose to risk his freedom to become perhaps the most famous whistleblower of all time.

    • Environment

      • Singapore smog worst in three years as forest fires rage

        Every dry season, smoke from fires to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia clouds the skies over much of the region, raising concerns about public health and worrying tourist operators and airlines.

      • Alaska Villages Run Dry And Residents Worry ‘If This Is Our Future Of No Water’

        John Kvasnikoff is the village’s chief and Nina Kvasnikoff’s brother-in-law. He says Nanwalek’s leaders realized its reservoir was running low about a month ago due to lack of rain and low snowpack.

      • “We Are Striking to Disrupt the System”: An Hour with 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

        Today we spend the hour with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired millions across the globe. Last year, as a 15-year-old, she launched a school strike for the climate, started by going in front of the Swedish parliament every day for three weeks, then skipped school every Friday to stand in front of the parliament, demanding action to prevent catastrophic climate change. Her protest spread, quickly going global. Hundreds of thousands of schoolkids around the globe have participated in their own local school strikes for the climate.

        Since her strike began in 2018, Greta has become a leading figure in the climate justice movement. She has joined protests across Europe. She has addressed world leaders at the U.N. climate talks in Poland and the European Union Parliament. She has even met the pope.

        Now she’s in New York to join a global climate strike on September 20th and address the U.N. Climate Action Summit at the U.N. on September 23rd. Greta has refused to fly for years because of emissions, so she arrived here after a two-week transatlantic voyage aboard a zero-emissions racing yacht. She is also planning to attend the U.N. climate summit in Santiago, Chile, in December.

        I sat down with Greta Tuesday in our Democracy Now! studio.

      • ‘ABC and the DNC Should Be Ashamed,’ Say Progressives, After Just One Question on Climate Crisis During Democratic Debate

        “I don’t know how Tom Perez and DNC leaders can look themselves in the mirror after tonight.”

      • How’s the Weather?
      • Highlighting Number of Years Left to Save Earth, Greta Thunberg Joins 11-Minute Die-In Outside White House

        “We’re seeing entire communities being decimated by the climate crisis. That’s why we strike here today, that’s why we strike here every Friday.”

      • It’s Not About Your Straws and Your Light Bulbs

        A few years ago, I had a cupcake problem. I’d go to the cupcake store almost daily and I’d eat at least one cupcake, sometimes more.

        [...]

        That’s similar to what presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren just said about fixing climate change. She was asked about her position on small changes like banning plastic drinking straws or inefficient light bulbs.

        “Give me a break,” she said. “This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry wants us to talk about… They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your lightbulbs, around your straws” when “70 percent of the pollution” comes from “the building industry, the electric power industry, and the oil industry.”

        Like my cupcakes, those three industries are the real problem. Banning straws while leaving those three industries in place will make about as much of a dent in the climate as eating two cups of parsley a day while continuing my cupcake habit would have made in my waistline: Not much.

        My cupcake habit was a problem, but it was also a symptom of a larger problem. In the end, I got therapy for difficult feelings I was dealing with. Once I took care of my mental health, the emotional eating stopped, and I lost 30 pounds.

      • Maxime Bernier Attacked Greta Thunberg’s Autism. Naomi Klein Says Autism Made the Teen a Global Voice of Conscience

        Maxime Bernier wants us to think he is sorry. The leader of the extremist People’s Party of Canada had tweeted that Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is “clearly mentally unstable. Not only autistic, but obsessive-compulsive, eating disorder, depression, and lethargy, and she lives in a constant state of fear. She wants us to feel the same.

      • Energy

        • French city of Dunkirk tests out free transport – and it works

          More revealing than the simple increase is the way that the free buses are changing residents’ habits. In a town where a large majority of residents (about two-thirds) have typically depended on their cars to get around, half of the 2,000 passengers surveyed by researchers said they take the bus more or much more than before. Of those new users, 48 percent say they regularly use it instead of their cars. Some (approximately 5 percent of the total respondents) even said that they sold their car or decided against buying a second one because of the free buses.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Montana’s Wilderness Deficit

          Montana has a wilderness deficit. People may be surprised to learn that only 3.4 million acres out of the state’s nearly 94 million acres are congressionally designated wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act. There are at least 6.3 million more U.S. Forest Service acres that potentially could be designated as wilderness, as well as additional lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

        • Protect the Sacred Grizzly Bear, Follow Those Who Know Grandmother Earth
        • Wild Love Preserve Founder: Our Path Forward

          In 2010 when I founded Wild Love Preserve, folks told me it would not be possible to bring stakeholders together in a new light, one told me to stop reinventing the wheel, another even attempted to shut me down, however I stayed true to my beliefs and spearheaded collaborative efforts with the Idaho Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and stakeholders. Wild Love Preserve is a unique legacy project that includes our innovative wild horse conservation program, conflict resolution, education platform, comprehensive range health fixed on sustainability, and the creation of our wildlife preserve in the heart of Idaho’s wild horse country, which will serve as permanent home to our current 136 Challis-Idaho wild horses and future Idaho wild horses not otherwise adopted. Kindness, mutual respect, accountability, science, and education drive Wild Love’s mission to protect and preserve western wild horses in their native habitats and nurture the legacy of respective indigenous ecosystems as an interconnected whole by bridging divides, and our conservation efforts have turned Challis-Idaho wild horses into an asset for the community, region, and state.

    • Finance

      • Russia Has ‘Oligarchs,’ the US Has ‘Businessmen’

        Even in corporate media, you will occasionally see references to the United States as an “oligarchy.” That is the judgment of former President Jimmy Carter, of peer-reviewed academic studies, and even opinion pieces in our most prestigious media (e.g., Washington Post, 4/8/14; New Yorker, 4/18/14). Indeed, Paul Krugman has been saying it in the New York Times (11/3/11, 5/15/15, 7/15/19) for years.  Just three men hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the country combined, and the richest people in society use their money to influence media, society and the government.

      • Privatisation to begin this year, says minister

        He said the government intends to generate revenue through privatisation of state-owned entities (SOEs) to meet large debt servicing obligations of the country.

        Secretary Privatisation Commission Rizwan Malik said the government wants active privatisation plan initially for 6 to 7 SOEs while another 10 entities have been included for the next phase.

        The most important in this list of initial privatisation are 1,230MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant and the 1,223MW Balloki Power Plant owned by National Power Parks Company (NPPC).

      • Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors

        In 2015, Waheed Etimad immigrated with his wife and their children to the United States from Afghanistan, where he’d been a translator for the U.S. Army.

      • Majority in US Back Free College Tuition and Student Debt Cancellation, New Poll Finds

        The proposals of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been dismissed as “extreme” by some of their opponents, but most Americans support such ideas.

      • The Solution to Homelessness Is Staring Us in the Face

        It’s no secret that homelessness in the United States, especially in California, has reached critical levels. That the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the world is dealing with a crisis that stems so clearly from inequality and neglect should have its predominantly left-leaning residents up in arms. And to some extent, they are.

      • Marjorie Cohn on Afghanistan’s Unending War, Amit Narang on Deregulation & Corporate America
      • UAW Extends Ford, Fiat Chrysler Pacts; Strike Possible at GM

        DETROIT — Leaders of the United Auto Workers union have extended contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely, but the pact with General Motors is still set to expire Saturday night.

      • Ralph Nader: Trump Learned His Tricks From Corporate America

        For avalanche-level lying, deceiving, and misleading, mega-mimic Donald Trump need look no further than the history of the corporate advertising industry and the firms that pay them.

      • Cutting Social Security to Offset Paid Parental Leave Would Weaken Retirement Security

        Two recently introduced bills allowing workers to trade part of their future Social Security retirement benefits for parental leave benefits after the birth or adoption of a child would undercut Social Security’s benefits and structure, weakening the retirement security it offers workers.

      • The Plutocratic War on People: Centrists and Conservatives are Ignoring the Giant Elephant in Our National Living Room

        The best analogy I can think of to characterize what passes for political “debate” in America these days, is a bunch of people stuck in a rubber life raft with a big leak hissing away, drifting in the midst of a vast ocean surrounded for as far as they can see by starving sharks, while a few “leaders” insist on arguing about 1) whether there’s a leak; 2) whether to patch it…

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Ex-Muslims are “not an authority on Islam!”

        Similar to new Muslims and their conversion stories, ex-Muslims have every right to express their life world discourse experiences without being an authority in Islam and with whatever knowledge of Islam they possessed when they decided that they could no longer practice or believe in the religion.

        Attempting to silence that lived experience would truly be intellectually dishonest within itself.

      • In ‘Massive Victory’ in Fight Against Trump’s ‘Unconstitutional Conduct,’ Federal Appeals Court Reopens Emoluments Case

        “We never wanted to be in a position where it would be necessary to go to court to compel the president of the United States to follow the Constitution. However, President Trump left us no choice.”

      • The Pirates of Gibraltar

        When I hear the word “pirates” certain images conjure up: the silly, moldy, dusty “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride in Disneyland that I saw in my youth; the banal, boring, childish Hollywood movies by the same title that I could not watch for more than a few minutes; or the actual pirates, such as the modern day bandits who were actively raiding ships a few years ago off the coast of Somalia. But the image of British, American and Israeli politicians in three-piece suits or skirts as pirates never came to my mind until very recently. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read the script below which appears in chronological order.

      • The Vox Populi

        Donald J. Trump won the presidency partially because of his already existing Reality TV celebratory status. Audiences got used to his dealing tactics and he became proficient in reaching those who enjoyed — perversely at a time when layoffs were rampant in the land — hearing “You’re fired!” That segment of the population aided him in discovering the nature of the current populism. As president he has put into play what he learned: bigotry and prejudice to the point of racism has populist appeal, so too does a ridiculing of any authority, whether political, scientific, legacy media, academe, the EU and all Western agreements.

      • Break Up the Democratic Party?

        Thursday’s debate on Walt Disney’s ABC channel shaped up as yet another shameless charade. The pretense was that we are to select who the Democratic presidential candidate will be. But most Americans, as the Irish say, vote with their backsides, belonging to the informal but dominant party of non-voters who choose not to be sucked into legitimizing the bad choices put before them.

      • ‘No Policy, No Facts, Just Displays of Violence’: Ocasio-Cortez Says Hysterical Ad Proves GOP Has No Response to Progressive Vision

        “We are fighting to guarantee healthcare in America. To make education and housing dignified and accessible. To save our planet. To set living wages. To establish justice at home and peace abroad.”

      • The Sacking of John Bolton

        It was compelling viewing (one does not so much read Twitter as see it as a series of violent flashes). John Bolton, the armed-and-ready national security adviser who has been tiring of the US President’s jerks and adjustments, had floated the prospect of resignation. “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’” To the New York Times, Bolton reiterated the account. “Offered last night without [Trump] asking. Slept on it and gave it to him this morning.”

      • Why is the Left Without a Single Elected Official in LA?

        In no way is this essay attempting to “situate” or “articulate” the vast complexity that is Los Angeles through the question the title poses. Instead, it is a public engagement with humanist social movements in LA, focused on human recognition and human value, and their inability to be institutionalized as government, especially as city commissions. Like many other cities in the US, Los Angeles suffers from what Alex Honneth terms “a failing sociality” or “a failure in the power of civic imagination, political will, and open democracy”. Henri Giroux elaborates on the idea in The Terror of The Unforeseen, his masterpiece of a takedown of American fascism and its complexity and complicities. Like many other cities, this failing sociality has come with late capitalism, as an urbacide of community, personality, and life in general. Like many other cities, large parts of Los Angeles refuse to die, despite the failing sociality.

      • How the South Could Help Flip the US Senate

        Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has instituted dramatic policy changes that have hurt the most vulnerable U.S.

      • Hong Kong and the Future of China

        Something didn’t quite add up.

      • For the First Time in My Life I’m Against Impeaching the President

        I had hoped to make the above statement after electing a president whom I did not consider a vile mass-murderous warmongering climate-destroying threat to humanity. I’m saying it early. I’m saying it while Trump is president.

        [...]

        The reason I’m against impeachment is that House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler has made clear that he will use it to focus on the disastrous and counterproductive unproven and unprovable claims of Russiagate rather than on the dozens of indisputable public acts through which Trump has committed open and acknowledged (and in some cases acknowledged by Nadler) impeachable offenses.

        Yes, yes, yes, someone in Russia may have bought an infinitesimally small amount of very weird advertisements on Facebook.

        Yes, of course, Trump has shady business dealings in Russia as in every other part of the earth.

        Yes, Trump has obstructed justice and refused to comply with subpoenas in connection with Russiagate-ish things.

        But a Russiagate impeachment is good for Trump and bad for humanity.

      • Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?

        Britain’s hard-right Tory Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (BoJo the Racist Clown), recently told US Vice President, Mike Pence, that Labour’s genuinely left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is “a gigantic chlorinated chicken.” The official Tory Twitter account even featured a Photoshopped image of Corbyn wearing a chicken costume, making the joke (which doesn’t even work) that the Tories have found a bigger chicken than KFC. (KFC is a corporation, not a chicken.) KFC tweeted negatively in response. The person who took the original photo tweeted (later deleted) that his image was being used without license; the word “Tory” comes from Gaelic for outlaw. Tories and ex-Tories, including Alistair Burt (co-convenor of the political wing of the anti-Assad terrorists who wrecked Syria) and former chair, Sayeeda Warsi, who four-times over the last few years called for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia, tweeted or stated in response to the official chicken tweet that the Tory party should stop such puerility because it is better than this. No it is not.

      • The Unprincipled – and Potentially Racist – Lib Dems

        One might hope the role of the monarchy in the prorogation plot, and then Theresa May’s cronies getting honours in her resignation list, might do enough to undermine public confidence in some of the systems that define the British establishment. But the honours list will shortly be further devalued by political muck as Jo Swinson’s office is proffering peerages and knighthoods in the dissolution honours to candidates and their constituency chairmen in winnable seats, if they are willing to make way for Blairite entryists like Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger.

      • ABC Debate Lowlights

        Only three climate questions were asked, by Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. The first, a query to vegan candidate Cory Booker about whether “more Americans [should] follow your diet,” was not even a policy question.

      • Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left

        The neoliberal revolution that has been underway since the mid-1970s fundamentally reoriented American governance toward the interests of capital. While the distance between government and the so-called private sector was never that great, all pretense that government served the broader public interest was cast aside in favor of state-corporatism. This wasn’t simply a matter of privatizing the public realm— it overlaid a capitalist rationale on all public undertakings.

      • Report on Election Security Gains Attention, and a Sharp Rebuke

        In July, election officials across the country received a mass email from NormShield, a Virginia-based cybersecurity company few had heard of.

        The company informed the officials it was about to publicly release the results of a “risk scorecard” it had generated assessing vulnerabilities in their internet-facing election systems. States could request their scorecards in advance, the company said, and join what it termed “a joint marketing and public service project.”

      • It’s Time to Talk About Our Broken Democracy. Will Tonight’s Democratic Debate Moderators Step Up?

        Amanda Litman of Run for Something wants to know if the presidential candidates will support introducing ranked choice voting in federal elections, and also if they will commit to pursuing full congressional representation for the 4 million Americans — a total almost equal to our six smallest states—who live in territories without a voting member of Congress.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook removed doctors’ fact-check of false anti-abortion video because Ted Cruz complained

        Three doctors authored a fact-check for Health Feedback, an organization that seeks to debunk misleading medical coverage. The fact-check deemed the video “inaccurate,” noting that “certain medical conditions such as placenta previa and HELLP syndrome can make abortion a necessary medical procedure in order to prevent the mother’s death.”

      • Google pays 700,000-ruble fine for refusing to filter search results according to Russian demands

        Google has paid a 700,000-ruble ($11,000) fine in Russia, where the federal censor penalized the tech company for refusing to block all content banned by Russian officials. According to Roskomnadzor, Google only selectively filters search results, and roughly a third of the hyperlinks blacklisted in Russia are still available to the search engine’s users. 

      • Twitter Stands Up For Devin Nunes’ Parody Accounts: Won’t Reveal Who’s Behind Them

        A couple weeks ago, we noted that the judge in Virginia presiding over Devin Nunes’ bullshit censorial lawsuit against Twitter, some parody Twitter accounts, and political strategist Liz Mair, had demanded that Twitter reveal to the judge who was behind the two parody accounts (for “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom.”) As we pointed out at the time, this request was highly unusual. Yes, the judge was in the process of determining if the case did not belong in Virginia, so he wanted to know if the people behind the accounts were based in Virginia, but there are ways to do that that protect the anonymity of the account holders (anonymity being a 1st Amendment right). Specifically, he could have just asked whether or not the account holders appeared to be based in Virginia.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Looks Like Israel Was Caught Spying on Capitol Hill Cell Phones and Trump Was Fine With It

        Daniel Lipmann at Politico dropped the bombshell that mysterious electronic spying devices placed throughout Washington, D.C. and close to the White House and the Capitol were traced by the FBI to Israel.

      • Victory! Individuals Can Force Government to Purge Records of Their First Amendment Activity

        The FBI must delete its memo documenting a journalist’s First Amendment activities, a federal appellate court ruled this week in a decision that vindicates the right to be free from government surveillance.

        In Garris v. FBI, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the FBI to expunge a 2004 memo it created that documented the political expression of news website www.antiwar.com and two journalists who founded and ran it. The Ninth Circuit required the FBI to destroy the record because it violated the Privacy Act of 1974, a federal law that includes a provision prohibiting federal agencies from maintaining records on individuals that document their First Amendment activity.

      • Facebook Must Better Limit Its Face Surveillance

        Last week, Facebook started sending a small portion of its users a new notification about its face surveillance program, which concludes with two important buttons: “keep off” and “turn on.” This is a step in the right direction: for these users, the default will be no face surveillance, unless the user gives their affirmative opt-in consent.

        But as EFF recently explained, Facebook will not provide this privacy-protective default to billions of its current users, and it is unclear whether the company will provide it to its new users. Facebook should not subject any of its current or new users to face surveillance, absent their informed opt-in consent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Spanish Reporter Detained for Weeks Without Charge, Deported From Iraqi Kurdistan

        On August 8, in the Nahla Valley, in northwestern Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish Asayish security forces arrested Barber, a freelance reporter and photographer who contributes regularly to Spanish outlets including Publico and El Mundo, and detained him until September 4, according to the journalist, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app, and news reports.

        Authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan did not file any charges against Barber and barred him from contacting anyone during his detention, including a lawyer, he told CPJ. He was deported to Egypt on September 8 and returned to Spain on September 9, he said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer

        On December 2, 2016, a fire swept through a living and workspace in Oakland, California. Thirty-six people died, many of them attending a late night party in a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship.” Investigators never determined the cause of the fire, but the Alameda County District Attorney charged “master tenant” Derick Almena and his assistant, Max Harris, with 36 counts of involuntarily manslaughter. The DA did not bring charges against the “acting landlord,” Eva Ng, or against her mother, Chor Ng, and her brother, Kai Ng, who together own the building.

      • ‘Justice is Indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb Should Be Our Wake-up Call

        The death of Israa Ghrayeb has ignited furious reactions regarding the so-called ‘honor-killings’ in Palestine and throughout the Arab world.

      • Resisting a World That Privileges Whiteness—While We Still Can

        “My Time Among the Whites: Notes From an Unfinished Education”

      • Me First and the Loss of Compassion

        America stands at a crossroads today. Terrorism and nuclear proliferation, immigration, climate change or the growing gap between rich and poor reveal policy priorities that increasingly segregate society. Americans have been taking their divisions to the streets. Voicing opinion as part of the political process or outside of it are signs of a healthy democracy. However, more and more, political parties and interest groups promote their goals with the sole purpose of winning without any real interest in compromise, let alone collaboration. As we are losing interest in and eventually the ability to compromise, we are losing the very essence of our democracy.

      • The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?

        A 2017 U.S. government report, “SUPREME COURT DECISIONS OVERRULED BY SUBSEQUENT DECISION,” notes, “while the Supreme Court sometimes expressly overrules a prior decision, in other instances the overruling must be deduced from the principles of related cases.” The report identifies 237 Court decision that have been either overturned or revised.

      • ‘From cultural capital to gangland’ An election monitor explains how chaos in St. Petersburg has led to mass fraud

        Days after election day, the results in St. Petersburg still haven’t been announced. In precincts where opposition candidates apparently won, election officials are busy with recounts that have handed opposition seats to candidates from United Russia, the country’s ruling political party. To learn more about this chaos, Meduza spoke to the “Golos” election monitoring group’s local coordinator in St. Petersburg, Natalia Menkova, who says her beloved city has succumbed to “gangland” rule. 

      • High-Level DOJ Official Latest Gov’t Employee To Be Caught Watching Porn While On The Clock

        It’s good to know government employees are hard at work. (This statement mainly applies to male employees.)

      • Justice Department Will Fund More Prosecutors, Jails and Cops in Rural Alaska

        The U.S. Department of Justice is adding federal prosecutors to pursue cases in remote Alaska towns and villages where U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr recently declared a public safety emergency.

        After visiting Alaska and meeting with Alaska Native leaders, Barr declared the problem to be a national emergency, promising $10.5 million in immediate relief. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder in Anchorage announced new details on how the money will be spent, as well as related efforts by federal agencies and the state of Alaska.

      • Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns

        For 50 years the environmental movement has depended on laws and regulations from the 1970’s enforced by lawyers and judges to achieve its goals. But since Trump’s election, the regulations, processes, courtesies, assumptions and norms undergirding America’s approach to the environment have been systematically discarded, reversed and dismantled. Accordingly, grassroots organizing will have to evolve and play a larger role in the future.

      • Homage to the Tabloids

        Are you ready for some football?  Big story in the LA Times this week: “Will the NFL allow players to use marijuana? League wants Science to determine drug policy. ” It should come as no surprise that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell  is taking refuge behind “More Research is Needed.”

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Judge Recommends to Deny Summary Judgment Against Tor Exit Node Operator in Piracy Case

          A long running piracy lawsuit between a piracy-accused Tor Exit Node operator and the makers of the Oscar-winning movie Dallas Buyers Club has yet to see a breakthrough. A Magistrate Judge from a federal court in Oregon recommends to deny motions for summary judgment filed from both sides. This means that a jury may eventually have the final say.

        • Plex is a Pirate’s Dream But Could Also Build Bridges to Legal Content

          Popular media server Plex is an entirely legal tool to arrange movies, TV shows and other content and present them in a Netflix-beating interface. Some have described Plex as a pirate’s dream, especially when its augmented with little-known third-party ‘pirate’ services. But Plex also has grand plans that could help to build bridges between content pirates and media companies that might otherwise prove impossible.

        • Manga Publishers Sue Pirate Site “Hoshinoromi” in New York Court

          Four of the largest manga publishers have sued ‘pirate’ site Hoshinoromi in a New York federal court. The Japanese companies accuse the site of blatant copyright infringement and request damages. According to the publishers, Cloudflare is helping the site’s operators to conceal their identities.

Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google at 9:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those

DUE TO lack of time we probably won’t (and can’t) keep these “Openwashing Reports” a daily feature but merely weekly, as originally intended. Moreover, once we cover a particular theme or a strand of openwashing we’ll try to move on to the next and merely ‘shelve’ new examples in our Daily Links under “openwashing” (there’s one big batch coming later today). We don’t want to sound too repetitive (with the arguments, not the pertinent new examples), so this series will have a special nature with a certain uniqueness. Today’s “Openwashing Report” is about ONF; it’s the turn of telecoms, based on the past week’s news (there was an event). It’s a pattern we have observed for over a decade and it’s usually the same ‘news’ sites that are the main culprits; we know who funds these (some are transparent about it). They would have us believe that every large telecom company is now “Open”. This is the art of marketing by openwashing…

“They would have us believe that every large telecom company is now “Open”. This is the art of marketing by openwashing…”Disguising ‘interop’ (somewhat of a buzzword) and shims/standards as “open” is another form of openwashing; here’s a new article entitled “How network standards and open source organizations differ” (there’s some fragmentation among these organisations).

“Both open source and network standards organizations want to develop the next-generation network,” it says. “Yet their methods differ, and they can benefit different types of organizations.”

“The Linux Foundation makes Orwell proud by painting surveillance — the opposite of privacy — as a matter of confidentiality!”What’s common to all of them is the nature of members. They relay or transmit a lot of traffic, lots of information of lots of different people. They snoop, they intercept, they analyse and they inform. They’re informants of militaries, governments or — as they prefer for people to think — “advertisers”. The openwashing pattern to watch out for here is pretty simple: surveillance is being framed as “open” or “sharing” or “confidential”. Yes, confidential! The Linux Foundation makes Orwell proud by painting surveillance — the opposite of privacy — as a matter of confidentiality! That’s how deeply dishonest they are.

“They work like a tightly-knit family and it mostly boils down to cost-cutting collaboration, sharing of code among the members.”This weekend we’ve decided to do an article about openwashing in the telecom sector mostly because a lot of new examples are available. It’s because of the event of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

How many of our readers are familiar with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF)? Open is a familiar word, sure. But how many people heard of ONF? How many people participated in some form? How much is actually known about it? We are guessing that few of our readers know much. ONF is actually rather secretive. It’ll like an onion one has to peel and it’s not a pleasant (or easy) experience.

They work like a tightly-knit family and it mostly boils down to cost-cutting collaboration, sharing of code among the members. Not freedom. Hardly even genuine openness.

Let’s look at some examples from last week’s news.

Comcast wants to be thought of as “Open” because it shares code with few other giant telecoms (we’ll use abbreviations for “telecommunications”). Watch this puff piece that says “Comcast sent its Senior VP of Next Generation Access Networks Elad Nafshi to the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) conference today to announce that the service provider has rolled out some open source software as part of its Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout.”

The conference was used by Comcast to also issue paid nonsense. From the conference: “The ONF today announced that Comcast has reached production roll-out of the Trellis Open Source Network Fabric as part of Comcast’s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout.”

“Comcast wants to be thought of as “Open” because it shares code with few other giant telecoms (we’ll use abbreviations for “telecommunications”).”The Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) conference is more like a PR platform than a real, traditional conference which is open to all. It’s openwashing of surveillance infrastructures. You don’t get to tinker with the code, but wow! Oh yeah! “Open”…

Whatever.

Here’s another puff piece that says “Comcast today said it deployed Trellis, the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) open source SDN fabric, in “multiple markets.””

SDxCentral is a ‘tool’ of the Linux Foundation, VMware etc. Those sites are deeply corrupt. They run or ‘operate’ on the cash of companies they cover. So in effect they’re like peripheral PR agencies. Check out their internal blog; it’s nauseating. Imagine the BBC or CNN having a section in which they invite corporations to become “partners” with their own (dedicated) ‘news’ sections, fused together with so-called original ‘news’ (or ‘content’)…

“SDxCentral is a ‘tool’ of the Linux Foundation, VMware etc. Those sites are deeply corrupt. They run or ‘operate’ on the cash of companies they cover. So in effect they’re like peripheral PR agencies.”More openwashing by SDxCentral (PR for the Linux Foundation and various other “sponsors”) can be found here. This one bears the headline “AT&T’s Fuetsch Touts Trellis Deployed in Tier-1 Network” (AT&T uses the above to spy on millions if not billions of people, but let’s celebrate because something is “Open”).

Then there was also Edgecore. This is collaboration among giants. It’s good to collaborate, but it is not about freedom; it’s just a cost-cutting exercise. Watch this press release [1, 2] and accompanying puff piece for ONF: “Taiwan-based Edgecore is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Accton Technology. Historically, Edgecore built boxes that the incumbent telecom vendors, such as Cisco and Ericsson, would buy. These vendors would then re-label the boxes and sell them to their own customers. “With the movement to open source, some of these vendors that used to be in the background are becoming more visible,” said Timon Sloane, VP of marketing with the ONF.”

“This is collaboration among giants. It’s good to collaborate, but it is not about freedom; it’s just a cost-cutting exercise.”Look at this surveillance giants galore [1, 2]. They shower themselves using openwashing, with the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) help.

TechDirt published an article under a week ago about how the telecom giants try really hard to distract us with “Big Tech”, blaming the likes of GAFAM as if they’re the sole culprits and privacy violators. In reality, both telecoms and GAFAM are enemies of everybody’s privacy. Google, for example, wants a monopoly on access to your data, i.e. it wants to infringe your privacy and for no other company to do the same (hence “security”). From exclusivity come higher pricing opportunities. You are the product. Remember that! To ISPs the customers have increasingly become just “products” to be “informed on” (e.g. to governments and advertisers).

This past week, for the third week in a row, Google was still googlebombing the word “privacy” to make it seem like it fights for it, not against it, plus openwashing on the side. We saw dozens of examples early in the month and it isn’t stopping. Examples now include [1, 2].

Also get a load of this from Appuals (“Google Talks About The Importance Of Open Source And Open Data In A Recent Blog Post”). A proprietary software company talks about the importance of what it barely does. Google’s openwashing is nothing too new or unique. How many core, important google things are Open Source in their entirety? Same question for Microsoft…

“This past week, for the third week in a row, Google was still googlebombing the word “privacy” to make it seem like it fights for it, not against it, plus openwashing on the side.”Is Google Search Open Source? How about Apps (office suite, Gmail etc.)? Android as in AOSP is “open” mostly for compliance reasons (they make use of many external projects, including Linux). The same goes for Chromium…

Almost nothing is really “open”. Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) is an extension of the marketing strategy, something along the lines of “don’t be evil…” (a motto that Google has already abandoned officially)

Going back to the main subject at hand, an openwashing consortium of surveillance giants totally ‘orchestrated’ the media this past week. Here’s a puff piece entitled “ONF works on an open source evolved packet core” (who other than giant telecoms has contributed to this?) and to quote:

The original 3GPP evolved packet core was not CUPS compliant, said Guru Parulkar, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Control User Plane Separation (CUPS) of evolved packet core (EPC) nodes provides for the separation of functionality in the S-gateway, P-gateway and MME.

Guess who makes all the commits.

Here’s another new press release (from that same event):

The ONF today announced that the Stratum™ project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF’s next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

Based on this press release there has been fluff:

Stratum is a silicon-independent platform designed to let network operators easily integrate new devices from a wide range of vendors, expanding and upgrading their infrastructure in real time. It strictly defines the interface between switches and controllers as an unambiguous “contract,” avoiding proprietary silicon interfaces and software APIs that lock operators into one vendor’s hardware.

Another piece of fluff from the same site:

The ONF today announced that the Stratum project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF’s next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

How many companies is that even relevant to? Not many. Only the few which participate.

“How many companies is that even relevant to? Not many. Only the few which participate.”We don’t wish to come across as too cynical. If openashing is the wrong term by which to describe ONF, then we need to come up with another new word. It’s when companies come together to share code and the public can see the code. In the past they habitually did all this, but the public was shut out.

ONF is not a fraud but a vastly better thing than all telecoms having their own pool of proprietary software. ONF is a good thing in general, but it boils down to collaboration, not Open Source or Free software (they’re all, for the most part, against freedom because their surveillance facilitates oppression).

“Remember that Software Freedom includes privacy; the cheapening or departure from freedom (to “Open Source” or “Open” or “Collaboration”) is a sacrifice/compromise whose end goal (or ultimate objective) is to rationalise abuse. It’s about maintaining the status quo, i.e. not reforming anything except the marketing slant.”We’re still thinking what to call all this. It’s not limited to ONF and there are overlaps in the Linux Foundation, whose chief Jim Zemlin rejects Open Source (he uses a proprietary operating system with proprietary on it). We’ve meanwhile noticed that F5 is, perhaps as expected, leveraging NGINX (just Open Core basically) for openwashing purposes. F5 is spying on a lot of traffic, but it prefers to be seen as “Open”. Perhaps that was one of the main ‘perks’ of buying NGINX.

Remember that Software Freedom includes privacy; the cheapening or departure from freedom (to “Open Source” or “Open” or “Collaboration”) is a sacrifice/compromise whose end goal (or ultimate objective) is to rationalise abuse. It’s about maintaining the status quo, i.e. not reforming anything except the marketing slant.

‘Open Source’ You Cannot Run Without Renting or ‘Licensing’ Windows From Microsoft

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security, Vista 10, Windows at 8:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

“[Windows Vista DRM] seems a bit like breaking the legs of Olympic athletes and then rating them based on how fast they can hobble on crutches.“

Peter Gutmann

Summary: When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?

What good is “open source” that needs a back-doored, proprietary software (i.e. back doors cannot be removed) operating system with spying and DRM just to run it? We recently wrote about this kind of situation, offering examples from both Apple and Microsoft.

“And they say “soon open source” without specifying a licence or anything.”Here comes another new example from GHacks (lots of those lately; mostly from this site). “Sandboxie, a sandbox program for Microsoft’s Windows operating system, has been turned into a free application.” Freeware. And they say “soon open source” without specifying a licence or anything. Might as well turn out to be vapourware at the end…

Tabloid troll Catalin Cimpanu is already openwashing this proprietary software based on a promise from Sophos alone. Let’s rejoice “open source” that runs only on Windows. CBS and its tabloid ZDNet are once again proving to be Microsoft propaganda and this article comes from the person who constantly slanders Linux. Help Net Security said: “Sophos plans to open-source Sandboxie, a Windows utility that allows users to run apps in a sandbox. Until that happens, they’ve made the utility free.”

“When “open source” runs only on a proprietary platform with NSA back doors what is it really worth?”BetaNews — just like the above — put “open source” in the headline even though it’s only freeware. Great! And even though it’s Windows only; just like Steve Ballmer wanted…

When “open source” runs only on a proprietary platform with NSA back doors what is it really worth? Is it good for anything? Also, it’s not security; just illusion of it…

They claim that these applications improve security, but these applications only run on a platform with NSA back doors. Here’s another new example, this one of an “app” that only runs on iOS. “If you’re looking for an alternative for Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, or Authy, you may want to give Authenticator a chance,” it says. How does that improve security? The underlying operating system has well known back doors. The company that monopolised maintainer-ship works with the NSA and is in the PRISM spy programme. Ed Snowden’s leaks provided actual evidence and 2 years ago Wikileaks added more with Vault 7.

“Notice that all the above are security-oriented programs but not a single platform without NSA back doors is supported.”A similar example was covered 3 days ago by GHacks: “WinOTP Authenticator is an open-source alternative for WinAuth”

The “Win” means Windows; it means you lose security. You lose privacy. When “open source” runs only under proprietary software stacks with NSA back doors, such as Vista 10 (strictly in this case), a vendor can only pretend it offers security…

One of the virtues extolled by Free software proponents is superior security; well, how much do such claims hold when one must rent (license, temporarily) a bunch of dodgy binaries from NSA partners to run the said program/s? Notice that all the above are security-oriented programs but not a single platform without NSA back doors is supported.

All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Silence of the Lambs
Credit: The Silence of the Lambs (film)

Summary: All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor

THE MISGUIDED idea or the concept of Microsoft as “Open” has long been laughable. Just look at all their major products. Not even one is Free/Open Source software. Nothing. None.

When one can spend billions of dollars on PR, however, it is possible to interject all sorts of lies into the media, even ridiculous statements such as "Microsoft loves Linux"

“As far as Linux development goes, Microsoft is already pretty deep inside; it even has access to highly confidential mailing lists.”Persistence has paid off. Lies can eventually triumph. Patience…

Microsoft would love to control Linux. It’s already getting there, little by little (the latest step is imposing Microsoft’s proprietary file systems on Linux [1, 2]).

As far as Linux development goes, Microsoft is already pretty deep inside; it even has access to highly confidential mailing lists.

Next step? Buy all the seats or most of them. Take control. Make Linux all about Microsoft. Control Linux. Censor or remove code/people who aren’t liked by Microsoft (for purely commercial reasons).

The other day we covered another step in this gradual ‘coup’. This Apple PR(opaganda) site gets it wrong; Microsoft just basically bought a seat. Some high-profile media wrote shallow articles about it (like the press releases of the Linux Foundation) and a reader sent us what we initially cited, if only just to highlight this bit:

Microsoft and Apple have both joined the Academy Software Foundation, a group designed to promote the use of open source in Hollywood. Both companies joined the foundation at the premier membership level, which helps it to surpass $1 million in annual funding.

Slush funds. When Microsoft takes (or buys) the key seats in committees/panels the projects are compromised and end up outsourced to proprietary software such as GitHub and Slack (security suicide). Another new example, reposted days ago as a press release: “Haivision and Microsoft Host SRT Sunday Featuring Panel Discussions and SRT Open Source Showcase [...] Haivision freely engages the community on Github and a dedicated Slack channel that is open to all SRT Alliance members.”

“Microsoft is nowadays in the censorship and surveillance business. It tries to monopolise this.”So it is controlled by the host. They should delete GitHub and Slack if they’re serious about Open Source. Meanwhile, as another new example, Stripe outsources the company’s operations to Microsoft and its censorship platform, which is proprietary software. To quote: “The product in question is called Stripe Connect Express, and it helps platforms like Spotify and Medium sign up new sellers to their platforms. To use those examples: Connect Express has helped Spotify quickly sign up new independent artists to get paid per play of their music, and Medium uses it to pay out writers for their slice of paywall revenue.”

Microsoft does not help developers be paid; it’s defunding them based on broad, racist generalisations. When you put your code in Microsoft’s GitHub you facilitate systematic racism by the most aggressive regimes and help imperialism. That’s antithetical to Software Freedom; it’s in violation of the first essential freedom.

Microsoft is a censorship enforcer now. It censors Open Source and it fights Free software that the US government does not like. Even the Microsoft-friendly ZDNet has just admitted it:

Duncan Worrell, a GitHub user from the UK, this month had his financial services company’s private repository blocked because GitHub determined that it was subject to US trade controls.

GitHub didn’t explain how it determined that the UK company should be restricted. However, Worrell suspected it was because “a sub-contractor of a sub-contractor currently resident in Ukraine, accessed our GitHub repo while visiting family in Crimea”.

The only communication he received from GitHub was that: “Due to US trade controls law restrictions, paid GitHub organization services have been restricted.”

Also see the article that a reader sent us, below [1] (we’re already posted a bunch of reports about this in our Daily Links, but not this report). Microsoft is nowadays in the censorship and surveillance business. It tries to monopolise this.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Ninth Circuit Says LinkedIn Wrongly Blocked HiQ’s Scraping Efforts

    Fans of scraping cases may rejoice. The Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited opinion in the hiQ v. LinkedIn case (it was argued in March 2018, so the opinion took about 18 months). It rules in favor of hiQ.

    hiQ was a company that, apparently with LinkedIn’s authorization, accessed data from public LinkedIn profiles and built products on this data. After years of this practice, LinkedIn sent hiQ a cease and desist letter that hiQ was no longer authorized to access LinkedIn user data, so any ongoing access would violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other laws. hiQ preemptively sought a preliminary injunction. The district court granted the injunction and ordered LinkedIn to allow hiQ to access the data in question during the pendency of the lawsuit. It was a sweeping ruling that many thought would be unlikely to survive challenge on appeal. The Ninth Circuit upheld the ruling.

09.14.19

The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From a brochure of the Linux Foundation (selling press coverage and even "tweets"):

Linux Foundation media services

Summary: The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software

LINUX.COM is practically dead. The Linux Foundation killed it off as a news source. Linux Journal is also gone, but at least the site is still online (at least for now). It is getting harder and harder to find proper journalism about GNU/Linux (a rarity these days) and Microsoft is happy to fill the gap by Googlebombing "Linux" with Vista 10 'spam' — something to which the Linux Foundation actively contributes.

“It’s hardly surprising that we’re all being bombarded with lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”…”Hours ago Slashdot promoted VMware/Linux Foundation puff pieces from a Linux Foundation-sponsored ‘news’ site. This is the kind of problem we wrote about a few days ago. The same large corporations that control today’s Linux Foundation also control the story/narrative of “Linux”. So in effect there has been a corporate coup not just in the Linux Foundation but also media that covers “Linux”. It’s hardly surprising that we’re all being bombarded with lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”; yesterday we showed how Microsoft had approached writers and liaised with bloggers in order to dish out these lies. They’re basically trolling us all for a quick buck.

Winux Foundation

Alexandre Oliva moments ago: “anyone seen recent articles critical of Richard Stallman, father of open source and main author of linux, as they used to write before they all suddenly came across free software, and some even about gnu some 48 hours ago?”

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