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09.16.19

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

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Can a Raspberry Pi 4 really replace your PC?

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

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

    • Server

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

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

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

        [...]

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

      • IBM

        • 9 steps to awesome with Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift

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

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

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

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 13×38

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

    • Kernel Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • The 5.3 kernel is out

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

      • Linux 5.2.15

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.15 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Linux Foundation

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

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

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

          [...]

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

    • Applications

      • New WireGuard Snapshot Offers Better Compatibility With Distributions/Kernels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        [...]

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

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

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

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

      • cmus – free terminal-based audio player

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

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

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

        cmus is written in C.

      • Rclone Browser Fork With Fixes And Enhancements

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

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

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • New webpage for Plasma Desktop

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

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

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

        • Interview with Julius Grels

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

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

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

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

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

        • A Simple Review of GNOME 3.34

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

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

        • Internet Speed Indicator for GNOME 3.34
    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Chuwi AeroBook review: Testing 5 Linux distributions

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

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

      • Debian Family

        • Why Debian Is the Gold Standard of Upstream Desktop Linux

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

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

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • QMO: Firefox 70 Beta 6 Testday Results

            Hello Mozillians!

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

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

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

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments

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

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

      • Programming/Development

        • The State Of Qt Quick Vulkan Support With Qt 5.14

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

        • How to get current date and time in Python?

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

        • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Veronica Hanus

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

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Warning Issued For Millions Of Microsoft Windows 10 Users

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

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

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

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

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

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

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

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

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

    • Privacy/Surveillance

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

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

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

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

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

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

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

          [...]

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

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

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

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

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Audiocasts/Shows

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

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

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

      • Linux Action News 123

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

        Plus our thoughts on the PineTime, and more.

    • Kernel Space

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

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

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

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

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

      • Graphics Stack

        • Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D

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

        • Linux Drivers Entries Suggest two APU AMD Lines in 2020

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

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

    • Applications

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

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

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

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • EndlessOS | Review from an openSUSE User

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

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

        • BlackWeb 1.2

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

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

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

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Preliminary fact-finding about MIT and Jeffrey Epstein

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

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

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

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

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

      • Programming/Development

        • Constraint programming by example

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

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

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

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

  • Leftovers

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The World’s Most Important Political Prisoner

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

    • Environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        “Freak yachting accidents do happen…”

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

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

      • Energy

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

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

        • Trump authorizes use of emergency oil reserve after Saudi attacks

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

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Instagram is helping drive a black market for succulent poachers

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

          [...]

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

    • Finance

      • Teaching Democrats to Talk About Socialism

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

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

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

        [...]

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

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

      • Reasons for Optimism

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

      • Auto Workers Vote to Strike at General Motors Plants

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

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

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

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

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

      • Israel: Two Elections, One Apartheid State

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

      • 3 Democratic Candidates Call for Kavanaugh’s Impeachment

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

    • Privacy/Surveillance

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

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

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • India: Free Kashmiris Arbitrarily Detained

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

      • China: Xinjiang Children Separated from Families

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

    • Restrictions

      • Congress Is Investigating Apple’s Repair Monopoly

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

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

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

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Platform Exclusives Could Boost Piracy, UK Govt Report Notes

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

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

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

09.15.19

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

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux VR Headset

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

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

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

    • VRChat for Linux

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

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

    • Top 5 VR games to play on Linux

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

    • Desktop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Server

      • SUSE Enhances Delivery of Modern Containerized and Cloud Native Applications

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

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

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

      • Kubernetes in the Enterprise: A Primer

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

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

      • Google Cloud rolls out Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes

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

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

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

      • Google announces alpha of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes

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

      • IBM

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

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

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

        • Are Application Servers Dying a Slow Death?

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

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

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

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

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

    • Kernel Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Linux Foundation

      • Graphics Stack

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

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

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

    • Benchmarks

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

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

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

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

    • Applications

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

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

      • MusicBrainz Picard 2.2 Released with Built-in Media Player

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

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 4.16 Released with Improvements

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

    • Games

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

        Pavlov VR running through Steam play.

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

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

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

        [...]

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

      • Minecraft Game Free Download for Linux

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

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • digiKam 6.3.0 is released

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

        • This week in KDE

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

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

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

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

        • KDE Akademy 2019 Recap

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

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Nostalgia is a GNOME Wallpaper App with a Twist

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

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

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

        • GNOME and gestures, Part 2: HdyLeaflet

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

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

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

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

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS Buster version 2.1.3 released

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

        • EasyOS Pyro version 1.2.3 released

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

        • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 136 is available for testing

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

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • An Easy Fix for a Stupid Mistake

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

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

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

      • Arch Family

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

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

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

      • Debian Family

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

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

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

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

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Workarea Commerce Goes Open-source

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

      • Wyoming CV Pilot develops open-source RSU monitoring system

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

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

        [...]

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

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

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

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

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

      • Analyst Watch: Is open source the great equalizer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

        [...]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Artificial intelligence: an open source future

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

      • How open source is accelerating innovation in AI

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

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

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

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

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

        [...]

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

      • New Open Source Startups Emerge After Acquisition, IPO Flurry

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Events

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

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

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

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

      • Databases

        • MariaDB opens US headquarters in California

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

        • ScyllaDB takes on Amazon with new DynamoDB migration tool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • ScyllaDB powers up Alternator: an open Amazon DynamoDB API

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

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

          [...]

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

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

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

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

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

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Funding

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Where have all the seed deals gone?

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

          [...]

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

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

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

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

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

        • Remove Richard Stallman

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

      • Public Services/Government

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

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

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

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

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

        • GAO: DoD Not Fully Implementing Open-Source Mandates

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

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

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

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

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

        • DOD struggles to implement open source software pilots

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

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

        • GAO report on open-source software

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Licensing/Legal

        • Is Open Source licensing irretrievably broken?

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

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

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Color Open-Sources Playbook for Population Genomics Programs

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

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

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

        • Open Hardware/Modding

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

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

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

          • AXIS open source 3D printer from $125

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

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

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

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

          • GameShell Kit – Open Source Portable Game Console

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

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

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

      • Programming/Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Python Programming Language Is Considered Better Than Other Languages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: pinp 0.0.9: Real Fix and Polish

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

  • Leftovers

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Science

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Defence/Aggression

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

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

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

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

      • Democratic Debate’s Top Ten in Texas

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

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

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

      • Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Attack Key Saudi Oil Sites

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

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

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

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

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

      • Never Forget

        Never forget. Never forget. Never forget.

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

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

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

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

      • Biden Takes Iraq Lies to the Max at Democratic Debate

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

      • #NeverForget the War in Afghanistan

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

      • Yemen as Arabian Vietnam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • The Age of Constitutional Coups

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

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

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

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

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

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

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

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

    • Environment

      • Singapore smog worst in three years as forest fires rage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        [...]

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Energy

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

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

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Montana’s Wilderness Deficit

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

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

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

    • Finance

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

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

      • Privatisation to begin this year, says minister

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

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

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

      • Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors

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

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

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

      • The Solution to Homelessness Is Staring Us in the Face

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

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

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

      • Ralph Nader: Trump Learned His Tricks From Corporate America

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

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

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

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

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

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

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

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

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

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

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

      • The Pirates of Gibraltar

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

      • The Vox Populi

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

      • Break Up the Democratic Party?

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

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

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

      • The Sacking of John Bolton

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

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

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

      • How the South Could Help Flip the US Senate

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

      • Hong Kong and the Future of China

        Something didn’t quite add up.

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

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

        [...]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • The Unprincipled – and Potentially Racist – Lib Dems

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

      • ABC Debate Lowlights

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

      • Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Censorship/Free Speech

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Privacy/Surveillance

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

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

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

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

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

      • Facebook Must Better Limit Its Face Surveillance

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

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

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

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

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

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

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

      • Me First and the Loss of Compassion

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

      • The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns

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

      • Homage to the Tabloids

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

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

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

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

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

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

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

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

09.14.19

Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Clear Linux Is Being Used Within Some Automobiles

      Intel’s speedy Clear Linux distribution could be running under the hood of your car.

      While we’re fascinated by the performance of Intel’s open-source Clear Linux distribution that it offers meaningful performance advantages over other distributions while still focused on security and offering a diverse package set, we often see it asked… who uses Clear Linux? Some argue that Clear Linux is just a toy or technology demo, but it’s actually more.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Agile project management: 10 reasons to use it

          On the road to change, you’ll encounter fear and loathing. People will undoubtedly cling to old ways of working. Successfully making it to the other side will require commitment, passionate change agents, and unwavering leadership. You might wonder – is it really worth it?

          Leaders who have made the switch to agile project management say that it has delivered benefits both large and small to their organizations, from the rituals that bring their team together – like daily stand-ups – to the results that make their business stronger – like better end products and happier customers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Improve memset
        
        since the merge window is closing in and y'all are on a conference, I
        thought I should take another stab at it. It being something which Ingo,
        Linus and Peter have suggested in the past at least once.
        
      • An Improved Linux MEMSET Is Being Tackled For Possibly Better Performance

        Borislav Petkov has taken to improve the Linux kernel’s memset function with it being an area previously criticzed by Linus Torvalds and other prominent developers.

        Petkov this week published his initial patch for better optimizing the memset function that is used for filling memory with a constant byte.

      • Kernel Address Space Isolation Still Baking To Limit Data Leaks From Foreshadow & Co

        In addition to the work being led by DigitalOcean on core scheduling to make Hyper Threading safer in light of security vulnerabilities, IBM and Oracle engineers continue working on Kernel Address Space Isolation to help prevent data leaks during attacks.

        Complementing the “Core Scheduling” work, Kernel Address Space Isolation was also talked about at this week’s Linux Plumbers Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The address space isolation work for the kernel was RFC’ed a few months ago as a feature to prevent leaking sensitive data during attacks like L1 Terminal Fault and MDS. The focus on this Kernel ASI is for pairing with hypervisors like KVM as well as being a generic address space isolation framework.

      • The Linux Kernel Is Preparing To Enable 5-Level Paging By Default

        While Intel CPUs aren’t shipping with 5-level paging support, they are expected to be soon and distribution kernels are preparing to enable the kernel’s functionality for this feature to extend the addressable memory supported. With that, the mainline kernel is also looking at flipping on 5-level paging by default for its default kernel configuration.

        Intel’s Linux developers have been working for several years on the 5-level paging support for increasing the virtual/physical address space for supporting large servers with vast amounts of RAM. The 5-level paging increases the virtual address space from 256 TiB to 128 PiB and the physical address space from 64 TiB to 4 PiB. Intel’s 5-level paging works by extending the size of virtual addresses to 57 bits from 48 bits.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Interview with the Cloud Foundry Foundation CTO

          In this interview, Chip Childers, the CTO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation talks about some hot topics.

        • Research Shows Open Source Program Offices Improve Software Practices

          Using open source software is commonplace, with only a minority of companies preferring a proprietary-first software policy. Proponents of free and open source software (FOSS) have moved to the next phases of open source adoption, widening FOSS usage within the enterprise as well as gaining the “digital transformation” benefits associated with open source and cloud native best practices.

          Companies, as well as FOSS advocates, are determining the best ways to promote these business goals, while at the same time keeping alive the spirit and ethos of the non-commercial communities that have embodied the open source movement for years.

        • Linux Foundation Survey Proves Open-Source Offices Work Better
      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon ROCm 2.7.2 Released

          Radeon ROCm 2.7.2 is now available as the newest update to AMD’s open-source GPU compute stack for Linux systems.

          ROCm 2.7.2 is a small release that just fixes the upgrade path when moving from older ROCm releases, v2.7.2 should now be running correctly. This release comes after the recent ROCm 2.7.1 point release that had corrected some components from properly loading the ROC tracer library.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 4.16 Brings Rendering Fix For A Number Of Direct3D Games

        Based off yesterday’s release of Wine 4.16, the Wine-Staging 4.16 update out today is more prominent with a number of new patches introduced to this experimental/testing flavor of Wine for running Windows games/applications on Linux.

        Wine-Staging 4.16 brings a tentative fix for this six year old bug report about Direct3D 9 rendering issues. The functionality can be enabled via a new “multiply_special” registry key to workaround issues with Final Fantasy XIV, The Witcher 2, Darkness II, Need for Speed Shift 2, Resident Evil 4, and other games.

    • Games

      • Kind Words, a pretty sweet experience about sending and receiving anonymous letters

        Developer Popcannibal (Make Sail, Girls Like Robots) just released an updated version of the Humble Original Kind Words with Linux support. Originally released in July’s Humble Monthly as an original game, Popcannibal did some tweaks and released it this week on Steam.

      • Dead Rising 4 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

        Dead Rising 4 running through Steam play.

      • Steam Play Proton 4.11-4 has been released into the wild

        Get ready for another weekend full of testing games, as Valve and CodeWeavers have put out a fresh official build of Steam Play Proton for your pleasure.

      • Village building sim with god powers Rise to Ruins to leave Early Access next month

        Developer Raymond Doerr has announced their village building sim Rise to Ruins will leave Early Access on October 14th.

        A game regular GamingOnLinux readers will most likely be familiar with, since I’ve written about it quite a few times when checking up on development. The progress on it and how it’s grown has been astonishing. Coming from such a basic village builder into a highly engrossing mix of village building, god sim and tower defense all in one it’s great. The current trailer is a little old but it gives you a reasonable idea:

      • Weekend Deals: grab DiRT Rally completely free to keep and more not to miss

        Just a quick one really on some excellent deals going on right now, including two games you can grab completely free to keep.

        On Steam you can currently pick up DiRT Rally with 100% off, so if you don’t own it you can add it to your Steam Library and keep it forever. It’s really challenging but also incredibly fun, give it a go! Additionally, the THE GREAT GEOMETRIC MULTIVERSE TOUR, an indie FPS is also 100% off on Steam. Both deals should end on Monday, 16th at 5PM UTC.

        Also a reminder about Deep Rock Galactic, it’s fantastic in Steam Play and it’s having a free weekend with a big sale.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Frameworks 5.62.0

          KDE Frameworks are over 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks web page.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.62 Released With KWayland Additions & Other Improvements

          KDE Frameworks 5.62 is out today as the latest monthly update to this collection of KDE libraries complementing the Qt5 tool-kit offerings.

        • Back from Akademy 2019 in Milan

          The last week I was in Milan with my wife Aiswarya to attend Akademy 2019, the yearly event of the KDE community. Once again it was a great experience, with lots of interesting conferences and productive BoF sessions (“Birds of a Feather”, a common name for a project meeting during a conference).

          On Sunday, we presented our talk “GCompris in Kerala, part 2”. First, Aiswarya told some bits of Free-Software history in Kerala, gave examples of how GCompris is used there, and explained her work to localize the new version of GCompris in Malayalam (the language of this Indian state). Then I made a quick report of what happened in GCompris the last 2 years, and talked about the things to come for our next release.

        • Akademy was a blast!

          I attended my first ever Akademy! The event was held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy this year. And the experience was splendid. During the 2 day conference, I had the opportunity to talk at the Student Showcase, where all of the SoC students presented their work to the community. There were about 8 students, and everyone gave a good briefing on their project.

          My project this summer was with Kdenlive, the open source non linear professional video editor. I proposed to revamp one of the frequently used tools in the editor, called the Titler tool, which is used to create title clips. Title clips are video clips that contain text and/or images that are composited or appended to your video (eg: subtitles). The problem with the titler tool as it is, is that it uses QGraphicsView to describe a title clip and QGraphicsView was deprecated since the release of Qt5. This obviously leads to problems – upstream bugs crawling affecting the functionality of the tool and an overall degradation in the ease of maintenance of the codebase. Moreover, adding new features to the existing code base was no easy task and therefore, a complete revamp was something in sights of the developer community in Kdenlive for a long time now. I proposed to rework on the backend for the period of GSoC replacing the use of XML with QML and use a new rendering backend with QQuickRenderControl, along with a new MLT module to handle the QML frames. I was able to cover most of the proposed work, I seek to continue working on it and finish evolving the titler tool.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell + Mutter Patches Pending For Wayland Fullscreen Compositing Bypass

          There’s an exciting patch set to GNOME Shell and Mutter now pending for finally wiring up the full-screen unredirected display / full-screen bypass compositing for helping the performance of full-screen games in particular on Wayland.

          GNOME on X11 has long supported the full-screen compositing bypass so the window manager / compositor gets out of the way when running full-screen games/applications. That support under Wayland hasn’t been in place and thus there is a performance hit for full-screen Wayland-native software. But now thanks to Red Hat’s Jonas Ådahl, that infrastructure now appears to be ready.

    • Distributions

      • Slackware Family

        • September Edition of Plasma5 for Slackware

          After a summer hiatus during which I only released new packages for KDE Frameworks because they addressed a serious security hole, I am now back in business and just released KDE-5_19.09 for Slackware-current.

          The packages for KDE-5_19.09 are available for download from my ‘ktown‘ repository. As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a full installation of Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2. On my laptop with slackware64-current, this new release of Plasma5 runs smooth.

      • Debian Family

        • Releasing Slax 9.11.0

          New school year has started again and next version of Slax is here too :) this time it is 9.11.0. This release includes all bug fixes and security updates from Debian 9.11 (code name Jessie), and adds a boot parameter to disable console blanking (console blanking is disabled by default).

          You can get the newest version at the project’s home page, there are options to purchase Slax on DVD or USB device, as well as links for free download.

          Surprisingly for me we skipped 9.10, I am not sure why :)

          I also experimented with the newly released series of Debian 10 (code name Buster) and noticed several differences which need addressing, so Slax based on Debian 10 is in progress, but not ready yet. Considering my current workload and other circumstances, it will take some more time to get it ready, few weeks at least.

        • Slax 9.11 Released While Re-Base To Debian 10 Is In Development

          Slax 9.11 pulls in all the package updates and fixes from Debian 9.11. Meanwhile the lead developer is working on a presumably “Slax 10″ that is rebased against Debian 10. But there are a number of issues still needing to be addressed and as such that next major Slax release is still some time out from being released.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 14 Essential Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts

          You probably already know a stack of keyboard shortcuts already because general actions like copy (ctrl + c), paste (ctrl + v), and undo are the same across all operating systems and throughout most (if not all) software.

          So in this post we focus solely on a set of Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts you might not know about, as well as those that you might, but always forget to use!

          Read all the way to the end for a bonus tip on how to create custom keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu for your favourite apps and CLI tools — and to download our newbie-friendly Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Xabber Server v.0.9 alpha is released

        After almost three years of research, planning and development we’re proud to present the first public version of Xabber Server. Server is licensed under GNU AGPL v3 license, source code is available on GitHub. It is a fork of superb open source source XMPP server ejabberd by ProcessOne, with many custom protocol improvements an an all-new management panel.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Noted MIT Computer Scientist Defends Jeffrey Epstein in Leaked Emails

          Richard Stallman is a noted alumnus of MIT who remains listed as a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). In the world of free software, he’s considered one of the earliest pioneers. He also helped develop the GNU Project, which has had a significant impact on the development of computers and technology.

          Now for the bad part — and it’s really, really bad: Stallman has some very troubling opinions on the subject of Jeffrey Epstein, along with a host of related subjects. MIT graduate and engineer Selam Jie Gano was the first to raise the alarm about this, with a long post on Medium quoting an email Stallman recently sent to the CSAIL mailing list and exploring other deeply dodgy things he’s said and done in the past.

        • MIT Students Think President L. Rafael Reif Should Also Resign Over Taking Jeffrey Epstein’s Money

          Last week, Media Lab director Joi Ito resigned after admitting that he had also taken Epstein’s money to fund his personal investments. Both Ito and Reif insist that they simply thought Epstein was a convicted sex offender and didn’t know he was a sex trafficker. Meanwhile, over on the MIT email listserv, computer scientist Richard Stallman is asking if maybe Epstein’s victims aren’t to blame for all this.

        • MIT scientist says Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre was ‘entirely willing’: report

          Stallman allegedly blasted the email out Thursday to a mailing list for MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, according to an MIT alumni who leaked the message, Selam Jie Gano.

          Stallman was apparently responding to an email alerting students of an anti-Epstein protest at MIT.

          The university has come under fire after Giuffre’s allegations and revelations its highly acclaimed Media Lab accepted donations from Epstein.

        • It’s time to talk about post-RMS Free Software

          Richard Stallman has once again managed to demonstrate incredible insensitivity[1]. There’s an argument that in a pure technical universe this is irrelevant and we should instead only consider what he does in free software[2], but free software isn’t a purely technical topic – the GNU Manifesto is nakedly political, and while free software may result in better technical outcomes it is fundamentally focused on individual freedom and will compromise on technical excellence if otherwise the result would be any compromise on those freedoms. And in a political movement, there is no way that we can ignore the behaviour and beliefs of that movement’s leader. Stallman is driving away our natural allies. It’s inappropriate for him to continue as the figurehead for free software.

        • Bison 3.4.2 released [stable]
          Bison 3.4.2 is a bug fix release of the 3.4 series.  It fixes a number of 
          hard-to-find bugs, mostly discovered by fuzzing. 
          In Bison 3.4 a particular focus was put on improving the diagnostics, which 
          are now colored by default, and accurate with multibyte input.  Their format 
          was also changed, and is now similar to GCC 9's diagnostics. 
          Users of the default backend (yacc.c) can use the new %define variable 
          api.header.include to avoid duplicating the content of the generated header 
          in the generated parser.  There are two new examples installed, including a 
          reentrant calculator which supports recursive calls to the parser and 
          Flex-generated scanner. 
          See below for more details. 
          ================================================================== 
          Bison is a general-purpose parser generator that converts an annotated 
          context-free grammar into a deterministic LR or generalized LR (GLR) parser 
          employing LALR(1) parser tables.  Bison can also generate IELR(1) or 
          canonical LR(1) parser tables.  Once you are proficient with Bison, you can 
          use it to develop a wide range of language parsers, from those used in 
          simple desk calculators to complex programming languages. 
          Bison is upward compatible with Yacc: all properly-written Yacc grammars 
          work with Bison with no change.  Anyone familiar with Yacc should be able to 
          use Bison with little trouble.  You need to be fluent in C, C++ or Java 
          programming in order to use Bison. 
          Here is the GNU Bison home page: 
          
          https://gnu.org/software/bison/
          
          ================================================================== 
          Here are the compressed sources: 
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.gz   (4.1MB) 
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.xz   (3.1MB) 
          Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]: 
          
          https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.gz.sig
          
          
          https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.xz.sig
          
          Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth: 
          
          https://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html
          
          [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the 
          .sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file 
          and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this: 
            gpg --verify bison-3.4.2.tar.gz.sig 
          If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, 
          then run this command to import it: 
            gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 0DDCAA3278D5264E 
          and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command. 
          This release was bootstrapped with the following tools: 
            Autoconf 2.69 
            Automake 1.16.1 
            Flex 2.6.4 
            Gettext 0.19.8.1 
            Gnulib v0.1-2844-g03add7eb9 
          ================================================================== 
          NEWS 
          * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4.2 (2019-09-08) [stable]
          
          ** Bug fixes
          
            In some cases, when warnings are disabled, bison could emit tons of white
            spaces as diagnostics.
          
            When running out of memory, bison could crash (found by fuzzing).
          
            When defining twice the EOF token, bison would crash.
          
            New warnings from recent compilers have been addressed in the generated
            parsers (yacc.c, glr.c, glr.cc).
          
            When lone carriage-return characters appeared in the input file,
            diagnostics could hang forever.
          
          * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4.1 (2019-05-22) [stable]
          
          ** Bug fixes
          
            Portability fixes.
          
          * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4 (2019-05-19) [stable]
          
          ** Deprecated features
          
            The %pure-parser directive is deprecated in favor of '%define api.pure'
            since Bison 2.3b (2008-05-27), but no warning was issued; there is one
            now.  Note that since Bison 2.7 you are strongly encouraged to use
            '%define api.pure full' instead of '%define api.pure'.
          
          ** New features
          
          *** Colored diagnostics
          
            As an experimental feature, diagnostics are now colored, controlled by the
            new options --color and --style.
          
            To use them, install the libtextstyle library before configuring Bison.
            It is available from
          
          https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/
          
            for instance
          
          https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/libtextstyle-0.8.tar.gz
          
            The option --color supports the following arguments:
              - always, yes: Enable colors.
              - never, no: Disable colors.
              - auto, tty (default): Enable colors if the output device is a tty.
          
            To customize the styles, create a CSS file similar to
          
              /* bison-bw.css */
              .warning   { }
              .error     { font-weight: 800; text-decoration: underline; }
              .note      { }
          
            then invoke bison with --style=bison-bw.css, or set the BISON_STYLE
            environment variable to "bison-bw.css".
          
          *** Disabling output
          
            When given -fsyntax-only, the diagnostics are reported, but no output is
            generated.
          
            The name of this option is somewhat misleading as bison does more than
            just checking the syntax: every stage is run (including checking for
            conflicts for instance), except the generation of the output files.
          
          *** Include the generated header (yacc.c)
          
            Before, when --defines is used, bison generated a header, and pasted an
            exact copy of it into the generated parser implementation file.  If the
            header name is not "y.tab.h", it is now #included instead of being
            duplicated.
          
            To use an '#include' even if the header name is "y.tab.h" (which is what
            happens with --yacc, or when using the Autotools' ylwrap), define
            api.header.include to the exact argument to pass to #include.  For
            instance:
          
              %define api.header.include {"parse.h"}
          
            or
          
              %define api.header.include {<parser/parse.h>}
          
          *** api.location.type is now supported in C (yacc.c, glr.c)
          
            The %define variable api.location.type defines the name of the type to use
            for locations.  When defined, Bison no longer defines YYLTYPE.
          
            This can be used in programs with several parsers to factor their
            definition of locations: let one of them generate them, and the others
            just use them.
          
          ** Changes
          
          *** Graphviz output
          
            In conformance with the recommendations of the Graphviz team, if %require
            "3.4" (or better) is specified, the option --graph generates a *.gv file
            by default, instead of *.dot.
          
          *** Diagnostics overhaul
          
            Column numbers were wrong with multibyte characters, which would also
            result in skewed diagnostics with carets.  Beside, because we were
            indenting the quoted source with a single space, lines with tab characters
            were incorrectly underlined.
          
            To address these issues, and to be clearer, Bison now issues diagnostics
            as GCC9 does.  For instance it used to display (there's a tab before the
            opening brace):
          
              foo.y:3.37-38: error: $2 of ‘expr’ has no declared type
               expr: expr '+' "number"        { $$ = $1 + $2; }
                                                   ^~
            It now reports
          
              foo.y:3.37-38: error: $2 of ‘expr’ has no declared type
                  3 | expr: expr '+' "number" { $$ = $1 + $2; }
                    |                                     ^~
          
            Other constructs now also have better locations, resulting in more precise
            diagnostics.
          
          *** Fix-it hints for %empty
          
            Running Bison with -Wempty-rules and --update will remove incorrect %empty
            annotations, and add the missing ones.
          
          *** Generated reports
          
            The format of the reports (parse.output) was improved for readability.
          
          *** Better support for --no-line.
          
            When --no-line is used, the generated files are now cleaner: no lines are
            generated instead of empty lines.  Together with using api.header.include,
            that should help people saving the generated files into version control
            systems get smaller diffs.
          
          ** Documentation
          
            A new example in C shows an simple infix calculator with a hand-written
            scanner (examples/c/calc).
          
            A new example in C shows a reentrant parser (capable of recursive calls)
            built with Flex and Bison (examples/c/reccalc).
          
            There is a new section about the history of Yaccs and Bison.
          
          ** Bug fixes
          
            A few obscure bugs were fixed, including the second oldest (known) bug in
            Bison: it was there when Bison was entered in the RCS version control
            system, in December 1987.  See the NEWS of Bison 3.3 for the previous
            oldest bug.
          
      • Public Services/Government

  • Leftovers

    • Farmers, chefs fight to save classic ingredients in Mexican cuisine

      She says her mission is to save the “saberes y sabores” — the knowledge and flavors — of traditional Mexican food.

      Climate change is just one of the threats facing the ingredients of Mexico’s renowned cuisine, which was named an essential part of the world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2010.

      [...]

      According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which launched a campaign last month to save Mexico’s classic ingredients, six out of every 10 chiles consumed in the country today come from Chinese seeds.

      But now some farmers and chefs are fighting back to save Mexico’s indigenous chiles, beans, tomatoes, gourds, maize and more.

    • Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in prison in admissions scandal, possible sign of what’s to come for others charged

      “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT scores in the college admissions scandal that ensnared dozens of wealthy and well-connected parents.

      Huffman, 56, became the first of 34 parents to be sentenced in the case. She was also given a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and a year of supervised release.

      Before sentencing, she tearfully described her daughter asking why Huffman didn’t trust her.

      “I can only say I am so sorry, Sophia,” Huffman said. “I was frightened. I was stupid, and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done. I have inflicted more damage than I could ever imagine. I now see all the things that led me down this road, but ultimately none of the reasons matter because at the end of the day I had a choice. I could have said no.”

    • Science

      • As Michigan schools ban cellphones, reports surface of ‘talking,’ ‘eye contact’

        Pew found that 95 percent of U.S. teens age 13 to 17 use a smartphone and 45 percent say they are online “almost constantly.” More than half said they spend too much time on their phones. Another survey found teens were on their phones nearly nine hours a day.

        Almost a fourth in the Pew survey said social media had a “mostly negative effect” on their lives.

        A third study, from the University of San Diego, concluded that students frequently on their cellphones were twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety as low-level users of cellphones.

        Some experts suspect that obsessive cellphone use may in fact be a physiological addiction, as the brain releases the chemical dopamine – part of the brain’s pleasure circuitry – with each digital notification.

      • I Won’t Buy My Teenagers Smartphones

        Now that my oldest is in ninth grade, it occurs to me that this decision not to buy him the one thing that every other kid has might be the most subversive, countercultural gesture of my entire life. I’m a total conformist. I follow the rules. I return my library books on time or pay the fine. My husband is a captain in the Navy—certainly not countercultural. As soon as the first baby came along, we bought a minivan. We’ve never been out there trying to make any bold statements. And yet, when it comes to allowing my teenagers access to smartphones, I am apparently a rebel. Is resisting this ubiquitous technology really worth it?

        For me, it is. I believe that a smartphone too accessible, given too early, and in the wrong hands is at best an addictive distraction and at worst a handheld siphon draining away children’s youth one beep, one swipe, one notification at a time.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • N.Y. Finds $1B in Hidden Transfers by Family Behind OxyContin

        The family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma used Swiss and other hidden accounts to transfer $1 billion to themselves, New York state’s attorney general contends in court papers filed Friday.

      • Medicaid’s Dark Secret

        She soon learned that the rumors held some truth. Medicaid, the government program that provides health care to more than 75 million low-income and disabled Americans, isn’t necessarily free. It’s the only major welfare program that can function like a loan. Medicaid recipients over the age of 55 are expected to repay the government for many medical expenses—and states will seize houses and other assets after those recipients die in order to satisfy the debt.

      • Thousands of Poor Patients Face Lawsuits From Nonprofit Hospitals That Trap Them in Debt

        Over the past few months, several hospitals have announced major changes to their financial assistance policies, including curtailing the number of lawsuits they file against low-income patients unable to pay their medical bills.

        Investigative reports have spurred the moves, and they prompted criticism from a top federal official.

      • After Being Sued, Mississippi Rewrites Its Unconstitutional Ban On The Use Of Meat Words By Vegan Food Producers

        Mississippi legislators — apparently guided by “threatened” cattle farmers — decided to rewrite its product-labeling laws. It enacted a statute forbidding producers of non-meat products from using meat-associated terms to describe their products. This unconstitutional requirement was put in place to supposedly reduce customer confusion, but the labels targeted made it clear their products — hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. — contained zero meat.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Pen-testing duo cuffed for breaking into courthouse that hired them

        Later, the County official discovered that the two men were in fact, hired by the state court administration to try to “access” court records through “various means” to find out potential security vulnerabilities of the electronic court records.

        The state court administration acknowledged that the two men had been hired, but said they were not supposed to physically break into the courthouse.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Library-Themed University Phishing Attack Expands to Massive Scale

        The domains are associated with a group of Iranian cyberattackers collectively known as Cobalt Dickens or Silent Librarian. As Threatpost recently reported in a post on the group’s attack tactics, the attackers are looking to use fake, library-themed landing pages to steal students’ credentials, then use those to steal and resell intellectual property, move laterally within organizations, conduct internal phishing and more.

        New details from Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) researchers this week show that in total, Cobalt Dickens is actively targeting at least 380 universities in more than 30 countries. Many universities have been targeted multiple times, the firm said.

      • Rwandans Charged With Murder of Exiled Critic

        South Africa’s National Prosecution Authority has issued arrest warrants for two Rwandans accused of murdering Rwandan critic Colonel Patrick Karegeya, who was found dead in his hotel room in Johannesburg on January 1, 2014.

      • Bangladesh: Internet Blackout on Rohingya Refugees

        New telecommunications and internet restrictions on Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh will disrupt critical humanitarian and emergency services.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • This game uses troll tactics to teach critical thinking

        Enter Finnish Public Broadcasting Company, Yle, which is hoping to harness the engagement power of gamification to accelerate awareness and understanding of troll tactics and help more people spot malicious internet fakes. It has put together an online game, called Troll Factory, that lets you play at being, well, a hateful troll. Literally.

        The game begins with a trigger warning that it uses “authentic social media content” that viewers may find disturbing. If you continue to play you’ll see examples of Islamophobic slogans and memes that have actually been spread on social media. So the trigger warning is definitely merited.

      • Photojournalist who snapped ‘Tank Man’ image dies aged 64

        A film roll of the image was smuggled out of China and the photo later appeared on the front pages of global newspapers. In China, however, the image remains highly taboo and any information about the crackdown is heavily suppressed.

      • Julian Assange to stay in prison over absconding fears

        Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange is to remain in prison when his jail term ends because of his “history of absconding”, a judge has ruled.

        He was due to be released on 22 September after serving his sentence for breaching bail conditions.

        But Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard there were “substantial grounds” for believing he would abscond again.

        The Australian, 48, is fighting extradition to the US over allegations of leaking government secrets.

      • The London Upper Tribunal rejects La Repubblica’s appeal on the Assange documents

        The press does not have the right to access the full set of documents on the Julian Assange case. That is what judge Edward Mitchell finally ruled in an appeal taken to the London Upper Tribunal by la Repubblica, after we have spent the last four years trying to access the full documentation to investigate the Assange case and factually reconstruct it.

        In an extremely technical judgement just made public and which the judge himself characterises as “unusually long”, Mitchell rejects our legal arguments and states that he believed public knowledge of Mr Assange’s case would not have increased if it was known that the CPS held information from the US State Department or Department of Justice. A rather incredible argument considering that the entire Assange case revolves around the role of the United States authorities, who want to get their hands on the WikiLeaks founder, extradite him to the US and jail him for life: establishing whether the British and US authorities discussed this possibility from the very beginning is crucial.

        Julian Assange is currently in the high-security prison in Belmarsh in London. He is in very precarious condition and in fact is still in Belmarsh’s health unit. Last July the UN Special Rapporteur on torture said he is “gravely concerned” about his situation. Assange is awaiting the extradition hearing, after US authorities indicted him for alleged violations of the US Espionage Act for the publication of secret US government documents. A crucial extradition hearing is supposed to be held in February 2020 in London. If the founder of WikiLeaks is extradited to the US, he risks 175 years in jail: it would be the first time in US history that a journalist has ended up in jail for his work.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Workers Need More Rights and Economic Democracy

        As someone who has been a union member since I was a Marine with the American Servicemen’s Union until I retired last year as a Teamster as well as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, I have lived the reality of mistreatment of workers in the United States.

      • The Intellectual Development of Karl Marx

        The first installment of Michael Heinrich’s three-volume biography of Karl Marx titled “Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society” is now available from Monthly Review Press. In keeping with MR’s long-time tradition as a movement rather than an academic press, the cloth edition is $34.95 and the eBook is only $19.95. Given the renewed attention to Karl Marx since the financial crisis of 2008, it will help us understand how his life and thought evolved. Heinrich is a consummate scholar of Marxism, best known until now for his 2012 “An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital”, also available from MR.

      • Spooked by Facebook’s Libra, euro zone to step up work on public cryptocurrency

        The 19-country bloc is also united in pursuing a tough regulatory approach should Libra seek authorizations to operate in Europe. It is also considering a common set of rules for virtual currencies, which are currently largely unregulated.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Super-Delegated and Relegated

        After reading a number of recent articles by Norman Solomon in which he seems to be chronically bristling under his democrat identity, his frustration with his party keeps reminding me why the democrats and republicans are both wastes of energy.

      • RCMP Attempt to Silence Critics of Trudeau Foreign Policy

        On Tuesday two RCMP agents came to my house. Two large men in suits asked for me and when my partner said I wasn’t there they asked who she was.

      • Hong Kong’s Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes get a protest makeover

        The tops often have intricate Chinese character designs detailing the brand or the filling inside.

        But Suen’s mooncakes have different kinds of messages printed on them such as “Hong Kong People”, “No withdrawal, no dispersal” and “Be Water”.

        All are chants heard on Hong Kong’s streets in the last three months, as huge crowds come out to protest eroding freedoms after two decades of rule by Beijing.

      • Of Course It’s an Impeachment Inquiry

        Let’s clear things up: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she’s “not answering any more questions about a possible inquiry, investigation, and the rest” because “there is nothing different from one day to the next.”

        But something new did happen on Thursday. The Judiciary Committee’s Democratic majority voted to open an “investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with regard to President Donald J. Trump.” In so doing, they established guidelines for pursuing an inquiry—with committee chair Jerry Nadler noting, correctly, that “Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms.”

      • Voters would back temporary government of national unity to avoid no deal, poll finds

        Voters would back the creation of a temporary government of national unity to avoid a no-deal Brexit, according to a new poll.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Danish News Round-Up: Facebook data centre opens ahead of schedule

        There was no red ribbon, but a big blue button, as Facebook’s new 400 million kroner data centre officially opened in Odense yesterday – several months ahead of schedule.

      • Microsoft is thrusting its hidden telemetry app at Windows 7 and 8.1 users again [iophk: noxious payloads piggybacked onto "security" updates]

        Microsoft is up to its old tricks again, sneaking in some cheeky telemetry software with an update.

        Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 have once again been greeted this month with a ‘security only’ update rollup which actually hides some telemetry spyware within, designed to allow Microsoft to keep tabs on your usage.

      • Drastic falls in cost are powering another computer revolution

        Up close, the result will be a steady stream of quotidian benefits. Some will arise from convenience. Microchipped clothes could tell washing machines how to treat them. Smart traffic systems will reduce waiting times at traffic lights and better distribute cars through a city. Some will be the sorts of productivity improvements that are the fundamental drivers of economic growth. Data from factory robots, for instance, will allow algorithms to predict when they will break down, and schedule maintenance to ensure that does not happen. Implanted sensors will spot early signs of illness in farm animals, and micromanage their feeding. Collectively, those benefits will add up to a more profound change: by gathering and processing vast quantities of data about itself, a computerised world will allow its inhabitants to quantify and analyse all manner of things that used to be intuitive and inexact.

        One way to understand the IoT says Martin Garner at CCS Insight, a firm of analysts, is by analogy with another world-changing innovation. Over the past century electricity has allowed consumers and businesses at least in the rich world, access to a fundamental, universally useful good—energy—when and where they needed it. The IoT aims to do for information what electricity did for energy.

      • ‘If I Happen to Fall out of a Window, You Can Be Sure I Was Pushed’

        Snowden: I hope not. But look, if I had wanted to live a safe life, I would still be sitting in Hawaii in paradise with the woman I love collecting a huge paycheck to do almost no work. But what makes a life? It’s not just who we think we are, it’s the choices we make. If I can’t return home to my country, I will at least know that I made it better. And no matter what happens, that’s something I can live with.

      • In ‘Permanent Record,’ Edward Snowden Says ‘Exile Is An Endless Layover’

        So what’s changed since Snowden’s revelations?

        The law, for one. In 2015, Congress passed the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which prohibits the bulk collection of the phone records of American citizens, addressing one of Snowden’s major complaints. Now the government must get a court warrant to look at individual phone records.

        Also, ordinary citizens have become much more aware of how governments and private companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google may collect personal data. This has, in turn, has led to the much wider use of encryption.

        “2016 was a landmark in tech history, the first year since the invention of the Internet that more Web traffic was encrypted than unencrypted,” writes Snowden.

      • Edward Snowden’s memoir reveals some (but not all)

        The press, he notes, mostly missed a story that was squatting right out in the open. Why else would the NSA build what was originally called the Massive Data Repository, a colossal data-storage facility in the Utah desert? He cites an unclassified presentation given by Ira Hunt, then the chief technologist at the CIA, in which he blithely told a crowd of conference attendees and journalists that “it is nearly within our grasp to compute on all human-generated information”, and that the spooks could eavesdrop on every one of their communications and track their smartphones even when they were switched off. Appalled by the power and intrusiveness of a mass-surveillance system that had been developed without public consent, Mr Snowden says, he began organising one of the largest leaks in the history of American spying.

        This is Mr Snowden’s account of an episode that still provokes powerful emotions. He says mass surveillance directly contradicts both the spirit and letter of America’s constitution, which is designed to protect its citizens from an over-mighty government. His former employers decry him as a traitor. Western officials have alleged that China and Russia have managed to decrypt some of the cache of documents he took, something that, on Mr Snowden’s telling, should be impossible. For now at least, the truth remains unknowable.

      • Australia is considering mimicking the UK’s failed porn block policy

        According to the report, the committee intends not only to examine how age verification works on gambling sites, but also to look specifically at the UK version from the Digital Economy Act 2017.

        They’ll have to make do with looking at the Act, because the actual policy hasn’t been enacted yet, already missing two deadlines and last seen with the promise of a revised roll out before 2020. Our bet is closer to “the 1st of Never”, but trust whichever source you prefer.

      • Denmark Releases 32 Prisoners Convicted Because Of Flawed Mobile Phone Tracking Data

        A few weeks ago, Techdirt wrote about Denmark reviewing 10,000 court verdicts because of errors in mobile phone tracking data that was offered as evidence in those cases. At that time, it wasn’t clear how many of the group were affected by the unreliable data. However, the Guardian reports that 32 people have already been freed. Given the large number of cases involved, it seems unlikely that many have been reviewed in such a short space of time. If that’s the case, it is possible that quite a few more verdicts will be overturned, and more people released. Companies providing mobile phone services in Denmark are naturally keen to distance themselves from this mess. Jakob Willer, speaking on behalf of the country’s telecoms industry association, said it was not their job to provide evidence:

      • Google’s smart home ecosystem is a complete mess

        A few days ago, I tried and failed to install Google’s smart smoke detector — the Nest Protect — at the CNET Smart Home. After nearly two hours on the phone with the help desk, the Nest App and device still refused to connect. Why? Well, I finally discovered, a problem on the iOS version of the Nest App won’t allow a Nest Protect to be installed after a Nest Hub Max, Google’s shiny new smart display. Eventually, following a suggestion from Google, I had to dig up an old Android-based Galaxy Note 6 to properly install the smoke detector.

        If Google’s own smart home products act like embarrassed step-siblings, many erstwhile Works with Nest gadgets seem like they won’t even visit for the holidays anymore. And it’s not their fault: It turns out Google is a terrible parent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

        • Amazon-owned Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for part-time workers

          Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, and the grocery chain currently employs roughly 95,000 people. Amazon, on the other hand, is worth nearly $910 billion, making it the third most valuable company on the planet behind Apple and Microsoft, both of which passed trillion-dollar market valuations over the past 12 months.

          Despite running only the third most valuable company, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person, with a net worth north of $115 billion, thanks to the sheer volume of Amazon shares he owns as the company’s sole CEO since its creation in 1994.

        • The 2 Instagram influencers detained in Iran are held in a prison where people are reportedly threatened with dismemberment, forced to eat dirt, and sleep on cockroach-infested floors

          Jolie King and Mark Firkin are being held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, The Times of London, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Persian-language Manoto TV reported. Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to confirm the location.

        • Michigan has a smart idea for fixing gerrymandering. Conservatives want to crush it.

          Political operatives are much more likely to seek deadlock and push the issues to Michigan courts, where Republicans have a majority on the state Supreme Court. Indeed, conservative law professor and former 10th Circuit judge Michael McConnell recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court arguing that the patronage cases do not apply to judges because judges are policymakers. McConnell is trying to get the Court to reinstate a rule requiring partisan balance on Delaware’s courts, which are appointed by the governor and approved by the state senate. The same reasoning applies to Michigan’s commission; the commissioners are policymakers and the state can decide to achieve balance and exclude party insiders.

        • Edward Snowden Tells NPR: The Executive Branch ‘Sort Of Hacked The Constitution’

          “No one becomes a whistleblower because they want to,” he said. “No one becomes a whistleblower because it has a happy ending.”

          Snowden warned that wide-scale data collection continues. He recalled the moment the light clicked: He was in a Best Buy, looking at “smart” refrigerators and stoves, when it dawned on him that the manufacturers, not the purchasers and owners, were the ones ultimately in control.

          “Where this data that your refrigerator was collecting, that your phone was collecting, that the government was collecting — where all of this data was going was intentionally hidden from us,” he said. “We are no longer partner to our technology, in large part, just as we are increasingly, unfortunately, no longer partner to our government, so much as subject to them. And this is a dangerous trend.”

        • Joie-de-Job: Staying High, at Work

          On listening to Alabama Shakes frontwoman and three-time Grammy winner Brittany Howard’s “Stay High,” an early release from her debut solo album Jamie due out next Friday, I thought of Matsuo Bansho’s sixteenth-century haiku: “Beginning of all art / a song when planting a rice field / in the country’s inmost part.” Perhaps implied in those three lines is the fulfillment of work done not just in the natural world, but in harmony with it. Bansho’s voice calls from a vanished time before our separation from that world.

        • Hempress Sativa: “Rastafari Should be Protected”

          Hempress Sativa is one of the most dynamic and talented performers – male or woman – in reggae music today. Currently at work on her sophomore album following her extremely impressive debut “Unconquerebel” – and its dub version with legendary sound engineer Scientist (“Scientist Meets Hempress Sativa in Dub”) – Hempress Sativa is a spiritual, powerful, deeply conscious Rastafari singer. Born into a musical family, she grew up surrounded and nurtured by some of the biggest names in Jamaican music.

        • As Students From China Flock to University of Illinois, Lawsuit Alleges Ex-Professor Targeted Female Chinese Students

          This week, my NPR Illinois and ProPublica colleagues reported on a lawsuit filed by two former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and a professor at another college against former Illinois professor Gary Gang Xu, alleging he assaulted, bullied and raped multiple students — and specifically targeted female Chinese students.

          During the past decade, the flagship campus at Urbana-Champaign has become a destination for students from China and has enrolled more Chinese undergraduates during some years than any university in the U.S. There are 569 freshmen from China this year, about 7.4% of the class, according to university data released this week. Overall, there are 5,825 U. of I. students from China, including more than 3,000 undergraduates.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Comcast Sues Maine For Demanding It Sell TV Channels À La Carte

        Over the last few years, telecom giants have increasingly been trying to claim that pretty much any effort to hold them accountable for their terrible service (or anything else) is a violation of their First Amendment rights. Historically that hasn’t gone so well. For example, courts generally laughed off ISP lawyer claims that net neutrality violated their free speech rights, quite correctly highlighting that ISPs are simply conduits to information, not acting as editors of available speech through their blocking or filtering of available information.

      • Disney’s Bob Iger Resigns From Apple’s Board as Companies Launch Competing Streaming Services

        But while the two companies had long been intertwined at the helm, plans to launch competing streaming services were increasingly putting Apple and Disney at odds. Disney is set to launch its Disney Plus service on November 12, whereas Apple TV Plus will launch on November 1.

        As the two companies enter the global streaming market, they aren’t just competing for consumer dollars, but also for programming rights. By some reports, Apple has allocated as much as $6 billion for Apple TV Plus content.

      • MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

        Even with MoviePass’ evident demise, the service has spurred theater chains including AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark to launch their own rival subscription plans. Last month, AMC said its Stubs A-List program, which lets subscribers see three movies weekly for $19.95 a month, had hit 900,000 subscribers.

      • MoviePass is shutting down September 14th

        According to Helios and Matheson, MoviePass was too far gone to save. “On September 13, 2019, MoviePass notified its subscribers that it would be interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective September 14, 2019, because its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” reads the release.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Curver v. Home Expressions Advances Design Patent Law

          In today’s Curver v. Home Expressions decision, the Federal Circuit resolved several outstanding questions regarding design patents. In particular, the Federal Circuit rejected the notion that a design can be claimed, untethered from a specific article of manufacture to which it is applied. It also rejected the notion that the verbal portion of a design patent—the title and the claim, in particular—are irrelevant to analyzing the scope of the right.

          Citing work from Prof. Sarah Burstein, one of the foremost scholars of design patents, the opinion stated that a design per se, untethered from any specific article, would create difficulties for the public in identifying the scope of what the design patent protects, as well as for the Patent Office in creating a reasonable scope within which to search for prior art. Again citing Prof. Burstein, the court also noted that a rule that ignores the title and claim language of a design patent makes those components meaningless—surplusage that “would provide no useful information at all.”

        • Looney Coons meets resistance to ill-conceived STRONGER Patents bill that would increase patent troll litigation, harm high-tech innovators

          Over at IPWatchdog they have a summary of this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (video recording) on the STRONGER Patents Act, a bill primarily (but not exclusively) put forward and promoted by Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.). They place a little more emphasis on quotes from those supporting the bill, but they do acknowledge a “sharp split on injunctive relief, IPR [PTAB inter partes reviews] fixes.”

          The bill’s name stands for “Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience,” but there’s nothing positive to say about its content other than recognizing the creativity that went into the derivation of this marketing-friendly acronym and the fact that there is widespread consensus one should end USPTO fee diversion. While the tertiary item on “assisting small businesses in the U.S. patent system” sounds good, it’s useless and amounts to diversionary tactics.

          Like many–if not most–legislative proposals, “STRONGER” is a misnomer, and those opposing the pillars of that reactionary and harmful proposal stressed that stronger enforceability of patents doesn’t mean a stronger innovation economy. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation accurately stated, that bill “would make bad patents stronger than ever.” In a Washington Examiner op-ed, the R Street Institute’s Charles Duan proposes that “Congress should look for solutions that enhance not the strength of patents, but the strength of patent correctness.”

        • State Rights; Sovereign Immunity; and the Patent System

          UMN sued LSI and Ericsson for infringing several of its semiconductor related patents. U.S. Patents 5,859,601, 7,251,768, RE45,230, 8,588,317, 8,718,185, and 8,774,309. Those two companies then petitioned the USPTO for inter partes review (IPR) of the asserted claims. The PTAB then dismissed the proceedings – holding that 11th Amendment sovereign immunity applied to IPR proceedings. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit reversed – holding that sovereign immunity does not protect state-owned patents from being cancelled by the PTAB.

          A key Supreme Court precedent on-point is Fed. Mar. Comm’n v. S.C. State Ports Auth., 535 U.S. 743 (2002) (FMC) (presumptive state immunity even in administrative adjudications). Here a major difference is that we have property-rights at stake that create special in rem jurisdiction potential and that UMN has already attacked the IPR petitioners by suing them for infringement, creating potential waiver.

        • Japanese courts slow to adopt information technologies

          It has been pointed out that Japan is behind Singapore, China, South Korea and other countries in the adoption of IT for proceedings. In Japan, there is a saying “Knocking on a strong stone bridge before crossing it”. It means to be excessively cautious. Today’s Japan seems not to be able to cross the bridge before everyone else cross it.

          My concern is that Japan may be not able to change its current situation until it recognize the fact that Japan is behind other countries, especially China and Korea. I’m afraid that innovative people around the world will not want to partner with a country or companies that have such a mindset.

        • Article 3(a) just keeps on giving: AG Opinion in SPC referrals C-650/17 and C-114/18

          The Advocate General (AG) has issued his opinion in SPC Referrals C-650/17 (Royalty Pharma) and C‑114/18 (Sandoz). Both referrals seek clarification over whether an SPC may be granted to a specific, individualised, embodiment of the product claimed by the basic patent. The referrals particularly relate to the correct interpretation of Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 469/2009). Article 3(a) states that an SPC shall be granted for a product “protected by a basic patent in force”. C-650/17 asks how Article 3(a) should be applied to functional claims, and C‑114/18 asks how Article 3(a) should be applied to claims specifying a Markush formula. In his opinion, the AG is clear that Article 3(a) should be interpreted for these types of claims according to the test provided in the CJEU decision C-121/17 (Teva).

      • Trademarks

        • Liverpool FC Fans Plan Protest Of Their Own Club Over Trademark Issue

          It was only a few weeks back that we were discussing Liverpool FC, a soccer team playing in the UK Premier League, attempting to get a trademark for “Liverpool”, the city in which it plays. While the club has made a point of reminding the public that its application is quite narrow, limited specifically to products and services revolving around soccer, that same public has pointed out there are both other indpendent soccer clubs in the city that would technically be infringing on that applied-for mark and that there is a culture of independent retailers selling fan gear that would get caught up in this as well. Liverpool FC, meanwhile, maintains that it wouldn’t go after either group, but instead are interested only in protecting its fans from mass-makers of counterfeit apparel and the like.

        • Tempting to trade mark the Olympics: Beware of reputation

          With several attempts to trade mark the name of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, Dutch-based Tempting Brands is on track to clash with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

          [...]

          In April every year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the IP community celebrate ‘World Intellectual Property Day. This year’s theme was ‘Reach for Gold: IP and Sports’. The Director-General of WIPO, Dr Francis Gurry, emphasised that “Intellectual property rights underlie and empower the financial model of all sporting events worldwide.” As any observant Kat will know there is no better example of this than the Olympic Games.

          The Olympic Games remains one of the most well-known sporting events in the world, which alternate every two years with the Summer games set for Tokyo in 2020 and the Winter games in Beijing in 2022. In order to protect its brand and reputation, the IOC relies on the Nairobi Treaty, as well as national legislation (in Australia: Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987), to protect its Olympic marks and insignia.

      • Copyrights

        • Rojadirecta Puts Up Defense But Can’t Escape ISP Blockade

          A Danish court has ordered Internet provider Telenor to block access to the famous sports streaming site Rojadirecta. The order was requested by local anti-piracy group RettighedsAlliancen and Spanish football league La Liga. Rojadirecta, which filed its objections on paper without success, has yet to decide whether it will appeal.

        • Brazzers Wants Cloudflare to Identify YesPornPlease Uploaders

          MG Premium, a company operated by adult giant Mindgeek, is attempting to find out who is pirating its Brazzers-branded content. In a DMCA subpoena application filed in Washington, the company wants Cloudflare to reveal who is behind thousands of ‘pirate’ uploads on YesPornPlease.com – one of the world’s largest porn sites – in some cases dating back to 2016.

        • Loot Boxes Should Be Regulated as Gambling, UK Parliament Says

          The saga of loot boxes continues. This time, it’s Parliament weighing in, with the UK’s governing body releasing a report from its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on the issue of loot boxes in games and how they should be handled by regulatory bodies.

          The big takeaway? As many people have insisted for a while now, the report suggests that loot boxes—wherein you spend real money for the chance to get a thing you want—are gambling. And, specifically, as Rock Paper Shotgun explains, this committee thinks they should be regulated under UK gambling law since they are “games of chance played for money’s worth.” If this regulation happens, it could have pretty big ripples. We’ll be following this one.

09.13.19

Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 11:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Huawei Opts for Linux on Its Laptops

        Huawei created its own operating system called HarmonyOS to potentially replace Android on smarpthones, but for laptops, the Chinese company is opting for Linux.

        As TechRepublic reports, Huawei continues to face trade restrictions with the US, meaning it needs to rethink the software shipping on its devices. For phones, that means HarmonyOS instead of Android if necessary. Now that same thinking is being applied to laptops because Windows 10 is developed by Microsoft, a US company.

        Huawei’s Windows-alternative is a rather obvious one and it looks to be already using it. Three listings have appeared in China for the MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro, all of which run Deepin Linux. And as there’s no Windows license to pay, the laptops are priced between $42-$84 cheaper depending on which model is chosen.

      • Huawei is selling Linux laptops in China

        Huawei is selling Linux laptops in China

        09/13/2019 at 8:40 AM by Brad Linder 4 Comments

        Huawei’s laptops have made a bit of a splash in recent years thanks to a combination of strong performance, design, and build quality.

        But Huawei is a relative newcomer to the personal computer space, having introduced its first tablet in 2016 and its first laptop just a year later.

        So with the company still dealing with the fallout of US trade policy generally as well as those targeted specifically at Huawei, it’s unsurprising to see Huawei looking for alternatives to US-based software. Huawei’s Harmony OS is coming to smart TVs and other devices (possibly including phones). And it looks like Huawei is already selling laptops with Linux software in China. There’s no word on whether the company plans to use Linux rather than Windows in other markets.

      • Huawei Is Selling Laptops Running Linux In China

        Specifically, these laptops are the Huawei MateBook X Pro, MateBook 13 and MateBook 14. They run Deepin Linux, which some would argue as the better looking versions of the operating system. This particular distribution of Linux also recently added a cloud sync feature. This lets you save various system settings to the cloud, which can be useful if you foresee reinstalling your OS often.

      • HUAWEI MATEBOOK LINUX (DEEPIN) VERSION DEMONSTRATED

        Huawei has a laptop series called MateBook. In this line, the company has released a number of outstanding models designed for all categories of customers. And if taking into account that Honor belongs to Huawei as well, we can say there are notebooks packed with both Intel and AMD chips. But still, something is missing. Earlier today, the company announced the new Huawei MateBook Linux version. It turns out Huawei and Deepin Linux have already carried out ‘long-term adaptation work’.

        [...]

        Though Huawei didn’t disclose much and didn’t talk about the goals of designing this laptop, we think it’s mainly related to the US list of entities. After all, both hardware and software are subject to the other party’s constraints. Huawei needs to prepare alternative solutions. Although Huawei has developed its own system, a more mature Linux system is also a good choice. Agree, in this sense, Deepin Linux is a good choice. It is quite possible for Huawei to cooperate with one of the most mature Linux distributions.

      • Huawei starts selling Matebook laptop models running Linux via VMall in China

        Apart from the smartphone business, one of Huawei‘s stronghold is its laptop business. Huawei manufactures some of the best laptops worldwide, in terms of design and even the configuration (hardware and software). Until now, Huawei laptops run Microsoft Windows but the recent US trade ban is threatening to shut down the laptop business. Well. that isn’t going to happen as Huawei has started selling its latest Matebook models running Deepin Linux.

        [...]

        The Chinese tech giant had also hinted that it would launch laptops running its self-developed HarmonyOS in the future. But for now, Deepin Linux comes to the rescue and we believe the company must have worked on the software to ensure that the desktop and other aspects like battery are optimised.

      • Huawei sells Matebooks with Linux

        Huawei is now flogging the Matebook 13, Matebook 14, and Matebook X Pro in China with Deepin Linux preinstalled.

        For those not in the know, Deepin is a Chinese-domestic distribution, with their own desktop environment. It is possible that Huawei may lose the ability to purchase Windows licenses from Microsoft due to their placement on the “entity list,” restricting companies dealing in U.S.-origin technology from conducting business with Huawei, constituting an effective blacklisting by the US government. While it might take pressure of Huawei if the US trade war gets even uglier, Huawei is passing along the savings to consumers.

        The Matebook 13 and 14 models get a 300 yuan ($42) price cut, though the Linux version of the MateBook X Pro is listed at 600 yuan ($84) higher.

      • Huawei Linux Laptops Running Deepin Linux Now Available

        Three brand new Huawei Linux Laptops running Deepin have been released by the Chinese tech giant. Deepin is a Linux distro developed in China.

        The Chinese association with Deepin is a little unsettling for some users. But the source code of this Linux distro is open for everyone to go through, so there are no serious issues there.

    • Server

      • The Next SUSE CaaS Platform is Here!

        The SUSE CaaS Platform team is excited to announce the availability of our new version 4 – a container management solution that is easier to deploy and manage at scale, richer than ever in security and control, and ready with the latest innovations!

      • SUSE Bolsters Security, Advanced Networking in SUSE CaaS Platform 4

        SUSE has revamped its SUSE CaaS Platform with a wide range of updates, including advanced networking for Kubernetes that will make it easier to configure networking with the platform, and has also bolstered its SUSE Cloud Application Platform with refinements such as improved user interface features.

        The biggest improvement to SUSE Container as a Service (CaaS) Platform 4, which is built for application developers, DevOps teams and Kubernetes container platform operators, is the new advanced networking for Kubernetes which is being brought in via the Cilium open source project, according to SUSE. Cilium works to transparently secure network connectivity between application services deployed using Linux container management platforms like Docker and Kubernetes.

      • IBM

        • IBM Storage syncs new DS8900F array to z15 mainframe launch

          Endpoint security is another new capability that IBM is adding with its Z, LinuxOne and DS8900F systems. Herzog described the new functionality as a “custom handshake” to ensure that the array and the Z system know they’re talking to each other, rather than any spoofed system.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel Lockdown Feature Will Try To Land For Linux 5.4

        After going through 40+ rounds of revisions and review, the Linux kernel “LOCKDOWN” feature might finally make it into the Linux 5.4 mainline kernel.

        While not yet acted upon by Linus Torvalds with the Linux 5.4 merge window not opening until next week, James Morris has submitted a pull request introducing the kernel lockdown mode for Linux 5.4.

      • Linux 5.4 Pull Requests Begin With AMD EPYC Rome EDAC Support, 64-Bit ARM Updates

        Linux 5.3 isn’t being released until this weekend after being delayed by one week, but already there have been a few early pull requests submitted for the to-be-opened Linux 5.4 merge window.

        The early Linux 5.4 material submitted so far includes:

        ARM64 updates come in with a growing number of contributors to this 64-bit ARM architecture code. This time around there is support for 52-bit virtual addressing, early random number generator (RNG) seeding by the bootloader, improved robustness of SMP booting, support for the NXP i.MX8 DDR PMU, and various other fixes and improvements.

      • Linux 5.4 Bringing Support For Lenovo’s “PrivacyGuard” On Newer ThinkPads

        Newer high-end Lenovo ThinkPad laptops feature an option called “PrivacyGuard” for restricting the usable vertical and horizontal viewing angles of the LCD display, similar to what has been achievable previously using film covers and the like. With Linux 5.4 this feature will be supported by the kernel if concerned about others looking over your shoulders at your screen, etc.

        Lenovo PrivacyGuard allows restricting the usable vertical/horizontal angles of the laptop’s LCD panel so that ideally no one else but the user can view the screen contents. Unlike film covers or other practices, PrivacyGuard can be easily enabled/disabled depending upon your location. PrivacyGuard hasn’t worked under Linux up to this point but is coming now with Linux 5.4.

      • Support Is Being Worked On For Root File-System Support Over SMB Protocol

        More details on this work can be found via this patch series including the first patch with more documentation on this support for root file-systems via Samba shares.

        These patches aren’t in the current CIFS for-next branch so it doesn’t look like this functionality will be making it for Linux 5.4.

      • Intel

        • Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux To Help With Performance

          Going on for months had been work by Intel Linux developers on supporting the FSGSBASE instruction for helping Intel CPU performance going back to Ivybridge where this instruction set extension was first introduced. The FSGSBASE support was queued for the Linux 5.3 kernel but was reverted due to “serious bugs” in the implementation. Intel has now published a revised version of this support.

        • Intel’s H.265 Encoder SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 Released With Optimizations & More

          While not quite as exciting as the big performance boost found with SVT-VP9 for AVX2 CPUs a few days ago, Intel’s Scalable Video Technology team has released SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 as their newest feature release to this open-source H.265/HEVC video encoder.

          SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 now allows setting an arbitrary thread count for the program, there is a new tile group for better tile parallelism to help with performance, support for building both shared and static libraries, fixed motion vector out-of-bounds issues, and other fixes resolved.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Sandy Bridge Core i7 3960X Benchmarked Against Today’s Six-Core / 12 Thread AMD/Intel CPUs

        Complementing our recent AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Linux benchmarking, with recently having out the Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition, here are benchmarks showing that previous $999 USD six-core / twelve-thread processor compared to today’s Ryzen 5 3600X (and previous-generation Ryzen 5 2600X) as well as the Core i7 8700K.

        As some Friday benchmarking fun, this article offers a fresh look at how the once high-end Core i7 3960X compared to today’s AMD Ryzen 5 processors at six-cores / twelve-threads and also having in the similarly core/thread count Core i7 8700K.

        Besides the Core i7 3960X having cost a great deal more ($999~1059 USD compared to the Ryzen 5 3600X at $250 USD), the i7-3960X has a 130 Watt TDP compared to the Zen 2 mid-range processor at 95 Watts. The i7-3960X carries a 3.3GHz base clock with 3.9GHz turbo frequency compared to the 3600X at 3.8GHz and boosting up to 4.4GHz.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 4.16 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - More reliable mouse grabbing in games.
          - Better cross-compilation support in WineGCC.
          - Improved compatibility with Windows debuggers.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        
      • Wine 4.16 is out with ‘more reliable mouse grabbing in games’

        The Wine team have opened up another bottle of the good stuff this evening, with the Wine 4.16 development release now available.

      • Wine 4.16 Bringing Better Compatibility With Windows Debuggers

        Wine 4.16 is out as the newest bi-weekly development snapshot leading up to the Wine 5.0 release in just a few more months.

        Wine 4.16 brings more reliable mouse grabbing for Windows games, better cross-compilation support with WineGCC, and improved compatibility with Windows debuggers.

    • Games

      • Gaming: Puzzle Agent

        Two lovely but short puzzle games: Puzzle Agent and Puzzle Agent II, follow agent Nelson Tethers in his quest to solve an obscure case in Scoggins, Minnesota: The erasers factory delivering to the White House stopped production – a dangerous situation for the US and the world. Tethers embarks on a wild journey.

      • Just some of the games coming to Linux in 2019, the September edition

        It’s been quite a while since we had a listicle of interesting games gearing up for release on Linux in 2019, let’s take a fresh look today.

        There’s a huge amount coming and this list is by no means exhaustive (that would be impossible), plenty still to even be announced yet that I know of. This is just a nice and simple reminder on a few interesting titles you may have forgotten about or perhaps you might find something new.

      • Steam Play Proton 4.11-4 has been release into the wild

        Get ready for another weekend full of testing games, as Valve and CodeWeavers have put out a fresh official build of Steam Play Proton for your pleasure.

      • Proton 4.11-4 Released With Updated DXVK, Improved PS4 Controller Handling

        In time for any weekend gaming, Valve’s team maintaining their Proton downstream of Wine for powering Steam Play to run Windows games on Linux has issued their v4.11-4 update.

        Proton 4.11-4 is another update to their Wine 4.11 derived branch. With Proton 4.11-4 comes integrated the new DXVK 1.3.4, D9VK 0.21-rc-p, and FAudio 19.09 as some prominent component updates.

      • Dota Underlords to get 2 actually playable Underlords, the Duos team mode and more next month

        Valve have teased what they’re calling ‘The Big Update’ to release in early October, with the final release due not long after that for the first official season.

        The news comes from the first of two smaller updates released over the last few days, all update notes can be seen here. What Valve said they will be doing is adding in 2 playable Underlords, the Duos team mode, 6 new Heroes, 3 new Alliances and an updated user interface. That will come sometime in the first part of October, with the “final stop” (the 1.0 release) to come shortly after with 2 more Underlords, the proper Battle Pass, the City Crawl and the start of the first season.

      • Unknown Worlds are dumping the Linux version of Natural Selection 2

        Some sad news to share this Friday evening, as Unknown Worlds Entertainment have announced they’re calling it a day for the Linux version of Natural Selection 2.

        Posted in an official announcement on the NS2 website, they claim they’re doing this as a result of it apparently being “more difficult to support and develop for the platform natively” including issues like not finding enough users with QA experience to help.

        Unlike what happened with Rust, they’re not offering refunds to previous buyers. They say to claim a refund from Valve if you purchased it in the last “30″ days which isn’t even right, it’s two weeks (and under two hours) on Valve’s refund option. They will, however, continue their Linux server.

      • Story-driven tactical RPG with time manipulation mechanics ‘Iron Danger’ should come to Linux

        Here’s some fun news, Iron Danger from Action Squad Studios sounds interesting and it’s trying to set itself apart from the many turn-based tactical RPGs out there.

        With the fate of the entire world apparently in your hands you will deal with cosmic magic, monsters and colossal war machines in an attempt to save it. I like games that combine elements from different time periods, so you’re dealing with both magic and machine here. You take on the role of Kipuna, a “simple village girl” who ends up gaining power over time itself and this is used during combat.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Akademy Report

          “Who are you people?”

          That’s what the woman selling the ferry tickets at Varenna asked me once she realized I speaked Italian. She was definitely not used to a group of ~80 people wearing a blue badge. Another woman who was selling stuff on the street asked me if we were a school.

          It’s been an amazing week and a very productive Akademy. A lot has been discussed and a lot has been decided. On my side, I’ve hosted a Dolphin BoF where we discussed both boring things (e.g. where to send bugzilla notification mails) as well as the awesome new features we are getting into Dolphin. Alexander talked about the status of the KIO Fuse project, while Méven talked about his work on the kioslave for the recently used files.

        • Akademy 2019 Wednesday and Thursday BoF Wrapup

          Wednesday continued the Akademy BoFs, group sessions and hacking in the morning followed by the daytrip in the afternoon to Lake Como, to have some fun, get away from laptops and get to know each other better. Thursday was back to BoFs, meetings and hacking culminating in a wrapup session at the end covering the last two days so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34 ‘Thessaloniki’ Linux desktop environment is finally here

          There are many Linux desktop environments from which to choose — some are good, others are bad, but only one can be best — GNOME. Whether you choose Ubuntu, Fedora, Manjaro, or some other different Linux distribution, GNOME will provide you with a superior user experience. Not only is it ideal for productivity, but GNOME is quite pretty too. And yes, there are plenty of customization options. Not to mention, the excellent stock GNOME apps create a very cohesive experience overall.

          Today, GNOME 3.34 is finally released. Code-named “Thessaloniki,” the newest version of the desktop environment is chock full of new features, bug fixes, visual improvements, and updated apps. One of the most apparent changes to users will be the ability to group icons into folders within the application overview — very cool.

        • GNOME 3.34 releases with tab pinning, improved background panel, custom folders and more!

          Yesterday, GNOME 3.34 was released as the latest version of GNOME, the open-source desktop environment for Unix-like operating systems GNOME 3.34 comes 6 months after the release of GNOME 3.32, with features such as custom folders, tab pinning, improved background panel, Boxes, and much more. This release also offers support for more than 34 languages with at least 80 percent of strings translated.

          [...]

          Music can now watch tracked sources including the Music folder in the Home directory for new or changed files and will now get updated automatically. This release features gapless playback and comes with an updated layout where the album, artist and playlist views have now been updated with a better layout.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Archman Linux: Pure Arch With Extra Flair

          The distro’s origin is Turkey. That by itself is not an issue, but the reach of the Archman community’s language localization seems a bit short.

          In numerous documentation and website displays, the use of English is a bit awkward. The flawed English does not seem to be a factor within the operating system itself though. Still, if you are struggling to deal with Arch idiosyncrasies, side-stepping some of the phraseology can add to the frustration.

          Distros based on Arch Linux usually are not a good starting choice for newcomers to the Linux operating system. Users need a better handle on how Linux works to use Arch-based distros successfully. Considerable background reading is necessary for things to make sense with minimal frustration.

          Arch Linux distros in general are not ideal operating systems for users with little Linux experience. Developers of distros such as Archman Linux are trying to change that reputation. Archman Linux can be a good second OS to use as a tool for learning more about how Linux works.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • MariaDB 10.4 + PHP 7.4 Slated For Fedora 32

          This shouldn’t come as much surprise, but the upcoming Fedora 32 will offer the latest “L.A.M.P.” stack components.

          The proposal has already been volleyed for including PHP 7.4 in Fedora 32. PHP 7.4 is due out in November as the latest annual update to PHP7. It’s too late for Fedora 31 but the timing gives plenty of room to land PHP 7.4 in Fedora 32. Read about the new features and performance improvements with PHP 7.4.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why the founder of Apache is all-in on blockchain

        As Behlendorf tells the story, Apache came out of an environment when “we might have had a more beneficent view of technology companies. We still thought of them as leading the fight for individual empowerment.”

        At the same time, Behlendorf adds, “there was still a concern that, as the web grew, it would lose its character and its soul as this kind of funky domain, very flat space, supportive of freedoms of speech, freedoms of thought, freedoms of association that were completely novel to us at the time, but now we take for granted—or even we have found weaponized against us.”

        This led him to want Apache to address concerns that were both pragmatic in nature and more idealistic.

        The pragmatic aspect stemmed from the fact that “iteratively improving upon the NCSA web server was just easier and certainly a lot cheaper than buying Netscape’s commercial web server or thinking about IIS or any of the other commercial options at the time.” Behlendorf also acknowledges, “it’s nice to have other people out there who can review my code and [to] work together with.”

        There was also an “idealistic notion that tapped into that zeitgeist in the ’90s,” Behlendorf says. “This is a printing press. We can help people publish their own blogs, help people publish their own websites, and get as much content liberated as possible and digitized as possible. That was kind of the web movement. In particular, we felt it would be important to make sure that the printing presses remained in the hands of the people.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Armen Zambrano: A web performance issue

            Back in July and August, I was looking into a performance issue in Treeherder . Treeherder is a Django app running on Heroku with a MySql database via RDS. This post will cover some knowledge gained while investigating the performance issue and the solutions for it.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Famed MIT Scientist Defends Epstein: Victims Were ‘Entirely Willing’

          While MIT engages in damage control following revelations the university’s Media Lab accepted millions of dollars in funding from Jeffrey Epstein, a renowned computer scientist at the university has fanned the flames by apparently going out of his way to defend the accused sex trafficker — and child pornography in general.

          Richard Stallman has been hailed as one of the most influential computer scientists around today and honored with a slew of awards and honorary doctorates, but his eminence in the academic computer science community came into question Friday afternoon when purportedly leaked email excerpts showed him suggesting one of Epstein’s alleged victims was “entirely willing.”

        • Prominent computer scientist at MIT argues definition of rape in defending money from dead sex offender

          Richard Stallman, founder of Cambridge’s Free Software Foundation and a visiting scientist at MIT, argues that Jeffrey Epstein’s victims were likely “entirely willing” and to stop besmirching the good name of deceased MIT AI guru Marvin Minsky just because he might have “had sex with one of Epstein’s harem.”

          Vice reports Stallman made his comments on an MIT mailing list on which he objected to a protest being planned for next week over MIT’s ties to the convicted sex offender long after his conviction.

        • Free software icon Richard Stallman has some moronic thoughts about pedophilia

          The world of academia is in turmoil over the shock discovery that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein funded several several prestigious science and technology research labs, including MIT’s Media Lab, long after his 2008 conviction for sex crimes involving children.

          For the late Epstein, his generous donations served to whitewash his tainted reputation. They were part of a well-sculpted PR effort that also included paid-for puff pieces in publications like Forbes and HuffPost, which emphasised his philanthropy, while conveniently ignoring his crimes.

        • Famed Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Described Epstein Victims As ‘Entirely Willing’

          Richard Stallman, the computer scientist best known for his role in the free software movement, has joined the list of MIT men going out of their way to defend the university’s relationships with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

          Selam Jie Gano, an MIT alum, posted on Medium about an email thread in which Stallman argued that the late Marvin Minsky—an AI pioneer accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre—had not actually assaulted anyone.

        • MIT Community Horrified by Famed Researcher’s Epstein Outburst

          Since the July arrest of Jeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking, a number of huge names in the world of tech — from Bill Gates to Elon Musk — have attempted to defend or deny any inkling of a relationship with the financier.

          But one prominent computer scientist is seemingly going out of his way to insert himself into the scandal: MIT Visiting Scientist Richard Stallman.

          MIT accepted millions of dollars in funding from Epstein, prompting one student group to organize a protest calling for the resignation of any senior MIT administrators who knew about the donations.

        • How to Make Your PC Faster? Easiest Software

          Those who are into the business of photography will most certainly have am image processing software application. When we talk about such applications we often come across names such as Adobe, Photoshop and so on. Gimp portable also belongs to this category and helps in giving shapes and sizes to images that have been clicked for various reasons. GIMP actually stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program and according to people who are in the photography line, it is one of the most powerful free image editors that are available in the market today. Many people believe that it may be a good alternative to Photoshop.

          It is versatile and unique because it has a number of interesting features. Apart from being used as a basic drawing program, it also could be used a very effective image editor. It can help edit digital photographs and make it to the level of professional photography. It is accommodating channels, masks, layers, special effects and filters. It makes editing quite easy.

          The good thing about this software application is that it is light and it does not unnecessarily burden your computer. You can rest assured that your system will not slow down. Hence, if you are planning to make your personal computer faster and more efficient, then this could be the obvious choice.

      • Programming/Development

        • Highlights From The 2019 Pandas Hack

          Taking place simultaneously in Austin, Bentonville, and Dallas from August 16–18, the Pandas Hack was a weekend hackathon focused on providing updates and bug fixes to the pandas data science library.

        • Updated high-DPI support for Qt 5.14
          Hi all,
          
          We’ve recently merged several patches which improves Qt’s high-DPI support. The changes include:
          
          * Support for fractional device pixel ratios (e.g. Windows 150%)
          * Support per-screen DPI in more places like QStyle
          * Cleanup of configuration API and options.
          
          These fixes applies mostly to the AA_EnableHighDpiScaling type of high-DPI support where 
          the device independent coordinate system is set up by QtGui. Relevant platforms include Windows,
          X11, and Android. The new code and and config options are cross-platform though; it should be
          possible to develop and test on any platform (as long as you are not working on platform plugins).
          
          
        • Qt 5.14 Is Bringing Significantly Better HiDPI Support

          Besides KDE seeing its own HiDPI improvements like fractional scaling on Wayland recently landing, the Qt5 tool-kit is seeing more HiDPI improvements on its end too.

          With Qt 5.14 that is slated to be released before year’s end there will be better HiDPI support for dealing with today’s modern high pixel density displays. Some of the Qt 5.14 HiDPI improvements include support for fractional device pixel ratios, supporting per-screen DPIs more throughout the tool-kit, configuration API clean-ups, platform plug-in additions, an API for setting the rounding policy for the scaling factor, and expanding the supported environment variables for testing the functionality.

        • Reactive Foundation tackles next phase of software architecture

          “With the rise of cloud-native computing and modern application development practices, reactive programming addresses challenges with message streams and will be critical to adoption,” said Michael Dolan, VP of strategic programs at the Linux Foundation. “With the Reactive Foundation, the industry now has a neutral home for supporting the open source projects enabling reactive programming.”

          [...]

          RSocket builds on reactive streams to prevent outages and is designed to support microservices-based and cloud-native applications as a high-performance replacement of traditional HTTP. It enables long-lived streams on different transport connections, which is useful for mobile to server communication. The foundation will also seeks to expand the open-source community around RSocket and reactive programming.

          “After more than a decade of innovations, the reactive ecosystem is making it into mainstream adoption with Project Reactor, Spring Boot and the Spring Framework accelerating its adoption,” said Stephane Maldini, project reactor lLead at Pivotal. “Together, we can build hyper efficient, scalable distributed systems by rethinking the way we design them and by using the right protocol to coordinate them.”

  • Leftovers

Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

Posted in News Roundup at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Huawei launches MateBooks running Linux in China

        TROUBLED TECH TITAN Huawei has had a fairly lousy year so far, and as yet, there’s no end in sight.

        Fortunately, Huawei is taking some decisive action, at least in China, as it widens the appeal of its near-universally acclaimed MateBook series of laptops with a range powered by Linux.

      • Huawei launches MateBooks running Linux in China

        The last MateBook launch in the US was cancelled following the decision to add Huawei to the so-called “Entity List” of companies banned from trading with the US without a special licence.

        Up until then, the Shenzhen company had been churning out some of the best laptops of the last few years, and now, the MateBook 13 is available running a lovely shiny Linux distro.

      • Huawei is Now Selling Linux Laptops

        If you follow tech news, you must have heard of Huawei. It’s a Chinese multinational company in telecommunication and consumer electronics.

        A prominent player in the telecom sector, Huawei has been marred with controversy. It’s been long seen as a dubious front by the Chinese government to spy on other countries through its massive telecom infrastructure.

        Earlier this year, the US government imposed a ban on Huawei that sparked a trade war between China and United States of America. Google banned Huawei from using Android and other Google services like Play Store, Gmail etc on Huawei devices. It is still not clear if the ban is in affect or not.

      • Huawei now sells MateBook laptops in China running Linux

        Ever since Huawei was put on the US’ blacklist, the future of its products has been put into question. The company has more or less bragged about its self-sufficiency in terms of hardware components but software, especially mobile, is a different story. The company has been reportedly looking for alternative operating systems to put on its devices and it seems it may have settled on Linux for some of its laptops being sold in China.

      • Huawei Starts Selling Laptops With Linux Preinstalled

        Huawei is now selling the Matebook 13, Matebook 14, and Matebook X Pro to consumers in China with Deepin Linux preinstalled. “Deepin is a Chinese-domestic distribution, with their own desktop environment — appropriately also called Deepin,” notes TechRepublic.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • 10 edge computing myths, debunked

          Edge computing can mean different things to different technology leaders – from “anything that’s not in the cloud” to “the practice of capturing, storing, processing, and analyzing data nearest to where the data is generated.” As important as knowing what edge computing is, however, is understanding what it is not.

          [...]

          “Edge can vary based on computing, storage, and where you engage streaming data,” says Jason Mann, VP of IoT at SAS. It will also vary based on your point of view, adds Hopkins. The enterprise edge will look different than a cloud vendor’s or a telco’s edge.

        • Red Hat Success Stories: Reducing friction in Southeast Asia banking and more

          Wondering how Red Hat is helping its customers to succeed? Last month we published six customer success stories that highlight how we’ve helped customers gain efficiency, cut costs, and transform the way they deliver software. Read on to find out how Ascend Money, Heritage Bank, Generali Switzerland, and others have worked with Red Hat to improve their business.

          [...]

          To improve the efficiency of its application processes, Ascend Money decided to migrate its legacy applications to a standardized platform using Red Hat technology. With assistance from Red Hat Consulting, Ascend Money moved both its legacy applications and new cloud-native services to OpenShift Container Platform, providing a single platform for IT and developers to collaborate across cloud environments.

        • OpenShift 4.2 Disconnected Install

          In a previous blog, it was announced that Red Hat is making the OpenShift nightly builds available to everyone. This gives users a chance to test upcoming features before their general availability. One of the features planned for OpenShift 4.2 is the ability to perform a “disconnected” or “air gapped” install, allowing you to install in an environment without access to the Internet or outside world.

        • Develop with Node.js in a container on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          In my previous article, Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 in a container on RHEL 7, I showed how to start developing with the latest versions of languages, databases, and web servers available with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, even if you are still running RHEL 7. In this article, I’ll build on that base to show how to get started with Node using the current RHEL 8 application stream versions of Node.js and Redis 5.

          From my perspective, using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 application streams in containers is preferable to using software collections on RHEL 7. While you need to get comfortable with containers, all of the software installs in the locations you’d expect. There is no need to use scl commands to manage the selected software versions. Instead, each container gets an isolated user space. You don’t have to worry about conflicting versions.

          In this article, you’ll create a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Node.js container with Buildah, and run it with Podman. The code will be stored on your local machine and mapped into the RHEL 8 Node.js container when it runs. You’ll be able to edit the code on your local machine as you would any other application. Because it is mapped via a volume mount, the changes you make to the code will be immediately visible from the container, which is convenient for dynamic languages that don’t need to be compiled. This method isn’t the way you’d want to do things for production, but it gets you started developing quickly and should give you essentially the same development inner loop as you’d have when developing locally without containers. This article also shows how you can use Buildah to build an image with your completed application that you could use for production.

          Additionally, you’ll set up the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Redis application stream in a container that is managed by systemd. You’ll be able to use systemctl to start and stop the container just as you would for a non-container installation.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Splitting Fun and Profit | User Error 74

        It’s another #AskError episode. The finances of social situations and FOSS projects, automated vehicles, and ways to cheer up.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E23 – Wing Commander

        This week we’ve been playing Pillars of Eternity. We discuss boot speed improvements for Ubuntu 19.10, using LXD to map ports, NVIDIA Prime Renderer switching, changes in the Yaru theme and the Librem 5 shipping (perhaps). We also round up some events and some news from the tech world.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 23 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope and Mark Johnson are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Applications

      • Sayonara Player – small, clear and fast audio player

        One of the traits I love about Linux is the breadth of open source available. And music players are no exception. There’s many excellent open source music players available ranging from sublime GUI software like Tauon Music Player to terminal based software such as musikcube. They are two of my favorite audio apps. But there’s always room for more.

        Sayonara Player is another quality music player. It’s under active development. It caught my eye for a number of reasons, not least its large range of features. Let’s see what it has to offer.

        The program is written in C++, supported by the Qt framework. It uses GStreamer as its audio backend.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Mayhem in Single Valley sounds like quite a unique adventure, coming to Linux this year

        Mayhem in Single Valley from developer Fluxscopic seems like an adventure not to be missed and it’s releasing later this year, sometime in the “Fall”, with Linux support.

        It’s a stylish top-down action adventure, mixing in combat and puzzles with a focus on “family and everyday struggles”. It’s quite an exaggerated tale, one where the craziest things you might read about happen a lot more frequently. You play as Jack, a local “troublemaker” who makes a series of major discoveries before he’s supposed to leave home.

      • Join Open Jam 2019 to build open source indie games

        On September 27th, dozens of indie developers will come together virtually to develop video games using open source software. This date marks the third annual Open Jam, a three-day, 80-hour online game jam dedicated to indie developers building playful games and advancing the world of open source game development.

      • The FOSS strategy game 0 A.D. seems to be coming along very nicely

        Things on the news front for the FOSS RTS game 0 A.D. have been quiet recently but they certainly haven’t been sitting on their hands, a lot of work has been going on in the background.

        A game that’s a real pleasure to watch grow, easily one of the most professional looking FOSS games around that may one day rival much bigger RTS games.

        Since releasing Alpha 23 last year, the team haven’t really said much. That changed yesterday, with the release of a brand new progress report. The silence on a lot of FOSS project news at times is quite understandable though, pulling together information on everything going on can be quite time consuming when people just want to get things done.

      • Hello Games continue fixing up Linux issues for No Man’s Sky in Steam Play

        While not available for Linux, No Man’s Sky can be run through Steam Play and it appears Hello Games continue to keep an eye on it.

        In a recent article, I highlighted the fact that the developer put in a fix for SteamVR on Linux even though the game is not supported there. Not only that, NVIDIA (certain generations anyway) needed a fix applied to get it working properly.

        Here we are less than a month later and it appears that manual fix for NVIDIA is no longer needed. Not just that, their latest experimental update released yesterday notes that it fixed “a Linux driver issue.”. If you wish to try it, use the password “3xperimental” on the Beta tab of the games properties on Steam.

      • Don’t Starve Together updated, Woodie gets a refresh with a new animated short plus a new Beta

        Creepy and stylish co-op survival game Don’t Starve Together from dev Klei has another update available and it sounds great.

        This time around the character Woodie went through a bit of a refresh including two brand new transformations, giving different specializations. You can also trigger random transformations by consuming Monster Meat (or prepared dishes like Monster Lasagna), with specific transformations done by consuming one of the three new craftable idols made with Monster Meat. There’s some other strange changes too, like Woodie being forced into a random transformation on each full moon, Woodie no longer needs to eat wood and so on.

      • Beautiful open-world action adventure Pine is releasing next month

        3D open-world action adventure game Pine from Twirlbound and Kongregate is going to officially release on October 10th.

        Sounds like an incredible intriguing game, a world where Humans are seemingly not top of the chain and so you will encounter all sorts of creatures.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Catfish 1.4.10 Released

        The best Linux graphical file search utility keeps getting better! The latest release features a new preferences dialog, a polished user interface, and significantly improved search results and performance.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Squish – Test automation tool for our HMI build with Qt

          When test engineers hear about test automation the first word that comes to mind is of course Selenium which is the most popular testing library that helps us writing scripts for web applications. There are also ready solutions for mobile apps like Appium, Robotium, Espresso, UI Automator and others. The challenge is when we have some project-specific technologies that are not as easy to automate as web applications. But while using Qt we have some advantage over other non-web applications because there is some ready solution that we can use.

          The goal of the project was to build a digital cockpit system for car sharing solutions with navigation as the main feature, where the user agrees on advertisements while choosing a cheaper subscription. Advertising can suggest purchasing coffee to the driver, which can be ordered through our application from the navigation screen, then we add a coffee stop to the destination point. We also included the HVAC module and menu where the driver can switch between different screens (music player, settings, 3D model of a car, phone, weather view). To build this we were using Qt Application Manager, QML, MapBox, Qt 3D Studio and server written in python that was using OSRM.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34 Released With New Features & Performance Improvements

          The latest version of GNOME dubbed “Thessaloniki” is here. It is an impressive upgrade over GNOME 3.32 considering 6 months of work there.

          With this release, there’s a lot of new features and significant performance improvements. In addition to the new features, the level of customization has also improved.

        • GNOME 3.34 released — coming soon in Fedora 31

          Today the GNOME project announced the release of GNOME 3.34. This latest release of GNOME will be the default desktop environment in Fedora 31 Workstation. The Beta release of Fedora 31 is currently expected in the next week or two, with the Final release scheduled for late October.

          GNOME 3.34 includes a number of new features and improvements. Congratulations and thank you to the whole GNOME community for the work that went into this release! Read on for more details.

        • GNOME Games 3.34

          A year ago, Adrien Plazas stepped down as a maintainer, so Games 3.32.0 was released without an accompanying blog post, since I didn’t have a blog at the time. Now it’s time to make up for it with a blog post about 3.34.0.

          Savestates are a common feature in game emulators, that work similarly to snapshots in virtualization: emulator takes a full snapshot of RAM and storage, which can be loaded later to restore the game to the same exact state it was in when saved.

          The app has supported savestates for a long time: when you exit a game, a savestate is created. Then when you run it again, Games offers to restore that savestate or reset the game. However, there was no way to manage savestates during the game, or to have more than one savestate at a time.

        • The GNOME 3.36 Release Date is Set for Next March

          This date, along with other key dates in the GNOME 3.36 development cycle — technically GNOME 3.35 as only stable releases use even numbers — is revealed in the official GNOME 3.36 release schedule up on the GNOME wiki.

          The first GNOME 3.36 development snapshot, aka GNOME 3.35.1, is scheduled for release on October 12, 2019. A second development snapshot, GNOME 3.35.2, follows on November 23, 2019.

          More notable, the first GNOME 3.36 beta is tabled in for release at the beginning of February, with a second beta release arriving two weeks later, on February 15, 2020.

        • GNOME and gestures, Part 1: WebKitGTK

          I’m a big fan of responsive touchpad gestures. For the last half a year (mostly January, February and during the summer) I’ve been working on improving gestures in many areas throughout GNOME. In this series I will do a (belated) overview.

          Late in the 3.32.x cycle, I saw a commit by Jan-Michael Brummer adding a back/forward swipe to Epiphany. It was really nice to finally have gestures, but it didn’t have any visual feedback. Less importantly, the direction was reversed, as if when scrolling with Natural Scrolling being off. I wanted to give a shot at improving it.

        • GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

          This morning I tagged the newest fwupd release, 1.3.1. There are a lot of new things in this release and a whole lot of polishing, so I encourage you to read the release notes if this kind of thing interests you.

          Anyway, to the point of this post. With the new fwupd 1.3.1 you can now build just the libfwupd library, which makes it easy to build GNOME Firmware (old name: gnome-firmware-updater) in Flathub. I tagged the first official release 3.34.0 to celebrate the recent GNOME release, and to indicate that it’s ready for use by end users. I guess it’s important to note this is just a random app hacked together by 3 engineers and not something lovelingly designed by the official design team. All UX mistakes are my own :)

        • Fwupd 1.3.1 Released With GNOME Firmware 3.34

          Richard Hughes has released GNOME Firmware 3.34, his new project formerly known as the GNOME Firmware Update as an alternative interface outside of GNOME Software for managing firmware updates on Linux. Additionally, Fwupd 1.3.1 is out with the newest firmware updating bits.

          GNOME Firmware 3.34 is the first official release of this new firmware updating UI and coming along with this week’s GNOME 3.34 release. GNOME Firmware is intended to be a power-user tool for upgrading/downgrading/managing firmware on the system while most users should be fine with just using the existing GNOME Software integration.

        • Back to GNOME development

          After writing my last blog post – a retrospection about my first 10 years of Free Software development – it made me want to contribute to GNOME again. I didn’t contribute much this past year (in short, too much stress). But I’m back, I hope my keen interest will continue.

        • Alexander Mikhaylenko: Games and GSoC 2019

          GNOME Games has been participating in Google Summer of Code for many years, and this one is no exception. This time Andrei Lişiţă a.k.a. Yetizone was implementing a savestate manager.

          Andrei’s work involved redoing $XDG_DATA_HOME/gnome-games/ directory layout, writing a migrator for existing data, reworking the app to support having multiple savestates at once, implementing on-demand loading and saving, and implementing the UI.

    • Distributions

      • Applications, PostgreSQL, Zypper Packages Update in Tumbleweed

        The snapshots brought an update of KDE Plasma and Applications along with an update for the input framework ibus, two PostgreSQL versions and the command line package manager zypper.

        KDE Applications 19.08.1 improvements to Kontact, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Konsole, Step, and more arrived in snapshot 20190909. Several regressions in Konsole’s tab handling were fixed and olphin again starts correctly when in split-view mode. The updated of the anti-virus package clamav 0.101.4 address two Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. The GNOME web browser package epiphany 3.32.5 fixed a memory corruption and broken web process extension connection when using WebKit trunk. An update of links 2.20.1 brought stability improvements and also addressed a bug when connected with tor would send real dns requests outside the tor network when the displayed page contains link elements with rel=dns-prefetch. The Plasma desktop received a minor update to 5.16.5 and fixed KWayland-integration builds with recent frameworks and Qt 5.13. Some notifications were changed in the new minor version and the some functionality was improved for current weather conditions. The qrencode 4.0.2 package improved support for cmake. The snapshot was trending at a rating of 84, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • Arch Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Here’s Ubuntu 19.10’s New Default Wallpaper

          The new desktop background for Ubuntu 19.10 was uploaded to a bug report on Launchpad where, as tradition dictates, it’s also available to download.

          As we’ve come to expect from Ubuntu wallpapers of late, the new drape bears an artistic depiction of the latest Ubuntu codename mascot, which for this release is an “Ermine”, or white stoat…

          Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ will be released on October 18, 2019. And as well as this wonderful new wallpaper it offers Linux Kernel 5.3, a light Yaru GTK theme and the all-new GNOME 3.34 release.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What politics can teach us about open source

        It would be dangerous to oversimplify the parallels between these political approaches and the relationship between open source and closed source software. Even so, it is worth examining the impact and challenges for democracy in the context of ongoing debates about the role of open source, especially in enterprise IT environments.

        Democracy, particularly in the open source sense, is better than the autocratic, closed source model of software deployment. For closed source software vendors, a profit motive can ultimately be more influential than an interest in improving the software. More often than not, when deciding whether to invest in product innovation, commercial vendors will ask themselves at least one of these questions…

      • Events

        • Open Source at IBC 2019

          Showcasing two brand new Open Source software demonstrations featuring the Xilinx high-performance Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC, and the Magic Leap One augmented reality headset.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Creating privacy-centric virtual spaces

            We now live in a world with instantaneous communication unrestrained by geography. While a generation ago, we would be limited by the speed of the post, now we’re limited by the speed of information on the Internet. This has changed how we connect with other people.

            As immersive devices become more affordable, social spaces in virtual reality (VR) will become more integrated into our daily lives and interactions with friends, family, and strangers. Social media has enabled rapid pseudonymous communication, which can be directed at both a single person and large groups. If social VR is the next evolution of this, what approaches will result in spaces that respect user identities, autonomy, and safety?

            We need spaces that reflect how we interact with others on a daily basis.

          • Mozilla previews Firefox VPN, will charge for service at some point

            Mozilla has not hidden its desire to branch into new revenue territories to divest from the more-or-less-single-source of search engine royalties. In June, CEO Chris Beard and other Mozilla officials said that paid service subscriptions would roll out this fall, but assured users that the browser itself would remain free of charge. The VPN could be the first of several paid services pitched to Firefox users, or part of a larger all-in-one package; Mozilla hasn’t been clear about the form(s) this new revenue stream may take.

            Nor did Wood say how long her team will test Firefox Private Network. However, she did position this iteration of Test Pilot differently than before. “The difference with the newly relaunched Test Pilot program is that these products and services may be outside the Firefox browser, and will be far more polished, and just one step shy of general public release,” she said.

          • Encrypted DNS could help close the biggest privacy gap on the Internet. Why are some groups fighting against it?

            Thanks to the success of projects like Let’s Encrypt and recent UX changes in the browsers, most page-loads are now encrypted with TLS. But DNS, the system that looks up a site’s IP address when you type the site’s name into your browser, remains unprotected by encryption.

            Because of this, anyone along the path from your network to your DNS resolver (where domain names are converted to IP addresses) can collect information about which sites you visit. This means that certain eavesdroppers can still profile your online activity by making a list of sites you visited, or a list of who visits a particular site. Malicious DNS resolvers or on-path routers can also tamper with your DNS request, blocking you from accessing sites or even routing you to fake versions of the sites you requested.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Anyone Can Build This Open Source, DRM-Free Kindle Alternative

            It’s harder to get an open source e-reader than you might think. Kindles are popular, but they lock you into Amazon’s ecosystem. Amazon’s books come with digital rights protection and the company can remove them from your device whenever it wants. Those problems exist on tablets from Barnes and Nobles, Google, and Apple, too. When it comes to open source reading, there’s just no good options. The Open Book Project wants to change that.

      • Programming/Development

        • Fastest Python function to slugify a string

          The code is 7-8 years old and relates to a migration when MDN was created as a Python fork from an existing PHP solution.

          I couldn’t help but to react to the fact that it’s a list and it’s looped over every single time. Twice, in a sense. Python has built-in tools for this kinda stuff. Let’s see if I can make it faster.

        • Should you use “dot notation” or “bracket notation” with pandas?

          If you prefer bracket notation, then you can use it all of the time! However, you still have to be familiar with dot notation in order to read other people’s code.

          If you prefer dot notation, then you can use it most of the time, as long as you are diligent about renaming columns when they contains spaces or collide with DataFrame methods. However, you still have to use bracket notation when creating new columns.

        • Solving Sequence Problems with LSTM in Python’s Keras Library

          Time series forecasting refers to the type of problems where we have to predict an outcome based on time dependent inputs. A typical example of time series data is stock market data where stock prices change with time. Similarly, the hourly temperature of a particular place also changes and can also be considered as time series data. Time series data is basically a sequence of data, hence time series problems are often referred to as sequence problems.

        • How the Worlds of Linux and Windows Programming Converged

          Once upon a time, the world of developers was split into two halves: One half was composed of Windows developers, who created most of the productivity apps that powered PCs (and, occasionally, servers). The other half comprised Linux and Unix developers, whose work focused on server-side development. Today, however, as the worlds of Windows and Linux move ever closer together, the distinction between Windows and Linux developers is disappearing. Gone are the days when you had to specialize in one ecosystem or the other.

  • Leftovers

    • RIP Daniel Johnston
    • [Older] Photographer removes our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

      US photographer Eric Pickersgill has created ‘Removed’ a series of photos to remind us of how strange that pose actually is. In each portrait, electronic devices have been ‘edited out’ (removed before the photo was taken, from people who’d been using them) so that people stare at their hands, or the empty space between their hands, often ignoring beautiful surroundings or opportunities for human connection. The results are a bit sad and eerie–and a reminder, perhaps, to put our phones away.

    • Science

    • Hardware

      • Coast Guard issues warning on charging phone batteries after California boat fire

        A preliminary report on the Labor Day fire that destroyed the dive ship Conception near Santa Cruz Island could be issued as soon as Thursday, the National Transportation Safety Board said. The cause of the fire likely won’t be addressed, but NTSB members have said how batteries and electronics were stored and charged is being scrutinized.

        The Coast Guard said it has convened a Marine Board of Investigation to determine the cause of the blaze. But the bulletin noted that it does not have to await the board’s findings before taking “immediate and positive” action.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Treadmill of Magic Seeds and Broken Promises: Dismantling the Myth of Bt Cotton Success in India

        Political posturing aligned with commercial interests means that truth is becoming a casualty in the debate about genetically modified (GM) crops in India. The industry narrative surrounding Bt cotton is that it has been a great success. The current Modi-led administration is parroting this claim and argues its success must be replicated by adopting a range of GM food crops, amounting to what would be a full-scale entry of GM technology into Indian agriculture. Currently, Bt cotton is India’s only officially approved commercially cultivated GM crop.

      • Administration to Drop Obama-Era Water Protection Rule

        The Trump administration on Thursday revoked an Obama-era regulation that shielded many U.S. wetlands and streams from pollution but was opposed by developers and farmers who said it hurt economic development and infringed on property rights.

      • Neonicotinoid Pesticides Have Caused A Huge Surge in the Toxicity of U.S. Agriculture

        Scientists are warning about a second Silent Spring after a new study found that U.S. agriculture is 48 times more toxic to insects than it was 20 years ago.

        A peer-reviewed study published in the journal PLOS One found that 92 percent of that toxic load can be attributed to neonicotinoids — the most widely used class of insecticides.

        Neonics, as they are commonly called, are 1,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT, the infamous pesticide exposed by Rachel Carson’s work in the 1960s, says Dr. Kendra Klein, a report co-author and senior scientist at Friends of the Earth.

        A big reason that neonics are so dangerous is that they persist in the environment — sometimes lasting up to 1,000 days. They remain in the soil and can be taken up by other plants. They’re also water soluble, so they wash into rivers, streams and wetlands. Their toxicity can build up in the environment and cascade from soil to plants, insects to birds.

        Neonics first hit the agriculture market in the 1990s and are mostly applied as a coating on seeds. They’re used on 140 different crops but most prevalently on corn and soybeans.

      • Harmful Algal Blooms: Regional Information

        If you live near the coast or the Great Lakes, you’ve probably experienced a harmful algal bloom — HAB for short. HABs occur when algae — simple photosynthetic organisms that live in the sea and freshwater — grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. Visit our new portal for region-specific HAB information, links, and resources.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • The New Target That Enables Ransomware Hackers to Paralyze Dozens of Towns and Businesses at Once

        On July 3, employees at Arbor Dental in Longview, Washington, noticed glitches in their computers and couldn’t view X-rays. Arbor was one of dozens of dental clinics in Oregon and Washington stymied by a ransomware attack that disrupted their business and blocked access to patients’ records.

        But the hackers didn’t target the clinics directly. Instead, they infiltrated them by exploiting vulnerable cybersecurity at Portland-based PM Consultants Inc., which handled the dentists’ software updates, firewalls and data backups. Arbor’s frantic calls to PM went to voicemail, said Whitney Joy, the clinic’s office coordinator.

      • If you’re not using SSH certificates you’re doing SSH wrong

        None of these issues are actually inherent to SSH. They’re actually problems with SSH public key authentication. The solution is to switch to certificate authentication.

        SSH certificate authentication makes SSH easier to use, easier to operate, and more secure.

      • Your phone can be [cracked] – and there’s nothing you can do about it

        Finally, another benefit of Simjacker from the attacker’s perspective is that many of its attacks seems to work independent of handset types, as the vulnerability is dependent on the software on the UICC and not the device. We have observed devices from nearly every manufacturer being successfully targeted to retrieve location: Apple, ZTE, Motorola, Samsung, Google, Huawei, and even IoT devices with SIM cards. One important note is that for some specific attacks handset types do matter. Some, such as setting up a call, require user interaction to confirm, but this is not guaranteed and older phones or devices with no keypad or screens (such as IoT device) may not even ask for this.

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl, dnsmasq, and golang-go.crypto), Mageia (docker, firefox, flash-player-plugin, ghostscript, links, squid, sympa, tcpflow, thunderbird, and znc), openSUSE (srt), Oracle (.NET Core, kernel, libwmf, and poppler), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (cri-o, curl, java-1_8_0-ibm, python-SQLAlchemy, and python-urllib3), and Ubuntu (curl and expat).

      • Microsoft Issues New Windows 10 Update Warning

        Meanwhile, the Windows Latest reports the Start menu stops working for some users who have upgraded to KB4515384 with Windows 10 delivering the following errors: “We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in” and “Critical Error – Your Start menu isn’t working”

      • Heads up: Microsoft is back to snooping with this month’s Win7 and 8.1 ‘security-only’ patches

        Two months ago, the July Win7 security-only patch was found to install telemetry software, triggered by newly installed scheduled tasks called ProgramDataUpdater, Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser, and AitAgent. As best I can tell, Microsoft never admitted that its security-only patch dropped a telemetry component.

        The August security-only update didn’t include that bit of snooping, so it looked like the July snooping was a one-off aberration.

        Now we’re learning that the September security-only patches for both Win 7 and Win 8.1 have this, shall we say, feature.

        [...]

        What information is Microsoft collecting? I don’t know. Telemetry is frequently downplayed as being largely uninteresting blobs of unattributed data. If that’s the case, why is Microsoft collecting it now, after all these years? It hasn’t even acknowledged (as best I can tell) that it’s collecting it via security-only patches.

      • Security Issues with PGP Signatures and Linux Package Management

        In discussions around the PGP ecosystem one thing I often hear is that while PGP has its problems, it’s an important tool for package signatures in Linux distributions. I therefore want to highlight a few issues I came across in this context that are rooted in problems in the larger PGP ecosystem.

        Let’s look at an example of the use of PGP signatures for deb packages, the Ubuntu Linux installation instructions for HHVM. HHVM is an implementation of the HACK programming language and developed by Facebook. I’m just using HHVM as an example here, as it nicely illustrates two attacks I want to talk about, but you’ll find plenty of similar installation instructions for other software packages. I have reported these issues to Facebook, but they decided not to change anything.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Spikes of Violence: Protest in West Papua

        Like Timor-Leste, West Papua, commonly subsuming both Papua and West Papua, remains a separate ethnic entity, acknowledged as such by previous colonial powers. Its Dutch colonial masters, in preparing to leave the region in the 1950s, left the ground fertile for a declaration of independence in 1961. Such a move did not sit well with the Indonesian desire to claim control over all Dutch Asia Pacific colonies on departure. There were resources to be had, economic gains to be made. The military duly moved in.

      • Moscow says reports about a CIA spy in the Kremlin are ‘classic propaganda’ generated by America’s upcoming presidential election

        Russia’s Foreign Ministry has formally appealed to Interpol, following media reports that a missing former Kremlin aide named Oleg Smolenkov is currently living in the United States.

      • Yemen Continues Its Descent into Hell

        There are really only two sides to the war in Yemen. There are the unarmed civilians. And there’s everyone else. The civilians are losing. Badly.

      • Netanyahu Risks Triggering an Unwinnable War to Avoid Losing Election
      • Russian agency adds student protester and YouTuber Egor Zhukov to blacklist of extremists and terrorists

        Egor Zhukov, a video blogger and a student at the Higher School of Economics, has been added to a list of extremists and terrorists maintained by Russia’s finance monitoring agency, Rosfinmonitoring. Zhukov was charged with mass rioting in the so-called “Moscow case” after he participated in election protests this summer. Those accusations were later dropped and replaced with charges of calling for extremism. The current case against Zhukov is based on his YouTube videos.

      • John Bolton’s Living Obituary

        “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.” —John Bolton, in his Yale University 25th reunion book 

      • Iran-Linked Cybergroup Phishing Universities, Group Warns

        The group, likely seeking academic data and intellectual property [sic], have attempted to steal login credentials from employees at universities in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Switzerland after sending their targets phony library-themed emails, said Secureworks, a cybersecurity company…

      • Climate Change Will Create 1.5 Billion Migrants by 2050 and We Have No Idea Where They’ll Go

        Climate change—which the U.S. Department of Defense called a “threat multiplier”—can exacerbate poverty, conflict, and instability, which already plague impoverished nations like Honduras. According to new research from Stanford University, the economic gap between the richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without climate change.

        The International Organization for Migration projects that between 25 million and 1.5 billion people will have to leave their homes by 2050. The poorest and smallest nations are the ones who are least likely to contribute to climate change, but they will be the first to be forced to migrate.

      • Police recovers arms cache during raid in central London

        The British Police has reportedly found a significant arms cache, including a sniper rifle, a silencer and tracer rounds linked to the banned terrorist group al-Muhajiroun in a Coventry, The Observer reported.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Prosecution Against Julian Assange: Where Presidential Candidates Stand

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been jailed in London’s Belmarsh Prison since April 11, when Ecuador authorities revoked his political asylum in their embassy and British authorities arrested him.

        The United States government had Assange arrested for extradition on charges of violating the Espionage Act and conspiracy to commit a computer crime that stem from the disclosures from U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning that were published in 2010.

    • Environment

      • Climate change poses major risk to flood insurance program, experts warn

        Subcommittee Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said the Financial Services Committee has had to “deal with the issue of flooding repeatedly.”

      • Residents of a Siberian Town With Black Snow Are Pleading for Asylum in Canada

        Nikitina Irina Alexandrovna is from the Siberian town of Kiselyovsk, where inky black snow, a toxic byproduct of coal mining, has rendered it a nightmare-scape. Industrial waste covers homes, schools, and vehicles in a shroud of contaminated dust. The miasma of pollution is so pervasive that locals find it coming out of their mouths.

        Now, more than a dozen Kiselyovsk residents, including Alexandrovna, are asking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accept them as environmental refugees, as CBC News first reported.

      • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Seeks to Intervene on Proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Expansion

        Standing Rock attorney Timothy Purdon said if it’s granted intervenor status, the tribe would be allowed to cross-examine the company and call witnesses. Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement that the “proposed pipeline expansion magnifies the potential disaster in the event of an oil spill. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe looks forward to expressing its concerns during the upcoming PSC hearing.”

      • Tribe leading DAPL lawsuit makes final case for shutdown, more environmental study

        “This illegal and dangerous pipeline must be shut down,” Standing Rock Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement.

        Standing Rock and three other Sioux tribes in the Dakotas fear a pipeline spill into the Missouri River would contaminate water they rely on for drinking water, fishing and religious practices. Thousands of pipeline opponents from around the world who took up their cause flocked to southern North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 to protest the project. Some clashed with police, resulting in 761 arrests in a six-month span.

      • Bahamians look for loved ones as 1300 missing after Dorian

        They scan social media, peer under rubble, or try to follow the smell of death in an attempt to find family and friends.

      • The Four Storms of the Apocalypse: Katrina, Sandy, Maria and Dorian.

        The history of the United States remains shrouded in the fog of myth and overlain by the mists of time. Here in the stygian gloom, its founding looms as the triumph of freedom over tyranny; its slaveholding the reasonable exploitation of an inferior race; its civil war the singular triumph of a great president; its period of reconstruction proof that former slaves were not ready to take their place in the country’s democratic institutions; and in Jim Crow a return to the natural order. Here, the great wealth of this country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century is viewed as the result of American entrepreneurial genius and technical wizardry rather than its founding on the flagellated backs of African slaves.

      • ‘Holy Smokes, This Thing Could Get HUGE’: NYC Public Schools to Let Students #ClimateStrike

        “They are finally treating the crisis like a crisis,” said 14-year-old New Yorker and climate striker Alexandria Villaseñor.

      • Nonviolence Denial Is As Dangerous As Climate Denial

        Persistent willful ignorance of necessary knowledge can be deadly. This is true of denial of climate collapse. It is also true of denial of the tools and power of nonviolent action. As evidence and knowledge pile up in each case, denial of the facts looks more and more intentional, reckless, and malevolent, or intentionally, recklessly, and malevolently manufactured by propagandists.

      • ‘We Must Be Bolder Than Ever’: Labor Federation Representing 30 Million Workers Calls on All Unions to Join Global Climate Strike

        “We cannot let the vital idealism of this new generation be poisoned by cynicism and doubt. This is our last chance. They are our last chance. We must stand with them.”

      • Energy

        • The Koch Brothers Are Even Worse Than You Think

          The phrase “The Koch Brothers” has become a shorthand for the insidious spread of radical right-wing power in America. But even those of us who devoured Jane Mayer’s book “Dark Money,” as well as the work of other journalists who illuminated the reach of billionaires Charles and the recently deceased David Koch, including their massive network of conservative and libertarian Political Action Committees and the lobbying efforts of those PACs, might have only a glimmer of an idea of the size and scope of Koch Industries. The business is headed by Charles (David was a shareholder, but not involved in day-to-day affairs), and it’s what gave the brothers their money and influence.

        • [Older] Leaked Audio Shows Oil Lobbyist Bragging About Success in Criminalizing Pipeline Protests

          Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted “model legislation” that states across the nation have passed in recent months.

          AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.

          “We’ve seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017,” said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. “We’re up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet.”

        • [Older] Oil Companies Persuade States to Make Pipeline Protests a Felony

          The companies, including Koch Industries Inc., Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Energy Transfer Partners LP — whose Dakota Access project in North Dakota was targeted three years ago — lobbied state legislatures to effectively outlaw demonstrations near pipelines, chemical plants and other infrastructure. Nine states have gone along so far, in some cases classifying the activities as felonies. More are considering measures.

          The lobbying campaign, documented in state disclosures and other records reviewed by Bloomberg News, has raised concerns about corporate influence muzzling free speech.

        • Fracked Gas Well Blowout in Louisiana Likely to Burn for the Next Month

          A fracked natural gas well in northwest Louisiana has been burning for two weeks after suffering a blowout. A state official said the fire will likely burn for the next month before the flames can be brought under control by drilling a relief well.

        • Greenpeace Shuts Down Houston Ship Channel to Protest Oil Exports as Democratic Candidates Arrive in Texas for Debate

          Today, as Democratic presidential contenders arrive for a major debate this evening in Houston, 22 activists from Greenpeace sought to shut down what they called the country’s “largest fossil fuel thoroughfare,” the Houston Ship Channel, by rappelling from the Fred Hartman Bridge in Baytown, Texas.

          Greenpeace said the rappellers plan to stay in place for 24 hours, through tonight’s Democratic debates.

    • Finance

      • Tax Dodging 101: the Aircastle Model

        Aircastle Ltd. is not a household name, but if you’ve flown on South African Airways, KLM, or any of more than 80 other airlines, you’ve probably traveled on an airplane the Connecticut-based company owns and manages.

      • Angry Birds Maker Rovio Plummets After Profit Outlook Is Cut

        The Finnish game-maker now sees an adjusted operating profit margin of 5% to 8% in 2019 compared to a previous forecast of 9% to 11%. It also reduced its revenue outlook slightly as older games bring in less cash and brand licensing fails to reach expectations.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • That Time EFF Got A Copyright Takedown Demand Of Its Own Artwork

        Earlier this week, EFF received an email claiming that our body-camera police officer illustration (shown in the banner above) violated the sender’s copyright in a graphic they used to illustrate a tweet (cropped screenshot shown below). The email demanded we remove the image or provide a link to their e-commerce website, which sells police body cameras. For those interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a link from EFF can be very beneficial to their page ranking. The funny thing was, the police officer illustration is an original EFF work.

      • EFF to Third Circuit: Off-Campus Student Social Media Posts Should be Entitled to Full First Amendment Protection

        Special thanks to legal intern Maria Bacha who was the lead author of this post.

        EFF, Student Press Law Center (SPLC), Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment (PaCFA), and Brechner Center for Freedom of Information filed an amicus brief in B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to close a gap in the law to better protect off-campus student speech.

      • ‘Airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center’: New York Times deletes tweet about 9/11 after outrage

        Is political correctness in the modern, woke world going out of hands, where one can’t call a spade a spade? All such questions were raised on Twitter when one of world’s top news outlet New York Times tried to play coy about who really were behind the Twin Tower attack on 11th September 2001, where over 3000 people were killed.

        In a shocking tweet, New York Times said that, “‘Airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center’.

      • These States Are Pushing Laws to Restrict Protests on College Campuses

        According to the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law’s US Protest Law Tracker tool, at least four states are currently considering campus anti-protest laws, including Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and South Carolina. The bills mostly require punishments in the form of suspension or expulsion for students, faculty, or community members who disrupt visiting speakers at public colleges and universities.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Encryption Working Group Releases Paper To ‘Move The Conversation Forward’

        One of the frustrating aspects of the “debate” (if you can call it that) over encryption and whether or not law enforcement should be able to have any kind of “access” is that it’s been no debate at all. You have people who understand encryption who keep pointing out that what is being asked of them is impossible to do without jeopardizing some fairly fundamental security principles, and then a bunch of folks who respond with “well, just nerd harder.” There have been a few people who have suggested, at the very least, that “a conversation” was necessary between the different viewpoints, but mostly when that’s brought up it has meant non-technical law enforcement folks lecturing tech folks on why “lawful access” to encryption is necessary.

      • DNA analysis leads to charges in 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protest

        BCI agents gathered evidence after the incident. Included in that evidence were two cigarette butts that were sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis. In August, the BCI was notified that the DNA profile from one of the butts was a match for Malcolm, whose DNA sample was on file from a previous arrest.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • 12 Journalists Have Been Killed In Mexico This Year, The World’s Highest Toll

        This year, Mexico surpassed Syria to become the deadliest country for journalists, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

        Many consider that overall levels of violence and impunity in Mexico are the biggest problems facing Mexican journalists. But press advocates say the president’s harsh rhetoric toward the media isn’t helping the situation.

        So far this year, 12 journalists have been killed, according to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission. Some press rights groups put the number even higher, according to their own reporting criteria.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Kazakhstan: Feminist Group Denied Registration

        An appeals court in Kazakhstan on September 3 upheld a decision denying Feminita, a national feminist initiative, registration as a nongovernmental organization (NGO). The group’s focus includes the rights of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. 

      • ‘We’ll get by somehow’ Following attacks on social media, Mothers of Beslan committee cancels fundraising efforts for terrorism victims

        The Mothers of Beslan committee has decided to cancel its planned fundraising efforts for those injured in the Beslan school siege 15 years ago. Aneta Gadieva, the vice chair of the committee, told The Caucasian Knot about the cancellation on September 9.

      • South Africa: Punish Xenophobic Violence

        The South African police should take swift action to end xenophobic attacks targeting African foreign nationals.

      • NFL’s Depression-Era Ban on Black Players Lingers On in the Owners Box

        The National Football League season opened last week with a full slate of games.

      • Kickstarter fires two union organizers, potentially breaking labor laws

        The company reportedly fired employee Taylor Moore, who was one of the organizers, on Thursday morning. Last week Clarissa Redwine, who had also been involved in the union effort, was fired, too.

        It is illegal to fire employees for being involved in unionization efforts in the United States.

      • Creator of Stanford Prison Experiment on Trump’s camps: It’s how Nazi guards behaved

        Psychologist Philip Zimbardo became famous for examining the mass psychology and group dynamics of human authority, violence and evil in his landmark 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo has also explored similar questions in his numerous books, most notably “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.”

        I recently spoke to Zimbardo about Donald Trump’s concentration camps, how ICE and Border Patrol and other Trump enforcers rationalize their cruelty against migrants and refugees, and what these inhumane policies reflect about our president’s mental health. Zimbardo also discussed the way Trump’s supporters are attracted to his cruelty because of their cult-like relationship with him — a relationship that represents a dire threat to the safety of our country and the future of our democracy.

        This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

      • Saudi Princess Found Guilty of Having Worker Beaten in France

        Princess Hassa bint Salman, who was tried in absentia, was given a 10-month suspended sentence Thursday and fined $11,000 on charges of armed violence and complicity to hold someone against their will.

        The only daughter of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reportedly became angry when she thought the plumber, Egyptian-born French national Ashraf Eid, had photographed her inside her home.

        Eid said he was summoned to fix a sink in the princess’ bathroom in September 2016. He claimed she saw him take photos of the bathroom, which he needed for his work, and accused him of taking the photos in order to sell them.

        The indictment said she ordered her bodyguard Rani Saidi to beat and humiliate Eid.

      • Rape Emergency Declared In Sierra Leone, Then Lifted. Did Anything Change?

        With the emergency now lifted and no funds earmarked, activists are now questioning if — and when — promises like government-sponsored psychosocial support and health care will be realized. Within the government, the focus on sexual assault cases has swung from big initiatives to small changes that can be made by parliament. The body is currently considering a new version of the 2011 Sexual Offenses Act, which, if passed, would make Bio’s call for a life sentence for anyone who has sex with someone under 18 a formal part of the country’s law.

        That could be a problematic law in a country where, according to U.N. data analyzed by Save the Children, which works in Sierra Leone, 13% of the country’s girls are married by age 15, and 39% by age 18.

      • Officers Said They Smelled Pot. The Judge Called Them Liars.

        But in late July, a judge in the Bronx said in a scathing opinion that officers claim to smell marijuana so often that it strains credulity, and she called on judges across the state to stop letting police officers get away with lying about it.

        “The time has come to reject the canard of marijuana emanating from nearly every vehicle subject to a traffic stop,” Judge April Newbauer wrote in a decision in a case involving a gun the police discovered in car they had searched after claiming to have smelled marijuana.

      • LeDuff: A Combat Marine learns the real war is at home in Detroit

        According to independent audits of the city’s finances, Detroit is spending nearly $50 million less on public safety (inflation-adjusted) than it did the year of the bankruptcy when we took all those cuts to public safety. There are one-third fewer firefighters manning rigs on any given day, according to the union. In July alone, it was published in the police officers’ union newspaper that 33 patrol cops had resigned. The pay and morale are miserable.

        Scenes of the recent crimes on West Lafayette Boulevard downtown. (Photo: Google Street View)

        So every time we take a public dollar and give it to a cheapskate billionaire sports team owner who does not share the profits, we get less public safety and more worn-out beat cops beating it for better-paying jobs in the suburbs.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T’s Terrible New TV Branding Confuses Even AT&T

        AT&T’s efforts to dominate the online streaming (and advertising segment) has had a bit of a rocky start. After spending more than $150 billion to acquire both DirecTV and Time Warner in recent years, AT&T’s been losing subscribers hand over fist anyway. Part of the problem is that the company acquired so much debt in the course of the deal (AT&T is among the most indebted companies in the world), AT&T’s been forced to raise rates on subscribers. Given the rise in streaming competitors, those users are wisely just heading for the exits.

    • Monopolies

      • Intellectual Property Is Neither Intellectual, Nor Property: Discuss

        Well over a decade ago I tried to explain why things like copyright and patents (and especially trademarks) should not be considered “intellectual property,” and that focusing on the use of “property” helped to distort nearly every policy debate about those tools. This was especially true among the crowd who consider themselves “free market supporters” or, worse, “against government regulations and handouts.” It seemed odd to me that many people in that camp strongly supported both copyright and patents, mainly by pretending they were regular property, while ignoring that both copyrights and patents are literally centralized government regulations that involve handing a monopoly right to a private entity to prevent competition. But supporters seemed to be able to whitewash that, so long as they could insist that these things were “property”, contorting themselves into believing that these government handouts were somehow a part of the free market.

      • Confuse, Then Blame the Public: Facebook Dodges Regulation With Wall Street’s Tactics

        Facebook fulfilled an old promise last month in the most Facebook way possible: by sounding nice on paper and glossing over the details. Their new privacy tools are a laughably inefficient and insufficient set of measures, because fundamentally, they’re not trying to actually solve the stated problem: Facebook’s surveillance-based business model. It’s more proof that forcing individuals to protect themselves from the abuses of giant corporations is a cruel fantasy. This collective problem will require a collective solution. It’s about time regulators stepped in to do something about it.

      • Uber and Lyft launch anti-labor misinformation campaign in response to historic California bill

        “They have been doing this from the very beginning of AB5,” Stack-Martinez said. “It is not surprising they are providing misleading fear-mongering tactics… we see this every time workers fight back and begin to win.”

      • France Says It Will Block Facebook Libra in Europe

        The French minister has previously expressed concerns over Libra’s threat to national currencies, saying after the cryptocurrency’s debut in June that “It is out of question’’ that Libra be allowed to “become a sovereign currency. It can’t and it must not happen.”

      • Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency will be blocked in Europe, France says

        Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee told Financial News: “To me, [Libra] suggests that Facebook’s almost trying to turn itself into its own country.

        “It’s a global organisation that doesn’t have physical boundaries but basically has a global community who are solely under the oversight of Mark Zuckerberg.”

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • USPTO Increases Limit on Accepted Requests for Track I Examination [Ed: So it won’t only PENALISE you for not using Microsoft formats! Now it’s also giving a FAST LANE for rich people’s applications!]

          The Office implemented the prioritized examination provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act in September 2011 (see “USPTO Implements Prioritized Examination Track under AIA”). The AIA had set forth a prioritized examination fee of $4,800 (since reduced to $4,000), which applicants must pay in addition to filing, search, and examination fees (including any applicable excess claims and application size fees) and processing and publication fees (the prioritized examination fee for small entities is reduced by 50%). In addition, the AIA specified that to be eligible for prioritized examination, an application must contain (or be amended to contain) no more than 4 independent claims and no more than 30 total claims. The AIA also limited the number of requests for prioritized examination that the Director may accept to 10,000 per fiscal year.

          [...]

          In its latest notice, the Office notes that the number of requests for prioritized examination has increased steadily over the last few years to the point that the limit of 10,000 requests for prioritized examination that may be accepted in any fiscal year will be reached if the limit is not increased. The Office also notes that the number of applications accepted for prioritized examination will remain a small fraction of the approximately 650,000 applications and requests for continued examination that the Office examines per fiscal year. Thus, the Office has determined that the Track I program may be further expanded to permit more applications to undergo prioritized examination while maintaining the ability to timely examine all prioritized applications.

        • Huawei is trying to sell all its 5G patents to a Western buyer in a bid to placate Trump and dodge national security concerns

          Huawei is trying an unusual tactic to try to break its deadlock with the US government. It’s offering to sell the rights to all its 5G patents in a one-time-only offer.

          Huawei’s CEO, Ren Zhengfei, told The Economist’s Hal Hodson that the company was offering to bundle up its 5G patents, licenses, code, and technical blueprints in a one-off transaction.

          The idea would be to create a rival for the Chinese tech giant. “A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei’s survival,” Ren told Hodson.

      • Trademarks

        • THE Ohio State University Loses Its Trademark Application For ‘THE’

          Over the past several weeks, we have been discussing a ridiculous trademark application filed by the Ohio State University for the word “the.” This entire episode has been a painful reminder of the fallout of the permission culture that has risen up out of strict IP enforcement and an overly-permissive USPTO. The idea that so common a word could be locked up by a public university for any market designation is, ahem, patently absurd. So absurd, in fact, that even OSU alumnus and college football commentator Kirk Herbstreit thought the whole thing was silly.

      • Copyrights

        • Nintendo Sues RomUniverse for Mass Copyright Infringement

          Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the alleged operator of the popular pirate site RomUniverse. The game company accuses the site of brazen and mass-scale copyright infringement of its games and hopes to shut it down. RomUniverse, which also offers pirated ebooks and movies, sells paid memberships to those who want unlimited downloads.

        • Meet Our Growing Tech Team!

          Timid Robot Zehta, Core Systems Manager

09.12.19

Links 12/9/2019: GNU/Linux at Huawei, GNOME 3.34 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Huawei selling MateBook laptops with Linux preinstalled to consumers in China

        Despite the trade blacklisting of Huawei by the US government, the Chinese electronics giant’s notebook division is plugging along, despite reports of component order cancellations in June, prompting concern they could exit the PC OEM market.

        Huawei is now selling the Matebook 13, Matebook 14, and Matebook X Pro at VMALL, Huawei’s ecommerce marketplace in China, with Deepin Linux preinstalled. Deepin is a Chinese-domestic distribution, with their own desktop environment—appropriately also called Deepin—called “the single most beautiful desktop on the market” by TechRepublic’s Jack Wallen.

      • Huawei Reportedly Shipping Cheaper MateBook Laptops With Linux in China

        According to Redditor, u/xi_save_earth, the Linux models include MateBook 14 (2019), MateBook X Pro (2019) and MagicBook Pro Ryzen edition, although only base models are apparently available with the Linux option, which means people choosing to buy more powerful models will still have to buy theirs’ with Windows.

        As per the report, the Linux models have been priced 300 yuan (around Rs. 3,000 / $42) cheaper than their Windows counterparts. The devices are identical with one another in terms of their hardware, although the Windows key on the keyboard is replaced with a ‘Start’ key in the Linux devices.

        Interestingly enough, Huawei’s distro of choice isn’t one of the biggies in the Linux world, like Ubuntu or Mint, but instead, the company is using a debian-based operating system called ‘Deepin’ that’s developed by Chinese tech firm, Wuhan Deepin Technologies.

        Formerly known as Linux Deeping and HiWeed Linux, Deepin is believed to have been in development in its various avatars since 2004. It has generally been praised for its aesthetics and usability, but had once courted controversy for using a statistical tracking service in its App Store. The controversial code is since believed to have been removed.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Better Flatpak Support For Firefox Appears To Be Coming

          One of the best and most practical use-cases for sandboxed Linux apps via Flatpak or Snaps is certainly web browsers. There has been unofficial Firefox Flatpaks offered to this point but it’s looking like better support for a Flatpak’ed Firefox could be coming down the pipe soon.

        • Deep dive into Virtio-networking and vhost-net

          In this post we will explain the vhost-net architecture described in the introduction, to make it clear how everything works together from a technical point of view. This is part of the series of blogs that introduces you to the realm of virtio-networking which brings together the world of virtualization and the world of networking.

          This post is intended for architects and developers who are interested in understanding what happens under the hood of the vhost-net/virtio-net architecture described in the previous blog.

          We’ll start by describing how the different virtio spec standard components and shared memory regions are arranged in the hypervisor, how QEMU emulates a virtio network device and how the guest uses the open virtio specification to implement the virtualized driver for managing and communicating with that device.

          After showing you the QEMU virtio architecture we will analyze the I/O bottlenecks and limitations and we will use the host’s kernel to overcome them, reaching the vhost-net architecture presented in the overview post (link).

        • RHEL 8 Now Powers SAP Solutions
    • Kernel Space

      • Maintaining the kernel’s web of trust

        A typical kernel development cycle involves pulling patches from over 100 repositories into the mainline. Any of those pulls could conceivably bring with it malicious code, leaving the kernel (and its users) open to compromise. The kernel’s web of trust helps maintainers to ensure that pull requests are legitimate, but that web has become difficult to maintain in the wake of the recent attacks on key servers and other problems. So now the kernel community is taking management of its web of trust into its own hands.

        Some history

        As recently as 2011, there was no mechanism in place to verify the provenance of pull requests sent to kernel maintainers. If an emailed request looked legitimate, and the proposed code changes appeared to make sense, then the requested pull would generally be performed. That degree of openness makes for a low-friction development experience, but it also leaves the project open to at least a couple types of attacks. Email is easy to forge; an attacker could easily create an email that appeared to be from a known maintainer, but which requested a pull from a malicious repository.

        The risk grows greater if an attacker somehow finds a way to modify a maintainer’s repository (on kernel.org or elsewhere); then the malicious code would be coming from a trusted location. The chances of a forged pull request from a legitimate (but compromised) repository being acted on are discouragingly high.

        The compromise of kernel.org in 2011 focused minds on this problem. By all accounts, the attackers had no idea of the importance of the machine they had taken over, so they did not even try to tamper with any of the repositories kept there. But they could have done such a thing. Git can help developers detect and recover from such attacks, but only to an extent. What the community really needs is a way to know that a specific branch or tag proposed for pulling was actually created by the maintainer for the relevant subsystem.

        One action that was taken was to transform kernel.org from a machine managed by a small number of kernel developers in their spare time into a carefully thought-out system run by full-time administrators supported by the Linux Foundation. The provision of shell accounts to hundreds of kernel developers was belatedly understood to be something other than the best of ideas, so that is no longer done. No system is immune, but kernel.org has become a much harder target than before, so repositories stored there should be relatively safe.

      • Kernel runtime security instrumentation

        Finding ways to make it easier and faster to mitigate an ongoing attack against a Linux system at runtime is part of the motivation behind the kernel runtime security instrumentation (KRSI) project. Its developer, KP Singh, gave a presentation about the project at the 2019 Linux Security Summit North America (LSS-NA), which was held in late August in San Diego. A prototype of KRSI is implemented as a Linux security module (LSM) that allows eBPF programs to be attached to the kernel’s security hooks.

        Singh began by laying out the motivation for KRSI. When looking at the security of a system, there are two sides to the coin: signals and mitigations. The signals are events that might, but do not always, indicate some kind of malicious activity is taking place; the mitigations are what is done to thwart the malicious activity once it has been detected. The two “go hand in hand”, he said.

        For example, the audit subsystem can provide signals of activity that might be malicious. If you have a program that determines that the activity actually is problematic, then you might want it to update the policy for an LSM to restrict or prevent that behavior. Audit may also need to be configured to log the events in question. He would like to see a unified mechanism for specifying both the signals and mitigations so that the two work better together. That is what KRSI is meant to provide.

        He gave a few examples of different types of signals. For one, a process that executes and then deletes its executable might well be malicious. A kernel module that loads and then hides itself is also suspect. A process that executes with suspicious environment variables (e.g. LD_PRELOAD) might indicate something has gone awry as well.

        On the mitigation side, an administrator might want to prevent mounting USB drives on a server, perhaps after a certain point during the startup. There could be dynamic whitelists or blacklists of various sorts, for kernel modules that can be loaded, for instance, to prevent known vulnerable binaries from executing, or stopping binaries from loading a core library that is vulnerable to ensure that updates are done. Adding any of these signals or mitigations requires reconfiguration of various parts of the kernel, which takes time and/or operator intervention. He wondered if there was a way to make it easy to add them in a unified way.

      • Change IDs for kernel patches

        For all its faults, email has long proved to be an effective communication mechanism for kernel development. Similarly, Git is an effective tool for source-code management. But there is no real connection between the two, meaning that there is no straightforward way to connect a Git commit with the email discussions that led to its acceptance. Once a patch enters a repository, it transitions into a new form of existence and leaves its past life behind. Doug Anderson recently went to the ksummit-discuss list with a proposal to add Gerrit-style change IDs as a way of connecting the two lives of a kernel patch; the end result may not be quite what he was asking for.

        [...]

        Creation of this tag is relatively easy; it can be entirely automated at the point where a patch is applied to a Git repository. But it doesn’t solve the entire problem; it can associate a commit with the final posting of a patch on a mailing list, but it cannot help to find previous versions of a patch. Generally, the discussion of the last version of a patch is boring since there is usually a consensus at that point that it should be applied. It’s the discussion of the previous versions that will have caused changes to be made and which can explain some of the decisions that were made. But kernel developers are remarkably and inexplicably poor at placing the message ID of the final version of a patch into the previous versions.

        The most commonly suggested solution to that problem is not fully automatic. Developers like Thomas Gleixner and Christian Brauner argued in favor of adding a link to previous versions of a patch when posting an updated version. Gleixner called for a link to the cover letter of the prior version, while Brauner puts links to all previous versions. Either way, an interested developer can follow the links backward to see how a patch series has changed, along with the discussions that led to those changes.

      • Examining exFAT

        inux kernel developers like to get support for new features — such as filesystem types — merged quickly. In the case of the exFAT filesystem, that didn’t happen; exFAT was created by Microsoft in 2006 for use in larger flash-storage cards, but there has never been support in the kernel for this filesystem. Microsoft’s recent announcement that it wanted to get exFAT support into the mainline kernel would appear to have removed the largest obstacle to Linux exFAT support. But, as is so often the case, it seems that some challenges remain.
        For years, the Linux community mostly ignored exFAT; it was a proprietary format overshadowed by an unpleasant patent cloud. A Linux driver existed, though, and was shipped as a proprietary module on various Android devices. In 2013, the code for this driver escaped into the wild and was posted to a GitHub repository. But that code was never actually released under a free license and the patent issues remained, so no serious effort to upstream it into the mainline kernel was ever made.

        The situation stayed this way for some years. Even Microsoft’s decision to join the Open Invention Network (OIN) in 2018 did not change the situation; exFAT, being outside the OIN Linux System Definition, was not covered by any new patent grants. Some people pointed this out at the time, but it didn’t raise a lot of concern. Most people, it seemed, had simply forgotten about exFAT, which has a relatively limited deployment overall.

      • Linux Foundation

        • CHAOSS project bringing order to open-source metrics

          Providing meaningful metrics for open-source projects has long been a challenge, as simply measuring downloads, commits, or GitHub stars typically doesn’t say much about the health or diversity of a project. It’s a challenge the Linux Foundation’s Community Health Analytics Open Source Software (CHAOSS) project is looking to help solve. At the 2019 Open Source Summit North America (OSSNA), Matt Germonprez, one of the founding members of CHAOSS, outlined what the group is currently doing and why its initial efforts didn’t work out as expected.

          Germonprez is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and helped to start CHAOSS, which was first announced at the 2017 OSSNA held in Los Angeles. When CHAOSS got started, he said, there was no bar as to what the project was interested in. “We developed a long list of metrics, they were really unfiltered and uncategorized, so it wasn’t doing a lot of good for people,” Germonprez admitted.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 430.50 Linux Driver Brings Color Fix For Pre-Turing GPUs

          While the NVIDIA 435 series is now stable, for those sticking to the previous NVIDIA 430 driver series that is their current “long-lived” driver branch, a new version is available.

          NVIDIA 430.50 was released on Wednesday as the latest Linux driver release in this driver series supported for an extended period of time. The only listed change for the NVIDIA 430.50 Linux driver is fixing the display color range handling for pre-Turing GPUs. When limiting the color range via the NVIDIA-Settings GUI, the output pixel values will now be properly clamped to the CTA range.

        • Mesa 19.2-RC3 Released While Final Release Expected Around Month’s End

          The third release candidate of the belated Mesa 19.2 is now available while a fourth and likely final RC is expected next week while the stable release of this quarterly Mesa3D update should be out at month’s end.

          Mesa 19.2-RC3 back-ports the new support for DriConf in Intel’s Vulkan driver (for a workaround with GfxBench), various NIR fixes, a GLX segmentation fault is fixed, a few RADV and RadeonSI fixes (including Navi/GFX10 fixes for RadeonSI), and the Intel glthread crash fix for KDE’s KWin.

        • AMDGPU Driver Looking To Re-Enable Performance-Boosting “Bulk Moves” Functionality

          AMD developers are looking at finally re-enabling the LRU bulk moves functionality in their AMDGPU Linux kernel graphics driver that has the ability to help with performance.

          The LRU bulk moves patches were posted back in August of 2018 with the ability to help improve OpenCL and Vulkan performance for Radeon graphics. But prior to the release of the Linux 5.0 kernel that functionality was disabled for bugs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Highly rated action rpg rogue-lite ‘Unexplored’ now has a Linux test build available

        Something we’ve been wait on quite some time, Unexplored from Ludomotion released in 2017 and now game porter Ethan Lee has given it a go with a Linux test build up.

        Turns out the port was a little different than usual, as Ethan Lee noted on the Steam post. The game has always been using their FNA magic, so it didn’t exactly have a lot of “porting” work to be done. However, due to some issues they had to do some decompiling and apply some manual fixes to get it here. However, it should be mostly “solid”.

      • It’s the pre-weekend deals section, plus Endless Space – Collection (Steam Play) free on Humble

        It’s coming up to the weekend, here’s our usual column taking a quick look over what good deals are going on right now.

        First up, for you Steam Play fans there’s the Endless Space – Collection currently going free for 48 hours on Humble Store as part of their End of Summer Sale Encore.

      • Valve have tweaked Steam’s mighty algorithms and fixed some bugs with a new store update out

        One of the main problems seemed to be the most popular games driving these sections, Valve claims this happened with the “Similar by Tags” section and it was a bug they’ve since fixed. There’s lots of other little bug fixes and changes done, which has also resulted in the “Recommended for You” section also now being less biased towards the most popular titles.

      • Top 20 Funny Steam Games For Kids To Play Right Now [on Linux]

        There are ample of funny steam games for kids available on the store for the Linux system. A couple of years back, gaming on the Linux was almost impossible. Nevertheless, a vast range of games are now available in different Linux distros, thanks to steam. Moreover, playing games on Linux is no more difficult. However, many games even available for free. Additionally, there are different genres of games, such as indie, action, adventure, casual, strategy, simulation, RPG, Early Access, single-player, violent, and sports. Linux users can play all these genres of games on steam for absolutely free or spending a little buck.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kate in the Windows Store

          Our Windows team is small, any help is very welcome! Thanks again to all the people that made it possible to use Kate nicely on Windows.

        • Kubuntu Meets at Milan Akademy 2019

          We also discussed snaps and when Ubuntu possibly moves to “all snaps all the time” for applications at least. This may be in our future, so it is worth thinking and discussing.

          Tobias Fischbach came by the BOF and told us about Limux which is based on Kubuntu. This has been the official computer distribution of Munich for the past few years. Now however, unless the Mayor changes (or changes his mind) the city is moving to Windows again, which will be unfortunate for the City.

          Slightly off-topic but relevent is that KDE neon will be moving to 20.04 base soon after release, but they will not stay on the Plasma LTS or Qt LTS. So users who want the very latest in KDE Plasma and applications will continue to have the option of using Neon, while our users, who expect more testing and stability can choose between the LTS for the ultimate in stability and our interim releases for newer Plasma and applications.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Introducing GNOME 3.34: “Thessaloniki”

          GNOME 3.34 is the latest version of GNOME 3, and is the result of 6 months’ hard work by the GNOME community. It contains major new features, as well as many smaller improvements and bug fixes. In total, the release incorporates 23929 changes, made by approximately 777 contributors.
          3.34 has been named “Thessaloniki” in recognition of this year’s GUADEC organizing team. GUADEC is GNOME’s primary annual conference and is only possible due to the amazing work of local volunteers. This year’s event was held in Thessaloniki, Greece, and was a big success. Thank you, Team Thessaloniki!

        • GNOME 3.34 Released

          The latest version of GNOME 3 has been released today. Version 3.34 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements, performance improvements and new features.

        • GNOME 3.34 released
          The GNOME Project is proud to announce the release of GNOME 3.34, Θεσσαλονίκη
          (Thessaloniki).
          
          This release brings performance improvements in the shell, Drag-And-Drop in
          the overview, improved mouse and keybord accessibility, previews in the
          background panel, support for systemd user sessions, and more.
          
          Improvements to core GNOME applications include new icons, sandboxed browsing
          in Web, gapless playback in Music, support for bidirectional text in the
          Terminal, more featured applications in Software, and more.
          
          For more information about the changes in GNOME 3.34, you can visit
          the release notes:
          
          https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.34/
          
          GNOME 3.34 will be available shortly in many distributions. If you want
          to try it today, you can use the Fedora 31 beta that will be available soon
          or the openSUSE nightly live images which include GNOME 3.34.
          
          https://www.gnome.org/getting-gnome/
          
          
          http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/development/31/Workstation/x86_64/iso/
          
          
          http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/GNOME:/Medias/images/iso/?P=GNOME_Next*
          
          To try the very latest developments in GNOME, you can also use Fedora
          Silverblue, whose rawhide branch always includes the latest GNOME packages.
          
          https://kojipkgs.fedoraproject.org/compose/rawhide/latest-Fedora-Rawhide/compose/Silverblue/x86_64/iso/
          
          If you are interested in building applications for GNOME 3.34, you can
          use the GNOME 3.34 Flatpak SDK, which is available in the sdk.gnome.org
          repository.
          
          This six-month effort wouldn't have been possible without the whole
          GNOME community, made of contributors and friends from all around the
          world: developers, designers, documentation writers, usability and
          accessibility specialists, translators, maintainers, students, system
          administrators, companies, artists, testers and last, but not least,
          our users.
          
          GNOME would not exist without all of you. Thank you to everyone!
          
          Our next release, GNOME 3.36, is planned for March 2020. Until then,
          enjoy GNOME 3.34!
          
          💓, the GNOME Release Team
          
        • GNOME 3.34 is Here. What’s New.

          GNOME 3.34 is the latest iterative release of open-source desktop environment for Linux systems. After 6 months long development cycle, GNOME 3.34 is released and this release brings some long-pending troublemaker feature fixes for this widely used desktop environment.

        • 09/12/2019

          It’s open source release day with GNOME 3.34 bringing a host of workflow and usability requirements and Manjaro 18.1 adding a new office suite installer option.

          Plus Mozilla’s recent addition of premium Firefox support and a quick look at the Sega Genesis Mini.

        • GNOME 3.34 Released With Its Many Performance Improvements & Better Wayland Support

          Red Hat developer Matthias Clasen has just announced the release of GNOME 3.34 as this widely anticipated update to the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

          Making GNOME 3.34 particularly exciting is the plethora of optimizations/fixes in tow with this six-month update. Equally exciting are a ton of improvements and additions around the Wayland support to ensure its performance and feature parity to X11. GNOME 3.34 also brings other improvements line sandboxed browsing with Epiphany, GNOME Music enhancements, GNOME Software improvements, nd a ton of other refinements throughout GNOME Shell, Mutter, and the many GNOME applications.

        • GNOME 3.34 Desktop Environment Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

          The GNOME Project announced today the release and general availability of the highly anticipated GNOME 3.34 desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems.

          GNOME 3.34 is dubbed “Thessaloniki” after the host city of the GUADEC (GNOME User and Developer European Conference) 2019 event and it’s a major release that adds numerous new features and improvements. It’s been in development of the past six months and comes as a drop-in replacement for the GNOME 3.32 “Taipei” desktop environment series with many new features.

          “The latest version of GNOME 3 has been released today. Version 3.34 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements, performance improvements and new features,” reads today’s announcement. “Highlights from this release include visual refreshes for a number of applications, including the desktop itself. The background selection settings also received a redesign, making it easier to select custom backgrounds.”

        • GNOME 3.34 Released with “Drastically Improved” Responsiveness

          And it’s here; the new GNOME 3.34 release is now officially available, six months after development first began.

          And the biggest change on offer in GNOME 3.34 isn’t one you can see, but it is one you can feel: speed.

          Now, yes: each new release of this particular desktop environment comes carrying claims of “faster” or “better performance”. And those claims don’t always feel accurate.

        • GUADEC 2019 wrap-up

          This year is the third edition of the GUADEC. Things were slightly different now: I was not a GSoC student anymore and I had my first jet lag. Three flights, some trains (including a type of train which rails were suspended in the air) were enough to go to Thessaloniki lands. When I arrived to Greece, I was a bit scared of the language since the alphabet would be almost impossible to type in my smartphone. However, I could easily reach the accomodation point.

          My purpose for this GUADEC was different than the past ones. In the past I went basically to talk about my Google Summer of Code projects, but this time I wanted to show to the attendees the project I was working on as part of my dissertation project. I wanted to re-write almost everything of what I did and in the best case my plan was to find a contributor to my project. I am very happy to say that I found one contributor to this project. The project I talk about consisted on adding face overlay effects to Cheese developing a GStreamer plugins which elements should be better than gstfaceoverlay and gstfacedetect. The code of the project I made for my dissertation project can be found on this link and the one that is being written from scratch can be found on this repository. The slides are available on Google Docs and the full details (actually the thesis document) is written (in Spanish) in this document.

          [...]

          After GUADEC I had some vacations in Greece for about one week more and then I was going to Poznan, Poland. As I mentioned, the first day of the event I met Mieszko Mazurek who actually lives in that city. He was showing me the city and his office in which he works were he develops low-level and high-level software to control batteries. He uses GNOME-based technology for this high-level software. I also continued to show him and explaining him about the Cheese Face Effects project. Finally, that day I could get the code I wrote during the event with the help of him to work as expected. Now I am on Krakow, and he is going to do an inter-city trip to continue talking about the mentioned project.

        • Gdk-pixbuf modules – call for help

          I’ve been doing a little refactoring of gdk-pixbuf’s crufty code, to see if the gripes from my braindump can be solved. For things where it is not obvious how to proceed, I’ve started taking more detailed notes in a gdk-pixbuf survey.

          Today I was looking at which gdk-pixbuf modules are implemented by third parties, that is, which external projects provide their own image codecs pluggable into gdk-pixbuf.

          And there are not that many!

          The only four that I found are libheif, libopenraw, libwmf, librsvg (this last one, of course).

          Update 2019/Sep/12 – Added apng, exif-raw, psd, pvr, vtf, webp, xcf.

    • Distributions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Vulture Central team welcomed to our new nest by crashed Ubuntu that’s 3 years out of date

          As eagle-eyed readers may have noted, Vulture Central UK is on the move. Our migratory path has led us to London’s Grays Inn Road and, well, you can see what was waiting for us.

          We normally like to feature Windows machines in various states of distress, be it a Tesco or Boots self-service till, or the odd railway terminal having a very, very bad day.

          Today, courtesy of BT’s InLinkUK, we have a Linux-based device caught with its pants down on our doorstep.

          InLinkUK is an outfit that plops ad-slinging screens on the pavement, which lure punters with the promise of connectivity. Or, in this case, an insight into the OS on which the things actually run.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Multiview on WebXR

            The WebGL multiview extension is already available in several browsers and 3D web engines and it could easily help to improve the performance on your WebXR application

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Bottom to top, left to right writing direction in Writer conference talk

          Yesterday I gave a Bottom to top, left to right writing direction in Writer talk at the LibreOffice Conference 2019. The room was well-crowded — perhaps because it was on the first day and in the largest room. ;-)

          It contains some details which are not available in previous btLr blog posts, like what natural languages use this direction, how to replace real-world clocks without breaking compatibility and more!

      • CMS

        • Richard Best Releases Free Audio and Ebook: “A Practical Guide to WordPress and the GPL”

          If you’re itching to go deeper into the legal aspects of navigating WordPress’ relationship to the GPL license, Richard Best has recently made his ebook (and the audio version) called “A Practical Guide to WordPress and the GPL” available for free. Best, a technology and public lawyer based in New Zealand, had previously sold the book with other products as part of a business package that is still available for purchase. After receiving feedback on his most recent post titled “Taking GPL’d code proprietary,” he found that the issues addressed in the book are still relevant and decided to release it for free.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Public Services/Government

        • The Pentagon Needs to Make More Software Open Source, Watchdog Says

          The Defense Department is not abiding by a federal mandate to promote the use of open source software and make common code more readily available to other agencies, according to the Government Accountability Office.

          In 2016, the Office of Management and Budget published a memorandum that required every federal agency to make at least 20% of their custom-built software open source within three years, meaning the code would be available for other agencies to use. However, as of July, the Pentagon had released less than 10% of its software as open source, according to GAO.

          The department has also failed to fully implement a number of other open source software initiatives required by the OMB memo, such as creating an enterprisewide open source software policy and building inventories of custom code, auditors said. Additionally, officials never created performance metrics to measure the success of their open source software efforts.

          In both industry and government, the popularity of open source software has exploded in recent years to keep up with the growing demand for fresh tech. By sharing and reusing code, organizations can reduce the cost of developing software and trust the code they’re using has been thoroughly tested by other users.

          However, relying on software that someone else developed requires a certain level of trust. If the developer overlooks a vulnerability in the code—or intentionally inserts one—that bug could end up in countless applications, and users wouldn’t know it’s there.

      • Programming/Development

        • Bias and ethical issues in machine-learning models

          The success stories that have gathered around data analytics drive broader adoption of the newest artificial-intelligence-based techniques—but risks come along with these techniques. The large numbers of freshly anointed data scientists piling into industry and the sensitivity of the areas given over to machine-learning models—hiring, loans, even sentencing for crime—means there is a danger of misapplied models, which is earning the attention of the public. Two sessions at the recent MinneBOS 2019 conference focused on maintaining ethics and addressing bias in machine-learning applications.

          To define a few terms: modern analytics increasingly uses machine learning, currently the most popular form of the field broadly known as artificial intelligence (AI). In machine learning, an algorithm is run repeatedly to create and refine a model, which is then tested against new data.

          MinneBOS was sponsored by the Twin Cities organization Minne Analytics; the two sessions were: “The Ethics of Analytics” by Bill Franks and “Minding the Gap: Understanding and Mitigating Bias in AI” by Jackie Anderson. (Full disclosure: Franks works on books for O’Reilly Media, which also employs the author of this article.) Both presenters pointed out that bias can sneak into machine learning at many places, and both laid out some ways to address the risks. There were interesting overlaps between the recommendations of Franks, who organized his talk around stages, and of Anderson who organized her talk around sources of bias.

          When we talk about “bias” we normally think of it in the everyday of sense of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, income, or some other social category. This focus on social discrimination is reinforced by articles in the popular press. But in math and science, bias is a technical term referring to improper data handling or choice of inputs. And indeed, the risks in AI go further than protected categories such as race and gender. Bias leads to wrong results, plain and simple. Whether bias leads to social discrimination or just to lost business opportunities and wasted money, organizations must be alert and adopt ways to avoid it.

        • An introduction to Markdown

          For a long time, I thought all the files I saw on GitLab and GitHub with an .md extension were written in a file type exclusively for developers. That changed a few weeks ago when I started using Markdown. It quickly became the most important tool in my daily work.

          Markdown makes my life easier. I just need to add a few symbols to what I’m already writing and, with the help of a browser extension or an open source program, I can transform my text into a variety of commonly used formats such as ODT, email (more on that later), PDF, and EPUB.

        • Intel Tightens Up Its AVX-512 Behavior For The LLVM Clang 10 Compiler

          When targeting Skylake-AVX512, Icelake-Client, Icelake-Server, Cascadelake, or Cooperlake with the LLVM Clang compiler where AVX-512 is supported, it will now default to preferring the 256-bit vector width rather than 512-bit with AVX-512. Unless 512-bit intrinsics are used in the source code, 512-bit ZMM registers will not be used since those operations lead to most processors running at a lower frequency state. On current generation processors, the performance gains of AVX-512 can often times be negated due to the AVX-512 frequency hits.

        • 2019.3 EAP 1

          The first Early Access Program (EAP) for PyCharm 2019.3 is now available to be downloaded from our website!

        • PyCon: Call for Proposals for PyCon 2020 is open!

          The time is upon us again! PyCon 2020’s Call for Proposals has officially opened for talks, tutorials, posters, education summit, and charlas. PyCon is made by you, so we need you to share what you’re working on, how you’re working on it, what you’ve learned, what you’re learning, and so much more.

        • Welcome to the float zone…
        • Robin Wilson: I am now a freelancer in Remote Sensing, GIS, Data Science & Python

          Since I stopped working as an academic, and took time out to focus on my work and look after my new baby, I’ve been trying to find something which allows me to fit my work nicely around the rest of my life. I’ve done bits of short part-time work contracts, and various bits of freelance work – and I’ve now decided that freelancing is the way forward.

        • Talk Python to Me: #229 Building advanced Pythonic interviews with docassemble

          On this episode, we dive into Python for lawyers and a special tool for conducting legal interviews. Imagine you have to collect details for 20,000 participants in a class-action lawsuit. docassemble, a sweet Python web app, can do it for you with easy.

  • Leftovers

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • South Africans are not xenophobic: Mogoeng

        Mogoeng spoke about the attacks on foreign nationals while addressing today’s graduation ceremony at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus.

        The Chief Justice, who is the Chancellor at UKZN, says we need to get to the root of this issue.

      • Thuli Madonsela receives ‘highest honour’ from UKZN, condemns xenophobia

        The ceremony, held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Westville Campus, saw the university chancellor, constitutional court chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, confer on Madonsela the university’s highest honour in law, the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa, during the institution’s annual graduation ceremony.

        Madonsela was awarded the honour for her “distinguished time in office as public protector, for her unwavering and steely determination to complete complex investigations with courage and conviction”.

        Madonsela was praised for taking risks and putting her personal life in danger and for “creating an awareness both in South Africa and globally that corruption will not be tolerated”.

        Mogoeng called her a “voice for the poor in South Africa, voice for women empowerment and voice for a transformed and just legal system”.

      • Zambian Church pleads for end to xenophobic ‘chaos’

        UNZA students burning the sign outside the South African Embassy in Lusaka during a demonstration to protest against xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

      • Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe – an Opportunist, Ambitious Failure Who Hijacked a People’s Revolution

        Born in 1924, Robert Gabriel Mugabe became one of Zimbabwe’s most talked about nationalists.

        Much of the publicity surrounding the name Robert Mugabe took place from around 1960, when he was voted as Secretary General of the National Democratic Party [NDP] at its first Congress in October 1960.

        The NDP had been formed on January 1, 1960 amazingly in the absence of Mugabe, leading to some of his critics arguing that he was never where things began.

        The NDP lasted for a year and was banned in December of 1961, resulting in the same organisation reviving itself as the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union [ZAPU].

        Mugabe continued as ZAPU’s Publicity Secretary of which the president was Joshua Nkomo since the time of the NDP.

    • Monopolies

      • Voice-overs, peer-to-peer recruitment platforms and IP rights: a survey of 200+ performers

        This Kat has previously discussed the potential (negative) impact of online peer-to-peer recruitment platforms on intellectual property rights (see here and here).

        Remember peer-to-peer recruitment platforms? They are online platforms that operate like ‘Uber’. But instead of arranging taxi rides, they broker the commissioning of bespoke creative content, such as logo design, video making or voice-over acting.

        This Kat brings you more research on artists’ experience of these platforms and of their intellectual property rights – read on!

      • CJEU’s Advocate General expounds on the availability of SPCs where the basic patent claims a functionally defined active ingredient or a Markush formula in the joined cases Royalty Pharma (C-650/17) and Sandoz v. Searle (C-114/18)

        In the field of supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) in the European Union, the majority of all CJEU referrals resolved to date have dealt with the interpretation of the – presumably simple – requirement that an SPC can be only granted for an active ingredient (or a combination of active ingredients) that is “protected” by the basic patent relied upon. Ever since the CJEU endorsed the “identification test” (rather than the “infringement test”) in its landmark decision Medeva (C-322/10), concluding that an active ingredient must be “specified” or “identified” in the claims of the basic patent in order to be “protected” within the meaning of Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation, an intense controversy has emerged in relation to the question just how specifically an active ingredient has to be identified in the basic patent in order to allow the grant of an SPC.

      • Anti-trust tech suits: Deja vu

        These types of cases can have useful outcomes, even if the decisions are not ones any of the parties expects or anticipates. The messy antitrust case against Microsoft that spanned two centuries didn’t save Netscape nor break up Microsoft. But since then the browser market has remained a competitive area, even to the point of Microsoft using Chromium open source software for its Edge browser.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Munich court schedules first hearings in two Sharp v. Daimler patent cases for late November, another anti-antisuit hearing for early October

          The question is whether Sharp is now going to seek a prophylactic anti-antisuit-injunction injunction (“AAII”) from the Munich court, given that Daimler supplier Continental may in the not too distant future file an antisuit-injunction motion with Judge Lucy H. Koh in the Northern District of California targeting at least Sharp, Nokia, a couple of patent assertion entities Nokia had fed with patents, and the Avanci patent pool firm. On Tuesday, after Continental’s miserable failure over the course of four days (two weekend days, but well-run litigants wouldn’t care) to respond to a letter Sharp had addressed to Judge Koh, the world’s #1 technology industry judge dismissed a pending antisuit-injunction motion without prejudice so as to avoid piecemeal resolution with two or more antisuit injunction motions in the same case. While Continental was too slow and/or unprofessional to clarify promptly that Sharp wasn’t meant to be included by the original antisuit motion, it could have brought a subsequent antisuit motion targeting Sharp. Also, Continental had withdrawn parts of its motion even with respect to Nokia (most importantly the ten aformentioned pending German cases) to comply with the first Munich AAII, but by doing so without prejudice, the automotive supplier reserved the right to revive those parts in the event of a successful appeal to the Munich Higher Regional Court. And then the Avanci pool has various other members, so if Continental refiles, it should target all Avanci contributors (in case its lawyers are conflicted with regard to any of them, it should simply find new ones, which may be a good idea anyway given how things have gone wrong so far with respect to the antisuit effort).

          There are two AAIIs in place, one (the first to come down) against Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. of Auburn Hills, MI, and one against Continental AG, the Germany-based parent company of the entire group (and, as part of that, an indirect parent of the U.S. entity). The first one had been granted ex parte without a hearing and without Continental even having a clue until the decision had come down. But there was a service-of-process dispute as the U.S. entity pointed to the Hague Convention (which according to the Avanci defendants’ motion to dismiss Continental’s U.S. lawyers may have failed to comply with when attempting to serve Sharp Japan). The second one didn’t raise that kind of issue, but the court initially denied an AAII because Nokia had not made it sufficiently clear what complicit or intermediary role Continental AG, which is not a plaintiff in the case before Judge Koh, had played in the U.S. antisuit effort. Nokia didn’t take no for an answer, so the court held a hearing, and then decided in Nokia’s favor.

        • Federal Circuit Rejects Patenting Designs “in the Abstract”

          The district court dismissed Curver’s design patent infringement lawsuit for failure-to-state-a-claim. Asserted U.S. Design Patent D677,946 is titled “Pattern for a Chair”

          [...]

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed — holding that claim language specifying a particular article of manufacture (a chair) limits the scope of the design patent in cases where “the claim language supplies the only instance of an article of manufacture that appears nowhere in the figures.”

          In this case, the patentee essentially asked for the Federal Circuit to construe the patent as covering a disembodied design that could be applied to any article of manufacture. In rejecting that argument, the court first noted that it “has never sanctioned granting a design patent for a surface ornamentation in the abstract such that the patent’s scope encompasses every possible article of manufacture to which the surface ornamentation is applied.”

        • Patent case: Innovative Memory Systems Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc., USA

          Concluding that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board improperly construed certain claims in a patent for memory system circuits owned by Innovative Memory Systems, Inc. in an inter partes review filed by Micron Technology, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reversed the Board’s finding of unpatentability. The Federal Circuit reversed the Board’s construction for the term “wherein the correspondence of blocks to zones is adjustable by controller” in the patent claims and the Board’s conclusion about a limitation in the patent claims based on prior art references (Innovative Memory Systems, Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., August 27, 2019, Prost, S.).

        • Danish High Court radically changes its course on costs awards

          On 29 August 2019, the Danish High Court (Eastern Division) rendered a decisive new decision regarding legal costs in Danish patent (and IP) litigation, markedly changing the previously conservative tendency in awarding costs in Danish patent cases:

          In one among several parallel cases regarding an SPC (Tenofovir), the Maritime and Commercial High Court in April 2018 granted a PI against a generic pharmaceutical (Sandoz Padviram).

          The PI was appealed to the High Court, but the scheduled oral hearing never took place as in the meantime, the Sandoz successfully convinced the Maritime and Commercial Court to repeal the PI while the appeal was still pending at the High Court (Eastern Division).

          Consequently, the High Court was asked to rule on the issue of costs.

          [...]

          With this decision, the High Court (Eastern Division) explicitly acknowledges the general applicability of article 14 of the Enforcement Directive as adopted by the ECJ in United Video Properties, which means that prevailing parties in patent litigation (and by inference in IP litigation in Denmark) may now expect to receive costs that reflect the actual costs incurred as a result of patent litigation.

        • CRISPR Interference: Motion Practice

          CVC also contends that granting its motion and imposing a protective order would not prejudice the public, particularly because the Board authorized the Broad to file a motion to substitute the count, raising the possibility that “CVC will have revealed its preliminary assessment of bases for entitlement to a judgment on priority for a count that is never adjudicated.”

        • Prosecution History Disclaimer 1880 – 2019

          The patent at issue here (5,809,336) stems from a 1989 application and a divisional filed just before the 1995 change-over to the 20-year-from-filing patent term. The microprocessor system claims require an “oscillator.” In interpreting that limitation, the court added some additional negative limitations that (1) the oscillator “does not require a command input to change the clock frequency” and (2) the oscillator’s frequency “is not fixed by any external crystal.” The addition was based upon arguments that the patentee made during prosecution. That narrowing, the patentee argues “runs afoul of the separation of powers among Congress, the USPTO, and the federal courts embodied in the Patent Act.”

          The most interesting aspect of the petition here is reliance on so many 19th century decisions by the Supreme Court:

      • Trademarks

        • What’s in a name? General Court rules conceptual comparison of names normally not possible

          The case concerns an opposition against the sign LUCIANO SANDRONE on the basis of the word mark DON LUCIANO, both registered for ‘Alcoholic beverages (except beer)’. The Opposition Division found no likelihood of confusion and rejected the opposition [here], but the Board of Appeal (BoA) reversed and allowed the opposition [here]. The GC reversed again and held that there is no likelihood of confusion between the signs.

        • Cannot Register “IGP” for Paint in Switzerland – because It Could Be a PGI

          Kat readers familiar with geographical indications (GI) may primarily think of cheese, wine or bakery products when discussing this topic. One of the peculiarities of the (recently revised) Swiss legislation on protected designations of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indications (PGI) is the possibility to register a geographical indication for non-agricultural products (think knives, watches or minerals, for example). Whereas this new IP instrument does not seem to have sparked a huge interest among prospective right holders [as of today not a single geographic indication for non-agricultural products has been registered in Switzerland], it does seem to have sealed the fate of a trade mark application that could easily have sailed through registration in another place at another time.

      • Copyrights

        • AG Szpunar advises CJEU to rule that internet downloads of ebooks are covered by right of communication to the public, not distribution (so, no, there is no digital exhaustion under InfoSoc Directive)

          As readers know, the CJEU has already found – in UsedSoft – that there is such thing as ‘digital exhaustion’ in relation to software under the Software Directive. However, that piece of legislation is both lex specialis and has a rather narrow field of application (for instance, it does not cover videogames, as the CJEU clarified in Nintendo).

          Hence, in the aftermath of the UsedSoft ruling, it has remained unclear whether the same consequences envisaged in relation to the first lawful sale of the copy of a computer program could extend to subject matter protected under the InfoSoc Directive.

          Certain national courts have attempted to tackle all this, though have done so with diverging outcomes.

          For instance, in 2014, the Court of Appeal of Hamm in Germany excluded that the right of distribution under the InfoSoc Directive, as transposed into German law, could be exhausted in the case of audiobooks (OLG Hamm, 22 U 60/13).

        • Anne Black copyright dispute – originality: how low can you go?

          n June 2019, the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court gave a landmark decision – at least from a Danish point of view – concerning the question of originality in the sense of copyright law. The dispute concerned a hanging flowerpot, a vase and a jar, all created by the Danish designer Anne Black and all made of clay and sold in various colours and sizes. As shown by the photos, the products were all characterized by a lean and simple design.

        • Case preview: design rights at play in baby baths battle

          After the Trunki v Kiddee design case made its way up to the UK Supreme Court, another dispute, Shnuggle v Munchkin, is brewing

          This oddly named dispute might sound like something out of a fairy tale but the case, due to be heard before the England and Wales Intellectual Property Enterprise Court this month, could make for an interesting design dispute.

          The claim, filed by baby product maker Shnuggle, alleges infringement of two registered Community designs (RCDs) – 002224196-0001 and 002616763-0001 – as well as various UK unregistered designs, directed to its ‘Shnuggle Baby Bath’.

        • BREAKING: CJEU confirms that German press publishers’ right is unenforceable due to missed notification to the European Commission

          Readers with an interest in related rights, especially those in favour of press publishers, will know not only that there is now an EU-wide right for press publishers (Article 15 of the DSM Directive), but will also remember that its national predecessor – ie the German related right in favour of press publishers – has been challenged in courts and a referral was made to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding its actual enforceability.

        • BREAKING: CJEU rules that only requirement for copyright protection of designs is their originality

          Copyright in designs: what are the relevant requirements for protection? Is it compatible with EU law that a certain national law requires a design to be a ‘work of art’, an ‘artistic creation’ for copyright to vest in it?

          This, in a nutshell, was the twofold issue at the heart of the referral from the Portuguese Supreme Court to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Cofemel, C-683/17.

          As readers will remember, this referral originated in the uncertainties arisen in the aftermath of earlier CJEU case law, most notably the Flos ruling, which suggests that – in fact – Member States (contrary to what appears from the wording of Article 17 of the Design Directive) would have no freedom whatsoever in determining the conditions at which designs are eligible for copyright protection.

        • Split views after CJEU advised on digital copyright exhaustion

          Exhaustion does not apply to the resale of e-books, advocate general says, in an opinion that has attracted a mixed response among lawyers

Links 12/9/2019: Manjaro 18.1 and KaOS 2019.09 Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Huawei Just Started Selling Laptops With Deepin Linux Pre-Installed

        Some of the best and most affordable premium laptops on the market are now shipping with Linux pre-installed. More specifically they’re shipping with Deepin, a beautiful and polished desktop Linux distribution which, like Huawei, are based in China. Whether this is a result of the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China is unknown, but it’s a nice step forward for the proliferation of Linux alternatives promoted by major OEMs.

        Let’s get the disappointing news out of the way first. Right now these select Huawei laptops with Linux are only rolling out in China, via Huawei’s official e-commerce store VMall.com.

        The exact models available with Deepin Linux are the Huawei MateBook X Pro, Huawei MateBook 13 and Huawei MateBook 14. It also looks like you’re stuck with the stock options for each model.

    • Server

      • SLE 12 SP5 Release Candidate 1 is available for testing

        SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 5 (SLE 12 SP5) is the last Service Pack of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 (SLE 12) code stream.

      • Not Enough Open Source Monitoring Solutions For Enterprise

        In this interview, Greg Pattison, GM of Blue Medora talks about the state of monitoring and logging solutions for enterprise workloads. The interview was conducted at VMworld.

      • OpenStack Foundation’s StarlingX 2.0 Expands Cloud Computing to the Edge

        The OpenStack Foundation’s StarlingX has reached another major milestone, with the 2.0 release of the edge computing platform project.

        Based on code contribution from Wind River Systems, StarlingX debuted in late 2018 to enable the development and deployment of edge computing cloud software

      • This is the 75th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

        This is the 75th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • IBM

        • Kubeflow + OpenShift Container Platform + Dell EMC Hardware: A Complete Machine Learning Stack

          Kubeflow is an open source machine learning toolkit for Kubernetes. It bundles popular ML/DL frameworks such as TensorFlow, MXNet, Pytorch, and Katib with a single deployment binary. By running Kubeflow on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, you can quickly operationalize a robust machine learning pipeline. However, the software stack is only part of the picture. You also need high performance servers, storage, and accelerators to deliver the stack’s full capability. To that end, Dell EMC and Red Hat’s Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence recently collaborated on two white papers about sizing hardware for Kubeflow on OpenShift.

        • Wherefore Art Thou CentOS 8?

          IBM’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (and I’m not sure if Red Hat likes me putting IBM in front of it or not) was released on May 7th, 2019. I write this on Sept. 11th, 2019 and CentOS 8 still isn’t out. RHEL 7.7 came out on August 6, 2019. In an effort to be transparent, CentOS does have wiki pages for both Building_8 and Building_7 where they enumerate the various steps they have to go through to get the final product out the door.

          Up until early August they were making good progress on CentOS 8. In fact they had made it to the last step which was titled, “Release work” which had a Started date of “YYYY-MM-DD”, an Ended date of “YYYY-MM-DD”, and a Status “NOT STARTED YET”. That was fine for a while and then almost a month had passed with the NOT STARTED YET status. If you are like me, when they completed every step but the very last, you are thinking that the GA release will be available Real-Soon-Now but after waiting a month, not so much.

        • Develop with Flask and Python 3 in a container on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          In my previous article, Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 in a container on RHEL 7, I showed how to start developing with the latest versions of languages, databases, and web servers available with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 even if you are still running RHEL 7. In this article, I?ll build on that base to show how to get started with the Flask microframework using the current RHEL 8 application stream version of Python 3.

          From my perspective, using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 application streams in containers is preferable to using software collections on RHEL 7. While you need to get comfortable with containers, all of the software installs in the locations you?d expect. There is no need to use scl commands to manage the selected software versions. Instead, each container gets an isolated user space. You don?t have to worry about conflicting versions.

          In this article, you?ll create a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Django container with Buildah and run it with Podman. The code will be stored on your local machine and mapped into the container when it runs. You?ll be able to edit the code on your local machine as you would any other application. Since it is mapped via a volume mount, the changes you make to the code will be immediately visible from the container, which is convenient for dynamic languages that don?t need to be compiled. While this approach isn?t the way to do things for production, you get the same development inner loop as you?d have when developing locally without containers. The article also shows how to use Buildah to build a production image with your completed application.

        • IBM brings Cloud Foundry and Red Hat OpenShift together

          At the Cloud Foundry Summit in The Hague, IBM today showcased its Cloud Foundry Enterprise Environment on Red Hat?s OpenShift container platform.

          For the longest time, the open-source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service ecosystem and Red Hat?s Kubernetes-centric OpenShift were mostly seen as competitors, with both tools vying for enterprise customers who want to modernize their application development and delivery platforms. But a lot of things have changed in recent times. On the technical side, Cloud Foundry started adopting Kubernetes as an option for application deployments and as a way of containerizing and running Cloud Foundry itself.

        • SAN vs. NAS: Comparing two approaches to data storage

          For a new sysadmin, storage can be one of the more confusing aspects of infrastructure. This confusion can be caused by lack of exposure to new or different technologies, often because storage needs may be managed by another team. Without a specific interest in storage, an admin might find one’s self with a number of misconceptions, questions, or concerns about how or why to implement different solutions.

          When discussing enterprise storage, two concepts are at the core of most conversations: storage area networks (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS). Both options provide storage to clients across a network, which offers the huge benefit of removing individual servers as single points of failure. Using one of these options also reduces the cost of individual clients, as there is no longer a need to have large amounts of local storage.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 546: CockroachDB

        Cloud-based apps and services deserve a database that scales across clouds, eases operational complexity, and improves reliability. CockroachDB delivers resilient, distributed SQL with ACID transactions and data partitioned by location.

      • Recapping vBSDcon 2019 | BSD Now 315

        vBSDcon 2019 recap, Unix at 50, OpenBSD on fan-less Tuxedo InfinityBook, humungus – an hg server, how to configure a network dump in FreeBSD, and more.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 825

        fiftyonefity passes, sony walkman, ham radio software, manjaro

      • Linux Headlines – 09/11/2019

        The Fairphone 3 gets a perfect 10 from iFixit, Acer joins LVFS, and Facebook has a user-space killer for a distro near you.

        Plus an updated RAW file editor for Linux and Full Circle’s plea for help.

      • Jeff Atwood on Discourse, Stack Overflow, and Building Online Community Platforms

        Jeff Atwood has an enormous amount of experience doing precisely this. Not only was he the co-founder of Stack Overflow (and later Stack Exchange), but he is also the founder of Discourse, an enormously popular Open Source platform for online discussions.

        In this episode of Conversations With Bacon we get into the evolution of online communities, how they have grown, and Jeff’s approach to the design and structure of the systems he has worked on. We delve into Slack vs. forums (and where they are most appropriately used), how Discourse has designed a platform where capabilities are earned, different cultural approaches to communication, and much more.

      • The First One | Self-Hosted 1

        You’ve been wanting to host a Nextcloud instance (or anything else) for your family for a while now. Where on Earth do you start? We share some hard learned lessons about self-hosting, discuss the most important things to consider when building a home server, and Chris gives Alex a hard time about Arch as a Server OS.

      • CubicleNate Noodlings | Episode 02 Desktops and Window Managers, BDLL and openSUSE News

        I view KDE Plasma as the pinnacle of all things that are the Desktop and portal into your digital life. This is of course my own opinion but really, what else can do as much as Plasma, in as little resources and be as flexible as it is.

        Xfce is the GTK desktop that is, in my estimation, the benchmark to which all GTK desktops should be measured against. It is what I would call a “classic” Redmond style interface that is familiar to nearly everybody.

      • Video: Opening session of LibreOffice Conference 2019

        Here’s the opening session – there’s a quick introduction in Spanish, followed by English at 00:40…

    • Kernel Space

      • Working on Linux’s nuts and bolts at Linux Plumbers

        Linux is built on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) and numerous other more specialized development mailing lists. But email and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) can only get you so far. Sometimes, to get things done, top Linux programmers really need to talk face-to-face with each other. That’s where the Kernel Maintainers Summit and Linux Plumbers comes in.

        The Kernel Maintainers Summit, Linux ceator Linus Torvalds told me, is an invitation-only gathering of the top Linux kernel developers. But, while you might think it’s about planning on the Linux kernel’s future, that’s not the case. “The maintainer summit is really different because it doesn’t even talk about technical issues.” Instead, “It’s all about the process of creating and maintaining the Linux kernel.”

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD/Intel Benchmarks: Building The Mainline Linux x86_64 Kernel With LLVM Clang

        With the upcoming LLVM Clang 9.0 compiler release there is an amazing achievement more than a decade in the making… The mainline Clang compiler can finally build the mainline Linux x86_64 kernel. The AArch64 state has been in better shape in recent years with multiple Arm vendors using Clang as their default compiler including to build the Linux kernel, but finally in 2019 the mainline Clang can build mainline Linux x86_64. There are a few caveats, but in this article is my experience in doing so with LLVM Clang and the Linux 5.3 kernel as well as running some preliminary benchmarks on AMD and Intel hardware.

        It has taken years of work to address various GCC’isms within the Linux kernel to improve its code portability for different compilers. There’s also been various features implemented in LLVM/Clang to help in building the Linux kernel. The most recent addition was finally supporting “asm goto” for satisfying Linux x86_64 kernel builds. LLVM Clang 9.0 will soon be released with this support and for today’s testing I was using the Linux 5.3 development code as of earlier this week.

    • Applications

      • Starship Is A Minimal And Fast Shell Prompt Written In Rust

        Over the years I’ve tried various fancy shell prompts, but I’ve always come back to the plain default username@host because I found the others too distracting and cluttered, or too slow for my taste.

        Until I came across Starship, a cross-shell / cross-platform prompt. Using the defaults is simple but also very useful, providing extra information only when it’s needed. It’s highly customizable too, and you can make it look as fancy as you like, but I only made some minor changes for my needs: I made it show the prompt on a single line, and disabled the new line it adds above the start of the prompt, because that needs more scrolling.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Harvested, a game that blends city-building strategy with a top-down shooter

        Nice to see more games blend entirely different genres together. Harvested has you build a city like a strategy game and become a soldier on the field in a top-down shooter style.

        Speaking to the developer on Steam, Vashta Entertainment, they confirmed Linux support is planned. Their previous game, Trenches of War, is also available on Linux.

      • Hotel design and management sim Hotel Magnate should be on Linux at release

        After a successful crowdfunding campaign, it looks like Hotel Magnate will actually be coming to Linux. A few days ago their Kickstarter campaign ended, with over $70K Australian Dollars pulled in from over a thousand backers.

      • War Thunder 1.91 ‘Night Vision’ is out with the Chinese nation, new sound engine and Easy Anti-Cheat

        The online free to play combat sim War Thunder just had a huge new release, adding in an entirely new nation with China and plenty of upgrades elsewhere.

        Some highlights include: Night Vision and Thermal Sight devices; Chinese air and ground forces; a map rotation filter; a new sound engine; three new locations; new ground vehicles, helicopters, naval vessels and aircraft for various nations, plus numerous fixes and updates for existing machines and game mechanics.

      • ‘Far Cry New Dawn’ Never Released For Linux, But It’s Matching Windows 10 Performance Anyway

        The takeaway is clear: same minimum framerates, and an average framerate only 2.6% lower than Windows 10. Effectively within margin of error, and certainly not discernible when we’re talking about 112 FPS versus 115 FPS.

        (The eagle-eyed among you may even notice slightly lower frametimes on the Linux side when watching the benchmark video.)

        When you step back and realize that Far Cry New Dawn was never intended to run on Linux, yet does so this smoothly, it’s a testament to how far Linux gaming has come.

        My own benchmarks – albeit for different titles – back this up. And when games are released natively on Linux, the performance is often better than the Windows 10 counterparts. It’s not a consistent conclusion, but as Codeweavers and Valve continue to refine and improve what they’re doing, the outlook gets brighter and brighter.

      • Shiro Games have announced that Northgard is getting a big free expansion with Northgard Conquest

        Northgard Conquest, that’s the name of the next big free expansion coming to Northgard, the strategy game based on Norse mythology.

        In the announcement on Steam, Shiro Games noted that Northgard Conquest is a “standalone game mode” which they confirmed to GamingOnLinux over email is just an update for the existing game, not a full standalone game.

      • Ultra Strangeness will bring clay graphics and stop-motion to Linux next year

        I absolutely love hand-made clay stop-motion animation, ever since watching Trap Door when I was much younger it left a lasting impression so I’m always keen to see what games can do with it. Ultra Strangeness is one such title that caught me here.

        Developer Michael Rfdshir announced it late last year, with us now only noticing it thanks to Steam’s Discovery Queue feature I sometimes use to pick up missed games and it often delivers in times like this.

      • While not on Linux officially, Far Cry New Dawn seems to work amazingly well on Linux

        A recent benchmark video is currently doing the rounds showing off Far Cry New Dawn from Ubisoft, despite it not supporting Linux thanks to Wine, DXVK and Steam Play it seems to run beautifully.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.12.9

          Today KDE releases a Bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.12.9. Plasma 5.12 was released in February 2018 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

          This release adds six months’ worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include…

        • KDE Plasma 5.12.9 LTS Desktop Environment Released with More Than 20 Bug Fixes
        • KDE Plasma 5.18 Desktop Environment Will Be Next LTS Series, Lands February 2020

          The current LTS (Long Term Support) series of the KDE Plasma desktop environment is KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS, which recently got its last scheduled maintenance update, KDE Plasma 5.12.9, which means that it actually reached end of life and will no longer receive point release except only if critical security issues or bugs need to be addressed.

          Therefore, the KDE Project talked with various GNU/Linux distribution vendors about which next LTS series of the KDE Plasma desktop environment will suit them, and two of the biggest distros requested that the next long-term supported KDE Plasma series will be KDE Plasma 5.18, which was slated for release early next year.

        • Kate got submitted to the Windows Store

          Since a few years Kate is working well on Windows. You can grab fresh installers since then from our download page.

          But the visibility of it was very low for Windows users.

        • FOSS painting program Krita now has the Linux version on Steam

          Okay, not exactly gaming news but good to see anyway. Krita, the high quality FOSS painting program now has a Linux version available on Steam.

          They made a bit of a splash about releasing the Linux version on Steam too, in their announcement they mentioned how they’re proud of it being “free, open source and community-driven software” with the Steam release meant as another direct way to support the development since it requires a purchase.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell Picks Up Performance Improvements For Extensions

          While days too late for squeezing into GNOME 3.34.0, the GNOME Shell has landed a one year old merge request providing various fixes and performance improvements to its extension system.

          This MR was finally honored providing performance improvements around extensions, particularly those with a longer setup/start-up process.

    • Distributions

      • A 2019 View of Manokwari Desktop and BlankOn 11 Uluwatu

        BlankOn is a GNU/Linux system developed by YPLI group from Indonesia with its own desktop environment called Manokwari. Its latest release is XI under the name Uluwatu. However, this desktop system is not too well known in international community, although I’ve also been reviewed it in 2017, so I think it’s my chance to present you how it looks like and what’s inside of it you could try. Enjoy!

        Uluwatu is a place in Bali island, Indonesia. It is the eleventh codename released 2018 after Tambora, or BlankOn X, released 2017. Since this release BlankOn available only as 64-bit version.

      • New Releases

        • Manjaro Linux 18.1 Is Officially Released, And You Have A New Choice To Make

          The headlines continue to roll out for Manjaro (which is now an official company), and this one puts to bed the short-lived controversy surrounding the company’s decision to include the proprietary office suite FreeOffice in Manjaro 18.1. The latest stable version of the Arch-based Linux distribution is available now with a ton of new features, and a new choice to make during installation.

          First let’s highlight the big changes to the distribution itself.

          The standout feature is definitely the integrated FlatPak and Snap package support, which is managed through “bauh” (you may formerly recognize it as “fpakman”). Between the Manjaro repositories, the AUR and now FlatPaks and Snaps, there’s no shortage of available software and that’s certain to be a major draw for a lot of people.

        • Manjaro 18.1 Released With Choice Of Office Suite

          Manjaro 18.1 pulls in the latest Arch packages and has various other improvements on its own. One of the most user-facing changes with Manjaro 18.1 comes at installation time where the user now has their choice of office suite: users can continue selecting LibreOffice as what’s been the default, go for the free but proprietary FreeOffice, or have no office suite installed. Manjaro’s decision to offer the proprietary Freeoffice in its distribution is what caused controversy recently but the developers prefer content with that decision with FreeOffice dealing better with some document formats and features than LibreOffice.

        • Arch Linux-based Manjaro 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya’ now available with GNOME, KDE, or Xfce

          Manjaro may have lofty goals of becoming a successful company, but let’s be honest — users of the Linux-based operating system don’t really care about that. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure most members of the Linux community are rooting for the newly-formed company’s success, but they are probably more interested in the excellent operating system itself.

          Today, Manjaro Linux 18.1.0 “Juhraya” finally becomes available for download, and it isn’t without some controversy. You see, rather than just offer up LibreOffice like most distributions, Juhraya offers an alternative choice at installation — FreeOffice.

        • Manjaro Linux 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya’ has been officially released

          Manjaro, the Linux distribution based on Arch has just put out a major new release with Manjaro 18.1.0 – Juhraya.

          Something of a controversial decision was the Manjaro team were possibly going to replace the FOSS office suite LibreOffice in favour of the proprietary FreeOffice. After they took on plenty of feedback, they decided to drop that plan. Instead, when installing you now get the choice between the two or no office suite at all. Additionally according to what the Manjaro team said, SoftMaker (the developer), actually expanded FreeOffice to support more Microsoft formats due to the demand from the Manjaro community so thats’ quite nice.

        • KaOS 2019.09

          KaOS is pleased to announce the availability of the September release of a new stable ISO.

          As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.61.0, Plasma 5.16.5 and KDE Applications 19.08.1. All built on Qt 5.13.1.

          With almost 60 % percent of the packages updated since the last ISO and the last release being over two months old, a new ISO is more than due. News for KDE Applications 19.08 included Dolphin’s information panel has been improved in several ways. You can, for example, choose to auto-play media files when you highlight them in the main panel, and you can now select and copy the text displayed in the panel, Okular’s support for EPub documents has also received a push in this version, Konsole had a boost to the tiling feature and Spectacle comes with several new features that regulate its Delay functionality.

          For the installer Calamares, two major CVE’s were addressed among the many changes for 3.2.13. CVE-2019-13178 and CVE-2019-13179

          Since LibreOffice 6.2, it is now possible to supply this as a pure Qt5/kf5 application. LibreOffice has thus replaced Calligra as the default Office Application for KaOS.

        • KaOS 2019.09 Linux Distro Released with KDE Plasma 5.16.5 and Linux Kernel 5.2

          KaOS 2019.09 comes two months after the release of KaOS 2019.07 earlier this summer and brings with it all of the latest KDE technologies that have been released during this period, including the KDE Plasma 5.16.5 desktop environment, KDE Applications 19.08.1 and KDE Frameworks 5.61 software suites, as well as the Qt 5.13.1 application framework.

          “With almost 60 % percent of the packages updated since the last ISO and the last release being over two months old, a new ISO is more than due,” reads the release announcement. “As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.61.0, Plasma 5.16.5 and KDE Applications 19.08.1. All built on Qt 5.13.1.”

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • Norbert Preining: TeX Services at texlive.info

          I have been working over the last weeks to provide four more services for the TeX (Live) community: an archive of TeX Live’s network installation directory tlnet, a git repository of CTAN, a mirror of the TeX Live historic archives, and a new tlpretest mirror. In addition to the services that have already been provided before on my server, this makes a considerable list, and I thought it is a good idea to summarize all of the services.

        • FAI.me service now support backports for Debian 10 (buster)

          The FAI.me service for creating customized installation and cloud images now supports a backports kernel for stable release Debian 10 (aka buster). If you enable the backports option, you will currently get kernel 5.2. This will help you if you have newer hardware that is not support by the default kernel 4.19. The backports option is also still available for the images when using the old Debian 9 (stretch) release.

        • Jonas Meurer: debian lts report 2019.08

          This month I was allocated 10 hours. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much time to work on LTS issues, so I only spent 0.5 hours on the task listed below. That means that I carry over 9.5 hours to September.

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, August 2019

          I prepared and, after review, released Linux 3.16.72, including various security and other fixes. I then rebased the Debian package onto that. I uploaded that with a small number of other fixes and issued DLA-1884-1. I also prepared and released Linux 3.16.73 with another small set of fixes.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu?s New Look: Are You a Fan? [Poll]

          As mentioned in yesterday?s new report, Ubuntu?s community design team have elected to change the look of Ubuntu. The dark header bars used in the ?current? Yaru GTK theme (Ubuntu 19.04) have been replaced by lighter, greyer (though apparently bluer) ones.

          The new lighter header bars are said be in keeping with the upstream Adwaita GTK theme (on which Yaru is based). Additionally, the lighter look is said to resolve and address a number of usability issues resulting from the ?mixed? theme set-up.

    • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • With the Intimidation of Tech Expert, Ola Bini Case Hits A New Low

      In the early hours of last Thursday in Ecuador, members of the Judicial Police, assisted by the Prosecutor’s Office, broke down the door of Fabián Hurtado at his apartment in Quito. Hurtado is a cybersecurity expert at the International University (UISEK) in Ecuador and a digital forensics expert currently employed by Ola Bini’s defense. The police refused to let Hurtado read or have a copy of their warrant, and by immediately seizing his mobile phone and other digital equipment prevented him from contacting an attorney.

      This raid was prompted, according to the authorities, by a belief that Hurtado “incorporated misleading information in his resume to try to mislead the authorities and citizens.” If so, the police action was wildly disproportionate to the alleged crime. Hurtado is a well-known, impartial forensics expert in Ecuador, employed by businesses, law enforcement, and defendants and plaintiffs alike. If there is a problem with Hurtado’s resume, the correct step would be to move to have him rejected as a court expert – not to storm into his home in the middle of the night.

    • Which Compression Format to Use for Archiving

      The last criteria is the most important; the format has to be resilient. It has to expect that damage will happen, and have a strategy for dealing with that damage. Or at least work around the damage.

    • Events

      • Announcing Linux Autumn 2019

        Summer is not yet over (in my climate zone) but it’s time to think about the autumn. Yes, I mean the Linux Autumn, the annual Polish conference of Linux and free software enthusiasts organized by PLUG. I wrote about this event many times in the past, I don’t want to make you bored by the same things again. This year we hope to invite more foreign guests and make the conference more international, possibly with one day full of English talks.

        [...]

        Remember that the conference is paid for attendees. The money is spent to pay for the accommodation and food for everyone. Why do I ever write in the article for Fedora Planet about a paid and not strictly Fedora-oriented event? First of all, the participation (including accommodation and food) is fully refunded for speakers. I’m not encouraging you to attend a paid event, although if you want you are most welcome. I’m encouraging you to give your talks and participate in a three-days long event for free. Second, this is a Linux event and Fedora is still a Linux distribution. Third, as we all know, many Fedora contributors live and work in the Czech Republic, especially in Brno, and this event is organized in Poland just across the Czech border. It cannot be closer.

    • Web Browsers

      • Mozilla

        • Firefox Reality 1.4

          With this release, we’re excited to announce that users can enjoy browsing in multiple windows side-by-side. Each window can be set to the size and position of your choice, for a super customizable experience.

          And, by popular demand, we’ve enabled local browsing history, so you can get back to sites you’ve visited before without typing. Sites in your history will also appear as you type in the search bar, so you can complete the address quickly and easily. You can clear your history or turn it off anytime from within Settings.

          The Content Feed also has a new and improved menu of hand-curated “Best of WebVR” content for you to explore. You can look forward to monthly updates featuring a selection of new content across different categories including Animation, Extreme (sports/adrenaline/adventure), Music, Art & Experimental and our personal favorite way to wind down a day, 360 Chill.

        • Turn off DoH, Firefox. Now.

          DoH means that Firefox will concentrate all DNS traffic on Cloudflare, and they send traffic from all their users to one entity. So what does that mean? It means people outside the US can now be fully tracked by US government: now some of you might wonder if this is actually in line with GDPR (The EU General Data Protection Regulation). It is indeed very questionable if DoH is rolled out as default, since users do NOT opt in, but have to opt out.

        • DoH disabled by default in Firefox

          Disable DoH by default. While encrypting DNS might be a good thing, sending all DNS traffic to Cloudflare by default is not a good idea. Applications should respect OS configured settings. The DoH settings still can be overriden if needed. ok landry@ job@

        • Niko Matsakis: AiC: Shepherds 3.0

          What I’m proposing, at its heart, is very simple. I want to better document the “agenda” of the lang-team. Specifically, if we are going to be moving a feature forward1, then it should have a shepherd (or multiple) who is in charge of doing that.

          In order to avoid unbounded queues, the number of things that any individual can shepherd should be limited. Ideally, each person should only shepherd one thing at a time, though I don’t think we need to make a firm rule about it.

          Becoming a shepherd is a commitment on the part of the shepherd. The first part of the lang team meeting should be to review the items that are being actively shepherded and get any updates. If we haven’t seen any movement in a while, we should consider changing the shepherd, or officially acknowleding that something is stalled and removing the shepherd altogether.

          Assigning a shepherd is a commitment on the part of the rest of the lang-team as well. Before assigning a shepherd, we should discuss if this agenda item is a priority. In particular, if someone is shepherding something, that means we all agree to help that item move towards some kind of completion. This means giving feedback, when feedback is requested. It means doing the work to resolve concerns and conflicts. And, sometimes, it will mean giving way. I’ll talk more about this in a bit.

    • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

      • International Day Against DRM (IDAD): Defending the right to read on Oct. 12

        A global community of students, teachers, and activists are taking part in the Defective by Design campaign’s 13th annual International Day Against DRM. Though from different backgrounds, countries, and perspectives, participants in the campaign share the common cause of opposing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), a widespread technology that places heavy restrictions on how people access digital media.

        On Saturday, October 12th, there will be two events held in Boston: a protest outside of the Pearson Education offices at 501 Boylston Street, followed by an evening “hackathon,” or collaboration session, on unrestricted and truly shareable educational materials at the offices of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) at 51 Franklin Street.

    • Licensing/Legal

      • Introducing Craig Topham, FSF copyright and licensing associate

        My name is Craig Topham, and I’m the latest to have the honor of being a copyright and licensing associate for the Free Software Foundation (FSF). I started work in November, and the delay in assembling my introductory blog post is a testament to how busy I have been. Although my post feels late, it gives me a chance to share my experience here at the FSF, along with sharing a little bit more about myself.

        From 2005 to 2017, I worked as a PC/Network Technician for the City of Eugene, Oregon. The role had the inherent reward of allowing me to be a part of something much larger than myself. I was helping local government function. From the mayor and city council all the way to the summer staff that worked the front desk at the recreation department’s swimming pools, I was one of many making it all work. It was even a part of my job to support some free software the city used! Sadly, a vast majority of the software that we used was proprietary, but despite the painful duty of supporting nonfree software, the overall experience felt pretty great. As I close that chapter of my life with all the wonderful memories and marks made, I am beset with a wild sense of relief. Like finding a rock in my shoe after twelve years, the alleviation is palatable: I never have to labor to master proprietary software again!

        For unknown reasons (which I contemplate often), I did not learn about the free software movement until 2004, despite a lifetime of using computers. Like so many before me, my initial education on the movement came via Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman. What so instantaneously drew me to free software was the simplicity of the four freedoms: run, edit, share, contribute. These freedoms, coupled with the ethical nature of the movement, made it a natural fit for me. It did not take me long to realize that this is what I needed to soothe my “How can I make the world a better place?” angst. Inevitably, I became an FSF associate member on October 28, 2007 because it was (and still is) the easiest way to help out. If you are reading this and you are not a member, I encourage you to change that and help make the world a better place.

    • Programming/Development

      • Jakarta EE 8: The new era of Java EE explained

        Java EE is a fantastic project. However, it was created in 1999, under the name of J2EE, and is 20 years old, which means it also faces challenges in keeping pace with enterprise demands.

        Now, Java EE has a new home and a new brand. The project was migrated from Oracle to the Eclipse Foundation, and it is called Jakarta EE, under the Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) project. The Eclipse Foundation released Jakarta EE 8 on September 10, and in this article, we’ll look at what that means for enterprise Java.

        Java EE was a very strong project that was widely used in many kinds of enterprise Java applications and many big frameworks, such as Spring and Struts. Developers may have questioned its features and evolving processes, but looking at its high usage and time in the market, its success is undeniable. Nonetheless, the enterprise world doesn’t stop, and new challenges emerge all the time. The speed of change has increased, with new technologies such as cloud computing being developed to provide better solutions, and Java EE needed to keep pace as well.

      • Unit-testing static functions in C

        An annoying thing about C code is that there are plenty of functions that cannot be unit-tested by some external framework – specifically anything declared as static. Any larger code-base will end up with hundreds of those functions, many of which are short and reasonably self-contained but complex enough to not trust them by looks only. But since they’re static I can’t access them from the outside (and “outside” is defined as “not in the same file” here).

        The approach I’ve chosen in the past is to move the more hairy ones into separate files or at least declare them normally. That works but is annoying for some cases, especially those that really only get called once. In case you’re wondering whether you have at least one such function in your source tree: yes, the bit that parses your commandline arguments is almost certainly complicated and not tested.

      • Node.js VS Python: Which is Better?

        Both Node.js (majorly used as a backend framework ), and Python ( front-end and back-end programming language) are used extensively for programming of a web app. It is vital to select a suitable framework or programming language for web app development because it is the backbone of every web app.

        Node.js and Python are extensively used for this purpose. When you talk about Node.js or python, you are actually comparing JavaScript with Python . This is because Node.js is actually a framework built on Google Chrome’s JavaScript.

        Both of them are among the top programming languages according to the TOIBE index.

      • Episode #147: Mocking out AWS APIs
      • Python Testing 201 with pytest

        For Python Frederick?s September presentation, I presented on Python testing. In the presentation, I explained more of the features of pytest that went beyond the basics that we explored in March.

      • Excellent Free Books to Learn Logo

        The Logo Programming Language, a dialect of Lisp, was designed as a tool for learning. It features interactivity, modularity, extensibility, with flexibility of data types.

        Logo offers a rich programming environment providing multimedia tools, robotics and network access. Full-featured Logo packages provide hundreds of commands for exploring all sorts of applications, from the simplest turtle graphics to artificial intelligence.

        None of the books featured below are released under an open source license. There seems to be a dearth of open source programming books for Logo. But the books featured below are available to view without charge.

      • How to fix common pitfalls with the Python ORM tool SQLAlchemy

        Object-relational mapping (ORM) makes life easier for application developers, in no small part because it lets you interact with a database in a language you may know (such as Python) instead of raw SQL queries. SQLAlchemy is a Python ORM toolkit that provides access to SQL databases using Python. It is a mature ORM tool that adds the benefit of model relationships, a powerful query construction paradigm, easy serialization, and much more. Its ease of use, however, makes it easy to forget what is going on behind the scenes. Seemingly small choices made using SQLAlchemy can have important performance implications.

      • Presentation Mode in Wing 7

        Presentation Mode, added in Wing 7, temporarily applies a selected magnification to the entire user interface, so the screen can be read more easily during meetings or talks.

        [...]

        To disable Presentation Mode, uncheck the high-level configuration menu item again.

        That’s it for now! We’ll be back soon with more Wing Tips for Wing Python IDE.

      • 3 ways to handle transient faults for DevOps
  • Leftovers

    • RIP Robert Frank: It Is Important To See What Is Invisible To Others

      Robert Frank, the radical photographer and filmmaker who famously documented the darkness, racism and inequality of an ostensibly shiny post-war America, has died at 94. A Swiss immigrant who “made the margins (his) home,” Frank’s classic book “The Americans” unsparingly portrayed things “as they really were – unaestheticized, somewhat plain, more than a little dour.”

    • Science

      • Oliver Sacks, the “Neurological Philosopher”

        Oliver Sacks, the “neurological philosopher”, did a “different sort of medicine on behalf of chronic often warehoused and largely abandoned patients.” It combined art and science. Lawrence Weschler, in How Are You, Dr. Sacks?, says Sacks was from “the period before the science and the humanities split apart”.[1]

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Government Will Propose Banning Flavors Used in E-Cigarettes

        President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes to combat a recent surge in underage vaping.

      • Tentative Opioids Settlement Falls Short of a Nationwide Deal

        A tentative settlement announced Wednesday over the role Purdue Pharma played in the nation’s opioid addiction crisis falls short of the far-reaching national settlement the OxyContin maker had been seeking for months, with litigation sure to continue against the company and the family that owns it.

      • Medicine For All: The Case for a Public Option in the Pharmaceutical Industry

        Too many Americans are suffering and dying prematurely because we have ceded control over a key part of our infrastructure for public health—the pharmaceutical industry—to unaccountable corporations, for whom the pursuit of profit trumps the needs of patients and communities. Instead of continuing to push the boulder of regulation up the hill in hopes that it one day finally proves effective, we can displace corporate power over our health and lives by moving towards a democratic, publicly-owned pharmaceutical sector, designed to respond to public health needs and deliver better health outcomes at lower costs.

        Democratic, public ownership of pharmaceutical development, production, and distribution in the U.S. is necessary to combat the increasingly harmful impacts of Big Pharma which decades of regulation have failed to counteract.

        [...]

        Public control of pharmaceutical manufacturing, wholesale distribution and retail pharmacies could serve as the basis for large-scale upstream investments in public health3 through the development of associated educational opportunities and job pipelines—part of an inclusive industrial strategy for economic development and stabilization, with profit now captured by corporations reinvested to meet public needs. Existing public resources like the Veterans Health Administration and the US Postal Service could be leveraged to help deliver medications, and public, unitary pricing on medications and their distribution would create transparency in the pharmaceutical supply chain that could inform further policy efforts.

        Public ownership in pharmaceutical R&D would ensure that more intellectual property related to drug development would be held by public institutions and utilized in the public interest. Right now, a small number of newer medications are responsible for the majority of pharmaceutical spending by public programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Ensuring that new drug development is done in the public interest assures that not only do we get the medications that we need for the most pressing public health concerns (rather than the most profitable health issues), but also that those medications come at an accessible price.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (exim, firefox, and webkit2gtk), Debian (libonig and opensc), Fedora (cobbler), Oracle (firefox and kernel), Red Hat (flash-plugin, kernel, kernel-rt, rh-maven35-jackson-databind, rh-nginx110-nginx, and rh-nginx112-nginx), Scientific Linux (kernel), Slackware (curl, mozilla, and openssl), SUSE (ceph, libvirt, and python-Werkzeug), and Ubuntu (vlc and webkit2gtk).

      • Android 10 Gets Its First Security Patch, 49 Security Vulnerabilities Fixed

        Google has released the Android Security Patch for September 2019 to address the most important security vulnerabilities and bugs discovered since August 2019, which also happens to be the first security patch for the recently released Android 10 operating system.

        Consisting of the 2019-09-01 and 2019-09-05 security patch levels, the Android Security Patch for September 2019 addresses a total of 49 security vulnerabilities across various core Android components, including Framework, Media framework, System, kernel components, Nvidia components, and Qualcomm components, including closed-source ones. The most critical flaw fixed in this patch may allow remote attackers to execute code.

      • Infrastructure Updates

        This is a post to the developers and other people who contribute to the IPFire project and have an account on our infrastructure.

        Since we have rolled out loads of changes recently, some change in client configuration is required. This was announced on the development mailing list, but for those who have missed it, here is a little blog post.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US Forces May Have Committed War Crimes in Syria: UN Report

        The conflict, now in its ninth year, “continues to torment civilians who bear the brunt of hostilities”

      • Will It Be Business as Usual for Saudis at London’s Arms Fair?

        “The future for our defence sector is a very bright one.” So said Fleur Thomas, head of exports for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, as her government prepares to help host Europe’s biggest arms fair in London this week.

      • Tracks to Nowhere

        Reporting on the failed Camp David plan to sign an agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban, on 8 September, 2019, a CNN reporter stated that Trump’s plan for talks on an agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban, and, by extension, Trump’s foreign policy, “went off tracks.”

      • Is Killing Peasants Protecting America’s Interests?

        The war drags on. There is no end in sight. Peace negotiations are thwarted again. Republicans and Democrats alike appear in the press decrying the possibility of the enemy coming to talk peace and staying at Camp David. Personally, I was surprised by the Camp David aspect of the story only because I figured Trump might try and get the Taliban negotiators a floor or two in one of his hotels or resorts. Why go to Camp David if the family Trump can make a few bucks? If Trump properties are good enough for the Chinese and the US Air Force, why not the Taliban, too?

      • On 18th Anniversary of 9/11, Bernie Sanders Calls for End to Endless War

        “U.S. power should be measured not by our ability to blow things up, but to bring people together around our common humanity.”

      • Trump Leaves Afghanistan and Pakistan at His Mercy

        The Doha talks between the United States and the Taliban to work out a peace deal to end Afghanistan’s 18-year conflict began with a whimper a year ago. They ended Saturday with a presidential tweet from the White House that was no less than a bang that resounded around a startled world.

      • A Morning in Afghanistan

        n a very warm September morning in Kabul, several dozen men, women, and children sit on the carpeted floor of a room at the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Borderfree Center. The women cluster together. All wear burqas, but because of the heat they push the steel blue veils back, revealing their faces. Most of the men wear traditional tunics and pakol hats.

      • Reflections on “Peace” in Afghanistan

        When the conflict that the Vietnamese refer to as the American War ended in April 1975, I was a U.S. Army captain attending a course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In those days, the student body at any of our Army’s myriad schools typically included officers from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

      • Afghanistan May Never Recover From the U.S. Invasion

        When the conflict that the Vietnamese refer to as the American War ended in April 1975, I was a U.S. Army captain attending a course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In those days, the student body at any of our Army’s myriad schools typically included officers from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

      • 18 Years Later, America Vows to ‘Never Forget’ 9/11

        Americans commemorated 9/11 with solemn ceremonies and vows Wednesday to “never forget” 18 years after the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

      • The CIA’s alleged Kremlin asset reportedly spent at least five years working inside Russia’s presidential administration

        Oleg Smolenkov, the CIA’s reported asset inside the Kremlin, worked for at least five years in the office of Yuri Ushakov, now a presidential adviser on foreign policy, a source close to Russia’s intelligence community told the newspaper Vedomosti. 

      • Knowledge in the Blood: Stories About 9-11

        A Saudi Arabian exchange student starting 12th grade in an American high school this fall is bullied because his name is Osama. “Something about 11th of September?” I learn.

      • 9/11, An Anniversary of Unity or Division?

        The U.S. needs to make a serious appraisal assessing our bridges—of unity—and walls—of hate and division. What benefits, if any, are provided by increasing isolationism? Do they outweigh the blessings of collaboration, connection, and friendship?

      • A Day that Changed the World

        A new anniversary of a catastrophe brings back strong feelings and sad memories. Such is the case of the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, a tragedy that had long-lasting effects. New York, and the world, has not been the same since the events of September 11, 2001.

      • Never Forget
      • The Catastrophic Tenure of John Bolton

        John Bolton’s tenure was a complete disaster. The national security architecture after Bolton looks like the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.

      • John Bolton’s Dismissal

        The power of identity politics as a tool of the Establishment to divert and derail opposition to the wealthy elite was demonstrated to me in a stunning and graphic way back in January 2013. I was entering the Oxford Union to attend the presentation of the Sam Adams award for Integrity to Tom Fingar, a senior American intelligence officer who had successfully blocked a push for military action against Iran by insisting on the barring from assessments of highly exaggerated accounts of Iran’s nuclear programme. A person of integrity in the right place had been able to stop a repeat of the extreme horrors of war engendered by the Iraqi WMD scam perpetrated by Blair and Bush.

      • On 18th Anniversary of 9/11, Media Worry About ‘Premature’ End to Afghan War

        On the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the illegal US occupation of Afghanistan continues as the longest overseas war in American history. Although President Donald Trump recently declared that peace negotiations over the withdrawal of US troops with the Taliban are “dead,” reportedly because of the death of a US soldier from a suicide bomb attack in Kabul last week, the status of future negotiations is still unclear.

      • The Real Charles Manson

        The 50th anniversary of the Manson family slayings have inspired a rash of new essays and retrospectives, and almost ubiquitous among them is the same basic premise: that the seven murders committed by Charles Manson’s cultists in August 1969 marked not just the “death of the ’60s” but the indefinite deferral of the dream they contained. From the very titles of the works exploring the family’s crimes to a new summer blockbuster starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, this notion continues to dominate the public imagination.

    • Environment

      • The Courage of Saying No: Children, Rebellion and Greta Thunberg

        There is something to be said of wariness when it comes to revolutionary voices. As Albert Camus argued in that beautiful tract of illumination and contradiction, The Rebel, “All modern revolutions have ended in the reinforcement of the power of the state.” But he also argued that humankind were the only creatures refusing to be what they are, a permanent self-deluding bunch bound to cause various neuroses. The true rebel, then, is the one who says no, and can maintain credibility even as he risks becoming an ideologue, another dogmatist.

      • Healthcarecan worsen global climate crisis

        Healthcare workers urging zero carbon emissions say chemicals used increasingly to anaesthetise patients are potent greenhouse gases.

      • Sand and dust storms pose global threat

        The standard bearer of the United Nations’ effort to combat desert spread and the threat from sand and dust storms, meeting here, is determined to be remembered as not just a global talking shop, but a launchpad for action.

        The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has launched a coalition to energise the UN’s response to the problem. One focus for the new body will be to develop the sand and dust storms (SDS) source base map to improve the monitoring of the storms.

        Iran told the meeting that both traditional and modern knowledge on SDS hot spots could help to create a stronger knowledge base for regional initiatives. The coalition’s members include the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

      • Immigrant Rights and Green Groups Join Forces in Rally at CBP, Demanding Trump Welcome Bahamians and All Climate Refugees

        “In the climate crisis, we must not deny entry to survivors of disasters.”

      • Amnesty International Chief’s Plea to 30,000+ Schools Worldwide: Let the Students Climate Strike!

        “Children should not be punished for speaking out about the great injustices of our age.”

      • What It Will Take to Actually Fight Climate Change

        Ponder the onrushing disaster of climate change, and the towering task of getting greenhouse gas emissions down in time to avoid existential calamity, and one can be led very easily to an enervating political despair. The battle is basically lost, or so says the famed novelist Jonathan Franzen in a New Yorker essay this week. While we should try to reduce emissions, he writes,

      • Leaked Email Suggests Trump Admin Pressuring UN Agency to Self-Censor on ‘Political Sensitivities’ Like Climate Crisis or Risk Defunding

        Critics called the administration’s reported threat to cut funding “deeply worrying” and “blackmail.”

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

        A few years ago, I had a cupcake problem. I’d go to the cupcake store almost daily and I’d eat at least one cupcake, sometimes more. At the same time, I wanted to lose weight, or at least stop gaining it. So I kept looking up information about diets and superfoods, just looking for some magical solution to present itself.

      • Energy

        • New Report on Trans Mountain Pipeline Highlights ‘Dangerous’ Construction Hot Spots

          “Canadians taxpayers—who are the ones paying for this multi-billion dollar pipeline—have a right to know the impacts that construction will have on communities and the environment.”

        • Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens Dies at Age 91

          T. Boone Pickens, a brash and quotable oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts, died Wednesday. He was 91.

        • Fees on Electric Cars, Inspired by Koch Network, Are Unfairly Penalizing Drivers, Says Consumer Reports

          Drivers of electric cars are being unfairly punished by punitive fees in several states, according to a newly published analysis by Consumer Reports. Legislators in 26 states have enacted or proposed special registration fees for electric vehicles (EVs) that the consumer advocacy group found to be more expensive than the gas taxes paid by the driver of an average new gasoline vehicle.

          These punitive EV fees have been pushed in many states by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate-funded group which produces model legislation and voted on a model resolution supporting “equal tax treatment for all vehicles” — a move that bears the fingerprints of the fossil fueled–Koch network.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Truth About Electric Eels Has Long Been Overlooked

          Carlos David de Santana, a Brazilian researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, thinks differently. By comparing 107 specimens pulled from museum drawers and the Amazon basin, he and his team of mostly Brazilian scientists have found that the infamous electric eel is actually three distinct species.

          There are dozens of different ways of defining a species, and none are universally accepted. That said, de Santana says that his team “used many lines of evidence to prove that there’s more than one electric eel species.” This trinity differs not only in physique, but also in genetics, habitat, and electric power. Tellingly, the eels’ DNA suggests that they last shared a common ancestor 7 million years ago, which means that they started to diverge well before brown bears and polar bears, lions and tigers, and even humans and chimpanzees.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • St. Petersburg police completely ignored an attack on an election monitor inside a polling station, even though it happened right before their eyes

        Last Sunday, as Russians across the country cast ballots in local races, election commission members were attacked at two polling stations in St. Petersburg. Georgy Medvedinsky, a member of the № 1619 precinct commission with a consultative vote, says he was jumped in the street, near his polling station. After the elections were over, the watchdog group “Petersburg Observers” published video footage of another attack inside precinct 1619 itself.

      • ‘We have no politics, so we have no politicians’ Leading journalist Ilya Azar offers an inside look at how media involvement and leaderless organizing drove Moscow’s summer of protest

        Ilya Azar is a special correspondent for Novaya Gazeta and a former special correspondent for Meduza. He also serves as a municipal deputy in Moscow. In early June, he helped organize a march against fabricated criminal cases following the arrest of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov. That proved to be only the beginning of a highly eventful summer for Azar. He went on to take part in organizing several demonstrations demanding fair elections for the Moscow City Duma, including the August 10 protest that brought more than 60,000 Muscovites into the streets for the first time since 2012. Meduza correspondent Vladislav Gorin spoke with Azar about the line between journalism and politics and about the shift within Russia’s opposition movements toward spontaneous, democratic organizing tactics.

      • Happy days for managed democracy Sources say the Kremlin welcomes recent election results, and Russia’s ruling political party lives to fight another day

        Multiple sources close to Russia’s presidential administration told Meduza that the Kremlin is happy with pro-government candidates’ performance in the September 8, 2019, elections. Officials are especially pleased in the State Council’s Department of Affairs, which is managed by Alexander Kharichev, a close associate of Sergey Kiriyenko, President Putin’s deputy chief of staff and “domestic policy curator.” Responsible for overseeing Russia’s gubernatorial races, Kharichev’s office had a clear task: don’t allow any second-round votes. The Kremlin was eager to avoid a repeat of 2018, when the Putin administration’s candidates couldn’t win first-round elections and lost runoffs in four gubernatorial contests — including elections in the strategically important Primorsky and Khabarovsk regions.

      • Power and Tragedy

        Starting with the Trojan War in the thirteenth century BCE, the Greeks embarked on a gigantic Grexit that lasted for centuries. They migrated to other more prosperous lands.

      • EU Commission Wants the Fox in Charge of the Henhouse

        Yesterday, the new European Commission president, Ursula Von der Leyen, proposed Hungarian politician László Trócsányi as enlargement commissioner. Given his background, it’s a move that threatens the credibility of the Commission’s role to promote human rights, rule of law, and fundamental values in the European Union and third states. 

      • Revive the True Spirit of Constitutionality and Federalism in India: Article 370

        The process of nationalist self-imagining in India is likely to remain in a nebulous state so long as the destiny of regional politicians is etched by the calligrapher in New Delhi and determined by maneuvers in the murky den of centralized federalism.

      • ‘Red Flag for Whole World’: Undocumented Workers in India Fear They May Soon Be Prisoners in Detention Camps They Are Building

        “This is the world that the global war on terror made.”

      • The Myths of the “Genius” Behind Trump’s Reelection Campaign

        On the evening of May 30, Brad Parscale, the campaign manager of Donald J. Trump for President Inc., gave a speech to a gathering of the faithful. Parscale is a striking figure: 6-foot-8, with a trademark Viking beard and a penchant for bombast. He was a phenom of the 2016 election, rising, in a matter of months, from an anonymous web designer in San Antonio to the Trump campaign’s reputed digital savior. Parscale has become a frequent warmup act at Trump rallies and a prized attraction in GOP fundraising circles.

        On this occasion, he was speaking to the Miami Young Republicans. Parscale regaled the audience with his litany of Trump’s achievements, according to a recording of the speech (provided by Palm Beach Post reporter Christine Stapleton). He warned of the “crazy socialist Democrats” who want to “slaughter” babies in the third trimester; admit “all of South America” to the U.S. through open borders; and render jet-fueled planes illegal and “farming cows” extinct. “I don’t know about you guys,” Parscale told them. “I really like steak.”

      • The Imperative to Restore Congressional Powers

        You have to give President Trump credit for one thing — he has so abused executive authority that even the most conservative members of Congress are now clamoring to restore our vital constitutionally-established checks and balances.

      • The Bill of Rights Turns 230: What Do We Have to Show for It? Nothing Good

        It’s been 230 years since James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, and what do we have to show for it?

      • Bojo Johnson’s Magic Carpet Ride Wearing Nigel Farage’s Clothes

        Boris Johnson (“BoJo”) has been a chancer all his adult life.

      • Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva, who is credited with helping bring democracy to the small Pacific island nation, has died. He was 78.

        Pohiva was an immensely significant figure in Tonga who was behind the push for democracy and getting away from politics being dominated by the royal family, said Graeme Smith, a research fellow in the Department of Pacific Affairs at Australian National University.

      • Destroy the MIT Media Lab

        The Media Lab was founded in the mid-1980s by Nicholas Negroponte, the son of a Greek shipping magnate who served as its director until 2000, and a tech gadfly straight out of central casting (his 1995 bestselling book Being Digital prophesied a world in which digital “bits” would overtake our physical world of “atoms”). Though it’s branded a little less earnestly, the Media Lab is what happens when this techno-utopian sentiment congeals into an entire institution, a reputation launderer for corporate America and the billionaire class.

      • [Old] Future Schlock

        The most important of the Lab’s interfaces is the one that connects academic research to commerce. In Negroponte’s scheme, there could be no point in giving the world’s most imaginative minds free rein unless that would also appeal to major corporations and venture capital. Hence his pioneering business plan, unique for a university lab at the time, under which corporate sponsors front most of the budget by kicking in a few hundred thousand dollars a year each for nonexclusive rights to the Lab’s intellectual property [sic]. This funding mechanism is fussily calibrated to rake in cash while preserving a façade of independence. A diversified industrial average of seventy-odd sponsors—including Bank of America, Google, News Corporation, Northrop Grumman, and Hasbro—pay for access to a broad “consortium” of research groups but can’t direct their money to a particular project or dictate terms to a specific scientist. All they buy, ostensibly, is a chance to take notes on and adapt for their own ends whatever breakthroughs surface unbidden from the Lab’s creative ferment.

      • The Perils of Billionaire Philanthropy

        At this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos, billionaire Michael Dell, the 25th-wealthiest man in the world, weighed in on new proposals to tax the very wealthy. Dell said he was “much more comfortable” giving through his private foundation “than giving…to the government.” He’s not the first billionaire to confuse his obligations to society and conflate charitable giving with paying taxes.

        Indeed, the discussion about solutions to most social problems are too often sidetracked by stories of beneficent billionaires and their charitable deeds. Lost in a fog of generosity is the recognition that philanthropy is not a substitute for a fair and progressive tax system and robust public investments in poverty alleviation, infrastructure, economic opportunity, and social protection.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • FSB expert says YouTuber’s ‘do everything you can’ remarks are tantamount to inciting armed rebellion

        The newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published a copy of the linguistic expertise carried out in the extremism case against Higher School of Economics student and popular YouTuber Egor Zhukov.

      • The NY Times Got It Backwards: Section 230 Helps Limit The Spread Of Hate Speech Online

        A few weeks back, we wrote about the NY Times absolutely terrible front page of the Business Section headline that, incorrectly, blamed Section 230 for “hate speech” online, only to later have to edit the piece with a correction saying oh, actually, it’s the 1st Amendment that allows “hate speech” to exist online. Leaving aside the problematic nature of determining what is, and what is not, hate speech — and the fact that governments and autocrats around the globe regularly use “hate speech” laws to punish people they don’t like (which is often the marginalized and oppressed) — the entire claim that Section 230 “enables” hate speech to remain online literally gets the entire law backwards.

      • Months After Christchurch Shooting, The Australian Government Is Issuing Site-Blocking Orders Targeting Footage Of The Incident

        Following the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand, governments sprang into action to declare the internet to be the real villain. It wasn’t. And isn’t. But that didn’t stop a strange series of policies from being enacted.

      • That Time Taylor Swift Threatened To Sue Microsoft Over Its Racist Chatbot

        I don’t know much about Taylor Swift, but I do know two things. First, she apparently has built a career out of making music about men with whom she’s had breakups, real or fictitious. Second, it sure seems like she spends nearly as much time gobbling up every type of intellectual property right she can and then using those rights to threaten everyone else. She trademarks all the things. She tosses defamation and copyright claims around to silence critics. She sues her own fans just for making Etsy fan products. Some of these attacks are on more solid legal ground than others, but there appears to be a shotgun approach to it all.

      • That Time EFF Got a Copyright Takedown Demand

        Earlier this week, EFF received an email claiming that our body-camera police officer illustration (shown in the banner above) violated the sender’s copyright in a graphic they used to illustrate a tweet (cropped screenshot shown on the right). The email demanded we remove the image or provide a link to their e-commerce website, which sells police body cameras. For those interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a link from EFF can be very beneficial to their page ranking. The funny thing was, the police officer illustration is an original EFF work.

        It’s not a problem for someone to use our works in their own—they are available to the public under a Creative Commons attribution license—but that certainly doesn’t give a claim against our original. And their graphic had no attribution. (The Action Camera skateboarder illustration on the left appears to be an Adobe stock image.)

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Yes, News Sites Need To Get Out Of The Ad Surveillance Business — But Blame The Advertisers As Well

        Doc Searls has a great recent blog post in which he rightly points out why Bernie Sanders’ “plan to save journalism” is completely misguided and will fail. It’s worth reading — with the key point being that Sanders’ plan to save journalism assumes a world that does not exist, and one where heavy regulations will somehow magically save journalism, rather than stifle it. As Searls notes, that’s not the world we live in. We live in a world of informational abundance, which changes everything…

      • DOJ Wants Apple, Google To Hand Over Names And Phone Numbers Of 10,000 App Users

        Let’s hope this isn’t the only scope discussed by the court handling this case, detailed here by Thomas Brewster of Forbes.

      • New Report Finds Border Communities Inundated with Surveillance Technologies

        San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today published “The Atlas of Surveillance: Southwestern Border Communities,” the first report from a new research partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism.

        EFF and a team of students compiled profiles of six counties along the U.S.-Mexico border, outlining the types of surveillance technologies deployed by local law enforcement—including drones, body-worn cameras, automated license plate readers, and face recognition. The report also includes a set of 225 data points marking surveillance by local, state, and federal agencies in the border region.

      • Facebook’s cryptocurrency project to pursue payments license in Switzerland

        The Libra Association said it has asked the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to offer more insight into how the coin – called the “Libra” – will be regulated by the country’s government.

      • Victory! California Senate Votes Against Face Surveillance on Police Body Cams

        The California Senate listened to the many voices expressing concern about the use of face surveillance on cameras worn or carried by police officers, and has passed an important bill that will, for three years, prohibit police from turning a tool intended to foster police accountability into one that furthers mass surveillance.

        A.B. 1215, authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting, prohibits the use of face recognition, or other forms of biometric technology, on a camera worn or carried by a police officer in California for three years.  The Assembly passed an earlier version of the bill with a 45-17 vote on May 9. Today’s vote of the Senate was 22-15. We are pleased that the Senate has listened to the growing number of voices who oppose the way government agencies use face surveillance.

      • California Bill Would Halt Facial Recognition on Bodycams

        The bill, which needs approval by the state Assembly and the governor’s signature to become law, has been celebrated by the ACLU as an positive step. Matt Cagle, an attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, says that body cameras, which have been touted as tools for accountability after shootings of unarmed people of color, are poised to turn into tools of surveillance instead. “It’s a bait and switch,” he says. The bill would ban the use of facial recognition algorithms in real time, when the body cameras are rolling, and in subsequent forensic analysis of footage. It carves out an exemption for algorithms that detect and redact faces from body camera footage, so that the rules don’t slow public records requests.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Court issues much-anticipated order in favor of Russian theater directors accused of embezzlement

        Judge Irina Akkuratova of Moscow’s Meshchansky Court has refused to rule on the Seventh Studio criminal case, which has sparked widespread opposition among Russian activists and artists since it was opened in 2017. Akkuratova ordered the case to be returned to prosecutors for further development, writing, “The case as it stands cannot be considered by the court.”

      • Supreme Court OKs Enforcement of Trump Asylum Limits

        The Supreme Court is allowing nationwide enforcement of a new Trump administration rule that prevents most Central American immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States.

      • After string of similar cases, Russian court frees Chinese student who faced drug charges for foreign prescription

        The Perm Regional Court has canceled the deportation of Liu Yankun, a Chinese citizen studying for a graduate degree at Perm University. Liu’s attorney, Lyudmila Chegrina, said he was released from the police holding cell where he had been kept in custody since August 31.

      • The 1994 Crime Bill and Beyond: How Federal Funding Shapes the Criminal Justice System

        September 13 marks 25 years since the signing of the most far-reaching crime bill Congress ever passed.

      • As AOC and Ayanna Pressley Demand Answers on Trump Policy That Would Deport Sick Kids, ICE Officials at Hearing Refuse to Talk

        “This is a threat to the rule of law.”

      • ‘The Moron Fascists’: ICE Fails to Properly Redact Document Proposing ‘Hyper-Realistic’ Urban Warfare Training Facility

        “Sure feels like ICE is positioning itself to become an all encompassing, no accountability, paramilitary force.”

      • U.K. Court Rules Johnson’s Suspension of Parliament Unlawful

        A Scottish court dealt another blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans Wednesday, ruling that his decision to suspend Parliament less than two months before the U.K. is due to leave the European Union was an unlawful attempt to avoid democratic scrutiny.

      • This We’ll Defend

        The monsters in power marked another 9/11 with their usual grace and gravitas. As Trump whined about the polls, lied about the day, and boasted me me me, smarmy sycophant Rudy Giuliani, concluding his ugly mutation from America’s Mayor to Fascism’s Mayor, posted a deranged, “truly evil” video celebrating police brutality against Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

      • China: Ban on Tibet Religious Activity Toughened

        A Chinese Communist Party notice banning retired Tibetan government employees from taking part in religious activities violates China’s commitment to religious freedom, Human Rights Watch said today. The notice obtained by Human Rights Watch is undated but appears to have been issued in early August 2019.

      • The Revival of Non-Self

        The 21st century is witnessing the revival of Non-Self, such as Herrenvolk and Hindutva, which assert a binary division of “Self” and “Non-Self.” Selfism advocates the exclusion of Non-Self, variously defined as immigrants, refugees, gypsies, indigenous people, minorities, or “others.” Nationalism, majoritarianism, and exceptionalism are its noxious crops. Ethnic cleansing, apartheid, segregation, settler colonialism, denial of citizenship, incarceration, and deportation are its blunt tools. Selfism has no tolerance for plurality or heterogeneity.

      • Belarus: Homophobic Attack on Filmmaker

        Police in Belarus are investigating a brutal attack on a filmmaker and two colleagues early on the morning of August 25, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Unidentified assailants in Minsk verbally threatened the three men and then violently attacked Nikolai Kuprich, the filmmaker. He was hospitalized for days after the attack with serious head injuries. 

      • The Need for Non-Violence in Hong Kong

        The gloves are off in Hong Kong. Judging from the pictures on today’s BBC News the police no longer have any compunction about beating protestors.

      • US: How Abusive, Biased Policing Destroys Lives

        Abusive policing in Tulsa, Oklahoma that targets black people and poor people, diminishes the quality of life in all our communities. Human Rights Watch released the report on the eve of the third anniversary of the killing of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man. 

      • Being Black is Not a Crime: Yunek’s Story of Police Brutality

        My name is Yunek Moore. I am a Black woman, a college graduate, and a survivor of police brutality. I’m choosing to tell my story because, sadly, this wasn’t the last time something like this happened to a person of color in Peoria, Illinois, and that must change.

      • How To Avoid Getting Banned From the US Over Weed

        Jones said many of these scenarios play out the same way for tourists. A traveller catches the eye of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer or they may be coming in and out of the country too often.

        “Maybe they get a little bit too feisty with CBP in CBP’s eyes, or maybe they don’t like the person. That’s when they start to dig,” Jones said.

        Jones said once someone gets pulled into secondary screening, it’s unlikely that they’ll be admitted in the U.S. He describes the ensuring interrogation as “an answer looking for a question.”

        “They’ve already determined they’re going to bar this person and they need a legal route to do it so they start fishing,” he said, noting that a person doesn’t have a right to a lawyer or any constitutional rights at the airport.

        [...]

        And she said to clean your phone and expect it will be gone through at the border, even if you’re a U.S. citizen.

      • Running for Office With Student Loans Is Practically Impossible

        Running for office is time-consuming and emotionally exhausting. It’s also a full-time, unpaid job that barrels through weekends and evenings, without allowing for a moment off the clock. This is part of the reason we’re saddled with candidates who have millions to spend, and in turn, that our current congressional class has more than a billion dollars in combined wealth. These representatives may have graduated debt-free from college or inherited trust funds they used to buy a first home. Many are able to pay sky-high health insurance premiums without flinching. Their bank accounts are full, their debt nonexistent; being unpaid for a year while campaigning sometimes has little effect on their savings.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Hotel Lobbyists Push Forward Their Plan To Kill The Internet Because They Hate Competing Against Airbnb

        In the midst of this “techlash” atmosphere, it seems that basically every industry whose business models have been upended by competition brought about by the internet is now cynically using the anger directed at successful internet companies as an opportunity to kneecap the wider internet. We’ve recently pointed out that many of the efforts to undermine Section 230 of the CDA (the law that makes much of the good parts of the internet possible) are actually being pushed by Hollywood out of frustration that they’re no longer able to maintain their monopoly rents in a gatekeeper business. Similarly, the big telcos have been using this opportunity to pull a “but look over there!” to point at the big internet companies, while trying to distract from the much greater privacy violations they regularly engage in.

      • Verizon Can’t Stop Over-hyping 5G; This Time In NFL Stadiums

        We’ve noted for a while that 5G is being aggressively over-hyped. While it’s an important evolutionary step in wireless connectivity, it’s far from the revolution hardware vendors and cellular carriers are promising. Verizon, for example, insists that 5G is the “fourth industrial revolution” that will almost miraculously spur the smart cities and smarter cars of tomorrow. While 5G is important (in that faster, more resilient networks are always important), the idea that 5G will fundamentally transform the world tends to overshoot the mark.

      • “Father of the [Internet]” Vint Cerf says we need to be less naive if we’re going to fix it

        The promise of the [Internet] is one of an open global network for communication and commerce, and the foundation for a more prosperous and equitable world. But its potential is limited if we can’t trust it.

        We trust that water will come out of our kitchen tap and electricity will flow when we turn on the lights. In much the same way, the [Internet] carries critical information and services for our daily lives, our businesses, and the operation of our cities and governments. The [Internet] is critical infrastructure for the modern fabric of our societies.

        Lack of confidence in it will undermine our trust in everything from personal communications and e-commerce to digital stop lights and online elections.

    • Monopolies

      • Uber says it won’t classify drivers as employees despite California bill

        California’s legislature sent the bill, known as AB 5, to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) desk on Wednesday, and he has vowed to sign it. The legislation would make it harder for companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash to classify their workers as contractors.

        But West argued Wednesday that the test the new law would apply to company’s classification of workers is not impossible for Uber to work around. He also anticipates that the company’s stance will prompt lawsuits from its drivers.

      • In California, Gig Workers Are About to Become Employees

        Labor experts expect the bill to prompt similar efforts in other states and cities where public sentiment has shifted against tech companies like Uber and toward labor efforts like unionization drives. “All eyes are on California,” says Rebecca Smith, who directs the Work Structures program at the National Employment Law Project.

        AB 5 codifies a 2018 California Supreme Court decision that established a three-part test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, eligible for a minimum wage, unemployment and workers’ compensation, health care benefits, and other traditional protections. According to the test, a worker is only considered an independent contractor if she is not under the control or direction of a company while working and if she performs work that is “outside the usual course” of the company’s business. The bill does not address workers’ rights to collectively bargain.

      • Uber argues its drivers aren’t core to its business, won’t reclassify them as employees

        West said Uber could pass the ABC test because drivers aren’t core to its business. “Under that three-part test, arguably the highest bar is that a company must prove that contractors are doing work ‘outside the usual course’ of its business,” West said. ”Several previous rulings have found that drivers’ work is outside the usual course of Uber’s business, which is serving as a technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces.”

      • California just dropped a bomb on the gig economy — what’s next?

        Uber and Lyft will try to staunch the bleeding by doing what they do best: spending obscene amounts of money. The companies say they will fund a ballot initiative in 2020 to ask voters to approve the creation of a new category for ride-hail drivers. The enforcement of the law will present a range of obstacles for state regulators. And drivers will still face tough hurdles before they can achieve their ultimate goal: the formation of an independent union.

      • Trademarks

        • USPTO Gets One Right: Refuses To Allow Farmers Market To Trademark City’s Nickname

          We don’t spend a great deal of time here patting the USPTO on the back for getting things right, but occasionally the agency surprises us. When it comes to trademarks being granted for city or town names, the Trademark Office has a higher bar for approval but is still far too permissive. When it comes to widely used nicknames for cities and towns, the Trademark Office’s rubber-stamp methods have caused issues. The point here is that, whether its a city’s name or nickname we’re talking about, neither are good source identifiers, given both their wide use and the fact that both serve as geographic descriptors.

      • Copyrights

        • Congress Continues to Ignore the Dangerous Flaws of the CASE Act

          The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) is one of those (mostly) bad ideas that just won’t go away. It feels like a simple and easy solution to a thorny problem in copyright law: streamlining the dispute process. But as often happens, this solution is neither simple nor easy.

          The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on the Judiciary followed its counterpart in the Senate by passing the CASE Act out of committee. This means that the whole House could vote to pass it, without bothering to fix any of its many flaws.

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