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Patent Extremism is Not Normal and Not an Innocent Mindset

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Europe’s EPO is run by fanatics

Theories of extremism
Reference: Theories of extremism

Summary: Reflection upon the sad state of the European patent system and how media turns a blind eye to it; worldwide, in general, the discussion about patents is being warped by the litigation giants, whose sole goal is to maximise the number of lawsuits/shakedowns (personal gain)

SITES like Watchtroll are no longer cited here; not even in Daily Links. We refuse to link or send traffic to lies; it’s counterproductive. We found some new examples of such lies just before the weekend. They’s still smearing judges and courts, notably the Federal Circuit. They tried to diminish the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), but the Supreme Courts (SCOTUS) defended it, whereupon some in Watchtroll began attacking SCOTUS as well (or pertinent Justices). I’ve never seen anything like this before. I’ve written lots of things about GNU/Linux since I was about 20 and there’s no ‘Microsoft equivalent’ of Watchtroll. It’s a really, really malicious site. The way they speak of judges is, to our understanding or by our fair interpretation, a form of extremism akin to “religion” (patentism). Any time a judge rules in a way they do not favour — as happens more often these days — that makes the judge an “infidel,” unlike they, the “true believers…”

“The same is true for the autocrats from Munich, who half a decade ago decided to block Techrights not because it told lies but because it told the truth, backed by hard and indisputable evidence (often leaked documents).”Generally speaking, the litigation industry can be exceptionally malicious; it’s defending malicious patent trolls and demonising actual scientists who create something, dubbing them “efficient infringers” etc. (even the CCIA complained about this misguided term a few days ago).

To the trolls’ lobby, no doubt, sites like Techrights are “malicious”; they call us all sorts of names, but that lacks substance to rest on. Their argument boils down to, “they criticise what we do, hence bad!”

The same is true for the autocrats from Munich, who half a decade ago decided to block Techrights not because it told lies but because it told the truth, backed by hard and indisputable evidence (often leaked documents).

“Those are illegal patents. And they muzzle, sometimes by sending out lawyers in order to threaten, those who expose the illegal acts.”Don’t forget former EU official António Campinos, who Battistelli put in charge of the European Patent Office (EPO) to continue lots of abuses, censorship (including of Techrights) and promotion of software patents in Europe, not to mention patents on life and nature. Those are illegal patents. And they muzzle, sometimes by sending out lawyers in order to threaten, those who expose the illegal acts.

The EPO’s repeated efforts to intimidate Techrights were certainly counterproductive as they motivated us to dig even deeper. Some sites, such as IP Kat, ran away with their tail between their legs when similar tactics were attempted on them. This makes not only the EPO look awful; it makes the EU look bad (there’s a growing connection). I’m pro-EU, so it saddens me even more.

“This makes not only the EPO look awful; it makes the EU look bad (there’s a growing connection). I’m pro-EU, so it saddens me even more.”Readers should be very concerned that European media isn’t covering EPO scandals; it doesn’t do that anymore. The EPO threatened and bribed major publishers and we know at whose expense (the bribes and the legal bills). Is this something we the European people should tolerate? I think not. The EPO scandals helped highlight abuses at various other bodies and even the media.

“Cristiano Ronaldo sick of fame” (an actual news headline right now) is somehow a hot story. But not the Portuguese autocrat of EPO — the one who keeps breaking the rules and sheltering corruption. Apparently the media isn’t interested in covering corruption, so instead it writes some nonsense about a footballer (they know what people click more on). It’s rather frustrating. I’ve nothing against football (I went to a match with my mother yesterday, seeing Manchester City’s historic 8-0 victory), but what happens at the EPO is a lot more important. Billions of euros are at stake as well as the future of Europe.

One EPO insider has just retweeted: “Justice in #Portugal! A number of high profile individuals investigated for #corruption, #taxevasion & #moneylaundering, including ex PM Sócrates, ex #BES CEO Salgado, acting judge Rangel, remain free. While @RuiPinto_FL, the #whistleblower of #footballleaks, remains in jail.”

Maybe the international media should focus on that instead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Or perhaps it should write about illegal patents on plants and seeds. It’s happening right now in Europe and almost nobody talks about it. Mainstream media isn’t highlighting the absurdity of it!

“Billions of euros are at stake as well as the future of Europe.”We saw a bunch of articles about it, but they always come from small sites like [1, 2]. Shouldn’t the fact that it’s a major European debate rationalise greater and broader media coverage? Does only FIFA (football) get the limelight when there’s a scandal? What this episode helps show is a debased and corrupt EPO that disregards our elected officials. This is also an EU issue because of the prospects — however low — of an EU-wide enforcement framework.

Two days ago Brian Cordery of Bristows (source of endless UPC nonsense) relayed — through Sarah Blair — the lie that “UKIPO’s position [is] that the UPC would be benefit from the UK’s participation.”

No. It cannot even start without the UK.

Here’s the full paragraph: “The UK ratified the Unified Patents Court (“UPC”) and continues to give its full support to it. It is the UKIPO’s position that the UPC would be benefit from the UK’s participation. The UPC is dependent on Germany’s ratification which it is currently pending.” (pending rejection)

Well, “UK ratified” as in some minister ratified. One of many who had this role in recent years, including “former UK IP minister Jo Johnson” as Team UPC has just put it (AIPPI’s event is already stacked with our unelected Pry Minister’s family).

“This is also an EU issue because of the prospects — however low — of an EU-wide enforcement framework.”It’s a real shame that Techrights is one of the last remaining sites to cover EPO abuses. We’re still watching these things closely (as close as possible) and everything we see suggests no improvement at all. Global Legal Chronicle has just mentioned this opposition to potentially bogus European Patents. “Jones Day,” it said, “is representing The Samvardhana Motherson Group and its subsidiaries in bringing opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (“EPO”) and German Patent and Trademark Office (“GPTO”) relating to camera image processing technologies for drive assistance systems, including augmented reality features and gesture based human machine interfaces.”

This is a very lengthy and potentially expensive process. It’s happening or becoming necessary because the EPO nowadays grants patents far too quickly, in big numbers. In Twitter the EPO lies about such patents, equating them with “property” (which they're not) as if to deny these grants would be “theft”. Here’s the latest example of IP (“Aye Pee”) propaganda, conflating patents with something that does not even exist! The EPO nowadays enjoys the company of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu, who uses the same propaganda terms and buzzwords. He has just spoken to Team UPC for an interview in which he sides with bribed politicians looking to help the litigation ‘industry’ (bribery source) he came from; he also uses the AI (“HEY HI”) buzzword as a synonym for many software patents. No doubt Iancu is the very “swamp” material corrupt Trump said he would “drain”; did anyone seriously believe Trump?

“It’s worth noting that Coons also attempted to do this in 2017 and 2018, i.e. under Trump (who constantly distracts the media from such major scandals by manufacturing his own).”“I applaud members of Congress, particularly Senators Tillis and Coons, for taking on this issue,” Andrei Iancu is quoted as saying, “referring to the work on possible legislation to amend Section 101 of the US Patent Act,” according to the author.

Does this sound familiar? It’s worth noting that Coons also attempted to do this in 2017 and 2018, i.e. under Trump (who constantly distracts the media from such major scandals by manufacturing his own).

Links 22/9/2019: LLVM 9.0.0 and FreeBSD 12.1 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • When was the last time you used Windows?

        Are friends and family constantly asking you to troubleshoot issues with their Windows or Mac device? Being the resident support technician in your home is an important job. Like any responsible technology steward, you are going to try your best to help out. However, it might be quite a challenge if it has been a while since you last used such an operating system.

        How long has it been since you last used Windows? Before using Linux, were you primarily a Mac user? Or, are you using Windows or Mac now either at home or work?

        Take our poll by selecting the Windows version you last remember using. If the term, “windows” only reminds you of those glass panels that let sunlight inside, you are probably a long-time Linux user.

        Leave us a comment and share your story about how you started using Linux.

      • Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop, a follow-up

        I recently detailed my attempts to install Linux as an alternative boot an SD card in a new Dell laptop. Those attempts failed. See Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop for the details.

        Microsoft has continued in their usual way and notified me last week that the current feature update of Windows on that laptop would soon be unsupported and urged me to update to the latest version.

        However, that proved impossible. In spite of removing most of the software installed on the machine, Windows was incapable of cleaning up enough disk space to allow the installation of Windows 10 version 1903 to proceed. The installed 32GB eMMC drive simply is no longer large enough to allow the updates to install. This was true even when I manually downloaded the update and tried to install from an external drive.

        It is remotely possible wiping the hard drive and performing a clean install might have worked, but the prospect of being forced to do so every year was not appealing. So being forced to choose between running an out of date version of Windows or wiping the hard drive and installing Linux, I chose to try the latter.

    • Server

      • The use of open source software in DevOps has become strategic for organizations of all sizes

        A higher percentage of top performing teams in enterprise organizations are using open source software, according to a survey conducted by DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) and Google Cloud. Additionally, the proportion of Elite performers (highest performing teams) nearly tripled from last year, showing that DevOps capabilities are driving performance.

      • Kubernetes Project Releases Version 1.16

        SUSE, and the SUSE CaaS Platform team in particular, congratulates the Kubernetes Project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation on the release of Kubernetes 1.16.
        The most major change in this release is actually a feature that is already in widespread use. Custom Resource Definitions (CRD) are a major foundation of Kubernetes extensibility and are used by many features and projects; however, they have been in beta since version 1.7, over two years ago. They finally graduate to general availability (GA) and stable status in this release, meaning that anyone using the current version of the feature and its API can expect compatibility for any future 1.x release as well as any 2.x release yet to come.

      • Kubernetes 1.16 Offers New Promise for IPv6 Cloud Native Deployments

        Kubernetes, for the un-initiated is a container orchestration platform that is deployed and supported in all the major public cloud provides and is also widely used on-premises as well. Every new Kubernetes update has features that are in alpha, beta and those that have reached general availability. In the 1.16 update, for networking professionals there is one alpha feature that stands above all others : IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack.

        “If you enable IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack networking for your Kubernetes cluster, the cluster will support the simultaneous assignment of both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses,” the Kubernetes feature documentationstates.

        The dual stack will support both Kubernetes Pods, which represent a set of running containers; as well as Kubernetes Services, which provide a way to abstract an application running on a set of Pods as a network service. The Kubernetes Enhancement Proposal (KEP) that defines the dual-stack feature, notes that Kubernetes has provides support for IPv6-only clusters as alpha features since the Kubernetes 1.9release which debuted in December 2017.

      • No, Kubernetes is Not the New OpenStack, Says Canonical

        It’s easy to think of Kubernetes as the great disruptor of earlier generations of cloud-native platforms, such as OpenStack. But that view would be just as wrong as assuming that Kubernetes and containers have totally killed off old-school virtual machines. That’s what Stephan Fabel of Canonical had to say in an interview about the past, present and future of Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies within the enterprise.


        As a result of these differences, Fabel says OpenStack and Kubernetes each serve distinct types of workloads. For example, OpenStack might appeal to telcos, which are “more prone to adopting configuration management type approaches, where workloads have to be stateful and long-running.” Kubernetes, meanwhile, is better-suited for workloads that are deployed as REST- or HTTP-based services.

        To help prove his point about the continued relevance of OpenStack, Fabel says Canonical is on track to witness “the most commercial activity in OpenStack” ever in the coming quarter, with business coming from a variety of verticals. Clearly, Fabel says, OpenStack remains a go-to solution for enterprises of many different stripes.

      • Introducing Maesh: A Service Mesh for Kubernetes

        On September 4th, 2019, Containous, a cloud infrastructure software provider, released Maesh, an open-source service mesh written in Golang and built on top of the cloud native edge router Traefik. Maesh promises to provide a lightweight service mesh solution that is easy to get started with and to roll out across a microservice application.

      • IBM

        • OpenShift Commons Gathering in Milan 2019 – Recap [Slides]

          On September 18th, 2019, the first OpenShift Commons Gathering Milan brought together over 300 experts to discuss container technologies, operators, the operator framework and the open source software projects that support the OpenShift ecosystem. This was the first OpenShift Commons Gathering to take place in Italy.

          The standing room only event hosted 11 talks in a whirlwind day of discussions. Of particular interest to the community was Christian Glombek’s presentation updating the status and roadmap for OKD4 and CoreOS.

          Highlights from the Gathering induled an OpenShift 4 Roadmap Update, customer stories from Amadeus, the leading travel technology company, and local stories from Poste Italiane and SIA S.p.A. In addition to the technical updates and customer talks, there was plenty of time to network during the breaks and enjoy the famous Italian coffee.

        • Powering the hybrid cloud on next-generation hardware: Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM System Z and LinuxONE

          For more than five years we have been driving our technology strategy around the idea that the future of enterprise IT does not reside solely in an enterprise datacenter or in the public cloud. Instead the next wave of computing is built on a blend of these technologies and infrastructure: in short, the future is hybrid. The value of hybrid clouds comes from the choice it delivers, pairing the control of the corporate datacenter alongside the scale and flexibility of public clouds. We strongly feel, however, that the most valuable hybrid clouds are those that offer not only a choice of deployment type and location, but also a choice of the underlying architecture and the capacity to run on multiple public clouds.


          With RHEL available on Z15 and LinuxONE III, this helps pave the way for the rest of Red Hat’s hybrid cloud portfolio, including Red Hat OpenShift, to emerge on IBM enterprise platforms. We’re pleased to continue our work with IBM in bringing the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform to their next-generation systems.

        • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 Marks End of Short-Term Support

          Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 is the last release that will only be supported for a year, as the company moves to a new model to support the open-source cloud platform.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Going Linux #377 · Listener Feedback

        Our first giveaway. In this episode: hidden gems, Banshee abandoned, FreeOffice issues, back to Ubuntu MATE for accessibility, and NTP and hardware clock.

      • Test and Code: 88: Error Monitoring, Crash Reporting, Performance Monitoring – JD Trask

        Tools like error monitoring, crash reporting, and performance monitoring are tools to help you create a better user experience and are fast becoming crucial tools for web development and site reliability. But really what are they? And when do you need them?

        You’ve built a cool web app or service, and you want to make sure your customers have a great experience.

        You know I advocate for utilizing automated tests so you find bugs before your customers do. However, fast development lifecycles, and quickly reacting to customer needs is a good thing, and we all know that complete testing is not possible. That’s why I firmly believe that site monitoring tools like logging, crash reporting, performance monitoring, etc are awesome for maintaining and improving user experience.

        John-Daniel Trask, JD, the CEO of Raygun, agreed to come on the show and let me ask all my questions about this whole field.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.4 Adds Support For The FlySky FS-iA6B – A Receiver Popular With DIY Drones

        The input driver updates for the Linux 5.4 kernel include the addition of an interesting, budget-friendly RC receiver that can be used for home-built drones and other use-cases while now the driver allows the receiver when paired with a supported RC controller to serve as a traditional Linux joystick input.

        The input updates were sent in earlier this week and among the changes are allowing drivers to support more precise timestamps for better velocity tracking, improvements to the BU21013 touchpad driver, and other changes as outlined in the pull request.

      • F2FS Linux 5.4 Changes Sent In With Case-Insensitivity, Get/Set Label Support

        While most of the other Linux file-systems are seeing mostly mundane changes for the Linux 5.4 feature work, the F2FS activity is fairly notable.

        Most notably, F2FS now has case-folding/case-insensitive support. The F2FS case-insensitive support is based upon the recent addition to the EXT4 file-system and allows for per-directory case-insensitive file/folder look-ups. On a per-directory basis (such as for Wine and other use-cases), Unicode-based case-folding can be enabled if desiring this functionality. This F2FS support for Linux 5.4 case-folding includes a port of the recent EXT4 case-folding optimization to allow for faster look-ups.

      • Linux 5.4 Kernel Adds Driver For The Mysterious Pensando Ionic Network Hardware

        Little is publicly known about stealth networking startup Pensando Systems, which is founded by former Cisco executives. They’ve been ramping up efforts since early 2018 but to date their web-site hasn’t launched nor formally introduced any products, but they now have a networking driver in the mainline Linux kernel.

      • Linux 5.4 Prepares IBM POWER For The Ultravisor / Secure Virtual Machines

        The PowerPC/POWER architecture changes were sent in today for the ongoing Linux 5.4 merge window. This time around are some interesting POWER changes with work on their means of secure virtual machines.

        The Linux 5.4 kernel for POWER is bringing initial support for running on a system with an Ultravisor, which is IBM’s approach for code running underneath a hypervisor and used for protecting guests from attacks by the hypervisor. Similarly, Linux 5.4 brings support for building a kernel to run as a Secure Virtual Machine (SVM) — a guest running within an Ultravisor-ed environment.

      • Systemd-homed: Systemd Now Working To Improve Home Directory Handling

        Kicking off today in Berlin is the annual All Systems Go conference focused on systemd and other user-space components. Systemd lead developer Lennart Poettering presented on systemd-homed as a new component to systemd that is focused on improving home directory handling.

        Improving the Linux handling of user home directories is the next ambition for systemd. Among the goals are allowing more easily migratable home directories, ensuring all data for users is self-contained to the home directories, UID assignments being handled to the local system, unified user password and encryption key handling, better data encryption handling in general, and other modernization efforts.

      • Linux 5.3.1

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.3.1 kernel.

        All users of the 5.3 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.3.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.3.y

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


      • Linux 5.2.17
      • Linux 4.19.75
      • Linux 4.14.146
      • Linux 4.9.194
      • Linux 4.4.194
      • DM-Clone Target Added To Linux 5.4 For Efficient Remote Replication Of A Block Device

        Added to the device mapper (DM) code with the Linux 5.4 kernel is an interesting addition that benefits those wanting to carry out some interesting use-cases around remote replication of block devices.

        As explained in the original patch proposal for dm-clone, “dm-clone produces a one-to-one copy of an existing, read-only device (origin) into a writable device (clone): It presents a virtual block device which makes all data appear immediately, and redirects reads and writes accordingly. The main use case of dm-clone is to clone a potentially remote, high-latency, read-only, archival-type block device into a writable, fast, primary-type device for fast, low-latency I/O. The cloned device is visible/mountable immediately and the copy of the origin device to the clone device happens in the background, in parallel with user I/O.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • DXVK 1.4 Released With Updates Against Direct3D 11.4, Other Improvements

          In time for any weekend gaming is the release of DXVK 1.4 as the latest big update to this Direct3D 11 over Vulkan implementation to boost the D3D11 Windows gaming performance with the likes of Wine and Valve’s Steam Play (Proton).

          With DXVK 1.4 the Direct3D interfaces have been updated against D3D11.4, the latest D3D11 revision shipped by Windows 10 Build 1903. This update brings new API features but DXVK isn’t yet supporting some of the optional features like tiled resources and conservative rasterization.

        • Nouveau Finally Lands SPIR-V Support As Part Of OpenCL Push

          Going back to December 2017 we’ve been tracking the Red Hat led effort on improving Nouveau’s OpenCL compute support that involves adding NIR/SPIR-V support and improvements to the Clover Gallium3D state tracker. To much surprise, this morning the SPIR-V support for this open-source NVIDIA driver was merged for Mesa 19.3.

        • SHADERed 1.2 Shader Tester Adds Compute Shader Support

          SHADERed is a cross-platform utility designed for creating and testing HLSL and GLSL shaders. This week marked the version 1.2 release of this Windows/Linux program for helping to test and evaluate shaders.

    • Applications

      • Safe Eyes – protect your eyes from eye strain

        Many people who regularly use computers suffer from eye strain and fatigue. Looking at a monitor for a long time can strain your eyes or can make any other problems you are having with your eyes seem more apparent. There is also research to show that late-night exposure to bright lights can affect sleep quality. This can be mitigated by reducing blue-light exposure.

        Some monitors offer various eye care technologies including flicker-free technology, and an ultra-low blue light filter with different filter settings. But even if your display offers eye care technology and it’s well designed e.g. offering hotkeys that let you easily adjust filter settings. there’s still a good case to use a software solution as well. This is because the software typically offers more flexibility, such as the ability to automatically adjust the backlight and screen temperature based on the ambient brightness in your surroundings, or on a time schedule.

        There are lots of simple steps you can take to reduce eye strain and fatigue. These include adjusting the brightness, contrast settings, and text size displayed, as well as minimizing glare, and ensuring your room has proper lighting. Taking regular breaks is also very important. This is where Safe Eyes can help. It’s a clone of EyeElo, Windows proprietary software designed to protect your eyes.

      • PulseAudio 13.0 released with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD support

        Pulse Audio has received a significant update accompanying several enhancements, bug fixes, and other additions that are sure to improve the sounds of your system.

        Before we delve into its latest version, it only makes sense to introduce PulseAudio to our readers who are unfamiliar with it. As you would have guessed by its name, PulseAudio deals with the system sounds and allows the user to manage them better. Apart from that, the program also comes with some complex functionalities, like allowing the user to mix various sounds into one and transfer the audio to another speaker. You will find PulseAudio in most of the Linux distributions out there and mobile devices as well. Now that we’re done with its introduction let’s see what the new PulseAudio 13.0 has in store for us.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • A Total War Saga: TROY coming to macOS and Linux in 2020

        Feral Interactive today announced that A Total War Saga: TROY, the historical strategy game inspired by the Trojan war, will be released for macOS and Linux next year, shortly after the Windows release. Developed by Creative Assembly and published by SEGA for Windows PC, TROY is the third entry in the Total War Saga series of standalone games inspired by great turning points of history, along with THRONES OF BRITANNIA and FALL OF THE SAMURAI, also brought to macOS and Linux by Feral Interactive.

      • DXVK 1.4 released boosting this Vulkan layer to support D3D 11.4

        Developer Philip Rebohle has pushed out another major release of DXVK, the Vulkan to D3D layer used together in Wine and Steam Play.

        Boasting a new feature set that pumps up the available Direct3D support to 11.4. However, certain optional features are not currently supported like Tiled Resources, Conservative Rasterization and Rasterizer Ordered Views but they may be added if ever needed. This should fix a crashing issue with Plants vs Zombies – Battle for Neighborville, which requires at least D3D 11.3.

        Additionally, support for DXGI (Microsoft DirectX Graphics Infrastructure) was boosted up to version 1.5 which allows applications/games to check for HDR support but DXVK itself does not currently support HDR. Some games seem to need the interface for HDR to be there even if not used. You should also find the Rockstar Game Launcher working better with this update to DXVK, with new support for GDI interop with DXGI surfaces. Although the launcher does need some other Wine fixes due to a bug in Wine’s Direct2D support.

      • Zombie Night Terror | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play
      • Police Stories attempts to offer a different take on the top-down shooter genre

        Police Stories from Mighty Morgan and HypeTrain Digital is officially out now and after a very short delay the Linux version has also been released too.

        A slower, more tactical top-down shooter that isn’t all about going in loud? Certainly sounds interesting and it does look good. It released on the 19th with the Linux support appearing a day later. Early reports on it are good, with nearly 200 user reviews on Steam giving at a “Very Positive” rating overall so we might be onto a winner here.

      • How to Install FlightGear 2019.1.1 in Ubuntu 19.04/18.04

        FlightGear flight simulator 2019.1 was released almost two months ago. Not it’s finally made into PPA for Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04, Linux Mint 19.x and their derivatives.

        FlightGear 2019.1 contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bug-fixes. See the changelog for details.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: a metric avalanche of amazing things

          Get ready for a massive load of improvement! And it’s all pretty darn shiny too because in addition to a ton of work on apps, we polished up Plasma to be as smooth as a marble for the 5.17 beta version (numbered 5.16.90), which is now available. The final product is due to be released in about a month, and as you’ll see, KDE contributors have been hard at work making it as awesome as humanly possible! A few things have slipped until the Plasma 5.18 LTS release, but that’s okay because it means 3 more months to polish them up.

          Oh, one more thing before we begin: like Kate, Okular is now also available on the Microsoft store! This work is so important because Windows users who become accustomed to using free open source software on Windows are more easily able to switch to a fully FOSS platform, like a Linux distro running KDE Plasma.

        • [Kate] External Tools Plugin is Back

          Back in 2011, we decided to remove the External Tools plugin in Kate for the KDE 4.8 release, since it was unmaintained and we got more and more bugs that were not fixed. However, over the years, we got many requests (and complaints) to bring this plugin back to life, since it was very useful to start little helper scripts with just a shortcut, via the command line, or the menu.

          The good news is that for the KDE Applications 19.12 release, the External Tools plugin will be back! And it is much improved compared to the previous version.

        • KDE applications on Windows

          One of the new goals of KDE is to spread the use of the applications created by the KDE community. This doesn’t only include the use of them on Linux & other Unix-like operating systems, but Windows, too.

        • KItinerary Command Line Extractor

          The KItinerary data extraction engine recently got a command line interface, which can be pointed at any file KItinerary can consume (HTML, PDF, plain text, iCal, Apple Wallet passes, etc) and which then outputs JSON-LD according to the schema.org data model with the information that could be found in there. Adding this has been motivated by two separate goals: Increasing extractor robustness, and easing integration into 3rd party applications.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • NetworkManager Will Now Roam For WiFi Signals More Aggressively

          NetworkManager has shifted its threshold for a weak WiFi signal for when to begin searching for other WLAN networks. Up to now NetworkManager used a -80dBm threshold for when to roam for other network signals while now that has changed to find hopefully stronger network signals sooner.

        • Sébastien Wilmet: Back to University

          And to avoid stress/burnout, I try to no longer work the evenings and weekends, so it drastically limits my time that I’ll devote to GNOME.

    • Distributions

      • 5 Key Takeaways from Oracle OpenWorld 2019

        2. Autonomous Linux OS

        Oracle has extended the promise of the autonomous database to its flagship Linux operating system. The company claims that Oracle Autonomous Linux, along with the new Oracle OS Management Service, is the first and only autonomous operating environment that helps greatly reduce complexity and human error to deliver increased cost savings, security, and availability for customers.

        Autonomous Linux is based on Oracle Linux, an OS that’s binary-compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which allows Red Hat customers to easily port applications to Oracle Cloud.

        The new Linux OS from Oracle automates patching and upgrades even while the system is running. This automation reduces unnecessary and costly downtime to applications. Since it reduces human errors, it achieves higher availability and an increased system and application reliability.

        Oracle has also introduced Oracle OS Management Service, a highly available Oracle Cloud Infrastructure service that enables customers to automate server management.

      • New Releases

        • Lakka 2.3 with RetroArch 1.7.8

          After almost a year of hiatus, the team is proud to release Lakka 2.3, featuring new platforms, new cores, and of course RetroArch 1.7.8.

          As always, you can update through the Online Updater, or by visiting the download page of your platform here on the website.

        • Parrot 4.7 release notes

          We are proud to announce the release of Parrot 4.7, which represents an important step forward for our project.

        • Manjaro Linux 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya’ officially released, here are new features

          Just a week after Manjaro announced that they would soon be a company, they officially released their latest distro, Manjaro 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya,’ to the delight of Linux enthusiasts worldwide.

          Manjaro 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya’ was in development for six months, with an early controversy of whether the Manjaro team would replace FOSS office suite LibreOffice in favor of FreeOfficeX, which is proprietary.

          After much feedback from the Manjaro community, the Manjaro developers dropped the plan, or in other words made both the communities happy. With Juhraya, Manjaro users can choose between the two (or choose no Office Suite at all).

        • EndeavourOS 2019.09.15 Released and What’s New

          Bryan Poerwoatmodjo has announced the new release of EndeavourOS’s 2019.09.15.

          EndeavourOS is an Arch Linux based distribution with a pre-configured Xfce desktop.

          Arc-x-icons is a complete and updated version of the Arch icon package that was previously used.

          The new EndeavourOS Welcome Launcher allows you to open basic system commands and a hardware setup information wiki page with a single click.

          Nvidia-installer is now installed by default, it also installs dkms drivers.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Updated Installation Media Released

          The PCLinuxOS project has announced the release of updated installation media for PCLinuxOS.

          This release carries the version number 2019.09 and has a fully updated system until September 15, 2019.

          The simple update notifier has been reworked and it will notify system updates. Also, you can update from the applet using apt-get.

          Added small improvements to live media startup scripts.

          Virtual Box Testing Media is also included in the installation media, allowing users to quickly test an ISO on the fly without creating a permanent VM in the virtual box.

          It provides KDE Plasma, MATE and Xfce desktop environments.

      • Fedora Family

      • Debian Family

        • Porting Storm to Python 3

          We released Storm 0.21 on Friday (the release announcement seems to be stuck in moderation, but you can look at the NEWS file directly). For me, the biggest part of this release was adding Python 3 support.

          Storm is a really nice and lightweight ORM (object-relational mapper) for Python, developed by Canonical. We use it for some major products (Launchpad and Landscape are the ones I know of), and it’s also free software and used by some other folks as well. Other popular ORMs for Python include SQLObject, SQLAlchemy and the Django ORM; we use those in various places too depending on the context, but personally I’ve always preferred Storm for the readability of code that uses it and for how easy it is to debug and extend it.

          It’s been a problem for a while that Storm only worked with Python 2. It’s one of a handful of major blockers to getting Launchpad running on Python 3, which we definitely want to do; stoq ended up with a local fork of Storm to cope with this; and it was recently removed from Debian for this and other reasons. None of that was great. So, with significant assistance from a large patch contributed by Thiago Bellini, and with patient code review from Simon Poirier and some of my other colleagues, we finally managed to get that sorted out in this release.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu/Mir Developer Issues Porting Guide To Help Port MATE To Wayland

          Canonical’s Mir developers since re-shifting focus to serving as a Wayland compositor have been working with the likes of the GNOME2-forked MATE desktop environment to implement Wayland support using Mir. For helping those interested in porting MATE applications from X11 to Wayland, one of the Mir developers has now issued a porting guide.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why retail marketers must get CX right the first time and how open source plays a key role

        One of the great things about technology is that it has raised all of our expectations. Once upon a time, people worried that controlling their television with a remote would make them lazy. Now, we don’t even have to find the remote. We just talk to the TV — literally. We access hundreds of goods and services easily, without leaving the comfort of our chairs: we download games, order the supermarket shop, watch films and read books online. It really is a brave new world.

        But with new worlds come new challenges, and the challenge of the new, tech-driven, marketplace is to make your business stand out in a global crowd. Of all the businesses in all the world, why should your customers choose (and stick with) you?

        Lots of people will tell you that the key to gaining market share lies in improving the customer experience. And they’ll be right. A combination of the need to impress and increased customer expectations have combined to make CX fundamental to gaining and retaining custom.

      • The Future of Great Customer Experience Relies on Open Source

        A majority of U.S. consumers feel that brands don’t meet their expectations. The bar for customer experience has been set high — and its on marketers to reach it.


        In the early 2000s, enterprise IT was dominated by proprietary software companies. Now, with the rise of public cloud computing, more and more developers are adopting open source tools within their organizations due to lower overall costs and access to the latest innovations.

        The adoption is spreading from IT into other sectors of the business as well, notably marketing. In total, marketing and experience cloud vendors invested over $8 billion to acquire open source companies in 2018, according to PitchBook.

      • ReactOS 0.4.12 Pulls In Wine-Staging 4.0 DLLs, Many Kernel Improvements

        ReactOS, the open-source operating system still striving for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows as a drop-in replacement, has version 0.4.12 now available as its first big alpha update in six months.

        ReactOS 0.4.12 features a lot of work on its open-source kernel including some driver compatibility enhancements, rewritten write-protecting system images, Blue Screen of Death fixes, and a lot of other low-level work.

      • Tencent Offers Open-Source System for IoT Innovation

        Chinese internet giants are quickly cottoning onto the benefits of offering open-source technologies to global developers.

        Tencent is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company announced Wednesday that it is allowing developers to use an open-source operating system to create an internet-of-things (IoT) projects that will allow Tencent to improve the performance of its IoT solutions and strengthen its foothold in the sector.

        Called “TencentOS tiny,” the operating system is lighter, requires fewer resources, and uses less energy compared with other major systems, according to a Tencent release. The company also said it hopes TencentOS tiny will encourage developers to create IoT projects for smart cities, intelligent connected vehicles, and digital wearables — sectors that Tencent is aggressively targeting.

      • Events

        • SUSECON 2020 Call for Papers Is Now Open

          SUSECON is all about sharing the latest technical advances, best practices, customer experiences, and visions for the future. True to our “open” culture, we invite all customers, partners, engineers, developers, community members, and business leaders to submit a session proposal for you to share your expertise.

        • Akademy 2019 is over.

          This year Akademy was a little bit different for me. I joined MBition recently to push Open Source and, giving the kind of activity and technologies we use, KDE is an community we can learn a lot from. We have many things in common.

          MBition decided to sponsor the event at the Supporter level and my colleague Julia König came with me for a couple of days to learn more about these kind of events and this community in particular.

          We attended to the welcome event, the sponsors dinner and the first days of talks together. During the second day of talks, I introduced the company to the attendees during the sponsors talk.

          It was also great to see my former employer, Codethink Ltd, as sponsor once again.

        • KDE Mindmap – Akademy 2019

          Akademy is over. =/ And now that I have a little of time I will talk to you about a Birds of Feather that I’ve hosted during the Milan edition of Akademy that was the Mindmap of the community.

          Since I’ve joined KDE I don’t have a clear picture what the structure of the community looks like. And that’s why I hosted this BoF to try to fix that.

        • All the right ingredients in Paris

          Next week, Collaborans will be in Paris to participate in this year’s editions of Embedded and Kernel Recipes, organized by hupstream.

          Taking place on September 23 & 24, Embedded Recipes is a conference about open source solutions in the embedded world, wether it’s latest developments, contributions, tools or platforms. This year, as the very first speaker on the programme, Collaboran Julian Bouzas will be kicking things off with a look at PipeWire, the new framework for handling audio and video streams on Linux. You can read more about his talk below.

        • Early registration for Raleigh Licensing Seminar extended until September 25th

          We have extended the early registration period of the upcoming Continuing Legal Education Seminar (CLE), to Wednesday, September 25th. The CLE will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 16th, 2019.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 78 Beta: a new Houdini API, native file system access and more

            Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Find more information about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 78 is beta as of September 19, 2019.

          • Chrome 78 Hits Beta With Native File System API, Much Faster WebSockets

            Google on Friday released the Chrome 78 web-browser beta following last week’s release of Chrome 77.

            Chrome 78 Beta is coming with a new Houdini API or more formally known as the CSS Properties and Values API Level 1, which lets developers register variables as fully custom CSS properties and can better handle animations and other use-cases.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 69 dropped support for <keygen>

            With version 69, firefox removed the support for the <keygen> feature to easily deploy TLS client certificates.
            It’s kind of sad how used I’ve become to firefox giving me less and less reasons to use it…

          • [Mozilla] Restricting third-party iframe widgets using the sandbox attribute, referrer policy and feature policy

            Adding third-party embedded widgets on a website is a common but potentially dangerous practice. Thankfully, the web platform offers a few controls that can help mitigate the risks. While this post uses the example of an embedded SurveyMonkey survey, the principles can be used for all kinds of other widgets.

            Note that this is by no means an endorsement of SurveyMonkey’s proprietary service. If you are looking for a survey product, you should consider a free and open source alternative like LimeSurvey.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Native widgets on mobile for Online – prototype

          In the desktop suite we have the sidebar which is a context dependant feature improving user performance eg. in chart editing. Unfortunately it’s not the perfect UI for a mobile clients, so the new concept is to tunnel the UI description to the browser and create native widgets there.

      • CMS

        • WordPress Parent Automattic Raises $300M from Salesforce Ventures

          Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress content management (CMS) announced on Sept. 19 that it has raised $300 million in a new Series D round of funding.

          Of note, the entire round was contributed by Salesforce Ventures, bringing total funding to data for Automattic up to $617 million. The Series D marks the first new raise for Automattic since 2014

          “This puts us at a post-round valuation of $3 billion, three times what it was after our last fundraising round in 2014,” Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic wrote. “It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web.”

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.1-BETA1 Now Available

          The first BETA build of the 12.1-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

        • FreeBSD 12.1 Beta Released With Security Fixes, Pulls BearSSL Into Base

          FreeBSD 12.0 is already approaching one year old while FreeBSD 12.1 is now on the way as the next installment with various bug/security fixes and other alterations to this BSD operating system.

          FreeBSD 12.1 has many security/bug fixes throughout, no longer enables “-Werror” by default as a compiler flag (Update: This change is just for the GCC 4.2 compiler), has imported BearSSL into the FreeBSD base system as a lightweight TLS/SSL implementation, bzip2recover has been added, and a variety of mostly lower-level changes. More details can be found via the in-progress release notes.


        • Weekly Roundup: The Passion Of Saint iGNUcius Edition

          It was early in 2001 and I was at MIT to meet and work with the nice people from Spindletop, a nascent computer hardware designer/reseller with a tiny office in the basement of a Cambridge strip-mall building, right beneath a fitness center. (Seems like a curious detail to include, doesn’t it? Will it be relevant later?) I was running a webhosting co-op at the time. The idea was that Spindletop would provide the hardware while I would provide what we now call “cloud space” for their various websites and downloads. The software that ran the computers would be Debian GNU/Linux, an operating system based on the idea of near-absolute freedom.

          Dealing with GNU/Linux meant dealing with Richard Stallman, the eccentric genius who had guided the creation of pretty much everything but the Linux kernel itself. I say “eccentric”, but what I’m really saying is that Stallman is mentally ill. I don’t know the correct words to describe that illness, but it manifests itself in dozens of different ways, from extreme hydrophobia (fear of water!) to various disturbing habits of phraseology, communication, and physical behavior. Nobody who knows Stallman thinks he is sane. By the same token, nobody would doubt his intelligence. He’s the only person I have ever met in person who struck me as being measurably smarter than I am, which sounds horrifyingly egotistical but is probably more a reflection of my choice in fellow-travelers.

          Stallman agreed to eat dinner with me on the condition that he be permitted to order my meal and that I eat the whole thing without complaint. I wouldn’t have dinner with a resurrected John Coltrane under those conditions but there were plenty of great jazz musicians and there is only one Richard Stallman. The meal was an utter nightmare, of course. Everything he picked had the texture, and taste, of Jell-O made from dog vomit. I told myself that if G. Gordon Liddy could burn his own finger down to the tendon that I could finish a five-course “authentic” Chinese meal. Having done so, I managed to extract some absolutely brilliant ideas from him about software design and programming principles. “Come back to my office,” he suggested, and we headed out to walk over towards the MIT Media Lab. About ninety seconds into our walk, it started to rain. Just a light sprinkling, not build-the-ark stuff. Stallman screamed like a teenage girl, pulled his dashiki (yes!) over his head, and ran in waddling fashion towards MIT.

          Twenty minutes later, I arrived at the Media Lab to find him huddling on the other side of the door, shaking. “Why did you not run?” he asked, in a whining monotone. “Is it because you are heavy?” (I was 195 pounds at the time; lighter than Stallman, half a foot taller.)

          “Yes,” I replied, “my weight prevents rapid locomotion.” Stallman nodded in satisfied fashion. Two hours later, in the middle of demonstrating some bizarre Bulgarian folk dance, he looked over his shoulder at me and said, “I would be happier if you were not in the office.” He did not stop dancing. I took this as my cue to leave.

          I mention all of this so you know precisely the sort of person who is in the middle of being crucified for “defending Epstein’s rape island” by his institutional rivals.

          “Wait,” some of you are saying, “that’s right! Jeffrey Epstein had a rape island! I’d forgotten all about it, what with Epstein’s convenient suicide and some remarkably media-friendly mass shootings occurring right as justice was about to be quote-unquote handed out!” Funny how that works. Perhaps it’s because Mr. Epstein had a full list of powerful and notable friends. One of those friends, apparently, was MIT artifical-intelligence savant Marvin Minsky, who is alleged to have had sex with a 17-year-old girl on the island.

          When asked to give his thoughts on the matter, Stallman responded like any 110-octane autism-spectrum genius would: by questioning the terminology involved. He suggested that the correct word for Minsky’s alleged statutory rape was not “sexual assault”, noting that

          a) Minsky had no way to know the girl was 17, not 18 ;
          b) she had been coerced by Epstein out of Minsky’s presence and might well have appeared to be entirely willing.

          In true Stallman fashion, this was

          a) absolutely correct from a logical perspective;
          b) mind-blowingly stupid from a perspective of The Current Year.

          It’s no different from the thousands of logical but emotionally uncomfortable things he has said and written over the past forty years. Stallman has no way to understand how people feel about something; he doesn’t feel that way. The community of actual computer scientists and clued-in tech people has long accepted this because — and I cannot emphasize this enough — Richard Stallman is responsible for computing as we know it.

        • MIT president Rafael Reif is suddenly at the center of a storm

          “Rafael knows MIT as well as anybody can know it. More importantly, MIT knows him,” said Lawrence Bacow, Harvard University’s president and a former MIT chancellor who has known Reif as a friend for decades. “He is a person of extraordinary decency. I have full faith and confidence in him.”

          Harvard is also conducting a review of its own Epstein gifts and entanglements.

          The troubles at MIT boiled over after The New Yorker revealed earlier this month that Epstein was far more involved at the university than initially disclosed and that MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito and others had kept those ties hidden.

          In the weeks since, the controversy has broadened. Ito, whom Reif hired, and MIT scientist Richard Stallman have resigned from the university. MIT has hired a law firm to review the Epstein ties. Reif has acknowledged that he signed a letter when he was just weeks into his presidency thanking Epstein, who was then a convicted sex offender, for a donation and that top university officials knew about efforts to take Epstein’s money and keep the gifts anonymous.

          Last week more than 60 female faculty members signed a stinging letter urging Reif to improve the culture of MIT and questioned the administration’s commitment to gender equity.

          “How can MIT’s leadership be trusted when it appears that child prostitution and sex trafficking can be ignored in exchange for a financial contribution?” the letter said.

          Reif, who earned about $1.1 million in 2016, declined to be interviewed for this story. The controversy appears to have hit him hard.

        • Software Activist Resigns From MIT After Defending Epstein, Pedophilia

          Stallman made the announcement on his blog, writing “I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.” He simultaneously stepped down from his roles as president and board director at the Free Software Foundation, which he founded in 1985.

          Mechanical engineer and MIT alum Selam Jie Gano published emails Stallman sent to a MIT CSAIL mailing list earlier this month. In the emails, Stallman tried to defend the reputation of deceased MIT professor Marvin Minsky, whom Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with during a trip to the Virgin Islands when she was 17.

        • Software Freedom Day

          As part of its social purpose charter, all software released by Purism is free software. That means our software includes a lot of free software created by others–thank you!

          We make this commitment with a “free software license” that formally grants these freedoms. This means you don’t need to ask us permission to use our software–you already have it. If you are a programmer, you are free to tweak or even overhaul an application. If you are a consultant, you are free to provide supporting services. If you are an everyday user, you are free to choose whoever you like to provide programming and other services, or even learn how to do it yourself.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • How spicy should a jalapeno be?

          Everyone has opinions and preferences, especially when it comes to food. To establish a criterion when answering “How spicy should a jalapeño be?.” the Scoville Heat Scale was developed as a standard to measure spiciness. This scale allows people to communicate and share information about how spicy we like our peppers.

          Similarly, open source technology standards, such as USB, I2C, MQTT, and others, were developed to enable global compatibility. Furthermore, open source hardware platforms have enabled communities to “speak the same language” without reinventing the wheel. For example, Raspberry Pi makes it easy for people to use their hardware as a baseline and then add onto it. This has created a revolution in many industries by enabling individuals, startups, and large corporations to apply hardware and software to complex problems without having to design them from the ground up.

      • Programming/Development

        • Codementor: Can We Do Machine Learning without python, absolutely No… Read this…

          Python has become, go programming language Around the World. From many Software companies to Consumer-based Companies.

        • Code it, ship it, own it with full-service ownership

          Software teams seeking to provide better products and services must focus on faster release cycles. But running reliable systems at ever-increasing speeds presents a big challenge. Software teams can have both quality and speed by adjusting their policies around ongoing service ownership. While on-call plays a large part in this model, advancement in knowledge, more resilient code, increased collaboration, and better practices mean engineers don’t have to wake up to a nightmare.

          This four-part series will delve into the concepts of full-service ownership, psychological safety in transformation, the ethics of accountability, and the impact of ownership on the customer experience.

        • ML with Python: Part-1

          Now, We are comfortable with Python and ready to get started with Machine Learning (ML) projects. But, Where to go next? Can we directly dive into coding ML projects? Please follow along to know the answer…..

        • Simple rules of good programming

          Hi guys, I work as a programmer for more than 15 years and was using many different languages, paradigms, frameworks and other shit. And I want to share with you my rules of writing good code.


          Code review can be as good as it can be bad.
          You can organize code review only if you have a developer who understand 95% of the code and who can monitor all updates without wasting to much time. In another situation, it will be just time consuming and everyone will hate this.

          On this part got too many questions so describe this more deeply. Many people think that code review it’s a good way of teaching new guys, or teammates who work on a different part of code. But the main target of code review it’s maintaining code quality, and not teaching. Let’s imagine that your team making code for controlling a cooling system for nuclear reactor, or space rocket engine. And you made huge mistake in very hard logic, and then you are giving this for code review to the new guy. How do you think what would be the risk of an accident? — On my practice more than 70%.

          A good team is where each person has own role and responsibility for the exact piece of work. If someone wants to understand another piece of code then he goes to a person responsible for it and asks her. Impossible to know everything and better excellent understand a small piece of code than all but on 30%.

        • Hone advanced Bash skills by building Minesweeper

          I am no expert on teaching programming, but when I want to get better at something, I try to find a way to have fun with it. For example, when I wanted to get better at shell scripting, I decided to practice by programming a version of the Minesweeper game in Bash.

          If you are an experienced Bash programmer and want to hone your skills while having fun, follow along to write your own version of Minesweeper in the terminal. The complete source code is found in this GitHub repository.

        • Java 13 Delivers Features That Improve Productivity, Efficiency

          At its CodeOne conference, Oracle explains how the rapid release cycle for Java has yielded innovation, as Java SE 13 is officially launched.

        • A Novel About Java & Open Source – Meet The Author Of “Emmy In The Key Of Code”

          “Emmy in the Key of Code” is novel written by Aimee Lucido, a software engineer who works at Uber. It’s about Java and music. Oracle invited Lucido to speak at the Oracle OpenWorld/Code One event. We sat down with her to talk about her book and what inspired her to write it.

        • Intellectual property Law and Coding

          In the world of software, good code is a necessity, and great code can make the difference between a startup succeeding and failing. But how do you protect coding innovations that may be novel or unique?

          Intellectual property law, or IP law, is the main legalistic framework that can answer many of those questions and more. Any business, and perhaps more crucially, any individual coder, should be aware of their options when it comes to maintaining the rights to their work. Here, we delve into some of the most important things to know about IP law and coding.

        • LLVM 9.0.0 released
          It's my great pleasure to announce that LLVM 9 is now available.
          Get it here: https://llvm.org/releases/download.html#9.0.0
          This release is the result of the LLVM community's work over the past
          six months (up to trunk r366426 plus commits on the branch). Some
          highlights include:
          - Support for asm goto, enabling for example the mainline Linux kernel
          for x86_64 to build with Clang
          - The RISCV-V target is no longer experimental, but built by default
          - Experimental support for C++ for OpenCL
          as well as many bug fixes, optimizations, and diagnostics improvements.
        • Icecream 1.3 and Icemon 3.3 released

          A new version 1.3 of the distributed C/C++ compilation tool Icecream has been released. To accompany it, version 3.3 of the GUI monitor Icemon has been released as well.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: digest 0.6.21

          A new version of digest is just now arriving at CRAN (following a slight holdup over one likely spurious reverse dependency error), and I will send an updated package to Debian shortly as well.

          digest creates hash digests of arbitrary R objects (using the md5, sha-1, sha-256, sha-512, crc32, xxhash32, xxhash64, murmur32, and spookyhash algorithms) permitting easy comparison of R language objects. It is a fairly widely-used package (currently listed at 795k downloads) as many tasks may involve caching of objects for which it provides convenient general-purpose hash key generation.

        • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (cxcv) stackoverflow python report
  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?

        The Sidewalk Museum of Congress (SMoC) located outside 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall’s office at 200 E. Iron Ave., Salina, KS, 67401 is an anti-status-quo palette of dissent against the status quo of establishment politics and its allied mainstream media, and of elite museum spaces. This resistance space has every color and no logo. SMoC is the palette, the media, the planter, and the engaging (or not) audience harvester.

      • Unhappy India

        Not very long ago (Sept 2, 2019), India launched a rocket to the far side of the moon. It carried a lunar lander that fell silent following the landing attempt four days later. Had it survived, India would have become the fourth country in the world to accomplish the feat. Still, the partial success was a matter of pride. There have been other signal achievements including a doubling of GDP in the past decade. Then, why are Indians unhappy?

      • Radical Education

        For most of our existence, we shared the Earth in common. That is, there was no private property, nor, in fact, much consciousness of ourselves as individual beings, separate from one another and separate from the natural world of which we were a part. It is only during the last few hundred years that most of the commons has disappeared, converted into private property, embedded in a new mode of production—capitalism.

    • Hardware

      • Noctua NH-L9a-AM4: A Very Low-Profile AMD Ryzen Cooler

        When looking for a heatsink with a small stature for an AMD APU mini PC build for HTPC / file storage use-cases (more on that build in the next day or two), the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 fit the criteria and so I went with that given the success with the many Noctua heatsinks we have used over the years. For those potentially interested in the NH-L9a-AM4 for an AMD APU like the new Ryzen 5 3400G or for lower-end Ryzen CPUs, I ran some benchmarks with this cooler.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • New Linux Cryptojacker Can Mask CPU Usage and Fake Network Activity [Ed: It's not "Linux" but something that can be installed and run on it]

        Cryptojacking is a lucrative venture for malware developers, but it comes with a problem. Cryptojackers take up a lot of the processor’s resources which makes the attack very noticeable for the victim. One strain of cryptojacker has developed a way to avoid detection by masking the tell-tale signs from the user.1 The Arrival of Skidmap Skidmap is a Linux-based malware which mines cryptocurrency on computers and servers without the owner’s permission. What makes Skidmap so dangerous is its wide range of advanced features that make it a pain to locate and stop.

      • [Slackware] Chromium critical security update

        Earlier this week I already provided a Chromium update in my Slackware repository. That update addressed a critical security issue in the media playback plugin whereby an attacker was able to take over your computer remotely, simply by letting you load an infected page.

        But then another critical vulnerability was discovered and two days ago a new Chromium source was released to take care of this security hole in the User Interface code. The new version of Chromium is 77.0.3865.90 and of the four mentioned vulnerabilities on the website, one is a remote-takeover issue.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War

        John Bolton tried his best.

      • ‘Total Massacre’ as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan

        Amnesty International said the bombing “suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life.”

      • Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity

        Here, in the village of Stryszow in Southern Poland, you can hear the funeral ceremonies from the farmhouse on the hill where I reside during my time in this Country. The mournful cadences of the undertaker match the dull mechanical tolling of the church bell, as friends and relatives of the deceased, mostly in black, walk slowly and solemnly down the high street following the funeral cortege.

      • DR Congo: Warlord Sought by ICC Killed

        The death in the Democratic Republic of Congo of a rebel leader wanted by the International Criminal Court highlights the need to bring justice for his forces’ many victims.

      • No Justice 3 Years After DR Congo Massacre

        Three years ago, Congolese security forces shot dead at least 66 protesters, rocking Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Three years later, nothing has been done to hold senior officials responsible to account.

      • How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East

        Late on the night of July 14, 1958, I navigated our KC-97 aerial tanker to refuel a lone B-52 on a secret radio-silence mission near the Arctic Circle. On our way home, our number three engine conked out as we approached the Gaspé Peninsula. We got permission to make an emergency landing at Loring, the big B-52 base in northern Maine. As soon as we touched down, we were ordered to clear the runway. Suddenly the squawking of Klaxon horns pierced the night. Jeeps flashing red lights materialized out of the darkness and sped to the row of giant B-52s on standby alert, each loaded with thermonuclear bombs. Flight crews raced from the jeeps to the planes. One after another, the B-52s started their eight engines, taxied out, and launched into the black sky.

      • No War for Saudi Oil!

        Even if US intelligence decisively shows that some of the drones and cruise missiles used in the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields originated in Iran, a decision to go to war with Iran would be inexcusable and insupportable.

      • El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence

        On August 3, 2019 a white supremacist walked into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and murdered 22 people and injured dozens more. Shortly before the attack, he posted online comments complaining about a “Hispanic invasion.” He later told authorities that he was specifically targeting “Mexicans.” Just a few days before the El Paso massacre, another shooting in Gilroy, California left 3 dead and many more injured. The murderer in this case had online postings about invading “hordes of mestizos” and recommended that people read a white supremacist favorite “Might is Right” which, among other things, exalts the racial superiority of Anglo Saxons.

      • The Police State’s Language of Force

        Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.

      • ‘How Could They Do This to Us?’ Ask Afghan Farmers After Reporting Reveals Officials Knew Civilians Were in Area of Lethal US Drone Strike

        “This is just one of the horrors of endless war.”

      • The Saddest Story of All: The Imperial Debris of War

        I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I am the mother of two young children. So when I imagine what life must be like there after 18 years of war, my mind conjures up the children most vividly — the ones who have been affected by the conflict — and their parents.

      • Trump to Be Presented With Options to Attack Iran: Reports

        The range of options the Pentagon will present the president with include military actions as well as political and economic moves.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Small Town Values

        A few weeks ago, another young man was shot to death in Michigan City, Indiana. He was the fourth or fifth in the past several months (no on really keeps count, especially when the victim is black). Here, in the shadow of the nation’s third-largest city, poor and working class people slave away at low-paying service sector jobs that provide no benefits, seasonal wages (at best), and no future. The ghosts of Neoliberalism and Deindustrialization continue to haunt our small town.

      • Working in America: Paychecks for Silence

        Let us begin with just a few recent and disturbing statistics about working in America. First, most Americans (nearly 78%) live paycheck to paycheck, which makes them vulnerable to abuse and bullying by employers. Second, a 2018 Harris Poll found that “seven in ten employers (70 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates during hiring process,” and another seven percent was planning to do so as of 2018. This means that on top of working under inhumanely precarious and insecure conditions, average American employees are also being watched online and offline by authoritarian employers to make sure they are conforming to their demands. Based on more than 12 years of work experience, observation, and collecting insights from many friends, colleagues, and total strangers, I find that most American workplaces operate in ways that makes it almost impossible for anyone to speak truth to power or challenge the status quo and be able to thrive or advance in their career. “If you dare to open your mouth, you basically ruin your career,” is one of the most common lines I hear from people when I ask them about what usually stops them from saying or doing what they see as the right thing to do. Here, we must ask, is there a dictatorship worse than this reality? Is there any difference between being ruled by authoritarian leaders and authoritarian employers? A bigger concern is that America goes around the world toppling “authoritarian” or “dictator” regimes, while most American corporations and institutions act as dictatorships squeezing life out of their employees/citizens. It is important at this time to start connecting between countries ruled by single dictators and others ruled by dictators who own and manipulate the job market.

      • Another Nail In the Coffin Of Corporate Sovereignty, As Massive Asian Trade Deal RCEP Nears Completion Without It

        Remember RCEP? The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a massive trade deal being negotiated by most of South-East Asia — including China and India. Although still little-known, it has been grinding away in the background, and is drawing closer to a final agreement. Almost exactly a year ago Techdirt noted that there were some interesting rumors that corporate sovereignty — officially known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) — might be dropped from the deal. A story in The Malaysian Reserve confirms that is the case…

      • What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America

        Earlier this year, a number of wealthy parents, celebrities, and college prep coaches were accused of offering large bribes to elite universities in order to get their children into schools they didn’t qualify for. Federal prosecutors charged at least 50 people in the criminal investigation named “Operation Varsity Blues.”

      • Sanders Hits Back at Rich Biden Donor: ‘The Democratic Party I Represent Is the Party of the Working Class, Not Billionaires’

        “We are going to make the changes that we need in this country when the working people of America stand up to the corporate elite, not take their money.”

      • ‘Secretary of Corporate Interests’ More Like It, Say Critics of Trump’s Anti-Worker Labor Nominee

        “With Scalia in charge, Trump’s Department of Labor would go even further down the path of siding with big corporations over workers and the American people.”

      • The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric

        The poverty rate in the United States fell to 11.8 percent in 2018, according to data released last week by the Census Bureau — the lowest it’s been since 2001. But this estimate significantly understates the extent of economic deprivation in the United States today. Our official poverty line hasn’t kept up with economic change. Nor has it been modified to take into account widely held views among Americans about what counts as “poor.”

      • Trump Singles Out California’s Homeless for Abuse

        President Donald Trump, along with his father, Fred Trump, were the defendants in a 1973 lawsuit brought by the Justice Department, in which housing and civil rights activists laid bare the Trumps’ practices of turning away black renters. “It was front-page news,” The New York Times stated in 2016, “and for Donald, amounted to his debut in the public eye.”

      • Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection

        Washington is awash with proposals for a new regulatory agency centered on Silicon Valley. Often lost in that important conversation is the fact that the executive branch already has some positions with a direct focus on the technology sector, though they are limited in scope and scattered across the alphabet-soup of agencies. Perhaps no tech-focused bureaucrat has the president’s ear quite like the Chief Technology Officer. The CTO is the White House’s top advisor on anything to do with technology and innovation, tasked with explaining the latest developments and guiding the thinking of the most powerful politician on earth.

      • Teachers and Walmart Workers Top List as Sanders Campaign Hits 1 Million Individual Donors

        With 99.95 percent of those who gave still able to do so again, 2020 candidate says record milestone—reached faster than any other campaign in history—”is astonishing.”

      • Captains of Industry
      • Charter Schools Were Never a Good Idea. They Were a Corporate Plot All Along

        America has been fooled by the charter school industry for too long.

      • Corporate America’s Latest Bill of Goods

        One of the major themes in U.S. politics over the past decade or so has been the enormous influence that corporate America has over our political and economic life. Since the financial crisis erupted 10 years ago, populism has taken hold of the public imagination, and popular anger seems to have reached new heights as inequality has risen and corporations have grown more powerful.

      • MIT’s Epstein scandal kept student Mani Mengiste up at night — so she decided to fight aback

        It was only the first week of the fall semester, but the scandal, which had been steadily brewing all summer, struck a nerve. In August, the university had admitted to accepting $800,000 from Epstein over the course of roughly 20 years, but this was a new punch to the gut.

        “We enabled a child sex trafficker,” she told Insider. “How can I not be disgusted? He used [the] MIT name to protect himself. He used connections that he may have made here to protect himself. He associated himself with faculty that I respect — with us.”

        Epstein, who essentially acted as a broker between MIT’s affluent donors and the school, had secured millions for MIT’s Media Lab from tech giants like Bill Gates. That prospect sickened her.

      • ‘Am I as brave as I think I am?’ MIT Media Lab student Arwa Mboya on the aftermath of a scandal

        It’s been another hard week at MIT. Our campus has been divided by revelations of inappropriate fundraising, coverups, and the harboring of far too many tech geniuses who seemingly put their own interests and careers over the safety of women, among other marginalized groups.

        As a chaplain to students and faculty at the Institute, but also as an opinion writer on the ethics of technology who is supposed to be on sabbatical from the chaplaincy to focus on the writing, I’ve been torn all week as to what to say. If you don’t know what a chaplain is, and you would hardly be alone in any ignorance there, it is a position that emphasizes confidentiality and trust. I know there are a lot of people on MIT’s campus who are scared, sad, and hurting for various reasons, and I wouldn’t want any of them to feel less able to speak with someone like me because I’ve chosen to speak out publicly.

        At other times, in the midst of other campus controversies, I’ve personally opted to remain relatively silent, leaning into the part of my job that is, officially, one of quiet service to a university as a whole. I’ve been critical of a lot of big institutions over the years, including much of religion, but also a lot of organized atheism.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Punching Through Bad Headlines

        I’ll be honest: Writing a weekly opinion column about the environment during the Trump era is depressing — and boring. Every week is the same: “Trump did something harmful to the environment. That’s bad. He should stop. Here are the catastrophic things that will happen if we don’t take care of our planet.”

      • Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?

        Many Muslims follow the traditional 40-day grieving period, but Kashmir has been grieving for decades. Now, 46 days later, even the grief is helpless, and soon the voices of outside support will fade. Today, too, Indian sympathy for the state is a quid pro quo. “They are one of us,” say the hashtag supporters, completely ghosting the plot. There is barely any acknowledgement of their right to be independent of the country. “I stand with Kashmir” is the slogan, not “I stand with Kashmir to be free”.

      • Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?

        Home Minister Amit Shah of the BJP now bats for Hindi as the unifying language that India requires.

      • Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?

        For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?

      • To Avoid Repeat of 2016 Disenfranchisement, Sanders Urges Gov. Cuomo to Sign Bill That Would Extend NY Voter Registration Deadline

        “In 2016, countless voters across the state of New York were disenfranchised by the state’s arcane and inexcusable early party affiliation deadline,” said Faiz Shakir, campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

      • Inside the Trump Administration’s Chaotic Dismantling of the Federal Land Agency

        Early this month, workers at the Washington headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management gathered to discuss a Trump administration plan that would force some 200 people to uproot their lives or find other jobs.

        With a vague plan that keeps changing as officials describe it — and no guarantees that Congress would fully fund their relocations — the employees were being detailed to distant locations in the West like Grand Junction, Colorado, and Reno, Nevada. Many career staff saw the move as part of a wider Trump administration effort to drive federal employees out of their jobs. Acting White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney has described that approach as a “wonderful way to streamline government.”

      • Here We Go Again: Neoliberal Centrists Are Anointing One of Their Own—and It Could Cost Us

        The post mortem on the latest Democratic debate tells us all we need to know. The fix is in. Choose your so-called liberal media—New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, MSNBC, or any of the other members of the neoliberal media mafia—and you’ll be told either that Biden did well, that he was the “winner,” or that he at least avoided any major gaffes. A few non-traditional news

      • A Rebellion for the Wild West

        Christopher Ketcham’s “This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption are Ruining the American West” is a politically explosive and beautifully written chronicle of the ongoing struggle to preserve publicly owned land in the West. This is home to iconic endangered species such as the grizzly bear, the wolf, and the wild horse. Much of the left is rightfully fixated on the horrifying prospects of Bolsonaro giving the green light to ranchers, miners, oil companies and farmers to ravage the Amazon rainforest. Now it is time that we took a stand against the same kind of devastation taking place on American soil. If it was up to Donald Trump and the “liberal” Democrats like Obama who paved the way for him, all of the land that had been protected under successive presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon (yes, that’s right) will face the same fate.

      • Here’s what we know about the Siberian shaman who set out to battle Putin’s evil spirit, and how police finally got to him

        For half a year, Yakutsk resident Alexander Gabyshev had been walking on foot toward Moscow, thousands of miles and six time zones west of his hometown. Gabyshev describes himself as a “warrior shaman,” and he plans to defeat “Putin the Demon” at the conclusion of his journey. Along his path to Moscow, the shaman gave speeches at multiple protests, attracted a group of companions who walk with him along Russia’s highways, and became a subject of energetic discussion and meme production nationwide. On September 19, officials arrested Gabyshev and sent him for a brief psychiatric evaluation. He also reportedly faces felony extremism charges. These developments have prompted leading newspapers around the world to write about Gabyshev. Meduza is also looking at this man’s story and the life events that led him to where he is now.

      • The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power

        This essay attempts to explain the root causes of the current developing political and Constitutional crisis in the United States as the economy moves toward concentration of capital and wealth reflected by and organically linked to concentrated political power. The crisis includes lawlessness at national and international levels: violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, the rising frequency of mass shootings, increasing crime and incarcerations, corruption, violation of UN Charters, agreements, and state sovereignty, termination of trade and arms treaties, ending agreements and conventions, illegal wars, foreign-election meddling, surveillance, and more.

      • Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway

        As a general rule, a functional government is better than a dysfunctional one. Nevertheless, the bipartisanship everyone supposedly yearns for is crap. This is obvious.

      • Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World

        The emergence in recent years of the economic and military powers in countries like China, Russia and India has given rise to theories and hopes of a multipolar world that could temper the heavy-handed unilateral/unipolar policies of the United States on a global level. Such hopes are further buoyed by the fact that these rising poles of economic development have instituted a number of regional international organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the Eurasian Economic Union that incorporates Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

      • Trump Urged Ukraine to Investigate Biden’s Son

        President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism

        Being a mouthy genderfuck internet personality, I’ve grown accustomed to hearing some pretty caustic shit online and I’ve generally come to except it. After the sixth or seventh time being threatened with gang rape by yet another alt-right troglodyte, the shock runs a little thin. I’ve actually become rather skilled at the digital-jujitsu that’s become a necessity for existing as an openly trans person online. I’ve even made a few hideous friends on the far-right in the process. Generally speaking, most trolls are either childish pranksters or sadistic psychopaths. If you keep a razor sharp tongue and a sense of humor, either one can be handled with relative ease. This isn’t to say that they aren’t despicable human garbage or that words don’t hurt, but there are things far worse than hate speech online and I personally have never felt more dehumanized or offended as a queer person than I have by the way Facebook treated me this past week, all in the name of policing hate speech and patronizing marginalized creatures like myself.

      • Should The Media Voluntarily Embrace A ‘Right To Be Forgotten’?

        It should be no secret that I’m not at all a fan of the right to be forgotten, which is a European concept, as currently employed, that allows people to get old news stories about them removed from search engines (there’s more to it than that, but that’s the basic explanation). To me, it seems like an attempt to bury history and facts, and that’s dangerous. We’ve also seen too many cases of people trying to abuse it to hide spotty historical records that deserve to remain public. However, the excellent Radiolab podcast a few weeks back had a fascinating episode exploring the idea of the news media voluntarily agreeing to “forget” certain stories. More specifically, last year, Cleveland.com adopted a policy that would let people apply to be “forgotten” by the online news publication. They invited Radiolab folks to be present for one of the meetings where the staff debates applications.

      • Chuck Yeager Sues Airbus For Mentioning That Chuck Yeager Broke The Sound Barrier

        When it comes to intellectual property, the culture of ownership has grown so large that it threatens to consume itself. Still, while we have an overly permissive USPTO and European trademark offices that facilitate this insane notion that all language is meant to be owned, there are still, blessedly, some rules. One of those rules is that, on the topic of trademark and publicity rights, people and companies are allowed to state facts. It is not infringing on anyone’s rights to state such facts. That is all the more the case when the facts in question are historical facts.

      • Content Moderation At Scale Especially Doesn’t Work When You Hide All The Rules

        For quite a while now, we’ve pointed out that doing any serious content moderation on major internet sites is laughably difficult, if not impossible. Whether done in a purely automated format, or with real human oversight, everything ends up boiling down to just how much collateral damage are we all willing to accept when sites attempt to enforce moderation rules. Even when sites attempt to communicate the rules to the public in a somewhat transparent fashion, such as Facebook, it all inevitably goes to the kind of hell that includes nixing accounts for sharing what is purely art.

      • Innocent Users Have the Most to Lose in the Rush to Address Extremist Speech Online

        Big online platforms tend to brag about their ability to filter out violent and extremist content at scale, but those same platforms refuse to provide even basic information about the substance of those removals. How do these platforms define terrorist content? What safeguards do they put in place to ensure that they don’t over-censor innocent people in the process? Again and again, social media companies are unable or unwilling to answer the questions.

        A recent Senate Commerce Committee hearing regarding violent extremism online illustrated this problem. Representatives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter each made claims about their companies’ efficacy at finding and removing terrorist content, but offered very little real transparency into their moderation processes.

      • YouTube Reverses Position, Decides Top Creators Can Remain Verified

        YouTube said it would remove verified status from many large accounts. Creators were baffled and upset. And then YouTube changed its mind.


        Many YouTubers, some with millions of followers, made their disappointment public. “Been doing YouTube for 5 years, I post 2 videos a week, 950,000 subscribers … YouTube emails me today that my channel has been ‘unverified’ because the verified badge is only for well known channels with a large following,” the YouTuber Sierra Schultzzie posted on Twitter.

        Caryn Marjorie Jones, a 19-year-old who goes by CutieCaryn on YouTube, said that she was heartbroken when she got the email. “It’s just a little sign but it’s something I’ve worked years to get and to develop this fan base, so for it to be taken off was alarming and hurtful and I feel really emotionally impacted.”

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • The FBI Tried To Get A Secure Phone Company To Create A Backdoor In Its Encrypted Network

        Not a great week for the FBI, encryption-wise. The same week it was revealed the FBI’s encrypted communications system was cracked by the Russians, a report by Joseph Cox of Motherboard details the agency’s failure to punch a hole in a phone company’s encrypted network.

      • Tech Companies Are Leading The Fight Against Child Porn While The FBI And DOJ Complain About Encryption Helping Child Abusers

        We hear so much from law enforcement agencies about how much tech companies — and their encryption offerings — are turning America into a lawless frontier where the criminals always win and the cops are eternally hamstrung. We mainly hear this from two law enforcement agencies in particular: the FBI and the DOJ.

      • California Senate Passes Statewide Ban On Facial Recognition Tech Use By Law Enforcement

        San Francisco has already banned the use of facial recognition tech by local law enforcement. Oakland did the same thing a couple of months later. Pretty soon, it’s not going to matter where you are in California. If you’re a law enforcement agency, facial recognition tech is off-limits. Here’s the latest news on the biometric front from the EFF.

      • Facebook’s Social Media Council Leaves Key Questions Unanswered

        Facebook took big step forward this week in its march to create an “oversight board” to help vet its more controversial takedown decisions, publishing more details about how it will work. Both Facebook and its users will be able to refer cases to the Board to request its review. Is this big step a big deal for online speech?

        Maybe not, but it’s worth paying attention. A handful of tech companies govern a vast amount of speech online, including the platforms we use to get our news, form social bonds, and share our perspectives. That governance means, in practice, making choices about what users can say, to whom. Too often—on their own or under pressure—the speech police make bad choices, frequently at the expense of people who already struggle to make their voices heard and who are underrepresented in the leadership of these companies.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Noblesse the Sleaze

        Trump is enormous; this is true, in all ways of the word, but certainly in terms of an enormous lack of empathy for others. But America is (and always has) selected for and advanced those with sociopathic traits. A touch of sociopathy seems to be an affliction ideally suited to a nation that covets individual success over the benefits of the whole. A nation with a staggering homeless population and epidemic medical bill-induced bankruptcies would not be considered a success when viewed in its entirety, but the nation is quite adept at turning out billionaires, so there’s that.

      • Film, Music and Elections in Germany

        After the elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, and before the election in Thuringia on October 26th, the various German parties are sorting out the results. In Saxony, where the Christian Democrats (CDU) lost strength but stayed in the lead, they are trying to patch up a difficult coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens, their only option without their tabooed LINKE (Left) and Alternative for Germany (AfD) – the far, far right. In Brandenburg, the SPD also lost feathers and must now decide whether to stay with the LINKE plus the Greens – both would now be necessary to barely reach that needed majority, or to replace the LINKE with the CDU and, necessary here too, the Greens.

      • Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time

        In the 1963 horror-thriller, The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock wants his viewers to understand the world from the point-of-view of birds. Angry birds. Birds angry at humans. The question is: Why? Why are the birds angry? Why have they gone amok, seeding chaos, and what will be the solution?

      • Teachers Should Join the Student Strikes

        On September 20th millions of students across the globe are taking a stand with student strikes – demanding action on climate change so they, and our grandchildren may survive and thrive.  Now, adults have been called on to join the strikes. We believe educators should be the first to join them. | By Jessica Garraway, David Boenke

      • In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times

        I was recently accused on social media of offering up “flowery words” after posting a short call to non-violent activism. I would like to assure all that although non-violence may have the sound of flowery words, these words are also a call to what may be the best strategy and the bravest strategy for living with and responding to a world that has been in the fits of some power struggle or another, throughout the extent of its entire written and I oral history. The struggle for human rights is not new to us here in the year of 2019, although the conditions and environment in which the struggles exist may be.

      • Review: Ahmet Altan’s “I Will Never See the World Again”

        Much of the prison literature I have read expresses a legitimate bitterness about the political forces that led to the inmate’s incarceration. I can’t imagine writing without such anger if I were the one imprisoned. I wouldn’t have such control over my emotions, such tranquility in the face of the horrible environments that exist in virtually all prisons in the world, except in the Scandinavian countries that are almost always more enlightened than we are in the United States. Nor would I be able to stop cursing the head off at the government that has incarcerated me. But these characteristics are largely missing from Turkish writer’s Ahmet Altan’s I Will Never See the World Again.

      • Britain Should Practice What It Preaches

        In light of the United Kingdom government’s decision to suspend parliament, apparently to avoid scrutiny just weeks before it risks crashing out of the European Union without a deal, the Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka suggested that the Commonwealth should investigate Britain.

      • Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry

        Mars Petcare US—purveyor of pet products including Whiskas®, Greenies™, Sheba®, Cesar®, and Iams™—is a division of the $35 billion Mars (M&Ms) chocolate empire.

      • American Psychopathy

        There seems to be two branches of what I see as a drive toward global domination, global hegemony, by the ruling class. One is the Trump phenomenon and the narratives and political actions that accompany his presidency (often in the background). Second is the new ruling corporate control of environmentalism.

      • Kenya: Abusive Evictions in Mau Forest

        Kenyan authorities have not investigated abuses by security officials during the forced evictions of thousands of people from Mau Forest in July, 2018 and now are planning more evictions, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • “Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies

        Neo-Nazis, the KKK, the Proud Boys, and various white power groups have been rallying in Portland, Boston, Berkeley, Charlottesville, and Gainsville. Mass shootings and numerous hate crimes targeting immigrant/Latinx/Black/Muslim/Jewish people are on the rise. Four junior women of color U.S. representatives are under constant racist, xenophobic, and misogynist attack. In fact, Rep. Ilhan Omar has received so many death threats she has had to hire private security. Last fall Brett Kavanaugh had a privileged white boy tantrum in front of a national audience, egged on by white male senators equally outraged by challenges to their entitlement. These are the latest signs that the United States is again gripped by white resentment. While this is certainly not a new cultural phenomenon, we have yet to deeply explore what makes the last decade unique.

      • Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex

        In 2010, Barbara G. Brents and Teela Sanders published a pioneering study, “Mainstreaming the Sex Industry: Economic Inclusion and Social Ambivalence,” that argued, “mainstreaming of the sex industry is invariably linked to wider patterns in leisure consumption, travel, and the hedonistic search for relaxation and pleasure.”  They announced the establishment of the sexually “new normal.”

      • The Modern Machiavelli Who Predicted Trump’s Rise

        Early in the Mueller investigation, President Trump rankled at then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ reluctance to circle the wagons on his behalf. “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” the president asked, name-checking his unscrupulous mentor, lawyer and fixer.

      • Here’s What to Expect From Chicago City Council’s Ticket Reform

        I’m happy to report this week that the Chicago City Council overwhelmingly approved a pretty major set of reforms to the city’s system of ticketing and debt collection. You may know that I have been, em, a little obsessed with said system for almost two years, when I first joined the ProPublica Illinois team and began reporting on why so many people were filing for bankruptcy over ticket debt.

        On Wednesday, my pal Elliott Ramos from WBEZ Chicago — with whom I’ve worked on these stories since last summer — and I watched as aldermen voted 49-1 in favor of the reforms. It was a good morning.

      • Egypt: Respect Right to Peaceful Protest

        Egyptian authorities should protect the right to peaceful protest in upholding Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality

        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is moving quickly to alter the political reality in Palestine, and facing little or no resistance.

      • Indian Democracy Is Being Dismantled Piece by Piece

        There were some notable differences between the swearing-in ceremonies of the Hindu-supremacist government of Narendra Modi in its first victory on May 26, 2014, and its re-election on May 30, 2019.

      • Jazz is Activism

        Jazz is activism: it requires training, commitment, belief, and action. It is brought to life through fire, resolve, imagination. Now practiced by peoples of all colors and tongues around the globe, jazz was born of African-American musical traditions and the lived experience of oppression. Music of the church and of the fields voiced hopes for a better tomorrow whether in the North or in heaven.

      • Jailed Russian actor Pavel Ustinov is released from jail to await next week’s appeals hearing

        Moscow City Court Judge Yulia Manerkina decided on Friday to release Pavel Ustinov on his own recognizance, following a request from the District Attorney’s Office. Ustinov was recently sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for allegedly injuring a National Guardsman when he was arrested at a protest on August 3. Ustinov’s appeals hearing will take place on September 26.

      • FSB Academy official is sentenced to four years in prison for stealing and selling off the school’s computer parts

        A senior technician at the Federal Security Service’s Academy has been sentenced to four years in prison for stealing and selling off computer parts. According to the newspaper Kommersant, warrant officer Airat Khairullin spent two years working in the FSB Academy’s foreign-languages department, where he disassembled hundreds of computers and sold the components through free classified ads on the websites Youla and Avito. 

      • At retrial, Russian hacker says treason-convicted ex-cop forced him to rob bank accounts

        Dmitry Popelysh, who together with his twin brother stole more than 12 million rubles ($187,920) from various bank clients, has complained to federal investigators that he was forced into illegal hacker activity, a source who witnessed Popelysh’s courtroom testimony told the news agency RBC. 

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T Ponders Dumping DirecTV After Investor Backlash, But It’s Not Likely To Help

        As we just got done noting, investors have finally started to grumble about AT&T’s obsession with merger mania (aka “growth for growth’s sake”). AT&T, you’ll recall, spent more than $150 billion to acquire Time Warner and DirecTV in a bid to dominate the streaming video and online advertising space. But the deals saddled AT&T with so much debt, it forced the company to raise rates despite rising competition, driving many of these customers to the exits. Oh, and AT&T’s being sued by other investors for allegedly lying about it. It has also largely bungled its TV branding in general.

    • Monopolies

      • The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Precedential Opinion Stressing That Design Patents Cover Articles of Manufacture

          In a case of first impression, the Federal Circuit held that “claim language can limit the scope of a design patent where the claim language supplies the only instance of an article of manufacture that appears nowhere in the figures.” Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., No. 2018-2214 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 12, 2019).

          In the particular case, Curver Luxembourg, SARL (Curver), filed suit against Home Expressions Inc. (Home Expressions) in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging infringement of U.S. design patent no. D677,946 (the ’946 patent) for making and selling baskets incorporating Carver’s claimed “Y” pattern. Defendant Home Expressions filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion arguing noninfringement in view of the ’946 patent being limited to chairs. The district court agreed with the defendant and granted the motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a plausible claim of design patent infringement. Curver appealed to the Federal Circuit.


          This case offers up a good lesson to applicants seeking to secure design patent protection and enforce their rights against third parties. BakerHostetler routinely helps clients develop and execute effective strategies involving design patents along with other forms of intellectual property.

        • What is this Appeal About? Secrecy at the Federal Circuit

          In the lawsuit, Balsam sued Frontgate for infringing its patents covering an artificial Christmas tree. Frontgate brought-in the manufacturer UCP for indemnification. Balsam then settled with Frontgate (without notifying UCP) and in a manner that left UCP liable for infringement. The confidential information is apparently related to the settlement between Balsam and Frontgate whose contents were designated as “Highly Confidential – Outside Attorneys’ Eyes Only” in the district court litigation. In its briefing, Balsam identified the settlement terms as “highly confidential, sensitive information.”

          The Federal Circuit has asked the parties to “show cause” as to why the under seal opinion should remain under seal with briefing due by October 3. The Federal Circuit has a particular rule limiting confidential marking to 15-words. Fed. Cir. R. 28(d)(1). “A party seeking to mark confidential more than fifteen words in any brief must file a motion with this court establishing that the additional confidentiality markings are appropriate and necessary pursuant to a statute, administrative regulation, or court rule.” Id.

          I have included the redacted sections from UCP’s brief (BELOW) and I really can’t see how it can only be 15 words that are redacted. Note that the rule does allow for “repeating the marked words” without recounting. But, there are more than 15 lines of text marked confidential with usual average of 10+ words per line.

        • Board of Regents of the University of Texas System v. Boston Scientific Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          A question of sovereign immunity, which has come before the Federal Circuit in many guises of late (Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Regents of the University of Minnesota v. LSI Corp.), arose again in Board of Regents of the University of Texas System v. Boston Scientific Corp. earlier this month. And as has happened thus far in this spate of these cases, the Court did not recognize the immunity as advanced by the State, in this case asserted over the question of proper venue.

          The case arose when the University of Texas sued Boston Scientific for infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 6,596,296 and 7,033,603 directed to implantable drug-releasing biodegradable fibers. These fibers are useful, inter alia, for producing implantable stents impregnated with therapeutic agents. The University of Texas (UT) filed suit in the Western District of Texas, and Boston Scientific successfully moved to transfer the lawsuit to the District of Delaware. It was undisputed that Boston Scientific is a Delaware corporation having its principle place of business in Massachusetts. Moreover, the corporation “does not own or lease any property or maintain a business address in the Western District of Texas,” and its 46 employees all worked from home. Under settled Supreme Court (TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC) and Federal Circuit law (In re Cray Inc.), venue was clearly improper in Texas.

        • New PatentlyO Law Journal Essay: Implementing Apportionment

          On August 15, 2019, Time Warner filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court seeking to vacate a $139.8 million damages verdict. That amount represents approximately 5% of Time Warner’s monthly subscriber revenue ($1.37 per subscriber per month). Time Warner argues that this award is too much given the contribution the patented feature made to its infringing service. At its core, the damages portion of the petition is asking the Supreme Court to provide guidance that will ensure that damages verdicts rely on apportionment principles and provide clarity in how they achieve this.


          As with many issues in patent law, this is easier said than done. How do courts ensure that a patentee’s expert opinion on the ultimate damages figure is based on apportionment principles? How do we know if the jury verdict reflects those same principles?

      • Trademarks

        • IPEC refers unregistered design questions to CJEU

          The parties agreed that the relevant toys were first shown to the public at the “Mega Show” trade fair in Hong Kong in October 2017. They were later exhibited at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in January 2018, the first time that they were shown to the public in the EU. The parties also agreed that exhibition at the Mega Show was sufficient for the design to have become known in the normal course of business to circles specialising in the sector concerned, operating within the EU (therefore falling within Article 7(1) of the Design Regulation). This, argued PMS, destroyed the novelty of the UCDs, because the UCDs only would have qualified for protection when they were first made available to the public within the EU i.e. in Nuremberg in January 2018.

          In light of Gautzsch, we know that it is possible for Article 7(1) to be engaged to destroy novelty even if the relevant act of publication after registration, exhibition, use in trade or disclosure occurs outside of the EU. The debate therefore focused on whether the event of disclosure that would trigger protection as a UCD should also be treated in the same way as a potentially novelty-destroying disclosure (given the substantially identical wording of Article 7(1) and Article 11(2) regarding commencement of protection). Or, in other words, can a design first be disclosed (in a manner specified under the Design Regulation) geographically outside of the EU and yet qualify for protection as a UCD by virtue of the same disclosure that was outside of the EU?

          There is no direct CJEU authority on this question. Article 110(a), which was added in connection with the 2003 accession to the EU by several states, seems to suggest a narrow, EU-centric approach to first disclosure….


          The judge noted that were he to determine the application and therefore leave it to an appeal court to make a reference to the CJEU, given the continuing uncertainty regarding Brexit it is eminently possible that the Court of Appeal would no longer be entitled to make a reference. This reference may have more important Brexit-related implications, however. If a design must first be disclosed within the EU in order to attract UCD protection, designers are likely to be more careful about where they first display their designs. For example, if Brexit happens, London Fashion Week, the 2019 edition of which just concluded, might lose shows to Paris or Milan.

      • Copyrights

        • Massive Legal Bills Force TVAddons’ Adam Lackman Towards Bankruptcy

          After being targeted by massive legal action in 2017, TVAddons founder Adam Lackman is still hoping to put up a fight against several major Canadian media companies. The huge costs incurred so far are proving crippling and with bankruptcy always just round the corner, defeat by default is rarely far away. It’s a scenario that’s all too familiar to Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde.

        • Piracy Boosts Sales of Some Manga Comics, Research Shows

          Publishers of Manga comics are working hard to shut down any and all pirate sites. With the planned shutdown of Manga Rock they have a major victory in sight. Interestingly, however, research shows that taking down all pirated content may not be in their best interests. As it turn out, piracy increases the sales of some comics books.


Links 21/9/2019: Plasma 5.17 Beta in Kubuntu, Cockpit 203

Posted in News Roundup at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • When Diverse Network ASICs Meet A Unifying Operating System

      And it has also been a decade since switch upstart Arista Networks launched its Extensible Operating System, or EOS, which is derived from Linux.


      The cross-platform nature of ArcOS, coupled with its ability to run in any function on the network, could turn out to be the key differentiator. A lot of these other NOSes were point solutions that could only be deployed in certain parts of the network, and that just creates animosity with the incumbent vendors that dominate the rest of the networking stack. Given the mission-critical nature of networking in the modern datacenter, it costs a great deal to qualify a new network operating system, and it can take a lot of time. If ArcOS can run across more platforms, qualify faster, and do more jobs in the network, then, says Garg, it has a good chance of shaking up switching and routing. “That totally changes the business conversation and the TCO advantages that we can bring to a customer across the entirety of their network.”

    • Linux Mag

    • Server

      • 9 steps to awesome with Kubernetes/OpenShift presented by Burr Sutter

        Burr Sutter gave a terrific talk in India in July, where he laid out the terms, systems and processes needed to setup Kubernetes for developers. This is an introductory presentation, which may be useful for your larger community of Kubernetes users once you’ve already setup User Provisioned Infrastructure (UPI) in Red Hat OpenShift for them, though it does go into the deeper details of actually running the a cluster. To follow along, Burr created an accompanying GitHub repository, so you too can learn how to setup an awesome Kubernetes cluster in just 9 steps.

      • Weaveworks Named a Top Kubernetes Contributor

        But anyone who knows the history of Weaveworks might not be too surprised by this. Weaveworks has been a major champion of Kubernetes since the very beginning. It might not be too much of a coincidence that Weaveworks was incorporated only a few weeks after Kubernetes was open sourced, five years ago. In addition to this, the very first elected chair of the CNCF’s Technical Oversight Committee, responsible for technical leadership to the Cloud Native Foundation was also headed up by our CEO, Alexis Richardson(@monadic) (soon to be replaced by the awesome Liz Rice (@lizrice) of Aqua Security).

      • Improving trust in the cloud with OpenStack and AMD SEV

        This post contains an exciting announcement, but first I need to provide some context!

        Ever heard that joke “the cloud is just someone else’s computer”?

        Of course it’s a gross over-simplification, but there’s more than a grain of truth in it. And that raises the question: if your applications are running in someone else’s data-centre, how can you trust that they’re not being snooped upon, or worse, invasively tampered with?

      • IBM

        • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 Enhances Infrastructure Security and Cloud-Native Integration Across the Open Hybrid Cloud

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15, the latest version of its highly scalable and agile cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution. Based on the OpenStack community’s “Stein” release, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 adds performance and cloud security enhancements and expands the platform’s ecosystem of supported hardware, helping IT organizations to more quickly and more securely support demanding production workloads. Given the role of Linux as the foundation for hybrid cloud, customers can also benefit from a more secure, flexible and intelligent Linux operating system underpinning their private cloud deployments with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.

        • Red Hat Ansible Automation Accelerates Past Major Adoption Milestone, Now Manages More Than Four Million Customer Systems Worldwide

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that more than four million customer systems worldwide are now automated by Red Hat Ansible Automation. Customers, including Energy Market Company, Microsoft, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Surescripts all use Red Hat Ansible Automation to automate and orchestrate their IT operations, helping to expand automation across IT stacks.

          According to a blog post by Chris Gardner with Forrester Research, who was the author of The Forrester Wave™: Infrastructure Automation Platforms, Q3 2019, “Infrastructure automation isn’t just on-premises or the cloud. It’s at the edge and everywhere in between.”1 Since its launch in 2013, Red Hat Ansible Automation has provided a single tool to help organizations automate across IT operations and development, including infrastructure, networks, cloud, security and beyond.

        • CentOS 7.7 officially released, but there’s more to come

          Earlier this week, on Tuesday, the CentOS Linux project announced the release and availability of CentOS Linux 7 (1908), or CentOS 7.7, for the x86_64 architecture.

          It is the first release of the popular Linux distro from the CentOS Linux project since their release of CentOS Linux 7 (1810), commonly referred to as CentOS 7.6, in December of last year.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #302: The End of Kenwood

        Welcome to Episode 302 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topic episode, the hosts discuss the potential end of Kenwood in the amateur radio market, emcom in Montucky, Storm Area 51, HF on satellites, a huge update for PulseAudio, the Linux 5.3 kernel and much more. Thank you for listening and have a fantastic week.

      • 09/19/2019 | Linux Headlines

        Fresh init system controversy at the Debian project, a more scalable Samba, and a big release for LLVM.

        Plus GitHub’s latest security steps and a new version of OBS Studio.

      • LHS Episode #303: The Weekender XXXIV

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • 09/20/2019 | Linux Headlines

        The first Open Core Summit, an activist programmer takes aim at Chef, a French court disagrees with Valve’s licensing model, and Lennart Poettering wants to rethink the Home directory.

      • Too Good To Be True | TechSNAP 412

        It’s TechSNAP story time as we head out into the field with Jim and put Sure-Fi technology to the test.

        Plus an update on Wifi 6, an enlightening Chromebook bug, and some not-quite-quantum key distribution.

    • Kernel Space

      • BLK-IOCOST Merged For Linux 5.4 To Better Account For Cost Of I/O Workloads

        BLK-IOCOST is a new I/O controller by veteran kernel developer Tejun Heo that is a work-conserving proportional controller. He goes over blk-iocost in great detail in one of the earlier patch series, “It currently has a simple linear cost model builtin where each IO is classified as sequential or random and given a base cost accordingly and additional size-proportional cost is added on top. Each IO is given a cost based on the model and the controller issues IOs for each cgroup according to their hierarchical weight. By default, the controller adapts its overall IO rate so that it doesn’t build up buffer bloat in the request_queue layer, which guarantees that the controller doesn’t lose significant amount of total work…The controller provides extra QoS control knobs which allow tightening control feedback loop as necessary.” See that aforelinked article for more details and results.

      • Btrfs & XFS File-Systems See More Fixes With Linux 5.4

        The mature XFS and Btrfs file-systems continue seeing more fixes and cleaning with the now in-development Linux 5.4 kernel.

        On the Btrfs front the Linux 5.4 changes are summed up as “work on code refactoring, sanity checks and space handling. There are some less user visible changes, nothing that would particularly stand out.” The Btrfs changes include deprecating a few items as well as improving the exposure of debugging information via sysfs. See the pull request for all the Btrfs file-system fixes and changes this round.

      • Linux 5.4 DRM Pull Submitted With AMD Navi 12/14, Arcturus & Renoir Plus Intel Tigerlake

        While we’ve known about the many features for a while if you are a faithful Phoronix reader, today the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) graphics driver changes were sent in for the Linux 5.4 kernel.

      • EXT4 Brings New Debugging Ioctls For Linux 5.4

        Like the mostly mundane Btrfs and XFS changes with the Linux 5.4 merge window, the EXT4 file-system activity is mostly focused on fixes too but also new debugging ioctls.

        One of the interesting changes with Linux 5.4 for EXT4 is the dropping of a workaround for handling pre-1970 dates that were incorrectly encoded on kernels prior to Linux 4.4 for file timestamps. Since then the kernel has correctly generated the pre-1970 dates and e2fsck is also able to fix the issue now for several years, this workaround has now been dropped — not that you probably have any pre-1970 timestamps for files on your system. For those curious, the encoding bug led to the timestamps as being in the 24th century.

      • OpenZFS Could Soon See Much Better Deduplication Support

        This is good news for OpenZFS performance assuming the dedup support is punctually opened up and is an acceptable state for quickly landing in this ZFS file-system code used by Linux with “ZFS On Linux” and in the process of by the likes of FreeBSD.

        The ZFS file-system has supported data deduplication for the past decade. However, it’s not widely recommended due to being very heavy on RAM usage as well as relatively taxing on the CPU, so it will be interesting to see just how effective is the Panzura implementation.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Sends In Initial Batch Of Fixes To Linux 5.4 – Includes Dali Support

          While just yesterday the big DRM feature pull was sent in for Linux 5.4, AMD has also volleyed out their initial batch of fixes for this next version of the kernel.

          This new AMDGPU pull isn’t strictly fixes but as anticipated does include the recently reported Dali APU support. Dali along with Renoir — also newly-supported in Linux 5.4 — are some of AMD’s 2020 APUs. Dali will be targeting the lower-end of the spectrum it’s expected for value mobile/embedded. From the driver code, Dali looks like a newer revved version of the current-gen Picasso APUs. Both Dali and Renoir are based on the Vega architecture.

        • Linux Plumbers Conference 2019, part 2

          Pain points and missing pieces with Wayland, or specifically GNOME Shell:

          GNOME Shell is slower
          Synergy doesn’t work(?) – needs to be in the compositor
          With Nvidia proprietary driver, mutter and native Wayland clients get GPU acceleration but X clients don’t
          No equivalent to ssh -X. Pipewire goes some way to the solution. The whole desktop can be remoted over RDP which can be tunnelled over SSH.
          No remote login protocol like XDMCP
          No Xvfb equivalent
          Various X utilities that grab hot-keys don’t have equivalents for Wayland
          Not sure if all X’s video acceleration features are implemented. Colour format conversion and hardware scaling are implemented.
          Pointer movement becomes sluggish after a while (maybe related to GC in GNOME Shell?)
          Performance, in general. GNOME Shell currently has to work as both a Wayland server and an X compositor, which limits the ability to optimise for Wayland.

        • NVIDIA’s Nsight Graphics 2019.5 Released With Better Vulkan Coverage

          NVIDIA this week released Nsight Graphics 2019.5 as the newest feature update to their proprietary developer tool for graphics profiling and debugging across multiple APIs.

          The Nsight Graphics 2019.5 release brings support for more than a dozen new Vulkan extensions, a variety of user-interface improvements, compatibility enhancements, and better syntax highlighting.

        • AMD Pushes Back 3rd Gen Threadripper & Ryzen 9 3950X Until November

          While the Ryzen 9 3950X and 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors were reportedly on track for launching in October with updates as of a few weeks ago, today AMD announced a slight delay in launching these new processors.

        • AMD have delayed the Ryzen 9 3950X and 3rd generation Threadripper until November

          Today, AMD sent out a brief statement about a delay in their 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X and the 3rd generation Threadripper.


          So if you were looking to grab either, keep an eye out in November. Will share any more news when they send it about the expected date and pricing.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC 7642 Benchmarks: The Rome 48 Core CPU That Easily Takes On Intel’s Xeon Platinum 8280

        Since the AMD EPYC 7002 series “Rome” launch at the beginning of August, it’s been known how AMD’s top-end (aside from the newly-announced EPYC 7H12) EPYC 7742 easily outperforms the Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 in most real-world benchmarks. The EPYC 7742 not only outperforms the Xeon Platinum 8280 in raw performance but also at a significantly lower cost and it gets even better with the EPYC 7642. We have been testing the EPYC 7642 48-core processors and even there the performance is generally ahead of a Xeon Platinum 8280 while being about half the cost of that flagship non-AP Intel Xeon Scalable Cascadelake processor.

        Complementing our recent EPYC 7302 and EPYC 7402 benchmarks, today we are focused on the EPYC 7642 as the Rome 48-core / 96-thread processor. This 48 core processor has a 2.3GHz base clock and 3.3GHz boost clock while having 256MB of L3 cache, eight DDR4-3200 memory channels, 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, and other features in common with the EPYC 7742 and other Rome processors. The EPYC 7642 carries a 50MHz base clock speed advantage over the 64 core EPYC 7742 but a 100MHz lower boost clock speed as the principal differences aside from the core/thread count. Both of these CPUs carry a 225 Watt TDP.

    • Applications

      • Top 15+ Best Script Writing Software for Linux in 2019

        Script writing software is designed to play a vital role for writers from different writing sectors. As a newbie, it may not be simple to use. But, after a certain period, it comes handy for creating scripts for films, novels, and television programs. Linux has to offer a bunch of tools for script writing for both beginners and professionals. There is a wide range of applications that are open source and free. Moreover, if you want to get some extra bit of advanced features, you may need to spend some bucks.

      • Top Open Source Video Players for Linux

        You can watch Hulu, Prime Video and/or Netflix on Linux. You can also download videos from YouTube and watch them later or if you are in a country where you cannot get Netflix and other streaming services, you may have to rely on torrent services like Popcorn Time in Linux.

        Watching movies/TV series or other video contents on computers is not an ‘ancient tradition’ yet. Usually, you go with the default video player that comes baked in with your Linux distribution (that could be anything).

        You won’t have an issue utilizing the default player – however, if you specifically want more open-source video player choices (or alternatives to the default one), you should keep reading.

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi 2.8 Released with Unified Sync Support for Desktop and Android

          Vivaldi Technologies released today the Vivaldi 2.8 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, an incremental update that adds significant improvements.
          With Vivaldi 2.8, Vivaldi Technologies continues to give desktop users full control over their browsing experience by adding various improvements across the board, starting with Vivaldi Sync, which now lets you sync bookmarks, passwords, history, notes, and autofill information across desktop and mobile.

          That’s right, starting with Vivaldi 2.8, all your browsing data will be automatically synchronized between your installations of Vivaldi on desktop platforms, such as Linux, Mac, or Windows, and your mobile device where Vivaldi for Android is installed if you use Vivaldi Sync.

        • New Version Vivaldi Web Browser Has Been Released, Install in Ubuntu/Linux

          Vivaldi is the new web browser compare to other famous browsers, the initial release of Vivaldi was in January, 2015. It has improved a lot and evolved since the first release. Basically it is based on the open-source frameworks of Chromium, Blink and Google’s V8 JavaScript engine and has a lot of great feature which I will table later. It is known to be the most customizable browser for power users, debuts features that make browsing more personal than ever before.
          Do we really need another browser? Since we already have a lot of them such as mostly used Firefox, Chrome, Opera and so on. The former CEO of Opera Software Jon Von Tetzchner didn’t liked the direction of Opera Web Browser and said “Sadly, it is no longer serving its community of users and contributors – who helped build the browser in the first place.” Then created a web browser which has to be fast, rich feature, highly flexible and puts the user first, so Vivaldi was born.

        • Vivaldi 2.8: Inspires new desktop and mobile experiences

          Today we are launching a new upgrade to our desktop version – Vivaldi 2.8.

          We’re always focused on giving you complete control over your desktop experience, while also making sure to protect your privacy and security online.

          Vivaldi on the desktop has been our foundation. And now – our inspiration. It continuously pushes us forward to deliver a browser that is made for you.

        • Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine

          Over the summer we opened our blog to guest bloggers eager to share their perspectives on privacy. In this story, Finn Brownbill explains how we can put an end to tracking in search for the purpose of data collection.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital games

        Valve and game developers have a bit of a fight on their hands here, with a French court ruling that Valve should allow users to re-sell their digital games.

        Reported by the French website Next Inpact, the French consumers group UFC Que Choisir had a victory against Valve as French courts have ruled against them on the topic of reselling digital content. From what I’ve read and tried to understand, the courts have basically said that when you buy something on Steam it is indeed a proper purchase and not a subscription.

        Valve has been ordered to pay damages at €20K plus €10K to cover some costs. On top of that, they will also have to publish the judgement on Steam’s home page (presumably only for users in France) and for it to remain visible for three months. If they don’t, they will get a fine for each day of €3K. To Valve though, that’s likely pocket change. The bigger issue though, is how other countries inside and outside the EU could follow it.

      • Hot Lava from Klei Entertainment is in the works for Linux

        Just recently Klei Entertainment (Don’t Starve, Oxygen Not Included) released their amusing parkour game Hot Lava and it’s not only planned for Linux they’re actually working on it.

        It looks and sounds like a ridiculous amount of fun too, a 3D platformer inspired by the classic kids game. I’m sure everyone has played it at some point in their lives. Get a bunch of pillows and cushions, throw them around and don’t touch the floor! Klei managed to turn that into a pretty good looking game PC game.

      • Post-apocalyptic road-trip strategy game Overland has officially released, some thoughts

        After a few years in Early Access on itch.io, Finji have officially released their post-apocalyptic road-trip strategy game Overland.

      • Dota 2 is going through multiple big ban waves and some matchmaking changes

        Valve are trying to clean up the Dota 2 community and make matchmaking better, with some big changes being done.

        First up, let’s talk a little about the recent major ban waves. Valve said they have removed players from Dota 2 with “exceptionally low behavior scores” and they will continue to do so regularly, which is good and very much needed to keep the online community healthy. They have also done a second ban wave for anyone who has been “detected of violating the Steam Service Agreement that prevents the purchase or sale of Steam accounts”—ouch. A third wave happened, to remove players who’ve been using “exploits to gain an advantage over other players” and they will be adjusting how they detect such things over the coming weeks.

        Not only that, bans will also now block the phone number associated with the account permanently, so people will have to setup a new phone making it more difficult for nuisance players to come right back. Linking directly with that, Valve said they closed a hole that allowed “a large number of users to play ranked without a unique phone number attached” to help against smurf accounts. On top of all that again, to gain access to Ranked play you need to have 100 hours logged in the game.

      • Drawn Down Abyss takes an action platformer and adds in card deck-building for abilities

        Platformers are probably the most common type of game available on any platform and yet, some developers are still able to make them seem a little unique.

        Drawn Down Abyss is one such game, a pixel art action-focused platformer. The difference here, is they’re pulling in the card-based deck-building for your abilities. Deck-building is massively popular right now, it’s one of those things that one or two games did really well and now more want to try it. I’m happy about this, I’m a fan of collecting cards and using them to battle with so trying it out with an action platformer has piqued my interest.

      • Top-down racer Bloody Rally Show looks great in the new trailer

        One racing game I am genuinely excited about is Bloody Rally Show, a top-down racer that looks genuinely good and it has a fresh trailer up to show off recent development progress.

        It will fully supported Linux too, as I tested out previously. One of the reasons I’m excited about this, is that it firmly reminds me of some classic early racers from the Amiga only with everything turned up a notch or two. Not only that, something of a rarity in racing games is that it will have a fully featured campaign story mode with cut-scenes and all. This campaign mode can even be played in local co-op.

      • The Humble Monthly has expanded to add BATTLETECH expansions plus Sonic Mania

        Was BATTLETECH as the only early unlock for the current Humble Monthly not enough for you? Good news, you can now play more right away as they’ve expanded it.

        Just added today alongside the full game of BATTLETECH are two expansions: Flashpoint and the Shadow Hawk Pack. That should keep you going until you decide if you want to pick up Urban Warfare (not included) and the upcoming Heavy Metal expansion. BATTLETECH supports Linux and the expansions do work fine in my own testing.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.16.90 (Plasma 5.17 Beta) Available for Testing

          Are you using Kubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo, our current Stable release? Or are you already running our development builds of the upcoming 19.10 Eoan Ermine?

          We currently have Plasma 5.16.90 (Plasma 5.17 Beta) available in our Beta PPA for Kubuntu 19.04 and 19.10.

          This is a Beta Plasma release, so testers should be aware that bugs and issues may exist.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34 released, gets significant performance boost

          Last Updated: September 13, 2019
          The new GNOME 3.34 is now available for download and comes packed with various improvements, performance enhancements and especially new features.

          Although GNOME is quite popular in the Linux world, it doesn’t hurt to introduce the software to people who have just started with their Linux journey. Well, GNOME is a widely-used desktop environment that is aimed at UNIX-like operating systems. Its catch is that it’s highly user-friendly and carries an elegant look and feel to it. You will find this desktop environment in popular Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Manjaro, and Fedora.

          This version of GNOME took six months in the making, which explains the plethora of changes accompanying this update. So without further ado, let’s get to discussing what the new GNOME 3.34 brings to the table.

        • GNOME 3.34 Should Be Hitting Clear Linux “Soon-ish”

          For those anxious to make use of GNOME 3.34 with its many own performance improvements atop Intel’s performance-optimized Clear Linux rolling-release distribution, it looks like the wait is still going on for a few more days but is coming “soon-ish” to the platform.

          GNOME 3.34 was released last week and the Intel open-source developers quickly took towards pulling in these GNOME bits. But unfortunately bugs to GNOME and related components have held up pushing out the updated bundles as stable.

        • Maintainer wanted: gnome-directory-thumbnailer

          I’m giving up maintaining gnome-directory-thumbnailer as it no longer scratches my itch — it’s yours if you want it.

          gnome-directory-thumbnailer is a little project I started a while ago for creating thumbnails for directories (rather than showing a plain directory icon for them in the file manager). Times change, I no longer have the itch that it was developed to scratch, and so I’m giving up maintenance of it after making the 0.1.11 release.

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro 18.1: Goes Arch One Better

        Manjaro Linux’s in-house system tools, easy installation application and better range of software packages make it a better Arch-based distro than Arch Linux itself. Manjaro offers much more than a pure Arch Linux environment.

        Regardless of which desktop style you select, the welcome screen introduces Manjaro tools and get-acquainted details such as documentation, support tips, and links to the project site.

        You can get a full experience in using the live session ISOs without making any changes to the computer’s hard drive. That is another advantage to running Manjaro Linux over a true Arch distro. Arch distros usually do not provide live session environments. Most that do lack any automatic installation launcher from within the live session.

      • Mirrors for Speedier Downloads

        To put it briefly, PureOS provides ISO images and packages for download. Recently, we’ve seen increased traffic on our download site, and we expect that traffic to grow. We’re hoping to address increased traffic with mirrors for both package updates and downloads.

        We’re very happy to announce that Sonic, a highly-ranked and privacy-respecting ISP, has offered to host a mirror for PureOS. This will alleviate some of the traffic, especially for those in North America, without compromising security. The security of the packages remains guaranteed by our signatures; the mirror simply holds another, identical set of packages, signed with Purism’s key.

        The mirror is easy to use. For example, if you’d like to use the mirrors for downloading an image, simply use this URL: https://mirrors.sonic.net/pureos/downloads/. And here’s the link to the most recent GNOME Live build.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora 31 Beta now available

          Today, the Fedora Project, a global community that works to help advance free and open source software, is pleased to announce the beta availability of Fedora 31, the latest version of the Fedora operating system. Fedora 31 Beta offers a look at the advancements expected in the next version of Fedora, helping to address a host of modern computing challenges, from building and running cloud native applications to driving innovation in the connected world.

          Fedora 31 Beta is delivered in editions, each designed to address specific use cases for modern developers and IT teams. Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server provide open operating systems built to meet the needs of forward-looking developers and server projects. Fedora 31 Beta also sees the continued evolution of emerging Fedora editions, including Fedora CoreOS, Fedora IoT and Fedora Silverblue.

        • rpminspect-0.6 released with new inspections and bug fixes

          This release also includes a lot of bug fixes. I really appreciate all of the feedback users have been providing. It is really helping round out the different inspections and ensure it works across all types of builds.

          For details on what is new in rpminspect-0.6, see the release page.

        • Fedora 31 Upgrade Test Day 2019-09-23

          Monday 2019-09-23, is the Fedora 31 Upgrade Test Day! As part of preparing for the final release of Fedora 31, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

        • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 203

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 203.

        • Attention: Fedora Yahoo Email Users

          Going from a blast of the past we are currently going through one of the Yahoo is not allowing many emails with either fedoraproject.org OR from our mail routers. It would seem that the way to get yahoo to blacklist a domain is to get subscribed to mailing lists and then report the lists as SPAM. Enough accounts (or maybe if one person does it enough times).. yahoo will helpfully blacklist the domain completely. [It then is usually a multi-month process of people explaining that no Fedora is not a spam site, hasn't been taken over by a spam site, or a bunch of other things which do happen so any mail admin is going to be wary on.]

        • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-38

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Here Are The 5 Most Downloaded Snap Apps On Ubuntu And Other Popular Linux Distributions

          One of the coolest things about Linux is the diversity of software available, including some solutions – like Snaps from Canonical – that make it super fast and simple to install some of your favorite apps (and keep them updated). Now, thanks to a new post on the SnapCraft blog, we have a glimpse into what some of those favorites are across six popular Linux distributions.

          If you’re immersed in the Linux world, you may already be aware of Snaps, but here’s a quick primer for those new to the technology. Snaps are basically a distribution-agnostic way of installing and publishing software on Linux. Currently supported on 42 different distributions, Ubuntu makers Canonical designed Snaps as a way to solve the pain points for developers publishing their apps to Linux, and to simplify software installation for end users.

        • Top 5 Snaps In Linux Distros Revealed By Canonical

          We recently informed you about the situation of Linux gaming on Steam and the number of Linux users are steadily increasing. Well, today another report from the creator of Ubuntu seeks to highlight the top 5 snaps being used across popular Linux distros. The report also highlights what a good chunk of Linux users does on their systems in terms of workloads.

          Igor Ljubuncic from Canonical (Via Betanews) said, “Indeed, the individual and vastly varied choice of a favorite distribution has played a major part in shaping the community conversation in the Linux space.”

        • Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 19.10 Video Encoder Performance On The Core i9 9900K

          Often when doing cross-distribution benchmarks, readers often comment on the performance of Clear Linux particularly for video encoding use-cases as surprisingly different from other distributions. Some argue that it’s just over the default CPU frequency scaling governor or compiler flag defaults, so here is a look at that with Ubuntu 19.10 daily benchmarked against Clear Linux.

          On the same Core i9 9900K system I recently ran some benchmarks looking at Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 19.10 and then Ubuntu 19.10 with various common tunables to make it more akin to Clear Linux. Ubuntu 19.10 was used due to its recent software components being at similar versions to Intel’s rolling-release distribution.

        • Serge Hallyn: First experience with Ubuntu Touch

          For the past few weeks I’ve been using a nexus 4 running ubuntu touch as, mostly, my daily driver. I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. In part that’s just the awesome size of the nexus 4. In part, it’s the ubuntu touch interface itself. If you haven’t tried it, you really should. (Sailfish ambiances are so much prettier, but ubuntu touch is much nicer to use – the quick switch to switch between two apps, for instance. Would that I could have both.). And in part it’s just the fact that it really feels like – is – a regular ubuntu system.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 to use LZ4 compression to boot even faster

          anonical’s Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” will boot even faster than its predecessor, Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” according to Ubuntu’s kernel team.

          After extensive testing on a variety of compression options on the Ubuntu installation image, Canonical engineers determined that the LZ4 decompression method provided a most appreciable gain in speed.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Ubucon Europe 2019: Partnership with “Chalet 12”: coworking space and Ubucon Europe warm-up party!

          Have you still not finished your presentation for Ubucon Europe and need a quiet place to work on the slides?

          Perhaps you need to push some code to your favorite opensource projects and you need a place to focus?

          We are happy to announce that we have got some sweet deals with “Chalet 12” to provide a shared co-working space within a 5 minutes walk from the Ubucon Europe event.

          “Chalet 12” is a romantic chalet from the early XX century, it provides meeting and event rooms, private offices, kitchen and dining room, several living rooms, a makerspace, a garden, and terraces, are spread over 4 floors, overlooking the palace and castle that are part of the Unesco World Heritage Site of Sintra.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • [Old] Microsoft, there is a way to win our trust

          The purpose of this post is to explain why I think it’s both justified and crucial to be very skeptical of these claims from Microsoft, and what Microsoft can do to allay our well-warranted doubts. And Microsoft, in keeping with the open source tradition from which it arises, I hope you take this unsolicited tunking in the way it’s intended.

        • Why not GitHub?

          GitHub has investors who do not care a whit for free software principles, and eventually the company will get acquired—maybe tomorrow, maybe next year—and as we all know, money changes everything.

          Don’t leave your project’s nerve center—its primary address, its means of contribution, its issue tracker, its website, its primary documentation, its continuous integration, everything—in a way you can’t redirect!—at the mercy of people who merely want a return on their investment, and do not care about the principles of a minority of angry nerds.

          Using Git does not require GitHub!

        • Introducing Microsoft’s AirSim, an open-source simulator for autonomous vehicles built on Unreal Engine

        • Philip Chimento: The Cause and the Effect

          This week Richard Stallman resigned as president of the Free Software Foundation. It is long overdue, and I am grateful to Selam G., the writer of the blog post that sparked it.

          I was disappointed to read that Michael Meeks’ post Tuesday on Planet GNOME repeated the excuses I’ve seen on Twitter and Reddit about mob rule and mischaracterization. Michael is of course entitled to that opinion, and unlike most Twitter and Reddit threads I’ve seen, has expressed it thoughtfully (which is why I think I can actually achieve something by writing this in turn.) I personally believe that that opinion does not stand up under scrutiny, and I hope writing a counterpoint might give him or others in the GNOME community food for thought.

          I believe that we — especially in the GNOME community where it’s a goal to hold ourselves to high standards of treating each other well — must not let ourselves fall into the trap of saying ‘Stallman was just defending a friend, out come the pitchforks, just for one email, who will they come for next’ and thereby fail to see the whole picture. If it was really just one email and not years of well-documented bad behaviour and refusal to change, we’d be having an entirely different conversation.

        • Stallman response

          I am not working on a response to the vilification.
          On the substantive issues, my writings speak for themselves.
          Other things, such as tone, we don’t need to argue about.
          If the worst thing someone believes about me is that I made
          mistakes on that level, we can discuss it as friends.

        • We should all do something a little different now.
          I agree, the FSF should have investigated the facts and looked for community 
          input before accepting RMS's resignation.  I understand that Richard can be 
          stubborn, but his resignation over libel is not at an obvious way to help the 
          FSF or make this scandal go away, much less fix the underlying issues.
          Everyone should put some time into understanding the issue and voice your 
          opinion.  Roy Schestowitz has made a good page for understanding what 
          I know people don't really have time for this, but doing nothing is an 
          acceptance of might makes right.   
      • Programming/Development

        • uwsgi weirdness with –http

          Instead of upgrading everything on my server, I’m just starting from scratch. From Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu 19.04 and I also upgraded everything else in sight. One of them was uwsgi. I copied various user config files but for uwsgi things didn’t very well. On the old server I had uwsgi version 2.0.12-debian and on the new one 2.0.18-debian. The uWSGI changelog is pretty hard to read but I sure don’t see any mention of this.

        • Wingware Blog: Viewing Arrays and Data Frames in Wing Pro 7

          Wing Pro 7 introduced an array and data frame viewer that can be used to inspect data objects in the debugger. Values are transferred to the IDE according to what portion of the data is visible on the screen, so working with large data sets won’t slow down the IDE.

          The array viewer works with Pandas, numpy, sqlite3, xarray, Python’s builtin lists, tuples, and dicts, and other classes that emulate lists, tuples, or dicts.

        • Solving Sequence Problems with LSTM in Keras: Part 2

          This is the second and final part of the two-part series of articles on solving sequence problems with LSTMs. In the part 1 of the series, I explained how to solve one-to-one and many-to-one sequence problems using LSTM. In this part, you will see how to solve one-to-many and many-to-many sequence problems via LSTM in Keras.

          Image captioning is a classic example of one-to-many sequence problems where you have a single image as input and you have to predict the image description in the form of a word sequence. Similarly, stock market prediction for the next X days, where input is the stock price of the previous Y days, is a classic example of many-to-many sequence problems.

          In this article you will see very basic examples of one-to-many and many-to-many problems. However, the concepts learned in this article will lay the foundation for solving advanced sequence problems, such as stock price prediction and automated image captioning that we will see in the upcoming articles.

        • Voronoi Mandalas

          I started with Carlos Focil’s mandalapy code, modifying the parameters until I had a design I liked. I decided to make the Voronoi diagram show both points and vertices, and I gave it an equal aspect ratio. Carlos’ mandalapy code is a port of Antonio Sánchez Chinchón’s inspiring work drawing mandalas with R, using the deldir library to plot Voronoi tesselations.

        • Python Code Kata: Fizzbuzz

          A code kata is a fun way for computer programmers to practice coding. They are also used a lot for learning how to implement Test Driven Development (TDD) when writing code. One of the popular programming katas is called FizzBuzz. This is also a popular interview question for computer programmers.

        • why python is the best-suited programming language machine learning

          Machine Learning is the hottest trend in modern times. According to Forbes, Machine learning patents grew at a 34% rate between 2013 and 2017 and this is only set to increase in the future. And Python is the primary programming language used for much of the research and development in Machine Learning. So much so that Python is the top programming language for Machine Learning according to Github.

          Python is currently the most popular programming language for research and development in Machine Learning. But you don’t need to take my word for it! According to Google Trends, the interest in Python for Machine Learning has spiked to an all-new high with other ML languages such as R, Java, Scala, Julia, etc. lagging far behind.

        • Node.js now available in Haiku

          As some have already known for a long time, many platforms have had support for writing software in JavaScript or TypeScript with the help of the Node.js runtime and over the years, much of the software written by developers these days have gradually been written in either of those languages. However, Haiku has lacked a Node.js port for quite sometime and it wasn’t possible to run or develop JavaScript based software or libraries that depended on the Node.js runtime. Now I can say that Node.js is available for Haiku and can be downloaded from HaikuDepot on 64 bit (32 bit support is being worked on). The version which is currently available is 12.3.1 and is already being updated to the latest version at the time of this writing to 12.10.0 and support for the upcoming LTS version is also coming to HaikuPorts. Several patches have been upstreamed by members of the HaikuPorts team to projects such as libuv (cross-platform async I/O library), GN, etc and we hope to upstream to larger projects like V8 (Google’s JavaScript engine used in Chromium and QtWebEngine) and the Node.js project, which will ease the bringup of a future Node LTS release for Haiku.

        • Node.js Brought To BeOS-Inspired Haiku Open-Source OS

          Haiku as the open-source operating system that still maintains BeOS compatibility continues tacking on modern features and support for software well past the days of BeOS.

          The newest major piece of software working on BeOS is Node.js, including support for its NPM package manager.

        • LLVM 9.0 Released With Ability To Build The Linux x86_64 Kernel, Experimental OpenCL C++

          It’s coming almost one month behind schedule, but LLVM 9.0 is out today along with the Clang 9.0 C/C++ compiler and associated sub-projects for this open-source compiler infrastructure.

          LLVM 9.0 is an exciting release with bringing the ability to build the mainline Linux x86_64 kernel using LLVM/Clang 9.0 now that “asm goto” support was finally added. The AArch64 support was in better standing previously but now at long last the mainline Clang 9.0 compiler can build the current Linux kernel releases with not needing any extra patches on either side, just point the kernel build CC to Clang.

        • Create a simple image search engine in OpenCV and Flask

          I recently started playing with OpenCV, an open-source Computer Vision library for image processing. Luckily there are Python bindings available. More luck that the guys like Adrian has done a great service by releasing both book and blog on a similar topic.

          So what is it all about? Well, it is simple, or I say, the simplest demonstration of using OpenCV to load an image and finding color-related to that image and show insights in a Flask based web application. This is not a state of art application neither it is currently serving the way I intend to do but hey, it is just a start, not the end. I could not find a better excuse other than converting my basic learning of pixels into a product (Google! Beware!!)

          I am not going int nitty-gritty details of both OpenCV and Flask and I will be covering what the application is actually doing.

        • [Older] 6 Best Linux Distros for Programmers and Developers

          Let’s discuss why Linux is a great OS for software encoders, followed by our hand-picked list of best Linux distros for developers and programmers. Read on.

          Let’s discuss why Linux is a great OS for software encoders, followed by our hand-picked list of best Linux distros for developers and programmers. Read on.

          Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of best Linux Distro for developers to use in their day-to-day coding endeavors, let’s first list reasons for Linux being an excellent OS choice for developers.

        • Traders Who Can’t Code May Become Extinct, Goldman’s Tech Pioneer Warns

          Chavez, 55, outlined strengths that can help humans stay relevant, such as their relationship skills and ability to assess risks. Yet he predicted that longstanding career dichotomies on Wall Street, like trader versus engineer, will go away. To keep working, people will need both of those skills. Even money is going digital, a shift that goes far beyond cryptocurrencies, he said, pointing to the success of Stripe Inc. as an example of creating new ways to move funds.

          Stripe, for its part, has become one of the most valuable companies in Silicon Valley.

        • The use of open source software in DevOps has become strategic for organizations of all sizes

          The 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report showed that elite and high performing teams report strong use of open source software. This echoes findings from earlier research, showing that elite performers were 1.75 times more likely to make extensive use of open source than low performers, and were 1.5 times more likely to plan to expand their use of open source software.

        • What’s Wrong with the Tech Interview Process?

          [...] The issues seem to boil down to three things:

          1. Coding tests are arbitrary, needlessly difficult and disconnected from the skills actually required for the job.

          2. The number of rounds and the time demands of interviewing are difficult to manage.

          3. Hiring decisions often seem arbitrary and communication about why someone failed a stage are often poorly communicated, when they are communicated at all.

          Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

        • [Old] Codes of Conduct and Hypocrisy

          It is generally accepted that leaders of modern organizations should act to prevent lynchings and mobbings in their organizations. Yet in recent cases in both Debian and Wikimedia, it appears that the leaders have been the instigators, using the lynching to turn opinion against their victims before there is any time to analyse evidence or give people a fair hearing.

          What’s more, many people have formed the impression that Molly de Blanc’s talks on this subject are not only encouraging these practices but also trolling the victims. She is becoming a trauma trigger for anybody who has ever been bullied.

          Looking over the debian-project mailing list since December 2018, it appears all the most abusive messages, such as the call for dirt on another member, or the public announcement that a member is on probation, have been written by people in a position of leadership or authority, past or present. These people control the infrastructure, they know the messages will reach a lot of people and they intend to preserve them publicly for eternity. That is remarkably similar to the mindset of the men who perpetrate acid attacks on women they can’t control.

          Therefore, if the leader of an organization repeatedly indulges himself, telling volunteers they are not real developers, has he really made them less of a developer, or has he simply become less of a leader, demoting himself to become one of the despots Lord Denning refers to?

        • Best text editors in 2019: For macOS, Windows, Linux coders and programmers
        • How to compare strings in Java

          String comparison is a fundamental operation in programming and is often quizzed during interviews. These strings are a sequence of characters that are immutable which means unchanging over time or unable to be changed.

          Java has a number of methods for comparing strings; this article will teach you the primary operation of how to compare strings in Java.

        • 2019.3 EAP 2

          We have a new Early Access Program (EAP) version of PyCharm that can be now downloaded from our website.

  • Leftovers

    • The Perspicacity of Mcluhan and Panopticonic Plans of the MIC

      This small article examines the technologically facilitated architecture/infrastructure of ‘mind over mind’ as Bentham defined the concept of Panopticon in the 18th Century.

    • Country, Smoothed Over

      A very good friend of mine, now deceased, interviewed Buck Owens back in the 1990s as the Buckaroo promoted his box set. My friend pitched Owens his favorite softball: “Hank or Lefty?” Owens, without blinking, shot back: “Merle.” In Ken Burns’ new 16-hour PBS documentary, “Country Music,” Merle Haggard muses fondly about the early 1950s, when every jukebox posed that weighty question to all honky-tonkers: Hank or Lefty, savior or sinner, martyr or scoundrel? The music’s gentle surface barely concealed its emotional sting.

    • Science

      • New Mexico Unveils Plan To Give Students Free College Tuition Regardless Of Income

        Paying for housing, meals, books and transportation are still challenges for many low-income students, he said.

        “Students show up to community colleges believing that they are going to get … free college. And what they realize is there are all these other expenses. And so, students end up working. If you’re a low-income student and you’re working, you’re not studying. You’re maybe not taking a full course load,” Del Pilar told NPR. “You’re not joining a club or doing an internship, or going to faculty office hours. Students promised free college will be robbed from these things because they are forced to work,” he said.

        The program’s funding would fill in whatever financial gaps are left after students exhaust state and federal aid. Officials hope lessening the burden of paying for college will help keep residents from leaving the state for opportunity.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Be Prepared: Find the ER You Want to Go to Before an Emergency Happens

        To be prepared in the event of an emergency, you can use our newly updated ER Inspector (formerly called ER Wait Watcher) to help you evaluate the emergency rooms near you. Using data from the federal government, our interactive database lets you compare ERs on both efficiency measures, including how long patients typically spend in the ER before being sent home, and quality measures, such as how many violations related to ER care a hospital has had.

        Note: If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening emergency, do not use ER Inspector. Call 911 and seek care immediately.

      • California Is Ready to Ensure Every Public College Student Has Access to Abortion

        In a year when we’ve seen states throughout the South and Midwest move to ban abortion and restrict access to reproductive health, California could soon cement its reputation as a leader in reproductive freedom. This past week, the state legislature passed SB 24 to ensure that medication abortion is available to college students in public universities.

      • Pelosi offers Medicare negotiation plan to curb drug prices
      • S. Korea slams Japan’s actions over Fukushima plant water crisis

        -South Korea asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to step in on how to manage radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, citing concerns the water may be discharged into the Pacific Ocean.

        During the IAEA’s General Conference here, South Korea’s First Vice Minister of Science and Information and Communication Technology Moon Mi-ok said Sept. 16 that the issue of contaminated water has not been resolved, “escalating fear and anxiety throughout the world.”

        She said that if contaminated water is discharged into the ocean, it would no longer be Japan’s domestic problem, “but a grave international issue that can affect the whole global marine environment,” Moon said.

        She called on the IAEA to get actively involved in how to deal with the situation and urged Japan to take effective steps to resolve the crisis.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (bird, opendmarc, php7.3, and qemu), Fedora (bird, dino, nbdkit, and openconnect), Oracle (nginx:1.14, patch, and thunderbird), Red Hat (dovecot, kernel, kernel-alt, and kernel-rt), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), and SUSE (kernel, openssl, openssl-1_1, python-SQLAlchemy, and python-Werkzeug).

      • Skidmap malware drops LKMs on Linux machines to enable cryptojacking, backdoor access [Ed: This is not a "Linux" issue any more than Adobe Photoshop malicious files are a "Windows" issue ]

        Researchers have discovered a sophisticated cryptomining program that uses loadable kernel modules (LKMs) to help infiltrate Linux machines, and hides its malicious activity by displaying fake network traffic stats.

        Dubbed Skidmap, the malware can also grant attackers backdoor access to affected systems by setting up a secret master password that offers access to any user account in the system, according to Trend Micro threat analysts Augusto Remillano II and Jakub Urbanec in a company blog post.

      • Linux for ethical hackers 101

        In order to familiarize yourself with the full range of ethical hacking tools, it is important to be conversant with the Linux OS. As the systems engineer Yasser Ibrahim said in a post on Quora: “In Linux you need to understand from the basics to the advanced, learn the console commands and how to navigate and do everything from your console, also shell programming (not a must, but always preferable), know what a kernel is and how it works, understand the Linux file systems, how to network on Linux.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Iran Doesn’t Want Conflict, Says Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, But Any US-Saudi Attack Would Spark ‘All-Out War’

        “We don’t want war. We don’t want to engage in a military confrontation. But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”

      • Condemning Pompeo Warmongering, Sanders Says ‘Attack on Saudi Oil Is Not an Attack on America’

        “We will not let you drag the American people into another catastrophe in the Middle East.”

      • The Sorry State of the Nobel Peace Prize

        Criteria for a Peace Prize

      • With Enemies Like These, Trump Doesn’t Need Friends

        It is one year since an anonymous op-ed appeared in the New York Times. The author claimed to be part of a group of “senior officials in the administration” who are “working within to frustrate parts of [Trump’s] agenda and his worst inclinations.” The op-ed’s portentous title, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” conjured up an image of a sweating bureaucrat tapping madly away on a laptop beneath his desk in a dark office, darting anxious glances at the door while wondering who will play him in the movie. If only the op-ed could have broken off in a strangled scream, it would have been perfect.

      • Trump and Netanyahu: “Mutual Defense” or Just Mutual Political Back-Scratching?

        On September 14, US president Donald Trump tweeted (of course) the suggestion of a US-Israel “Mutual Defense Treaty,” citing a call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      • U.S., El Salvador Set to Sign Asylum Deal

        NEW YORK—The United States planned to sign an agreement on Friday to help make one of Central America’s most violent countries, El Salvador, a haven for migrants seeking asylum, according to a senior Trump administration official.

      • Media Omit Context Behind Latest North Korean Missile Tests

        In his 2004 book North Korea: Another Country, historian Bruce Cumings described the irony of corporate media’s perpetual narrative of North Korea as an unhinged or devious adversary of the US with hostile nuclear ambitions:

      • Duterte Says He Ordered a Politician Killed; a Spokesman Says He Misspoke

        In a speech on Tuesday night at the presidential palace in Manila, Mr. Duterte railed against drug-related corruption in Philippine politics. He mentioned two mayors who were killed by the police after he accused them of drug crimes: Rolando Espinosa, who was gunned down in his jail cell in 2016, and Reynaldo Parojinog, who died in a raid on his home in 2017.

        Then he mentioned Vicente Loot, a mayor and former general who survived an attack by gunmen in the central Philippines in May 2018.

      • Saudi Arabia oil attacks: US to send troops to Saudi Arabia [iophk: pure corruption]
      • Address, Don’t Dismiss, Kashmir Grievances

        When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United States next week, his delegation will likely encounter protests over the worsening human rights situation in India.

      • Scientists discover that repatriated remains of Japanese POWs who died in Soviet camps probably aren’t actually Japanese

        In recent years, the Russian government has transferred the remains of 597 Japanese prisoners of war who died in Soviet labor camps back to Japan. Now, NHK reported, it has become clear that those remains are unlikely to belong to Japanese soldiers at all.

      • Foreign Investors Fueled Violence and Corruption in South Sudan, Report Finds

        Drawing on a trove of documents and forensic financial analysis, the report sheds new light on the scale of corruption in South Sudan, an oil-rich country that has been in civil conflict for over five years. It also provides a detailed portrait of how China has expanded its political and financial footprint in Africa, operating with South Sudanese security services and militias widely accused of carrying out atrocities and war crimes against civilian populations.

        Years of violence and instability have plunged South Sudan into what is considered one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

      • Imran Khan to discuss Kashmir with Saudi leadership

        Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”. New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.

        The FO said Prime Minister Khan has been in regular contact with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman on the Kashmir issue.

        Since the visit to Pakistan by Crown Prince Salman on February 2019, there is growing momentum in Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations in all areas of cooperation, the FO said.

      • Possible terror ties in American Airlines sabotage case? Prosecutor says yes

        Prosecutors cited two factors in pushing for the continued jailing of Abdul-Majeed Maroud Ahmed Alani, a 60-year-old mechanic who was with American since 1988 and previously worked for Alaska Airlines: he has a brother in Iraq who may be involved with the Islamic State extremist group and has made statements about wishing harm on non-Muslims, according to the Miami Herald and the Associated Press.

      • Radicalizing in the Name of Islam

        Mainstream reporters have since published a raft of articles purporting to identify the warning signs of potential school shooters before they take the last step to violence.[5] Likewise, calls to understand the process of radicalization to mass murder followed the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting[6] while, after the October 2018 massacre of eleven members of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, journalists across the country ruminated about the killer’s white supremacist motives and ideology.[7]

        Yet similar calls to identify the warning signs of radicalization to Islamist terrorism have been condemned as “Islamophobic” and shut down.[8] Retired Department of Homeland Security analyst Philip Haney revealed that the Obama administration ended his investigations into extremist Islamic groups, ostensibly due to violations of civil liberties. Worse, he argued, the administration “erased the dots we were diligently connecting.”[9] This action appears to have chilled research efforts. For example, the 2016 settlement of a lawsuit arising from the New York Police Department’s Muslim surveillance activities required NYPD to remove a 2007 report, titled “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat,” from its website.[10] In a report to the FBI director, the 9/11 Review Commission noted: [...]

      • This smuggler claims he’ll move ISIS members throughout Europe. The price: $8,000

        The smugglers use stolen identity documents. CBS News went undercover again, this time posing as smugglers, and found criminals with hundreds of them for sale in Athens, including U.S. passports. They try to match their customers with an ID photo they resemble.

        Then the smugglers use the stolen documents to fly people from Athens to Spain or Italy, where they claim security is lax. From there, they can travel anywhere in western Europe with no border checks.

      • The US promised thousands of foreign interpreters special immigrant visas. Now they’re trapped.

        He was lucky to share the night with his children. Kamran, a former interpreter for the United States Army, fled with his family from his native Afghanistan due to threats from both the Taliban and villagers. The threats were related to his work with the US. The family now lives illegally and in constant fear of being discovered and sent back to Afghanistan, where Kamran believes they would face near-certain death. Sometimes he has to sleep in the desert to avoid police raids, bribes and beatings.

        Kamran became a translator for the US military when he was 18 because he wanted to do something good for Afghanistan, he said. He spent a decade with American troops, living and working directly alongside them. But now, he is one of the thousands of interpreters who have been left behind and are in danger because of their service to the US.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • A Leaker’s Motives Are Irrelevant, Gov’t Says

        Exclusion of a “good motive” or public interest argument is consistent with past practice in previous leak trials under the Espionage Act dating back to the case of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, as writer Tom Mueller recalled in his new cultural history of whistleblowing Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud (p. 111).

      • The Mysterious Death Of The Hacker Who Turned In Chelsea Manning

        He left a voice note to himself hours before he died. He had twisted his leg and was, in his words, in agonizing pain. Given everything we had uncovered it is possible that Lamo’s last night went something like this: After spending some time on the computer and having dinner he took something to help him relax and maybe ease some of that muscle pain. He went into the bedroom, lay down on the clothes, curled up, and just stopped breathing. It wasn’t natural, suicide, homicide or completely undetermined — it was an accident.

      • Judge: UK to imprison Julian Assange after his sentence ends

        The judge’s comments did not appear to be part of any formal ruling, as no bail application had yet been made.

        Speaking to Assange, the judge also alleged, “I have given your lawyer an opportunity to make an application for bail on your behalf and she has declined to do so.”

        In fact, as Julian Assange’s father John Shipton, who was in the courtroom, explained in an interview, the judge decided on her own to discuss Julian’s bail at what was supposed to be merely a “technical hearing.”

        Judge Baraitser “decided to hear a bail application case which wasn’t before her,” Shipton said, “which she promptly refused.” When asked who brought the bail application, he said, “She made it herself.”

        Assange himself was clearly caught off guard as well. When explicitly asked by the court if he understood these developments, Assange responded, “Not really. I’m sure the lawyers will explain it.”

        The surprise hearing is especially troubling given ongoing concerns over Julian Assange’s ability to defend himself against the United States’ extradition request, the trial for which is scheduled for February 2020. In response to the abrupt nature of the hearing, a member of the public has written an open letter to Westminster Magistrates Court calling for more transparency about their proceedings.

    • Environment

      • Used and abused, oceans key to fighting climate change

        Seas have grown acidic, potentially undermining their capacity to draw down CO2. Warmer surface water has expanded the force and range of deadly tropical storms. Marine heatwaves are wiping out coral reefs, and accelerating the melt-off of glaciers and ice sheets driving sea level rise.

        “The last book of the Bible talks about the four horseman of the Apocalypse,” said Dan Laffoley, strategic lead for ocean protection at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

        “For the oceans, the lead horseman is surface warming,” he told AFP. “The three others are ocean heating, loss of oxygen and acidification.”

        There are at least three types of actions humans can take to help repair the damage and ensure that oceans don’t turn from friend to foe, scientists say.

      • What if Reporters Covered the Climate Crisis Like Edward R. Murrow Covered the Start of World War II?

        Many of us have recognized that our coverage of global warming has fallen short. There’s been some excellent reporting by independent journalists and by enterprising reporters and photographers from legacy newspapers and other news outlets. But the Goliaths of the US news media, those with the biggest amplifiers—the corporate broadcast networks—have been shamelessly AWOL, despite their extraordinary profits. The combined coverage of climate change by the three major networks and Fox fell from just 260 minutes in 2017 to a mere 142 minutes in 20l8—a drop of 45 percent, reported the watchdog group Media Matters.

        Meanwhile, about 1,300 communities across the United States have totally lost news coverage, many from newspaper mergers and closures, according to the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism. Hundreds of others are still standing only as “ghost newspapers.” They no longer have resources for even local reporting, much less for climate change. “Online news sites, as well as some TV newsrooms, are working hard to keep local reporting alive, but these are taking root far more slowly than newspapers are dying,” observes Tom Stites of Poynter in a report about the study. And, alas, many of the news outlets that are still around have ignored or misreported the climate story and failed to counter the tsunami of deceptive propaganda unleashed by fossil-fuel companies and the mercenaries, ideologues, and politicians who do their bidding.

      • 23 Reasons to Climate Strike Today

        But it will only be a success on the scale we need if lots of people who aren’t the regular suspects join in. Many people, of course, can’t do without a day’s pay or work for bosses who would fire them if they missed work. So, it really matters that those of us with the freedom to rally do so. Since I published the first book for a general audience on climate change 30 years ago this month, I’ve had lots of time to think about the various ways to move people to action. Let me offer a few: [...]

      • TV Weathercasters Who Are Shifting Public Opinion on the Climate Crisis

        The change has come as meteorologists and weather forecasters themselves have changed their opinions on the climate crisis and its causes. In 2008, a survey of some American Meteorological Society members found that only 24 percent of weathercasters agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that warming was caused by humans. In 2010, a study by Maibach found that 54 percent agreed that global warming is happening. But by 2017, a full 90 percent agreed that climate crisis is happening, and 80 percent indicated it was human-caused.

      • How YouTube Promotes Climate Change Denial

        But people searching for accurate information about climate change may end up finding conspiracy theories and climate change denial. New research shows that an alarming number of of videos hosted on YouTube contain information that contradicts the scientific consensus that humans are causing dangerous climate change — and those videos rack up a huge number of views.

        Researcher Joachim Allgaier, author of the study published in the journal Frontiers in Communication, said he wanted to look at a little-inspected aspect of the site: the search bar. Studies of YouTube videos, Allgaier said, generally focus on videos with the most views, many of which are from reputable scientific sources with large followings.

      • The climate issue

        That the changing climate touches everything and everyone should be obvious—as it should be that the poor and marginalised have most to lose when the weather turns against them. What is less obvious, but just as important, is that, because the processes that force climate change are built into the foundations of the world economy and of geopolitics, measures to check climate change have to be similarly wide-ranging and all-encompassing. To decarbonise an economy is not a simple subtraction; it requires a near-complete overhaul.

      • With an Indigenous perspective, Anchorage seeks to adapt to climate change even if Alaska doesn’t

        Anchorage is taking the lead by issuing the city’s first climate action plan, which was released in April and will be voted on by the city council later this month.

        The municipal plan, if adopted, may become Alaska’s boldest climate statement given that Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy mothballed the state’s recently adopted climate policy, which sought to reconcile the dilemma of a state heavily dependent on fossil fuel revenues with the fact that Alaska is experiencing climate change faster than other parts of the planet. Over the last century, the average mean temperature in the continental US has increased by 1.45 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the last 60 years, since Alaska began keeping regular weather data, the state’s mean temperature has increased by 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

      • The hard truths of climate change — by the numbers

        Bruno Rodriguez is only 18, but he has seen enough in his time on Earth to know that he must to do something for the planet. Inspired by the student climate strikes in Europe, he founded Youth for Climate Argentina in his home country. The group drew more than 8,000 demonstrators to the national congress in May, and its leaders worked with senators to pass a resolution on 17 July, declaring a climate emergency.

        Argentina is responsible for less than 1% of annual global emissions, but Rodriguez says the science is clear: everyone must take aggressive action if the world is to avoid a massive environmental and humanitarian crisis. “There is no middle ground,” says Rodriguez. “We need radical industrial transformation.”

      • ‘Huge Win’ But ‘Not Enough’: Amazon Workers Claim Credit for Pushing Bezos on Climate, Vow to Intensify Campaign

        “Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets.”

      • UN Secretary General Urges Public Pressure Against Climate “Emergency”

        This story originally appeared in The Nation. It is republished here as part of the Climate News Network’s partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

      • Faster global warming may bring much more heat

        Climate scientists are haunted by a global temperature rise 56 million years ago, which could mean much more heat very soon.

      • Australia prepares for ‘Day Zero’ – the day the water runs out

        Day Zero is pending in at least a dozen Australian country towns stretching from the northern state of Queensland – known for its sprawling banana plantations and tropical heatwaves – to the state of New South Wales, whose capital Sydney is the country’s most populous city.

        Successive droughts and the extra water needed to fight intense bushfires have caused an unprecedented shortage, with these regions now facing the prospect of the taps running out within a matter of months.

        Day Zero, as it’s called, would mark the start of water rationing and the day residential taps are turned off – literally – with large numbers of households and businesses having to go to local collection sites to fetch water.

      • Photos show huge climate-change protests around the world, which have spread across continents as millions strike to demand action

        Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests in Australia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Kenya, Germany, the UK, and other countries, and protests are due to continue around the world.

      • There’s a Climate Threat Facing Pacific Islands That’s More Dire Than Losing Land

        Even now, on most developing islands in the Pacific, freshwater is already an imperilled resource. On many populated atolls, the primary source is rain that’s soaked into the soil and collected as groundwater.

        Yet as sea levels continue to rise and flooding becomes more frequent, the ground on these islands might also begin to absorb seawater. And if subsequent rainfall doesn’t flush all that salt out of the island’s aquifer, it will likely become contaminated.

        This disaster scenario might be enough deprive entire isolated islands of their sole source of drinking water, forcing residents to rely on rainfall and shipments alone.

      • Indonesia blames planters for raging wildfires and horrible air quality

        Only about 22 per cent of the forestry business permit holders, or 2,179 firms, submitted mandatory reports on forest fire control, suggesting a lack of commitment in preventing fires on their land, the Ministry of Forestry and Environment said in a statement.

        But the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries defended the industry, saying oil palm plantations were generally not the source of burning. Hot spots recorded in oil palm plantations usually spread from neighbouring areas, it said in a statement on its website.

        Indonesian authorities have named more than 200 companies including oil palm, pulp producers and individual farmers as responsible for starting the fires and sealed their land holdings.

      • New, Dire Climate Models Say the Planet Warms Faster Than We Thought

        Two new climate models predict that global warming due to climate change will be faster and more severe than previously thought, meaning humanity will have to work even harder to curb its emissions and meet the warming goals set out in the Paris agreement.

        If we continue to use fossil fuels to drive rapid economic growth, the new models say, mean global temperature could rise as much as 7 degrees Celsius by 2100, which is 1 degree higher than previous estimates. In terms of climate change, that’s a lot.

      • Haze From Indonesian Fires Now Affecting Philippines

        Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency said the number of hotspots has been rising in the past week and reached 5,086 on Friday, despite government efforts to battle the fires and control the haze.

        The agency recorded 1,443 hotspots in Central Kalimantan province on Borneo, an island which is divided among Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

        It said 99% of the hotspots were caused by deliberately set fires.

      • Greta Thunberg Leads Climate Strikes in 150 Countries (Live Blog)

        Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg is leading a global climate strike Friday, ahead of Monday’s Climate Action Summit at the United Nations. The Swedish 16-year-old rose to fame a year ago when she inspired a global student climate protest. She has been in the U.S. since late August after traveling in a carbon-neutral yacht across the Atlantic, and she recently testified in Congress about the appalling consequences of our leaders’ climate inaction.

      • “Not a Blade of Grass Grew:” Living on the Edge of the Climate Crisis in the Sandarbans of West Bengal

        Kajal Lata Biswas is still haunted by memories of the cyclone. Though it’s been 10 years since Aila hit the Sundarbans, she still clearly recalls May 25, 2009.

      • Burning Amazonia, Denying Climate Change, Devastating Syria, Starving Yemen, and Ignoring Kashmir

        The World Order Backdrop

      • Applause as Federal Court Blocks ‘Unconstitutional’ South Dakota Law That Would Hit Pipeline Protesters With Up to 25 Years in Prison

        “The so-called ‘Riot Boosting’ Act was clearly intended to suppress constitutionally-protected, peaceful protests of the Keystone XL pipeline.”

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • How Long Before These Salmon Are Gone? ‘Maybe 20 Years’

          Before the 20th century, some 10 million to 16 million adult salmon and steelhead trout are thought to have returned annually to the Columbia River system. The current return of wild fish is 2 percent of that, by some estimates.

          While farming, logging and especially the commercial harvest of salmon in the early 20th century all took a toll, the single greatest impact on wild fish comes from eight large dams — four on the Columbia and four on the Snake River, a major tributary.

        • Climate Change and Crime: New Pressures for Pacific Walruses and Alaska Native Artists
        • North America Has 3 Billion Fewer Birds Than it Did in 1970

          The number of birds in North America has declined by almost 3 billion since 1970, according to a study published today (September 19) in Science. The work, led by researchers at Cornell University, documents population reductions for hundreds of species and warns of an ongoing biodiversity crisis across the continent.

          Paul Ehrlich, an ecologist at Stanford University who was not involved in the work, tells Science that the findings “might stir needed action in light of the public interest in our feathered friends.”

        • Birds Are Vanishing From North America

          The skies are emptying out.

          The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago.

          The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt yet to learn what is happening to avian populations. The results have shocked researchers and conservation organizations.

          In a statement on Thursday, David Yarnold, president and chief executive of the National Audubon Society, called the findings “a full-blown crisis.”

          Experts have long known that some bird species have become vulnerable to extinction. But the new study, based on a broad survey of more than 500 species, reveals steep losses even among such traditionally abundant birds as robins and sparrows.

        • Where have the wild birds gone? 3 billion fewer than 1970

          North America’s skies are lonelier and quieter as nearly 3 billion fewer wild birds soar in the air than in 1970, a comprehensive study shows.

        • North America has lost 3 billion birds in 50 years

          A sweeping new study says a steep decline in bird abundance, including among common species, amounts to “an overlooked biodiversity crisis.”

    • Finance

      • The Fed Comes to Its Senses, Lowers Interest Rate

        What follows is a conversation between Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Mark Weisbrot and Greg Wilpert of The Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or watch the video at the bottom of the post.

      • Why Wells Fargo plans to pilot its own cryptocurrency

        Wells Fargo & Company this week announced plans to pilot an internal settlement service using a homegrown cryptocurrency backed by fiat money, starting with the U.S. dollar.

        Wells Fargo Digital Cash, which will run on the bank’s first distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform based on the R3 Corda Enterprise blockchain specification, will enable internal book transfers of cross-border payments within the bank’s global network. It will also allow bank’s international locations to exchange that digitized money among themselves.

      • Is There Any Lesser Authority Than Alan Greenspan?

        That is undoubtedly the question that readers of Robert Samuelson’s column on negative interest rates are asking. At one point Samuelson tells readers:

      • US: Proposed Debt Collection Rule Fails Consumers

        The Trump administration’s proposed rule on debt collection companies in the United States would severely undermine protections for consumers, Human Rights Watch said today. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule would give wide leeway to abusive debt collectors and collection attorneys by allowing them to try to collect debts by using false, deceptive, or misleading representations, even after the statute of limitations has ended.

      • Apple Fights ‘Phantom’ Units Claim in $14 Billion EU Court Clash

        Apple Inc. and Ireland’s court room clash with the European Commission finally lived up to its billing as the world’s biggest tax case.

        A two-day hearing into their appeal of the EU’s record 13 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) tax bill heated up on Wednesday as Apple rebutted claims that Irish units at the center of its fight are just “phantoms” and Ireland hit back at regulators for saying the country would willingly forgo one-fifth of its corporate tax takings.

        Ireland is the victim of “wholly unjustified criticism of its tax system and its approach” from the EU in “the biggest state aid case ever,” said Paul Gallagher, the government’s lawyer, in closing arguments of an EU General Court hearing in Luxembourg.

      • Apple says EU exaggerates the importance of Ireland to its business

        Apple continues to argue its appeal against the European Commission’s $14.4 billion tax ruling, saying that the order was based on the erroneous idea that Ireland is key to Apple’s strategic planning.

      • A Primer on the Stellar Network

        When I realized that the Stellar network was set up so that it would be feasible for a CAD-equivalent of AnchorUSD to exist such that I could send family in the United States actual USD that they could deposit into their bank accounts from CAD money in my bank account, that got me excited. Typically I use TransferWise (if you choose to sign up to TransferWise, this is a referral link that gets me and the first couple of people who use it some money), but it takes a few days for the money to arrive and I have to go through some hoops to get the cheapest fee with the fastest result by letting them log into my bank account to check I actually have the funds which has always bugged me from a security perspective.

        Add on to that the fact that PayPal is about the only solution I know of for sending small amounts of money internationally – which happens regularly to me when I’m at a conference outside of Canada and the restaurant won’t split the cheque – and you start to wonder why there aren’t more potential solutions out there for sending money internationally in a fast, cheap manner.

        And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this: IBM has a service called World Wire built on the Stellar network specifically for moving money quickly and cheaply between banks. So now I’m just waiting for someone to set up a CAD-based anchor which acts as an Interac e-Transfer bridge between my Stellar account and my Canadian chequing account so I can send money to the United States cheaply and easily.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Scourge in the White House

        I would have no trouble defending myself and my loved ones: family and country. But under no circumstances would I employ corrupt practices to get ahead.

      • Buried Whistleblower Report Apparently Involves President Trump’s Conversations With A Foreign Leader

        At the very last minute of last week — prime government news-dumping time — Rep. Adam Schiff announced the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was (perhaps unlawfully) refusing to turn over a whistleblower report to House Intelligence Community.

      • America Keeps Getting China All Wrong

        For decades, China has been an enigmatic foe and friend to the United States. From trade to immigration, the two international giants have been linked in inextricable ways in recent years. With Donald Trump’s current trade war with China and the Hong Kong protests hitting headlines, Americans are once again thinking about the Chinese in a more nuanced way. Yet there is still a lot of misinformation about the Asian nation circulating at all levels of American society, including within the Trump administration.

      • Trump Pressed Ukraine’s Leader on Inquiry Into Biden’s Son [iophk: more tweets in place of official communications :( and the whole complaint needs to be aired]

        “No explicit quid pro quo is necessary to betray your country,” tweeted Mr. Schiff, who has also pushed for the whistle-blower complaint to be given to Congress.

      • Twitter closes thousands of fake news accounts worldwide

        Twitter said on Friday it shut down thousands of accounts worldwide for spreading misinformation, including some artificially amplifying pro-Saudi messaging as part of a regional propaganda war.

        The move affected pro-Saudi accounts coming from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates directed at Qatar and Yemen, Twitter said, as well as others from China seeking to sow discord among protesters in Hong Kong.

        Additional fake accounts were suspended in Spain and Ecuador, Twitter’s safety team said. The move is the latest in a series of actions by social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter cracking down on manipulation, often by state-controlled entities disguising their identities.

      • A Step Toward Blowing Up the Presidential-Voting System

        With a law set to take effect in 2020, Maine will become the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting for a presidential election—a method in which people list candidates by order of preference rather than bubbling in just one circle. Maine controls only four electoral votes and splits them in half by congressional district, but the change could have huge consequences if the national presidential race to 270 electoral votes is close.

      • Congress Should Use Impeachment ‘Muscle Power’ Against Trump to Access Whistleblower Complaint, Watergate Prosecutor Says

        Akerman said that because the Trump administration is trying so hard to keep the information of the complaint away from the public, it’s likely that the information is “really very suspect.” The former federal prosecutor went so far as to suggest that Trump may have “committed treason, or done something that comes pretty close to it.”

      • Meet Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager

        In August, at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, a tall man with a Viking beard and an elegant gray suit walked out on a stage, carrying a stack of red Make America Great Again hats, tossing them to an adoring crowd, shouting “Four more years!”

        The man is Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who vaulted from a mid-level web designer to digital strategist for the 2016 Trump campaign and now manages the 2020 incarnation, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., which he claims will be America’s first billion-dollar campaign. And as he’s been doing this, Parscale has figured out ways to enrich himself and his firms, at various times collecting a salary from the Trump campaign, payments from the Republican National Committee and money from a super PAC, America First Action.

      • Memo to Trump: Water Runs Downhill

        It seems a sure bet that if someone told Donald Trump water runs downhill he would immediately claim it was “fake news” since, after all, when he turns on the gold taps in his Fifth Avenue penthouse atop Trump Tower, water comes gushing out. And you know, it’s a long ways up — 58 stories, although he claims it has 68 — so how does it get up there if water runs downhill? But for the rest of us who live in the real world, water definitely runs downhill. Which is why the latest move by Trump’s corrupt administration to scrap the Obama-era “Waters of the United States” rule last week should concern anyone who lives downstream — which is basically everyone.

      • Alarming Trump ‘Promise’ to Foreign Leader Reportedly Sparked Whistleblower Complaint Intel Chief Is Hiding From Congress

        “This may take impeachment in a totally new direction,” said John Dean, who served as White House counsel to President Richard Nixon

      • Ocasio-Cortez Calls NYT Story an Attempt to ‘Gaslight’ the Left

        By now, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has gone through more full-on political attacks than President Trump has gone through cabinet members.

      • Trump Officials: UNC-Duke Program Too Positive on Islam

        The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, arguing that it’s misusing a federal grant to advance “ideological priorities” and unfairly promote “the positive aspects of Islam” but not Christianity or Judaism.

      • FUNDRAISER: Corporate Media Sidetracking Real Election Issues—Again
      • WaPo No Longer Discloses Its Owner’s Uber Investment

        A new California law threatens to upend Uber, but the Washington Post claimed the law doesn’t apply to the ride-hailing giant. This is convenient, since Post owner Jeff Bezos is not only a major Uber investor, but also founder and CEO of Amazon, which is likely to also be negatively impacted by the new law.

        The recently passed legislation requires companies to classify workers as employees if their work is central to the business. Throughout its decade of lawbreaking and staggering growth, Uber has classified its drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This has allowed the ride-hailing giant to avoid providing benefits and job protections, creating huge savings for Uber and financial hardship for many drivers.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • EFF to Observe at United Nations General Assembly Leaders’ Week Event

        EFF has joined the advisory committee of the Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online and will be represented at meetings near the United Nations General Assembly early next week. We have been involved in the process since May, when the government of New Zealand convened more than forty civil society actors in Paris for an honest discussion of the Call’s goals and drawbacks.

        We are grateful to New Zealand’s government for working toward greater inclusion of civil society in the conversation around what to do about violent extremism. But, we remain concerned that some of the governments and corporations involved seek to rid the internet of terrorist content regardless of the human cost. As demonstrated by a paper we released this summer, in conjunction with Witness and Syrian Archive demonstrates, that cost is very real.

      • Why It Matters That YouTube Changed Its Verification System

        YouTube is overhauling its verification system, and in so doing is radically changing who is qualified to have the coveted little checkmark next to their name. (Well, actually, YouTube is scrapping the checkmark too, replacing it with a gray swipe.) In the previous system, anyone with over 100,000 subscribers could be verified. Now, creators will only be verified if YouTube determines that they are a channel of sufficient “prominence,” one that might need to distinguish itself from potential imitators. The result is that many creators—including people with over a million subscribers who have been working on the platform for over a decade—have been informed that their channel is due for de-verification, effective this October.

      • Iran Regime Sentences 86 Protesters to Flogging and Jail

        The Borujen Criminal Court in the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province tried 103 protesters for “disrupting public order and peace” and “disobeying government agents on duty” on July 31.

        The Iranian regime sentenced each of the 86 activists to 30 lashes and four months of prison, merely for protesting the transfer of their drinking water to the Sefid Dasht Steel Factory owned by the Isfahan Steel Company, which is linked to the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

      • Martial Law Masquerading As Law And Order: The Police State’s Language Of Force

        You want to turn a peaceful protest into a riot?

        Bring in the militarized police with their guns and black uniforms and warzone tactics and “comply or die” mindset. Ratchet up the tension across the board. Take what should be a healthy exercise in constitutional principles (free speech, assembly and protest) and turn it into a lesson in authoritarianism.

        Mind you, those who respond with violence are playing into the government’s hands perfectly.

        The government wants a reason to crack down and lock down and bring in its biggest guns.

        They want us divided. They want us to turn on one another.

        They want us powerless in the face of their artillery and armed forces.

        They want us silent, servile and compliant.

      • ‘The Silenced’: Meet the Climate Whistle-Blowers Muzzled by Trump

        From weakening vehicle emissions to blocking warnings about how coastal parks could flood or the impact on the Arctic, the Trump administration is accused of muzzling climate science.

        Here six former government scientists describe being sidelined by the administration—and why they won’t be quiet.

      • The Russian Student Who Has Become Moscow’s New Face Of Dissent

        Student activists celebrated a small victory in early September, when a judge moved Zhukov from jail to house arrest. But as the prosecutors’ case against him for rioting crumbled, he is now being charged with “extremism,” which carries up to five years in prison.

      • UK: The Push to End Free Speech

        Islam represents an idea, not a nationality or an ethnicity. The conventional purpose of most hate-speech laws is to protect people from hatred, not ideas.

        The new proposed definition would criminalize criticism of Islam. Considering the origins of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, that is probably the whole point.

      • Hindu teacher attacked, temple vandalised in Pakistan’s Sindh

        Widespread protests erupted in Ghotki district after an FIR was filed against the principal of Sindh Public School on the complaint of Abdul Aziz Rajput, a student’s father who claimed that the teacher had committed blasphemy by uttering derogatory remarks against the Prophet of Islam.

        Following the riots, protesters demanded the police to arrest the principal, who was identified as Notan Mal.

        The Ghotki city has been shut down and the Hindu community is under a threat.

      • Court cuts jail time for Sarawakian convicted of insulting Islam, retains RM50,000 fine

        Alister Cogia, 22, will now spend six years of his life in prison instead of 10 after he was found guilty of insulting Islam and the religion’s prophet on Facebook.

        High Court judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli today reduced an earlier prison sentence, but maintained the RM50,000 fine imposed by the Sessions Court after taking into account the timing and frequencies of the offence.

      • A strange Twitter glitch is censoring the left — and no one knows if it’s a bug or a feature [iophk: stems from misuse of twitter in place of official channel for communication]

        Salon’s Executive Editor Andrew O’Hehir noticed he could not “like” an Edward Snowden thread on Tuesday about Snowden’s book; he, too received a “like failed” message, and found that the Snowden post behaved similarly to the WFP post, in that he was unable to interact with it.

        John Graziano, who has over 18,000 followers on Twitter, and often tweets on left-wing politics, said he noticed the pattern about a month ago: certain prominent tweets would get a lot of attention, yet he could not view the replies.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Russians increasingly turn to online calls, as ‘blocked’ Telegram rapidly gains users

        A new study by the professional services network Deloitte, reported by Kommersant, found that instant messengers are the most popular smartphone apps in Russia, as Russians pivot increasingly to making online rather than traditional phone calls. More than half of the study’s respondents (53 percent) say they’ve started using these Internet services more often in the past year. Overall, researchers found, as many as 35 percent of all calls in Russia are now made through online messengers.

      • Response to DCMS call for evidence on digital identity September 2019
      • Edward Snowden Is a 2020 Election Issue

        The lawsuit is a just one example of how Snowden and other former intelligence officers and military personnel are threatened, even when they are not revealing official secrets. “This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations,” explains Ben Wizner, the director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, who serves as an attorney for Snowden. “Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified.”

        That’s a problem for Snowden, and for the American people. And it is something that the candidates who hope to replace Trump should be talking about. Indeed, it is a question that ought to be addressed in the next Democratic presidential debate.

      • AT&T Says Customers Can’t Sue the Company for Selling Location Data to Bounty Hunters

        AT&T is arguing that its customers can’t sue the company for selling location data to bounty hunters, according to recently filed court records. AT&T says the customers signed contracts that force them into arbitration, meaning consumers have to settle complaints privately with the company rather than in court. The filing is in response to a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

        The news shows the hurdles consumers are faced with when trying to claim compensation from telecos and other tech giants that have arguably abused access to their data, including ultimately selling it to people without authorization to handle such information.

      • Corporatocracy: inside the Cash Ban

        The Government and Opposition are about to push through laws to hobble the cash economy, laws based on advice from KPMG. Michael West looks at the real reasons behind the jihad on cash.

      • The Internet of Things Is Still a Privacy Dumpster Fire, Study Finds

        The full study, a joint collaboration between Northeastern University and Imperial College London took a closer look at 81 popular smart TVs, streaming dongles, smart speakers, and video doorbells made by vendors including Google, Roku, and Amazon.

        The results aren’t comforting: the majority of the devices collected and shared information including your IP address, device specs (like MAC address), usage habits, and location data. That data is then shared with a laundry list of third parties, regardless of whether the user actually has a relationship with those companies.

      • Detroit Police opt for safety [sic] over privacy, as facial recognition approved

        After the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners approved the measure 8-3, sighs from residents and activists filled a conference room at downtown’s Public Safety Headquarters.

        Opponents worried about increased surveillance and studies showing the software is less reliable in identifying people of color, a particular concern since African-Americans comprise 79 percent of Detroit’s population. But Detroit is the nation’s second most-violent big city, and police said the software can help cut crime.

      • Detroit police board approves facial recognition software

        Two bills that would ban or delay police use of facial recognition technology in Michigan, HB 4810 and SB 342, are pending.

        Some citizens voiced their displeasure, including Eric Blount, who said the board members appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan — Holt, Holley, Garza Dewaelsche and Brooks — rubber-stamped the policy. Under the City Charter, four board members are appointed by the mayor, and seven are elected.

      • Researchers show that smart TVs are sending your private information back to third parties like Netflix and Facebook

        While most people have long suspected that their smart TVs are spying on them, there is now definitive proof. Two new studies have highlighted that smart TVs are still not good for your privacy. Two sets of researchers – one from Princeton University and the University of Chicago and a second from Northeastern University and Imperial College of London – recently published papers which highlight the current state of smart TV privacy violations. Namely, that smart TVs across brands are sending private information back to third parties such as Facebook and Netflix – even when told not to. The private information that is being sent includes IP address and other location information – which is often entered during setup of the television. Other information that is passed includes Ad ID, what you’re watching, how long, etc. According to the most recent data, the majority of American households (68%) have one of these connected TVs in their homes. That includes dumb TVs which have been made “smart” by the addition of hardware such as a Roku, Fire TV stick, or an Apple TV.

      • Conservancy Asks Trademark Office to Protect Applicant’s Personal Privacy

        Software Freedom Conservancy today submitted a petition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) asking that Office to reconsider recent rulemaking that exposes trademark owners’ personal addresses. This rulemaking has a direct impact on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects and charities (like Conservancy) that work to advance software freedom. FOSS is developed virtually, with limited budgets, and rarely does a FOSS project have office space. FOSS projects that register trademarks should not be required to disclose the personal, residential, home address of the project leaders. Furthermore, software freedom organizations are more likely to be full-telecommute organizations, in which case, the new USPTO rule requires disclosure of officers and/or directors home addresses.

      • Zuckerberg Meets Trump at White House With Facebook on the Defensive [iophk: probably just offered him the 2020 election]

        Warner helped organize the dinner with lawmakers at Facebook’s request, according to Rachel Cohen, a Warner spokeswoman. They discussed a wide range of issues “including the role and responsibility of social media platforms in protecting our democracy, and what steps Congress should take to defend our elections, protect consumer data, and encourage competition in the social media space,” Cohen said in a statement.

      • Zuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit

        In closed-door meetings with influential senators, Zuckerberg defended his company against accusations that it has amassed too much power, censored conservative voices and failed to adequately protect against election interference on the platform.

        According to a Facebook spokesperson, Zuckerberg came to town to discuss “future internet regulation.” According to lawmakers and their offices, the meetings ultimately addressed everything from data privacy to alleged anti-conservative bias, with Zuckerberg in the hot seat.

      • ‘No reason’ to reconsider granting Snowden asylum, French minister says

        Le Drian told CNews television that when Snowden first asked for asylum in 2013, the French government felt it was not “appropriate” and that nothing has since altered that view.

        “He asked for asylum in France – and also elsewhere – in 2013. At that time, France believed it was not appropriate and I don’t see anything that has changed today, either from a political point of view or a legal one,” Le Drian said.

        More than a dozen countries have turned down requests to take in the 36-year-old.

      • Facebook is back using humans to listen to Portal recordings

        However, some folks might be a bit miffed as to why Facebook has an opt-out policy rather than an opt-in one. There are plenty of people who don’t even skim read T&Cs before accepting them, let alone give them a deep read. So we wouldn’t be surprised to find that future Portal users have their voice commands recorded and reviewed by fellow humans by default rather than a conscious choice.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Fuelling populism and influencing votes – Austria’s biggest tabloid

        “The Krone was the first newspaper to touch emotions… and so connect to its readers,” Plasser tells AFP.

        “This influence has rubbed off on politicians who have adopted the emotional strategy to reach the wider public.”

      • Media courts

        An independent press is supposed to hold the authorities’ feet to the fire; for the government to insert itself into the system that regulates the media presents an obvious conflict of interest. One can, in fact, ask whether this latest move has anything to do with television anchors of late becoming a tad more critical of the government’s performance, something that has undoubtedly discomfited some PTI legislators.

        Instead of acquiring the reputation of a regime that recalls the darkest days of censorship, the government should strengthen Pemra and PCP by respecting their autonomy rather than proposing a system whereby they would function as mere post offices.

      • Saudi blogger Raif Badawi goes on prison hunger strike

        Saudi dissident Raif Badawi has started a hunger strike as the conditions of his imprisonment have reportedly worsened. The blogger was arrested and lashed for insulting the country’s strict interpretation of Islam.

      • Julian Assange: The great unmentionable as Australian leader wines and dines with Trump

        The fate of Julian Assange, however an Australian citizen and journalist imprisoned in the United Kingdom at the behest of the Trump administration for exposing American war crimes, will not feature among Morrison’s scripted talking points.

        Jennifer Robinson, one of Assange’s Australian lawyers, yesterday told the Special Broadcasting Corporation: “Prime Minister Morrison ought to be raising with President Trump his concern about an Australian citizen facing extradition to the United States for publishing truthful information.”

        Robinson’s call will be ignored. Morrison last year rejected appeals from Pamela Anderson for his government to intervene in defence of Assange, instead directing frat-boy “humour” at the actress. When a reporter asked Morrison if he had raised the issue of Assange at the G20 summit in June, he simply responded with a smirk.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Russian National Guard director calls for freeing one ‘Moscow case’ defendant and adding years to another’s prison sentence

        Russian National Guard Director Viktor Zolotov has stated publicly that Pavel Ustinov, who was recently sentenced to 3.5 years for supposedly injuring a National Guardsman during his arrest, should be released from custody and sentenced to a year’s probation. 

      • ‘Here’s the evidence — you’re gay’ Russian student disciplined after university officials find LGBTQ group in his social media subscriptions

        Two local news sources, Eurasian News (EAN) and Yekaterinburg Online, reported on September 17 that Ural State Economic University (UrGEU) was planning to expel a student whom administrators suspected of being gay. The student had subscribed to notifications from an LGBTQ group on the social media network VKontakte. Regional government officials have criticized UrGEU’s leadership, and an LGBTQ organization has asked prosecutors to determine whether the university broke any laws. UrGEU officials responded to the backlash against them by saying they did not, in fact, plan to expel the student in question. However, they confirmed that they actively oppose student involvement in LGBTQ groups.

      • Moscow prosecutors reportedly want Pavel Ustinov released from jail. His prison sentence has sparked new protests.

        Moscow’s District Attorney has asked the City Court to release Pavel Ustinov from a detention center before his appeal is heard on September 23, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed to the news agency Interfax. The court is expected to rule on the request on Friday, September 20. The district attorney wants Ustinov released on his own recognizance. 

      • ‘No Soft Landing’: Former DHS Head Kirstjen Nielsen Leaves Atlantic Ideas Festival Stage After Outrage From Grassroots Movement

        “She never should have been invited in the first place.”

      • Maha Hilal on Anti-Muslim Watchlist, Dana Brown on Public Option for Pharmaceuticals
      • The Supreme Court Considers Mandatory Government Funding of Religious Education

        In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court will address a question that would have been unthinkable to ask even until quite recently: Can a state be forced to underwrite religious education with taxpayer dollars? Although the court has previously allowed the government to adopt school-voucher programs that provide indirect government aid to religious schools, it has never suggested that the U.S. Constitution somehow requires them to do so — and certainly not in the face of state constitutional rules barring taxpayer funding of religious education. Yet that is essentially what the petitioners are seeking in Espinoza, the latest in a disturbing line of cases attacking the very foundations of the separation of church and state.At issue in Espinoza is a voucher-type program in Montana designed to divert millions in government dollars to private schools, the overwhelming majority of which are religiously affiliated. The program, enacted in 2015, allows taxpayers to receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits for donations to Student Scholarship Organizations, which then award scholarships to students attending private elementary and secondary schools. In other words, if a taxpayer owes the state, say, $100 in taxes, she can decide instead to send that money directly to an SSO, which will then spend it on private-school scholarships. In practice, the tax-credit program has served its unmistakable goal of funneling government dollars to religious education: The only SSO operating in the state supports 13 private schools, 12 of which are religiously affiliated, and over 94 percent of program scholarships have gone to finance religious education.

      • Gulalai Ismail, Feminist Hunted by Pakistan’s Authorities, Escapes to U.S.

        But somehow Gulalai Ismail, a 32-year-old Pakistani women’s rights activist on the run, managed to slip through the dragnet last month and escape to America. She is now staying with her sister in Brooklyn and has applied for political asylum in the United States.

        She is still worried about her parents back home and the underground network that secretly protected her as she moved from house to house, city to city, through countless police checkpoints, always wearing a veil over her face, her eyes barely visible.

      • Indonesia’s president delays a law banning extramarital sex

        Legally, parliament is not bound by the president’s request, but it is very unlikely to ignore it, argues Tim Lindsey, director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at Melbourne University. He told the Sydney Morning Herald, “You have to ask why Jokowi agreed to proceed with this law, then reversed his position. Either he wasn’t paying attention to the laws, or he came under huge political pressure. Maybe he is just hugely embarrassed by the international media storm.”

      • It’s Time to End Forced Arbitration

        If you own a credit card or a bank account, use a ride-sharing service, made an online purchase, or work in corporate America, chances are you have signed a forced arbitration agreement: a promise that, if any disputes arise between you and your employer or the business, you won’t sue. Hidden in the fine-print of a contract you may not even remember signing is language that says you’ve agreed, in advance, to give up your right go to court.

      • Appeals Court Refuses To Grant Immunity To Sheriff Who Engaged In Extortion To Go After A Whistleblower

        A couple of years ago, we covered the story of an exceptionally corrupt Alabama sheriff. Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin — picking up where her predecessor, Sheriff Greg Bartlett left off — was accused of starving prisoners to pad her personal checking account.

      • US: Block Law Endangering Sex Workers

        (Washington, DC, September 19, 2019) – Human Rights Watch and four other plaintiffs will present arguments on September 20, 2019 against dismissal of their challenge to a 2017 US law that imposes criminal liability for online speech about sex work.

      • Tanzania: Protect Burundians Facing Abuse

        Tanzania should protect Burundian refugees fleeing widespread abuses instead of requiring them to return to Burundi against their will.

      • Court Shoots Down Cop’s Assertion That Driving Without Breaking Any Laws Is ‘Suspicious’

        Must be tough out there for cops. Literally everything is suspicious. And there are only so many hours in the day. Since no court is willing to end the tradition of pretextual stops, anything that can be described as suspicious has been used to initiate fishing expeditions.

      • Warren’s Ethnic Issue Should Not Go Away

        I am an academic. I’ve taught at Tufts for over thirty years and always had a Harvard institutional affiliation. I understand academic culture and the centrality of affirmative action in administrative consciousness since the 1970s. In heading up numerous search committees for historians at Tufts, I’ve had to fill out forms at the invitation stage, listing all applicants by gender and ethnicity, according to an official categorization scheme. I’ve then justified the selection of the “shortlist” (maybe 10-12), and explaining the exclusion of the others.

      • UN Shares Details of Burundian Activist’s Murder

        New information received by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi supports what many have long suspected: Marie-Claudette Kwizera, the treasurer of the Burundian group Ligue Iteka, was targeted because of her human rights work and murdered.

      • Beneath Contempt

        The ruling caste of Saudi Arabia present the most striking example in world history of the extreme combination of avarice and personal cowardice. They are gagging for a war with Iran so long as somebody else fights it for them. Due to a dispute over who ought to have been Caliph 1400 years ago they are absolutely champing at the bit for somebody to massacre the Shia in the Shia heartland, provided they don’t have to do the massacring. It is not that they object to blood on their pure white robes, they often get that when executing a bound prisoner or raping the housemaid. But the thought of their own blood being spilt is an abomination. Let some helpful young Israelis or Americans risk fighting the Iranians, while the Saudi rulers sniff their cocaine in their London penthouses.

      • $31 billion Airbnb announces plan to go public in 2020

        Airbnb has not clarified whether it has confidentially filed its S-1 IPO paperwork, which would include basic financial information for potential investors to consider. An Airbnb spokesperson declined to comment when asked whether the paperwork has been filed.

        The home-sharing rental startup was last privately valued at $31 billion in September 2017, according to PitchBook.

      • Woman in hijab launches racist attack on Indian bus passenger

        Her mum had clashed with the driver after urging him to not let anymore people on because of overcrowding.

        When the male passenger tried to calm the mother and daughter, he was met with a torrent of abuse.

      • Why are young Muslims leaving Islam

        Behind Olad’s story hangs a tale we don’t usually hear about: how Islam is facing a wave of desertion by young Muslims suffering from a crisis of faith. The story we normally hear is of an Islam growing from strength to strength, and how for all the phobia that exists around it, it remains the fastest growing religion with 1.6 billion followers across the world and acquiring new converts on an almost daily basis. What we don’t hear is that it is also being abandoned by moderate Muslims, mostly young men and women, ill at ease with growing extremism in their communities. The ranks of ex-Muslims is reported to be swelling. ‘As the number of American Muslims has increased by almost 50 per cent in the past decade, so too has the number of ex-Muslims,’ The Economist report said, citing a Pew Research Centre survey according to which 23 per cent of Americans raised as Muslims no longer identify with the faith. Most are young second-generation immigrants, but there are also older Muslims ‘married to devout Muslim spouses and driving children to the mosque to study the Koran, at weekends to cover up their apostasy.’

      • The shaman who planned to battle Putin’s ‘evil spirit’ has been locked up in a mental ward

        Alexander Gabyshev, the Yakut shaman who set out to travel on foot to Moscow, where he planned to “exorcise” Vladimir Putin’s spirit, has been sent for psychiatric observation, according to health officials in Yakutia. Police arrested Gabyshev at the border between Buryatia and the Irkutsk region on September 19.

        “In the event that any abnormalities are detected in the patient, we are prepared to provide the appropriate medical assistance. If necessary, social services could be involved,” the local Health Ministry said in a press release.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Feds Investigating Next Round Of Sites Accused Of Facilitating Sex Trafficking

        The Wall Street Journal has a report about how both the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are investigating three “massage and escort” sites accused of taking up where Backpage left off (that link is likely paywalled, but here’s a Gizmodo summary of the same article). The article is interesting in that it explores how these three sites — Rubmaps, Eros, and EroticMonkey — are believed to be connected with one guy, David Azzato, who “was convicted in France in 2011 of profiting from prostitution through a European network of escort-ad sites.” Azzato denies having anything to do with the sites, though the article highlights some evidence that at least suggests otherwise.

      • ‘Subscription Fatigue’ Looms As Comcast Reveals Yet Another New Streaming TV Platform

        So we’ve noted many times that the rise of streaming video competitors is indisputably a good thing. Numerous new streaming alternatives have driven competition to an antiquated cable TV sector that has long been plagued by apathy, high rates, and comically bad customer service. That’s long overdue and a positive thing overall, as streaming customer satisfaction scores suggest. In response, traditional cable TV providers have had to up their game, exemplified by this week’s launch of yet another streaming service by Comcast, dubbed “Peacock.”

      • Something Has Spooked AT&T Enough To Warrant Bringing Their Top Lobbyist Out Of Retirement

        For years, top AT&T Lobbyist Jim Cicconi was the man that drove much of the telco’s controversial policy apparatus, most recently the company’s successful quest to kill net neutrality and effectively neuter the FCC. Cicconi’s charm was frequently on display in his blog posts whining about things like the FCC increasing the speed definition of “broadband”, or in the company’s astroturfing efforts to undermine most if not all consumer protections governing the telecom sector (though it’s worth noting he wasn’t particularly, personally keen on Donald Trump).

    • Monopolies

      • Mark Zuckerberg rejects call from US lawmaker to break up Facebook

        Republican Senator Josh Hawley told reporters he met with Zuckerberg and “challenged him to show that Facebook is serious about bias, privacy and competition.”

        The senator said he told Zuckerberg to sell WhatsApp and Instagram “to prove you’re serious about protecting data privacy,” adding that Zuckerberg told him “it wasn’t a good idea.”

      • ‘An app my cat could have written’: Larry Ellison reportedly says Uber’s business model is ‘almost worthless’

        Uber, despite a $57.5 billion market capitalization following its May IPO, is “almost worthless,” Ellison reportedly said, adding that the company didn’t own cars or control its drivers and had an “app my cat could have written.”

      • Uber’s London License is Running Out Next Week. Investors Shouldn’t Worry.

        Even in the unlikely event of an unfavorable ruling where the license is terminated, Uber would most likely challenge the decision in court and continue to operate in the city at the same time, just like it did in 2017, the company said in its latest filing. “It could take years until the appeals process was exhausted,” says Black, “This would not necessarily be the final outcome, nor would it have an immediate impact on the company’s financials.”

      • Uber Sues NYC Taxi Authority Over ‘Arbitrary’ Congestion Rule

        The suit, which seeks to nullify the rule passed Aug. 7, was filed in New York state court in Manhattan. One part of the new regulation places a 31% cap on the amount of time that for-hire vehicles can spend on the road without passengers, while another provision bars the issuance of more for-hire vehicle licenses until August 2020.

      • “Lyft charged me $12.81 to be kidnapped across state lines, gang raped and trafficked,” woman alleges

        A woman who says she was sexually assaulted after getting in a Lyft is now blaming the ride-hailing giant for allegedly mishandling her report. Alison Turkos claims she was kidnapped at gunpoint by her Lyft driver in 2017, and sexually assaulted by at least two men. And after she reported her assault, Turkos claims, Lyft still charged her for part of the ride and allowed her alleged assailant to keep driving.

      • Google offshoot Wing is teaming up with FedEx and Walgreens for drone deliveries

        Wing, the drone delivery service that’s an offshoot of Google parent company Alphabet, will launch its first pilot service in Virginia starting in October 2019. The company is teaming up with FedEx, Walgreens, and gift purveyor Sugar Magnolia to deliver health care products, food, and more to residents of the town of Christiansburg in southwest Virginia.

        The pilot, which is part of the US Department of Transportation’s Integration Pilot Program, aims to demonstrate the viability of drone delivery, which is still very much in a nascent stage of development. Earlier this year, Wing became one of the first drone operators to be certified as a commercial air carrier by the Federal Aviation Administration, allowing it to autonomously deliver commercial goods to recipients that may be miles away and not in the operator’s line of sight.

      • Copyrights

        • French court rules that Steam’s ban on reselling used games is contrary to European law

          The court’s ruling is a victory for French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir, which filed a suit against Steam four years ago, alleging anti-consumer rights activities.

          The court rejected Valve’s defense that argued Steam is a subscription service. According to Numerama, the court found that Steam sells games in perpetuity, and not as part of a subscription package.

        • Patents and Software Patents

          • The Law of the Patent Instrument

            Patents are a useful tool in innovation policy—but they aren’t the only tool available. If all you ever see are patents (and patent lawyers), your natural reaction is to use patents to solve policy problems. It’s a normal human bias—the law of the instrument states that humans will reach for a familiar tool (i.e., patents) if they don’t have exposure to alternative options. (Other areas of intellectual property, and IP in general, also suffer from this problem.)

            In the innovation context, an over-emphasis on patents risks ignoring other, more appropriate tools for achieving particular goals in innovation policy.


            Innovation Doesn’t Always Equal Patents

            The flip side is that many innovations aren’t actually patentable. Something that’s new and improved and made available might not be non-obvious—it might be the ordinary creativity of a skilled engineer. Innovative, but not patentable.

            Many products incorporate this type of innovation, the steady progress of ordinary skill. And with additional capabilities for machine-aided invention—for example, the use of AI to find patterns in data or to generate candidate molecular structures for drugs—becoming available every day, this ordinary progress will be likely to accelerate. Just because these improvements might not result in patents does not mean that they don’t represent innovation. Much of the Internet runs on open-source software made available for all to use and improve. Undoubtedly, that’s innovation—and it’s intentionally done without patents.

          • You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain

            Mr. Prine is the listed inventor of U.S. Design Patent No. D524,559 and several other super-hero related car seats. Prine formed Inspired Development and assigned patent ownership to that company. Prine then formed another company, KidsEmbrace, to sell the car seats with an exclusive license from Inspired Development. KidsEmbrace was then bought-out by Boliari who later terminated the license agreement. Prine sued for the money — suing for breach and unjust enrichment under Florida law.

            The district court sided with KidsEmbrace and dismissed the lawsuit on summary judgment. On appeal, the 11th Circuit did not review the merits but instead found a failure of diversity jurisdiction (the stated basis for federal jurisdiction in the case). By that time, KidsEmbrace wanted the district court decision to stick, while Prine meanwhile filed a new lawsuit in state court and was hoping the federal action was fully vacated.


            Federal Circuit hear appears to approve of exclusive patent licensing programs designed to ensure that potential products stay off the market. That seems problematic.

          • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. Iancu (Fed. Cir. 2019)

            On Monday, in Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. Iancu, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia affirming a determination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding the Patent Term Adjustment for U.S. Patent No. 8,981,063. In affirming the District Court, a divided panel concluded that the USPTO’s interpretation of “any time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under section 132(b)” in 35 U.S.C. § 154(b)(1)(B)(i) was correct.


            In an opinion authored by Judge Lourie and joined by Judge Dyk, with Judge Newman dissenting, the majority agreed with the USPTO, affirming the District Court’s decision affirming the USPTO’s PTA determination. In response to Mayo’s argument that a declaration of interference is tantamount to a Notice of Allowance, the opinion notes that “[w]hile the PTO’s regulations do indicate that at least one claim in an application should be in condition for allowance before an interference is declared, . . . the regulations also explicitly contemplate that the Board may recommend further action by the examiner, including issuing a rejection” (citation omitted), and therefore, “the PTO’s regulations as a whole do not indicate that a declaration of an interference is tantamount to a Notice of Allowance.” The majority also disagreed with Mayo’s interpretation of Novartis, stating that “Mayo only gets to its conclusion by placing more weight on the term ‘requested’—a word having little more than clerical significance on a fair reading of the statute—than it can reasonably bear.” In particular, the opinion indicates that “[n]othing in § 132(b) implies that an RCE entitles the applicant to a special form of examination, where the claims must be allowed once the grounds of rejection presented in the Final Rejection are resolved; nor does the statute imply that continued examination is no longer requested by the applicant once the PTO issues a new ground of rejection.” According to the majority, “Mayo requested continued examination, and that is what it received, both before and after the interference proceeding.” The majority therefore held that “where an RCE has previously been filed, the time between termination of an interference and the date of mailing of the Notice of Allowance is ‘time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under section 132(b)’ pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 154(b)(1)(B)(i),” and affirmed the District Court.

          • Transmitting Particular Data via Conventional Mode is Ineligible

            The Eastern District of Texas recently granted a motion to dismiss based on lack of patent-eligible subject matter, under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo test, in U.S. Patent No. 6,014,089 directed to methods of transmitting data to a remote device using a personal communications system. First-Class Monitoring, LLC, v. United Parcel Service of America, Inc., No. 19-CV00106-WCB (E.D. Tex. Jul. 22, 2019). The ‘089 patent was ineligible because “the claims are not based on an improvement in computer or communications technology.” In particular, “‘the invention made no technological changes to the short message system, but merely used that system for transmitting particular data requests and responses to those requests.”

          • Your Garage Door Opener Is Not Patent-Eligible

            Patent claims directed to a “movable barrier operator,” i.e., controlling a garage door, are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo test. Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., Nos. 2018-2103, 2018-2228 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 21, 2019) (precedential) (Judge Chen, joined by Judges O’Malley and Lourie). There are a lot of lessons in this procedurally rich post-trial appeal from, and partial reversal of, denial of a JMOL motion. In this post we will focus on a substantive lesson: patent claims reciting devices and hardware elements have no particular claim to patent-eligibility.

          • Terminal Disclaimer: Common Ownership Necessary—or Not—for Standing

            Two district courts recently came to the opposite conclusion on terminal disclaimers, an important issue in patent portfolio management. In both cases, the plaintiff asserted a patent for which a terminal disclaimer had been filed, but the plaintiff did not acquire the patent to which the asserted patent had been disclaimed until after filing suit. In Midwest Athletics and Sports Alliance v. Ricoh, the court ruled that the lack of common ownership of the disclaimed patent and disclaimer patent prevented the plaintiff from having standing. But in Fall Line Patents v. Zoe’s Kitchen, the court ruled that, though the disclaimed patent was unenforceable at the time the suit was filed, the unenforceability did not affect standing.

          • Claim term “Processor” does not invoke MPF Construction

            In a tentative ruling, a court held the claim term “processor” did not invoke means-plus-function construction and was not governed by 35 U.S.C. §112¶6. Realtime Adaptive Streaming LLC v. Adobe Systems Inc., No. cv 18-9344-GW(JCx) (C.D. CA, July 25, 2019.


            It is comforting to know that the claim term “processor” held its ground in this case. Zeroclick has strengthened the presumption, under assault since Williamson, that claim terms that do not include “means” do not invoke means-plus-function claiming. Still, the possibility of a claim term, absent explicit structure in the claim, being found to be governed by 35 USC 112 ¶6 is ever present.

          • Means-Plus-Function Claim Construction of “Customization Module” Results in Indefinite Finding

            In William Grecia v. Samsung Electronics (Fed. Cir. 2019) the Federal Circuit affirmed a finding of invalidity for U.S. Patent 8,533,860 (the ‘860 patent) under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶2 (indefinite). The invalidly determination for the ‘860 patent was arrived at by the Court after a means-plus-analysis and invocation of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶6.


            Grecia v. Samsung presents two valuable practice pointers. First, provide extra consideration to claims that may be interpreted as means-plus functions. In words, consider whether the claim language may be interpreted as merely nonce words substituting for “means.” When in doubt, consider adding specific structure to the claim itself. Second, provide a thoroughly detailed specification that describes specific structure in greater detail than the claims themselves. In the case of computer, or “module,” based claims consider adding how the computer/module performs to achieve the described result, including describing one or more algorithms the computer/module can execute.

          • “Virtual Client Entity” Deemed Indefinite By District Court Under MPF Analysis

            The District Court for the District of Delaware recently handed down a claim construction order in T-JAT Systems 2006 v. Expedia that held the claim limitation “virtual client entity” was indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶2. The court concluded that the claim limitation was indefinite after determining that “virtual client entity” should be interpreted as invoking 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶6 (means-plus-function) and then ascertaining that the specification failed to provide sufficient structure for “virtual client entity.”

          • Generic Computer Collecting Data and Using Mathematical Formula is Ineligible

            A court held that patent claims directed toward “data collection and mathematical computations are quintessential abstract ideas,” and “[t]he generic equipment underlying the claims does not provide an inventive concept,” granting a motion to dismiss based on lack of patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo test. TPP Tech LLC, v. Zebra Technologies Corporation, No. 19-CV-00500-RGA (D. Del. Aug. 15, 2019).

            U.S. Patent Nos. 7,295,224 and 7,825,943 are directed to “‘compensating for the effects of thermal history on thermal print heads.’” The court noted for both patents “that the method and apparatus claims are indistinguishable for the purpose of the Section 101 analysis.”

          • Death and Taxes and Patent-Ineligibility of Business Methods

            For all the kvetching about the frustrating subjectivity and unpredictability of applying the Mayo/Alice patent-eligibility test, here is a case showing that there is a zone of certainty in determining patentability under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In In re Greenstein, 2019-1521 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 6, 2019) (per curiam; panel was Prost, Newman, and Moore) (non-precedential), the Federal Circuit issued a reminder that clients can be counseled with some certainty that business methods, however new and different, are not patent-eligible if the improvement is to a business process, and not to technology.


            Concerning the § 101 rejection, the PTAB held, and the Federal Circuit agreed, that under Alice step 1, this claim was directed to the patent-ineligible “abstract idea of ‘[a]djusting the amount a per-son saves and choosing investments for the saved amounts, with the goal of saving enough for retirement.’” Alice step 2 could not save the claim, because the method was implemented with generic computing technology.

          • Germany: BGH on scope of prior use right and modifications

            The Bundesgerichtshof (German Federal Court of Justice, BGH) clarified the scope and limits of a prior use right of a manufacturer and supplier of components of a patented device (BGH, judgment of 14 May 2019, X ZR 95/18 – Schutzverkleidung).

            Under German patent law, a patent has no effect with respect to a party who can rely on a prior use right if, at the time the patent application was filed, it had already begun to use the invention in Germany or had made the necessary arrangements for doing so. The German case law on prior use rights has traditionally been restrictive. The continued use of the invention is limited to the business of the prior user and restricted in scope to the previously exercised use of the invention. Any modifications must not deepen the interference with the scope of protection of the patent. Accordingly, the burden for defendants in patent infringement proceedings to demonstrate and prove a prior use right with a sufficiently broad scope is high, taking into account normal business developments that occurred since the original use.

        • Trademarks

          • LeBron James Declares Victory In Losing Bid For ‘Taco Tuesday’ Trademark

            It was only a couple of weeks ago that we wrote about LeBron James, part-time NBA superstar and full-time taco-lover, and his attempt to get a trademark for “Taco Tuesday” in the markets of podcasts, entertainment services, and social media. As we mentioned in that post, the idea that LeBron could get such a trademark on a fairly descriptive and widely used term is insane. Nearly as insane, as we noted, as the fact that the Taco John’s chain already has such a registered trademark. It was the latter bit that we, as well as many other commentators on the topic, predicted would be the reason LeBron’s application would be denied, as it would be identical to an already registered trademark.

          • Lawyers ‘thrilled’ with USPTO trademark guidelines for foreign applicants

            Lawyers say that while the revised guidelines, released in September, provide clarification on representing non-US trademark filers, they don’t fundamentally change their understanding of the policy.

          • TTAB Requires Cross-Examination By Oral Deposition in CAPTAIN CANNABIS Battle

            Andrusiek contends that he created a comic book character named “Captain Cannabis” in the 1970s, and operates a website identifying various books and other works related to that character since that time. Cosmic Crusaders appears to be associated with a cannabis activist under the moniker of “Captain Cannabis,” and related media, including a “Cosmic Crusaders” comic featuring a “Captain Cannabis” character. Cosmic Crusaders obtained the registration at issue for CAPTAIN CANNABIS , for comic books in Class 16, in 2015.

        • Copyrights

          • New paper: What does the European Commission make of the EU copyright acquis when it pleads before the CJEU? The Legal Service’s Observations in digital/online cases

            But what happens behind the scenes, not just when the judges of the CJEU decide on a case but even before that, when relevant parties and interveners participate in proceedings and submit their observations to the Court, proposing – similarly to what an AG does – their own responses to the questions referred by a national court?

            Usually, this is just a big black box: regrettably, in fact, there is no requirement for observations filed in CJEU referrals to be public.

            Article 23 of the CJEU Statute allows inter alia the European Commission (or rather: its Legal Service) to intervene. At times, reference to the content of the Legal Service’s observations is found in the Opinion of the appointed AG in a certain case and/or (sporadically) in the resulting judgment.

          • MPAA Unifies Global Brand and Becomes MPA America

            The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been protecting the interests of major movie studios since its formation in 1922. As time went by, its interests and operations became more global. This has prompted the organization to rebrand by adopting the MPA acronym that’s used elsewhere in the world.

          • The Xtream Codes IPTV Takedown is Complex and Confused

            The international law enforcement action against Xtream Codes and what appear to be several entities using its services is a complex affair. While some will argue that the IPTV management service was a neutral player offering no illicit content, it’s becoming ever more clear that the authorities are viewing things from an entirely different and sometimes confusing perspective.

          • House Joins The Senate In Moving Forward On Plan To Massively Increase Copyright Trolling

            For quite some time now we’ve been talking about why the CASE Act, which sets up a special copyright “court” with lower barriers to entry for copyright holders, is such a bad idea. There are all sorts of problems with it, starting with the fact that we already have a massive copyright trolling problem, and the CASE Act is deliberately designed to make it worse. While supporters like to pretend that the CASE Act is the equivalent of a “small claims” court, it actually can lead to damages awards up to $30,000, which is way higher than a standard small claims court.

          • Documentary “The Long Road to the Hall of Fame” Available Under CC License

            The Long Road to the Hall of Fame

IBM Cannot Become a True Friend of Free Software Because of Its Current Patent Policy

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 1:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

To make peace with the Free software movement IBM may need to re-balance or re-calibrate its priorities

A balance

Summary: IBM needs to quit bullying people/companies with software patents; that would help towards appeasement of IBM critics and sceptics

AT risk of sounding like a broken record, let’s make a point absolutely clear and be upfront about it. Our Openwashing Reports have often mentioned IBM as an habitual faker and culprit; IBM is, at its core, still a proprietary software company, unlike Red Hat. But IBM is bad for two more reasons: 1) it lobbies for software patents and 2) it shakes down companies with such patents. When it comes to patent policy and practice, IBM is hardly better than Microsoft; it just targets GNU/Linux a lot less (if at all); it gave us OIN.

Techrights would rather not spend much time or dedicate much space to IBM criticism because it’s hardly the foremost threat to Software Freedom; it’s mostly a threat to a sane patent policy/law.”It seems safe to believe or to think many Red Hat employees already know what IBM is and does (IBM’s patent shakedown is decades-old). The rest are in denial about it or choose to say nothing, even among themselves. Henrion brought up a recent court document [PDF] and stated that “IBM is a software patent bully,” quoting from the corresponding document: “Method for presenting advertising in an interactive service, Method for simultaneous display of multiple object categories, Method for a runtime user account creation operation within a SSO process in a federated computing…”

We discussed this over IRC on Thursday. The IRC logs will unfortunately not be ready for publication until the end of this year (we used to publish these daily, then weekly, now it’s 3 times a year in large lumps).

Another person wrote: “IBM published today a patent application on “software controlled ad-avatars (or bots)” for advertising in virtual worlds. Relatable bot profiles include “Jenny Teen,” “Joe Geek,” and “Travis Cowboy.” US 20190287119.”

There’s also a picture there.

Techrights would rather not spend much time or dedicate much space to IBM criticism because it’s hardly the foremost threat to Software Freedom; it’s mostly a threat to a sane patent policy/law. We hope that Red Hat can influence IBM positively (rather than the other way around).

When Patent ‘Professionals’ Sound Like Children Who Learned to Parrot Some Intentionally-Misleading Buzzwords, Myths and Lies

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents at 12:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: With buzzwords like “AI” and misleading terms like “IP” the litigation zealots are trying to convince themselves (and the public) that software is a physical thing and a “property” which needs “protecting” from “theft”; it doesn’t seem to bother these people that copyright law already covers software

HOW can a patent office seriously assert that it is serious about innovation when everyone who meets the officials comes from law firms and rarely has any scientific background? If this system’s inception truly dates back to need to advance science, shouldn’t these officials focus on actual scientists?

This may sound like a shallow observation, but it perfectly describes the pattern we’ve been seeing at the European Patent Office (EPO) under António Campinos and his predecessor Battistelli (neither of whom has any background in the sciences). Seeing how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) wants to work around 35 U.S.C. § 101, we’re nowadays witnessing a similar trend in America too. A resurgence of software patents in Europe poses risk to US (case)law as well. We hope that American readers understand that. The EPO openly brags about objectives like spreading software patents to the whole world. We’ve covered this before.

Entryism and Cronyism

The litigation ‘industry’ appears to have convinced the world’s patent offices (or infiltrated these offices) to deviate and depart from the law in order to simply increase the pace of granting (patent-granting), disguising old things with a fresher coat of buzzwords and hype; this has been the case in Europe for a number of years and it’s now being imitated by the United States, whose administration comes from the litigation firms themselves. The issue occurs at two levels typically; one is the patent office, the other being the lawmakers (law firms pay them money to alter patent law to the detriment of science).

We’re troubled to see who’s shaping today’s laws in Europe, judging by who submits recommendations to the EPO and whose submissions the EPO amplifies the most. Mitscherlich PartmbB’s Sebastian Roth has just written about “European Opposition Proceedings” (Board of Appeal (EPO) decision T 1087/15) and his colleague Martin Koerberc wrote about “EPO Opposition & Appeal” — something that significantly increased in number in recent years (soared even) due to significant declines in patent quality. The EPO does not seem to mind all this; it profits from it. The adherence to law does not matter much, either. The EPO ignores courts anyway. It’s really, really bad.

Generally speaking, corruption at the EPO is the world’s eighth wonder. Wonderful to see nobody held accountable. Ever. One would assume that accountability exists in Europe (a relatively developed continent, constitutionally speaking), but the EPO is an island and nobody is able to justify its immunity, which is regularly abused. All the EPO wants is lots and lots of patents and no rights for staff. None at all.

There are many facets or aspects to the EPO’s abuses, but here we focus on patent scope rather than labour rights, immunity and so on.

‘Kids’ Learn About the Mighty “HEY HI”

Let’s start with WIPR’s article about AIPPI with its Echo Chamber Congress, where liars and lawyers prop up “HEY HI” (AI) hype in order to promote illegal patents that aren’t valid. “While the number of patent applications relating to artificial intelligence has soared in recent years,” it says, “there is still some confusion around the patentability of the technology, as lawyers discussed at the AIPPI World Congress.”

What they mean by “AI” is just some old algorithms spun as “AI” for the sake of bypassing rigid restrictions. The EPO welcomes such bypassing tactics; it compels examiners to fall for these.

“AI is not patentable,” Benjamin Henrion wrote in response to this, “as software is not patentable, under the EPC and under Alice. Till the patent offices ignore the courts and the law… [] When the French courts will say that AI is nothing more th[a]n an unpatentable computer program.”

This alludes to what happened in the past. The EPO just ignores all caselaw that does not suit patent maximalists. In other word, the EPO arrogantly breaks the law, ignoring even those who highlight the issue. Why is this being tolerated and how long for? Until the Office collapses? Until patent certainty is so low that there’s decrease in ‘demand’? The number of applications for European Patents is already decreasing. The EPO’s management very well knows that, so its response is to power the patent bar further and further. It does so even when it’s blatantly and obviously illegal. It’s like banks that ‘grant’ more and more ‘toxic loans’ just to fake growth. They don’t let themselves be too worried about the imminent or the inevitable collapse. That will be “someone else’s problem,” they must be telling themselves. In the case of banks the public typically foots the bill for all this corruption and greed, whereas in the case of patents the wrongly-accused parties (businesses and individuals) bear the cost.

“Our member states need an Office that can be the advocate of patents in Europe and promote the development of an effective patent system,” the EPO wrote last week. But the EPO is intentionally granting illegal patents that are proven, based on studies, to harm innovation. There is a body of scholarly work that they ignore and at the same time they offer bribes to academics willing to manufacture ‘studies’ which support EPO agenda. This is as unscientific as it gets. It’s something to be expected from oil companies, not a monopoly on Europe-wide patent grants. What makes this ever more obscene is that the EPO ceased to even hide this; it is openly advertising its sponsorship of self-serving ‘studies’. Not even oil companies are foolish enough to do this (one has to dig and inquire a little). Not too long ago the EPO manufactured some ‘greenwashing’ propaganda. which it spread as recently as a couple of days ago*.

Pretending Patents Are ‘Property’

Other than “HEY HI” there’s also the “AYE PEE” (IP) hype. There is no such thing as “AYE PEE”. Lumping together trade secrets, copyright, trademark and patent law assures a misleading and pointless discussion. Society should abandon lawyers’ propaganda terms and use more meaningful vocabulary instead.

The other day the EPO wrote: “Together with national patent offices and the @IPRHelpdesk, we’ll be sharing our expertise on how sound IP management can boost your business at these seminars…”

So-called ‘IP’ management…

The EPO retweeted another thing to that affect and wrote separately about “an opportunity to improve technology commercialisation with open-innovation strategies facilitated by IP.”

Here they go with ‘IP’ again; the EPO does only patents. Strictly so. Unlike UK-IPO, USPTO and so on.

Tosshan Ramgolam published on the same day something entitled “Introduction to the IP Education Series”.

When you say “IP” that already means that you are intentionally dishonest and not interested in education, only propaganda terms like “piracy”.

In the past couple of days the EPO also mentioned “SMEs” quite a lot (even by its own bad standards). Trying hard to distract from the harm caused to them by the EPO? Without a so-called ‘professional representative’ (i.e. very expensive law firm) the SME is lost in the haze**, as we’ve shown before, outspending many of its practical operations. Something like the UPC would make things orders of magnitude worse for SMEs.

Lies Told by Team UPC ‘Kids’

Then, retweeted by EPO was its Vice-President (from UK-IPO) saying: “Great opportunity to meet UK users of the @EPOorg at the @TheCIPA Congress.”

The EPO is in bed with Team UPC, looking to harm SMEs all around the world. CIPA is a predatory body of patent maximalists. Also retweeted by EPO was CIPA’s own tweet: “We’re delighted to welcome Steve Rowan, Vice-President of @EPOorg, to give the morning keynote at #CIPACongress2019″

Totally inappropriate for the EPO to be with Team UPC and CIPA as it’s showing what the EPO basically became — a tool of the litigation zealots.

No wonder the EPO continues to stubbornly advocate patents on just about everything. The relationship between CIPA and UK-IPO is also troubling and at times disturbing. It’s like letting makers of bombs have a say on foreign policy.

Speaking of Team UPC, here’s some new propaganda from the site that does, in fact, act like its think tank (for a number of years). To quote: “Speaking to Managing IP, Tim Moss, CEO of the UKIPO, discusses Brexit planning, the Unified Patent Court and expanding the office’s international reach…”

To better understand where they’re going with this read this other new article full of intentional lies. Those lies were told in this new event as if UPC is “just a matter of time” (i.e. the same old lies) when in fact it is dead and cannot go on without the UK. To quote the relevant part:

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) was discussed as a potential Brexit-related concern. With the UPC’s fate lingering in Germany’s Constitutional Court, audience members speculated on how the timing of the court’s decision might be affected by Brexit.

Responding to an audience member’s concern, Williams said any conversation about whether or not the UK – which has ratified the UPC Agreement – would be part of an operational UPC would depend on when Germany issues a decision.

“In a perfect world you will like us to have the discussion while we are in the EU; logically that is a more pleasant environment. If we exit in October … the conversation is in a more different atmosphere. We are sure of the benefits of the UK to be part of the UPC. My experience says if there is a political will you will find a legal solution.”

Nettleton added that from an industry perspective the UPC would be much stronger with UK involvement.

“It was a surprise to me that I heard the UK would still want to participate in the UPC after Brexit. But then again, after Brexit, nothing can surprise you,” he said.

This is sheer lunacy; notice how they spread the infamous lies. They’re like kids telling a lie, telling others what they want to believe. How can they get away with this?
* As a new example of this, consider a new tweet that said: “Patent applications in the EPO’s databases contain significant amounts of information relating to sustainable technologies. Scientists can make use of this wealth of knowledge in their work on developing new technologies against #climatechange.” In reality, when the EPO grants monopolies on these things fewer people will be legally permitted to tackle climate change. But the EPO won’t let these inconvenient facts get in the way.

** Kluwer Patent Blog, citing a case dated 18 June 2019, says:

A request for re-establishment should be filed within two months of the date of removal of non-compliance. This date may be the date on which the applicant became aware of the missed due date, even if the professional representative did receive the EPO communications mentioning the failure to comply with the deadline.


The European Parliament Needs to Become More Outspoken About EPO Abuses

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’m happy we’re on the same very unanimous position,” said Elżbieta Bieńkowska.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska
Elżbieta Bieńkowska – Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz, CC BY-SA 3.0

Summary: There are few encouraging signs in Europe right now because the EPO’s disregard for patent law (striving to just grant as many patents as possible) earned it much-needed backlash from the European Parliament

AS we’ve mentioned the other day, the European Patent Office (EPO) belatedly faces some hostile fire — not the usual friendly fire — from the European Parliament (same grouping as the EC and EU, unlike the EPO itself). This is a much-needed, however belated, scrutiny. Yesterday EURACTIV wrote about it:

In a new episode of the longstanding legal saga on biotech inventions, the European Parliament delivered a reprimand to the European Patent Office (EPO) reaffirming that tomatoes, broccoli and other plants obtained by essentially biological processes must not be patentable.

The non-legislative resolution adopted in Strasbourg on Thursday (19 September) is scathing about the EPO, saying their internal decision-making rules “must not undermine democratic political control of European patent law and its interpretation and the legislator’s intent.”

The EPO, which is not an EU body, opened the possibility of granting patent protection to conventionally-bred plants in March 2015, after attempts to register tomatoes with reduced water content by the consumer goods giant Unilever and broccoli growing with a selective increase of the anticarcinogenic glucosinolates by the global agrochemical company Syngenta.


The European Parliament has now jumped on the legal controversy, calling on the Commission to reinstate legal certainty, as it is affecting innovation and competitiveness in the European plant-breeding and farming sectors.

“It is important to deliver a very clear political message on this,” said German Christian-democrat lawmaker Norbert Lins, chair of the Agriculture parliamentary committee which led the initiative of drafting the resolution.

“I’m happy we’re on the same very unanimous position,” said Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska during the plenary debate on Monday, adding that the Commission will try to take a very active role to restore “legal certainty and common sense” on the matter.

Here’s another new article. “This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament,” it says.

Fruit, vegetables or animals obtained from conventional breeding processes, such as crossing, must not become patentable, MEPs said in a non-legislative resolution on Thursday.

Patent-free access to biological plant material is essential to boost innovation and competitiveness of the European plant-breeding and farming sectors, to develop new varieties, improve food security and tackle climate change, MEPs stressed in the resolution. Furthermore, access to genetic resources must not be restricted, as this could lead to a situation where a few multinational companies have a monopoly on plant breeding material, to the detriment of EU farmers and consumers, many MEPs said in Monday’s plenary debate.

We welcome this move from the Parliament. It helps show that the EU isn’t just the “yes man” of the EPO; Bieńkowska is mentioned and her position on the EPO has been mostly the subject of scrutiny in prior years, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]. We strongly encourage European citizens to press their MEPs on this topic. There are many things at stake; for instance, remind Parliament that the EPO vainly ignores its position on software patenting as well. It’s part of an ugly pattern — one that certainly ought to end.


Links 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • German ministry hellbent on taking back control of ‘digital sovereignty’, cutting dependency on Microsoft

      The Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium des Innern or BMI) in Germany says it will reduce reliance on specific IT suppliers, especially Microsoft, in order to strengthen its “digital sovereignty”.

      In an official statement, the Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer states that “in order to ensure our digital sovereignty, we want to reduce dependencies on individual IT providers. We are also considering alternative programs to replace certain software. This will be done in close coordination with other EU countries.”

      BMI commissioned a strategic market analysis from consultants PwC, resulting in a paper that was published last month. The paper examines the risks inherent in IT dependency on commercial software vendors, with a particular focus on Microsoft because of the heavy use of its products and the way they are interconnected, especially Microsoft Office, Windows, Windows Server and Office 365.

    • Desktop

      • Buying Huawei: A wolf in sheep’s clothing?

        Creating a rival for its key technology at the level Huawei’s is suggesting is unprecedented, yet other businesses have either had to give their intellectual property away or, taken a stance that is generally counter to good business: AT&T and its UNIX operating system in the 1970s is a good example. Google has famously done rather well by making its Android operating system (OS) Open Source, and Tesla, with founder Elon Musk stating he: “will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”

        However, could this move by Huawei be little more than an attempt to protect its future profitability in a mobile market that is about to explode once again as 5G ushers in a new age of connectivity? And Huawei is about to release their own OS, which they hope will rival Android. There is more hope than substance, as users still won’t be able to use many of their favourite apps when the latest Huawei handsets are launched.

        Don’t forget, the current block on US firms selling technology to Huawei includes Apps from Google. Huawei smartphones might use the Open Source Android OS, but their Apps are banned from export due to the US’s arguments that this technology could be a national security issue. So, Huawei’s 5G handsets wouldn’t have YouTube or Gmail for instance. Is Mr. Zhengfei’s offer a backhanded way to get this ban lifted? As the Economist points out, 50% of Huawei sales came from selling its smartphones. All eyes are on how Huawei’s new Mate 30 performs in the marketplace.

    • Server

      • Linux Container Technology Explained (Contributed)

        State and local governments’ IT departments increasingly rely on DevOps practices and agile development methodologies to improve service delivery and to help maintain a culture of constant collaboration, iteration, and flexibility among all stakeholders and teams.

        However, when an IT department adopts agile and DevOps practices and methodologies, traditional IT problems still need to be solved. One long-standing problem is “environmental drift,” when the code and configurations for applications and their underlying infrastructure can vary between different environments. State and local IT teams often lack the tools necessary to mitigate the effects of environmental drift, which can hamper collaboration and agility efforts.

      • IBM

        • DevNation Live Bengaluru: Java microservices and how to become cloud-native

          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.

          Many of us are on a journey from traditional monolithic applications to a more distributed cloud-native microservices architecture. In this session, Burr Sutter discusses the key microservices architecture principles and explains how and why to evolve to this approach. You’ll learn how to become a new cloud-native developer and architect.

        • Red Hat UK ranked fourth in Best Workplaces In Tech 2019

          At Red Hat we love to celebrate our people and culture, and it is with great pleasure that we can share that Red Hat in the United Kingdom has been honoured in the Great Place to Work awards, ranking fourth in the UK’s Best Workplaces in Tech 2019, large company category.

          Great Place to Work identifies thriving successful workplaces through a rigorous methodology that includes its Trust Index survey, which looks at the employee experience, and its Culture Audit, which assesses leadership and people practices. Red Hat reached the number four spot thanks to its passion to deliver a great employee experience and to enable a more innovative and productive environment for all. Great Place to Work recognises Red Hat UK as somewhere employees trust the people they work for, have pride in the work they do and enjoy the people they work with.

        • Custom Grafana dashboards for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4

          OpenShift administrators often face the same challenges as other system administrators: “I need a tool that will monitor the health of my system.” Yet, traditional monitoring tools often fall short in their visibility of an OpenShift cluster. Thus, a typical OpenShift monitoring stack includes Prometheus for systems as well as service monitoring, and Grafana for analyzing and visualizing metrics.

          Often, administrators are looking to write custom queries and create custom dashboards in Grafana. However, the Grafana instance that is provided with the monitoring stack, along with its dashboards, is read-only. Enter the community-powered Grafana operator provided by OperatorHub.

        • IBM will soon launch a 53-qubit quantum computer

          IBM continues to push its quantum computing efforts forward and today announced that it will soon make a 53-qubit quantum computer available to clients of its IBM Q Network. The new system, which is scheduled to go online in the middle of next month, will be the largest universal quantum computer available for external use yet.

          The new machine will be part of IBM’s new Quantum Computation Center in New York State, which the company also announced today. The new center, which is essentially a data center for IBM’s quantum machines, will also feature five 20-qubit machines, but that number will grow to 14 within the next month. IBM promises a 95% service availability for its quantum machines.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.2.16

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.16 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:


      • Linux 4.19.74
      • Linux 4.14.145
      • Linux Kernel 5.3

        Linux 5.3 was released over the weekend, which means it’s time for our usual “where does Collabora stand in this picture?” tour.

        As has been the case for several years now, Collabora keeps being an active contributor to the Linux project, with 77 commits authored by Collaborans merged in this release.

        On the media subsystem front, André Almeida and Helen Koike kept working on the Virtual Media Controller (VIMC) driver. The most notable change in this release being the addition of a VIMC entry to the media subsystem doc, centralizing all information about this virtual driver.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Gallium3D OpenGL Driver Taps Another Optimization – ~32% For GFXBench

          Intel’s new OpenGL Linux driver, their Gallium3D-based “Iris” implementation that is aiming to be the default before year’s end, continues making striking progress.

          Just this past week when testing the very latest Mesa code for this Intel Gallium3D driver I was quite impressed with it near universally being faster than their existing “i965″ Mesa driver. For some OpenGL workloads, this Gallium3D driver is significantly faster than the driver it’s set to replace for Broadwell “Gen 8″ graphics and newer.

        • Mesa’s Disk Cache Code Now Better Caters To 4+ Core Systems

          Most Linux gamers these days should be running at least quad-core systems so Mesa 19.3 has been updated to reflect that reality with the number of CPU threads used by their disk cache.

        • Performance-Boosting DFSM Support Flipped On & Off For RADV Vulkan Driver

          Back in July of last year the RADV Vulkan driver enabled primitive binning and DFSM for this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver. Well, it thought it enabled DFSM support and paired with the binning did yield a minor performance benefit at the time for Raven Ridge APUs. But now it turns out the DFSM support wasn’t properly wired up and is now addressed but is currently introducing a performance regression.

          RADV developer Bas Nieuwenhuizen added the actual DFSM (Deterministic Finite State Machine) support and mirrors the behavior of the RadeonSI OpenGL driver. With the DFSM support he found that it doubles the fill-rate of one of his test samples from around 16 to 32 pixels/cycles for Raven Ridge.

        • The Valve-funded shader compiler ‘ACO’ is being queued up for inclusion in Mesa directly (updated: merged)

          Back in early July, Valve announced their work on a new AMD GPU shader compiler for Mesa named ACO and now they’re trying to get it pulled into Mesa directly.

          Their main aims with ACO were to get the “best-possible code generation for game shaders, and fastest-possible compilation speed” and to replace the currently used shader compiler from the massive LLVM project. It has certainly seemed promising, improving both shader compile time resulting in less stuttering and so helping to improve overall FPS and smoothness in Linux games when played on supported AMD GPUs.

        • Valve’s ACO Shader Compiler For The Mesa Radeon Vulkan Driver Just Landed

          It was just two days ago that Valve’s performance-focused “ACO” shader compiler was submitted for review to be included in Mesa for the “RADV” Radeon Vulkan driver. Just minutes ago that new shader compiler back-end was merged for Mesa 19.3.

          ACO, short for the AMD COmpiler, is the effort led by Valve at creating a more performant and optimized shader compiler for the Radeon Linux graphics driver. Besides trying to generate the fastest shaders, ACO also aims to provide speedy shader compilation too, as an alternative to the AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler back-end. Initially ACO is for the RADV Vulkan driver but it may be brought to the RadeonSI OpenGL driver in the future. At the moment ACO is in good shape for Volcanic Islands through Vega while the Navi shader support is in primitive form.

    • Benchmarks

      • Running The AMD “ABBA” Ryzen 3000 Boost Fix Under Linux With 140 Tests

        Last week AMD’s AGESA “ABBA” update began shipping with a fix to how the boost clock frequencies are handled in hopes of better achieving the rated boost frequencies for Ryzen 3000 series processors. I’ve been running some tests of an updated ASUS BIOS with this adjusted boost clock behavior to see how it performs under Linux with a Ryzen 9 3900X processor.

        The AGESA ABBA update has an improved boost clock frequency algorithm along with changes to the idle state handling. This AGESA update should better position AMD Ryzen 3000 processors with the boost clock behavior expected by users with better hitting the maximum boost frequency and doing so more aggressively.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • WineHQ 4.16 Released, Install Using Official Repository in Ubuntu/Linux Mint

        Wine lets you run Windows software on other operating systems. With Wine, you can install and run these applications just like you would in Windows. Wine enables Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, and Solaris users to run Windows applications without a copy of Microsoft Windows. Wine is free software under constant development. Other platforms may benefit as well. The new release carries new features and bugs fixes.

    • Games

      • Valve have released two more experiments into Steam Labs

        Ready to be a test subject once again and possible find some new games to play? Valve have released another two tools enabling you to find something to keep you busy and keep boredom away.

        The first up is the Deep Dive, developed by Lars Doucet (Defender’s Quest), it’s an extension of the work they did on their own Diving Bell Prototype. It allows you to click through games and be presented by more based on what you’ve clicked, however it comes with a number of improvements over the prototype. It has a breadcrumb navigation with a Start Over button, it won’t loop over as it strips out what you’ve already seen, Microtrailers from another Steam Labs experiment on them all and a proper Search bar.

        Deep Dive, thankfully, is one that should actually respect your store preferences after we had a chat about it on Twitter (#1, #2). So if you’ve only ticked Linux in your Steam Preferences (see the bottom), it shouldn’t constantly throw Windows titles at you.

      • Fine Wine: An Interview With Codeweavers About Valve, Windows And The Future Of Gaming On Linux

        For a staggering 23 years, the developers at Codeweavers have undertaken the gargantuan task of enabling Windows software to run on Mac and Linux operating systems. Among other accomplishments, the company’s collective work and collaboration with Valve resulted in a massive leap forward in Linux gaming with Steam Proton. I recently sat down with Codeweavers CEO and Wine developer Andrew Eikum for an illuminating conversation about the challenges they face, working with Valve, and the future of gaming and software on Linux.

      • Linux commit suggests mainstream AMD Navi GPUs will launch before October 15

        Trivial and urgent. That’s probably not how AMD would like its upcoming Navi 12 GPUs to be referenced, but that’s how its open source guru, Marek Olsak, has termed the addition of the Navi PCI ID to the Mesa 3D Graphics Library in a recent commit. Trivial, presumably because adding the little bit of extra code of Navi 12’s PCI ID doesn’t take a lot of effort, but what of the ‘urgent’ tag? Are we looking at the very imminent arrival of the AMD Navi 12 graphics cards?


        The next Mesa 3D Graphics Library release – 19.3.0-rc1 – isn’t scheduled until October 15 which kinda suggests that AMD’s open source crew wanted to get support into the 19.2 library preceding it, as compatible GPUs would presumably be available before version 19.3 drops.

      • A Total War Saga: TROY Seeing A Native Linux Port Next Year

        Creative Assembly revealed Total War Saga: TROY on Wednesday for release next year. Feral Interactive has announced they are porting this latest Total War game to macOS and Linux.

        Feral has done a good job punctually porting Creative Assembly’s Total War games to Linux/macOS and it will continue that way for Total War Saga: TROY.

      • Valve have already begun tweaking the new Steam Library Beta

        With the new Steam Library Beta now available for everyone to test, Valve have started tweaking it based on feedback.

      • Video recording and livestreaming app OBS Studio has a big new release out

        Some really great new features made it into this release like the ability to actually pause a recording. That will come in very handy, when you want to keep a single file but you know there’s times you don’t want in it. This can certainly help cut down on editing time for a lot of situations. You can also use a script to pause recordings when a specific scene is up, like when you’ve run to the toilet or something—handy! To get pausing to work though, you cannot share the encoder between recording and streaming.

      • Physics-based space shoot ‘em up Hyper Ultra Astronautics allows up to 16 players for total madness

        FRACTiLE Games just released Hyper Ultra Astronautics, a physics-based local multiplayer space shoot ‘em with Linux support.

      • The dev of Rings of Saturn thinks going cross-platform ‘paid off’

        Currently in Early Access on itch.io and Steam, the developer of the top-down hard sci-fi space sim ΔV: Rings of Saturn seems to think doing a Linux and Mac build was worth it.

        Before getting into the details of it, let’s have a reminder of what the game actually is. Developed by Kodera Software, a one-person studio from Poland, Rings of Saturn follows the unexpected discovery of valuable minerals within the rings of Saturn. This has sparked a thriving space excavation industry and you’re going out there to hopefully strike it rich. The developer said it’s “backed up with real physics and science” and the attention to detail is pretty amazing.

      • Total War Saga: TROY officially announced and it will be coming to Linux next year

        Good news for fans of strategy games today as Total War Saga: TROY has been officially announced by Creative Assembly and SEGA. It’s also getting a Linux port once again from Feral Interactive.

        Inspired by Homer’s Iliad, it focuses on the historical flashpoint of the Trojan War, evolving the series with new period-inspired features. Creative Assembly said you will be able to explore it from both the Greek and Trojan perspectives allowing you to peel back “the layers of myth and legend to reveal the realities that may have inspired them”. Taking place in the late Bronze Age, this will be the the furthest back in time the Total War franchise has gone with its setting.

        Right on the Steam store page, it very clearly states “A Total War Saga: TROY will be released for macOS and Linux shortly after Windows.”. Feral Interactive will be doing the port just like they did with previous Total War titles as confirmed on their official site. Exciting to see another top title officially coming to Linux—brilliant!

      • Squad-based zombie apocalypse strategic rogue-lite Deadly Days has officially released

        Deadly Days is a game I’ve played repeatedly over the course of it being in Early Access, it’s good fun and it’s officially out now with a big update.

        What to expect from it? You control a small squad, which you equip with various weapons to go through a series of randomly generated locations to loot for scrap and more equipment. You need to direct your survivors around each map and while they can act by themselves, you can also take a bit more direct control to aim their weapons. Additionally, you also have special abilities like dropping bombs, healing, speeding them up and so on.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.17 Beta Out for Testing

          Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.17.

          We’ve added a bunch of new features and improvements to KDE’s lightweight yet full featured desktop environment.

          Plasma’s updated web page gives more background on why you should use it on your computer.

          System Settings has gained new features to help you manage your fancy Thunderbolt hardware, plus Night Color is now on X11 and a bunch of pages got redesigned to help you get your configuration done easier. Our notifications continue to improve with a new icon and automatic do-not-disturb mode for presentations. Our Breeze GTK theme now provides a better appearance for the Chromium/Chrome web browsers and applies your color scheme to GTK and GNOME apps. The window manager KWin has received many HiDPI and multi-screen improvements, and now supports fractional scaling on Wayland.

        • KDE Plasma 5.17 Beta Rolls Out With Wayland Improvements, Overhauled Settings
    • Distributions

      • Firefox, Graphene, Krita update in Tumbleweed

        Two openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released this week.

        The snapshots furnished the update for KDE Applications 19.08.1 and updated several libraries including Intel’s Graphene library OS.

        Snapshot 20190917 delivered four packages. The Graphene package updated to 1.10.0 and now uses an ancillary library called (micro) µTest for its test suite, which makes possible to build and run the test suite without depending on GLib. Mozilla Firefox 69.0 provided Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) with stronger privacy protections and added support for receiving multiple video codecs to makes it easier for WebRTC conferencing services to mix video from different clients. The other two package updates in the snapshot were icecream 1.3, which takes compile jobs from a build and distributes it among remote machines allowing a parallel build, and the HTTP client/server library for GNOME libsoup 2.66.3. The update of icecream 1.3 improved the speed of creating compiler tarballs. The snapshot is trending at a moderately stable rating of 87, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • Reviews

        • Arch Linux Review in 2019

          In constant development since 2002, Arch Linux isn’t new. It’s built up a large, loyal following of users who love Arch’s “Keep It Simple, Stupid” approach, where minimalism and choice reign supreme.

          No Arch Linux installation is the same, and that’s the appeal to Arch users. It isn’t the friendliest Linux distro for beginners, but if you’re looking to truly understand what a Linux distro can do, Arch Linux could be for you.

          At number 15 on the Distowatch popularity list over the past 12 months, Arch is also one of the most well-known Linux distros. Let’s find out why this minimalist distro continues to be popular.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • FAI 5.8.7 and new ISO images using Debian 10

          The new FAI release 5.8.7 now supports apt keys in files called package_config/CLASS.gpg. Before we only supported .asc files. fai-mirror has a new option -V, which checks if variables are used in package_config/ and uses variable definitions from class/.var.

        • Praise Be CUPS Driverless Printing

          Last Tuesday, I finally got to start updating $work’s many desktop computers to Debian Buster. I use Puppet to manage them remotely, so major upgrades basically mean reinstalling machines from scratch and running Puppet.

          Over the years, the main upgrade hurdle has always been making our very large and very complicated printers work on Debian. Unsurprisingly, the blog posts I have written on that topic are very popular and get me a few ‘thank you’ emails per month.

          I’m very happy to say, thanks to CUPS Driverless Printing (CUPS 2.2.2+), all those trials and tribulations are finally over. Printing on Buster just works. Yes yes, even color booklets printed on 11×17 paper folded in 3 stapled in the middle.

        • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, August 2019

          Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

        • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: Archiving 20 years of online content

          mailman2 is pretty great. You can get a dump of an email list pretty easily and mailman3′s web frontend, the lovely hyperkitty, is well, lovely. Importing a legacy mailman2 mbox went without a hitch thanks to the awesome hyperkitty_import importer. Kudos to the Debian Mailman Team for packaging this in Debian for us.

          But what about cramming a Yahoo! Group mailing list in hyperkitty? I wouldn’t recommend it. After way too many hours spent battling character encoding errors I just decided people that wanted to read obscure emails from 2003 would have to deal with broken accents and shit. But hey, it kinda works!

          Oh, and yes, archiving a Yahoo! Group with an old borken Perl script wasn’t an easy task. Hell, I kept getting blacklisted by Yahoo! for scraping too much data to their liking. I ended up patching together the results of multiple runs over a few weeks to get the full mbox and attachments.

          By the way, if anyone knows how to tell hyperkitty to stop at a certain year (i.e. not display links for 2019 when the list stopped in 2006), please ping me.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Vivaldi Web Browser 2.8 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu

          Vivaldi web browser released the new stable version 2.8 today. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04 and higher.

        • Try Screen Mirroring Android Using Wi-Fi on Ubuntu!

          In the previous article, I once discussed screen mirroring on Ubuntu using Scrcpy. I like Scrcpy because this application is very light and runs very well when Screen Mirroring. And in this article, I will try Screen Mirroring using Wi-fi(wifi).

          Screen Mirroring using wifi has several benefits. One of them is, we don’t need to connect the device with a cable. So, when we are presentation a demo of an application made for smartphones, we can move freely because we don’t use connecting cables when used for screen mirroring.

        • Popular snaps per distro

          From a distance, Linux is one big, confusing ball of passionate users and hardcore technical jargon. But as you zoom in, you can start seeing patterns – and differences. Indeed, the individual and vastly varied choice of a favorite distribution has played a major part in shaping the community conversation in the Linux space. But does this also reflect on the application usage patterns?

          We wanted to have a look at how users on different distributions consume snaps. So we crunched some numbers and checked the top five snaps for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Arch Linux, and Manjaro users.

        • Ubuntu-maker Canonical shares top 5 snaps per Linux distribution

          All Linux users are the same, right? Oh, hell no! Linux users are a diverse bunch, with differing opinions, tastes, and personalities. In fact, that is probably a contributing factor to the fragmentation of the Linux community. Linux users have lots of options between distributions, desktop environments, and more — they are not stuck in a box like Windows 10 users.

          To highlight how different Linux users can be, Canonical has released some data about the installation of snaps, categorized by distro. It chose six of the most popular Linux-based operating systems for its analysis — Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Arch Linux, and Manjaro. It then shared the top five most popular snaps for each distribution.

        • Ubuntu on the new LinuxONE III

          A few months ago I visited the IBM offices in Poughkeepsie to sync up with colleagues, record an episode of Terminal Talk, and let’s be honest, visit some mainframes. A lot of assembly still happens in Poughkeepsie, and they have a big client center with mainframes on display, including several inside a datacenter that they give tours of. I was able to see a z14 in operation, as well as several IBM LinuxONE machines. Getting to tour datacenters is a lot of fun, and even though I wouldn’t have meaningful technical interactions with them, there’s something about seeing these massive machines that I work with every day in person that brings me a lot of joy.

          Now I have to go back! On September 12th, the newest mainframe was announced, the IBM z15 and accompanying Linux version, the IBM LinuxONE III. To celebrate, I joined my colleagues in the IBM Silicon Valley lab for a launch event watch party and, of course, cake.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: September Edition

            Please note some of the information provided in this report may be subject to change as we are sometimes sharing information about projects that are still in early stages and are not final yet.

          • Will Kahn-Greene: Markus v2.0.0 released! Better metrics API for Python projects.

            Markus is a Python library for generating metrics.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 304

            Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Virtual identities in Hubs

            Identity is a complicated concept—who are we really? Most of us have government IDs that define part of our identity, but that’s just a starting point. We present ourselves differently depending on context—who we are with our loved ones might not be the same as who we are at work, but both are legitimate representations of ourselves.

            Virtual spaces make this even harder. We might maintain many virtual identities with different degrees of overlap. Having control over our representation and identity online is a critical component of safety and privacy, and platforms should prioritize user agency.

            More importantly, autonomy and privacy are intrinsically intertwined. If everyone saw my google searches, I would probably change what I search for. If I knew my employer could monitor my interactions when I’m not at work, I would behave differently. Privacy isn’t just about protecting information about myself, it’s about allowing me to express myself.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)


        • Statement on the RMS situation

          On Monday September 16th, Richard Stallman, long-time president and founder of the FSF, has resigned from both his position at the FSF, and the MIT.

          There’s a plethora of reporting around that – if you’re short on time, then I recommend reading Thomas Bushnell’s rather excellent medium piece in full.

          Many things can be said about this event, but immediately coming to defend RMS as a principled old man, who was the victim of a witch hunt, is not it. I fundamentally disagree with Michael here, and like to point out (though its obvious), that his point of view is not shared nor endorsed by The Document Foundation, albeit aggregated on their planet.

        • Remove Richard Stallman: Appendix A

          My original post, “Remove Richard Stallman”, has received over 180,000 views at the time that I am writing this. Since then, I’ve spoken with a few reporters, and even more information has been released that I thought would be useful to add, but too much to fit on that initial post. I leaked the full email thread, with names and contact information redacted, to Vice.

      • Programming/Development

        • Get Out, Git! – Building SaaS #33

          In this episode, I removed the Git clone from the server. This is some of the final cleanup to streamline the deployment process.

          Before we could remove the clone completely, we had to decouple the final remaining connections that still depended on the repository clone.

        • An introduction to audio processing and machine learning using Python

          At a high level, any machine learning problem can be divided into three types of tasks: data tasks (data collection, data cleaning, and feature formation), training (building machine learning models using data features), and evaluation (assessing the model). Features, defined as “individual measurable propert[ies] or characteristic[s] of a phenomenon being observed,” are very useful because they help a machine understand the data and classify it into categories or predict a value.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Lisp

          Lisp (derives from “LISt Processing”) is one of the oldest programming languages. It was invented in 1958, with the language being conceived by John McCarthy and is based on his paper “Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine”. Over the years, Lisp has evolved into a family of programming languages. The most commonly used general-purpose dialects are Common Lisp and Scheme. Other dialects include Franz Lisp, Interlisp, Portable Standard Lisp, XLISP and Zetalisp.

          The majority of Lisp implementations offer a lot more than just a programming language. They include an entire environment such as debuggers, inspectors, tracing, and other tools to add the Lisp developer. Lisp is a practical, expression-oriented, interactive programming language which uses linked lists as one of its major data structures. A Lisp list is written with its elements separated by whitespace, and surrounded by parentheses. Lisp source code is itself comprised of lists.

          The language has many unique features that make it excellent to study programming constructs and data structures. Many regard Lisp as an extremely natural language to code complex symbolic reasoning programs. Lisp is popular in the fields of artificial intelligence and symbolic algebra.

        • Easy-to-use tools are key to CI/CD success says 2019 State of DevOps Report

          The most effective strategies for scaling DevOps and fostering productivity include easy-to-use tools and solutions that create community, according to the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report.

          This year’s report, written by Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Dr. Dustin Smith, Jez Humble, and Jessie Frazelle, represents six years of research and data from more than 31,000 professionals and aims to better understand how the technical and cultural practices associated with DevOps affect team and organizational performance. It also explores ways to help improve performance and productivity and even reduce burnout.

  • Leftovers

    • Slouching Toward “Bethlehem”

      Hive-mindedness seems to be growing — at the same time that bees are heading towards kaputzville. DARPA’s got a fix for the bees, they say. Then again, (D)ARPA gave us the Internet, which is where the hivemind is located. On the other hand, Al Gore ‘claims’ to have invented the Internet. Some people say he invented Climate Change, too. Riddle me this: If a guy can be that clever, then how come he can’t win his home state in 2000, without the need to blame Nader? And how come Watergate felon Charles “Dirty Tricks” Colson can be given back his voting rights by Jeb, but not all those Black voters? Is there a koan in a haystack locked up in all this? Or is it all rhetorical?

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security Researchers Whose ‘Penetration Test’ Involved Breaking And Entering Now Facing Criminal Charges

        Turning security researchers into criminals is so popular we have a tag for it here at Techdirt. A security hole is found or a breach pointed out, and the first thing far too many entities do in response is turn the messenger over to law enforcement while muttering unintelligible things about “hacking.”

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (exiv2, firefox, ghostscript, http-parser, httpd, kdelibs and kde-settings, kernel, pango, qemu-kvm, and thunderbird), Debian (ibus), Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, python34, qbittorrent, and samba), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (go-toolset:ol8), Red Hat (kernel, nginx:1.14, patch, ruby, skydive, systemd, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (libreoffice, openssl-1_1, python-urllib3, and python-Werkzeug), and Ubuntu (tomcat9 and wpa, wpasupplicant).

      • Irdeto Warns Healthcare IoT Is Under Heavy Attack

        The world of IoT is no stranger to attacks, with security being a number one priority for keeping the world of interconnected devices safe. One area where security is most crucial is healthcare, where successful attacks can result in loss of life. It wasn’t too long ago that ransomware was making the rounds, shutting down entire hospital networks and putting patients at risk. Irdeto made a press release that put forward the case for better security for healthcare IoT. They quoted some statistics that put some insight into how healthcare comes under attack from malicious agents.

      • Why it’s time to embrace top-down cybersecurity practices

        Cybersecurity is no longer just the domain of the IT staff putting in firewalls and backing up servers. It takes a commitment from the top and a budget to match. The stakes are high when it comes to keeping your customers’ information safe.

        The average cost of a data breach in 2018 was $148 for each compromised record. That equals an average cost of $3.86 million per breach. Because it takes organizations more than six months—196 days on average—to detect breaches, a lot of remediation must happen after discovery.

        With compliance regulations in most industries tightening and stricter security rules, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becoming law, breaches can lead to large fines as well as loss of reputation.

      • SIM Application Toolkit: Avoid Being Exploited

        Technologies are often created with good intent, to make our life easier, to solve problems in a convenient way. The Management Engine in Intel’s CPUs, for instance, was intended to make the life of admins easier. It allowed for remote access on a very low level, so they could even do complete remote reinstalls of a machine. And if you have to manage a large fleet of machines, distributed within a larger enterprise, this can save huge amounts of effort, time–and thus money.


        Its name already points to the origin: the SIM card. It is the tiny chip card you insert into your phone, to get access to the cellular network of an operator. The SIM card used to be a fairly simple device, which you can imagine as the key to unlock the access to the network: i.e., it stores a secret (a cryptographic key) along with an ID (the IMSI) and some details about the issuing operator, etc. This data set grants you access to the operator’s network.

        But phones [also called handset, or ‘terminal equipment’ (TE), in mobile terms] have become more and more powerful. And setting up these cards has become more and more complicated; you need an SMS center number, details for the MMS server, mailbox dial-in number… and a lot more. All this needs to be properly set up in the mobile, to make full use of both the mobile and the network. To make this even more complicated, these details (and the way to set them up) are different from operator to operator. The process for this initial setup is (also) called provisioning. It was to make this (and other things) as convenient and least painful as possible for users that SAT was invented.

        The name SAT tells us not only that it is SIM-related, but also that it contains the term application: SIM cards can, and today they usually do, indeed contain small applications or applets. They are small computers on their own, they run code, and they can indeed be programmed. Most are based on the JavaCard standard and can be programmed with small Java applets. The SAT defines a standard way to interface the SAT applets with the modem and the phone.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?

        After mass shootings in Southaven, Mississippi; Dayton, Ohio; and Midland, El Paso and Odessa, Texas, public demand for sensible gun reform once more soared. And once more, Republican politicians, led by President Donald Trump, were intimidated into inaction by the gun lobby…

      • The Emperor’s New-Old Nuclear Clothes

        How is it still possible to write a lengthy article about the military/strategic dynamic among the triad of Israel, Iran, and the United States while making zero mention of Israel’s robust nuclear-weapons capability? New York Times staffers Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti, and their editors at the Times magazine clearly think this is quite okay.

      • The Call of Blood Money

        Because we inhabit a repugnant, rapacious culture, some repugnant, rapacious creeps thought it’d be cool to make clothes celebrating our national sport of killing children en masse. Thus has Bstroy, makers of “neo-native, post-apocalypse streetwear,” unveiled what really shouldn’t be in the same sentence: “school shooting-themed hoodies…”

      • Will Americans Let Trump Start World War III for Saudi Arabia and Israel?
      • WATCH: With Gun Control Measures Held Up In Congress, ‘Gut Punch’ PSA Shows Children Trying to Survive School Shooting

        “When kids go back to school, they have plenty to worry about. They shouldn’t also have to wonder if they’re going to make it home.”

      • Disputing Trump Claims, Japan Says No Evidence Iran Was Behind Saudi Attack

        “We are not aware of any information that points to Iran,” said Japanese defense minister Taro Kono.

      • Facebook Still Auto-Generates Islamic State, al-Qaida Pages

        In the face of criticism that Facebook is not doing enough to combat extremist messaging, the company likes to say that its automated systems remove the vast majority of prohibited content glorifying the Islamic State group and al-Qaida before it’s reported.

      • Americans Want Action on Climate; Not War Over Oil With Iran

        As I write, the U.S. is inching its way towards possible war with Iran after the weekend drone strikes in Saudi Arabia on the strategic oil facilities owned by the state oil company, Saudi Aramco.

      • The Uncertain and Dangerous Interregnum: World Peace and the Post-Cold War Era

        The post-Cold War era is over. We are living in the interregnum between disorders, marked by uncertainties and dangers, as well as opportunities. Some see the confrontations of the moment as a new Cold War.

      • Why on Earth Would the US Go to War with Iran over an Attack on Saudi Oil Refineries?

        President Bone Spur, backed by his war-mongering Secretary of State Mike “Armageddon” Pompeo, tweeted yesterday that the US military is “locked and loaded,” ready to attack (bomb) Iran if it can be proven that Iran was behind a drone bomb attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries.

      • Conflict With Iran Portends World War III

        Mark Twain once commented, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”  The U.S. conflict with Iran sounds a lot like a rhyme with World War I. The portent would be World War III. The parallels are not trivial. They are haunting, and should be sobering.

      • Once Again in Afghanistan, the U.S. Proves It Can’t Be Trusted

        The first draft of this column came not to bury but to praise Donald Trump. I planned to applaud the president’s peace initiative with the Taliban, his strategy of ignoring the corrupt and discredited puppet regime Bush installed in Kabul and his desire to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. This was a move I have been almost alone in promoting since the U.S. idiotically invaded the country in 2001 and I congratulate Trump for having the courage to unwind Bush and Obama’s mistakes. The Afghan people should be allowed to shape their future free of imperialist interference.

      • Support the Climate Strike, Not a Military Strike

        The propaganda campaign has begun. The New York Times dutifully published photos of an attack on ARAMCO oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia. Accompanying the photos are descriptions provided by the warmongers in Washington, DC. Naturally, the photos don’t look like much of anything. This gives those describing them the leeway to provide a narrative fitting into their agenda of isolating and eventually attacking Iran, despite no real evidence that Iran was involved beyond perhaps some financial assistance to the forces claiming credit for the Saudi attack. In other words, the Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, Iran denied any knowledge, and Washington, Riyadh and presumably Tel Aviv ramped up their rhetoric against Tehran. Meanwhile, the US media repeats and amplifies the unsubstantiated charges from US war cheerleader Michael Pompeo that Iran launched the attack. Wannabe warriors in the Pentagon and Congress rub their hands together in anticipation of a glorious victory for the homeland’s forces. Meanwhile, ARAMCO debates whether or not to delay its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO) given the circumstances. At the same time, traders in oil futures look forward to a substantial increase in earnings because of the attack. Now that I think about it, maybe those wannabe warriors are actually rubbing their hands together hoping for a glorious increase in their portfolios; specifically, in the energy and defense sectors.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 2020: Democratic Establishment vs. Democratic Socialists

        Democratic Socialism has grown in popularity over the past few years, fueled by Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign and continued grassroots waves of support. The country has seen a surge of political candidates across all levels of government running on platforms that embrace democratic socialism.

      • Creating a Society of Hope and Inclusion: Speech to the TUC

        This is the text of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the Trades Union Congress on September 10, 2019.

      • Putin agrees to consider election reforms, after rocky campaigns in Moscow

        In a meeting with Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin agreed to consider reforms to Russia’s election laws. The president said officials need to look at how the political system’s “existing tools operate in real life,” in order to determine where improvements are needed “for the benefit of Russia’s people.”

      • Senator Hawley Responds To Techdirt With A Bunch Of Nonsense And Lies About His Own Bill That He Doesn’t Seem To Understand

        Hoo boy. We’ve criticized a bunch of Senator Josh Hawley’s nonsense over the past few months. After all, he’s the elite cosmopolitan “get big government out of business” Senator who is railing against elite cosmopolitans, while demanding that government get deeply involved in regulating companies. Well, not all companies. Just tech companies. It’s almost as if Hawley is deliberately picking on companies that he thinks don’t like his insane brand of politics. Anyway, while Hawley has introduced a slew of nonsensical bills targeting internet companies, the most laughable was the one that literally lays out what features certain websites can and cannot use. As we wrote in our post about it, Hawley seems to want to appoint himself the product manager of the internet.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Big Tech’s Disingenuous Push for a Federal Privacy Law

        This week, the Internet Association launched a campaign asking the federal government to pass a new privacy law.

        The Internet Association (IA) is a trade group funded by some of the largest tech companies in the world, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber. Many of its members keep their lights on by tracking users and monetizing their personal data. So why do they want a federal consumer privacy law?

      • Thanks For Helping Us Defend the California Consumer Privacy Act

        The California Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect on January 1, 2020—having fended off a year of targeted efforts by technology giants who wanted to gut the bill. Most recently, industry tried to weaken its important privacy protections in the last days of the legislative session.

        Californians made history last year when, after 600,000 people signed petitions in support of a ballot initiative, the California State Legislature answered their constituents’ call for a new data privacy law. It’s been a long fight to defend the CCPA against a raft of amendments that would have weakened this law and the protections it enshrines for Californians. Big technology companies backed a number of bills that each would have weakened the CCPA’s protections. Taken together, this package would have significantly undermined this historic law.

      • University Of Alabama Is Using A Location-Tracking App To Punish Students For Leaving Football Games Early

        One of the most successful college football programs in history is coached by one of the most insecure men in America, apparently. This combination of success and neediness has resulted in one of the weirdest forms of location tracking in government history. (via Slashdot)

      • DOJ Decides To Help Publicize Snowden’s Memoir By Suing Him For Failing To Run His Book By The CIA And NSA First

        As you’ve probably heard, Ed Snowden just came out with his memoir, entitled Permanent Record. I haven’t yet had a chance to read it, but it looks fascinating. Snowden obviously can’t do the usual book tour for this kind of thing, but he has been doing a fresh round of very interesting interviews about his current situation — including saying that he’d be willing to come home to the US and stand trial if only the US actually allowed a public interest defense for Espionage Act claims. As we’ve pointed out for years, one of the (many) problems with the Espionage Act is that it literally does not allow a defendant to explain why they leaked certain information, and assumes that it is equally nefarious to sell secrets to foreign enemies as it is to blow the whistle by informing the press of unconstitutional surveillance.

      • US Government Mass Surveillance Isn’t ‘Secret’

        Today marks 11 years since the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against mass surveillance in the United States. When it eventually concludes, this case will determine whether people in the US ever get a judgment on the constitutionality of mass surveillance.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

Buying the Voices of ‘Linux’ People to Repeat Microsoft’s Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This has become a political game or warfare, not a technical competition

Decapitated leadership in Wikipedia
Reference: Decapitation strike

Summary: The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren’t particularly novel

FORGET everything you knew or once thought you knew about GNU/Linux. Microsoft nowadays distorts the meaning of these brands; similarly, as we show in our weekly Openwashing Reports, the words Open and Source (or Source Source) get distorted; never mind the original terms, notably Free software (we prefer to speak of Software Freedom as this removes the ambiguity associated with zero cost or low price).

“In recent years the Microsoft ‘knives’ came out; but they kept telling us lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”; while buying strategic proprietary pieces to entrap us like sheep.”We don’t want to obsess or to dwell on the Stallman news [1, 2]; there’s a rather depressing element to it. We must try to move on. I’ve spent 2 days writing about it in Social Control Media and at the bottom of this post I’ll mention that very quickly (it’s not really the purpose of this article).

In recent years the Microsoft ‘knives’ came out; but they kept telling us lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”; while buying strategic proprietary pieces to entrap us like sheep. It seems to have worked as long as their PR department found some misguided people to cheer for WSL. Remember that WSL (or WSL2) is not “Linux”; it’s more like a blob in Microsoft’s proprietary repository. It’s just something like VirtualBox with GNU/Linux in it (a container if not VM). Microsoft does not directly control VMs, so it wants Vista 10 ‘serfs’ to only ever explore its “store” and for GNU/Linux developers to abide by Microsoft’s own rules, perhaps even APIs. It’s about control — a prerequisite in EEE tactics.

Now I come to the hardest part.

It’s about SJVN.

“It’s about control — a prerequisite in EEE tactics.”Historically SJVN was supportive and at times protective of us. I am very grateful to him.

Techrights readers, however, turn sour over time. They don’t trust him. Microsoft talking points continue to come from SJVN (my wife calls him a “defector”, insisting “he’s one of them” now) and an important associate of ours says “this will probably be the last SJVN link [I] point to. They have him.”

I got E-mails telling me that SJVN had defected to Microsoft camp

Based on his writings, not actual evidence. His latest piece for IDG cheers for Microsoft leveraging Linux as ‘its own’:

Why would Microsoft do this? Well, have you been paying attention to Windows lately? It has been one foul-up after another. Just in the last few months there was the registry backup fail and numerous and regular machine-hobbling Windows updates. In fact, updates have grown so sloppy you have to seriously wonder whether it’s safer to stay open to attacks or “upgrade” your system with a dodgy patch.


Crazy? Well, so was the idea that a Microsoft CEO would get up and say, “Microsoft loves Linux.” So was the very thought that the most used operating system on Microsoft Azure would be Linux, not Windows Server. And who would have ever thought Microsoft would open up its profitable patent portfolio to open-source and Linux developers — for free?

As I’m fond of saying, whenever people refuse to believe that Microsoft is now open-source-friendly: “This is not your dad’s Microsoft.”

Will Microsoft release a Linux-based Windows? I don’t know. What I do know is that it has been taking the necessary steps to make such a desktop operating system possible. And unlike with the Microsoft of old, surprises do happen.

No, SJVN, Microsoft is the same old dirty company. They still blackmail and bribe officials.

“Historically SJVN was supportive and at times protective of us. I am very grateful to him.”The last straw was, to me at least, not the above. It was this from SJVN. Typical ZDNet right there on display; when not into the monopolist’s Kool-Aid/Microsoft propaganda SJVN resorts to defamation of Stallman (RMS). “Shame on you,” I told him when I first saw it. “You too have just defamed RMS. Right from the headline. You now show your true colours…”

This week, after many people had already pointed out defamatory RMS coverage, some — including SJVN himself — still repeated these defamatory statements. Stallman called Epstein a “serial rapist” while Bill Gates was hanging out with him (Gates even met him when he knew about crimes against youngsters). According to SJVN, however, RMS was “defending Jeffrey Epstein behavior” (their headline!).

This defamatory CBS-owned tabloid is controlled by Microsoft funds (partly) and if this headline was chosen by the editor rather than SJVN, then it’s time for SJVN to step down. They recently censored his headline if not part of his article about Microsoft Office. He lacks journalistic freedom there. I choose to believe his bosses are to blame. I choose to believe that SJVN did not ‘sell out’ and lost his integrity. RMS had called Epstein “serial rapist” repeatedly, so why did SJVN go with the headline asserting RMS was “defending Jeffrey Epstein behavior”. OK… I get it. I think I get it. Facts don’t matter. Who cares, right?

“…Microsoft is the same old dirty company. They still blackmail and bribe officials.”Remember: RMS is said to be “demented” for defending a dead friend.

Bill Gates isn’t “demented” for hanging out with a serial pedophile (even knowing he was that)?

Writers who slander RMS (intentional lies) are not “demented”?

Try putting these things in perspective.

Maybe I’m naive to still view SJVN as a victim. A victim of bad editors and publishers…

Maybe I too am… “demented”.

Readers of ours also complain about Swapnil, whom the Linux Foundation put in charge of Linux.com. Microsoft is boosting Swapnil, who writes puff pieces and lies for Microsoft. Here’s the tweet “ICYMI: Microsoft Brings exFAT Support To Linux”; it’s from Microsoft and it’s boosting Swapnil; he proudly retweeted this.

“Swapnil has been a prime example of sellouts; over the past few months he has acted like little more than an openwashing agent of the ‘Linux’ Foundation.”Who does this man serve? From the looks of it, based on this example from earlier this week, Linux.com has been repurposed to boost the YouTube channel of its sole editor, Swapnil. The person who flatters Microsoft and whom Microsoft links to…

Swapnil has been a prime example of sellouts; over the past few months he has acted like little more than an openwashing agent of the ‘Linux’ Foundation. He’s constantly boosting Greg K-H as well. This person

Theodore Ts’o and Andrew Morton have been in Linux almost longer than anyone else, except Linus Torvalds. Last we checked, both work for Google and Ts’o is targeted so as to keep Greg K-H (a Microsoft buddy, unlike Ts’o, a vocal sceptic of Microsoft) not the “fallback” or “deputy” of Torvalds. The same person who has been attacking a lot of FOSS luminaries also labeled Ts’o “rape apologist”, based on distortion of a very old message he posted to a public mailing list. Sounds familiar? Yes, Stallman (see this almost-complete archive of the stories that led to the ‘end’ of RMS).

Last week I told Stallman that “it seems like media tries to shift attention away from Bill Gates’ MIT scandal by talking about you…”

“It does not surprise me,” he responded. “Gates has more influence.”

“By “runs” the person means girls trying to make ‘moves’ on Torvalds, putting him in a position that can end his career and shatter his reputation.”“I think I will post the Microsoft talk article today or tomorrow,” he added. He had told me that this ongoing work would be finished, but then came the next scandal or incident (MIT).

Mr. Torvalds, please be careful as you might be next. As ESR was told some years ago, “Linus is never alone at any conference. This is not because he lets fame go to his head and likes having a posse around. They have made multiple runs at him.”

By “runs” the person means girls trying to make ‘moves’ on Torvalds, putting him in a position that can end his career and shatter his reputation.

“I will not change that because of the vilification campaign. The broader issues have not changed.Richard Stallman, earlier today

“This is appearing more likely to be the case of Microsoft or other corporate interests (but mainly Microsoft) needing to sever the head before they consume the carcass.”ChuangTzu

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