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09.27.16

Beware the Patent Law Firms Insinuating That Software Patents Are Back Because of McRO

Posted in America, Patents at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drop
McRO at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is just a drop in the ocean

Summary: By repeatedly claiming (and then generalising) that CAFC accepted a software patent the patent microcosm (meta-industry) hopes to convince us that we should continue to pursue software patents in the US, i.e. pay them a lot more money for something of little/no value

THE PREVIOUS post, a short article regarding SCOTUS, mentioned the legacy of Alice. It’s a living nightmare for patent law firms, some of which reportedly went out of business (we covered one high-profile example exactly a month ago).

“It’s a living nightmare for patent law firms, some of which reportedly went out of business…”“Once a patent is deemed to be directed to an abstract idea, the burden appears to shift against the patentee,” Patently-O wrote yesterday in relation to Alice step 2 (the abstractness test), noting also that “Enfish substantially increased the overlap between Steps One and Two of the eligibility analysis. Typically, if a claim includes an eligible inventive concept then it will not be deemed directed to an abstract idea in the first place.”

Enfish hardly changed anything at all, but patent law firms kept talking about it and shoving it into the media for about a month! They were hoping to change policy and practice by means of selective emphasis. It’s a politician’s foreign policy trick, e.g. misleading chronology or selective coverage of just one side’s agony.

Take the area of digital payment patents. They’re basically as dead as can be and statistics associated with failure/success rate are undermining Patently German‘s case when he says that “Mining giant BHP Billiton introduces Ethereum-based file sharing sys to improve suppl chain. Pioneering non-financial #blockchain application” (Accenture is trying to get patents in this area, as we noted earlier this week).

“They were hoping to change policy and practice by means of selective emphasis.”Thankfully, with Alice as a precedent, software patents in this area are very much buried (about 90% of those being tested in a court or an appeal board get invalidated).

In relation to this new article, one patent attorney asks: “Will there be a war for Blockchain patents? No, because Alice is killing most all the patent applications” (well, good).

The EPO may be going in the opposite direction, but in the US there are more appeals right now and patents are being crushed in this area a lot more often than they are being upheld. It’s too risky to even file a lawsuit with such patents. In fact, it’s dangerous to even assume that once granted a patent, not to ever be asserted in a court of law, this patent would somehow be safe. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) changed a lot of this by introducing inter partes reviews (IPRs).

“Referring to the headline,” Patently-O wrote about inter partes reviews (PTAB appeals), “The PTAB (acting on behalf of the PTO Director) held that traditional equitable defenses do not apply to IPR proceedings. Because this holding was made as part of an IPR institution decision, the appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.”

“In fact, it’s dangerous to even assume that once granted a patent, not to ever be asserted in a court of law, this patent would somehow be safe.”So in this particular case, PTAB was not effective for clerical or bureaucratic reasons rather than technical reasons.

Speaking of the above-mentioned PTO Director, the previous one, David Kappos, who was responsible for a lot of the mess including a surge in patent trolling and software patents, is now in the lobbying industry. He is trying to use his previously-acquired connections to influence the law on behalf of massive corporate clients such as Microsoft, IBM, and Apple. He wants to marginalise Alice, under the guise of “clarity”. He is not alone, either. The patent microcosm backs him and here we have a couple of patent law firms putting forth their interests through Watchtroll — a site which cannot stop attacking the Supreme Court’s judgement because it wants software patents (profit). “Is it Time To Amend 101?” says their headline. But why? It’s fine. Unless one is a patent lawyer that strives to patent everything…

Jonas Bosson from FFII Sweden told us about McRO, stating that “the decision is bad. Have you seen any good analysis of the effects?”

“I’d like EFF or TechDirt to put some attention to this, as it seems software patent proponents are playing this big.”
      –Jonas Bosson
“I have seen dozens,” I told him. “Same as in Enfish, lots of noise, no profound effect. SCOTUS won’t revisit software patents any time soon.”

“I’d like EFF or TechDirt” he responded, “to put some attention to this, as it seems software patent proponents are playing this big.”

Yes, software patents proponents like Microsoft and patent law firms can’t stop hyping up McRO, as if they want us to forget that CAFC broadly rejects software patents. Here is Bilski Blog (proponent of software patents) coming up with “More Lessons from McRo” (later reposted in some sites of patent lawyers). The site says “there are a couple of issues that McRo should have addressed but did not. First, the court could have further clarified that the preemption analysis should be from the perspective of a person of ordinary skill in the art (POSITA), and not a lay court. Using POSITA makes the analysis objective, technology neutral, and adaptive to changes in technology over time. POSITA is the only objective framework in the patent law and is already employed for claim construction, enablement, written description, obviousness, and the doctrine of equivalents. My partner Dan Brownstone and I set forth this theory, what we called Objective Preemption, in our amicus brief in Alice.”

“Well, such is the nature of selling agenda (and one’s own services)…”One does not need to look too far to realise what they pushed for in Alice, and the same goes for Bilski. Software patents profiteers can’t stop lobbying for change and even more than 2 weeks after McRO we still see propaganda in the form of ‘analysis’ [1, 2] or “Free Webinar”. One example we found yesterday was published by Gunnar Leinberg and Bryan Smith from LeClairRyan. “Federal Circuit Provides Additional Support to Software Patents” was their misleading headline. How come they never wrote anything about any of the decisions where CAFC looked into software patents and found them invalid? Well, such is the nature of selling agenda (and one’s own services)…

The US Supreme Court Might Soon Tighten Patent Scope in the United States Even Further, the USPTO Produces Patent Maximalism Propaganda

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 10:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Interesting timing as the USPTO has just come under criticism from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for issuing far too many patents

GAO logo

Summary: A struggle brewing between the patent ‘industry’ (profiting from irrational saturation) and the highest US court, as well as the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

The Supreme Court in the US (SCOTUS) has contributed a lot to woes for patent lawyers and a relief to software developers. It is abundantly clear that Mayo and Alice are being taken quite seriously by lower courts, especially the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).

“In short, this is just self-serving USPTO propaganda, serving perhaps to distract from the recent GAO report which chastised the USPTO for patent maximalism.”It is not hard to see that patent lawyers are frightened and mortified by SCOTUS and CAFC, both of which have been limiting patent scope more so than district courts and the USPTO (trying to just maximise its own income rather than provide a service*). Design patents may be next to be axed by the US Supreme Court, as we noted earlier this year (in summertime) and various maximalists of patents speak about it, including Watchtroll [1, 2] (the Kool-Aid of patent law firms if not somewhat of a lobbying site).

“USPTO publishes new estimates of “IP-Intensive” industries, spin results,” according to KEI (very good Web site by the way). “We have seen same spin in Europe,” Benjamin Henrion wrote. To quote all the key points about this think tank-esque activity:

USPTO has just published its new estimates of “IP-intensive” jobs for the US economy. The report is titled: Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update, and is available as a PDF file here. USPTO press release here:

I took a quick look at the report, and below are some initial bullet points:

1. In the new USPTO study of “IP-intensive” jobs, 85 percent are included because of trademarks.

2. Just 14 percent of the “IP-intensive” jobs involve patents.

3. 20 percent of so called “IP-intensive” jobs involve copyright industries.

4. Just 2 percent of the “IP-intensive” jobs involving patents are in the pharmaceuticals sector.

5. According to USPTO, less than 1 percent of all “IP-intensive” jobs are in the pharmaceutical sector.

6. USPTO’s top three “IP-intensive” industries are:

Grocery stores: 2.6 million jobs
Computer systems design: 1.8 million jobs
Management consulting: 1.4 million jobs

7. According to USPTO, a “majority of patenting firms are in the services and wholesale sectors.”

8. According to USPTO, the “Sound recording Industries” only provide 23.5 thousand jobs which is 0.0008 of all “ip-intensive” jobs.

9 Almost none of USPTO’s copyright sector jobs benefit from long copyright terms.

In short, this is just self-serving USPTO propaganda, serving perhaps to distract from the recent GAO report which chastised the USPTO for patent maximalism. Our next post will look more closely at the software patents lobby.
___
* This new blog post from a patent maximalist (and longtime proponent of software patents for Bristows) says that there is “presumption of validity under US patent law,” but patent validity for pre-Alice patents is a joke because USPTO approved almost every application and by some standards it's estimated that as much as 92% of applications eventually led to a grant. To quote the maximalist, writing about ChIPs Global Summit: “The panel also noted that the presumption of validity under US patent law assists the patentee in showing that they have something of real value and that the burden of proving that the patent is invalid falls on the other side. However, in reality if we took a poll, many would comment that there are a lot of weak patents out there. It was suggested that perhaps the focus therefore should be on patent quality so that the presumption of validity and the standard of evidence to rebut that presumption (clear and convincing) is actually appropriate. Just because a patent has survived one patent challenge does not mean that the patent is necessarily stronger. If the patent has survived a challenge in front of a really good judge, then the panel noted that that may deter opponents. However, in reality, that decision is not binding on anyone who is not party to that case. Those parties will try a different tactic before different judges in a different forum. This is of course correct – it is not fair to an absent party to be faced with the bias of a decision in a case they had no right to participate in. There cannot be a time bar for bringing a challenge to a patent in district court as potential litigants and controversy may not be in existence at the time of the first action.”

Patent Trolling a Growing Problem in East Asia (Software Patents Also), Whereas in the US the Problem Goes Away Along With Software Patents

Posted in America, Asia, Patents at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Section 101 is like patent reform 101

Korea software patents

Summary: A look at two contrasting stories, one in Asia where patent litigation and hype are on the rise (same in Europe due to the EPO) and another in the US where a lot of patents face growing uncertainty and a high invalidation rate

AS SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS often insist, copyrights are enough for them. These protect against misuse, plagiarism and so on. Software patents, given the inability to inspect binary files and properly study them, don’t add any more protection.

A patent law firm from South Korea (i.e. parasites that make no actual software) started the week by trying to make a case for software patents (see the above screenshot). Here is the opening part which speaks of rejection of such patents:

In recent years, there has been substantial interest in changing existing law and practice in order to expand the protection for computer program inventions. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) sought to enact such a change by officially releasing its revised Examination Guidelines for Computer-Related Inventions on July 1 2014. Three months later, an amendment bill to the Patent Act was submitted to the National Assembly, which attempted to broaden the scope of protection for computer-related inventions (eg, by opening up the possibility of patentees bringing infringement claims against online sellers of an allegedly infringing computer program, something which would not be subject to infringement liability under the guidelines). The National Assembly seemed to recognise that the proposed amendments could have profound effects on the software industry and thus rejected them, noting that more opinions from the industry were needed to gain a consensus on this issue.

As we have already seen in the case of LG and Samsung, Microsoft utilises software patents so as to extort OEMs in South Korea and this month it is pursuing even more money, in essence trying to tax Linux (we wrote about that twice last week). In addition to that, Microsoft creates and arms patent trolls that go after Linux and/or Android. We gave many examples of that in the past and earlier this month we warned that patent trolling was becoming commonplace in China and other countries in east Asia. IAM ‘magazine’ does not quite see what the problem is and today it has this new article about a silent passage of patents to Oppo, after concerns about the US ITC targeting companies in Taiwan (where many products are actually made) without even a proper trial, imposing massive sanctions that are absolute and ruinous. When companies such as Microsoft use the US ITC in an attempt to simply embargo the competition, using patents that are often dubious (USPTO does a shoddy job), everybody loses. Regarding the problem of trolls in Asia, we see more and more articles from IAM. In the US, says IAM, trolling activity has gone down and Joff Wild finally uses the T word (troll):

The week before last I hosted a webinar for IAM Market entitled Readying a Patent Portfolio for Sale: What You Need to Know to Be Successful. Over 350 people signed up to get the materials and the recording, while close to 200 listened live as presenter Kent Richardson, a partner at Silicon Valley-based Richardson Oliver Law Group, talked through his slides and then answered questions from me and from attendees. It was a fascinating hour, which my colleague Jack Ellis has written up in a blog for the IAM Market knowledge centre (where there are also details about how you can get hold of the presentation, talk and interview).

This week I am in Gothenburg for the CIP Forum and yesterday at a session about defensive patent aggregation something that Kent (who is also here and took part in the session) said during the webinar came back to me. As a firm that does a lot of transaction-based work, ROL closely monitors activity in the patents sales market, in particular packages being offered by brokers. IAM subscribers will know that each year ROL produces an update for us about the activity it is seeing in areas such as pricing, sales rates, package sizes and so on – the next one will be published in issue 81 of IAM, which comes out at the end of November. One of the things it is set to show, Kent stated in our conversation, is that prices finally seem to have stabilised, essentially because they probably could not go any lower, and that for the first time it looks like operating companies are buying more than NPEs are.

Coming from a trolls denialist, the above is interesting. If it’s true that trolls have shrunk somewhat (in terms of activity like litigation and acquisitions), then we suspect it has a lot to do with the demise of software patents, as we foresaw all along. Later today we’ll show how the US patent microcosm tries to change things for the worse again.

The EPO’s Continued Push for Software Patents, Marginalisation of Appeals (Reassessment), and Deviation From the EPC

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Quality control is just a theoretical concept in Battistelli’s EPO, where the goose is being slaughtered for a golden egg

Summary: A roundup of new developments at the EPO, where things further exacerbate and patent quality continues its downward spiral

THE scandals at the EPO are an endless saga and a bottomless pit. Board 28 needs to act fast because the Administrative Council sure behaves like it does not care or like it’s trying to save face for Battistelli.

“Patent scope (limitation) seems to be viewed as a nuisance at the upper echelon/top floors of the EPO’s building in Munich.”“According to the minutes of the last meeting of Board 28,” one person wrote, “the president provided “new elements of information [...] on the disciplinary case of a Council appointee. Following an exchange of views, [the Board] indicated that it would reflect on the information, pending receipt of a legal note from the President.”” the thing about the Board is, it previously said Battistelli's regime had caused an EPO "crisis". We are planning to revisit this subject pretty soon. Has the Board said anything about the decline in quality and loss of stakeholders' interest which is very apparent? Therein lies a crisis as big as the social crisis. The EPO cannot survive without a reputation. It won’t attract applicants or even highly-qualified staff.

Watch this new tweet from the EPO, which links to the EPO’s own site and says: “From today, you can register for the Indo-European conference on Industry 4.0 and patents” (Industry 4.0 is just a meaningless buzzword).

Not too shockingly, software patents (in Europe) have been interjected into it (the fourth time we see it this month alone!). To quote the page (emphasis ours): “The consequences for the patent system are potentially tremendous, and they challenge some of the fundamental concepts of the system, such as the definition of “industry” and “inventor”. There will be a greater overlap and interplay between the types of rights, and as software pervades through all technologies a greater debate on the patentability of software.”

Patent scope (limitation) seems to be viewed as a nuisance at the upper echelon/top floors of the EPO’s building in Munich. These guys are nuts; they’re neither scientists nor good managers. They’re mostly old buddies of Battistelli, loyal to him and telling him mostly what he wants to hear. They attack everything which voices criticism as though it’s an enemy, including the independent (in principle) boards of appeal.

“We understand from correspondence with the EPO that this change in practice has been made following investigations by the Legal Division resulting in an acknowledgement that the current procedures for recording an assignment are not consistent with Article 72 EPC.”
      –Lexology
“The EPO to bring opposition proceedings in standard cases down from 25,8 months to 15 months,” Nordic Patent (Kongstad-connected) says, citing “Heli Philajamaa from EPO” (the EPO has just retweeted this).

Here is a simple translation for those who believe the lie that the appeals are still taken seriously (rather than gradually crushed): The EPO does not want oppositions. It wants to make them harder, more expensive, etc. It suppresses them. Heck, it does not even want patent quality anymore.

The EPO’s “current procedures for recording an assignment are not consistent with Article 72 EPC,” says this new report, but it’s not as though the EPC ever bothered Battistelli. He ignores it at every turn and corner, as we noted earlier this year. The thugs at Eponia basically declared a state of emergency and are now just doing whatever they please, even when that’s against national and international laws. Here is what contributors to Lexology said:

However, we have been made aware that, with immediate effect, the EPO will only record an assignment if it is signed by all parties to the agreement. An assignment signed by the assignor(s) only will be considered to be deficient. We understand from correspondence with the EPO that this change in practice has been made following investigations by the Legal Division resulting in an acknowledgement that the current procedures for recording an assignment are not consistent with Article 72 EPC.

This change in practice has not yet been publicly announced by the EPO. However we are aware from practical experience that the new practice is already in effect and have been informed that the Guidelines for Examination will be updated shortly. There is no indication that the EPO plans to revisit assignments already recorded under the previous practice.

At this stage it seems almost as though it’s too late to save the EPO. It’s too hard to save something whose top management does not want it to be saved (they just try to save their own career, not the Office, or simply save face).

The Battistelli Effect: “We Will be Gradually Forced to File Our Patent Applications Outside the EPO in the Interests of Our Clients”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

All that political UPC lobbying from Battistelli and his cronies (like Margot Fröhlinger) merely served to discredit the EPO

EPO ship

Sailing nowhere, fast.

Summary: While the EPO dusts off old files and grants in haste without quality control (won’t be sustainable for more than a couple more years) the applicants are moving away as trust in the EPO erodes rapidly and profoundly

THE EPO has done virtually nothing to repair its bad reputation. Paying over a millions Euros to fracking propagandists is hardly a sound plan and as long as union-busting activities carry on, staff of the EPO will perceive the management — not SUEPO — as their biggest enemy. What’s more, stakeholders outside the EPO are paying attention and some take action, knowing that patent quality at the EPO is far from what it used to be. Insiders tell us so as well.

“Team Battistelli lied to the public (and to staff) about the UPC’s inevitability and here in the UK we saw Team UPC (perhaps fraudulently) advertising UPC jobs that did not exist and would never exist.”The EPO’s top-level management put all its eggs in the UPC basket. Team Battistelli lied to the public (and to staff) about the UPC’s inevitability and here in the UK we saw Team UPC (perhaps fraudulently) advertising UPC jobs that did not exist and would never exist. We complained about this at the time. How do they get away with this? They hate democracy so much (or disregard it so blatantly) that they quit caring about — or they’re not paying attention to — the enormous damage caused to their reputation and integrity. What are European companies supposed to think of the UPC and the EPO right now?

“This purely academic exercise is all well and good,” one person wrote in a thread stuffed with UPC hopefuls (Team UPC and the patent microcosm, especially in the UK), “but a complete waste of time and money. There will be no political will to make this work because Brexit means Brexit. Don’t you get it yet? Forget it and move on….”

Indeed, but they have spent so much effort and time on UPC preparations, so they refuse to move on. Another commenter then added that “we will be gradually forced to file our patent applications outside the EPO in the interests of our clients,” so we assume this commenter has moved on already. To quote in full:

The discussion about Brexit and UPC continues to be maddening as not based on the possible (to avoid repeating myself I refer to my previous comments http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2016/09/does-david-davis-want-to-ratify-upc.html?showComment=1474556188098#c99464718469530613 Thursday, 22 September 2016 at 15:56:00 BST )
If financial leviathans in the City are struggling to persuade the UK government to protect their financial passports post Brexit to preserve a status quo in London from which the UK benefits to the tune of tens of billions each year, what on earth makes any realistic observer believe the minnow of the patent community could persuade the UK government to move against the Brexit tide by ratifying the UPC pre-Brexit?
That would be true if the UPC was the best idea ever (which it isn’t), if there was a ground swell of support for it from UK industry and potential users (there isn’t), if it would encourage innovation in the UK or Europe (it won’t) or if the EPO was the most respected patent office in the world (it isn’t).
Indeed, regretfully, I must be even more blunt, the EPO’s continuing flogging of this UPC dead horse is yet more evidence (amongst many examples well known to all) that current EPO management continue to act against the long term interests of the patent community and industry in Europe. The present EPO President has zero credibility as his administration undermines the EPO on multiple levels with increasing irrationality. Reduction in patent quality, horrendous abuse of staff, attacking the independence of BoAs are but three examples and it is to the utter shame of the Administrative Council that he has survived so long.
Rather than focussing short term attention on the fate of the UPC, the most important and urgent action which would help improve the patent system in Europe is for the AC to remove Benoît Battistelli (and his team) from office without delay and bring back humane, credible and competent leadership to the EPO. Only then can a rational discussion of the challenges begin with all stakeholders, and users such as myself can have their confidence and faith in the EPO restored in a post Brexit world with or without the UPC. If not, reluctantly we will be gradually forced to file our patent applications outside the EPO in the interests of our clients and the EPO will begin a slow decline to irrelevance.

“That the EPO still pushes for UK ratification is hard to understand,” wrote one person in response to the aforementioned comments about the EPO’s resort to lobbying (we wrote about that yesterday). To quote:

I could not agree more with the blogger of 12.43 BST.

Ratifying now would be utterly counter-productive and only increase problems.
Sorry Meldrew, but ratifying now has nothing to do with pragmatism, but sheer panic to be left out of a system which could have been so lucrative. Actually, I was expecting better from Meldrew.

That the EPO still pushes for UK ratification is hard to understand. I would say there are more urgent problems to be solved at the EPO than fighting for UK ratification. Seeing the way the AC does not do its job of controlling the EPO and its president, one wonders about a hidden agenda.

How can it be that training for search and training for examination used to be three years for each job, now it is three years for both. Have the newcomers suddenly become more intelligent? Please allow me to doubt. Quality is thus lowering for a long time, but the lowering can only accelerate.

The problem lies with the EPO and its management. I leave here purposely aside any discussion about the ill treatment of staff representatives, but concentrate only on the horrendous production figures which are now required. Here it is not only BB who is to blame, but much more VP1, who has always thought that examination, and hence the grant of solid patents, is of secondary importance.

What matters are production figures. Who gives a damn about the patent quality, production figures have to be according the plan. Basta as would a former German chancellor say. The erosion of quality is nothing new, but when one sees what is coming out one can only shudder.

What good could be a UPC when faced with patent of little or no value.

A court be it called UPC or not, cannot do a good job on shaky patents! Why is it then so necessary to quickly ratify?

In our next post we’ll remark on patent quality again.

Links 27/9/2016: Lenovo Layoffs, OPNFV Third Software Release

Posted in News Roundup at 6:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • My Experiences Converting Users To GNU/Linux

      My wife, TLW, runs GNU/Linux with few problems. She uses a tablet, an Odroid-C2 ARMed thick client, and a big notebook all running Debian GNU/Linux or Ubuntu and her Android/Linux smartphone and her scanner and printer all deal with Beast, my GNU/Linux server. I have her file-system plugged in via NFS so she can do IT in bed, in front of the TV, on TV, or in her office and all her thousands of pictures, documents, scans etc. are all in the same place.

      She doesn’t even have much problem using Ubuntu or XFCE4 on Debian because she mostly uses the same applications all day long. It just works for her and memories of That Other Operating System are fading. She was locked to a single thick client with limited capabilities in those Dark Days. She had repeated crashes and malware. Today, her issues with IT are things like changing the name of a file on the FTP server or how to scan a light image or…, real problems, not problems M$ causes billions of people every day.

    • Shame on Microsoft for Leaving Surface Pro Customers in the Dark

      When Microsoft came out with its first batch of Surface tablets a few years ago, the company took a bath on them. It didn’t help that they were conceived around the unpopular Windows 8 and the now-defunct Windows RT and that the prospects for the OS were in question. After Microsoft wrote off $900 million on its money-losing Surface business, the deathwatch was on. But the Intel-based Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 showed a glimmer of hope, and Microsoft finally delivered a solid hit with the Surface Pro 3. After that water­shed release, the Surface division is now an important business that brings in more than $1 billion revenue per quarter. Yet Microsoft isn’t showing much appreciation toward the customers who helped put its Surface business on solid footing.

  • Server

    • DevOps: All Development, No Database

      Since the last time I touched working code in a production environment, it’s no exaggeration to say that no part of the development process remains untouched. Over the last decade plus, effectively every aspect of the application development process has been scrutinized, rethought and in many cases reinvented. From version control to build systems to configuration and deployment to monitoring, modern development’s toolchain is multi-part and sophisticated.

      As it must be. Processes that work for code released in cycles measured in months cannot be expected to handle workflows measured in days or minutes.

      For all that the process of developing software has evolved, however, the database remains curiously overlooked. Consider the example of Cloud Native. Describing a modern, typically legacy-free approach to building applications appropriate for cloud environments, the term Cloud Native has gone from informal descriptor to accepted industry shorthand in short order – to the extent that it has its own technical foundation.

      If we look at the membership of that foundation, the CNCF, it would appear that the roster includes no database vendors at the Platinum or Gold membership levels, at least if you assume Google’s involvement is around Kubernetes and not tools such as BigQuery. Of the 41 silver members, meanwhile, two can be considered database vendors: Crunchy and Treasure Data.

  • Lenovo

    • Microsoft, Lenovo Accused Of Blocking Linux On Signature Edition PCs

      Laptops today are increasingly powerful. Right now, if you get a new laptop, the probability is that it comes with the new Windows 10 operating system but there are some people that prefer to have a choice when it comes to OS selection. While some people are fine with Windows 10, there are those who might want to have a dual OS system running. A few people who bought Lenovo laptops like the Yoga 900, 910S, and 710S, found that Lenovo was blocking Linux.

    • What you missed in tech last week: HP’s ink ban, Lenovo vs Linux, Yahoo mega-hack

      LAST WEEK was a controversial one in the world of technology, and HP, Lenovo, Microsoft and Yahoo all faced a backlash from pissed off customers.

    • Motorola, Lenovo lay off over a thousand more people
    • New Lenovo layoffs at Moto, company has now lost over 95% of employees in four years

      Speaking to Droid-life, both sources inside the company and Motorola itself confirmed today that Lenovo has conducted a brutal round of layoffs at Moto. According to DL, over 50% of Motorola’s existing US staff have lost their jobs. A 20-year veteran of the company allegedly posted on Facebook that he had been laid off, so it looks like Lenovo is cutting deep at the device-maker.

      One source told them that over 700 employees would be asked to leave of the over 1200 Motorola currently employs. No doubt Lenovo hopes to cut costs by integrating much of Motorola’s software and hardware development into its own smartphone unit. Sensible or not, it’s still rather sad to watch the once-proud brand slowly be swallowed by The Great Lenovo Monster. The lack of critical or consumer hype around the company’s new Moto Z line hasn’t helped matters, and while the refreshed Moto G franchise was generally well-received, it’s the expensive phones that make the money, and I have a hard time believing the Z series is a runaway sales success.

    • Lenovo Courts Devs WIth Moto Z Source Code Release

      Lenovo, which owns Motorola, last week released the kernel source code for the Moto Z Droid smartphone on Github. The move follows the company’s posting of the Moto Z Droid Moto Mods Development Kit and Moto Mods on Github this summer. This is the first kernel source code made available for the Moto Z family of devices. Releasing the kernel source code seems to be another step in Lenovo’s attempt to get devs to build an iPhone-like ecosystem around the Moto Z family. The Z family is modular.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Partners with Girls in Tech to Increase Diversity in Open Source

      One of the great strengths of open source is that it provides opportunities for everyone. Regardless of background, age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or religion, everyone can benefit from and contribute to some of the most important technologies ever developed.

      Yet we know that many groups remain underrepresented in the open source community, which is why The Linux Foundation engages in efforts such as providing diversity scholarships for our training and events and sponsoring organizations such as Women Who Code, Code.org, Blacks in Technology, All Star Code and more.

    • Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Muneeb Kalathil

      I started using Linux when I was in school. But at that point, I was limited to Installation and running a few commands. I really started learning and growing my interest in Linux while I was working on my degree in Computer Applications. My first distribution was Red Hat CentOS. I spent many hours learning Linux and enjoyed it.

    • Reiser4 Implements Mirror & Failover Support

      Edward Shishkin, one of the last remaining Reiser4 developers and the one who has been leading this out-of-tree file-system the past few years, has implemented logical volumes support with support for mirrors (in effect, RAID 0) and failover support at the file-system level.

      Shishkin quietly announced on Sunday, “Reiser4 will support logical (compound) volumes. For now we have implemented the simplest ones – mirrors. As a supplement to existing checksums it will provide a failover – an important feature, which will reduce number of cases when your volume needs to be repaired by fsck.”

    • security things in Linux v4.3

      When I gave my State of the Kernel Self-Protection Project presentation at the 2016 Linux Security Summit, I included some slides covering some quick bullet points on things I found of interest in recent Linux kernel releases. Since there wasn’t a lot of time to talk about them all, I figured I’d make some short blog posts here about the stuff I was paying attention to, along with links to more information. This certainly isn’t everything security-related or generally of interest, but they’re the things I thought needed to be pointed out. If there’s something security-related you think I should cover from v4.3, please mention it in the comments. I’m sure I haven’t caught everything. :)

      A note on timing and context: the momentum for starting the Kernel Self Protection Project got rolling well before it was officially announced on November 5th last year. To that end, I included stuff from v4.3 (which was developed in the months leading up to November) under the umbrella of the project, since the goals of KSPP aren’t unique to the project nor must the goals be met by people that are explicitly participating in it. Additionally, not everything I think worth mentioning here technically falls under the “kernel self-protection” ideal anyway — some things are just really interesting userspace-facing features.

    • Open Source NFV releases third platform, offers additional testing capabilities

      The OPNFV Project, an open source project set on driving the evolution of network functions virtualization (NFV) components, has made its OPNFV Colorado release available.

      As the third platform release, OPNFV Colorado includes feature enhancements across security, IPv6, Service Function Chaining (SFC), testing, VPN capabilities, and support for multiple hardware architectures.

      Specifically, OPNFV Colorado address three main areas: core feature upgrades, enhanced testing capabilities, and infrastructure and testing environment advancements.

    • Serro CEO to Participate on Prominent Keynote Industry Panel at the Linux Foundation’s Upcoming OpenDaylight Summit in Seattle
    • The Linux Foundation and edX Roll Out a Free OpenStack Cours

      The market for OpenStack training continues to surge, and training is now offered by vendors such as Mirantis and independent organizations such as The Linux Foundation. Overall training for OpenStack surged last year. According to the OpenStack Foundation, since the launch of the OpenStack marketplace in September 2013, training offerings grew from 17 unique courses in eight cities to 119 courses in 99 cities.

    • Linux Kernel 4.4.22 LTS Brings ARM and EXT4 Improvements, Updated Drivers

      Immediately after announcing the release of Linux kernel 4.7.5, renowned kernel developer and maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of Linux kernel 4.4.22 LTS

    • ONOS Hummingbird SDN release touts core control function improvements

      ON.Lab’s ONOS Project noted its eighth SDN platform release expands southbound and northbound protocol, legacy device support

      The telecommunications market’s choice of software-defined networking platforms continues to blossom, with the Open Networking Laboratory’s Open Network Operating System Project releasing its latest SDN platform variant under the “Hummingbird” tag.

    • The Linux State Of AMD’s Zen x86 Memory Encryption

      With AMD’s forthcoming Zen processors is support for some new memory encryption technologies that are of particular benefit for virtualized environments.

      I wrote about Linux patches for AMD memory encryption earlier this year while since then more information has come to light. At last month’s Linux Security Summit, David Kaplan presented on these technologies coming with Zen; only today I had come across the slide deck for this presentation.

      The technologies come down to Secure Memory Encryption (SME) and Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). SME provides memory encryption on a per-page-table basis using AMD’s ARM-based security co-processor. AMD SME + SEV are designed against both user-access attacks and physical access attacks with a particular focus on VM / hypervisor security.

    • Improving Fuzzing Tools for More Efficient Kernel Testing

      Fuzz testing (or fuzzing) is a software testing technique that involves passing invalid or random data to a program and observing the results, such as crashes or other failures. Bamvor Jian Zhang of Huawei, who will be speaking at LinuxCon Europe, realized that existing fuzz testing tools — such as trinity — can generate random or boundary values for syscall parameters and inject them into the kernel, but they don’t validate whether the results of those syscalls are correct.

    • OPNFV Heads Down Colorado Trail

      OPNFV today issued its third software release, ending the agonizing six-month period in which folks had to pronounce and spell Brahmaputra. (See OPNFV Issues Third Software Release.)

      This latest release continues the river theme but is sensibly named Colorado: It has other advantages as well, namely support for key features such as security, IPv6, service function chaining (SFC) testing, virtual private networks and more.

      In addition, Colorado is laying some key groundwork for what lies ahead as the industry comes to terms with the MANO (management and network orchestration) dilemma, says Heather Kirksey, Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. ‘s executive director.

    • OPNFV’s Third Release Includes Security Enhancements
    • ONOS, OPNFV Introduce Latest Open SDN, NFV Releases
    • OPNFV Issues Third Software Release
    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org’s GLAMOR 2D Performance Continues To Be Tuned

        While GLAMOR has already been around for a number of years as a means of providing generic X11 2D acceleration over OpenGL for the X.Org Server, it’s a seemingly never-ending process to optimize its code-paths for best performance. More improvements are en route for making GLAMOR 2D faster, which should especially be helpful for Raspberry Pi users making use of the VC4 driver stack on this very slow-speed hardware.

        Benefits to the GLAMOR code in the X.Org Server obviously have the potential to benefit all users of this acceleration mechanism for code going into the xorg-server code-base as opposed to an individual GL driver, but for Raspberry Pi users in particular there is some efforts ongoing by Broadcom’s Eric Anholt as well as Keith Packard’s never-ending tinkering with the X Server code. GLAMOR continues to be used by default for all AMD GCN GPUs, Nouveau for the latest generations of GPU too, VC4 2D is only supported with GLAMOR, and optionally by other DDX drivers too.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Core i7 6800K Benchmarks On Ubuntu + Linux 4.8

        While the Core i7 6800K has been available for a few months now, there hadn’t been any review on it since Intel hadn’t sent out any Broadwell-E samples for Linux testing this time around. However, I did end up finally buying a Core i7 6800K now that the Turbo Boost Max 3.0 support is finally coming together (at first, Intel PR said it wouldn’t even be supported on Linux) so that I can run some benchmarks there plus some other interesting items on the horizon for benchmarking. Here are some benchmarks of the i7-6800K from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with the Linux 4.8 kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Announcing the KDE Advisory Board

        With KDE having grown from a hobby project by a few volunteers 20 years ago to the large and central Free Software community it is now, our interactions with other organizations have become increasingly important for us. KDE software is available on several platforms, is shipped by numerous distributions large and small, and KDE has become the go-to Free Software community when it comes to Qt. In addition to those who cooperate with KDE on a technical level, organizations which fight for the same vision as ours are our natural allies as well.

        To put these alliances on a more formal level, the KDE e.V. hereby introduces the KDE e.V. Advisory Board as a means to offer a space for communication between organizations which are allied with KDE, from both the corporate and the non-profit worlds.

        One of the core goals of the Advisory Board is to provide KDE with insights into the needs of the various organizations that surround us. We are very aware that we need the ability to combine our efforts for greater impact and the only way we can do that is by adopting a more diverse view from outside of our organization on topics that are relevant to us. This will allow all of us to benefit from one another’s experience.

      • KDE Introduces An Advisory Board
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Behind the GNOME 3.22 Release Video

        This is less than usual. The time saving mostly stems from spending less time recording for the release video. At first thought you might think recording would be a breeze but it can be one of the most frustrating aspects of making the videos. Each cycle the GNOME community lands improvement a wide set of GNOME’s applications. So before each release I have to find some way to run a dozen of applications from master.

      • ContractPatch, Step 2: Understanding the power balance

        At the point you are presented with a job offer, your prospective employer really wants to hire you. Chances are, they’ve screened and interviewed a number of candidates and put a lot of work into the process. Your manager has thought deeply about who they want in the position and has probably imagined how it will all work out with you in the role. Both you and the hiring decision-maker(s) are probably very optimistic about what you’ll accomplish in the role and how well you’ll get along working together. At this point, no one wants to go back to the drawing board and start the process over again. You will be excited to start the new job but it’s worth taking a step back to appreciate the unusual position you are in with your new employer.

      • Epiphany Icon Refresh
  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0

        Uruk GNU/Linux appears to be a fairly young project with some lofty goals, but some rough edges and unusual characteristics. I applaud the developers’ attempts to provide a pure free software distribution, particularly their use of Gnash to provide a pretty good stand-in for Adobe’s Flash player. Gnash is not perfect, but it should work well enough for most people.

        On the other hand, Uruk does not appear to offer much above and beyond what Trisquel provides. Uruk uses Trisquel’s repositories and maintains the same free software only stance, but does not appear to provide a lot that Trisquel on its own does not already offer. Uruk does feature some add-ons from Linux Mint, like the update manager. However, this tends to work against the distribution as the update manager hides most security updates by default while Mint usually shows all updates, minus just the ones known to cause problems with stability.

        As I mentioned above, the package compatibility tools talked about on the Uruk website do not really deliver and are hampered by the missing alien package in the default installation. The build-from-source u-src tool may be handy in some limited cases, but it only works in very simple scenarios with specific archive types and build processes. Hopefully these package compatibility tools will be expanded for future releases.

        Right now I’m not sure Uruk provides much above what Trisquel 7.0 provided two years ago. The project is still young and may grow in time. This is a 1.0 release and I would hold off trying the distribution until it has time to build toward its goals.

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Linux 8 Beta 3 Released

        The development team is pleased to announce the new Beta release of Black Lab Linux 8 – our latest OS offering to bring the best Linux desktop distribution currently on the market. This release moves the kernel and application set away from the prior LTS 14.04 base to the new 16.04 LTS base. Black Lab Linux 8 will showcase 3 desktop environments : MATE, LXDE and GNOME 3. Other improvements include:

        Full EFI support
        Kernel 4.4.0-38
        LibreOffice 5.2
        GNOME Video
        Rhythmbox
        Firefox 49
        Thunderbird
        GIMP
        Full multimedia codec support

      • Black Lab Linux 8 Beta 3 Is Out with Full EFI Support, Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

        Softpedia was informed today, September 26, 2016, by Black Lab Software’s CEO Robert J. Dohnert about the availability of the third Beta development snapshot of the upcoming Black Lab Linux 8 GNU/Linux operating system.

        Black Lab Linux 8 “Onyx” Beta 3 is here approximately three weeks after the second Beta pre-release and it comes with a major change. It is no longer based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), as the development team decided to switch base and move to the next Ubuntu LTS version, namely Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta2

        Leap 42.2 Beta2 is looking pretty good, except for the problems with Plasma 5 and the nouveau driver. That’s really an upstream issue (a “kde.org” issue). I hope that is fixed in time for the final release. Otherwise, I may have to give up on KDE for that box.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Exactly What Is OpenStack? Red Hat’s Rich Bowen Explains

        You’ve probably heard of OpenStack. It’s in the tech news a lot, and it’s an important open source project. But what exactly is it, and what is it for? Rich Bowen of Red Hat provided a high-level view of OpenStack as a software project, an open source foundation, and a community of organizations in his talk at LinuxCon North America.

        OpenStack is a software stack that went from small to industry darling at warp speed. It has three major components: The compute service runs the virtual machines (VMs), and it has a networking service and a storage service, plus a dashboard to run everything. OpenStack is only six years old, and was born as a solution devised by Rackspace and NASA to solve a specific problem.

      • Red Hat’s Results Underscore its Growing Focus on OpenStack

        Late last week, Red Hat reported earnings per share of 55 cents on revenue of $600 million, beating estimates of 54 cents and $590 million, respectively. One thing that went unsaid across much of the coverage is that the company is in the midst of a major shift in its strategy toward OpenStack-based cloud computing, and it looks like service revenues and positive momentum from that effort are starting to arrive.

        “Our growth was driven in part by expanding our footprint with customers as we closed a record number of deals over $1 million, up approximately 60 percent year-over-year,” Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said during his company’s earnings call. Seven of the top 30 deals had OpenStack in there, nine had RHEV,” Whitehurst said. “We had three OpenStack deals alone that were over $1 million. So I think we’re seeing really, really, really good traction there.”

      • Red Hat targets $5-b revenue in five years

        Open-source technology firm Red Hat Inc, which hit the $2-billion revenue milestone two quarters ago, is looking to achieve $2.4 billion in FY 2017 and $5 billion in the next five years.

        The company is betting on India, its second largest operation outside the US, as one of the key growth engines to help achieve its aspirational revenue goal of $5 billion by 2021.

        “India is a bright spot for Red Hat for three reasons,” Rajesh Rege, Managing Director, Red Hat India, told BusinessLine.

      • Red Hat Announces Ansible Tower App for Splunk, Enabling Intelligence and Automation Enhancements
      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 26 Linux OS to Ship with OpenSSL 1.1.0 by Default for Better Security

          Fedora Program Manager Jan Kurik informs the Fedora Linux community about a new system-wide change for the upcoming Fedora 26 operating system, namely the addition of the OpenSSL 1.1.0 libraries by default.

          It appears that current Fedora Linux releases ship with OpenSSL 1.0.2h, which has been patched with the latest security fixes, but the team decided it was time to upgrade the OpenSSL libraries (libssl and libcrypto) to a newer, more advanced branch. Therefore, Fedora 26 Linux will ship with OpenSSL 1.1.0 by default, which will have a massive impact on the overall stability and security of the OS.

          “Update the OpenSSL library to the 1.1.0 branch in Fedora to bring multiple big improvements, new cryptographic algorithms, and new API that allows for keeping ABI stability in future upgrades. We will also add compat openssl102 package so the applications and other dependencies which are not ported yet to the new API continue to work,” reads the proposal.

        • GLPI version 9.1

          GLPI (Free IT and asset management software) version 9.1 is available. RPM are available in remi repository for Fedora ≥ 22 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 5

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 “Nev” Is in the Works, to Ship with the GNOME 3.22 Desktop

          We told you the other day that the Parsix GNU/Linux development team informed the community that new security updates are available for the current stable Parsix GNU/Linux 8.10 “Erik” and Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 “Atticus” releases.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unimpressed with Ubuntu 16.10? Yakkety Yak… don’t talk back

            Before I dive into what’s new in Ubuntu 16.10, called Yakkety Yak, let’s just get this sentence out of the way: Ubuntu 16.10 will not feature Unity 8 or the new Mir display server.

            I believe that’s the seventh time I’ve written that since Unity 8 was announced and here we are on the second beta for 16.10.

            Maybe that’s why they named it Unity 8. Whatever the case, Unity 8 is available for testing if you’d like to try it. So far I haven’t managed to get it working on any of the hardware I use, which goes a long way to explaining why it’s not part of Ubuntu proper yet.

          • Unimpressive Yakkety Yak, Plasma 5 Issues in Leap

            Today was a rough day in Linux distro news, Scott Gilbertson reviewed the Beta of upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 saying there’s not a whole lot to recommend in this update. Neil Rickert test drove openSUSE’s latest beta and had issues with his NVIDIA. Jesse Smith couldn’t tell what was added to Uruk over base Trisquel and Gary Newell didn’t see much point to portable Porteus since most stuff didn’t work.

          • Indicator Sound Switcher Makes Switching Audio Devices on Ubuntu a Snap
  • Devices/Embedded

    • SODIMM-style i.MX7 COM features dual GbE, WiFi/BT, eMMC

      Variscite’s Linux-driven “VAR-SOM-MX7” COM is shipping with an i.MX7 Dual SoC, WiFi and BLE, dual GbE, and optional eMMC and extended temp. support.

      Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX7 follows many other Linux-ready computer-on-modules based on NXP’s i.MX7 SoC, which combines one or two power-stingy, 1GHz Cortex-A7 cores with a 200MHz Cortex-M4 MCU for real-time processing. While most of these offer a choice of a Solo or Dual model, and the NXP/Element14 WaRP7 offers only the Solo, the SODIMM-style VAR-SOM-MX7 taps the dual-core Dual. Unlike most of these modules, but like the WaRP7 and the CompuLab CL-SOM-iMX7, Variscite’s entry offers onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, in this case Bluetooth 4.1 with BLE.

    • BeagleBone Black Wireless SBC taps Octavo SiP, has open design

      BeagleBoard.org’s “BeagleBone Black Wireless” SBC uses Octavo’s OSD335x SiP module and replaces the standard BeagleBone Black’s Ethernet with 2.4GHz WiFi and BT 4.1 BLE.

      BeagleBone Black Wireless is the first SBC to incorporate the Octavo Systems OSD335x SiP (system-in-package) module, “which integrates BeagleBone functionality into one easy-to-use BGA package,” according to BeagleBoard.org. Announced on Sep. 26, the OSD3358 SiP integrates a TI Sitara AM3358 SoC along with a TI TPS65217C PMIC, TI TL5209 LDO (low-drop-out) regulator, up to 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and over 140 passives devices including resistors, capacitors, and inductors, within a single BGA package. The Linux-driven hacker SBC also adds TI WiLink 8 WL1835MOD wireless module with 2.2 MIMO.

    • NAS-targeted Skylake Mini-ITX loads up on SATA, GbE, PCIe
    • Epiq Solutions’ Sidekiq M.2

      Following on its resounding success with its Sidekiq MiniPCIe card, wireless communications systems specialist Epiq Solutions recently added the Sidekiq M.2 state-of-the-art, small form-factor, software-defined radio (SDR) card. Epiq Solutions explains that the Sidekiq product line provides a breakthrough small form-factor SDR transceiver solution ready for integration into systems that support either MiniPCIe or now the M.2 card form factors.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Samsung in talks with Russian government to distribute the Z3 to students

          Samsung had recently made another announcement in Russia by partnering with Gazprom to distribute its Tizen handsets to the company’s employees. The South korean technology giant are now looking at a new way to increase the Tizen adoption rate in Russia. The target market for the new plan is school students. Samsung are in talks with multiple government agencies to supply the Tizen Z3 smartphone to school students and this was hinted during the Internet of Things forum hosted by Moscow Tizen Association in Russia on the 22nd of September.

        • My Money Transfer App Enters BETA for Z1 and Z3
      • Android

        • 6 open source fitness apps for Android

          A key part of developing a good fitness routine is creating a solid workout plan and tracking your progress. Mobile apps can help by providing readily accessible programs specifically designed to support the user’s fitness goals. In a world of fitness wearable devices like FitBit, there are plenty of proprietary apps designed to work with those specific devices. These apps certainly provide a lot of detailed tracking information, but they are not open source, and as such, do not necessarily respect the user’s privacy and freedom to use their own data as they wish. The alternative is to use open source fitness apps.

          Below, I take a look at six open source fitness apps for Android. Most of them do not provide super detailed collection of health data, but they do provide a focused user experience, giving the user the tools to support their workouts or develop a plan and track their progress. All these apps are available from the F-Droid repository and are all licensed under the GPLv3, providing an experience that respects the user’s freedom.

        • Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and Roku Ultra announced, starting at $29.99

          Roku Inc, maker of the popular Roku line of home media players, has just refreshed their entire product lineup at once. The existing lineup of flagship Roku boxes (but not the Roku Streaming Stick) has been replaced by three new products (with upgraded models for each); the Roku Express, the Roku Premiere, and the Roku Ultra.

        • This is what the Chromecast Ultra will look like

          Google is ramping up for their major October 4th event. In addition to seeing the Pixel and the Pixel XL formally unveiled, we’re also expecting a new Chromebook and the Chromecast Ultra. Until today, we had no idea what to really expect from the new Chromecast device in terms of design, but now we’re finally getting a sneak peek.

        • Android + Chrome = Andromeda; merged OS reportedly coming to the Pixel 3

          It has been almost a year since The Wall Street Journal dropped a bomb of a scoop on the Android community, saying Chrome OS would be “folded into” Android. The resulting product would reportedly bring Android to laptops and desktops. According to the paper, the internal effort to merge these two OSes had been underway for “roughly two years” (now three years) with a release planned for 2017 and an “early version” to show things off in 2016. It seems like we’re still on that schedule, and now Android Police claims to have details on the new operating system—and its first launch device—coming Q3 2017.

        • 8 great Android features that iOS needs to steal

          Not that long ago, I used to feel sorry for Android users and their clunky, sluggish devices—the thought of giving up my iPhone never crossed my mind. Recently, though, I’ve been the one green-eyed with envy, as snazzy new Android features make my once-precious iOS handset feel old and tired by comparison.

          Below I’ve highlighted eight of the most notable Android features that iOS needs to steal (there are plenty more, mind you), from automatic power-saving mode and installing apps from the web to smarter keypad shortcuts and the ability to clear storage-hogging app caches with a single tap.

        • Google said to debut Android/Chrome OS hybrid on tablet, convertible notebook

          Google is planning hybrid devices that run both Android and Chrome OS, including one convertible laptop, and one Huawei Nexus-branded tablet, according to a new report from 9to5Google. The report backs up another from Android Police today that says a convertible notebook is on the way.

          The Andromeda project bakes Chrome OS features into Android, giving you the best of both worlds in one place, according to early reports. This would make a lot of sense for a thin, convertible laptop device like the so-called “Pixel 3” that Android Police reported this morning, which is set to be launched in Q3 2017, and which will potentially boast a 12.3-inch touchscreen display.

        • Google Andromeda hybrid Android/Chrome OS tested on Nexus 9
        • Google reportedly working on a laptop and tablet running an Android-Chrome OS hybrid

          Google is reportedly working on a new Pixel laptop that will run on the long-gestating new operating system that merges Android and Chrome OS. According to Android Police and 9to5Google, the device is known internally by the codename “Bison” or Pixel 3, and will run on what’s currently being called “Andromeda” when it sees release in Q3 2017. In addition, 9to5Google also reports that Huawei is working on a new Nexus tablet that will also run the new OS.

        • Xiaomi Mi Box Android TV appears in the wild with a $69 price tag

          A savvy buyer spotted the forthcoming Xiaomi Mi Android TV box for sale at a Wal-Mart recently, even though the company still lists the set-top box as “coming soon” on the promo page.

          Not only did this quick-thinking individual grab some pictures of the merchandise, he also uploaded an unboxing video to YouTube. Nicely done.

        • Sony Xperia Devices To Get Android 7.0 Nougat In October
        • Sony’s leaked Android Nougat update plans reveal no love for Xperia Z3
        • ColorTV launches its content recommendations on Apple TV, Android TV and more
        • Best Android Phones 5.7 inches And Over
        • Xiny Android trojan evolves to root phones and infect system processes
        • Declutter your phone for a cleaner, faster Android experience
        • Android Nougat Update Coming Soon To Motorola, Samsung & Sony: List Of Devices Include Galaxy S7, Moto Z , Xperia XZ

Free Software/Open Source

  • Adopt a pump.io server

    As most of you know, E14N is no longer my main job, and I’ve been putting my personal time, energy, and money into keeping the pump network up and running. I haven’t always done a good job, and some of the nodes have just fallen off the network. I’d like to ask people in the community to start taking over the maintenance and upkeep of these servers.

  • Prodromou: Adopt a pump.io server

    There are currently around 25 servers in the federated network initially started by Prodromou, which does not count other pump.io instances. He notes that one important exception is the identi.ca site, which is significantly larger than the rest, and which he would like to find a trusted non-profit organization to maintain.

  • What does it mean to change company culture?

    Tools are specific concrete things that a culture has decided is a way to improve a process. Buckminster Fuller has a great quote about tools and thinking: “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” In particular, DevOps tools can provide folks new ways to look at things—like delivering code into a production environment, for example. But there’s lots of examples where a new tool doesn’t influence the thinking of the people who use it, so things don’t change.

  • Why Open Beats Closed
  • Google Improves Image Recognition; Releases Project as Open Source Software

    Google says its algorithm can correctly caption a photograph with nearly 94 percent accuracy.

    The company says the improvements come in the third version of its system named Inception, with the score coming from a standardized auto-caption test named ImageNet. It reports the first version scored 89.6 percent, the second 91.8 percent and the new one 93.9 percent.

  • Contributing to Open Source Projects Not Just For the Experts

    XDA has long been a proponent of open source development, and we’ve seen it flourish over the years. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons our community has grown as fast as it has over these past 13 years, with Android’s core being the driving force. Many people desire to be part of open source and contribute but often don’t know how they can, whether because they think they lack the skills or they just don’t have the time.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Reader Mode is Finally Getting a Keyboard Shortcut

        Among the changes which arrived in the September release of Firefox 49 were an enhanced set of Reader Mode features, including spoken narration and line-width spacing options. All very welcome. But the improvements aren’t stopping there. Firefox 50, which is due next month, will add another sorely needed feature: a keyboard shortcut for Reader Mode. Y

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Introduction to OpenStack by Rich Bowen

      In this talk, Rich, the OpenStack Community Liaison at Red Hat, will walk you through what OpenStack is, as a project, as a Foundation, and as a community of organizations.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Public licenses and data: So what to do instead?

      Why you still need a (permissive) license

      Norms aren’t enough if the underlying legal system might allow an early contributor to later wield the law as a threat. That’s why the best practice in the data space is to use something like the Creative Commons public domain grant (CC-Zero) to set a clear, reliable, permissive baseline, and then use norms to add flexible requirements on top of that. This uses law to provide reliability and predictability, and then uses norms to address concerns about fairness, free-riding, and effectiveness. CC-Zero still isn’t perfect; most notably it has to try to be both a grant and a license to deal with different international rules around grants.

  • Programming/Development

    • Pairing LLVM JIT With PostgreSQL Can Speed Up Database Performance

      Using the LLVM JIT with PostgreSQL can vastly speed up the query execution performance and shows off much potential but it hasn’t been mainlined yet.

      Dmitry Melnik presented at this month’s LLVM Cauldron over speeding up the query execution performance of PostgreSQL by using LLVM. Particularly with complex queries, the CPU becomes the bottleneck for PostgreSQL rather than the disk. LLVM JIT is used for just-in-time compilation of queries.

    • LLVM Cauldron 2016 Videos, Slides Published

      The inaugural LLVM Cauldron conference happened earlier this month ahead of the GNU Tools Cauldron in Hebden Bridge, UK. All of the slides and videos from this latest LLVM conference are now available.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • iPhone 7 Owners Destroy Phones After DRILLING Their Own Headphone Jack

    Just one problem. It is a joke. Yet iPhone 7 owners, or those desperate for their beloved headphone jack, have been attempting to drill their own. And it isn’t ending well for any of them.

  • Traffic Is Fake, Audience Numbers Are Garbage, And Nobody Knows How Many People See Anything

    How many living, breathing human beings really read Techdirt? The truth — the most basic, rarely-spoken truth — is that we have no earthly idea. With very few exceptions, no media property big or small, new or old, online or off, can truly tell you how big its audience is. They may have never thought about it that way — after all, we all get as close as we can to what we think is a reasonably accurate estimation, though we have no way of confirming that — but all these numbers are actually good for (maybe) is relative comparisons. What does it really mean when someone says “a million people” saw something? Or ten or a hundred million? I don’t know, and neither do you. (Netflix might, but we’ll get to that later.)

    Where should we start? How about this: internet traffic is half-fake and everyone’s known it for years, but there’s no incentive to actually acknowledge it. The situation is technically improving: 2015 was hailed (quietly, among people who aren’t in charge of selling advertising) as a banner year because humans took back the majority with a stunning 51.5% share of online traffic, so hurray for that I guess. All the analytics suites, the ad networks and the tracking pixels can try as they might to filter the rest out, and there’s plenty of advice on the endless Sisyphean task of helping them do so, but considering at least half of all that bot traffic comes from bots that fall into the “malicious” or at least “unauthorized” category, and thus have every incentive to subvert the mostly-voluntary systems that are our first line of defence against bots… Well, good luck. We already know that Alexa rankings are garbage, but what does this say about even the internal numbers that sites use to sell ad space? Could they even be off by a factor of 10? I don’t know, and neither do you. Hell, we don’t even know how accurate the 51.5% figure is — it could be way off… in either direction.

  • Alton Towers fined £5 MILLION for Smiler crash which left 16 maimed and injured

    The accident on the £18million white-knuckle ride in June last year at Alton Towers, the UK’s biggest theme park, left 16 people injured.

    At Stafford Crown Court, Judge Michael Chambers QC said thousands of young people were exposed to harm on the ride.

    He said: “Many thousands of people who went on the ride since it opened in May 2013 have been exposed to harm.”

  • Alton Towers operator Merlin fined £5m over Smiler crash

    Alton Towers operator Merlin has been fined £5m for the crash on the Smiler rollercoaster.

    Sixteen people were injured in the June 2015 crash, including two teenage girls who needed leg amputations.

    In April, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd admitted breaching the Health and Safety Act.

  • Science

    • Why data is the new coal

      Deep learning needs to become more efficient if it is going to move from using data to categorise images of cats to diagnosing rare illnesses

  • Health/Nutrition

    • VCAT rejects tobacco giant’s push to access schoolchildren smoking data

      A judge has crushed moves by a tobacco giant to access the confidential survey results of Australian schoolchildren, including information revealing their attitudes to cigarettes and alcohol.

      British American Tobacco used freedom-of-information laws to seek access to six Cancer Council Victoria files, arguing it was in the public interest to expose to scrutiny the raw material used to underpin its plain packaging position.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Who left all this fire everywhere?

      If you’re paying attention, you saw the news about Yahoo’s breach. Five hundred million accounts. That’s a whole lot of data if you think about it. But here’s the thing. If you’re a security person, are you surprised by this? If you are, you’ve not been paying attention.

    • IPFire 2.19 Linux Firewall OS Patched Against the Latest OpenSSL Vulnerabilities

      Only three days after announcing the release of IPFire 2.19 Core Update 104, Michael Tremer informs the community about the availability of a new update, Core Update 105, which brings important OpenSSL patches.

    • OpenSSL security advisory for September 26

      This OpenSSL security advisory is notable in that it’s the second one in four days; sites that updated after the first one may need to do so again.

    • Canonical Patches OpenSSL Regression in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS & 12.04 LTS

      After announcing a few days ago that a new, important OpenSSL update is available for all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems, Canonical’s Marc Deslauriers now informs the community about another patch to address a regression.

      The new security advisory (USN-3087-2) talks about a regression that was accidentally introduced along with the previous OpenSSL update (as detailed on USN-3087-1), which addressed no less than eleven (11) security vulnerabilities discovered upstream by the OpenSSL team.

    • Patch AGAIN: OpenSSL security fixes now need their own security fixes
    • Bangladesh Bank exposed to hackers by cheap switches, no firewall: Police
    • This is the Israeli company that can hack any iPhone and Android smartphone

      If Cellebrite sounds familiar, that’s because the name of this Israeli company came up during Apple’s standoff with the FBI over breaking iPhone encryption. The agency managed to crack the San Bernardino iPhone with the help of an undisclosed company. Many people believe it was Cellebrite that came to the rescue. Meanwhile, the company revealed that it could hack just about any modern smartphone, but refused to say whether its expertise is used by the police forces of repressive regimes.

    • Reproducible Builds: week 74 in Stretch cycle
    • East-West Encryption: The Next Security Frontier?

      Microsegmentation, a method to create secure, virtual connections in software-defined data centers (SDDCs), has already emerged as one of the primary reasons to embrace network virtualization (NV). But some vendors believe that East-West encryption of traffic inside the data center could be the next stop in data-center security.

      For example, VMware says it is looking at encrypting East-West traffic inside the data center, adding another layer of security to the SDDC. Why is that important? Today, most firewalls operate on the perimeter of the data center – either guarding or encrypting data leaving the data center for the WAN. And some security products may encrypt data at rest inside the data center. But encrypting the traffic in motion between servers inside the data center – known in the business as the East-West traffic – is not something that’s typically done.

    • DHS Offers Its Unsolicited ‘Help’ In Securing The Internet Of Things [Ed: In the UK, GCHQ meddles in the Surveillance of Things in the name of 'security' while at the same time, with Tories' consent, cracking PCs]

      It’s generally agreed that the state of security for the Internet of Things runs from “abysmal” to “compromised during unboxing.” The government — despite no one asking it to — is offering to help out… somehow. DHS Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy Robert Silvers spoke at the Internet of Things forum, offering up a pile of words that indicates Silvers is pretty cool with the “cyber” part of his title… but not all that strong on the “policy” part.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Duterte ‘admitted complicity’ in Davao killings – WikiLeaks

      President Rodrigo Duterte dared Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday, September 20, to prove that he was behind extrajudicial killings in Davao City when he was the mayor there.

      A confidential cable dated May 8, 2009, which was published by WikiLeaks, said that Duterte once “admitted complicity” in vigilante killings in Davao City.

      The cable, written by then-US ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney, quoted statements from then Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regional director Alberto Sipaco Jr.

      Kenney wrote: “Commission on Human Rights regional director Alberto Sipaco (strictly protect) at a private meeting affirmed that Mayor Duterte knows about the killings and permits them. Recounting a conversation he once had with Duterte, who is his close friend and former fraternity brother, Sipaco said he pleaded with the Mayor to stop vigilante killings and support other methods to reduce crime, like rehabilitation programs for offenders.”

      “According to Sipaco, the Mayor responded, ‘I’m not done yet,’” Kenney said.

  • Finance

    • IBM, China UnionPay complete block chain pilot project on bank loyalty points

      IBM completed a pilot project with Chinese credit card company China UnionPay that will facilitate the sharing of loyalty bonus points among banks using block chain technology.

      Bonus points earned through purchases on bank cards have long been an effective tool to attract and encourage customers to use specific cards. But since bonus points cannot be freely exchanged among different banks, offering various rewards, many go unused.

      IBM’s collaboration with China UnionPay will enable consumers worldwide to exchange bonus points from their various banks in less than a minute to select rewards they want.

      Block chain, the underlying technology in digital currencies such as bitcoin, has become one of the hottest innovations in the financial services world. Technology companies and banks have been exploring the use of block chain in all facets of both the financial and non-financial industries.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Why no third parties tonight? Because two parties control the process

      Tonight’s debates will take place without Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Neither met a threshold of hitting 15 percent in national polls and thus were not invited to participate.

      That threshold was set by the group that puts on the debates, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Since its inception, the CPD has been staffed by elites from the two major parties. They pick the moderators, choose the format, and set the terms for participation.

    • Vote Now: Who Won the First Clinton-Trump Debate?

      Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton met for their first presidential debate Monday, and we want to know who you think won.

      Take a moment to click the link below next to the candidate who you thought did the best at the debate at Hofstra University in New York.

    • Barroso had deeper ties to Goldman Sachs

      Jose Manuel Barroso had closer contact with Goldman Sachs during his tenure as European Commission chief than he has previously admitted, according to Portuguese media.

      Correspondence obtained by Portuguese daily Publico under a freedom of information request suggests that Barroso, who took a job with the US bank earlier this year, held unregistered meetings with Goldman’s top people.

      In one email dated 30 September 2013, Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein thanked Barroso for their “productive discussions” and said the bank’s senior partners were delighted about their “extremely fruitful meetings”.

      Publico reported that Goldman executives were happy to suggest “on a confidential basis” changes to EU policies, which Barroso’s cabinet read “with great interest”.

    • Fear, Anxiety, and Depression in the Age of Trump

      Carol Wachs, a psychologist in private practice in Manhattan, recently started seeing an old patient again. The client had first sought treatment for anxiety following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Now she was worried about a new menace: Donald Trump and his zealous supporters. The patient, Wachs says, comes from a family of Holocaust survivors, and “it feels to her like all the stories she heard from her grandparents about how things feel normal and then all of the sudden, oh my God, here we are.”

    • No Trident, no private energy companies, and a universal basic income: Momentum activists mock up manifesto for Labour

      Momentum activists have created a mock general election manifesto with suggestions that all energy companies should be nationalised, the Trident nuclear deterrent be scrapped and a universal basic income to become policy.

      The grassroots organisation established shortly after Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader in 2015, held the session at its World Transformed festival – an event running alongside Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool.

    • What Is Jill Stein Doing During the Presidential Debate?

      Jill Stein may not be in the first presidential debate, but she’s not going to be quiet during the debates either — and neither are her supporters. They’re planning a civil disobedience rally at the debates, which they’ve warned may result in some arrests. They are also planning a live stream of their protests, along with a live stream of Jill Stein’s answering all the debate questions as they are asked, in real time.

      Here’s what you need to know.

      Stein and Ajamu Baraka are hosting a Hofstra Debate Protest and Civil Disobedience event today, starting at 2:30 p.m. and lasting through the presidential debate. You can learn more about it on the Facebook page here. Buses will leave New York City at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, one from Bryant Park in Manhattan and two from Brooklyn near Barclay’s Center. You should RSVP to make sure there’s a seat for you on the bus.

    • Jill Stein pushes to be included in debate
    • At the last presidential debate at Hofstra University, Jill Stein got handcuffed to a chair for 8 hours

      On Monday evening, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and real estate mogul Donald Trump will gather onstage at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, for the first presidential debate of the 2016 election.

      Notably absent from the debate stage will be Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate former Gov. Gary Johnson—neither of whom were able to meet the 15 percent polling threshold set by Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Johnson will be spending the debate tweeting from Twitter’s corporate office in Manhattan. Stein will be livestreaming from a protest outside the debate venue.

      Both Stein and Johnson have lobbied hard to be included in the debates. However, the commission, which is a nonprofit organization created and controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties, have consistently rebuffed their efforts.

      For Stein, at least, this lobbying is nothing new. When she ran as the Green Party nominee four years ago, Stein staged a similar protest when President Barack Obama squared off against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on the very same stage at Hofstra University. Stein’s goal was to make a point about how the two major parties use their institutional advantages to shut out other voices.

    • 3rd-Party Candidate Jill Stein Escorted From Hofstra by Police Before Presidential Debate

      Stein’s campaign said she will not “risk arrest” this time, because there is an outstanding warrant for her arrest over her involvement in a recent protest against a controversial pipeline project in North Dakota. Still, her campaign spokeswoman Meleiza Figueroa said they will attempt to get the “spirited demonstration … as close to the gates as possible.”

      In 2012, Stein and her running mate were arrested outside Hofstra University when they tried entering the premises during a presidential debate between President Obama and then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

    • Debate Commission Enforces Exclusion By Having Jill Stein Escorted Off Hofstra

      Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was escorted off Hofstra University’s campus just hours before the first presidential debate of the general election. The escort was part of the Commission on Presidential Debates’ exclusion of her campaign from the debate.

      At a demonstration and press conference outside the university after she was removed, Stein returned and declared, “We have a right to know who we can vote for,” and condemned the debate that will air as a “spectacle” and a “disgrace.” She claimed it would “increase the appetite for the American voter for a true politics of integrity.”

      An “Occupy The Debates” march and action including supporters took off shortly after.

      Earlier in the afternoon, according to the Stein campaign, the presidential candidate was on her way to do an interview for MSNBC. Hofstra security and Nassau County police stopped her. Two police SUVs arrived. Officers asked MSNBC for their credentials, and in fact, the campaign said the network had credentials for Stein.

      Stein did an impromptu press conference as the situation unfolded. The police then escorted her off campus, and she was instructed “not to do any more press.”

      The presidential candidate was loaded into a van. It was stopped twice before the van made it off the university campus. At one point, the Nassau deputy police chief suggested Stein was “not public enemy number one.”

    • Clinton vs. Trump: Thousands of Police, Protesters Descend on Hofstra for Highly Anticipated Presidential Debate

      Thousands of police and protesters are descending on a Long Island college Monday for the first debate in what has been a raucous presidential race. A Super Bowl-sized audience will be watching at home.

      More than 100 million people may watch the 9 p.m. debate at Hofstra University, organizers say. If so, it’d be the largest debate viewership since the Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter debate drew 80 million viewers back in 1980.

    • Walt Whitman on Donald Trump, How Literature Bolsters Democracy, and Why a Robust Society Is a Feminist Society

      In 1855, Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819–March 26, 1892) made his debut as a poet and self-published Leaves of Grass. Amid the disheartening initial reception of pervasive indifference pierced by a few shrieks of criticism, the young poet received an extraordinary letter of praise and encouragement from his idol — Ralph Waldo Emerson, the era’s most powerful literary tastemaker. This gesture of tremendous generosity was a creative life-straw for the dispirited artist, who soon became one of the nation’s most celebrated writers and went on to be remembered as America’s greatest poet.

      [...]

      The role of government and those in power, he argues, is not to rule by authority alone — the mark of dictatorship rather than democracy — but “to train communities … beginning with individuals and ending there again, to rule themselves.” Above all, the task of democratic leadership is to bind “all nations, all men, of however various and distant lands, into a brotherhood, a family.” Many decades before women won the right to vote and long before Nikola Tesla’s feminist vision for humanity, Whitman argues that a robust democracy is one in which women are fully empowered and included in that “brotherhood” on equal terms…

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Snowden shows the human side of Edward Snowden

      The film also explores how Snowden’s personal life is affected by the secrecy of his job, which strained the relationship with his girlfriend Lindsay. He is portrayed as torn between his personal life and the passion he has for his work. Like everyone else, Snowden had his own life outside of his work — a fact that tends to be overlooked.

    • Former NSA Deputy Director pans Snowden film

      Former NSA Deputy Director Chris Inglis called Oliver Stone’s film Snowden “a hard thing to watch.”

    • Reevaluate strategies of digital surveillance

      Mass surveillance programs collecting the metadata of millions of Americans are ineffective counterterrorism measures. They are ineffective not only because of their inability to prevent the atrocities we have seen in the last three years; but also because of their exorbitant cost. The cost of these programs is not purely calculated in dollar signs. There are the diplomatic costs, as countries learn more about U.S. surveillance of their citizens. There are the social costs, as American citizens remain largely in the dark about what the government does with their personal information, without sufficient oversight from Congress or an accessible forum to challenge this intrusion. And, finally, there are the costs to our technical systems, which have become increasingly vulnerable to abuse from other states.

    • Whistleblower story a winner

      Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the cover off the US government’s electronic surveillance programs.

      The former CIA and NSA employee leaked thousands of highly classified documents to the press and in doing so divided a nation. Did the hacker put America at risk by revealing top secrets or did citizens have the right to know how closely they were being monitored?

    • How ‘Snowden’ the movie could help win a pardon for Snowden the man

      The days leading up to September 16 release of director Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” looked like one long movie trailer.

      The American Civil Liberties Union and other human-right groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to win a presidential pardon for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of its highly classified documents to journalists. The next day, the House Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan letter to the president that advised him against any pardon and claimed Snowden “caused tremendous damage to national security.”

      The week before, Stone had invited me to a private screening of his movie in Washington. I once worked in an NSA facility, and I’ve written about the agency for decades, so I was surprised and pleased by how successful Stone was in creating an accurate picture of life in the NSA.

    • In solidarity with Snowden: Hong Kong refugees call for pardon of NSA whistleblower
    • Hong Kong refugees protest to call for Snowden pardon
    • ‘Pardon Snowden!’ Hong Kong refugees march on US consulate (PHOTOS)
    • Hong Kong refugees march to US embassy, demand pardon for Edward Snowden
    • Edward Snowden to talk via video chat at Ohio Wesleyan

      Snowden is living in asylum in Russia, seeking to be pardoned for his actions, and still unwilling to remain silent. He is the focus of a new movie, “Snowden,” directed by Oliver Stone, and he will speak via video conference at Ohio Wesleyan University.

    • Whether or not the US pardons Edward Snowden, he shouldn’t return

      Recent weeks have seen a resurgence of an ongoing controversial discussion over whether President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden before leaving office. Russia granted Snowden asylum in 2013, after he publicly revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been surveilling the American population’s communications and Internet usage without their knowledge in the name of “homeland security.”

      Even the FBI director, James Comey, has advised everyone to “take responsibility for their own safety and security” and cover their webcam up with tape. Snowden still resides in Russia, and many believe that he should now be allowed to return home.

      The new feature film, Snowden, has reignited interest in this case, and the film is looking to gain further public support for a pardon. Meanwhile, Snowden himself has asked to come home to America, in hopes for a fair trial; however, the only solace promised to him was that he wouldn’t be tortured.

      Snowden may deserve a pardon, but whether he receives one or not, he’ll never realistically be able to return to America without putting himself at serious risk. After revealing what the government is capable of — from watching citizens through their personal webcams to eavesdropping through cell phones — I doubt Snowden would feel safe in his home country anyways.

    • Edward Snowden is hero, not traitor

      To some, he is a treasonous criminal who should be brought to justice, a real Benedict Arnold. To others, he is a national hero. To me, he is a model of what it means to be a true patriot.

      For those who don’t know, Snowden worked for the National Security Agency and leaked a massive amount of confidential documents in 2013, detailing extensive government surveillance programs.

      These leaked documents were handed directly to three journalists who worked for The Guardian and The Washington Post. These publications, as well as a few others, published a multitude of articles exposing the leaked files. They revealed a comprehensive surveillance program run by the United States government.

    • ‘Snowden’ makes a statement

      “Snowden” is able to convey some extremely strong messages about trust and corruption, and it is definitely easy to see why Snowden acted the way he did. Some call him a patriot and some call him a traitor, but it’s clear to see he did what he thought was right. And after watching this film, it’s difficult to disagree.

    • Snowden awarded by Germans for ‘courage and conscience’

      The German city of Kassel has awarded American whistle-blower Edward Snowden for the “courage and conscience” that he showed in spilling US secrets.

    • NSA Zero Day Tools Likely Left Behind By Careless Operative

      Three years of unpatched holes, one of them a zero day that affects a great deal of Cisco’s networking equipment. Not only was TAO’s operation security compromised, but so were any number of affected products offered by US tech companies.

      However, investigators are still looking into the possibility that the tools were left behind deliberately by a disgruntled TAO operative. This theory looks far better on the NSA than another theory also being examined: that multiple operatives screwed up in small ways, compounding each other’s mistakes and (eventually) leading to a publich showing of valuable surveillance tools.

      As for the official, on-the-record comment… no comment. The FBI and Director of National Intelligence declined to provide Reuters with a statement.

      The NSA has long refused to acknowledge the inherent dangers of hoarding exploits and deploying them with little to no oversight. It’s unclear whether this incident will change this behavior or make it a more-forthcoming partner in the Liability Equities Process. What is has proven is that the NSA makes mistakes like any other agency — whether the tools left behind accidentally or deliberately. It’s just that when the NSA screws up, it exposes its willingness to harm American tech companies to further its own intelligence needs.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Slovakia to increase broadband coverage

      The government of Slovakia aims to increase broadband network access in the county. Together with network operators, it is mapping which parts of the country do not yet have broadband access.

      According to announcements by Informatizacia – an eGovernment and ICT advisory organisation, part of the Ministry for Investment and Computerisation, a survey is being organised involving the country’s Internet service providers, to determine which parts of the country have network speeds of less than 30Mbps. The survey will be launched in the first week of October. Four to five weeks later, the final list of Slovakia’s network white spots will be made public.

    • Web animation using CSS and JavaScript

      Animation on the web started in 1987 with the invention of the animated GIF, or Graphic Interface Format. GIFs were used mostly for advertisements on websites, but had some problems with the pixelation. Then, in the 1990s Adobe introduced Flash, a tool for animating with audio. This created a revolution and was the best way to do animation on websites for a very long time. But Flash has some issues.

      Closed source: Users must purchase Flash from Adobe and cannot make modifications to the software.

      Security: Flash allows writing and running complex scripts on websites and scripts can be written that directly access the memory of a computer.

      Performance: Flash websites can take a long time to load.

      Resource hog: Flash uses a high amount of computing resources and can actually hang or crash your system if multiple applications or flash sites are opened at the same time.

      Plugin dependency: You need to have flash plugin installed in your browser. And every month or more, you need to update it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Chicago Cubs: With Success Comes Trademark Lawsuit Against Street Vendors

        As a lifelong Cubs fan with a resume that includes going to my first game at Wrigley when I was four months old and living in Wrigleyville for several years, I can at the very least claim some expertise on the culture around the team and the stadium. For those that have not been lucky enough to visit baseball’s Mecca, the walk about up to the park consists of bar-laden streets on either Addison or Clark, with the sidewalks spilling over with fans, bar-patrons, and street vendors. Those street vendors offer innumerable wares, including t-shirts, memorabillia, and food. It’s part of the experience.

        An experience suddenly under fire by the team and Major League Baseball, which have jointly filed a federal lawsuit against some forty street vendors for trademark and counterfeit violations.

    • Copyrights

      • Help Fix Copyright: Send a Rebellious Selfie to European Parliament (Really!)

        Earlier this month, the EU Commission released their proposal for a reformed copyright framework. In response, we are asking everyone reading this post to take a rebellious selfie and send that doctored snapshot to EU Parliament. Seem ridiculous? So is an outdated law that bans taking and sharing selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower at night in Paris, or in front of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen.

        Of course, no one is actually going to jail for subversive selfies. But the technical illegality of such a basic online act underscores the grave shortcomings in the EU’s latest proposal on copyright reform. As Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon-Thayer noted in her last post on the proposed reform, it “thoroughly misses the goal to deliver a modern reform that would unlock creativity and innovation.” It doesn’t, for instance, include needed exceptions for panorama, parody, or remixing, nor does it include a clause that would allow noncommercial transformations of works (like remixes, or mashups) or a flexible user clause like an open norm, or fair dealing.

      • The Weird Psychology Of People Fighting Those Who Resell Their Products

        Every so often, we hear a story about actions taken by someone who is just so upset about someone else doing something that it seems to border on obsessive. For example, when we hear about copyright holders who spend all their time sending DMCA takedowns — while whining about how they’re unable to produce new content and aren’t making any money from sending all those takedowns. The obvious response is: maybe stop sending all those takedowns and focus on something that’s actually productive, like creating new works and building a fan base willing to support you.

      • Toronto woman accuses theatre security guard of assault in anti-piracy take down

        When Jean Telfer went to a preview screening of a new movie Wednesday night, she didn’t expect that she’d come out with an injured shoulder and a bump on her head.

        Telfer and her friend Elaine Wong were at a Cineplex theatre at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s film The Magnificent 7. Sony had rented the theatre for the screening and hired a private security company.

        Halfway through the film, Telfer decided to leave because she found the movie to be too violent.

      • Movie Theater Security Guards Assault Women, Claim They Were Pirating Movie

        It’s well-known that the big studios and the MPAA like to indoctrinate movie theater employees into believing that there’s a horrible menace of people trying to pirate movies in the theaters, and that in some cases, they even hand out money to employees who “catch” pirates in the act. In general, all this really does is make it less enjoyable to go to the movies — and sometimes leads to elderly patrons being ejected from theaters because some kid is totally sure she’s pirating the film she’s watching.

        And the latest example is even more extreme, where private security forces apparently decided to assault a couple of Toronto women they falsely accused of pirating a showing of The Magnificent 7. One of the women, Jean Telfer, says she actually decided to leave the film early because she found it too violent. Apparently the idea that a pirate probably wouldn’t be leaving in the middle of a film didn’t occur to the geniuses Sony Pictures had specifically hired to “guard” the showing. So they tackled Telfer. Really.

      • To photocopy or not: Delhi High Courts grants universities carte blanche to photocopy for educational use

        The recent judgment of the Delhi High Court dismissing the lawsuit filed by publishers like Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Francis Taylor has been received with much joy and applause from virtually all quarters of Indian academia and students. In a 94 page judgment, delivered more than 600 days after it was first reserved, the Delhi High Court has held that Section 52(1)(i) of the Copyright Act, 1957 allows for students and teachers to photocopy books and other educational material without any limit.

        The target of the lawsuit was a particular form of photocopying wherein the faculty at the Delhi School of Economics (DSE) would prescribe a reading list, usually comprising chapters from different books and a photocopying shop contracted by the university would then compile course-packs consisting of these various chapters and sell them to students, for profit. The publishers were seeking to monetise this practice by charging either the university or photocopy shop, a royalty of 50 paise per copyrighted page that was copied – a fair bargain, given the photocopier too was getting 50 paise per page. This is a business model followed in most western universities because it is unreasonable to expect students to buy an entire book for a single chapter.

        The High Court obviously disagreed with the publishers and there appears to be nobody in Indian academia who disagrees with this decision. Rather we’ve been told that the decision restores a “balance” to copyright jurisprudence and that it will facilitate access to knowledge. Unfortunately nobody explains the economics of this balancing act.

09.26.16

The Moral Depravity of the European Patent Office Under Battistelli

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Workers of the EPO can no longer even speak publicly, not without a 100% assurance of anonymity after Control Risks Group (CRG) got contracted (former Stasi staff from Desa hired)

Anonymous mind

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) comes under heavy criticism from its very own employees, who also seem to recognise that lobbying for the UPC is a very bad idea which discredits the European Patent Organisation

THE EPO is not an ordinary institution. People have come to assume that it’s supranatural and all-seeing. Fear dominates. It has become epic in terms of its abuses (against its very own staff, just like in WIPO), even if the corporate media does not cover the subject like it covered FIFA. Lobbying events and corrupting influence over the media might be playing a role here because the corporate media did use to occasionally cover the subject (but not anymore, not recently).

“PwC looks very much like EPO,” writes one person (probably an examiner judging by the signature). “Is any official recognition of burnout at EPO? Of course not,” he or she added in relation to the ‘social’ ‘study’ released late on a Friday. To quote the whole comment, which contains link about the so-called ‘study’ and its preparation (commissioned by Team Battistelli):

EPO Social Study by PwC? Just released this Friday.
Look who’s talking:

https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-PwC-RVW6640457.htm

https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-PwC-RVW9485971.htm

https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-PwC-RVW1377116.htm

http://offbeatchina.com/25-year-old-auditor-at-pwc-shanghai-worked-to-death-time-to-rethink-work-life-balance

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/Bengaluru-Techie-Jumps-to-Death-From-9th-Floor-Flat/2016/04/17/article3384729.ece

PwC looks very much like EPO.
Is any official recognition of burnout at EPO? Of course not (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/30/worker-burnout-worldwide-governments_n_3678460.html).

Dumb and Dumber Examiner

Another person is obviously “uncomfortable by the fact that the EPO appears to be lobbying strongly” and asks if others are equally uncomfortable, in a thread which is stuffed with comments from the patent microcosm (they too are lobbying, e.g. via CIPA). Here is the comment in full:

Is anyone else left feeling very uncomfortable by the fact that the EPO appears to be lobbying strongly for the UK government to take prompt and decisive action in connection with the UPC agreement (ie to either ratify or withdraw)?

The EPO is a non-governmental, international organisation that was created by, and is controlled by, the EPC contracting states. The UK is one of those contracting states. In my view, it therefore beggars belief that the servant is telling one of its masters what to do.

I would have thought that the EPO really ought to be scrupulous in maintaining political neutrality. This is because being seen trying to exert influence over decisions made by a national government (and over which that government has sole authority) would surely raise questions about whether the EPO employees in question were acting beyond their remit. There would also be questions about whether such lobbying could be seen as undemocratic.

Perhaps BB is so used to obedience from the members of the AC that he has mixed up the identities of master and servant. However, if the lobbying efforts of the EPO come to the attention of Brexiteers within the UK government, I have no doubt that they will waste no time reminding him of the natural order of things.

The UK government has a difficult decision to take. As made clear by the Gordon and Pascoe opinion, participating in the UPC post-Brexit could have profound consequences (including signing up in perpetuity to the supremacy of EU law in a significant number of areas) that may well be unpalatable for many of those in government, let alone the electorate. Whilst I am certainly no Brexiteer, my firm belief is that the UK government should be left alone to mull over these consequences and to reach a decision in its own time. If the other contracting states to the UPC agreement cannot wait the time this will take, then so be it.

Meanwhile, this new press article was released at the start of the week and the first section covers the EPO in light of Brexit. There is no issue at all, except for Team UPC. To quote the relevant parts:

The good news is that Brexit will have no effect on European patents or patent applications. European patents are granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), which is not an E.U. institution. E.U. membership is not a condition of membership in the EPO, and non- E.U. member countries, such as Switzerland and Norway, have long been EPO members.

As a result, you will continue to be able to validate your granted European patents in the U.K., and European patents that have already been validated will continue in force. Similarly, U.K. patent attorneys will be able to continue acting as representatives before the EPO.

We certainly hope that politicians won’t get bamboozled by Team UPC. “Stjerna,” as Benjamin Henrion put it (pointing to a long paper which we mentioned the other day), suggests that the Unitary patent and court system is like “squaring the circle after the Brexit vote” (impossibility).

We certainly hope that nothing will change with regards to the UK’s membership in the EPO, but judging by the alarming recruitment figures (the EPO nearly halted hiring British staff and many of them left) one cannot rule this out. The UK might eventually be left out of both UPC (which will likely never happen anyway, with or without the UK) and the EPO. The UK-IPO, based on British sources of ours, gave them better services than the EPO (where quality can no longer be assured, only the high fees are a certainty).

The EPO is in trouble. EPO insiders know this very well.

Links 26/9/2016: Linux 4.8 RC8, SuperTux 0.5

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Letter to the Federal Trade Commission regarding Lenovo blocking Linux and other operating system installations on Yoga PCs.

      Lenovo just updated the BIOS for the Yoga 710, another system that doesn’t allow Linux installs. Wanna know what they changed? Update to TPM (secret encryption module used for Digital Restrictions Management) and an update to the Intel Management Engine, which is essentially a backdoor rootkit built into all recent Intel processors (but AMD has their version too, so what do you do?). No Linux support. Priorities…

    • Microsoft told to compensate customers for Windows 10 breaking computers

      Microsoft has been urged to pay compensation to customers that have suffered computer malfunctions when upgrading to its new software Windows 10.

      Since the company released the software last year it has been plagued by complaints, with customers claiming their computers upgraded without their permission and, in some cases, completely stopped working.

      Which?, the consumer watchdog, has told Microsoft to “honour consumers’ rights” and compensate those who have suffered from problems, including lost files, email accounts no longer syncing and failed WiFi connection.

      It said Microsoft customers had also complained that their webcams suddenly stopped working, as did speakers and printers in the wake of the upgrade.

    • Veteran Windows journo slams Microsoft over Surface Pro issues

      Microsoft’s tardiness and lack of communication in relation to battery issues affecting its Surface Pro PC/tablet hybrid has been slammed by well-known journalist Ed Bott who has been writing about the company for 25 years.

      In a column titled “Shame on Microsoft for leaving Surface Pro customers in the dark”, Bott wrote that Microsoft had not shown any appreciation of the users who had helped put its Surface business on a solid footing.

      He wrote that after the Surface Pro 3 had been in the market for more than a year, users began noticing a steady drop in battery capacity.

      In March 2016, the company’s support lines began fielding calls about the issue, with complaints that batteries that should have held a charge for five or more hours were going dead in 20 or 30 minutes and refusing to charge fully.

  • Server

    • IBM Preaches Cognitive, Cloud, And IT Consumption

      They say it’s not just about the technology. It’s really about the business. But that brings to mind an old adage from the car industry: You sell the sizzle not the steak. Right now the sizzle is cognitive computing. It has edged out big data and analytics in the one-upsmanship match of IT leadership and the next big thing. At the Edge conference last week, when IBM executives talked strategy and road maps, cognitive computing was on the tip of tongues.

      Cognitive is a differentiator, an upper hand for IBM. Big Blue has not let the world forget about Watson, its game show champion that’s evolved into a must-have business advantage in the making. Watson’s augmented intelligence, a term IBM prefers over artificial intelligence, has been applied to healthcare, finance, commerce, education, and security. According to IBM, it has thousands of scientists and engineers working on cognitive projects, which also extend to clients, academics, and external experts.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 4.8 Lands October 2 as Linus Torvalds Outs Last Release Candidate

      It’s still Sunday in U.S. so Linus Torvalds has just published his weekly announcement to inform us all about the availability of the eighth and last RC (Release Candidate) development snapshot of the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel.

    • Linux 4.8-rc8 Released: Linux 4.8 Next Weekend
    • Linux 4.8 gets rc8

      Chill, penguin-fanciers: Linux lord Linus Torvalds is sitting on the egg that is Linux 4.8 for another week.

      As Torvalds indicated last week, this version of the kernel still needs work and therefore earned itself an eighth release candidate.

    • Linux Kernel 4.7.5 Released with Numerous ARM and Networking Improvements

      The fifth maintenance update to the Linux 4.7 kernel series, which is currently the most advanced, secure and stable kernel branch you can get for your GNU/Linux operating system, has been announced by Greg Kroah-Hartman.

      Linux kernel 4.7.5 is here only ten days after the release of the previous maintenance version, namely Linux kernel 4.7.4, and it’s a big update that changes a total of 213 files, with 1774 insertions and 971 deletions, which tells us that the kernel developers and hackers had a pretty busy week patching all sorts of bugs and security issues, as well as to add various, much-needed improvements.

    • Blockchain Summit Day Two: End-Of-Conference Highlights From Shanghai

      Financial services firms and startups looking to be the bridge to blockchain ledgers continued to dominate presentations on the second and final day of the Blockchain Summit, ending International Blockchain Week in Shanghai that also saw Devcon2 and a startup demo competition.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The RADV Radeon Vulkan Linux Driver Continues Picking Up Features
      • OpenChrome Maintainer Making Some Progress On VIA DRM Driver

        Independent developer Kevin Brace took over maintaining the OpenChrome DDX driver earlier this year to improve the open-source VIA Linux graphics support while over the summer he’s slowly been getting up to speed on development of the OpenChrome DRM driver.

        The OpenChrome DRM driver was making progress while James Simmons was developing it a few years back, but since he left the project, it’s been left to bit rot. It will take a lot of work even to get this previously “good” code back to working on the latest Linux 4.x mainline kernels given how DRM core interfaces have evolved in recent times.

      • My talk about Mainline Explicit Fencing at XDC 2016!

        Last week I was at XDC in Helsinki where I presented about the Explicit Fencing work we’ve been doing on the Mainline Linux Kernel in the lastest few months. There was a livestream of all presentations during the conference and recorded sections are available. You can check the video of my presentation. Check out the slides too.

    • Benchmarks

      • Testing Various HDDs & SSDs On Ubuntu With The Linux 4.8 Kernel

        Here are some fresh benchmarks of various solid-state drives (SATA 3.0 SSDs plus two NVMe M.2 SSDs) as well as two HDDs for getting a fresh look at how they are performing using the Linux 4.8 Git kernel.

        After publishing Friday’s Intel 600P Series NVME SSD tests of this lower-cost NVM Express storage line-up, I continued testing a few other SSDs and HDDs. These additional reference points are available for your viewing pleasure today. The additional data is also going to be used for reference in a Linux 4.8-based BCache SSD+HDD comparison being published next week. Stay tuned for those fresh BCache numbers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXQt 0.11.0 Desktop Environment Arrives After Almost One Year of Development

      After being in development for the past eleven months, the next major release of the lightweight, Qt-based LXQt desktop environment has been officially released and it’s available for download.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Great first year at LAS GNOME!

        This was the first year of the Libre Application Summit, hosted by GNOME (aka “LAS GNOME”). Congratulations to the LAS GNOME team for a successful launch of this new conference! I hope to see more of them.

        In case you missed LAS GNOME, the conference was in Portland, Oregon. I thoroughly enjoyed this very walkable city. Portland is a great place for a conference venue. When I booked my hotel, I found lots of hotel options within easy walking distance to the LAS GNOME location. I walked every day, but you could also take any of the many light rail or bus or trolley options running throughout the city.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Ghost Minitaur Robot Opens Doors & Climbs Fences & Stairs!

      Give this little droid a compatible brain, like a Raspberry Pi 3, which can display images via a built-in HDMI port and runs Linux at 1.2 Gigahertz, and is more akin to an actual computer than a microcontroller, and let programming of a robotic brain function shatter the ceiling on possibilities.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google could be about to reveal its Android and Chrome OS merger

          If you’ve been following Google for a while you’ll know that speculation around the company merging Android and Chrome OS into one single whole isn’t anything new, but the rumours have gained fresh impetus over the weekend.

          Sources speaking to the usually reliable Android Police say Google is preparing to combine the two OSes into something codenamed Andromeda inside the company – that’s also the name of the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way or the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia in Greek mythology, depending on which meaning you want to take.

        • Google’s Oct. 4th Event May Reveal Merged Android/Chrome OS
        • Oct 4th rumors: Google to show off merged Android/Chrome OS preview, $69 Chromecast Ultra and $129 Google Home

          Google is holding an event on October 4th, where the company is expected to officially launches its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. But that’s not all we’re expecting to see on October 4th.

          According to several reports from Android Police, we could also see the launch of Google Home, a Chromecast Ultra, and a new wireless router called Google WiFi.

          Google may also show off a preview of an operating system that merges Chrome OS and Android, although it’s unlikely to be available to the public before 2017.

        • Android Users Replace Phones Faster Than iPhone Fans

          Every time a new Apple iPhone gets released, it seems like everyone who has chosen iOS over Alphabet ‘s Android immediately orders one.

          In reality, however, not every consumer trades in his or her phone just because a new model comes out. They may want to, but leasing cycles, payment plans and other factors influence whether people swap out their iPhone or Android phone after a new model is released.

          On the Apple side, consumers are actually holding onto their phones slightly longer, while with Android, the replacement cycle has been steady for the past three years, according to data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

        • Sony Xperia X Performance users can register for Android 7.0 Nougat beta program (but not everywhere)
        • Leaked Presentation Slide Reveals Sony’s Android 7.0 Roadmap

          If you own an Android device that isn’t a Nexus, chances are you’re probably wondering when your phone will be updated to the latest version of Android, Android 7.0 Nougat. OEMs don’t usually reveal their update plans so early on, but the good news for Sony users is that we now have an idea of when the update will be released.

          This is thanks to an alleged leaked presentation slide as reported by Mojandroid.sk (via Xperia Blog) from Sony Slovakia. As you can see in the photo above, it shows the company’s plans for the Android 7.0 Nougat update. Assuming the timing is applicable for all markets they operate in, the Xperia X Performance and Xperia XZ should get their update in October.

        • Umi Plus International Giveaway [3 Phones]

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to throw a tarball over the wall

    It costs a lot of money to open source a mature piece of commercial software, even if all you are doing is “throwing a tarball over the wall.” That’s why companies abandoning software they no longer care about so rarely make it open source, and those abandoning open source projects rarely move them to new homes that benefit others.

    If all you have thought about is the eventual outcome, you may be surprised how expensive it is to get there.

    Read more

  • Desktop virtualisation kit-calculator goes open source

    The tool has gone through a number of iterations over the years, extending its capabilities to assess the infrastructure requirements of ever-more virtual desktops along the way while also keeping up with changes to VMware’s Horizon and Citrix’s XenDesktop.

    But Leibovici says he’s now sufficiently busy that “Unfortunately I find myself without time to maintain the VDI calculator, therefore I decided that the best outcome would be to open-source the app and let the community drive maintenance and innovation.”

    Hence its publication under an Apache 2.0 licence here on GitHub.

  • Attributes of Effective Project Managers

    Volunteers often work for both philanthropic and selfish reasons. For example, contributing to FreeBSD and having your code approved can translate to a career-building resume bullet (nearly ⅓ of the world’s internet traffic runs on FreeBSD). While not every contribution translates into a resume bullet, volunteers generally contribute more of their talents when their contributions are recognized. Martin takes great pride in publicly sharing information about how he gives back to his volunteers in the form of reasonably-sized monetary gifts. He remarked to me how one gift bought a programmer a new chair. While it may not seem like much, the contribution made a significant difference to that person’s sense of value to the project. Martin noticed that since the chair arrived the change requests for Ubuntu MATE that come from that programmer with the happy hind quarters seem to become his highest priority and Martin generally gets the changes in short order.

  • Show And Tell: Google Open Sources Its Image Captioning AI In TensorFlow

    Google has open sourced its Show and Tell system which will now be available in TensorFlow machine learning library. The Show and Tell system can analyze an image and provide a relevant caption describing the situation of the image. The code of the system is available on GitHub.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.6 Preparing To Release Next Week With Its Parallel Queries Support

      PostgreSQL 9.6 is being prepared for release on 29 September as the database system’s latest major update.

      Arguably the biggest feature of the upcoming PostgreSQL 9.6 release is the parallel query support for scans, joins, and aggregates that should speed up the performance of SELECTs by a lot. There are also other improvements like synchronous replication on multiple standby servers, full-text search for phrases, and more.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Developing a GIMP Deblur Plugin

      The original assignment was to implement Cho’s algorithm for deblurring [Cho et al 2013] as a GIMP plugin. The previous bachelor thesis had found this algorithm as the best deblurring algorithm for recovering text. However, time marches on. During the literature review phase, the team came across some advances in deblurring. Moreover, the algorithm’s description in the paper was incomplete, and patented. (Interestingly enough, the patent did not clarify the incompleteness.) There was a new algorithm by Pan et al [Pan et al 2014] that was simpler, faster, and: open source. However, the original was coded in Matlab, which is (1) proprietary, (2) not freely available, and (3) not in much use by people who want to edit pictures.

      So, the team investigated both algorithms in great (and hairy) detail, and implemented Pan et al’s algo as an open source GIMP plugin. This required a working understanding of the maths involved (which is not explicitly taught in the Bachelor programme). Moreover, the end result is a sleek piece of work, showcasing the team’s CS creds as well.

      Below, a tiny bit about how blurring works, and how to deblur. I’ll skip most of the maths, promised.

  • Public Services/Government

    • North American Cities Slow to Adopt Open Source Software

      Most politicians who are setting the IT budgets do not have a clue what IT is doing. They demand more and more from them as technology changes. But unlike a crumbling road or rusting bridge that can be seen by all, they really do not see or understand what is happening in the IT department. As long as they can get access to their applications and data, everything is fine. This lack of knowledge leads to a lack of political willpower to make change happen or to even recognize that change is needed and that money can be saved by doing things differently.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Microsoft ends Tuesday patches

      Yesterday was a big day for Patch Tuesday. It was the last traditional Windows Patch Tuesday as Microsoft is moving to a new patching release model. In the future, patches will be bundled together and users will no longer be able to pick and choose which updates to install. Furthermore, these new ‘monthly update packs’ will be combined, so for instance, the November update will include all the patches from October as well.

    • The best way to develop software with effective security

      Regardless of the level at which you’re doing your programming, security is going to get in the way. No amount of application abstraction or modern development process seems capable of shielding developers from the barriers raised by security. It’s pretty hard not to hate security when it doesn’t seem to add any intrinsic value, and often gets in the way of providing a delightful user experience. To top it off products can get hacked anyway, in spite of any and all work you do to make your products secure.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • WPost Wants a Bigger War in Syria

      The neocon Washington Post wants an even bigger U.S. military intervention in Syria, ignoring the tenets of international law and assuming that more bombing will somehow make things better, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Obama Promises to Shield Saudis on 9/11

      Back in 2008, when people said Barack Obama was “the one,” I didn’t realize they meant that he would be “the one” person standing, blocking the path to justice for the 9/11 victims’ families. Mr. Obama, please get out of our way and let us have some justice and peace 15 years after the brutal murder of our 3,000 loved ones.

      JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, S.2040) is a well-thought out, powerful piece of anti-terrorism legislation. It does exactly what it says — it brings all those who fund terrorism to justice.

    • Obama Vetoes 9/11-Saudi Legislation Setting Up Potential Override

      As expected, President Barack Obama has vetoed legislation that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue nations, including Saudi Arabia, for any role their government may have played in the terrorist attacks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Dangerous Denial of Global Warming

      President Obama calls it “terrifying” and the greatest long-term threat facing the world. Three hundred seventy-five of the world’s top experts just warned of “severe and long-lasting consequences” for the planet if America’s next president drops the ball. Yet only 19 percent of registered voters say it’s a top issue; Hillary Clinton increasingly ducks the topic, and Donald Trump characteristically dismisses it all as a “hoax.”

      The issue, of course, is global warming. While reporters offer endless stories about Clinton’s emails and fainting spells, and Trump makes up new lies faster than fact-checkers can swat them down, few people in politics or the media are talking about the accelerating effects of climate change.

    • Fifty elephants killed each day for last decade, study says amid key talks on ivory trade

      The number of elephants across Africa has dropped by 111,000 in just 10 years to only 415,000 today, according to a study published on Sunday as global experts met in Johannesburg to discuss whether to lift the ban on the ivory trade.

      The Pan-African survey, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, found that 50 elephants were killed each day since 2006 and laid the blame squarely on poachers seeking their precious tusks for sale mainly to Asian markets.

  • Finance

    • Calling the SEC

      Chris DiIorio suspected major broker-dealer Knight Capital of tanking penny stocks on purpose and racking up massive, unsustainable balance-sheet liabilities based on all the stocks it “sold” that it never really had.

      It had taken him five years to reach these conclusions — five years of digging through reams of financial data in search of answers to how and why his particular penny stock investment was so brutally crushed. Knight never answered DiIorio’s questions, nor, during the reporting of this story, any of The Intercept’s.

    • Monarch Airlines denies rumours it is going bust amid passenger fears

      The UK budget airline Monarch has denied rumours it is going bust, amid growing concerns among passengers that their bookings may be at risk.

      Speculation began to circulate on Sunday afternoon that the airline, a 48-year-old British aviation icon, was set to close.

      The airline continued to advertise holiday deals and take bookings for flights late into Sunday evening.

    • The many hurdles of Brexit – a short summary post

      This is a short summary blogpost of what appear to be the main issues which need to be addressed for a Brexit to take place. I set out below the issues as questions, though they could just as easily be framed as statements.

      I call each of these a “hurdle” – because it is possible that each one of these can be negotiated and jumped over; but it is also possible that each one can be an obstruction.

      [...]

      Hurdle One: Which domestic legal form? Act of Parliament or exercise of the Royal Prerogative (or something else?)

      Hurdle Two: What if the Scottish government is resolute in its opposition to Brexit?

      Hurdle Three: What if the Northern Ireland government is resolute in its opposition to Brexit?

      Hurdle Four: How is the border with the Republic of Ireland dealt with? What impact will there be (if any) on the Good Friday Agreement?

      Hurdle Five: What if Gibraltar is resolute in its opposition to Brexit?

      Hurdle Six: What if the government is defeated in the House of Commons on Brexit?

      Hurdle Seven: What if the government is defeated in the House of Lords on Brexit?

      Hurdle Eight: How is any Brexit to be reconciled with the 2015 Conservative manifesto pledge that the UK’s position in the Single Market will be “safeguarded”? How will that pledge affect the passage of Brexit legislation under the Salisbury Convention (that only legislation which fulfill manifesto pledges will not be subject to Lords’ delay)?

    • TTIP on its deathbed, but CETA moves forward despite growing concerns

      At a key meeting in Bratislava last Friday, EU ministers effectively put the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations on hold, perhaps forever. Even the perennially upbeat EU commissioner responsible for trade, Cecilia Malmström, admitted: “All ministers expressed their doubts about being able to conclude this before the end of the Obama presidency, and indeed, it looks increasingly unlikely.” Since both candidates for the US presidency have said they are dissatisfied with current trade negotiations, that makes TTIP’s long-term fate extremely uncertain.

      According to a report in Politico.eu, Austria’s economy minister made the suggestion to “relaunch [the TTIP negotiations] after the U.S. elections, with a new name, better transparency and also clearer goals.” However, another, unnamed minister said: “I don’t think there will be less demonstrations if we call it ‘John’.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Who is Gennifer Flowers? 10 facts about Bill Clinton’s former mistress and Donald Trump’s new friend
    • In Election, Russians Rallied Around Putin

      What is most important here is the fallacious link between low turnout and higher returns for United Russia. On the contrary, I believe low turnout as a general phenomenon, not linked to some openly declared boycott, makes it doubly difficult to get results in the ballot box that reflect the public opinion polls taken before the election.

      A well-documented example of this was the September 2013 mayoral election in Moscow when the turnout was surprisingly low, at 32 percent and the heavy favorite, Acting Mayor Sergey Sobyanin from United Russia, polled just 51 percent of the vote (46 percent according to the Opposition) and the fiercely anti-Kremlin candidate Alexei Navalny received 27 percent (35 percent according to his partisans). If anti-Kremlin voters in Moscow and St. Petersburg stayed home or at their dachas this past Sunday, you have to look deeper into their motivation.

    • Jeremy Corbyn Easily Re-Elected Labour Party Leader

      Jeremy Corbyn scored a “monumental victory” on Saturday, easily being reelected leader of Britain’s Labour Party.

      Corbyn got 61.8 percent of the vote to opponent Owen Smith’s 38.2. The Guardian reports that the 67-year-old “won a majority over Smith in every category—members, registered supporters, and trades union affiliates. He won the support of 59 percent of voting members, 70 percent of registered supporters, and 60 percent of affiliated supporters.”

      Cory Doctorow writes at BoingBoing that his reelection came despite sabotage from his own party and the UK press’s efforts to “to sideline, belittle and dismiss him.” As such, Doctorow argues, “it is nothing short of a miracle that Corbyn has won the leadership race, and that, moreover, he has increased his lead, beyond last year’s landslide, with a higher voter turnout than ever.”

      In fact the Bristol Post writes, it was “one of the most one-sided contests in the history of the party.”

    • Top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills granted partial immunity in email investigation

      Top Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills received an immunity deal from the Justice Department in the FBI’s investigation into the former secretary of state’s private email server, records shown to Congress revealed Friday, re-injecting the email controversy into the presidential campaign just days before her first debate with Donald Trump.

      In addition to Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff at State, grants of partial immunity were also extended to former Clinton aide Heather Samuelson, who worked as State’s White House liaison and later as a private attorney for Clinton and to John Bentel, who was director of the the Information Resources Management section in the secretary of state’s office, lawmakers said.

    • Former NSA analyst: FBI may reopen investigation if Clinton loses

      The FBI could reopen its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information if she fails to win the November election, according to a former National Security Agency analyst, especially in light of revelations made public in a Friday document dump by the agency.

      “The FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011,” John Schindler, a security expert and former analyst for the agency, wrote in a Sunday column for the Observer, noting the agency revealed on Friday that it never questioned Clinton about the issue.

    • Fresh Proof The FBI’s Hillary Email Probe Was A Joke

      Yet another surprise revelation suggests strongly that the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail mess was anything but a by-the-book investigation.

      House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he learned only Friday that the Justice Department gave immunity deals to Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other aides. That brings to five the number of Clintonistas who got a pass in exchange for testimony and/or information.

      But what makes it especially significant in Mills’ case is that she was allowed to sit in on Clinton’s FBI interview, asserting attorney-client privilege on Hillary’s behalf. This, even though Mills was herself a witness, even a potential subject of, the investigation.

    • Obama Reportedly Used Pseudonym in Emails With Clinton, FBI Notes Reveal

      One of the more fascinating revelations from the additional FBI notes released about the Hillary Clinton email investigation is the revelation of a potential pseudonym used by President Obama in emails with Clinton.

      The relevant passage of the FBI interview notes how Huma Abedin said when Clinton changed her primary email address, “they had to notify the White House so that Clinton’s emails would not be rejected by the server.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Privacy Commissioner warns of ‘hidden risks’ of the IoT

      The Australian Privacy Commissioner has warned that Australian businesses assessed as part of a global sweep of Internet of Things products and services generally lack clear information for customers about how their personal information is being managed.

      And, more than half of Aussie businesses have failed to adequately explain how personal information was collected, used and disclosed, according to the Privacy Commissioner.

      The sweep of IoT devices, just released by the Australian Privacy Commissioner, and fellow international regulators, through the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), reveals that 71% of the IoT devices and services, and how information is managed, were not adequately explained by Australian businesses.

    • A Week In, the Pardon Snowden Debate Keeps Heating Up

      Since then, people worldwide have turned their attention back to the most famous whistleblower of our generation. Dozens of news and opinion pieces have considered his role in exposing the contours of U.S. mass surveillance, and moviegoers have watched Joseph Gordon-Levitt portray him in an Oliver Stone-directed filmbased on his life.

      The ACLU, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch launched the Pardon Snowden campaign with a press conference last Wednesday, with Ed himself appearing via live video. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined, three years ago, such an outpouring of solidarity,” he said in profuse thanks to his supporters.

    • Gary Johnson: I would pardon Edward Snowden
    • Gary Johnson: I would pardon Snowden
    • Gary Johnson Supports Pardoning Edward Snowden
    • Edward Snowden should come home
    • Hong Kong campaigners, asylum seekers to demand US presidential pardon for Edward Snowden
    • Hongkongers Take to Streets in Support of U.S. Whistleblower Snowden
    • Rally for US whistleblower Edward Snowden brings Hong Kong’s refugees to the fore
    • Hong Kong refugees protest to call for Snowden pardon

      Activists and refugees staged a protest in Hong Kong on Sunday calling on Washington to pardon fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, with protesters describing refugees in the city as “heroes” for helping him evade authorities in 2013.

    • Snowden Receives German Citizen’s Award ‘Glass of Reason’

      Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden received the Glass of Reason, award of the citizens of the German city of Kassel worth 10,000 euro ($11,230).

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden gets German award for ‘courage and conscience’ after spilling US secrets

      Edward Snowden has received an award from a German city for the ‘courage and conscience’ he showed in spilling US secrets.

      He received the Glass of Reason, award from the citizens of the German city of Kassel worth 10,000 euros (£7,000).

      The award’s organizers reportedly said that they made this choice because the whistleblower “with courage, competence and reason has taken a conscience decision and put his past life and safety at stake for a bigger thing.”

    • ChIPs Global Summit Report 4: Facebook, Apple and the DoJ discuss the tension between privacy and security

      1. The privacy v security fallacy. National security and personal privacy are not at odds with each other. It is a false choice – it is really security v security. As Noreen highlighted 17.5 million people were victims of direct hacks which violated their personal privacy, but importantly they were also victims of crime. Privacy is a security issue and security is a privacy issue. People who put products into the marketplace want to stop crime at the onset and law enforcement want to stop it once it happens. The argument is that that you cannot undermine encryption to protect customer’s security and privacy in the interests of law enforcement because in doing so you will inevitably create back doors which allow “the bad guys” in resulting in crime (and, therefore, threats to security).

      2. Security and privacy have taken center stage. The FBI’s order against Apple was ex parte. There was no opportunity for Apple to be heard. The manner in which the FBI obtained the order (after months of working whit Apple and not under seal, so that it was public) therefore generated controversy and ignited fights between various factions on the public stage. Noreen explained that Apple was and had been cooperating with law enforcement for months until the February ex parte order. The FBI’s order asked Apple to write a new operating system so that they could gain access to the iPhone 5c at issue which was running on iOS 9 (reportedly known internally at Apple as GovtOS). If Apple complied with the order they would risk the security of other Apple customers. The panel recommended this TIME article interview with Tim Cook to the audience for background reading. The panel appreciated FBI Director Comey’s efforts to keep the issue in the forefront of public discussion, but some panellists stated that his comment that an “adult conversation” was needed in the wake of the controversy was probably an unfortunate choice of words as the insinuation was that if you did not agree with the FBI, you were not an adult. Now that the “fervor” has died down, many panellists felt it was time to reignite the conversation.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Jordanian Writer Shot Dead In Front Of Court Before Trial Over Cartoon

      A gunman on Sunday killed prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar outside a court where he was facing charges for sharing a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam, state news agency Petra reported.

      Hattar was struck by three bullets before the assailant was arrested, said Petra. Witnesses told AFP that a man had opened fire in front of the court in Amman’s Abdali district.

      The 56-year-old Christian was arrested on August 13 after posting a cartoon mocking jihadists on his Facebook account.

    • Nahed Hattar shot dead: Prominent Jordanian writer charged with offensive Facebook post killed

      A Jordanian writer who was arrested for posting a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam has been shot dead.

      Nahed Hattar was assassinated in front the Supreme Court in Amman with local media reporting he was shot three times in the head.

      The shooter has reportedly been arrested by security forces.

    • Palace to look into WikiLeaks report saying Duterte permitted Davao killings

      Malacañang on Sunday said it will look into “leaked information” that President Rodrigo R. Duterte knew and permitted vigilante killings in Davao during his term as mayor of the city.

      “We will look into [it] first,” Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar said in a text message.

      “Commission on Human Rights Regional Director Alberto Sipaco (strictly protect) at a private meeting affirmed that Mayor Duterte knows about the killings and permits them,” read cable 09MANILA1002_a, one of the diplomatic cables released on the internet by self-described “multi-national media organization and associated library” WikiLeaks.

      “Recounting a conversation he once had with Duterte, who is his close friend and former fraternity brother, Sipaco said he pleaded with the Mayor to stop vigilante killings and support other methods to reduce crime, like rehabilitation programs for offenders,” it added.

    • A Digital Rumor Should Never Lead to a Police Raid

      If police raided a home based only on an anonymous phone call claiming residents broke the law, it would be clearly unconstitutional.

      Yet EFF has found that police and courts are regularly conducting and approving raids based on the similar type of unreliable digital evidence: Internet Protocol (IP) address information.

      In a whitepaper released today, EFF challenges law enforcement and courts’ reliance on IP addresses, without more, to identify the location of crimes and the individuals responsible. While IP addresses can be a useful piece of an investigation, authorities need to properly evaluate the information, and more importantly, corroborate it, before IP address information can be used to support police raids, arrests, and other dangerous police operations.

      IP address information was designed to route traffic on the Internet, not serve as an identifier for other purposes. As the paper explains, IP addresses information isn’t the same as physical addresses or license plates that can pinpoint an exact location or identify a particular person. Put simply: there is no uniform way to systematically map physical locations based on IP addresses or create a phone book to lookup users of particular IP addresses.

    • Far-Right Runs With ‘Outside Agitator’ Lie Spread by CNN

      This case offers a perfect example of why uncritically allowing police union officials to make unsourced assertions on national TV, and then repeating them as facts, is not a good idea.

      First, it’s important to note that Burnett even muffs her sourcing; by citing a “Charlotte police sergeant,” she ignores the fact that he’s a union representative, and that union representatives are not operating in their capacity as police officers or spokespeople for the department. By conflating the two, she treated what was effectively advocacy on behalf of an individual officer as an official statement by a police department; while police departments are of course capable of being deceptive themselves, they are at least in theory accountable to a city council and mayor.

    • Charlotte Police Video of Keith Scott’s Killing Released

      The same clip then shows another officer, in a red shirt, approach Scott just after the shooting and there is the sound of something skittering across the pavement as he crouches down by the dying man’s right side. There has been some speculation that the officer could have been sliding a gun away from Scott’s hand towards the curb behind him.

      Putney said that more footage was recorded on other police cameras, and all of the material would likely be released later, after the completion of an independent inquiry into the fatal shooting now being carried out by North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation. “The footage itself,” he added, “will not create in anyone’s mind absolutely certainty as to what this case represents and what the outcome should be.”

      The partial release of video failed to satisfy protesters, who rallied in Charlotte on Saturday night, chanting “Release the whole video!” according to DaShawn Brown of WSOC-TV.

    • Police Arrest 32 Child Traffickers, Uncover 6 Baby Factories

      Delta State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim yesterday said thirty-two child traffickers were arrested in the last two months, adding that six baby factories were uncovered in Asaba and its environs.

      Emphasizing his determination to synergize with the State Ministry of Women Affairs to fight against crime and other social vices in the state, the police boss said: “We have reduced drastically child trafficking in the state, and baby factories uncovered by men and officers of the police force, we will ensure efforts are put together to bring to book those in their hideouts”, pointing out that the suspects arrested currently being detained would be charged to court on completion of investigation.

      Mr. Zanna Ibrahim who spoke to journalists on efforts made so far since he assumed office in Asaba, said he was ready to collaborate and co-operative with Women Affairs department in the state, especially when the crime involves children and women who are target of traffickers.

    • VIDEO: Charlotte Police Killed Keith Lamont Scott In Under 10 Seconds, Withheld Audio Recordings Too

      Charlotte police finally respected the will of Keith Lamont Scott’s family and released two official videos of his last moments in a police killing that touched off peaceful protests, deployment of riot police and eventually violent protests and looting.

      But audio is redacted.

      Dash cam video reveals that Keith Lamont Scott only lived ten seconds after exiting his car.

      There’s definitely not an immediate threat by Scott to the four police officers with arms drawn, even slightly noticeable in the dash cam video.

      No gun is visible at any time.

      Part of the Charlotte police’s initial unproven claim to justify the shooting of Scott – for which no probable cause has yet been given – is that they gave “clear warning” audio in the body camera video below, nor in the dash camera video which illustrates what commands or verbalizing happened by the three officers on the scene, one of whom is clearly uniformed as seen in the dash camera video.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • ISP explains data caps to FCC: Using the Internet is like eating Oreos

      If you were worried that the debate over Internet data caps would get bogged down in technical mumbo-jumbo, fear no more—it’s actually much simpler than you think.

      Mediacom, a US cable company with a little over 1.1 million Internet subscribers in 22 states, has put the matter to rest by explaining to the Federal Communications Commission that its customers shouldn’t get unlimited data because using the Internet is just like eating Oreos.

      “You have to pay extra for double-stuffed,” Mediacom Senior VP and General Counsel Joseph Young wrote in a filing with the FCC last week.

    • Vint Cerf’s dream do-over: 2 ways he’d make the internet different

      Vint Cerf is considered a father of the internet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things he would do differently if given a fresh chance to create it all over again.

      “If I could have justified it, putting in a 128-bit address space would have been nice so we wouldn’t have to go through this painful, 20-year process of going from IPv4 to IPv6,” Cerf told an audience of journalists Thursday during a press conference at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany.

      IPv4, the first publicly used version of the Internet Protocol, included an addressing system that used 32-bit numerical identifiers. It soon became apparent that it would lead to an exhaustion of addresses, however, spurring the creation of IPv6 as a replacement. Roughly a year ago, North America officially ran out of new addresses based on IPv4.

      For security, public key cryptography is another thing Cerf would like to have added, had it been feasible.

  • DRM

    • HTML standardization group calls on W3C to protect security researchers from DRM

      The World Wide Web Consortium has embarked upon an ill-advised project to standardize Digital Rights Management (DRM) for video at the behest of companies like Netflix; in so doing, they are, for the first time, making a standard whose implementations will be covered under anti-circumvention laws like Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a potential felony to reveal defects in products without the manufacturer’s permission.

      This is especially worrisome because the W3C’s aspiration for the new version of HTML is that it will replace apps as the user-interface for the Internet of Things, making all sorts of potentially compromising (and even lethal) bugs difficult to report without serious legal liability.

      The EFF has proposed that W3C members should be required to promise not to use the DMCA and laws like it this way; this has had support from other multistakeholder groups, like the Open Source Initiative, which has said that the W3C work will not qualify as an “open standard” if it doesn’t do something to prevent DMCA abuse.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • A song of Ice and Ice

        Iceland, a country famous for the northern lights, skyr yoghurt, and their recent performance in the Euros, has made headlines this week for threatening the trade mark rights of a major UK supermarket. The cause of this ire is unclear, as some sources report that Icelandic tourist board, ‘Promote Iceland’ was faced with opposition proceedings when they attempted to register an EU trade mark ‘Inspired by Iceland’. Other reports state that Icelandic companies are being prevented from trading under their country name due to Iceland Foods’ earlier right.

      • Eye ‘should’ve’ done that! – Specsavers nears approval to trade mark single word “should’ve” & “shouldve”

        Despite the legal and commercial concerns, Specsavers’s decision to register single words SHOULD’VE and SHOULDVE should be recognised as intelligent business strategy, considering the proliferation and potential of social media. The use of hashtags has become a significant vehicle of marketing for businesses. Hashtags have the power not only to categorise content but also to form trends and thus generate interest. Therefore, registering a specific word will be integral for Specsavers in expanding their marketing activities and driving future campaigns. For example, the hashtag ‘#should’ve recently accompanied the full Specsavers catchphrase. It is thus apparent that registration will help Specsavers to control use in the full spectrum of social media.

    • Copyrights

      • Man Likely to Sacrifice Himself Testing Streaming Piracy Limits

        A man is preparing a legal battle to find out where the boundaries lie when it comes to offering “fully loaded” Kodi TV devices in the UK. Brian Thompson, who is being taken to court by his local council, says he expects to lose the case. And barring a miracle that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

      • Copyright Loophole Could Undermine Important Consumer Protection Bill

        The Consumer Review Fairness Act Is a Noble Bill but Could Leave the Door Open for Copyright Abuse

        There’s a bill making its way through Congress that would protect consumers’ freedom of speech by limiting unfair form contracts. The Consumer Review Fairness Act (H.R. 5111), introduced by Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and cosponsored by several representatives, would address two shameful practices: contracts that bar customers from sharing negative reviews of products and services online, and contracts that attempt to assign the copyright in customers’ reviews to the businesses themselves (who then file copyright takedown notices to have negative reviews removed). The CRFA is an important bill, and it addresses a major problem, but it contains one loophole that could undermine its ability to protect people who write online reviews.

        An earlier version of the bill was introduced in both houses of Congress last year under the name Consumer Review Freedom Act (S. 2044, H.R. 2110). EFF applauded the bill when it was introduced. As we argued then, when a customer has no reasonable opportunity to negotiate a contract and its terms are overwhelmingly stacked against the customer, the contract shouldn’t be enforceable. We noted that these contracts usually fail in court, but that that hasn’t stopped businesses from using them. We also pointed out a few problems with the CRFA. Most of them have been addressed in the new bill, but the most disconcerting one remains.

        If a company claims that a review is not “otherwise lawful” (for example, because it allegedly defames the company), then the law may permit the company to claim that it owns the copyright in the review and have it removed as copyright infringement, thus creating a shortcut for having speech removed. We don’t think this is what Congress intended, and we hope it’s not too late to remove the two offending words.

        Imagine that I’m a vendor offering you a contract for a service. My contract includes a clause saying that you assign me the copyright in any review you write of my service. Under the CRFA, that clause would be invalid and my including it in the contract would be against the law. But if my contract says you assign me the copyright in any unlawful review you write, I could argue that that contract is valid under the CRFA.

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