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Links 18/8/2019: New KNOPPIX and Emmabuntus Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Kubernetes Storage

        Kubernetes storage is useful to storage administrators because it enables different forms of persistent, stateful data retention within Kubernetes cluster deployments, which are increasingly popular.

        Kubernetes itself is a rapidly developing technology that has been embraced by cloud vendors and enterprises alike to enable a more agile and scalable form of application delivery. With a properly implemented Kubernetes storage configuration, databases and application data can be created and accessed by many applications – allowing greater speed and efficiency.

      • Docker Storage

        Docker storage enables storage administrators to configure and support application data storage within Docker container deployments.

        Docker is one of the most transformative and disruptive technologies to appear in recent years. It impacts multiple facets of IT, including storage. The technology represents a different approach than either traditional bare metal or virtual machine (VM) application delivery, providing organizations with the opportunity to benefit from a more agile and cloud-native approach.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Going Linux #375 · Listener Feedback

        In this episode, we have several questions about accessibility in Linux applications, we discuss a couple of cross-platform office suites that provide a bit better compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats, and we discuss problems and solutions for Ubuntu, Barrier, video and privacy and security. Lastly, we comment on Linux Journal’s goodbye.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Foundation

        • Open Source Summit welcomes Platform9 experts

          Cloud-native experts share tips and practical learnings for Kubernetes in the enterprise, Kubernetes on bare metal or with stateful MySQL databases, and optimizing the cost and performance of Serverless applications.

        • Transform Your Career: Attend Open Source Summit North America this August in San Diego

          For the last decade, The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit has proven to be invaluable for attendees. A 2018 participant recently wrote an article on OpenSource.com stating “Last August, I arrived at the Vancouver Convention Centre to give a lightning talk and speak on a panel at Open Source Summit North America 2018. It’s no exaggeration to say that this conference—and applying to speak at it—transformed my career.” We encourage you to read the article and discover why attending Open Source Summit can be a game changer for you as well.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Network transparency with Wayland: Final report.

          The goal of this 2019 Google Summer of Code project is to develop a tool with which to transparently proxy applications that use the Wayland protocol to be displayed by compositors. Unlike the original X protocol, only part of the data needed to display an application is transferred over the application’s connection to the compositor; instead, large information transfers are made by sharing file descriptors over the (Unix socket) connection, and updating the resources associated with the file descriptors. Converting this side channel information to something that can be sent over a single data stream is the core of this work.

          The proxy program I have developed for the project is called Waypipe. It can currently be found at gitlab.freedesktop.org/mstoeckl/waypipe. (I am currently looking for a better stable path at which to place the project; the preceding URL will be updated once this is done.) A few distributions have already packaged the program; see here; alternatively, to build and run the project, follow the instructions in the README and the man page. My work is clearly identified by the commit logs, and amounts to roughly ten thousand lines of C code, and a few hundred of Python.

        • Vulkan 1.1.120 Released As The Newest Maintenance Release

          Vulkan 1.1.120 is out as the newest weekly update to the Vulkan graphics API.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.3 Kernel Yielding The Best Performance Yet For AMD EPYC “Rome” CPU Performance

        Among many different Linux/open-source benchmarks being worked on for the AMD EPYC “Rome” processors now that our initial launch benchmarks are out of the way are Linux distribution comparisons, checking out the BSD compatibility, and more. Some tests I wrapped up this weekend were seeing how recent Linux kernel releases perform on the AMD EPYC 7742 64-core / 128-thread processors.

        For some weekend analysis, here are benchmarks of Linux 4.18 through Linux 5.3 in its current development form. All tests were done on the same AMD EPYC 7742 2P server running Ubuntu 19.04 and using the latest kernels in each series via the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 4.14 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu 18.04

        The new development release Wine 4.14 was released today. The official apt repository has made the packages for Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 19.04.The new development release Wine 4.14 was released today. The official apt repository has made the packages for Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 19.04.

    • Games

      • The ClockworkPi GameShell is a super fun DIY spin on portable gaming

        Portable consoles are hardly new, and thanks to the Switch, they’re basically the most popular gaming devices in the world. But ClockworkPi’s GameShell is something totally unique, and entirely refreshing when it comes to gaming on the go. This clever DIY console kit provides everything you need to assemble your own pocket gaming machine at home, running Linux-based open-source software and using an open-source hardware design that welcomes future customization.

        The GameShell is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, which began shipping to its backers last year and is now available to buy either direct from the company or from Amazon. The $159.99 ( on sale for $139.99 as of this writing) includes everything you need to build the console, like the ClockworkPi quad-core Cortex A7 motherboard with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 1GB of DDR3 RAM — but it comes unassembled.

      • Survival game Rust is axing Linux version, offers refunds to its players

        The studio behind the popular survival game Rust, Facepunch Studios, has announced that it is removing the title’s Linux client altogether.

      • Japanese anime studio Khara moving to Blender

        Khara, Inc. is known as Hideaki Anno’s motion picture planning and production company. They are currently working on “EVANGELION:3.0+1.0”, film to be released in June 2020.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.14 Desktop Environment Arrives After More Than 4 Years, Here’s What’s New

        Xfce 4.14 comes 4 years and 5 months after Xfce 4.12, a release that it is probably included in the software repositories of almost all Linux-based operating systems. The goal for Xfce 4.14, as the developers explain, was to port all of the core components to the latest GTK3 and GDBus open-source technologies, instead of the old GTK2 and D-Bus GLib.

        “In this 4.14 cycle the main goal was to port all core components to Gtk3 (over Gtk2) and GDBus (over D-Bus GLib). Most components also received GObject Introspection support. Along the way we ended up polishing our user experience, introducing quite a few new features and improvements and fixings a boatload of bugs,” reads the release announcement.

      • Xfce 4.14 Desktop Officially Released After 4 Years and 5 Months of Development

        The Xfce team pleased to announce the release of the Xfce desktop 4.14, a new stable version of 4.x series on 12th Aug, 2019.

        It was released after continues development of 4 years and 5 months, finally we saw this long-awaited release.

        In this release, they were ported all core components to Gtk3 (over Gtk2) and GDBus (over D-Bus GLib).

        Most components also received GObject Introspection support.

        Along with this, they had added quite few new features and improvements and fixed some bugs.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 84

          Get ready for week 84 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! 84 weeks is a lot of weeks, and in fact the end is in sight for the U&P initiative. I’d say it’s been a huge success, but all good things must come to an end to make room for new growth! In fact, KDE community members have submitted many new goals, which the community will be able to vote on soon, with the three winners being unveiled at Akademy next month.

          But fear not, for the spirit of the Usability & Productivity initiative has suffused the KDE community, and I expect a lot of really cool U&P related stuff to happen even after the initiative has formally ended–including the long-awaited projects of PolicyKit support and mounted Samba and NFS shares in KIO and Dolphin! These projects are making steady progress and I hope to have them done in the next few months, plugging some longstanding holes in our software.

        • ownCloud and CryFS

          It is a great idea to encrypt files on client side before uploading them to an ownCloud server if that one is not running in controlled environment, or if one just wants to act defensive and minimize risk.

          Some people think it is a great idea to include the functionality in the sync client.

          I don’t agree because it combines two very complex topics into one code base and makes the code difficult to maintain. The risk is high to end up with a kind of code base which nobody is able to maintain properly any more. So let’s better avoid that for ownCloud and look for alternatives.

          A good way is to use a so called encrypted overlay filesystem and let ownCloud sync the encrypted files. The downside is that you can not use the encrypted files in the web interface because it can not decrypt the files easily. To me, that is not overly important because I want to sync files between different clients, which probably is the most common usecase.


          My personal conclusion: CryFS is an interesting project. It has a nice integration in the KDE desktop with Plasma Vault. Splitting files into equal sized blocks is good because it does not allow to guess data based on names and sizes. However, for syncing with ownCloud, it is not the best partner.

        • Krita 4.2.5 Digital Painting Software for Ubuntu/Linux Mint

          Krita is a robust, fast and flexible painting application that makes creating art from scratch or existing resources a fun and productive experience. With many powerful brush engines and unique features such as multi­hand and mirrored painting, Krita explicitly supports creating comics, concept art, storyboards, textures, matte paintings and illustrations.

          Krita has several features that are unique or a first among free software painting applications: support for colorspaces other than RGB, like CMYK, support for HDR painting, painting assistants, a perspective grid.
          Pop-up Palette: Quickly pick your color and brush by right-clicking on the canvas. You can also use Krita’s tagging system to swap out the available brushes that are displayed. The ring outside of the color selector contains the most recently used colors. These settings can be configured through the preferences.

    • Distributions

      • Kata Containers Packages are Available officially in openSUSE Tumbleweed

        Kata Containers is an open source container runtime that is crafted to seamlessly plug into the containers ecosystem.

        We are now excited to announce that the Kata Containers packages are finally available in the official openSUSE Tumbleweed repository.

        It is worthwhile to spend few words explaining why this is a great news, considering the role of Kata Containers (a.k.a. Kata) in fulfilling the need for security in the containers ecosystem, and given its importance for openSUSE and Kubic.

      • 7 of the Best Linux Distros for Developers and Programmers

        One of the reasons Linux is great is because of how flexible it is. For example, it can run on everything from servers to your old laptop to a Raspberry Pi. For this reason, it’s also a fantastic platform for developers.

        Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just using Linux to learn to program, you still have to choose a distribution. The reality is that you can pretty much be a developer with most Linux distros, but some have those little conveniences that make them head-and-shoulders above the crowd.

        Here are the best Linux distros for developers.

      • Neptune 6.0 Released, Which is based on Debian 10 (Buster)

        Leszek has pleased to announce the release of the new stable release of Neptune 6.0 on 1th Aug, 2019.

        It’s first stable release of Neptune 6.0 based on Debian 10 “Buster”, featuring the KDE Plasma desktop with the typical Neptune tweaks and configurations.

        The base of the system is Linux Kernel in version 4.19.37 which provides the necessary hardware support.

        Plasma 5.14.5 features the stable and flexible KDE made desktop that is loved by millions.

      • List of Inactive/Discontinued Linux Distributions

        This page provides information about the distributions that are no longer supported or developed starting from 2019 with details.

        This table contains the Linux Distribution Name, Distribution Initial Release Date, Distribution Latest Release Date, Reason for distribution inactive, and Distribution Age.

      • New Releases

        • Emmabuntus DE2 1.05 Released, Which Reduces ISO Image Size

          Emmabuntus Team is pleased to announce the release of the new Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 2 1.05 (32 and 64 bits) on 02nd Aug, 2019.

          It’s based on Debian 9.9 stretch distribution and featuring the XFCE desktop environment.

          This is a lightweight distribution, which was designed to run on older computers.

          This distribution was originally designed to facilitate the reconditioning of computers donated to humanitarian organizations, starting with the Emmaüs communities.

        • [EndeavourOS] The August release is available.

          This ISO contains:

          Calamares 3.2.11 (the latest version of our installer)
          Kernel 5.2.8
          mesa 19.1.4-1
          systemd 242.84-1
          xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.16-1
          XFCE 4.14
          We also took care of some bug fixes:

          Autologin is working now (if chosen inside Calamares)
          Virtualbox detection is working
          Powersaving/screen-locking issues are resolved
          Added Leafpad as an option to use the editor as admin (not working with mousepad anymore)
          A general cleanup
          Removed light-locker (was causing issues)

      • Arch Family

        • RaspArch Project Now Lets You Run Arch Linux on Your Raspberry Pi 4 Computer

          RaspArch Build 190809 is now available to download and it is especially made for the recently released Raspberry Pi 4 Model B computer, which features a Quad-Core 1.5GHz 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU, up to 4GB RAM, and on-board dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 (BLE).

          The best thing about the new Raspberry Pi 4 model is that it supports up to 4K video resolutions via two micro HDMI ports. The tiny computer also comes with two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, an extended 40-pin GPIO header, MIPI Camera and Display ports, and true Gigabit Ethernet.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora 29 to 30 upgrade – How it went

          Alas, my Fedora 30 experience started strong with the first review and soured since. The test on the old laptop with Nvidia graphics highlighted numerous problems, including almost ending up in an unbootable state due to the wrong driver version being selected by the software center. With the in-vivo upgrade, I almost ended up in a similar state due to some incompatibility with extensions. I wasn’t pleased by other glitches and errors, and the performance improvement margin isn’t as stellar as the clean install test.

          All in all, Fedora 30 feels like a rather buggy release, with tons of problems. I think versions 27 to 29 were quite robust overall, at least the Gnome version, but the latest edition is quite rough. That would mean I’d advise people upgrading to take care of their data, remember the possible snags like extensions, and triple check their hardware is up to the task, because apparently QA isn’t cool anymore, and no one else will do this for you. All in all, Fedora 30 is very bleeding edge, finicky, definitely not for everyday use by ordinary desktop folks. It’s a dev tool for devs, so if you want something stable and boring, search elsewhere.

      • Debian Family

        • Linux package managers are slow

          measured how long the most popular Linux distribution’s package manager take to install small and large packages (the ack(1p) source code search Perl script and qemu, respectively).

          Where required, my measurements include metadata updates such as transferring an up-to-date package list. For me, requiring a metadata update is the more common case, particularly on live systems or within Docker containers.

          All measurements were taken on an Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-9900K CPU @ 3.60GHz running Docker 1.13.1 on Linux 4.19, backed by a Samsung 970 Pro NVMe drive boasting many hundreds of MB/s write performance.

        • Linux distribution to research fast package management
        • KNOPPIX 8.6.0 Public Release

          Version 8.6 basiert auf → Debian/stable (buster), mit einzelnen Paketen aus Debian/testing und unstable (sid) (v.a. Grafiktreiber und aktuelle Productivity-Software) und verwendet → Linux Kernel 5.2.5 sowie Xorg 7.7 (core 1.20.4) zur Unterstützung aktueller Computer-Hardware.

        • Knoppix 8.6 new public version is finally out !

          Finally the new public version of Knoppix 8.6 is out !

        • KNOPPIX 8.6.0 Public Release

          Version 8.6 of KNOPPIX is based on → Debian/stable (buster), with some packages from Debian/testing and unstable (sid) for newer graphics drivers or desktop software packages. It uses → Linux kernel 5.2.5 and Xorg 7.7 (core 1.20.4) for supporting current computer hardware.

        • Knoppix 8.6 Released – This Original Linux Live Distro Now Based On Debian Buster

          Knoppix 8.6 marks the re-basing to Debian 10.0 Buster with select packages from Debian Testing and Unstable/Sid for newer graphics support. Knoppix 8.6 ships with the Linux 5.2 kernel. Knoppix 8.6 also ships with the latest desktop environment bitsand other updated software.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Intervalometerator: Open Source Code for a Remote Timelapse DSLR

        Want to set up a remote DSLR for shooting a time-lapse? The Intervalometerator (AKA ‘intvlm8r’) is an open-source intervalometer that can help you do so at minimal hardware cost (as long as you’re comfortable tinkering with hardware and software).

        Created by Sydney-based coder Greig Sheridan and his photographer partner Rocky over the course of a year, the Intervalometerator is designed to be both cheap and easy to build with familiar tools and using Raspberry Pi and Arduino microcontrollers.

        “My partner and I have been working for over twelve months now on an intervalometer in order to shoot a DSLR-based time-lapse of the construction of our friends’ home in NZ,” Sheridan tells PetaPixel. “It was at the time a seemingly clever idea for a house-warming present, but it grew like tribbles to consume an incredible amount of effort).

      • Open Source Tools & Framework: Microservices Perspective
      • Open Source flexiWAN SD-WAN Software Beta Ships
      • Agile and open source can complement each other

        Despite the growing popularity of both Agile development and open-source practices, it’s not often that they come up in the same conversation. When these two concepts do intersect, it’s often to highlight the contradicting viewpoints that these two models supposedly represent.

        While there are core differences, Agile doesn’t have to be the enemy of open source—in fact, I would argue the opposite.

      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Twilio CLI

        In an effort to help its developers be more productive, Twilio has announced the beta version of Twilio CLI. It is an open-source command line interface that enables developers to access Twilio through their command prompt.

        “It’s hard to beat the flexibility and power that a CLI provides at development time. Until now, there was no CLI designed for typical communications requirements,” Ashley Roach, the product manager for developer interfaces at Twilio, wrote in a post.

      • Using open source in your enterprise? What to look out for

        According to Statista, the open source market was valued at $11.4 billion in 2017 and is estimated to grow to $32.95 billion by 2022, showing it has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

        Founded on the belief that collaboration and cooperation build better software, open source sounds closer to a utopian dream than to the cold digital world of programming. Research showed that open source code takes over proprietary one in applications at 57%. This has numerous benefits, such as speeding up the software development process or creating more effective and innovative software.

        For example, open source frontend development frameworks, such as Angular, are often found in custom web apps, which allows companies to get their products to market at ever-increasing rates. In addition, companies tend to engage open source when at the cusp of technological innovation, especially when it comes to AR, blockchain, IoT, and AI.

      • Open Source Technology: What’s It All About?

        To understand how open source works, it is important to appreciate where it all began. The very idea behind its inception isn’t exactly a new one. It’s been adopted by scientists for decades. Let’s imagine a scientist working on a project to develop a cure for an illness. If this scientist only published the results and kept the methods a secret, this would undoubtedly inhibit scientific discovery and further research in this area. On the other hand, teaming up with other researchers and making results and methodologies visible allows for greater and faster innovation.

        This is the premise from which open source was originally born. Open source refers to software that has an open source code so it can be viewed, modified for a particular need, and importantly, shared (under license). One of the first well known open source initiatives was developed in 1998 by Netscape, which released its Navigator browser as free software and demonstrated the benefits of taking an open source approach. Since then, there have been a number of pivotal moments in open source history that have shaped the technology industry as we know it today. Nowadays, some of the latest technology you use on a daily basis, like your smartphone or laptop, will have been built using open source software.


        Recent research found that 60 percent of organizations are already using open source software. Many businesses are realizing the benefits that the technology can bring in relation to driving innovation and reducing costs. This in turn is seeing a growing number of organizations integrate open source into their IT operations or even building entire businesses around it. With emerging technologies such as cloud, AI and machine learning only driving this adoption further, open source will continue to play a central and growing role throughout the technology landscape.

      • How to Take Your Open Source Project from Good to Great

        Whether or not you expect anyone to contribute to your project, you should be prepared for the possibility of others wanting to help your cause. And when that happens, your contributing guide will show those helpers exactly how they can get involved. This guide, usually in the form of a CONTRIBUTING.md file, should include information on how one should submit a pull request or open an issue for your project and what kinds of help you’re looking for (bug fixes, design direction, feature requests, etc.).

      • ForgeRock Delivers Open Source IoT Edge Controller for Device Identity

        According to a recent announcement, ForgeRock, a platform provider of digital identity management solutions, has launched its IoT Edge Controller, which is designed to provide consumer and industrial manufacturers the ability to deliver trusted identity at the device level.

      • Apache

        • The Apache® Software Foundation Announces Annual Report for 2019 Fiscal Year

          The Apache® Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today the availability of the annual report for its 2019 fiscal year, which ended 30 April 2019.

        • Open Source at the ASF: A Year in Numbers

          332 active projects, 71 million lines of code changed, 7,000+ committers…

          The Apache Software Foundation has published its annual report for fiscal 2019. The hub of a sprawling, influential open source community, the ASF remains in rude good health, despite challenges this year including the need for “an outsized amount of effort” dealing with trademark infringements, and “some in the tech industry trying to exploit the goodwill earned by the larger Open Source community.”


          The ASF names 10 “platinum” sponsors: AWS, Cloudera, Comcast, Facebook, Google, LeaseWeb, Microsoft, the Pineapple Fund, Tencent Cloud, and Verizon Media

        • Apache Software Foundation Is Worth $20 Billion

          Yes, Apache is worth $20 billion by its own valuation of the software it offers for free. But what price can you realistically put on open source code?

          If you only know the name Apache in connection with the web server then you are missing out on some interesting software. The Apache Software Foundation ASF, grew out of the Apache HTTP Server project in 1999 with the aim of furthering open source software. It provides a licence, the Apache licence, a decentralized governance and requires projects to be licensed to the ASF so that it can protect the intellectual property rights.

        • Apache Security Advisories Red Flag Wrong Versions in Patching Gaffe

          Researchers have pinpointed errors in two dozen Apache Struts security advisories, which warn users of vulnerabilities in the popular open-source web app development framework. They say that the security advisories listed incorrect versions impacted by the vulnerabilities.

          The concern from this research is that security administrators in companies using the actual impacted versions would incorrectly think that their versions weren’t affected – and would thus refrain from applying patches, said researchers with Synopsys who made the discovery, Thursday.

          “The real question here from this research is whether there remain unpatched versions of the newly disclosed versions in production scenarios,” Tim Mackey, principal security strategist for the Cybersecurity Research Center at Synopsys, told Threatpost. “In all cases, the Struts community had already issued patches for the vulnerabilities so the patches exist, it’s just a question of applying them.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Google

          • Google releases source code for I/O 2019 app with Android Q gesture nav, dark theme

            The Google I/O companion app for Android often takes advantage of the latest design stylings and OS features. It demoed Android Q’s gesture navigation and dark theme this year, with the company today releasing the I/O 2019 source code.

          • Introducing Coil, an open-source Android image loading library backed by Kotlin Coroutines

            Yesterday, Colin White, a Senior Android Engineer at Instacart, introduced Coroutine Image Loader (Coil). It is a fast, lightweight, and modern image loading library for Android backed by Kotlin.

          • Google open-sources Live Transcribe’s speech engine

            Google today open-sourced the speech engine that powers its Android speech recognition transcription tool Live Transcribe. The company hopes doing so will let any developer deliver captions for long-form conversations. The source code is available now on GitHub.

            Google released Live Transcribe in February. The tool uses machine learning algorithms to turn audio into real-time captions. Unlike Android’s upcoming Live Caption feature, Live Transcribe is a full-screen experience, uses your smartphone’s microphone (or an external microphone), and relies on the Google Cloud Speech API. Live Transcribe can caption real-time spoken words in over 70 languages and dialects. You can also type back into it — Live Transcribe is really a communication tool. The other main difference: Live Transcribe is available on 1.8 billion Android devices. (When Live Caption arrives later this year, it will only work on select Android Q devices.)

        • Mozilla

      • Crypto

        • Best Free and Open-Source Crypto Trading Bots, Rated and Reviewed

          Crypto trading bots have become an increasingly popular tool for experienced bitcoin traders who want to deploy automated bitcoin trading strategies. As a result, there are now over a dozen trading bots (with ranging subscription prices) that digital currency traders can use.

          Fortunately, for traders who want to test out algorithmic trading before committing funds toward a specific bot, there are several free trading bots from which to choose. Here’s an introduction to the most popular free, open-source bitcoin trading bots available in 2019.

        • Blockchain Music Streaming Startup Unveils Source Code, Incentives

          Audius, a blockchain startup that aims to disrupt the music streaming industry, has uploaded its public beta version.

        • Blockchain music-streaming service Audius gears up for public beta

          A new streaming service with its sights set on making the middlemen of the music biz obsolete is inching closer toward its goal of disrupting the Spotifys and SoundClouds of the world.

          After a year of development, and armed with $5 million in investment capital from VC firms General Catalyst, Lightspeed, and Pantera Capital, blockchain startup Audius is finally ready to show the world what it’s been working on.

        • Crypto Code Commits Remain Near All-Time Highs, Despite Price Declines

          The least committed contributors were the first to leave as cryptocurrency market caps went south.

          That’s the main finding from Electric Capital’s second “Developer Report,” which was published Monday. The report analyzes code activity in all the open-source repositories in crypto and follows the venture capital firm’s first such report from March.

          While there’s a sense that protocols and projects have been losing code contributors, the majority of developers that left crypto during the market correction in the first half of 2019 (77 percent of them) were the least committed contributors to the least promising projects.

      • Databases

        • Thomas Boyd Discusses Which Open Source Database is the Best Fit for the Business

          The world’s largest and most innovative businesses are turning to enterprise open source databases for mission-critical applications, with the most popular open source relational databases being MariaDB, MySQL, and Postgres.

          However, while all three of these databases are open source, mature, and available in enterprise editions, there are significant differences between them — both in terms of application development as well as database administration and operations.

          DBTA recently held a webinar featuring Thomas Boyd, director of technical marketing, MariaDB Corporation, who discussed the differences between MariaDB, MySQL, and Postgres.


          EnterpriseDB is heap only while MySQL and MariaDB offer InnoDB, Columnar, Aria, MyRocks, and more.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.2 Open-Source Office Suite Is Now Ready for Enterprise Deployments

          Coming five weeks after the release of LibreOffice 6.2.5, the LibreOffice 6.2.6 maintenance update is here with months of back-ported fixes and all the latest security patches to make your LibreOffice experience more stable and reliable. That’s why, The Document Foundation now recommends the LibreOffice 6.2 series to users in production environments. LibreOffice 6.2.6 includes a total of 44 changes.

          “The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.2.6, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 6.2 family, targeted at users in production environments. All users of LibreOffice 6.1.x and LibreOffice 6.2.x versions should upgrade immediately for enhanced security, as the software includes both security fixes and some months of back-ported fixes,” said Italo Vignoli.

        • LibreOffice Conference 2020 Proposals

          The Document Foundation has received two different proposals for the organization of LibOCon 2020 from the Turkish and German communities. When this has happened in the past, in 2012 (Berlin vs Zaragoza) and 2013 (Milan vs Montreal), TDF Members have been asked to decide by casting their vote.

          This document provides an outline of the two proposals, which are attached in their original format.

      • CMS

        • Exclusive: Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg on what’s next for Tumblr

          It’s been a long and winding road for Tumblr, the blogging site that launched a thousand writing careers. It sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, then withered as Yahoo sold itself to AOL, AOL sold itself to Verizon, and Verizon realized it was a phone company after all. Through all that, the site’s fierce community hung on: it’s still Taylor Swift’s go-to social media platform, and fandoms of all kinds have homes there.

          Verizon sold Tumblr for a reported $3 million this week, a far cry from the billion-dollar valuation it once had. But to Verizon’s credit, it chose to sell Tumblr to Automattic, the company behind WordPress, the publishing platform that runs some 34 percent of the world’s websites. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg thinks the future of Tumblr is bright. He wants the platform to bring back the best of old-school blogging, reinvented for mobile and connected to Tumblr’s still-vibrant community, and he’s retaining all 200 Tumblr employees to build that future. It’s the most exciting vision for Tumblr in years.

          Matt joined Verge reporter Julia Alexander and me on a special Vergecast interview episode to chat about the deal, how it came together, what Automattic’s plans for Tumblr look like, and whether Tumblr might become an open-source project, like WordPress itself. (“That would be pretty cool,” said Matt.)

          Oh, and that porn ban.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Australian Signals Directorate open sources its in-house data visualization tool

          ASD (Australian Signals Directorate) has open sourced its in-house data visualization and analysis app on the code repository, GitHub.

          Dubbed as Constellation, the software is framed with powerful analytics to enable data access, identify patterns in massive and complicated datasets, and can allow billions of inputs – all in a simple and intuitive way. With this, users can import data in multiple formats and present the information in many different graphic views for deep analysis.

        • Australian Signals Directorate launches open source​ data visualisation tool

          ASD touts Constellation as a data analysis application enabling data access, federation, and manipulation activities across large and complex datasets.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • 3D printing organs may soon be a reality via a new open-source technique – Future Blink

          Bioengineers at Rice University created entangled cardiovascular networks similar to the body’s natural passageways.

        • Global reinsurance experts urge investment in open-source risk models

          Strategic management experts say greater collaboration between the insurance industry and state policy makers, including investment in open-source risk models, could improve society’s ability to recover from disasters linked to climate change.

        • Flume Kicks Off Open Source FlumeSounds Project

          Australian #1 bad boy of EDM Flume made a surprise project announcement FlumeSounds yesterday. He uploaded a near 8-minute video of samples to all his socials for fans and creators to manipulate.

        • Flume announces open-source sample series for producers

          Hot off the release of his new EP, ‘Quits’, Australian producer Flume has revealed Flume Sounds, an open-source audio loop series for producers.

        • Open Data

          • First global open-source database for spinal cord injury research will be a ‘game-changer,’ say experts

            Experts from the University of Alberta and two universities of California are teaming up to launch the world’s first open-source database for spinal cord injury research.

            The Open Data Commons for preclinical Spinal Cord Injury research (ODC-SCI) will improve research and treatment worldwide by making data more accessible, according to researchers and patients.

            “The database has the potential to improve treatment for up to half a million people suffering from spinal cord injuries worldwide, and also enhance research in other areas of health, science and rehabilitation,” said Randy Goebel, associate vice-president of research at the U of A.

        • Open Access/Content

          • Nationwide project provides free science materials to meet California’s new standards

            While California students began taking a new statewide science test this past spring, school districts were still struggling to get teaching materials aligned to the state’s new science standards into classrooms.

            A new nationwide effort is trying to speed up that process by offering free, open source science materials to teachers and schools.

            In 2017, philanthropists, state leaders and curriculum writers formed OpenSciEd to get materials to teachers implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, new academic standards that emphasize hands-on projects and integrate several scientific disciplines.

            California adopted the new standards in 2013 and this past spring began administering a new state science test. But it wasn’t until last November that the State Board of Education approved a list of recommended textbooks and materials aligned to the new standards for kindergarten through 8th grade.

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • RAKWireless Introduces RAK7200 LoRa Tracker | Features & Specifications
          • Padauk PMS150C “3 Cents” MCU Supports SDCC Open Source Toolchain
          • OpenHW Group Launched
          • Spain’s First Open Source Satellite

            [Fossa Systems], a non-profit youth association based out of Madrid, is developing an open-source satellite set to launch in October 2019. The FossaSat-1 is sized at 5x5x5 cm, weighs 250g, and will provide free IoT connectivity by communicating LoRa RTTY signals through low-power RF-based LoRa modules. The satellite is powered by 28% efficient gallium arsenide TrisolX triple junction solar cells.

            The satellite’s development and launch cost under EUR 30000, which is pretty remarkable for a cubesat — or a picosatellite, as the project is being dubbed. It has been working in the UHF Amateur Satellite band (435-438 MHz) and recently received an IARU frequency spectrum allocation for LoRa of 125kHz.

          • Fitness Trackers Don’t Have To Be Proprietary

            The OpenHAK is an open-source fitness tracker in a 3D printed wristwatch case that measures your heart rate and counts your steps, offering the resultant data for you to collect via Bluetooth. At its heart is a Sparkfun Simblee module, with heart rate sensing through a Maxim MAX30101 and step counting .by a Bocsh BMI160. It’s designed for expandability from the start with a header bringing out useful interface lines. In the prototype, they’ve used this to support a small OLED display. The result is a fitness tracker watch that may not match some of the well-known proprietary devices, but which remains completely open and probably costs a lot less too.

          • OpenHAK is an open-source fitness tracker designed for hackers and keeping data private

            You might question whether we need another fitness wearable, but OpenHAK ($100) differentiates itself by being, well, open. Whereas other wearables often place barriers between you and your data, this device wants you to own and control everything. It’ll record step counts and heart rates, and send data to your phone – and only to your phone – in an easily accessible format, so you can later do whatever you want with it. This open philosophy extends to the hardware: the wearable cleverly integrates 18mm watch band support directly into the PCB; and breakout pins enable customisation, for example to add a display or vibration motor. If you like those ideas, but don’t fancy sourcing components yourself, grab one of the higher tiers in the crowdfunding campaign, and get everything at once – including a 3D-printed case to house everything.

      • Programming/Development

        • Codefresh’s More Robust, Open Source Marketplace Makes Coding Easier, Faster, More Secure

          First deployed in December 2018, the Codefresh Marketplace makes it easier for code developers to find commands without having to learn a proprietary API – every step, browsable in the pipeline builder, is a simple Docker image. The Marketplace contains a more robust set of pipeline steps provided both by Codefresh and partners, such as Blue-Green and Canary deployment steps for Kubernetes, Aqua security scanning, and Helm package and deployment. All plugins are open source and users can contribute to the collection by creating a new plugin.

        • Codefresh freshens produce at the Kubernetes code marketplace

          Codefresh is the first Kubernetes-native CI/CD technology, with CI denoting Continuous Integration and CD denoting Continuous Delivery, obviously.

          The organisation has this month worked to improve its open source marketplace with features that focus on faster code deployment.

          First deployed in December 2018, the Codefresh Marketplace [kind of like an app store] allows developers to find commands without having to learn a proprietary API — this is because every step, which is browsable in the pipeline builder, is a simple Docker image.

        • DevOps World | Jenkins World: CircleCI orbs, DevOps Institute’s Ambassador Program, and Codefresh Marketplace

          DevOps and Jenkins is on full display this week at CloudBees’ DevOps World | Jenkins World taking place in San Francisco. In addition to the DevOps thought leaders and community members coming together to learn, explore and help shape the next generation of Jenkins and DevOps, a number of organizations took the opportunity to reveal new products.


          SmartBear revealed TestEngine, a new solution designed to automate test execution in CI/CD environments. In addition, the company announced ReadyAPI 2.8 to accelerate functional, security and load testing of RESTful, SOAP, GraphQL and other web services. The new tools are aimed at accelerating API delivery.

          Users can now execute ReadyAPI, SoapUI Pro and SoapUI Open Source tests simultaneously on a central source that’s integrated into their development processes. This tackles the challenges that Agile and DevOps teams have such as complex deployments, large regression suites, and global development teams, according to SmartBear in a post.

        • What Is Developer Relations?

          Matthew Broberg, Advocate and Editor at opensource.com says that in practice the implementation of DevRel has been far from consistent. “DevRel, in theory, is the intersection of three disciplines: engineering, marketing, and community management,” he says. “In practice, DevRel applies to a wildly popular set of job titles with wildly different expectations across different organizations.”


          Rebecca Fitzhugh, Principal Technologist at Rubrik agrees. “While there is certainly a marketing component when representing the company to the customer and community, it’s equally about representing the customer to the company,” she says. “Our DevRel team brings feedback from our customers to the product and engineering team in order to drive a better developer experience against our product’s APIs.”

        • CloudBees and Google Cloud Partner to Accelerate Application Development on Anthos

          Respective leaders in DevOps and cloud computing are partnering to provide end-to-end application development automation from source to production…

        • CloudBees readies software delivery management, Jenkins X via SaaS

          SDM coordinates software delivery in an organization, serving as a sort of CRM for software delivery. The idea for SDM arose out of the notion that once companies use CI/CD, they realize they have created silos of data, processes, and teams. SDM is intended to capture signals from all the tools in use to show what is taking place.

        • Jenkins Celebrates 15 Years Of Transforming Software Delivery
  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • DARPA’s $10 million voting machine couldn’t be hacked at Defcon (for the wrong reasons)

        For the majority of Defcon, hackers couldn’t crack the $10 million secure voting machine prototypes that DARPA had set up at the Voting Village. But it wasn’t because of the machine’s security features that the team had been working on for four months. The reason: technical difficulties during the machines’ setup.

        Eager hackers couldn’t find vulnerabilities in the DARPA-funded project during the security conference in Las Vegas because a bug in the machines didn’t allow hackers to access their systems over the first two days. (DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.) Galois brought five machines, and each one had difficulties during the setup, said Joe Kiniry, a principal research scientist at the government contractor.

        “They seemed to have had a myriad of different kinds of problems,” the Voting Village’s co-founder Harri Hursti said. “Unfortunately, when you’re pushing the envelope on technology, these kinds of things happen.”

        It wasn’t until the Voting Village opened on Sunday morning that hackers could finally get a chance to look for vulnerabilities on the machine. Kiniry said his team was able to solve the problem on three of them and was working to fix the last two before Defcon ended.

      • At hacking conference, Pentagon’s transparency highlights voting companies’ secrecy

        At the country’s biggest election security bonanza, the US government is happy to let hackers try to break into its equipment. The private companies that make the machines America votes on, not so much.

        The Def Con Voting Village, a now-annual event at the US’s largest hacking conference, gives hackers free rein to try to break into a wide variety of decommissioned election equipment, some of which is still in use today. As in the previous two years, they found a host of new flaws.
        The hunt for vulnerabilities in US election systems has underscored tensions between the Voting Village organizers, who argue that it’s a valuable exercise, and the manufacturers of voting equipment, who didn’t have a formal presence at the convention.

      • Carbon Black Open-Source Binary Emulator Eases Malware Analysis

        Carbon Black, the cybersecurity and endpoint protection software provider, has unveiled the Binee open-source binary emulator for real-time malware analysis. The company announced Binee at last week’s DEF CON 27 hacker conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.


        Carbon Black also has been gaining momentum with MSPs and MSSPs over the past few months. In fact, Carbon Black recorded revenue of $60.9 million and a net loss of $14.6 million in the second quarter of 2019; both of these figures generally beat Wall Street’s expectations.

      • Concordia receives $560K for a new Open-Source Cyber Fusion Centre

        The call for collaborative projects in the area of information communication technologies led to the genesis of the Open-Source Cyber Fusion Centre, a project that will provide companies with a wide array of tools and methodologies for cybersecurity.

        The project is a joint initiative with Carleton University and two industrial partners, eGloo and AvanTech, all of which have recognized expertise in open-source software application programming interfaces (APIs) and technology stacks.


        The Open-Source Cyber Fusion Centre’s ongoing research will help strengthen and democratize the Canadian economy. By mitigating cyberthreats, projects of this kind promote entrepreneurship and help nurture a more diverse economy.

        In addition, the centre provides students with unique opportunities to participate in an ever-changing, complex cybersecurity industry that is becoming increasingly prevalent in Canada.

        SMEs can get in touch with the centre and its partners to receive support on their security operations. They can install advanced technologies in their corporate network as a free service to monitor the security of their operations.

      • Open Source Security Podcast Ep. 151– The DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge with David Brumley

        Open Source Security Podcast helps listeners better understand security topics of the day. Hosted by Kurt Seifried and Josh Bressers, the pair covers a wide range of topics including IoT, application security, operational security, cloud, devops, and security news of the day.

      • McAfee Discovers Vulnerability in Avaya VoIP Phones

        McAfee researchers have uncovered a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in open-source software from a popular line of Avaya VoIP phones.

        McAfee is warning organizations that use Avaya VoIP phones to check that firmware on the devices have been updated. Avaya’s install base covers 90% of the Fortune 100, with products targeting customers from small business and midmarket, to large corporations.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Media Blackout on Brazil’s Anti-Bolsonaro Protests – Why are New York Times and Guardian downplaying resistance to Brazil’s far-right president?

        Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of 211 cities on August 13 to protest far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s austerity cuts and privatization plans for the public university system. It was the third in series of national education strikes, dubbed “the Education Tsunamis,” organized by national students unions together with teachers unions affiliated with the Central Ùnica de Trabalhadores (Unified Workers Central/CUT)—the second-largest labor union confederation in the Americas.

        Organized from the bottom up by teachers, high school and university students, through thousands of democratic assemblies across the country, communication between activists in the different towns and cities insured that the August 13 street protests were staggered throughout the day to achieve maximum impact. Starting in smaller cities during the morning rush hour, with protests numbering in the low thousands, they increased in size as the day progressed, with crowds of 30,000–50,000 in larger cities like Recife, culminating during the evening rush hour in Brazil’s three largest cities, with an estimated crowd of 100,000 shutting down Avenida Paulista in the heart of São Paulo’s financial district.

        There, instead of the usual honking cars, groups of teenagers danced and sang things like, “I want education, to be intelligent, because for stupid we already have our president.” Thousands of older people came out in solidarity with the teachers and students, and the atmosphere was one of hope against Bolsonaro’s sub-fascist project, and its attempt to purge the education system of critical thinking through a revival of the old Nazi trope of “Cultural Marxism.”

        In short, it seemed like the perfect feel-good event for newspapers like the Guardian and the New York Times to share with their liberal readers. After all, after the US, Brazil is the most populous, largest in area and wealthiest nation in the Americas. After all, both newspapers have taken editorial positions against Bolsonaro, and regularly criticize his environmental and human rights abuses. After all, both papers have run numerous articles celebrating the spirit of the young protesters in Hong Kong and Venezuela in recent months, complete with inspiring quotes and photographs from the ground.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The algorithms that detect hate speech online are biased against black people

        Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are banking on developing artificial intelligence technology to help stop the spread of hateful speech on their networks. The idea is that complex algorithms that use natural language processing will flag racist or violent speech faster and better than human beings possibly can. Doing this effectively is more urgent than ever in light of recent mass shootings and violence linked to hate speech online.

        But two new studies show that AI trained to identify hate speech may actually end up amplifying racial bias. In one study, researchers found that leading AI models for processing hate speech were one-and-a-half times more likely to flag tweets as offensive or hateful when they were written by African Americans, and 2.2 times more likely to flag tweets written in African American English (which is commonly spoken by black people in the US). Another study found similar widespread evidence of racial bias against black speech in five widely used academic data sets for studying hate speech that totaled around 155,800 Twitter posts.

        This is in large part because what is considered offensive depends on social context. Terms that are slurs when used in some settings — like the “n-word” or “queer” — may not be in others. But algorithms — and content moderators who grade the test data that teaches these algorithms how to do their job — don’t usually know the context of the comments they’re reviewing.

        Both papers, presented at a recent prestigious annual conference for computational linguistics, show how natural language processing AI — which is often proposed as a tool to objectively identify offensive language — can amplify the same biases that human beings have. They also prove how the test data that feeds these algorithms have baked-in bias from the start.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • KCL enlists Nvidia to create AI platform for NHS hospitals

        The platform is the centrepiece of the new London Medical Imaging & AI Centre for Value-Based Healthcare at King’s College London (KCL), where algorithms are being trained on an enormous trove of NHS medical images and patient pathway data to create new healthcare tools. The centre is focused on improving the experience for patients and their clinical outcomes across 12 pathways in oncology, cardiology and neurology.

      • How low-paid Microsoft contractors train Cortana by listening to you

        Motherboard says contractors earning merely $12–$14 an hour are expected to transcribe and classify Cortana voice commands into more than two dozen topic areas, including gaming, email, communication, events, home automation, and media control. These transcribed recordings are used to help teach the Cortana assistant to better understand speech. Contractors are expected to work through a grueling 200 classification tasks an hour — that’s three a minute, or one every 18 seconds on average. They do have the potential to earn a bonus of an additional $1 an hour, according to contracts shared with Motherboard.

      • WebKit’s new anti-tracking policy puts privacy on a par with security

        Trackers are technologies that are invisible to the average web user, yet which are designed to keep tabs on where they go and what they look at online — typically for ad targeting but web user profiling can have much broader implications than just creepy ads, potentially impacting the services people can access or the prices they see, and so on. Trackers can also be a conduit for hackers to inject actual malware, not just adtech.


Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

Posted in News Roundup at 10:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • The New Firmware Manager: Updating firmware across Linux distributions

        Over the past few months, System76 has been developing a simple, easy-to-use tool for updating firmware on Pop!_OS and System76 hardware. Today, we’re excited to announce that you can now check and update firmware through Settings on Pop!_OS, and through the firmware manager GTK application on System76 hardware running other Debian-based distributions.

        One of the issues we faced with with firmware management on Linux was the lack of options for graphical frontends to firmware management services like fwupd and system76-firmware. For fwupd, the only solutions available were to distribute either GNOME Software or KDE Discover, which is not viable for Linux distributions which have their own application centers, or frontends to package managers. For system76-firmware, an official GTK application existed, but it only supported updating System76 firmware, when it would be more ideal if it could support updating firmware from both services.

      • System76 Unveils Their Firmware Manager Project For Graphically Updating Firmware

        While most major hardware vendors have been adopting LVFS+Fwupd for firmware updating on Linux, Linux PC vendor System76 has notably been absent from the party for a variety of reasons. Today they announced their new Firmware Manager project that bridges the gap between their lack of LVFS support and their own hosted firmware service.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Writing Kubernetes controllers the wrong way is still useful

          When you try to shoehorn an idea, approach, or code into a situation that’s not expecting it, you get surprising and fun results.

          In his Lightning Talk at the 17th annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE 17x), “Writing Kubernetes controllers ‘the wrong way’ is still useful,” sysadmin Chris McEniry shares his experience with an out-of-cluster etcd-controller.

          Watch Chris’ Lightning Talk to learn more about managing etcd controllers and living to tell the tale.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.4 To Expose What’s Keeping The System Awake Via Sysfs

        The next Linux kernel version will expose the real-time sources of what’s keeping the system awake via Sysfs compared to existing source information that previously was only available via DebugFS.

        With Linux 5.4, wakeup source statistics will now be exposed under /sys/class/wakeup/wakeup*/ for tracking wakeups, their counts, and related bits for profiling the system for power usage optimizations.

        Suspend-blocking wakeup sources have been available under DebugFS to be useful for bug reporting and analyzing battery consumption. This solidifies the work now under Sysfs with a stable ABI. In addition to the interfaces now stable in adding them to sysfs, it makes them more accessible compared to DebugFS often being restricted to root or other restrictions in place by different distribution kernels.

      • Linux Foundation

        • VMware’s proposed Pivotal acquisition shows Cloud Foundry’s strength

          Abby Kearns, executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, reports that in the soon-to-be-released Cloud Foundry end-user survey, “In just two years, broad deployment of Cloud Foundry has nearly doubled. With 45% of our users describing their Cloud Foundry use as ‘broad’ (compared to 30% in 2018 and 23% in 2017).”

    • Applications

      • 10 Best Terminal emulators for Linux that are worth giving a try

        Terminal emulator on a Linux system does not need any introduction. It is one of the most important tools in a Linux system, all users know about. The Terminal emulator on Linux can be useful for installing a program, changing some system settings, opening a program or run any script and do any other small and big tasks on a Linux computer with just the appropriate command. Thus, it will not be wrong, if you call it the heart of a Linux system from a user’s perspective. Just like most other elements in a Linux system, a new Terminal emulator can also be installed and used.

        So, without any further delay, let’s get started with the top 10 alternatives to the default Linux Terminal emulator and the reasons you should opt for them.

      • Proprietary

        • Spotify to Test Subscription Price Hike in Scandinavia

          The streaming giant will raise the price of its family plan by about 13%, the sources said, stressing that the effort is a test and the company has not locked in a price rise in Scandinavia or anywhere. It was unclear whether the company would add assets to the subscription plan to accompany the price hike.

        • After Initial Tests In Norway, Spotify Is Testing Higher Prices Throughout Scandinavia

          Early investor Sean Parker described a strategy back in 2010 that may be coming to fruition. Once you have enough playlists and your entire collection tied to Spotify, Parker brashly declared that “we’ve got you by the balls.” Parker was originally referring to converting .mp3 downloading customers to streaming platforms, and it’s a strategy that has worked well as digital downloads have plummeted.

          Spotify may feel that its pricing is too generous on its family tier, which makes it ripe for experimentation. The current family plan costs about $15/month for five people to use the service.

        • Spotify to Test a More Expensive Version of Its Popular Music Service

          With 108 million paying customers, Spotify is the largest paid music service in the world, and it’s unlikely to surrender that crown any time soon. The company says it’s growing faster than its closest competitor, Apple Music, which also charges $15 a month for a family plan and had about 60 million customers at midyear.

          But Spotify still loses money. The company has been reluctant to increase prices because it’s still in a growth stage, relying on discounts to keep customers and attract new ones as people become accustomed to streaming on-demand. While the company has grown quickly, only a minority of music listeners around the world have adopted the technology, and Spotify executives have said the addressable market is at least 1 billion people.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Rust will offer refunds as they stop shipping Linux client

        Multiplayer survival game Rust will soon stop shipping its Linux client and offer refunds to those who have played using it. They’ve penned a blog post explaining that it had become a “cheater’s sanctuary,” and that a September update addressing performance and security not being supported on the OS was the final straw, despite believing that supporting Linux is still “the right thing to do.”

      • Mutant Year Zero Road To Eden | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

        Mutant Year Zero Road To Eden running through Steam play.

      • UNIGINE 2.9: C# Component System, Better Shadows, SSSSS, Dome Screens Support, Weather Add-On
      • Unigine 2.9 Further Enhances Its Stunning Visuals

        It’s a pity there doesn’t seem to be any new adoption of Unigine as a game engine, but this visually impressive platform does continue seeing much success in the area of industrial simulations, professional VR platforms, and related areas. With Unigine 2.9 this Linux-friendly graphics engine is even more stunning.

        On the visual front, Unigine 2.9 has delivered better shadows with smoother edges and realistic penumbra. There are also lighting improvements to find with Unigine 2.9, improved screen-space subsurface scattering, better screen-spaced effects, improved tone mapping, faster voxel-based light baking, and other advancements in its visual capabilities.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME and KDE team up on the Linux desktop, docs for Nvidia GPUs open up, a powerful new way to scan for firmware vulnerabilities, and more news

        Linux on desktop computers has been a space of fragmentation. In a recent announcement, “the two chief Linux desktop rivals, GNOME Foundation and KDE, have agreed to work together.”

        Both organizations will be sponsors of Linux App Summit (LAS) 2019 in Barcelona this November. This move, in part, appears to be in response to desktop computing no longer being the best place to fight for dominance. No matter the reason, Linux desktop fans have a new reason to hope for a future where there is a standardized GUI environment.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Magnetic Lasso for Krita is here

          I won’t say that I am done with Magnetic Lasso now, but the results are a lot better now to be honest. Take a look at one of the tests that I did,

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • [antiX] swapgs mitigations kernels available

          Latest secure kernels available in the repos for 32 and 64 bit architecture (stretch, buster, testing and sid).

          5.2.8 (64bit and 32 bit pae and non-pae-486)
          4.19.66 (64bit and 32 bit pae and non-pae-486)
          4.9.189 (64 bit and 32 bit pae and non-pae-486)

          Users are strongly advised to upgrade.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Australian Signals Directorate open sources data analysis tool

        The security agency described Constellation as a NetBeans Java application that can be “used to inform decision making and advance data-driven innovation”. The source code has been released under the Apache License 2.0.

      • ASD makes in-house data analysis app open source

        The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has released an open source version of its in-house data visualisation and analysis tool, Constellation, connecting the security agency with the outer world.

        The tool — which is available via GitHub — was designed to help “inform decision-making and advance data-driven innovation” and can be used to “solve large and complex problems in a simple and intuitive way”, according to the agency.

      • Anime studio, Khara, is planning to use open-source Blender software

        The open-source 3D creation software, Blender, will be picked up by the Japanese anime studio, Khara. It’ll begin partially using the software for its current development ‘EVANGELION:3.0+1.0’ but will make the full switch once that project is finished. The current project is expected to end in June next year, so after that point, its employees will start using Blender for the majority of their work.

        At the moment, Khara uses 3ds Max from Autodesk on a subscription basis; however, the company found that it had to reach out to small and medium-sized businesses for its projects. Due to the limitations of those companies, it’s harder for them to afford 3ds Max. By switching to Blender, Khara says it can work better with external firms.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome murders FTP like Jeffrey Epstein

            What is it with these people? Why can’t things that are working be allowed to still go on working? (Blah blah insecure blah blah unused blah blah maintenance blah blah web everything.)

            This leaves an interesting situation where Google has, in its very own search index, HTML pages served by FTP its own browser won’t be able to view…

      • Programming/Development

        • Creating a Docker Swarm Stack with Terraform (Terrascript Python), Persistent Volumes and Dynamic HAProxy.

          Before someone blame me about why I am not using Kubernetes, AWS ECS, Mesos or anything but Swarm the answer is simple: Docker Swarm is an inexpensive and very simple thin orchestrator. Because of this it miss a lot of features that Kubernetes already implemented by default. Most of important data centers (Google, AWS, Azure, Oracle, IBM, Digital Ocean, etc) already implemented some sort of Kubernetes as a Service make it easy its adoption. However, docker swarm does not have any datacenter are implementing it and are creating some of structure ready to go as K8s has.

        • Python Filter()

          Python filter() function applies another function on a given iterable (List/String/Dictionary, etc.) to test which of its item to keep or discard. In simple words, it filters the ones that don’t pass the test and returns the rest as a filter object.

          The filter object is of the iterable type. It retains those elements which the function passed by returning True. We can also convert it to List or Tuple or other types using their factory functions.

          In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the filter() function with different types of sequences. Also, you can refer to the examples that we’ve added to bring clarity.

        • Sending HTML messages with Net::XMPP (Perl)

          This started with a very simple need: wanting to improve the notifications I’m receiving from various sources.

        • Excellent Free Books to Master Programming

          A quick search of the internet reveals a plethora of books for programmers. No one has time to read even a minuscule fraction of the available books.

          What you need is a curated list of programming books. Better than that. A curated list of free programming books. Free and open source books still have a cost — your time. And just because a book is free/open source doesn’t, itself, signify any great quality to the work. Hence the need for some recommendations for free books to help you learn C, C++, Java, Python, R, or whatever language takes your fancy.

          The books we’re recommending will help increase your technical skills and make you proficient in the language of your choice. And some of them even provide a little light relief on the way. Humor can be a great aid to learning.

        • Oracle Continues Working On eBPF Support For GCC 10

          Back in May we wrote about Oracle’s initial plans for introducing an eBPF back-end to GCC 10 to allow this GNU compiler to target this general purpose in-kernel virtual machine. Up to this point LLVM Clang has been the focused compiler for eBPF but those days are numbered with Oracle on Friday pushing out the newest GCC patches.

          Oracle working on eBPF support for GCC is part of the company’s efforts on improving DTrace on Linux. Friday’s “V2″ patches of GCC eBPF support have some bug fixes as well as being re-based to the latest GCC 10 development code.

        • RUST – most loved programming language ever – C++ with safety – new programming language from Mozilla for Mozilla and Safety
        • Git 2.23 Brings New Switch & Restore Sub-Commands

          Most notable for Git 2.23 are the new git switch and git restore sub-commands as experimental alternatives to git checkout. The new switch/restore sub-commands aim to separate the responsibilities of checking out into the changing of branches and the operations that change files.

        • Git v2.23.0
          The latest feature release Git v2.23.0 is now available at the
          usual places.  It is comprised of 505 non-merge commits since
          v2.22.0, contributed by 77 people, 26 of which are new faces.
          The tarballs are found at:
          The following public repositories all have a copy of the 'v2.23.0'
          tag and the 'master' branch that the tag points at:
            url = https://kernel.googlesource.com/pub/scm/git/git
            url = git://repo.or.cz/alt-git.git
            url = https://github.com/gitster/git
          New contributors whose contributions weren't in v2.22.0 are as follows.
          Welcome to the Git development community!
            Ariadne Conill, Barret Rhoden, Ben Avison, Carmine Zaccagnino,
            Daniel Ferreira, Doug Ilijev, Dr. Adam Nielsen, Jakub Wilk,
            John Lin, Mark Rushakoff, Matheus Tavares, Mazo, Andrey,
            Michael Osipov, Michael Platings, Miguel Ojeda, Mike Mueller,
            Morian Sonnet, Philipp Weißmann, Quentin Nerden, Robert Morgan,
            Simon Williams, Steven Roberts, Tigran Mkrtchyan, Varun Naik,
            Vishal Verma, and Xin Li.
          Returning contributors who helped this release are as follows.
          Thanks for your continued support.
            Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason, Alessandro Menti, Alexander
            Shopov, Beat Bolli, Boxuan Li, brian m. carlson, Carlo Marcelo
            Arenas Belón, Cesar Eduardo Barros, Chris Mayo, Christian
            Couder, Christopher Díaz Riveros, Denton Liu, Derrick Stolee,
            Dimitriy Ryazantcev, Edmundo Carmona Antoranz, Elijah Newren,
            Emily Shaffer, Eric Wong, Felipe Contreras, Jean-Noël Avila,
            Jeff Hostetler, Jeff King, Jiang Xin, Johannes Schindelin,
            Johannes Sixt, Jonathan Nieder, Jonathan Tan, Jordi Mas, Josh
            Steadmon, Junio C Hamano, Karsten Blees, Marc-André Lureau,
            Martin Ågren, Matthew DeVore, Matthias Rüster, Mike Hommey,
            Nguyễn Thái Ngọc Duy, Nickolai Belakovski, Paolo Bonzini,
            Peter Krefting, Philip Oakley, Phillip Wood, Ramsay Jones, René
            Scharfe, Rohit Ashiwal, Stephen Boyd, SZEDER Gábor, Taylor Blau,
            Thomas Gummerer, Trần Ngọc Quân, and William Chargin.
          Git 2.23 Release Notes
          Updates since v2.22
          Backward compatibility note
           * The "--base" option of "format-patch" computed the patch-ids for
             prerequisite patches in an unstable way, which has been updated to
             compute in a way that is compatible with "git patch-id --stable".
           * The "git log" command by default behaves as if the --mailmap option
             was given.
          UI, Workflows & Features
           * The "git fast-export/import" pair has been taught to handle commits
             with log messages in encoding other than UTF-8 better.
           * In recent versions of Git, per-worktree refs are exposed in
             refs/worktrees// hierarchy, which means that worktree names
             must be a valid refname component.  The code now sanitizes the names
             given to worktrees, to make sure these refs are well-formed.
           * "git merge" learned "--quit" option that cleans up the in-progress
             merge while leaving the working tree and the index still in a mess.
           * "git format-patch" learns a configuration to set the default for
             its --notes= option.
           * The code to show args with potential typo that cannot be
             interpreted as a commit-ish has been improved.
           * "git clone --recurse-submodules" learned to set up the submodules
             to ignore commit object names recorded in the superproject gitlink
             and instead use the commits that happen to be at the tip of the
             remote-tracking branches from the get-go, by passing the new
             "--remote-submodules" option.
           * The pattern "git diff/grep" use to extract funcname and words
             boundary for Matlab has been extend to cover Octave, which is more
             or less equivalent.
           * "git help git" was hard to discover (well, at least for some
           * The pattern "git diff/grep" use to extract funcname and words
             boundary for Rust has been added.
           * "git status" can be told a non-standard default value for the
             "--[no-]ahead-behind" option with a new configuration variable
           * "git fetch" and "git pull" reports when a fetch results in
             non-fast-forward updates to let the user notice unusual situation.
             The commands learned "--no-show-forced-updates" option to disable
             this safety feature.
           * Two new commands "git switch" and "git restore" are introduced to
             split "checking out a branch to work on advancing its history" and
             "checking out paths out of the index and/or a tree-ish to work on
             advancing the current history" out of the single "git checkout"
           * "git branch --list" learned to always output the detached HEAD as
             the first item (when the HEAD is detached, of course), regardless
             of the locale.
           * The conditional inclusion mechanism learned to base the choice on
             the branch the HEAD currently is on.
           * "git rev-list --objects" learned the "--no-object-names" option to
             squelch the path to the object that is used as a grouping hint for
           * A new tag.gpgSign configuration variable turns "git tag -a" into
             "git tag -s".
           * "git multi-pack-index" learned expire and repack subcommands.
           * "git blame" learned to "ignore" commits in the history, whose
             effects (as well as their presence) get ignored.
           * "git cherry-pick/revert" learned a new "--skip" action.
           * The tips of refs from the alternate object store can be used as
             starting point for reachability computation now.
           * Extra blank lines in "git status" output have been reduced.
           * The commits in a repository can be described by multiple
             commit-graph files now, which allows the commit-graph files to be
             updated incrementally.
           * "git range-diff" output has been tweaked for easier identification
             of which part of what file the patch shown is about.
          Performance, Internal Implementation, Development Support etc.
           * Update supporting parts of "git rebase" to remove code that should
             no longer be used.
           * Developer support to emulate unsatisfied prerequisites in tests to
             ensure that the remainder of the tests still succeeds when tests
             with prerequisites are skipped.
           * "git update-server-info" learned not to rewrite the file with the
             same contents.
           * The way of specifying the path to find dynamic libraries at runtime
             has been simplified.  The old default to pass -R/path/to/dir has been
             replaced with the new default to pass -Wl,-rpath,/path/to/dir,
             which is the more recent GCC uses.  Those who need to build with an
             old GCC can still use "CC_LD_DYNPATH=-R"
           * Prepare use of reachability index in topological walker that works
             on a range (A..B).
           * A new tutorial targeting specifically aspiring git-core
             developers has been added.
           * Auto-detect how to tell HP-UX aCC where to use dynamically linked
             libraries from at runtime.
           * "git mergetool" and its tests now spawn fewer subprocesses.
           * Dev support update to help tracing out tests.
           * Support to build with MSVC has been updated.
           * "git fetch" that grabs from a group of remotes learned to run the
             auto-gc only once at the very end.
           * A handful of Windows build patches have been upstreamed.
           * The code to read state files used by the sequencer machinery for
             "git status" has been made more robust against a corrupt or stale
             state files.
           * "git for-each-ref" with multiple patterns have been optimized.
           * The tree-walk API learned to pass an in-core repository
             instance throughout more codepaths.
           * When one step in multi step cherry-pick or revert is reset or
             committed, the command line prompt script failed to notice the
             current status, which has been improved.
           * Many GIT_TEST_* environment variables control various aspects of
             how our tests are run, but a few followed "non-empty is true, empty
             or unset is false" while others followed the usual "there are a few
             ways to spell true, like yes, on, etc., and also ways to spell
             false, like no, off, etc." convention.
           * Adjust the dir-iterator API and apply it to the local clone
             optimization codepath.
           * We have been trying out a few language features outside c89; the
             coding guidelines document did not talk about them and instead had
             a blanket ban against them.
           * A test helper has been introduced to optimize preparation of test
             repositories with many simple commits, and a handful of test
             scripts have been updated to use it.
          Fixes since v2.22
           * A relative pathname given to "git init --template= "
             ought to be relative to the directory "git init" gets invoked in,
             but it instead was made relative to the repository, which has been
           * "git worktree add" used to fail when another worktree connected to
             the same repository was corrupt, which has been corrected.
           * The ownership rule for the file descriptor to fast-import remote
             backend was mixed up, leading to an unrelated file descriptor getting
             closed, which has been fixed.
           * A "merge -c" instruction during "git rebase --rebase-merges" should
             give the user a chance to edit the log message, even when there is
             otherwise no need to create a new merge and replace the existing
             one (i.e. fast-forward instead), but did not.  Which has been
           * Code cleanup and futureproof.
           * More parameter validation.
           * "git update-server-info" used to leave stale packfiles in its
             output, which has been corrected.
           * The server side support for "git fetch" used to show incorrect
             value for the HEAD symbolic ref when the namespace feature is in
             use, which has been corrected.
           * "git am -i --resolved" segfaulted after trying to see a commit as
             if it were a tree, which has been corrected.
           * "git bundle verify" needs to see if prerequisite objects exist in
             the receiving repository, but the command did not check if we are
             in a repository upfront, which has been corrected.
           * "git merge --squash" is designed to update the working tree and the
             index without creating the commit, and this cannot be countermanded
             by adding the "--commit" option; the command now refuses to work
             when both options are given.
           * The data collected by fsmonitor was not properly written back to
             the on-disk index file, breaking t7519 tests occasionally, which
             has been corrected.
           * Update to Unicode 12.1 width table.
           * The command line to invoke a "git cat-file" command from inside
             "git p4" was not properly quoted to protect a caret and running a
             broken command on Windows, which has been corrected.
           * "git request-pull" learned to warn when the ref we ask them to pull
             from in the local repository and in the published repository are
           * When creating a partial clone, the object filtering criteria is
             recorded for the origin of the clone, but this incorrectly used a
             hardcoded name "origin" to name that remote; it has been corrected
             to honor the "--origin " option.
           * "git fetch" into a lazy clone forgot to fetch base objects that are
             necessary to complete delta in a thin packfile, which has been
           * The filter_data used in the list-objects-filter (which manages a
             lazily sparse clone repository) did not use the dynamic array API
             correctly---'nr' is supposed to point at one past the last element
             of the array in use.  This has been corrected.
           * The description about slashes in gitignore patterns (used to
             indicate things like "anchored to this level only" and "only
             matches directories") has been revamped.
           * The URL decoding code has been updated to avoid going past the end
             of the string while parsing %-- sequence.
           * The list of for-each like macros used by clang-format has been
           * "git branch --list" learned to show branches that are checked out
             in other worktrees connected to the same repository prefixed with
             '+', similar to the way the currently checked out branch is shown
             with '*' in front.
             (merge 6e9381469e nb/branch-show-other-worktrees-head later to maint).
           * Code restructuring during 2.20 period broke fetching tags via
             "import" based transports.
           * The commit-graph file is now part of the "files that the runtime
             may keep open file descriptors on, all of which would need to be
             closed when done with the object store", and the file descriptor to
             an existing commit-graph file now is closed before "gc" finalizes a
             new instance to replace it.
           * "git checkout -p" needs to selectively apply a patch in reverse,
             which did not work well.
           * Code clean-up to avoid signed integer wraparounds during binary search.
           * "git interpret-trailers" always treated '#' as the comment
             character, regardless of core.commentChar setting, which has been
           * "git stash show 23" used to work, but no more after getting
             rewritten in C; this regression has been corrected.
           * "git rebase --abort" used to leave refs/rewritten/ when concluding
             "git rebase -r", which has been corrected.
           * An incorrect list of options was cached after command line
             completion failed (e.g. trying to complete a command that requires
             a repository outside one), which has been corrected.
           * The code to parse scaled numbers out of configuration files has
             been made more robust and also easier to follow.
           * The codepath to compute delta islands used to spew progress output
             without giving the callers any way to squelch it, which has been
           * Protocol capabilities that go over wire should never be translated,
             but it was incorrectly marked for translation, which has been
             corrected.  The output of protocol capabilities for debugging has
             been tweaked a bit.
           * Use "Erase in Line" CSI sequence that is already used in the editor
             support to clear cruft in the progress output.
           * "git submodule foreach" did not protect command line options passed
             to the command to be run in each submodule correctly, when the
             "--recursive" option was in use.
           * The configuration variable rebase.rescheduleFailedExec should be
             effective only while running an interactive rebase and should not
             affect anything when running a non-interactive one, which was not
             the case.  This has been corrected.
           * The "git clone" documentation refers to command line options in its
             description in the short form; they have been replaced with long
             forms to make them more recognisable.
           * Generation of pack bitmaps are now disabled when .keep files exist,
             as these are mutually exclusive features.
             (merge 7328482253 ew/repack-with-bitmaps-by-default later to maint).
           * "git rm" to resolve a conflicted path leaked an internal message
             "needs merge" before actually removing the path, which was
             confusing.  This has been corrected.
           * "git stash --keep-index" did not work correctly on paths that have
             been removed, which has been fixed.
             (merge b932f6a5e8 tg/stash-keep-index-with-removed-paths later to maint).
           * Window 7 update ;-)
           * A codepath that reads from GPG for signed object verification read
             past the end of allocated buffer, which has been fixed.
           * "git clean" silently skipped a path when it cannot lstat() it; now
             it gives a warning.
           * "git push --atomic" that goes over the transport-helper (namely,
             the smart http transport) failed to prevent refs to be pushed when
             it can locally tell that one of the ref update will fail without
             having to consult the other end, which has been corrected.
           * The internal diff machinery can be made to read out of bounds while
             looking for --function-context line in a corner case, which has been
             (merge b777f3fd61 jk/xdiff-clamp-funcname-context-index later to maint).
           * Other code cleanup, docfix, build fix, etc.
             (merge fbec05c210 cc/test-oidmap later to maint).
             (merge 7a06fb038c jk/no-system-includes-in-dot-c later to maint).
             (merge 81ed2b405c cb/xdiff-no-system-includes-in-dot-c later to maint).
             (merge d61e6ce1dd sg/fsck-config-in-doc later to maint).
          Changes since v2.22.0 are as follows:
          Alessandro Menti (3):
                l10n: it.po: update the Italian translation
                l10n: it.po: update the Italian translation for v2.23.0
                l10n: it.po: update the Italian localization for v2.23.0 round 2
          Alexander Shopov (1):
                l10n: bg.po: Updated Bulgarian translation (4674t)
          Ariadne Conill (3):
                log: add warning for unspecified log.mailmap setting
                documentation: mention --no-use-mailmap and log.mailmap false setting
                tests: defang pager tests by explicitly disabling the log.mailmap warning
          Barret Rhoden (8):
                fsck: rename and touch up init_skiplist()
                Move oidset_parse_file() to oidset.c
                blame: use a helper function in blame_chunk()
                blame: add the ability to ignore commits and their changes
                blame: add config options for the output of ignored or unblamable lines
                blame: optionally track line fingerprints during fill_blame_origin()
                blame: use the fingerprint heuristic to match ignored lines
                blame: add a test to cover blame_coalesce()
          Beat Bolli (2):
                unicode: update the width tables to Unicode 12.1
                grep: print the pcre2_jit_on value
          Ben Avison (1):
                clone: add `--remote-submodules` flag
          Boxuan Li (2):
                userdiff: add Octave
                userdiff: fix grammar and style issues
          Carlo Marcelo Arenas Belón (6):
                fsmonitor: avoid signed integer overflow / infinite loop
                wrapper: avoid undefined behaviour in macOS
                trace2: correct typo in technical documentation
                xdiff: drop system includes in xutils.c
                xdiff: remove duplicate headers from xhistogram.c
                xdiff: remove duplicate headers from xpatience.c
          Carmine Zaccagnino (1):
                l10n: it.po: remove an extra space
          Cesar Eduardo Barros (1):
                mingw: embed a manifest to trick UAC into Doing The Right Thing
          Chris Mayo (1):
                send-email: update documentation of required Perl modules
          Christian Couder (7):
                t/helper: add test-oidmap.c
                t: add t0016-oidmap.sh
                oidmap: use sha1hash() instead of static hash() function
                test-hashmap: remove 'hash' command
                doc: improve usage string in MyFirstContribution
                test-oidmap: remove 'add' subcommand
                t0016: add 'remove' subcommand test
          Christopher Díaz Riveros (1):
                l10n: es: 2.23.0 round 2
          Daniel Ferreira (1):
                dir-iterator: add tests for dir-iterator API
          Denton Liu (5):
                git-format-patch.txt: document --no-notes option
                format-patch: teach format.notes config option
                config: learn the "onbranch:" includeIf condition
                config/alias.txt: change " and ' to `
                config/alias.txt: document alias accepting non-command first word
          Derrick Stolee (51):
                commit-graph: fix the_repository reference
                revision: use generation for A..B --topo-order queries
                revision: keep topo-walk free of unintersting commits
                sha1-file: split OBJECT_INFO_FOR_PREFETCH
                repack: refactor pack deletion for future use
                Docs: rearrange subcommands for multi-pack-index
                multi-pack-index: prepare for 'expire' subcommand
                midx: simplify computation of pack name lengths
                midx: refactor permutation logic and pack sorting
                multi-pack-index: implement 'expire' subcommand
                multi-pack-index: prepare 'repack' subcommand
                midx: implement midx_repack()
                multi-pack-index: test expire while adding packs
                midx: add test that 'expire' respects .keep files
                t5319-multi-pack-index.sh: test batch size zero
                commit-graph: return with errors during write
                commit-graph: collapse parameters into flags
                commit-graph: remove Future Work section
                commit-graph: create write_commit_graph_context
                commit-graph: extract fill_oids_from_packs()
                commit-graph: extract fill_oids_from_commit_hex()
                commit-graph: extract fill_oids_from_all_packs()
                commit-graph: extract count_distinct_commits()
                commit-graph: extract copy_oids_to_commits()
                commit-graph: extract write_commit_graph_file()
                commit-graph: use raw_object_store when closing
                packfile: close commit-graph in close_all_packs
                packfile: rename close_all_packs to close_object_store
                commit-graph: document commit-graph chains
                commit-graph: prepare for commit-graph chains
                commit-graph: rename commit_compare to oid_compare
                commit-graph: load commit-graph chains
                commit-graph: add base graphs chunk
                commit-graph: rearrange chunk count logic
                commit-graph: write commit-graph chains
                commit-graph: add --split option to builtin
                commit-graph: merge commit-graph chains
                commit-graph: allow cross-alternate chains
                commit-graph: expire commit-graph files
                commit-graph: create options for split files
                commit-graph: verify chains with --shallow mode
                commit-graph: clean up chains after flattened write
                commit-graph: test octopus merges with --split
                commit-graph: test --split across alternate without --split
                commit-graph: normalize commit-graph filenames
                commit-graph: test verify across alternates
                fetch: add --[no-]show-forced-updates argument
                fetch: warn about forced updates in branch listing
                pull: add --[no-]show-forced-updates passthrough
                t5319: use 'test-tool path-utils' instead of 'ls -l'
                commit-graph: fix bug around octopus merges
          Dimitriy Ryazantcev (2):
                l10n: ru.po: update Russian translation
                l10n: localizable upload progress messages
          Doug Ilijev (1):
                README: fix rendering of text in angle brackets
          Dr. Adam Nielsen (1):
                gitignore.txt: make slash-rules more readable
          Edmundo Carmona Antoranz (1):
                builtin/merge.c - cleanup of code in for-cycle that tests strategies
          Elijah Newren (6):
                t9350: fix encoding test to actually test reencoding
                fast-import: support 'encoding' commit header
                fast-export: avoid stripping encoding header if we cannot reencode
                fast-export: differentiate between explicitly UTF-8 and implicitly UTF-8
                fast-export: do automatic reencoding of commit messages only if requested
                merge-recursive: avoid directory rename detection in recursive case
          Emily Shaffer (7):
                documentation: add tutorial for first contribution
                documentation: add anchors to MyFirstContribution
                grep: fail if call could output and name is null
                doc: hint about GIT_DEBUGGER in CodingGuidelines
                doc: add some nit fixes to MyFirstContribution
                rev-list: teach --no-object-names to enable piping
                transport-helper: enforce atomic in push_refs_with_push
          Eric Wong (3):
                update-server-info: avoid needless overwrites
                server-info: do not list unlinked packs
                repack: disable bitmaps-by-default if .keep files exist
          Felipe Contreras (5):
                t5801 (remote-helpers): cleanup refspec stuff
                t5801 (remote-helpers): add test to fetch tags
                fetch: trivial cleanup
                fetch: make the code more understandable
                fetch: fix regression with transport helpers
          Jakub Wilk (1):
                doc: don't use git.kernel.org as example gitweb URL
          Jean-Noël Avila (2):
                l10n: reformat some localized strings for v2.23.0
                l10n: fr v2.23.0 round 2
          Jeff Hostetler (13):
                cache-tree/blame: avoid reusing the DEBUG constant
                msvc: mark a variable as non-const
                msvc: do not re-declare the timespec struct
                msvc: define ftello()
                msvc: fix detect_msys_tty()
                msvc: update Makefile to allow for spaces in the compiler path
                status: add status.aheadbehind setting
                status: warn when a/b calculation takes too long
                status: ignore status.aheadbehind in porcelain formats
                msvc: support building Git using MS Visual C++
                msvc: add a compile-time flag to allow detailed heap debugging
                msvc: do not pretend to support all signals
                msvc: ignore .dll and incremental compile output
          Jeff King (57):
                cmd_{read,write}_tree: rename "unused" variable that is used
                builtin: consistently pass cmd_* prefix to parse_options
                submodule: drop unused prefix parameter from some functions
                clone: drop dest parameter from copy_alternates()
                read-cache: drop unused parameter from threaded load
                wt-status: drop unused status parameter
                mktree: drop unused length parameter
                name-rev: drop unused parameters from is_better_name()
                pack-objects: drop unused rev_info parameters
                receive-pack: drop unused "commands" from prepare_shallow_update()
                remove_all_fetch_refspecs(): drop unused "remote" parameter
                rev-list: drop unused void pointer from finish_commit()
                show-branch: drop unused parameter from show_independent()
                verify-commit: simplify parameters to run_gpg_verify()
                help_unknown_ref(): duplicate collected refnames
                help_unknown_ref(): check for refname ambiguity
                upload-pack: strip namespace from symref data
                am: simplify prompt response handling
                am: read interactive input from stdin
                am: drop tty requirement for --interactive
                am: fix --interactive HEAD tree resolution
                interpret-trailers: load default config
                verify-tag: drop signal.h include
                wt-status.h: drop stdio.h include
                describe: fix accidental oid/hash type-punning
                upload-pack: rename a "sha1" variable to "oid"
                pack-bitmap-write: convert some helpers to use object_id
                pack-objects: convert packlist_find() to use object_id
                pack-objects: convert locate_object_entry_hash() to object_id
                object: convert lookup_unknown_object() to use object_id
                object: convert lookup_object() to use object_id
                object: convert internal hash_obj() to object_id
                object: convert create_object() to use object_id
                khash: drop broken oid_map typedef
                khash: rename kh_oid_t to kh_oid_set
                delta-islands: convert island_marks khash to use oids
                pack-bitmap: convert khash_sha1 maps into kh_oid_map
                khash: drop sha1-specific map types
                khash: rename oid helper functions
                hash.h: move object_id definition from cache.h
                hashmap: convert sha1hash() to oidhash()
                delta-islands: respect progress flag
                blame: drop some unused function parameters
                object-store.h: move for_each_alternate_ref() from transport.h
                check_everything_connected: assume alternate ref tips are valid
                test-lib: introduce test_commit_bulk
                t5310: increase the number of bitmapped commits
                t3311: use test_commit_bulk
                t5702: use test_commit_bulk
                t5703: use test_commit_bulk
                t6200: use test_commit_bulk
                xdiff: clamp function context indices in post-image
                t: sort output of hashmap iteration
                t7700: clean up .keep file in bitmap-writing test
                repack: silence warnings when auto-enabled bitmaps cannot be built
                repack: simplify handling of auto-bitmaps and .keep files
                t0000: reword comments for "local" test
          Jiang Xin (3):
                l10n: git.pot: v2.23.0 round 1 (130 new, 35 removed)
                l10n: git.pot: v2.23.0 round 2 (4 new, 6 removed)
                l10n: zh_CN: for git v2.23.0 l10n round 1~2
          Johannes Schindelin (47):
                Drop unused git-rebase--am.sh
                t3400: stop referring to the scripted rebase
                .gitignore: there is no longer a built-in `git-rebase--interactive`
                sequencer: the `am` and `rebase--interactive` scripts are gone
                rebase: fold git-rebase--common into the -p backend
                bisect--helper: verify HEAD could be parsed before continuing
                fill_stat_cache_info(): prepare for an fsmonitor fix
                mark_fsmonitor_valid(): mark the index as changed if needed
                bundle verify: error out if called without an object database
                poll (mingw): allow compiling with GCC 8 and DEVELOPER=1
                kwset: allow building with GCC 8
                winansi: simplify loading the GetCurrentConsoleFontEx() function
                config: avoid calling `labs()` on too-large data type
                t3404: fix a typo
                mingw: fix a typo in the msysGit-specific section
                Mark .bat files as requiring CR/LF endings
                t0001 (mingw): do not expect a specific order of stdout/stderr
                obstack: fix compiler warning
                mingw: replace mingw_startup() hack
                msvc: fix dependencies of compat/msvc.c
                t0001: fix on case-insensitive filesystems
                msvc: avoid debug assertion windows in Debug Mode
                mingw: enable stack smashing protector
                mingw: get pw_name in UTF-8 format
                mingw: use Unicode functions explicitly
                rebase --am: ignore rebase.rescheduleFailedExec
                mingw: fix possible buffer overrun when calling `GetUserNameW()`
                diff: munmap() file contents before running external diff
                mingw: support spawning programs containing spaces in their names
                clean: show an error message when the path is too long
                rebase: fix white-space
                git: mark cmd_rebase as requiring a worktree
                Vcproj.pm: auto-generate GUIDs
                Vcproj.pm: do not configure VCWebServiceProxyGeneratorTool
                Vcproj.pm: urlencode '<' and '>' when generating VC projects
                contrib/buildsystems: ignore irrelevant files in Generators/
                contrib/buildsystems: error out on unknown option
                contrib/buildsystems: handle libiconv, too
                contrib/buildsystems: also handle -lexpat
                contrib/buildsystems: handle options starting with a slash
                contrib/buildsystems: add a backend for modern Visual Studio versions
                msvc: add a Makefile target to pre-generate the Visual Studio solution
                vcxproj: also link-or-copy builtins
                .gitignore: ignore Visual Studio's temporary/generated files
                bin-wrappers: append `.exe` to target paths if necessary
                git: avoid calling aliased builtins via their dashed form
                config: work around bug with includeif:onbranch and early config
          Johannes Sixt (5):
                userdiff: two simplifications of patterns for rust
                t7610-mergetool: do not place pipelines headed by `yes` in subshells
                t7610-mergetool: use test_cmp instead of test $(cat file) = $txt
                mergetool: dissect strings with shell variable magic instead of `expr`
                mergetool: use shell variable magic instead of `awk`
          John Lin (1):
                status: remove the empty line after hints
          Jonathan Nieder (1):
                t: decrease nesting in test_oid_to_path
          Jonathan Tan (5):
                t5616: refactor packfile replacement
                index-pack: prefetch missing REF_DELTA bases
                t5616: use correct flag to check object is missing
                t5616: cover case of client having delta base
                t5551: test usage of chunked encoding explicitly
          Jordi Mas (2):
                l10n: Update Catalan translation
                l10n: Update Catalan translation
          Josh Steadmon (1):
                trace2: correct trace2 field name documentation
          Junio C Hamano (21):
                The first batch after 2.22
                The second batch
                The third batch
                The fourth batch
                The fifth batch
                transport-helper: avoid var decl in for () loop control
                rm: resolving by removal is not a warning-worthy event
                CodingGuidelines: spell out post-C89 rules
                The sixth batch
                The seventh batch
                Flush fixes up to the third batch post 2.22.0
                Merge fixes made on the 'master' front
                Git 2.23-rc0
                test-dir-iterator: do not assume errno values
                A few more last-minute fixes
                log: flip the --mailmap default unconditionally
                log: really flip the --mailmap default
                Git 2.23-rc1
                Git 2.23-rc2
                Git 2.22.1
                Git 2.23
          Karsten Blees (2):
                gettext: always use UTF-8 on native Windows
                mingw: initialize HOME on startup
          Marc-André Lureau (1):
                userdiff: add built-in pattern for rust
          Mark Rushakoff (2):
                doc: typo: s/can not/cannot/ and s/is does/does/
                doc: fix repeated words
          Martin Ågren (3):
                ref-filter: fix memory leak in `free_array_item()`
                RelNotes/2.21.1: typofix
                RelNotes/2.23.0: fix a few typos and other minor issues
          Matheus Tavares (8):
                clone: better handle symlinked files at .git/objects/
                dir-iterator: use warning_errno when possible
                dir-iterator: refactor state machine model
                dir-iterator: add flags parameter to dir_iterator_begin
                clone: copy hidden paths at local clone
                clone: extract function from copy_or_link_directory
                clone: use dir-iterator to avoid explicit dir traversal
                clone: replace strcmp by fspathcmp
          Matthew DeVore (5):
                list-objects-filter-options: error is localizeable
                list-objects-filter: correct usage of ALLOC_GROW
                url: do not read past end of buffer
                url: do not allow %00 to represent NUL in URLs
                ref-filter: sort detached HEAD lines firstly
          Matthias Rüster (1):
                l10n: de.po: Update German translation
          Mazo, Andrey (8):
                git-p4: detect/prevent infinite loop in gitCommitByP4Change()
                git-p4: add failing test for "git-p4: match branches case insensitively if configured"
                git-p4: match branches case insensitively if configured
                git-p4: don't groom exclude path list on every commit
                git-p4: add failing test for "don't exclude other files with same prefix"
                git-p4: don't exclude other files with same prefix
                git-p4: add failing test for "git-p4: respect excluded paths when detecting branches"
                git-p4: respect excluded paths when detecting branches
          Michael Osipov (1):
                configure: Detect linking style for HP aCC on HP-UX
          Michael Platings (2):
                blame: add a fingerprint heuristic to match ignored lines
                t8014: remove unnecessary braces
          Miguel Ojeda (1):
                clang-format: use git grep to generate the ForEachMacros list
          Mike Hommey (2):
                dup() the input fd for fast-import used for remote helpers
                Use xmmap_gently instead of xmmap in use_pack
          Mike Mueller (1):
                p4 unshelve: fix "Not a valid object name HEAD0" on Windows
          Morian Sonnet (1):
                submodule foreach: fix recursion of options
          Nguyễn Thái Ngọc Duy (63):
                git-checkout.txt: spell out --no-option
                git-checkout.txt: fix one syntax line
                doc: document --overwrite-ignore
                git-checkout.txt: fix monospace typeset
                t: rename t2014-switch.sh to t2014-checkout-switch.sh
                checkout: advice how to get out of detached HEAD mode
                checkout: inform the user when removing branch state
                checkout: keep most #include sorted
                checkout: factor out some code in parse_branchname_arg()
                checkout: make "opts" in cmd_checkout() a pointer
                checkout: move 'confict_style' and 'dwim_..' to checkout_opts
                checkout: split options[] array in three pieces
                checkout: split part of it to new command 'switch'
                switch: better names for -b and -B
                switch: add --discard-changes
                switch: remove -l
                switch: stop accepting pathspec
                switch: reject "do nothing" case
                switch: only allow explicit detached HEAD
                switch: add short option for --detach
                switch: implicit dwim, use --no-guess to disable it
                switch: no worktree status unless real branch switch happens
                switch: reject if some operation is in progress
                switch: make --orphan switch to an empty tree
                t: add tests for switch
                completion: support switch
                doc: promote "git switch"
                checkout: split part of it to new command 'restore'
                restore: take tree-ish from --source option instead
                restore: make pathspec mandatory
                restore: disable overlay mode by default
                checkout: factor out worktree checkout code
                restore: add --worktree and --staged
                restore: reject invalid combinations with --staged
                restore: default to --source=HEAD when only --staged is specified
                restore: replace --force with --ignore-unmerged
                restore: support --patch
                t: add tests for restore
                completion: support restore
                user-manual.txt: prefer 'merge --abort' over 'reset --hard'
                doc: promote "git restore"
                help: move git-diff and git-reset to different groups
                Declare both git-switch and git-restore experimental
                merge: remove drop_save() in favor of remove_merge_branch_state()
                init: make --template path relative to $CWD
                worktree add: sanitize worktree names
                worktree add: be tolerant of corrupt worktrees
                merge: add --quit
                completion: do not cache if --git-completion-helper fails
                fetch: only run 'gc' once when fetching multiple remotes
                t2027: use test_must_be_empty
                switch: allow to switch in the middle of bisect
                completion: disable dwim on "git switch -d"
                fetch-pack: move capability names out of i18n strings
                fetch-pack: print all relevant supported capabilities with -v -v
                fetch-pack: print server version at the top in -v -v
                sha1-file.c: remove the_repo from read_object_with_reference()
                tree-walk.c: remove the_repo from fill_tree_descriptor()
                tree-walk.c: remove the_repo from get_tree_entry()
                tree-walk.c: remove the_repo from get_tree_entry_follow_symlinks()
                match-trees.c: remove the_repo from shift_tree*()
                Use the right 'struct repository' instead of the_repository
                t7814: do not generate same commits in different repos
          Nickolai Belakovski (3):
                ref-filter: add worktreepath atom
                branch: update output to include worktree info
                branch: add worktree info on verbose output
          Paolo Bonzini (2):
                request-pull: quote regex metacharacters in local ref
                request-pull: warn if the remote object is not the same as the local one
          Peter Krefting (1):
                l10n: sv.po: Update Swedish translation (4676t0f0u)
          Philip Oakley (16):
                git.c: show usage for accessing the git(1) help page
                Doc: git.txt: remove backticks from link and add git-scm.com/docs
                doc branch: provide examples for listing remote tracking branches
                msvc: include sigset_t definition
                msvc: define O_ACCMODE
                msvc: add pragmas for common warnings
                Vcproj.pm: list git.exe first to be startup project
                contrib/buildsystems: ignore invalidcontinue.obj
                contrib/buildsystems: fix misleading error message
                contrib/buildsystems: handle quoted spaces in filenames
                contrib/buildsystems: ignore gettext stuff
                contrib/buildsystems: redirect errors of the dry run into a log file
                contrib/buildsystems: optionally capture the dry-run in a file
                contrib/buildsystems: handle the curl library option
                .gitignore: touch up the entries regarding Visual Studio
                .mailmap: update email address of Philip Oakley
          Philipp Weißmann (1):
                l10n: de.po: Fix typo in German translation
          Phillip Wood (12):
                rebase: fix a memory leak
                rebase: warn if state directory cannot be removed
                sequencer: return errors from sequencer_remove_state()
                rebase --abort/--quit: cleanup refs/rewritten
                rebase -r: always reword merge -c
                add -p: fix checkout -p with pathological context
                show --continue/skip etc. consistently in synopsis
                sequencer: always allow tab after command name
                sequencer: factor out todo command name parsing
                status: do not report errors in sequencer/todo
                git-prompt: improve cherry-pick/revert detection
                t3420: remove progress lines before comparing output
          Quentin Nerden (2):
                docs: git-clone: refer to long form of options
                docs: git-clone: list short form of options first
          Ramsay Jones (1):
                env--helper: mark a file-local symbol as static
          René Scharfe (10):
                cleanup: fix possible overflow errors in binary search, part 2
                coccinelle: use COPY_ARRAY for copying arrays
                use COPY_ARRAY for copying arrays
                config: use unsigned_mult_overflows to check for overflows
                config: don't multiply in parse_unit_factor()
                config: simplify parsing of unit factors
                commit-graph: release strbufs after use
                dir-iterator: release strbuf after use
                test-dir-iterator: use path argument directly
                sha1-file: release strbuf after use
          Robert Morgan (1):
                gpg(docs): use correct --verify syntax
          Rohit Ashiwal (5):
                sequencer: add advice for revert
                sequencer: rename reset_for_rollback to reset_merge
                sequencer: use argv_array in reset_merge
                cherry-pick/revert: add --skip option
                cherry-pick/revert: advise using --skip
          SZEDER Gábor (12):
                t3404: modernize here doc style
                t3404: make the 'rebase.missingCommitsCheck=ignore' test more focused
                pager: add a helper function to clear the last line in the terminal
                t5551: use 'test_i18ngrep' to check translated output
                rebase: fix garbled progress display with '-x'
                progress: use term_clear_line()
                Document that 'git -C ""' works and doesn't change directory
                ci: don't update Homebrew
                ci: disable Homebrew's auto cleanup
                ci/lib.sh: update a comment about installed P4 and Git-LFS versions
                travis-ci: build with GCC 4.8 as well
                Documentation/git-fsck.txt: include fsck.* config variables
          Simon Williams (1):
                git-p4: allow unshelving of branched files
          Stephen Boyd (2):
                format-patch: inform user that patch-id generation is unstable
                format-patch: make --base patch-id output stable
          Steven Roberts (1):
                gpg-interface: do not scan past the end of buffer
          Taylor Blau (1):
                ref-filter.c: find disjoint pattern prefixes
          Thomas Gummerer (16):
                stash: fix show referencing stash index
                apply: replace marc.info link with public-inbox
                apply: only pass required data to skip_tree_prefix
                apply: only pass required data to git_header_name
                apply: only pass required data to check_header_line
                apply: only pass required data to find_name_*
                apply: only pass required data to gitdiff_* functions
                apply: make parse_git_diff_header public
                range-diff: fix function parameter indentation
                range-diff: split lines manually
                range-diff: don't remove funcname from inner diff
                range-diff: suppress line count in outer diff
                range-diff: add section header instead of diff header
                range-diff: add filename to inner diff
                range-diff: add headers to the outer hunk header
                stash: fix handling removed files with --keep-index
          Tigran Mkrtchyan (1):
                tag: add tag.gpgSign config option to force all tags be GPG-signed
          Trần Ngọc Quân (2):
                l10n: vi.po (4676t): Updated Vietnamese translation
                l10n: vi(4674t): Updated translation for Vietnamese
          Varun Naik (1):
                read-cache.c: do not die if mmap fails
          Vishal Verma (1):
                merge: refuse --commit with --squash
          William Chargin (1):
                restore: fix typo in docs
          Xin Li (1):
                clone: respect user supplied origin name when setting up partial clone
          brian m. carlson (10):
                t: add helper to convert object IDs to paths
                t1410: make hash size independent
                t1450: make hash size independent
                t5000: make hash independent
                t6030: make test work with SHA-256
                t0027: make hash size independent
                t0090: make test pass with SHA-256
                t1007: remove SHA1 prerequisites
                t1710: make hash independent
                t2203: avoid hard-coded object ID values
          Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason (21):
                send-email: move the read_config() function above getopts
                send-email: rename the @bcclist variable for consistency
                send-email: do defaults -> config -> getopt in that order
                tests: add a special setup where prerequisites fail
                Makefile: remove the NO_R_TO_GCC_LINKER flag
                send-email: remove cargo-culted multi-patch pattern in tests
                send-email: fix broken transferEncoding tests
                send-email: document --no-[to|cc|bcc]
                hash-object doc: stop mentioning git-cvsimport
                send-email: fix regression in sendemail.identity parsing
                Revert "test-lib: whitelist GIT_TR2_* in the environment"
                config tests: simplify include cycle test
                env--helper: new undocumented builtin wrapping git_env_*()
                config.c: refactor die_bad_number() to not call gettext() early
                t6040 test: stop using global "script" variable
                tests: make GIT_TEST_GETTEXT_POISON a boolean
                tests README: re-flow a previously changed paragraph
                tests: replace test_tristate with "git env--helper"
                tests: make GIT_TEST_FAIL_PREREQS a boolean
                tests: mark two failing tests under FAIL_PREREQS
                clone: test for our behavior on odd objects/* content
  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Biotech-Industrial Complex Gets Ready to Define What is Human

        Fabricating part-human-part-nonhuman animals, with features of both, seemed like something out of Greek mythology until the late 20th century. New research then on “geeps,” fully developed, viable mixtures of goats and sheep, showed that constructing such “chimeras” was a real possibility. Still, the warning by H.G. Wells, a century before, in his novel “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” that scientific experiments like this could go terribly awry, seemed fantastical. But this will soon change. At the end of July, it was reported that the biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, director of a laboratory at the Salk Institute in California, produced fetal human-monkey chimeras. He did this in collaboration with researchers in China. And this month the Japanese government is expected to give the go-ahead to scientist Hiromitsu Nakauchi, leader of teams at the University of Tokyo and Stanford University in California, to conduct similar experiments with the goal of bringing human-pig chimeras to full term. These novel forms of life will soon be among us.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Prevention Through Deterrence: The Strategy Shared by the El Paso Shooter and the U.S. Border Patrol

        It is a simple strategy. First: murder Latinos in the U.S. Second: news of the killings spreads south. Third: fear of violent death paralyzes those hoping to leave Mexico. Terror deters migrants.

      • Venezuela Retains Political Control After New US Coercive Measures

        In political terms the government of Venezuela had a good month of July while managing very critical economic circumstances. Reps of 120 Non Aligned Movement (NAM) countries attended their ministerial meeting in Caracas, and more than 700 delegates from dozens of leftist parties and social movements from about 32 countries were in attendance for the 25th encounter of the Sao Paulo Forum (SPF) also in Caracas a few days later. Even the quick recovery from what appeared to be another sabotage to the electric power grid that occurred in the days between the two meetings was seen as a sign of an efficient and responsive government fully in control.

      • The Unbroken Line: From Slavery to the El Paso Shooting

        This week Saira Rao, a former Congressional candidate in Colorado posted a mulit-tweet commentary on the topic of plantation tours in the American south. Rao, who is Indian-American said, “Having grown up in Virginia, I’ve visited many plantations. Every time it’s been the same. White guide humanizing slaveowners, how kind so & so was to those whom they enslaved.” She went on to say she had been on a recent tour that was completely different. On this tour the guide, who was white, told of the actual history of slavery, including the brutal oppression by slaveowners of the people they enslaved. When some of the white visitors “bristled” and questioned whether it was “really that bad”, and one of the white tourees commented, “bet they stayed in line because they were treated so well.”, the tour guide turned to her, “finger pointed up and said: ‘These white people were terrorists. Just like white people today shooting everyone.’”

      • End Endless War and Bring Peace to Korea

        July 27 marked the 66th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice, which brought an end to hostilities that killed nearly five million people, including almost 40,000 U.S. service members.

      • It’s No Wonder the Military likes Violent Video Games, They Can Help Train Civilians to Become Warriors

        Still from “Operation Flashpoint.”

      • Russia and China are Growing Closer Again

        In her famous decree in 1767 Empress Catherine the Great proclaimed Russia to be a European power. She wanted Russia to be a major player in European politics. She compelled the Europeans to accept Russia as a great power as a condition for doing business. In 1815 Russia was considered an equal in the 1815 Concert of Europe. In contrast, Imperial China at that time was self-sufficient and inward looking. It basked in its own superior culture. It did not want to open up trade relations with Europe and the emperor questioned the ability of the British who were knocking on the door to “acquire the rudiments” of Chinese civilization.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • UN Rapporteur on Torture’s Letters to UK, Ecuador, US and Sweden

        UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer visited Julian Assange at HMP Belmarsh on 9 May 2019, and has written letters to the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Ecuador and Sweden to express that he is “gravely concerned” about Assange’s treatment and to urge the latter three governments to ensure Assange is not extradited to the United States.

      • Talk To The Totalitarian Hand: State Responses To The Torture Of Julian Assange, Morally Disengaging Media, And What It Means For Us All

        On Sunday June 28th 2019, Western democracy arrived at an historic crossroads. Moving forward from this day, citizens of Western nations will head down one of two paths.

        The first path leads towards genuine democracies, wherein governments are accountable to the publics they govern, and publics have a right to know what leaders do in their name. It is a path along which a free press fosters an informed electorate, capable of making informed decisions at election time. Such principles are not only fundamental prerequisites for democracy, but essential protections against government abuses of all kinds.

        The second path heads down totalitarian terrain, currently being blazed by the Trump administration, wherein governments decide who is free to speak and who is not, including who is a ‘journalist’ and who is not, by granting themselves the power to silence those who make them look bad. This pathway not only spells death to democracy and the public’s right to know, it is a recipe for state-sanctioned abuse.

        As the Science of Human Rights Coalition warns in a document titled Human Rights 101, “Unless citizens want their governments to support human rights, government leaders rarely will do so… [Human rights principles] carry no weight unless the people know them, unless the people understand them, unless the people demand that they be lived.”

      • Julian Assange faces ‘TORTURE’ if extradited to US – UN rapporteur warns

        Julian Assange will most likely be subjected to torture if he is extradited to the US, the UN special rapporteur on torture warned, revealing Assange’s current living conditions.
        The UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, visited Assange at Belmarsh Prison in London with two medical experts in May to access the extent of the ill-treatment the WikiLeaks founder has been subjected to over the years. Following the examination, Melzer wrote letters to the American, British, Ecuadorian, and Swedish governments outlining his conclusions.

      • We Are Millions

        International solidarity photo campaign #WeAreMillions to demonstrate global support for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, and to defend press freedom.

      • Media dead silent as Wikileaks insider explodes the myths around Julian Assange

        It is the journalists from The Guardian and New York Times who should be in jail, not Julian Assange, said Mark Davis last week. The veteran Australian investigative journalist, who has been intimately involved in the Wikileaks drama, has turned the Assange narrative on its head. The smears are falling away. The mainstream media, which has so ruthlessly made Julian Assange a scapegoat, is silent in response.

        Greg Bean likens the revolutionary work of Julian Assange to that of Johannes Gutenberg who invented the printing press. Government reaction, 580 years later, is similarly savage.

      • The German media and Julian Assange: Silence and slander

        Over a week after a US federal court threw out a civil case brought by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) against Julian Assange, the German media has been dominated by an embarrassed silence. On July 30, Judge John Koeltl from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York struck a major blow against the Democratic Party and bourgeois media’s claim that Assange is a “Russian agent.” He explicitly rejected the assertion that the WikiLeaks founder had “conspired with Russia.”
        When Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London by British police officers and thrown into the high security Belmarsh Prison, leading newspapers, including the Bild, TAZ, and Süddeutsche Zeitung, either denounced Assange or enthused over his arrest. Now, with the false allegations against Assange having been disproved in a court of law, hardly any German-speaking newspaper has found the time to report on this important development.
        The only article that appears in a Google search, along with the WSWS reports, is a piece from July 31, just one day after the ruling, published in Spiegel Online entitled, “US ruling: WikiLeaks was allowed to publish hacked emails from Democrats.” The article makes a mockery of objective reporting. It typifies the bourgeois media’s role as a propaganda arm for the intelligence agencies and federal government.

      • Jennifer Robinson, a leading member of Assange’s legal team, speaks with the WSWS

        Jennifer Robinson: The decision in the DNC suit on our “motion to dismiss,” which was successful, is incredibly important as a principled free speech position but also for WikiLeaks.
        It confirmed longstanding principles that journalists can receive information that has been released in breach of the media law, or has been stolen, and publish that information. This principle is protected under the [US Constitution’s] First Amendment for all journalists and for all media organisations.
        It is also incredibly important that the judge found that WikiLeaks benefits from the First Amendment equally, just like any other media organisation. He also raised concern that if the DNC’s suit were successful against WikiLeaks, it could be used against all other media organisations and journalists.
        The recognition that we can be protected by the First Amendment is critical, particularly in the context of the statement made by Mike Pompeo—now US secretary of state—when he was CIA director, that WikiLeaks is a “hostile non-state intelligence agency” and Julian Assange does not benefit from the First Amendment. We now know Assange absolutely does benefit from the First Amendment and this will be important ongoing for WikiLeaks.

      • Assange’s Persecution Rides on Feeble Lies

        Though most are unaware of the details, such hostile pursuit has concerned more than a few countries and institutions. UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, recently stated that in “20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution, I have never seen a group of democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time.”

        This follows upon the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s finding in 2015, reiterated in 2018, that Assange had been continuously arbitrarily detained in one from or another since 2010.


        In this primary and neglected context, the account that the US has given of itself has been a spectacular self-incrimination. The two sentences quoted above happen to assert the main premise of Assange and appointees from the UN who saw fit to defend him. For it is plainly implied in the quote that staying in the embassy was the logical means he appropriated to avoid negative repercussions intentionally prepared for him by the US in response his publishing.

        The US is accordingly reduced to pretending that, as claimed above, the charges are internationally and nationally lawful. There is nothing to back this up other than legal paragraphs that have been long shunned, relentless obfuscation and a bully’s glare. The charges have been nigh universally denounced as an unprecedented threat to democracy which contradicts the letter and spirit of the US first amendment.

        The response to Melzer from the US accordingly backfires and largely because its position from the outset has been foreign to reason. Its officials were obliged to reply to Melzer and apparently felt they managed to do this without committing to an abortive position. If so, they were deeply mistaken for reasons above, and also below.

    • Environment

      • Neoliberalism and Environmental Calamity

        Current conditions represent a political emergency of sorts, meaning that ways of solving environmental and social problems will either be worked out or circumstances, led by the environment, will assume a life of their own. Given that these conditions are the result of historical processes that were decades and centuries in the making, understanding how we got here is crucial to resolving them.

      • Review: Bruno Latour’s Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime

        Some of us are old enough to remember the bomb shelter panic of the 1950’s. If you build a bomb shelter in your back yard and a warning signal comes that you need to hurry into the space, what do you do if your neighbors try to force themselves inside with you? Your shelter has only enough provisions for you and your family. Do you shoot your neighbors who try to get into the shelter that you have spent a small fortune building, presumably on your own property? What’s the moral quandary here?

      • Norway to stop €30 million Amazon protection subsidy, saying Brazil ‘broke agreement’ on deforestation

        Days after Germany also withdrew money promised for forest protection in Brazil, Norway said the South American nation “broke the agreement” with contributors to the Amazon Fund.

        Norway was the single largest donor, giving almost 830 million euros to the fund since its creation 11 years ago.

      • Russia’s Federal Weather Service says ‘meteorological situation’ dispersed radioactive gases around Arkhangelsk

        The burst of gamma radiation detected in the city of Severodvinsk after a supposed rocket explosion on August 8 could be related to a cloud of radioactive noble gases that passed through the area, according to Russia’s Federal Weather Service.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Wildlife corridors can mean life or death

          Connectivity is also essential for wildlife. For most wildlife, though, these pathways are becoming more and more impeded because of manmade structures — from sprawling suburbs on our coasts to roads and highways in the desert southwest. For wildlife, a lack of connectivity can mean life or death. It can mean starvation, traversing high-traffic roadways, or isolation and limited access to mating partners. Ultimately, a loss of connectivity can mean death or extinction for populations of wildlife.


          Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia’s timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

        • Russian ecologist points to illegal dump as likely source of seagulls that forced Moscow plane to land in cornfield

          On August 15, two Ural Airlines pilots landed their Airbus A321 liner in a cornfield when both of its engines failed shortly after takeoff. The airplane’s crew indicated that birds fell into both engines during a collision with a flock of seagulls. Following the emergency landing, multiple sources argued that the birds may have been attracted to the area surrounding the airport by an illegal garbage dump: Waste has been accumulating for years near Lake Glushitsa less than two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the Zhukovsky airport, where the plane took off.

    • Finance

      • How a Video Gambling Company Helped Bankroll Local Politicians

        If you don’t know by now, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a massive gambling expansion bill in June that paves the way for six new casinos to be constructed across the state.

        One of those casinos is to be built in Waukegan, where my colleague Jason Grotto reported a doozy of a story last week. Here’s some of what his investigation revealed:

      • The NYT Gets the Story on Automation and Inequality Completely Wrong

        I am a big fan of expanding the welfare state but I am also a big fan of reality-based analysis. For this reason, it’s hard not to be upset over yet another column telling us that the robots are taking all the jobs and that this will lead to massive inequality.

      • To Defeat Fascism, We Must Dismantle Capitalism

        Henry A. Giroux’s book “The Terror of the Unforeseen” analyzes the conditions that have enabled and led to Donald Trump’s rule and the consequences of that rule, which have ushered in an authoritarian version of capitalism. Giroux provides a realistic analysis that holds out the hope that, through collective efforts, change is possible and democracy can be saved.

        There is an intellectual debate on whether or not the power wielded by the likes of Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orbán, Matteo Salvini, Geert Wilders, Heinz-Christian Strache, or Jörg Meuthen and Alexander Gauland constitutes fascism. Some analysts — such as Noam Chomsky, Neil Faulkner, John Bellamy Foster, Robert Kagan, Gáspar Miklós Tamás, and Enzo Traverso — speak of creeping fascism, new fascism, or post-fascism. They find both continuities and discontinuities between the classical forms of fascism in Italy and Germany and these contemporary right-wing politicians. Representatives of this position hold that Trump is not Hitler, but stress certain similarities between the two.

        Others — including Wendy Brown, Nancy Fraser, Roger Griffin, Chantal Mouffe, Cas Mudde, Robert Paxton, David Renton, and Slavoj Žižek — argue that it is an exaggeration to characterize Trump and other contemporary demagogues as fascists. They prefer terms such as the new authoritarianism, libertarian authoritarianism, reactionary neoliberalism, right-wing populism, the populist radical right, or demagoguery on behalf of oligarchy. They see Trump as dangerous, but stress that his authoritarianism is quite different from classical fascism and Hitler.

      • Bernie Sanders Leads 2020 Democratic Field Among College Students: Poll

        A Chegg-College Pulse poll released Thursday showed Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the 2020 Democratic presidential field among college students, a voting bloc that could play a major role in the upcoming election.

        The survey found that 29 percent of likely Democratic voters attending college or university chose Sanders as their top pick for the presidential nomination. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took second place with 22 percent support.

        The rest of the 2020 Democratic presidential pack trailed far behind Sanders and Warren, with former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads most national polls, placed a distant third at 10 percent.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Hong Kong protesters are calling for massive ATM withdrawals in an economic warning to China

        The Hong Kong student who started this latest protest, which activists have named the Cashout HKD to USD, told INSIDER that as of Thursday, over 70 million Hong Kong dollars (nearly $9 million) had been withdrawn, both in Hong Kong currency and in US currency; the claim couldn’t be independently verified. More than 400 protesters have recorded their withdrawals, and a Telegram channel for the protest has over 1,500 members.

      • How Beijing wages its media assault on the credibility of the Hong Kong protesters

        Chinese state-run news outlets promptly posted edited video of the attack, labelling the protesters as “rioters” who “tortured and humiliated” the man.

        One outlet called the demonstrators “street thugs who want Hong Kong to ‘go to hell.’”

        While images of the demonstrations have transfixed the world, they’ve also become a key tool in an information war that continues to intensify.

      • Amazon Uses a Twitter Army of Employees to Fight Criticism of Warehouses

        The FC ambassadors were introduced in 2018 and first attracted attention about a year ago. At the time, Krystal Hu, a reporter for Yahoo Finance, said that the company told her there were 14 FC ambassadors and that they were paid to patrol social media full time. They popped up again in February, when various accounts began spouting anti-union talking points (“unions are thieves” that make it difficult for employers to “discipline, terminate or promote”).

        On Thursday, Amazon would not answer questions about how many ambassadors it employs or how exactly their jobs work.

      • Welcome to the Greenbrier, the Governor-Owned Luxury Resort Filled With Conflicts of Interest

        On a sunny Monday afternoon two and a half years ago, Jim Justice, the wealthiest man in West Virginia, took the oath of office as the state’s 36th governor.

        Standing at the base of the Capitol steps in Charleston, he assured his fellow West Virginians that his vast business empire of coal mines, vacation resorts and agricultural companies — many of them regulated by the state agencies he would soon control — posed no conflicts with his new job.

      • Candidates Need a Moral Vision

        “Yes we can,” went Barack Obama’s presidential campaign slogan, inspired by labor rights activist Dolores Huerta.

      • MSNBC and the Next Election: Racism is the Issue (and Don’t Talk about Socialism)

        After Donald Trump unexpectedly won the 2016 election, the Democrats and the mainstream media they shape sought to explain the disaster as a result of Russian meddling. Such meddling, which had been alleged for months, was documented in an (unconvincing) intelligence report prepared by the lame-duck Obama administration, made public Jan. 6, 2017; Congress followed up, demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference and possible collusion between any Russians and the Trump team. After two years the report concluded that there was no evidence of collusion, causing many downcast looks among news anchors reporting the bad news. Suddenly Trump’s impeachment—for which the MSNBC and CNN anchors openly cheer—looked less likely.

      • Have They No Decency?

        Before lightening and the Electoral College struck, making Donald Trump president, he famously boasted that he could walk out onto Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and become even more popular than he already was with his base.

      • DCCC Is Out of Step With Democratic Values

        The latest shakeup over a lack of diversity in senior leadership at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows that House Democrats’ campaign arm remains out of touch with the values of its grassroots Democratic voters.

        This first became evident in March when DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos announced a “blacklist” policy, which sought to stifle the people-powered democratic process by requiring political consultants to sign a loyalty pledge to incumbent Democrats. Recent comments from black and Latino lawmakers about a lack of diversity in senior leadership, as well as complaints about a tone-deaf approach to issues relating to race, show that the DCCC continues to refuse to evolve and change. Instead, there seems to be an implicit policy of silencing new voices and sidelining historically marginalized communities in order to protect the power of the status quo.

        At a time when President Trump is openly voicing racist rhetoric and seeking to divide us, the Democratic Party has to be a model of the America we are proud to be—an America that welcomes new voices, embraces diversity and opens the doors of power wide.

        This spring, Our Revolution met with Rep. Bustos after holding rallies outside her office and delivering more than 30,000 petitions opposing the blacklist policy. After promising to follow up with us, Rep. Bustos has remained silent—and the blacklist policy has remained in place. The recent staff shakeup is another symptom of the same problem.

        Our nation is a diverse melting pot of hard-working Americans. Sadly, not all politicians are doing their best to serve all their constituents. Not all Democrats are created equally, and some are not aligned to the principles and morals of their congressional district.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Bernie Sanders Fires Back at Netanyahu and Israel

        Sen. Bernie Sanders told MSNBC Thursday night that perhaps Israel should not be receiving billions of dollars in U.S. military aid after the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country.

        “I wish I could tell you…that I am shocked. I am not,” Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said of President Donald Trump’s support for Israel’s decision. “We have a president who, tragically, is a racist, is a xenophobe, and who is a religious bigot.”

      • Israel Fears a Visit by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

        On July 16, Somali-American Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, together with Representatives John Lewis and Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib, introduced bill HR-496 which is meant to affirm Americans’ “right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution”. 

      • Twitter is Trying to Erase the Past

        I recently got an e-mail saying I had violated Twitter’s rules for hateful conduct. I immediately thought my account password had been compromised, or that this was a phishing attempt. I rarely post to Twitter anymore, except to promote this website or other personal projects. The e-mail was real though, and Twitter locked my account for a Tweet I made nearly a decade ago!


        If Twitter is scanning old tweets and attempting to erase them, they’re also erasing a part of their history and the history of their users. They’re trying to wash over a troubled situation within our current context by rewriting the past. It’s just another indication that we should stop using third party platforms where we are the product and don’t have control over the content we generate.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Microsoft bucks trend, maintains contractor reviews of voice recording

        Last week, a whistleblower went to the press to reveal that Microsoft relied on employees and contractors to review recordings made by its Skype Translator call platform and its Cortana voice assistant. The company had documentation informing users that audio recorded by its services might be reviewed to improve systems for language processing, but there was no explicit mention that the reviews would be done by humans.

      • DeVos-Linked Adoption Agency Exposed Highly Sensitive Children’s Medical Data

        The exposed data was stored on PDFs openly available on its website. Some PDFs were called “Children Medical Examination Records” that included the names, dates of birth, the hospital or orphanage they were based in, and extremely sensitive medical information.

        This includes a child’s HIV status, number of teeth, lab test results, and whether the child has any physical deformities (“Spine: no deformity” “Liver: not palpable under the rib; “Anus: no abnormal findings” are examples of the data contained on the form). Other information exposed includes a “Growth Report” that explains the child’s background and “motor skills and intellectual development.” One notes that a child arrived “wearing yellow baby clothes and she was placed in a paper box” and that, between the age of 10 and 12 months, “she knows her name, can get biscuits, and feeds herself.”

      • Danish Round-Up: [Attackers] obtain data of hundreds of Tivoli visitors

        “The perpetrators [cracked] into Tivoli’s digital universe, ‘My Tivoli’,” explained Jonas Buhl Gregersen, Tivoli’s director of IT and business development, to BT.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Bernie Sanders Is As Frustrated as Ever With Corporate Media

        That may have sounded conspiratorial to some of the senator’s critics. But, the candidate noted, “There was, in the middle of that debate—I mean, this is how absurd it is—a commercial coming from the health care industry echoing exactly what the moderator spoke about.”

      • The global gag on free speech is tightening

        Last year 25 governments imposed internet blackouts. Choking off connectivity infuriates people and kneecaps economies. Yet autocrats think it worthwhile, usually to stop information from circulating during a crisis.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Britain’s ‘central & widespread’ role in CIA torture program exposed in damning report

        Britain played a “central” role in the rendition, secret detention, and torture of prisoners by the CIA in the “War on Terror,” a journalistic inquiry claims.
        Compiled by the Rendition Project and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the 400-page paper, entitled ‘CIA Torture Unredacted,’ dates back to July but has gone largely unreported since then.

      • A Year After an Inmate Was Choked to Death in Jail, a Murder Charge but Few Details

        Prosecutors in Fresno County have charged a man with murdering a 19-year-old jail inmate more than a year ago, newly filed court records show, but detectives say they’re still trying to determine if there are additional suspects.

        Lorenzo Herrera was choked to death in the Fresno County Main Jail on March 24, 2018.

      • Race is a Social Construct, But It Still Matters

        When I teach about race in sociology classes, I often begin by asking students how and when the idea of race came about.

      • “Dirtbag,” “Savages,” “Subhuman”: A Border Agent’s Hateful Career and the Crime That Finally Ended It

        It was late November 2017, and Matthew Bowen, a veteran Border Patrol agent, was seething. A fellow Border Patrol agent in Texas had just been found dead in the field, and Bowen was certain someone who’d been crossing the border illegally was responsible for murdering him.

        “Snuffed out by some dirtbag,” Bowen, stationed in Nogales, Arizona, said in a text later obtained by federal authorities.

      • Tit For Tat: Baltimore Takes Another Hit, This Time From Uruguay

        I imagine that however a Baltimorean feels when their city is attacked by the barbarian in the White House it has to be worse when the city is slighted by Uruguay, one of the world’s most progressive countries. On August 5th the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a warning to Uruguayans traveling to the United States to take maximum precautions in the face of indiscriminate violence emanating from hate crimes including those based on racism. The warning stated that this violence had cost the lives of more than 250 people in the first seven months of the year. The warning advises avoiding Detroit, Baltimore, and Albuquerque, citing Ceoworld Magazine 2019 for the claim that these are among the 20 most dangerous cities in the world. I have not found this ranking on the Ceoworld website. No American city makes Ceoworld’s list of the 10 most dangerous cities of the world, but there are rankings on the Internet listing Baltimore (in addition to other American cities) as one of the world’s most dangerous cities.

      • Is America Crazy?

        The United States witnessed three mass shootings in one week recently in California, Texas, and Ohio. There have been more than 250 mass shootings so far in 2019, more than one a day. This year in America, more than 33,000 shooting incidents have killed more than 8,700 people.

      • Who Inflicts the Most Gun Violence in America? The U.S. Government and Its Police Forces

        Yes, gun violence is a problem in America, although violent crime generally remains at an all-time low.

      • Las Vegas Man Arrested in Plots Against Jews Was Said to Be Affiliated With Atomwaffen Division

        For two years, the basic description had appeared in reporting by ProPublica and Frontline: Atomwaffen Division is a neo-Nazi organization eager for a race war and committed to terrorist attacks against Jews, immigrants and other targets in the U.S. — power grids, nuclear facilities — that would foment fear.

        The description ran in stories describing how the group had been connected to five murders in recent years, including one involving a gay, Jewish college student in California. It appeared in a Frontline film raising questions about the federal response to domestic terrorism threats just weeks after 11 Jewish worshipers were allegedly killed by a racist gunman in Pittsburgh.

      • ICE: You’re Not Welcome in the South

        Last week, I dropped my kids off for their first day of school in our small Alabama town of not even 7,000 people. The kids were excited, but I was a nervous wreck.

      • Harare protestors brave riot Police to demand ‘CHANGE!’ – still with no clue ‘WHAT CHANGES!’ it’s futile

        The nation heaved a huge sigh of relief when it was reported that the Zanu-PF regime had given the green light for the MDC demos to go ahead.

      • Deepika Padukone opens up about the use of prosthetics to play acid attack survivour in Chhapaak
      • Our Lords, Their Flies

        As a college student, after reading Lord of the Flies for the second time (I’d first read it as a young teenager), I asked the professor in my philosophy of literature class if he thought humans were inherently evil. He responded by asking if I was pursued by daemons. Taken aback, I replied that I didn’t know anything about “daemons,” much less if I were being pursued by them, but I did know that Golding’s book struck a powerful chord and I suspected then that it would, along with possible daemons, pursue me for the rest of my life.

      • ‘Iran tortured me into confessing to be an Israeli spy’

        A once-successful Iranian businessman says he is lucky to be alive after being tortured by the Iranian authorities into a false confession of spying for Israel and assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists – a crime punishable by hanging.
        The story of Mazyar Ebrahimi, who now lives abroad, also sheds a light on a bitter rivalry between Iran’s intelligence agencies, as BBC Persian’s Jiyar Gol reports.
        I met Mazyar Ebrahimi in Frankfurt in July, several months after he called me out of the blue from Germany. I was surprised, as I had assumed he had been executed long ago.

      • Red State Rip Off: Cutting Worker Pay by $1.5 Billion

        Last month, the House voted to incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

      • The Side of Trump We Rarely See

        It is a side of the Trump we have never seen nor, indeed believed he had. It was remarkable not only for its subtlety but for the person at whom it was directed. It goes to show that wonders in this administration never cease.

        I refer to the Trump’s attacks on Baltimore. The language the trump used was vituperative and it threw everyone completely off the track, even Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings. It all started on July 27th and it was cleverly done through a series of tweets.

        Tweets, as followers of such things know, are series of comments that are limited in length to 280 characters. They are admirably suited to the trump since his knowledge of virtually anything that comes to his attention can always be demonstrated in 280 characters and, frequently, even fewer than that

        The tweet is useful to the Trump not only to announce his major policy initiatives. It is equally useful in enabling him to concisely, but without sacrificing crudity, attack the hundreds of people he dislikes. On the rare occasions when 280 characters, some of them in upper case for added emphasis, are not up to the task the Trump has assigned them, he overcomes the hurdle presented by sending out multiple tweets thus enabling him to adequately vent his feelings. Occasionally he can use tweets to throw his pursuers off his scent and that is what he brilliantly did beginning on July 27, 2019.

      • William J. Astore on Torture USA

        Five years ago, President Obama infamously said, “We tortured some folks.” And no one was held accountable; indeed, as Tom Tomorrow put it in a cartoon from that time, “The only government official who went to jail for it [John Kiriakou] was the whistleblower who exposed it.” In the cartoon, Tom Tomorrow has Obama say that, “Still, we must accept responsibility! Which is to say: we must briefly acknowledge the unpleasantness in the upcoming torture report, and then quickly move on.”

        And that’s exactly what America did: quickly move on, without consequences (except for Kiriakou). And then candidates like Donald Trump emerged, boasting of how much he’d increase the use of torture. And thus Trump as president could pick Gina Haspel, implicated in the torture regime, as the new head of the CIA. Well done, President Obama.

    • Monopolies

      • Embrace Fans: How One Mystery Modder Has Kept System Shock 2 Playable

        There’s this weird thing in the video game industry in terms of how the industry reacts to fans doing things with their games. On one side, you have publishers that strictly control what fans can do with their games, even going the legal threat route at times. Other publishers are more permissive with game IP and are then shocked at what fans manage to do with their games. Still other publishers proactively create tools within their games to allow fans to create wildly cool productions within the games and then celebrate those fans. And, of course, there are fans manipulating properties such as original soundtracks to create new music as an homage to the original score.

        There is a wide spectrum of what fans want to do to express their fandom with video games, in other words, and also a spectrum of ways publishers respond to these dedicated fans. The original Doom, for instance, was created nearly three decades ago, but an active modding community has kept the game relevant by building on that original work. In the case of System Shock 2, however, it turns out the game originally released in 1999 is essentially only playable on modern machines due to the dedication of one single mystery fan.

      • New York City Bar Opinion on Receipt of Inadvertently Sent Documents

        In Opinion 2019-3 (May 16, 2019), the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, gave guidance on an issue on which most state ethics rules leave lawyers hanging. Under Model Rule 4.4(b), and similar state rules including the USPTO rules, a lawyer who receives a document related to the representation of a client, and knows or should know it was inadvertently sent, must notify the sender and then… the rule stops.

        Obviously, the other side will (if the document has any significance) ask for the lawyer to return or delete it and, just as obviously, if the document has any significance the lawyer’s client will want the lawyer to not return it and, if it had been privileged, to argue it no longer is because it was inadvertently sent without due care.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Hot summer for Ninth Circuit motions panel: Qualcomm’s motion to stay enforcement of FTC remedies still pending after more than 3 weeks

          Imagine you’re a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and from time to time you serve on the Motions Panel that changes every month. Motions to stay the enforcement of injunctions are the most critical ones to resolve, short of anything related to executions, but there aren’t any pending in the Ninth Circuit.

          Most motions, including those motions to stay enforcement, involve relatively narrow issues. But from time to time, a “monster” motion comes along. That’s what happened when Qualcomm, understandably though I mostly disagree with them on substance, sought a stay of the enforcement of the injunction the FTC had obtained from Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.


          The decision will be interesting, but whatever the outcome may be, let’s not overrate it. An appeals court may well stay enforcement, especially for the duration of an expedited appeal, but nevertheless affirm, in whole or in large parts, when the focus is entirely on the merits, or it may deny a stay but identify serious issues later on.

          The time that it’s taking them to decide can’t be reliably interpreted. The only safe assumption is that they are kind of overwhelmed. It might mean that they’re working on a rationale that will enable them to grant the motion without taking such a strong position that would suggest the merits panel could decide only one way. It could also mean that they’ve concluded the motion should be denied, but in light of governmental brouhaha about the end of the world being nigh, the appeals court wants to write up a thorough denial. Qualcomm might internally–and reasonably–view the time that this is taking as a sign that is more likely than not to be positive, especially since I guess they feared a swift denial of their motion. Contrary to Qualcomm’s representations, it’s not like anything dramatic would happen to Qualcomm’s business in the very short term, given that any license (re)negotiations would take a lot longer at any rate.

      • Copyrights

        • Cloudflare Flags Copyright Lawsuits as Potential Liabilities Ahead of IPO

          Cloudflare, the CDN company currently serving around 20 million Internet domains, sites, applications and APIs, has filed to go public. In its statement, the company warns that the activities of some of its customers, which include pirate sites, could expose it to significant copyright infringement liabilities in the future.

        • YouTube Forbids Monetizing Short Music Clips Through Manual Content-ID Claims

          YouTube has announced that it will update its manual Content-ID claiming policy. Starting next month, rightsholders are forbidden from manually claiming videos that use short or unintentional music fragments. Those who repeatedly violate this new policy will have their manual claiming rights revoked. With the new policy, YouTube hopes to improve fairness in the creator ecosystem.


Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

Posted in News Roundup at 9:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #297: The Weekender XXXII

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

      • Sliding Politics | User Error 72

        Dealing with users who hate change, dumb phones, and different approaches to social media consumption.

        Plus infidelity, the state of the world, and consequences of small decisions.

      • Test and Code: 83: PyBites Code Challenges behind the scenes – Bob Belderbos

        Bob Belderbos and Julian Sequeira started PyBites a few years ago.
        They started doing code challanges along with people around the world and writing about it.

        Then came the codechalleng.es platform, where you can do code challenges in the browser and have your answer checked by pytest tests. But how does it all work?

        Bob joins me today to go behind the scenes and share the tech stack running the PyBites Code Challenges platform.

        We talk about the technology, the testing, and how it went from a cool idea to a working platform.

      • Linux Action News 119

        We go hands-on with the big Xfce release that took four years and five months to develop. Kubernetes gets an audit that might just set a precedent, and Google has a new feature for AMP that has us all worked up.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.2.9

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.9 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

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

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

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


      • Linux 4.19.67
      • Linux 4.14.139
      • Linux 5.4 Set To Remove Intel XScale IOP33X/IOP13XX CPU Support

        Linux 5.4 is set to remove the Intel IOP33X and IOP13XX series of processors that are part of the company’s former XScale product line for ARM-based CPUs.

        The XScale IOP processors were intended for handling I/O offloading from the main device CPU. These sub-1.2GHz processors were part of Intel’s ARMv8.5-based XScale product portfolio. But with no apparent users of the Intel IOP33X/IOP13XX hardware left — at least anyone that would likely be riding new Linux kernel releases — that support is going to be removed later this year with the Linux 5.4 release.

    • Applications

      • Things You Should Know About Linux Instant Messaging Programs

        One of the highly-desirable features of Linux – a primary reason that developers prefer it to other operating systems – is that it has been improved with a lot of free and open-source program. Many of the above platforms reflect this, making them powerful options for growing businesses looking into their software options as they scale. They’re also strong options for businesses for whom security is the highest priority, which is becoming a greater focus for organizations every day.

        From personal to professional, Linux-based instant messaging programs can offer you flexibility, communication, and security. If you’re running a Linux operating platform, make sure you look into this list of mainstream and alternative chat options for a reliable and robust messenger experience.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Twin-stick shooting combined with deck-building, ACardShooter is out now

        Deck-building is all the rage and now it’s come to twin-stick shooters too, with ACardShooter now available on Steam with Linux support.

      • Hunt down beasts, take their power and possibly save the world in Mable & The Wood, releasing soon

        Mable & The Wood is a Metroidvania that’s possibly nothing like any other. One with multiple endings and it’s possible to do it without killing anything.

        I’ve been excited about this game for so long, after discovering it a while ago and it was announced today that it’s going to be releasing on August 23rd! It captured my interest due to the unusual heroine, who carries around a sword too big to swing and it’s how you use the sword that makes it truly sweet. You stick it in the ground, then use your powers to recall it as it slices its way back to you.

      • Solve cable-based puzzles in the fully narrated game Filament, coming to Linux next year

        Currently in development by Beard Envy with publishing from Kasedo Games, the puzzle game Filament has you exploring a seemingly abandoned spaceship while sorting out all the cables.

        From what they said about it, it’s a story-rich and full narrated puzzle game. One that’s meant to be somewhat relaxing with you able to go at your own pace. Going by the official announcement, Linux support is confirmed for release sometime in Q1 next year.

      • Dota Underlords changes ranking again to be more about skill and less about time

        While in Early Access, Dota Underlords is in a constant state of flux and Valve have again changed the ranking system.

        They’re now using the well-known Elo rating system, so the number of points gained or lost now depends on the skill of your opponents. Why the switch? As Valve said, the Lords of White Spire leaderboard ended up being a list of who played the most instead of the best so they’re hoping this will solve it and be a little more fair to those who don’t play all the time.

      • Cerulean Days, a Visual Novel following the internet being shut down after a biological attack

        Cerulean Days certainly sounds like an intriguing Visual Novel. Set on a small modern island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a deadly biological attack took place so the government shut the internet down, leaving the island disconnected from the world around it.


        If you’re interested in trying it out, they do have a Linux demo available, looks like it was made with Ren’Py and it works quite well. Seems like it has some nice writing to it too along with some great artwork.

    • Distributions

      • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/33

        Week 2019/33 ‘only’ saw three snapshots being published (3 more were given to openQA but discarded).

      • Reviews

        • Slackel Linux Works Well Inside Its Openbox

          The current Slackel Linux release can be a good choice for new users. It is easy to stumble through the installation steps, but this distro has some benefits.

          Slackel is a reliable operating system that is easy to use. If you like to learn how Linux works, Slackel gets you closer to understanding the pure Linux environment without resorting to the terminal window and the command line.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • FPgM report: 2019-33

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

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. (Just not this week because I will be traveling)

      • Debian Family

        • Debian celebrates 26 years, Happy DebianDay!

          26 years ago today in a single post to the comp.os.linux.development newsgroup, Ian Murdock announced the completion of a brand new Linux release named ##Debian.

          Since that day we’ve been into outer space, typed over 1,288,688,830 lines of code, spawned over 300 derivatives, were enhanced with 6,155 known contributors, and filed over 975,619 bug reports.

          We are home to a community of thousands of users around the globe, we gather to host our annual Debian Developers Conference #DebConf”>DebConf which spans the world in a different country each year, and of course today’s many “#DebianDay celebrations held around the world.

        • DebConf19: Brazil

          My first DebConf was DebConf4, held in Porte Alegre, Brazil back in 2004. Uncle Steve did the majority of the travel arrangements for 6 of us to go. We had some mishaps which we still tease him about, but it was a great experience. So when I learnt DebConf19 was to be in Brazil again, this time in Curitiba, I had to go. So last November I realised flights were only likely to get more expensive, that I’d really kick myself if I didn’t go, and so I booked my tickets. A bunch of life happened in the meantime that mean the timing wasn’t particularly great for me – it’s been a busy 6 months – but going was still the right move.

          One thing that struck me about DC19 is that a lot of the faces I’m used to seeing at a DebConf weren’t there. Only myself and Steve from the UK DC4 group made it, for example. I don’t know if that’s due to the travelling distances involved, or just the fact that attendance varies and this happened to be a year where a number of people couldn’t make it. Nonetheless I was able to catch up with a number of people I only really see at DebConfs, as well as getting to hang out with some new folk.

          Given how busy I’ve been this year and expect to be for at least the next year I set myself a hard goal of not committing to any additional tasks. That said DebConf often provides a welcome space to concentrate on technical bits. I reviewed and merged dkg’s work on WKD and DANE for the Debian keyring under debian.org – we’re not exposed to the recent keyserver network issues due to the fact the keyring is curated, but providing additional access to our keyring makes sense if it can be done easily. I spent some time with Ian Jackson talking about dgit – I’m not a user of it at present, but I’m intrigued by the potential for being able to do Debian package uploads via signed git tags. Of course I also attended a variety of different talks (and, as usual, at times the schedule conflicted such that I had a difficult choice about which option to chose for a particular slot).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Feral GameMode on Ubuntu: Everything You Need to Know

          Feral GameMode is a discreet background utility that aims to improve gaming performance on Linux distributions like Ubuntu.

          It’s not a GUI app; there’s no multi-button dashboard, no toggle-fest, and no real feedback on how it’s running.

          Games compatible with GameMode are able to ‘request’ that a specific set of tweaks are applied to the host system and/or the game process(es) for a short period.

          These tweaks ensure system resources prioritise the gaming experience over other tasks, like drawing your desktop background or checking for updates.

        • The Best App Launchers for Ubuntu & Linux Mint

          So, thankfully, there is a world of alternative app launchers for Linux desktops — launchers that are more traditional, more interactive, and/or often more capable than what Ubuntu includes out of the box.

          Inspired by my recent play with rofi on the Regolith desktop I decided to test a bunch of ’em to compile this: a list of the best app launchers for Ubuntu and Linux Mint (in my opinion, of course).

        • Canonical Outs Major Linux Kernel Updates for All Supported Ubuntu Releases

          Available for Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 ESM (Trusty Tahr), the new Linux kernel security updates are here to patch more than 30 security vulnerabilities, including a heap buffer overflow discovered in the Marvell Wireless LAN device driver and a NULL pointer dereference discovered in the Near-field communication (NFC) implementation.

          The security patch also addresses a use-after-free vulnerability discovered by Google Project Zero’s Jann Horn in the Linux kernel when accessing LDT entries, as well as a race condition when performing core dumps. A flaw discovered by Andrei Vlad Lutas and Dan Lutas in x86 processors, which incorrectly handled SWAPGS instructions during speculative execution, was fixed as well.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • linuxjournal.com – Linux Journal shut its doors for good :(
      • Helping The Hispanic/Latinx Community With Open Source | Open Infrastructure Summit, 2019

        At the Open Infrastructure Summit, 2019, we sat down with Joseph Sandoval, SRE Manager for the Adobe Advertising Cloud platform, to talk about the work he is doing with the Hispanic/Latinx Community.

      • Events

        • Tantek Çelik: IndieWebCamps Timeline 2011-2019: Amsterdam to Utrecht

          While not a post directly about IndieWeb Summit 2019, this post provides a bit of background and is certainly related, so I’m including it in my series of posts about the Summit. Previous post in this series: Reflecting On IndieWeb Summit: A Start


          I don’t know of any tools to take something like this kind of locations vs years data and graph it as such. So I built an HTML table with a cell for each IndieWebCamp, as well as cells for the colspans of empty space. Each colored cell is hyperlinked to the IndieWebCamp for that city for that year.

        • Meet SUSE at Cloud Foundry Summit in The Hague

          If you’re looking for a great excuse to visit the Netherlands, learn about Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes, and hang out with a cool and interesting community, come meet the SUSE Cloud Application Platform team at the Cloud Foundry Summit EU in The Hague. SUSE is a gold sponsor of the event, so we’ll have a booth complete with live demos and plenty of the cool chameleons that you’ve come to expect of us.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • btLr text direction in Writer, part 4

          You can get a snapshot / demo of Collabora Office and try it out yourself right now: try unstable snapshot. Collabora is a major contributor to LibreOffice and all of this work will be available in TDF’s next release, too (6.4).

        • LibreOffice Community at FrOSCon 2019

          LibreOffice development takes place mostly via the internet: volunteers, certified developers and other community members collaborate on programming, design, quality assurance, documentation and other tasks. But we also like to meet up in person, to share information, bring new people into the project, and have fun!

          So on the weekend of 10 and 11 August, we attended FrOSCon 2019 in Sankt Augustin, a town just outside Bonn, Germany. FrOSCon is one of the largest free and open source software (FOSS) conferences in the country, with around 2,000 attendees. Most of the visitors know about FOSS already, but some had only learnt about it recently, and were eager to discover more.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • Apollo data graph brings managed federation to enterprises

          Data graph vendor Apollo is aiming to help overcome several obstacles to enterprises using graph databases with its latest Apollo Data Graph Platform update, which became generally available on July 16.

          Among the key new features in the platform are federated management capabilities that enable more scalability across different GraphQL data graph instances. GraphQL is an open source query language for APIs, originally created by Facebook that is used to enable data graph capabilities.

      • Programming/Development

        • ANNOUNCE: libnbd 0.9.8 – prerelease of high performance NBD
          I'm pleased to announce a new high performance Network Block Device
          (NBD) client library called libnbd.  It's written in C and there are
          also bindings available for Python, OCaml and (soon) Rust.
          0.9.8 is the third pre-release before the stable 1.0 version where we
          freeze the API, so feedback on API-related issues is very welcome now.
          Download:       http://download.libguestfs.org/libnbd/
          Documentation:  https://github.com/libguestfs/libnbd/blob/master/docs/libnbd.pod
          Fedora package: https://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/packageinfo?packageID=28807
          Debian package: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=933223
          Git repo:       https://github.com/libguestfs/libnbd
          Mailing list:   address@hidden (no subscription required)
          Here are some of the things you can do with this library ...
          Connect to an NBD server and grab the first sector of the disk:
          High performance multi-threaded reads and writes, with multiple
          connections and multiple commands in flight on each connection:
          Integrate with glib main loop:
          Connect to an NBD server from an interactive shell:
            $ nbdkit -f linuxdisk . &
            $ nbdsh --connect nbd://localhost
            Welcome to nbdsh, the shell for interacting with
            Network Block Device (NBD) servers.
            nbd> h.get_size()
            nbd> buf = h.pread (512, 0)
            nbd> print ("%r" % buf)
            [prints the first sector]
          Use ‘fio’ to benchmark an NBD server:
            $ nbdkit -U - memory size=256M \
                  --run 'export unixsocket ; fio examples/nbd.fio '
        • libnbd 0.9.8 and stable APIs

          I announced libnbd yesterday. The libnbd 0.9.8 is a pre-release for the upcoming 1.0 where we will finalize the API and offer API and ABI stability.

          Stable APIs aren’t in fashion these days, but they’re important because people who choose to use your platform for their software shouldn’t be screwed over and have to change their software every time you change your mind. In C it’s reasonably easy to offer a stable API while allowing long term evolution and even incompatible changes. This is what we do for nbdkit and will be doing for libnbd.

          The first concept to get to know is ELF symbol versioning. Chapter 3 of Uli’s paper on the subject covers this in great detail. In libnbd all our initial symbols will be labelled with LIBNBD_1.0.

        • PyCharm 2019.2.1 RC

          PyCharm 2019.2.1 release candidate is available now!

        • Basics of Memory Management in Python

          Memory management is the process of efficiently allocating, de-allocating, and coordinating memory so that all the different processes run smoothly and can optimally access different system resources. Memory management also involves cleaning memory of objects that are no longer being accessed.

          In Python, the memory manager is responsible for these kinds of tasks by periodically running to clean up, allocate, and manage the memory. Unlike C, Java, and other programming languages, Python manages objects by using reference counting. This means that the memory manager keeps track of the number of references to each object in the program. When an object’s reference count drops to zero, which means the object is no longer being used, the garbage collector (part of the memory manager) automatically frees the memory from that particular object.

          The user need not to worry about memory management as the process of allocation and de-allocation of memory is fully automatic. The reclaimed memory can be used by other objects.

        • Twisted 19.7.0 Released

          On behalf of Twisted Matrix Laboratories and our long-suffering release manager Amber Brown, I am honored to announce the release of Twisted 19.7.0!

        • PyBay 2019: Talking about Python in SF

          We are back to San Francisco! Our team will be joining PyBay’s conference, one of the biggest Python events in the Bay Area. For this year, we’ll be giving the talk: Building effective Django queries with expressions.

          PyBay has been a fantastic place to meet new people, connect with new ideas, and integrate this thriving community.

        • 10 ways DevOps helps digital transformation

          DevOps helps organizations succeed with digital transformation by shifting the cultural mindset of the business, breaking down detrimental silos, and paving the way for continuous change and rapid experimentation: All those elements help organizations meet evolving customer demands, experts point out. This helps organizations “self-steer” toward better solutions to continually improve, says Matthew Skelton, head of consulting at Conflux and co-author of Team Topologies.

        • CloudBees Advances State of the DevOps World

          At its annual user conference, CloudBees previews a new Software Delivery Management platform as the DevOps vendor celebrates 15 years of Jenkins.

        • How do you verify that PyPI can be trusted?

          Now Go’s packaging story is rather different from Python’s since in Go you specify the location of a module by the URL you fetch it from, e.g. github.com/you/hello specifies the hello module as found at https://github.com/you/hello. This means Go’s module ecosystem is distributed, which leads to interesting problems of caching so code doesn’t disappear off the internet (e.g. a left-pad incident), and needing to verify that a module’s provider isn’t suddenly changing the code they provide with something malicious.

          But since the Python community has PyPI our problems are slightly different in that we just have to worry about a single point of failure (which has its own downsides). Now obviously you can run your own mirror of PyPI (and plenty of companies do), but for the general community no one wants to bother to set something up like that and try to keep it maintained (do you really need your own mirror to download some dependencies for the script you just wrote to help clean up your photos from your latest trip?). But we should still care about whether PyPI has been compromised such that packages hosted there have not been tampered with somehow between when the project owner uploaded their release’s files and from when you download them.

        • Spyder 4.0 beta4: Kite integration is here

          As part of our next release, we are proud to announce an additional completion client for Spyder, Kite. Kite is a novel completion client that uses Machine Learning techniques to find and predict the best autocompletion for a given text. Additionally, it collects improved documentation for compiled packages, i.e., Matplotlib, NumPy, SciPy that cannot be obtained easily by using traditional code analysis packages such as Jedi.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Microplastic Threat

        When Chelsea Rochman at the University of Toronto and colleagues began their study on medakas (small Japanese rice paddy fish), they did not expect to find what they did.

      • Ubuntu: Lady with borehole helps residents during water outage

        Briefly.co.za gathered that on Tuesday, there was a water outage in Huston’s Pretoria neighborhood. Huston said they were privileged to have a borehole and could go on with life as normal.

        On Wednesday night, her mother decided to help others by opening their borehole for public use. Residents lined up with buckets to get water from the kind family.

      • Ernest Coverson on Guns & Human Rights, Carey Gillam Under Attack From Monsanto

        This week on CounterSpin: The US undoubtedly needs better health care, including mental health care, and blithely violent cultural media is nothing to celebrate; but there is no actual mystery about the main reason behind the gun violence this country sees every day of the year—and that sometimes explodes into mass shootings, like those in El Paso and Dayton: It’s. the. guns. US law and policy undeniably reflects a greater value on the ability of some people to own weapons than on the ability of all people to be safe from gun violence. Vast majorities of Americans support serious regulation, but corporate media debate still seems to revolve around the supposed “rights” of the few, rather than the right of the many to live a life free from this scourge. We’ll talk about what it means to apply a human rights framework to gun violence with Ernest Coverson, End Gun Violence campaign manager at Amnesty International USA.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (freetype, libreoffice, and openjdk-7), Fedora (edk2, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, mariadb-connector-odbc, python-django, and squirrelmail), Gentoo (chromium, cups, firefox, glibc, kconfig, libarchive, libreoffice, oracle-jdk-bin, polkit, proftpd, sqlite, wget, zeromq, and znc), openSUSE (bzip2, chromium, dosbox, evince, gpg2, icedtea-web, java-11-openjdk, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kconfig, kdelibs4, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, nodejs8, pdns, polkit, python, subversion, and vlc), Oracle (ghostscript and kernel), Red Hat (mysql:8.0 and subversion:1.10), SUSE (389-ds, libvirt and libvirt-python, and openjpeg2), and Ubuntu (nginx).

      • A compendium of container escapes

        My name is Brandon Edwards, I’m Chief Scientist at Capsule8. Today we’ll be talking about a compendium of container escapes in the podcast. We’ve previously talked about escaping containers and the sorts of vulnerabilities people should be concerned with a while back. In particular we’re discussing how the RunC vulnerability had engendered all this interest, or concern, or almost shock, the trust the people are placing in containers was broken. Oh wow, an escape could happen!

        I think it’s really valuable to be able to communicate and show all the other ways that that sort of thing can happen, either from misconfiguration, or over granting privileges, or providing host mounts into the container, or having kernel vulnerabilities that could somehow compromise any of the elements of the security model of container, which is both fragile and complex.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Christopher Leonard’s New Book Puts an Ever-Expanding ‘Kochland’ on the Map

          Christopher Leonard’s new book, Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America, begins, appropriately enough, with an FBI agent, who is investigating criminal activity by the company, standing in a field with a pair of binoculars, trying to catch a glimpse of the daily operations of a company that prizes secrecy.

          Koch Industries was under investigation for theft of oil from the Osage and other Indigenous nations. Walking into the company’s office building involved passing through security checkpoints, Leonard explains, so numerous that one investigator later told Leonard that it “reminded him of traveling to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.”

          Through exhaustive reporting and extraordinary interviews with past and current company executives, including some turned whistleblower, Kochland offers readers a view far larger than can be seen through binocular lenses, walking readers past those layers of security checkpoints and into the inner workings of an institution that has for decades tirelessly built itself into practically all American lives, while largely evading accountability or transparency.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The War on Nature

          Ancient Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Chinese and Indians respected or worshipped several gods. Those gods were usually forces of nature, which opened the mind, eyes and hearts of human beings to the mysteries, beauty and truth of the natural world.

        • Five Things to Watch at This Month’s Big Wildlife Trade Treaty Meeting

          Dozens of important and potentially controversial decisions for the world’s most imperiled wildlife will come out of Geneva over the next few weeks.

          That’s where the representatives from 183 nations will gather to discuss issues related to legal and illegal wildlife trade at the 18th triennial meeting of the member parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a treaty aimed at regulating the commercial sale of threatened plants and wildlife.

          CITES protects species by adding them to what’s known as its Appendices — listings of species that may or may not be traded. Species listed on Appendix I are banned from all international trade, while those on Appendix II may only be traded from proven sustainable populations. About 90 percent of CITES listings appear on Appendix II.

        • Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!

          Koch Foods, a giant chicken processor that supplies Burger King, Kroger and Walmart (not affiliated with the Koch brothers) lost no time in replacing the five busloads of undocumented workers taken from its Mississippi plants this month due to an ICE raid. It is already holding “job fairs” to replace the workers.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • “Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)

        A dead-end street with a lemonade stand Where is the sky in upside down land? That question is hard if you can’t see the stars I’m really not sure, ask me tomorrow

      • Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?

        Have you ever wondered why we [women] are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.” —Andrea Dworkin

      • Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit

        The two-year Mueller investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged collusion (“largely synonymous with conspiracy”) with Russia is over. Nothingburger.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Pushing For Facebook, YouTube And Twitter To Ban Hate Speech Won’t Stop It From Migrating Elsewhere

        Remember a year ago when lots of people were blaming WhatsApp for violence in India, and demanding that there needed to be new laws passed to deal with WhatsApp? Well, if the actual problem is societal, it’s not much going to matter how you target a particular platform. Wired now has an article talking about another, super popular platform, TikTok, and arguing that it is “fuelling India’s deadly hate speech epidemic.” This, of course, is the same language that was used to discuss WhatsApp over the past few years.

        TikTok, as you may know, is the rapidly growing newish social media platform that is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance. Of course, its rapid rise in popularity should already challenge the narrative that the big social media platforms — Facebook (along with Instagram and WhatsApp), YouTube, and Twitter — are so dominant that it’s impossible for new entrants to make a play. But, even more importantly, it shows that if the problem everyone is debating is a societal one, blaming the service providers in the middle for not magically stopping societal problems is not helpful. These problems will just keep appearing on each successive platform.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • The GDPR Is A Wide Open Vulnerability For Identity Fraud And Scams

        We’ve spent the last year and a half or so pointing out that, while it may have been well-intentioned, there are all sorts of consequences — whether intended or not — to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including giving more power to the giant internet companies (when many argued the GDPR was necessary to curb their power), censorship of media, and a way for the rich and famous to harass people. But, of course, some might argue that those are worthy trade-offs if it did a better job protecting people’s privacy.

        About that… Last year, we pointed out that one consequence of the GDPR was that, in making it easy to “download” your data, it could open up serious privacy consequences for anyone who has their accounts hacked. In that story, we talked about someone having their Spotify account hacked, and having all the data downloaded — a situation that might not be that impactful. However, last week, at Black Hat, James Pavur, a PhD student at Oxford, explained how he exploited the GDPR to access a ton of private info about his fiancee.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Warnings, Ancient and Modern

        The wise priest Laocoön, old legends say, vainly warned against the famous “Trojan horse”. A hostile god sent giant serpents which strangled him and the big wooden present was opened. The soldiers hidden inside opened Troy’s gates so the Greek battalions could rush in, kill the men, enslave the women and destroy the city. Its ruins are still being uncovered.


        Some AfD leaders and spokesmen, like nose-tip-bespectacled old Prof. Alexander Gauland, 78, and jolly, friendly Jörg Meuthen, 58, may seem almost harmless or reasonable – until they hit out at “those Muslims” who are endangering the purity of German blood and culture – or killing Germans.

        In an awful incident a week ago a mentally unstable man of Eritrean descent pushed a woman and her son under a train in Frankfurt. The boy died. Such horrors are grist for the AfD, which had fully ignored the shooting of an Eritrean only days earlier by a German, at random from his car window – perhaps the trigger for the later tragedy, committed by a man who was not in the refugee wave welcomed by Merkel in 2015 but had arrived years earlier, in Switzerland, not Germany. Yet one of the 91 AfD deputies in the Bundestag was quick with blame: “Angela Merkel, I curse the day you were born!”

        AfD boss Jörg Meuthen, asked in a TV interview if this was a proper reaction, smiled tolerantly: “I can understand it a bit if people react highly emotionally and perhaps then choose the wrong words.”

      • That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
      • With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
      • Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common

        Writing under the title of “If the El Paso shooter had been Muslim”, Moustafa Bayoumi stated the obvious.

      • Uncle Sam was Born Lethal

        One of the occupational and intellectual hazards of being a historian is that current events often seem far less new to oneself than they do to others. Recently a leftish liberal friend told me that the United States under the Donald Trump had “become a lethal society.” My friend cited the neofascist Trump’s: horrible family separations and concentration camps on the border; openly white-nationalist assaults on four progressive nonwhite and female Congresswomen; real and threatened roundups of undocumented immigrants; fascist-style and hate-filled “Make America Great Again” rallies; encouragement of white supremacist terrorism; alliance with right-wing evangelical Christian fascists.

      • La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein

        Media tycoon and former Labour MP Robert Maxwell (father of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s partner in crime) was given a state funeral in Jerusalem after *accidentally* falling off his yacht – the unluckily named “Lady Ghislaine”. Later it was revealed Maxwell Sr was a Mossad asset who used his vast network of connections and publishing platforms to run editorial interference over his purchased assets to influence enemies and friends alike, ensuring their fealty to the foreign government that had enlisted him for its espionage work.

      • Appeals Court Gives Gov’t One More Chance To Lock Up Men For Producing An ‘Illegal’ Drug Its Own Chemist Said Wasn’t Illegal

        How many chances does the government get to try to convict a couple of people for selling a drug analogue the DEA’s own chemist said wasn’t “substantially similar” to any controlled substance? Apparently the government will get at least one more swing at the plate, having batted .500 during its first two tries.

        In 2012, the DEA raided Zencense, a business owned by Charles Ritchie and Benjamin Galecki. They were charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substance analogues. The “spice” made by Zencense used XLR-11 and UR-144 as active ingredients. The government claimed these were analogues of JWH-018, which is a controlled substance.

        The defendants argued that their spice was not an analogue of a controlled substance. If true, this sunk the government’s case, because the conspiracy charges relied on the “knowing” distribution of illegal drug analogues.

        The government claimed XLR-11 and UR-144 were pretty much the same thing and pretty much identical to JWH-018. This testimony was undercut by one of the DEA’s own chemists, who had stated in other prosecutions that UR-144 was not an analogue of JWH-018. Not only that, but the chemist’s professional opinion on this subject was freely available online, as part of a handout on litigating synthetic drug cases.

      • NYPD Used Reverse Warrants To Round Up Proud Boys Members Suspected Of Beating Antifa Members

        The first documented case of the NYPD using reverse warrants to find criminal suspects has been revealed. It made its appearance in perhaps the most 2019 of cases: the trial of two members of the Proud Boys facing assault charges for allegedly attacking members of Antifa.

        Reverse warrants work this way: law enforcement agencies approach tech companies with geographic coordinates, asking for phone data for all phones within the geofenced area during a certain time frame. Using this data, law enforcement works its way backwards to probable cause, sifting through records to find what phones were in the area when the alleged crime was committed.

        Obviously, this is a highly-imperfect way to track down suspects. For one, GPS data collected by companies like Google isn’t exactly precise. For another, “fenced-in” areas will always contain numerous people who aren’t criminals or even suspects, but the data turns them all into suspects until investigators sort them out. The more heavily-trafficked an area is, the more likely the chance officers will pursue the wrong phones/people.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Forgets About, Then Dismisses, Complaint Detailing Verizon’s Long History Of Net Neutrality Violations

        So a few years ago we wrote about Alex Nguyen, one of the only folks to file a formal net neutrality complaint (pdf) with the FCC. Before the rules were killed, users could file a free complaint, of which there were thousands. But if you wanted to actually have your complaint looked at by the FCC, you needed to pay $225, submit an ocean of paperwork, and kick off a long-train of procedural and legal fisticuffs most consumers simply didn’t have time for. But Nguyen took the time, and filed a lengthy complaint outlining how Verizon Wireless had a long history of anti-competitive, restrictive behavior that harmed innovation and competition.

        With 300 citations across a 112-page document, Nguyen documented Verizon’s ugly history, including banning mobile payment services that competed with Verizon’s own payment offerings, blocking tablets from working on its network to promote its own tablets, and even banning devices from using GPS to — you guessed it — force subscribers to use the company’s own subscription GPS services. Most of these efforts violated not just net neutrality, but the “Carterfone” conditions affixed to Verizon’s spectrum to ensure the company would treat all devices and services fairly.

        Verizon’s long history on this front is fairly indisputable, and the company has never been held seriously accountable for any of it. And while Nguyen hoped he’d be the one to help hold Verizon to account, the regulatory capture in the telecom sector had other ideas.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Repurposing patented products: Inking a new test for infringement in Australia?

          The printer cartridges were modified overseas by Ninestar Image (Malaysia), which enabled their reuse in Epson branded printers. Calidad then imported them as ‘refills’ for subsequent sale. Seiko contended that the importation and sale of Calidad cartridges infringed two Australian patents (Nos 2009233643 and 2013219239). Calidad did not dispute that the refilled cartridges fell within the scope of the patent claims. Rather, Calidad submitted that it was the beneficiary of an implied licence, which allowed it to legitimately import and sell the cartridges in Australia.

          The question for the Full Court (Greenwood, Jagot and Yates JJ) of the Federal Court was whether a patent holder can prevent the commercial activities of another business that legitimately acquired the patented products repurposing them for resale in direct competition with the patent holder’s product.


          Burley J noted that National Phonograph Co of Australia Ltd v Menck (1911) 12 CLR 15 (Privy Council) supports the principle that subsequent owners may assume they acquire patented products without any restrictions. Under National Phonograph, the purchasers of the printer cartridges are conferred an implied licence to use and dispose of the product as they wish. Burley J stated that while this approach allows the patent holder to impose limitations, the onus remains on them to communicate any limitations to the purchaser, or subsequent owners, at the point of sale or coming into ownership.

          In this case, the Epson cartridges had been refilled, and the memory chips were either reprogrammed or replaced by Ninestar, in order to restore them to their original condition. Interestingly, the court chose to leave the question whether such a modification might be regarded as a ‘repair’ of the patented product.

        • Ubisoft Entertainment, S.A. v. Oy (E.D.N.C.)

          In August 2018, Plaintiffs Ubisoft Entertainment, S.A. and Ubisoft, Inc. (collectively, “Ubisoft”) sued Defendant Yousician Oy (“Oy”), alleging that Oy’s software products infringed Ubisoft’s U.S. Patent No. 9,839,852 (the ’852 patent). In November 2018, Oy moved to dismiss on grounds that the claims of the patent are directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. On August 9, 2019, Judge Louise W. Flanagan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina granted the motion and dismissed Ubisoft’s complaint.

          The ’852 patent is generally related to Ubisoft’s music video game, Rocksmith®, which is an interactive game designed to help users learn how to play guitar, such as by allowing users to play guitar along with visual learning aids displayed on a screen and providing users with useful feedback and statistics based on their performance. More particularly, the claims of the ’852 patent relate to a computer program that receives signals from a guitar device while a user is playing a song, assesses the user’s performance of the song, and determines a portion of the song where the user can improve the performance. Once the program determines where the user can improve, the program changes a difficulty level of the fingering notations for the determined portion of the song (e.g., changing a frequency or speed at which the notations are presented) and generates a “mini-game” targeted to improving the user’s performance of the determined portion. As an example, the mini-game might prompt the user to play the determined portion (or the entire song) without missing a note or without the aid of the displayed fingering notations.


          Lastly, the Court dismissed Ubisoft’s arguments that Oy failed to prove that the recited steps in the claims are well-understood, routine, and conventional.

          Thus, the Court concluded that the claims were patent-ineligible and granted Oy’s motion to dismiss.

        • “Substantially Equivalent” Disclosure Satisfies Written Description

          This Hatch-Waxman litigation was triggered by the Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) filed by Actavis — seeking permission from the FDA to begin marketing weight loss drugs naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets. Nalpropion is the branded distributor of the Contrave and owner of the Orange Book listed patents U.S. Patents 7,375,111, 7,462,626, and 8,916,195. The lawsuit was started by Orexigen who held rights at the time. Nalproprion bought rights from Orexigen out of Bankruptcy in a $75 million asset purchase. (The problem is that the pills are not overly effective — ~10% weight loss, but only when combined with diet changes and exercise.)

          The patentee won the district court litigation and obtained an injunction against generic entry by Actavis until expiration of the patents in suit. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has partially reversed — finding some of the asserted claims obvious.

          The active ingredients were already known in the art, and so the claims at issue are directed toward (1) a method of treating obesity with naltrexone and bupropion and (2) a sustained release formulation of the two drugs in a single pill.

          The key prior art taught use of the two drugs (in sustained release form) to avoid weight gain associated with smoking cessation (rather than losing weight for obese/overweight patients). A second reference taught using bupropion for weight loss. Another reference taught the use of the two drugs as a treatment of depression and included case studies showing weight loss. The district court considered these references but found the weight loss effect were not clear enough and that there were too many potential side-effects to encourage experimentation.

        • Federal Circuit: ‘Physicality’ of Processing Paper Checks Does Not Save Solutran’s Claims from 101 Challenge

          The Federal Circuit recently reversed the District of Minnesota’s denial of summary judgment and held claims related to paper check processing invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101

        • Chinese Supreme Court Recently Clarified the Standard of Filing a Declaratory Judgment Action of Non-Infringement of Patent

          Declaratory-judgment actions of non-infringement are common in patent litigation because it allows the alleged infringer to proactively bring suit to resolve the situation and eliminate the cloud of uncertainty looming overhead. Under Chinese law, to bring a claim for declaratory judgment in a patent dispute, the claimant must establish that: (1) the patentee sends a “notice” of infringement; (2) the alleged infringer or a pertinent interested party demands the patentee to bring a lawsuit in court; and (3) the patentee refuses to withdraw the warning nor initiate a lawsuit within one month after receiving said demand or two months after the demand was sent.

          On a related note, a unique feature of China’s patent right enforcement mechanism is that infringement claims can be pursued both administratively and judicially. In the administrative system, allegations of infringement can be brought to a local branch of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), which is authorized to issue an injunction in its province or city but is unable to award monetary damages.

          There is no bright-line rule for what is a “notice” of patent infringement as required by the law. A typical “notice” is a cease and desist letter. Sometimes a patentee, instead of sending a cease and desist letter to the alleged infringer or its reseller/distributor/customer, chooses to file a complaint with a local branch of the CNIPA to initiate an administrative enforcement action. Then, a question arises as to: (1) whether such administrative action should be regarded as a constructive “notice” of infringement that may give rise to declaratory judgment jurisdiction; and (2) whether a patentee’s notice letter or lawsuit against reseller/ distributor/ customer alone gives the supplier/manufacturer standing to seek declaratory relief against the patentee.


          In China, administrative enforcement of patent rights has pros and cons compared with civil actions. The apparent pros include that administrative enforcement can usually be concluded within 4 months, much quicker than a civil proceeding which will normally takes 1-2 years for patent cases. The cons are that, local branches of the CNIPA would unlikely have the capacity to make infringement analysis if the determination of patent infringement is not straightforward.

        • Relating back to the Original Complaint

          The district court dismissed Anza’s infringement lawsuit — finding it barred by the six-year statute of limitations on collecting back-damages. The statute:


          By the third filing, the original patent is no longer asserted but rather two family member patents; and two new products had been added as infringing (along with ten being deleted).

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that the claims directed to the six originally accused products properly relate back to the original complaint. For the allegations again the two new products, the court remanded for a new analysis on whether those allegations should also relate back.

          In its opinion, the appellate panel primarily focused on the question of notice — finding that the “technological overlap [between the patents] suggests that the aggregate of operative facts underlying infringement under the ’927 patent in the original complaint gave notice of the substance of the claims of infringement under the ’479 and ’864 patents in the second amended complaint.”

        • Construe Claims First; Then Rule on Eligibility

          In a split decision, the Federal Circuit has remanded this case — holding that the district court needs to construe the claims before adjuding patent eligibility.


          MyMail’s patents cover the method method of modifying toolbars on a (PC) computer display from the server-side without user interaction. N.D. Cal. Judge Koh dismissed the case on the pleadings — finding the claims directed to the abstract idea of “updating toolbar software over a network without user intervention.” The court noted that the claims basically gather, analyze and process information and generate a response to transmitted data — all of which are generally abstract functions. In addition the court noted that the claims “relate to [the abstract idea of] using communications networks to update software stored on computers.” Under Alice Step 2, the court found no inventive concepts in the claim — but rather generic, conventional components such as “Internet-connected computers and servers.” While a “toolbar” might be interesting, they were already in widespread use as of the invention and so not an inventive concept.

          In an earlier proceeding, the E.D. Tex. construed the term “toolbar” with some particularity as a “button bar that can be dynamically changed or updated via a Pinger process or a MOT script.” MyMail, Ltd. v. Yahoo! Inc., 16-CV-1000 (E.D. Tex. Sept. 9, 2017). MyMail requested the same construction in this case — hoping that the added complexity would either (1) take the concept out of the abstract idea realm or (2) be considered an inventive concept. ooVoo argued that the prior claim construction was “wrong.”


          The patent here stems from a broad provisional application filed in 1997 by Netsafe. Netsafe owned Robert Derry $70,000. He obtained judgment and was awarded the patent rights as payment back in 2000. Derry is the head of MyMail and lead inventor Thomas Selgas is a co-founder.

          Mymail obtained $6.8 million settlement on the patents from various companies back in 2005 and Selgas reportedly received a distribution of $1.1 million. According to IRS court filings, Selgas bought gold coins rather than paying taxes on the income. [US v. Selgas][DOJ Press Release]. That case is ongoing.

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright protection granted to Charlotte Tilbury makeup powder case and design

          Lookalike products pose a concern for many a famous brand, and many forms of legal action may be brought in efforts to quell this, from trade mark infringement to passing off and, also, copyright infringement. When it comes to makeup palettes, pursuit of a copyright infringement claim may be indeed a promising way to go, following Islestarr Holdings Ltd v Aldi Stores Ltd, heard under the Shorter Trials Scheme in the High Court of England and Wales (Business and Property Courts).

          In this case, Charlotte Tilbury successfully proved copyright infringement of 2 artistic works by Aldi: first, their ‘Starburst design’, which decorated the lid of the package containing two makeup powders; and the ‘Powder design’, embossed into the separate makeup powders in the package (pictured).


          In the present case, copyright was easily proven once drawings of the designs were produced. Even if the drawings were not present, copyright would nonetheless subsist in this artistic work – fixation would not be an issue here.

          More often than not, subsistence of copyright protection will depend upon whether the Work seeking copyright protection is a ‘work’ at all (the CJEU case of Levola Hengelo, C-310/17 is an excellent example of this, see IPKat analysis here). For UK copyright law specifically, this will extend to whether the Work was ‘of the right kind’, as s1(1) of the CDPA 1988 sets out an exhaustive list of works in which copyright may subsist.

          Finally, since this judgment was heard under the Shorter Trial (as opposed to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Courts, where there is an upper damage limit of £500,000), this could be a potentially pricey problem for makers of lookalike products of this kind …

Links 16/8/2019: Kdevops and QEMU 4.1

Posted in News Roundup at 7:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Upgrade from Windows 7 to Ubuntu Part 2: Releases

        Knowing Ubuntu releases is important to understand it better. Ubuntu is released twice a year, more precisely, every April and October, hence the number 04 and 10 in every version. It has special release called Long Term Support (LTS) released once in two years, only when the year number is even, hence all LTS version numbers are ended with 04. More importantly, you will also see 3 different periods of Ubuntu Desktop, that have been going through GNOME2, Unity, and GNOME3 eras, with OpenOffice.org and then LibreOffice as the main office suite. You will also see Ubuntu siblings like Kubuntu and Mythbuntu. I hope this will be interesting enough for everybody to read. Go ahead, and learn more about Ubuntu!

      • Goodbye PCs, it’s been nice knowing you. Hello, desktop as a service

        I don’t think we’ll see Windows 10 as a standalone desktop operating system fold. After all, you’ll still need something to log into the virtual desktop — and Microsoft and its partners won’t want that to be a Chromebook, but you can see it from here.

        Now, all that is fine with some people. They love their SaaS programs. I don’t blame them. I love them, too. My Chrome OS-powered Pixelbook with Google Docs has become my go-to business laptop. They don’t see why — for all the good that you get with DaaS and SaaS — this trend has a dark side, as well.

        If we go all-in on SaaS, we’re returning our power to large corporate IT firms. We’re walking back to the 70s when IBM and DEC called the computing shots. Today, it will be Google and Microsoft, but it’s the same model.

        Going forward, if you want to call your own work shots at the keyboard, you’re going to need either a Mac or a Linux desktop. That’s one reason why I’ve always preferred the Linux desktop. On Linux, with open-source software such as LibreOffice, ultimately, I’m in charge of my computing experience.

        The conventional Microsoft/Intel-based PC, that most of you have used for decades? It’s on its way out. I’ll miss it.

      • Forget Windows, Linux or MacOS: Our choice of the best alternative operating systems

        If you’re fed up with Windows, Linux, or macOS, you’ll want to know if there’s a great alternative desktop operating system that’s worth using.

        While there are no absolute definitive answers here – everyone’s use case is different, after all – we’ve discovered ten distinct examples that fall outside the usual bounds.

        Our list even includes a few true outsiders, independent operating systems built from the ground up which serve mainly to prove just how difficult it is to create an entire functioning OS without a large number of brains working on it.

        Everything here can be tested reasonably within a virtual machine, so if something grabs your interest don’t hesitate to download and give it a try.

        Linux powers most of the website providers out there. Check out the best web hosting services in the world right now.

    • Server

      • Keeping track of Linux users: When do they log in and for how long?

        The Linux command line provides some excellent tools for determining how frequently users log in and how much time they spend on a system. Pulling information from the /var/log/wtmp file that maintains details on user logins can be time-consuming, but with a couple easy commands, you can extract a lot of useful information on user logins.

      • Daily user management tasks made easy for every Linux administrator

        In this article, we will be going over some tasks that a Linux administrator may need to perform daily related to user management.

      • The cost of micro-services complexity

        It has long been recognized by the security industry that complex systems are impossible to secure, and that pushing for simplicity helps increase trust by reducing assumptions and increasing our ability to audit. This is often captured under the acronym KISS, for “keep it stupid simple”, a design principle popularized by the US Navy back in the 60s. For a long time, we thought the enemy were application monoliths that burden our infrastructure with years of unpatched vulnerabilities.

        So we split them up. We took them apart. We created micro-services where each function, each logical component, is its own individual service, designed, developed, operated and monitored in complete isolation from the rest of the infrastructure. And we composed them ad vitam æternam. Want to send an email? Call the rest API of micro-service X. Want to run a batch job? Invoke lambda function Y. Want to update a database entry? Post it to A which sends an event to B consumed by C stored in D transformed by E and inserted by F. We all love micro-services architecture. It’s like watching dominoes fall down. When it works, it’s visceral. It’s when it doesn’t that things get interesting. After nearly a decade of operating them, let me share some downsides and caveats encountered in large-scale production environments.


        And finally, there’s security. We sure love auditing micro-services, with their tiny codebases that are always neat and clean. We love reviewing their infrastructure too, with those dynamic security groups and clean dataflows and dedicated databases and IAM controlled permissions. There’s a lot of security benefits to micro-services, so we’ve been heavily advocating for them for several years now.

        And then, one day, someone gets fed up with having to manage API keys for three dozen services in flat YAML files and suggests to use oauth for service-to-service authentication. Or perhaps Jean-Kevin drank the mTLS Kool-Aid at the FoolNix conference and made a PKI prototype on the flight back (side note: do you know how hard it is to securely run a PKI over 5 or 10 years? It’s hard). Or perhaps compliance mandates that every server, no matter how small, must run a security agent on them.

      • IBM

        • Announcing Oracle Linux 7 Update 7

          Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 7. Individual RPM packages are available on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux yum server. ISO installation images will soon be available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud and Docker images will soon be available via Oracle Container Registry and Docker Hub.

        • Oracle Linux 7 Update 7 Released

          Based on last week’s release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 is now Oracle Linux 7 Update 7 with many of the same changes.

          Oracle Linux 7 Update 7 features many of the same changes as RHEL 7.7 but now also adding an updated Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 based on Linux 4.14.35 with many extra patches compared to RHEL7′s default Linux 3.10 based kernel.

        • RHELvolution: A brief history of Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases from early days to RHEL 5

          The launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) at Red Hat Summit 2019 was a jubilant event. Not only for the many team members around the world who worked to make the next-generation of the world?s leading enterprise Linux platform a reality, but also for customers who are excited to utilize its new capabilities in driving business innovation.

          This is a great time to reflect on what is so special about RHEL 8 by taking a walk through time on the evolution of RHEL. The RHELvolution, if you will. I’ll be your guide on this journey, having been at the helm for RHEL engineering since the beginning (2001), starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1. And yes, we’ll explain why it started with 2.1.

          It has been thrilling to be part of the RHEL team all these years. Having worked on proprietary UNIX operating systems before being at Red Hat, constructing RHEL offered a first hand view of the power of open source. Through collaboration with customers, community and a highly motivated team, we have had a global impact on the IT landscape. Evolving from “lighting up the box” to dynamic infrastructure that helps to advance the state of the art while liberating customers from vendor lock-in (originally at the hardware level, later expanded to hybrid cloud).

        • Command Line Heroes season 3 episode 4: Diving for Perl
        • How Developers Can Survive the Last Mile with CodeReady Workspaces

          As a way to piece together this explosion of available open source tools into simple and coherent single interface for cloud native deployments, the Eclipse Foundation offers the Eclipse Che integrated development environment (IDE).

          Today’s often desperate need for Eclipse Che can be traced back to the evolution of open source tools during the past 10 years. Not only have these tools been evolving, but in many cases, they have been outright created from scratch. That’s posed a bit of a problem for those out on the cutting edge of scalable microservices as the stable infrastructure components of old gave way to a hodgepodge of brand new open source and commercial products and tools.

          Inside each cloud provider, a host of tools can address CI/CD, testing, monitoring, backing up and recovery problems. Outside of those providers, the cloud native community has been hard at work cranking out new tooling from Prometheus, Knative, Envoy and Fluentd, to Kubenetes itself and the expanding ecosystem of Kubernetes Operators.

          Within all of those projects, cloud-based services and desktop utilities is one major gap, however: the last mile of software development is the IDE. And despite the wealth of development projects inside the community and Cloud Native Computing Foundation, it is indeed the Eclipse Foundation, as mentioned above, that has taken on this problem with a focus on the new cloud development landscape.

        • IBM is bringing Red Hat OpenShift to Its Platforms

          IBM is fully embracing Red Hat OpenShift. The company recently announced that it will use Red Hat OpenShift as the primary container environment for all its hybrid cloud offerings. This includes IBM Cloud, IBM Cloud Paks running on OpenShift, an entire field of IBM consultants and services people being trained on OpenShift, and OpenShift on IBM Power Systems and Storage, IBM Z and LinuxONE enterprise platforms. With this move, Red Hat OpenShift has become the preferred Kubernetes platform for IBM to address the needs of increasingly critical container workloads.

          With Red Hat OpenShift running on top of IBM’s cloud and systems, existing IBM customers can unlock the hybrid cloud model for software developers and systems architects. OpenShift can transform IBM systems that have been optimized for data, transaction processing and AI workloads into another resource for container-based infrastructure, inside the fold when it comes to networking, APIs and data access controls.

        • Disaster Recovery Strategies for Red Hat OpenShift

          As increasingly complex applications move to the Red Hat OpenShift platform, IT teams should have disaster recovery (DR) processes in place for business continuity in the face of widespread outages. These are not theoretical concerns. Many industries are subject to regulations that require data protection even in the event of massive failures. For instance, CFR 164.308(7)(ii)(B) of the HIPAA regulation stipulates that companies must be able to “restore ANY loss of data” (emphasis added) in the event of a failure. Thus for some truly mission critical applications to run on OpenShift, disaster recovery is essential.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 134 – Xfce 4.14, Ubuntu Snaps, LibreOffice, Linux Journal, NVidia, Huawei, FFmpeg

        Sparky Linux 2019.8, Xfce 4.14, LibreOffice 6.3, FFMPEG 4.2, Phoronix RX5700, Huawei New OpenSource OS, Martin Wimpress on Snaps, Linux Journal Says Goodbye?Again, Nvidia Coming Around? Space Mercs.

      • LHS Episode #296: Sham Shack

        Welcome to the 296th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss Bill teaching our children (yikes), VHF propagation, the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, YOTA, Linux Journal, Huawei, QSSTV and much more. Thank you for downloading and listening to this episode and we hope you all have a wonderful week of amateur radio and open source.

      • Conference Gear Breakdown | BSD Now 311

        NetBSD 9.0 release process has started, xargs, a tale of two spellcheckers, Adapting TriforceAFL for NetBSD, Exploiting a no-name freebsd kernel vulnerability, and more.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E19 – Starglider

        This week we’ve been fixing floors and playing with the new portal HTML element. We round up the Ubuntu community news including the release of 18.04.3 with a new hardware enablement stack, better desktop integration for Livepatch and improvements in accessing the latest Nvidia drivers. We also have our favourite picks from the general tech news.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 19 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Stuart Langridge are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • kdevops: a devops framework for Linux kernel development

        I’m announcing the release of kdevops which aims at making setting up and testing the Linux kernel for any project as easy as possible. Note that setting up testing for a subsystem and testing a subsystem are two separate operations, however we strive for both. This is not a new test framework, it allows you to use existing frameworks, and set those frameworks up as easily can humanly be possible. It relies on a series of modern hip devops frameworks, it relies on ansible, vagrant and terraform, ansible roles through the Ansible Galaxy, and terraform modules.

      • Kdevops Aims To Assist In Linux Kernel Testing

        Luis Chamberlain has announced the first release of Kdevops as a Linux kernel development “DevOps” framework.

        Kdevops aims to be the first modern devops framework for the Linux kernel. Kdevops can target different virtualization platforms, cloud providers, and Linux distributions. This devops framework is built off Ansible, Vagrant, and Terraform while it doesn’t integrate any testing frameworks itself but leaves that open to the developer for integration.

      • Etnaviv Is Packing Code For An Exciting Linux 5.4 Cycle

        While Freedreno and Panfrost have been steaming ahead when it comes to open-source, reverse-engineered graphics for Arm SoCs, the Etnaviv project for targeting Vivante graphics hasn’t had too much to report on recently. Fortunately, that’s changing as coming up for the Linux 5.4 cycle they have a lot of new code to introduce.

        The biggest Etnaviv DRM driver feature for Linux 5.4 is supporting per-process address spaces on capable GPUs, which is necessary for bringing up their Softpin support and in turn supporting the texture descriptor buffers on GC7000 series hardware.

      • QEMU 4.1 Released With Many ARM, MIPS & x86 Additions

        QEMU 4.1 is now out as one of the important pieces to the open-source Linux virtualization stack.

        QEMU 4.1 brings many improvements to various architecture-specific bits for ARM, MIPS, POWER, s390, x86, and even RISC-V has seen a number of prominent additions. On the Arm front there is now FPU emulation support for Cortex-M processors, ARMv8.5 RNG support, and other bits added. On the RISC-V front is the Spike machine model, ISA 1.11 support, and support for CPU topology in device trees. On the x86 front there is support for new Hygon Dhyana and Intel Snow Ridge CPU models as well as emulation support for the RdRand extension.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon Software for Linux 19.30 Updated With Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS Support

          In addition to AMD releasing the Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q3 Linux driver, they also quietly released a new Radeon Software Linux driver release for consumer GPUs.

          This new Radeon Software for Linux release is still in the 19.30 release stream as was the case since the AMD Navi launch driver one month ago. But with this updated Radeon Software for Linux 19.30 driver they now are claiming official support for the Radeon RX 5700 (Navi) series.

        • Intel Volleys Another Batch Of Tiger Lake “Gen 12″ Graphics Code

          While it remains to be seen if Tiger Lake will be able to ship on time in 2020 as the Icelake successor, the “Gen 12″ Xe Graphics continue to be worked on with the company’s open-source Linux graphics driver.

          At the end of June Intel sent out the very preliminary open-source Linux graphics driver changes for Tiger Lake that is coming with “Gen 12″ graphics compared to Gen 11 with Icelake. Though so far at least there hasn’t been too many changes to the driver side while today a third round of Tiger Lake enablement patches were sent out.

    • Benchmarks

      • Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q3 for Linux Released

        On Wednesday marked the release of AMD’s Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise driver package for Windows and Linux.

        The Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q3 on the Windows side added more optimizations for workstation software, wireless VR visualization, and other bits to improve the AMD Radeon Pro support in the workstation software ecosystem. On the Linux side, the changes are a bit more tame.

      • AMDVLK 2019.Q3.4 Vulkan Driver Enables Atomic Optimizer For Navi

        AMD’s official open-source Vulkan driver code had fallen off its roughly weekly code push / release cadence with not having a new release in nearly three weeks, but that changed today with the availability of AMDVLK 2019.Q3.4.

        There is a new Vulkan extension with AMDVLK 2019.Q3.4 and that is VK_EXT_subgroup_size_control, the extension introduced last month with Vulkan 1.1.116. The subgroup size control extension allows for a varying sub-group size and a required size; more details in this earlier article.

    • Applications

      • Violin – minimalistic desktop music player

        Over the past few months I’ve covered scores of open source graphical music players. They’ve been a mixed bag. Some are genuinely excellent, others falling short of my (fairly) modest requirements. Many of them purport to be lightweight.

        There’s a new music player on the block. It’s called Violin, seeing its first release in March this year. The author bills his multimedia app as “… fast, lightweight, and minimalistic desktop music player”.

        The software is written in the JavaScript language using Electron, an open-source framework developed and maintained by GitHub. Violin is published under an open source license.

      • Avidemux 2.7.4 Released with Tons of Bug-fixes (How to Install)

        Avidemux video editor released version 2.7.4 today with tons of bug-fixes. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04.

      • Cockpit and the evolution of the Web User Interface

        This article only touches upon some of the main functions available in Cockpit. Managing storage devices, networking, user account, and software control will be covered in an upcoming article. In addition, optional extensions such as the 389 directory service, and the cockpit-ostree module used to handle packages in Fedora Silverblue.

        The options continue to grow as more users adopt Cockpit. The interface is ideal for admins who want a light-weight interface to control their server(s).

      • Popular mpv Player is now Celluloid

        The popular media player mpv is renamed as Celluloid and released latest installment.

        Celluloid (formerly GNOME mpv) is a GTK+ based free and open source media player. Celluloid is very lightweight and can easily be adapated as an alternative to popular VLC Media player. This slick media player interacts with mpv via the client API exported by libmpv, allowing access to mpv’s powerful playback capabilities.

        Some notable features of Celluloid includes the implementation of MPRIS D-Bus Interface which allows for better integration with desktop environments that have compatible MPRIS clients, fully functional Wayland support.

      • Proprietary

        • AI Algorithms Need FDA-Style Drug Trials

          Intelligent systems at scale need regulation because they are an unprecedented force multiplier for the promotion of the interests of an individual or a group. For the first time in history, a single person can customize a message for billions and share it with them within a matter of days. A software engineer can create an army of AI-powered bots, each pretending to be a different person, promoting content on behalf of political or commercial interests. Unlike broadcast propaganda or direct marketing, this approach also uses the self-reinforcing qualities of the algorithm to learn what works best to persuade and nudge each individual.

        • Stop Calling it AI

          The hype on terms like “machine learning” and “AI” is a rebranding of the terms “statistics” and “general programming logic”. It’s a long ways away from the scary AI you envision from sci-fi. At best, it makes cancer research faster. At worst, it spends a lot of research money on AWS.

          End of the day, it’s so far away from being a boogeyman that you should refocus on things that matter like global warming or overpopulation.

        • How AI is impacting the UK’s legal sector

          A recent study of London law firms by CBRE revealed that 48 percent are already using AI and a further 41 percent will start to do so in the near future. Furthermore, a Deloitte study estimated 100,000 legal roles will be automated by 2036, and by 2020 law firms will be faced with a “tipping point” for a new talent strategy. As a result, law firms that don’t start to embrace AI capabilities risk falling behind their more innovative peers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The dieselpunk sci-fi RPG INSOMNIA: The Ark due for Linux sometime after the next update

        In their news post on Steam, talking about their progress on V1.6. While it’s sounding promising, it’s not ready yet as they’re working through the final set of issues. The good news, is that they mentioned that completing this version, will be “an important step towards Linux and Mac versions of the game”.

      • The first trailer for Commandos 2 – HD Remaster has been released

        Commandos 2 – HD Remaster, announced with Linux support back in June now has a first gameplay trailer ahead of Gamescom.

        Originally developed by Pyro Studios, it’s now being handled by Yippee! Entertainment with Kalypso Media Digital acting as publisher since they acquired the rights back in 2018.

      • The team behind SUPERHOT are now helping to fund other indie games

        A nice story for a Friday morning as the SUPERHOT team have announced SUPERHOT PRESENTS, a fund to help other indie game developers who don’t want or need a publisher.

        SUPERHOT PRESENTS, a name they jokingly stole from Double Fine Productions (Double Fine Presents) aims to work with developers who need some “finishing (or starting) funds” and they will give some mentoring and advice. They said they just want to “enable a few more properly independent studios exist in the world” which is rather admirable.

      • Action RPG with mutating characters Din’s Legacy to leave Early Access this month

        Din’s Legacy from Soldak Entertainment is their latest action RPG, after being in Early Access for nearly a year it’s getting ready to release in full.

        Soldak Entertainment previously developed games like Zombasite, Drox Operative, Din’s Curse and Depths of Peril with all of them supporting Linux too.

        For the final release of Din’s Legacy, they’ve set a date of August 28th (announced on Twitter) and since we already have a key, we should be taking a proper look.

      • ClockworkPi Rolls Out GameShell, A DIY Kit To Build Your Own Modular Console

        ClockworkPI is providing tech enthusiasts the opportunity to build their own modular console with the GameShell.

        The gadget is the result of the Kickstarter launched in April 2018. The campaign raised a total of $290,429 or almost six times the original goal of $50,000. Nearly 3,000 people pledged money for the company to push through with the project.

        The gadget was billed to be the first mobile and modular game console using an open-source GNU/Linux system. After building the kit, you can play thousands of retro games from major publishers like Atari, SNES, NES, GBA, and GB.

      • Great looking retro-inspired FPS Ion Fury is out now with Linux support

        Ion Fury (previously Ion Maiden) from Voidpoint and 3D Realms has been officially released, this retro inspired FPS looks fantastic and it comes with full Linux support.

      • Single-player RTS game From Orbit is launching soon with Linux support

        Tentacle Head Games have announced their single-player RTS game From Orbit will launch on August 27th.

        Confirming that date will include Linux support on Twitter, From Orbit will see you manage the crew of a small spaceship stranded in deep uncharted space. You will move from planet to planet as you attempt to find your way back home.

      • FOSS local multiplayer game Superstarfighter sees a great new release

        Superstarfighter is a FOSS local multiplayer game made with Godot Engine that continues to impress me and the latest update is out now with more great features.

        v0.5.0 released around a week ago adds in a new additional variant to the game modes, to add a snake-like feel where instead of launching bombs at your enemies, you need to get them to fly into your tail to take them out. It’s a pretty fun mix-up actually!

      • The Group Stage for Dota 2′s The International 2019 starts, as the prize pool continues breaking records

        The International 2019 is heating up for Dota 2 as The Group Stage has now officially begun and the community-driven prize pool has hit a new record-breaking high.

        The Group Stage going on now, with the second day starting around 1AM UTC Friday, is where you have two groups of nine teams and they face off against every other team in a best of two matchup. The top 4 teams advance onto the Upper Bracket of the Main Event, with the teams in 5th-8th place in each group advancing onto the Lower Bracket of the Main Event. The bottom team from each group is then eliminated!

      • Facepunch adjust their Linux plans for Rust, refunds being offered as it won’t continue at all

        As an update to the Rust situation, Facepunch have now changed their plans for the Linux version. They’ve decided to offer refunds, as they won’t continue it at all.

        Previously, their plan was to split the Linux version of Rust from Windows/Mac to at least give Linux owners a working game although without future feature updates. In the new blog post, written by Facepunch’s Garry Newman, they “now realise how shit that would be” after talking to the community.

      • Survival game Stranded Deep has an absolutely huge update out now

        Stranded Deep, the survival game where you’re marooned on a desert island after a plane crash just had its first major stable update in some time.

        Along with an impressive list of bug fixes, some big new features made it into this release. There’s a new intro scene, a new main menu and loading visuals, a female character model with female voice-over, difficulty options when starting a game, stamina, player skills, sprint swimming for moving faster in water, multiple new sharks, multiple new shipwrecks and more. If you’ve not played for a while, there’s a lot to look forward to when jumping into a new game.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.14 officially released, here is what’s new

        A piece of good news for this morning! Xfce desktop environment v4.14 is finally here, courtesy of 4 years and five months of efforts by the development team.

        If your ears found Xfce as something unheard of, let’s briefly discuss what the software is all about. Xfce is an attractive, simple desktop environment aimed at UNIX-like operating systems, which include Linux and BSD. Plus, it does not go all out on the system resources as well, as the software is made to be lightweight. Users are to find Xfce with popular operating systems, such as Manjaro, Xubuntu, Linux Mint, and Fedora.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KTouch in KDE Apps 19.08.0

          KTouch, an application to learn and practice touch typing, has received a considerable update with today’s release of KDE Apps 19.8.0. It includes a complete redesign by me for the home screen, which is responsible to select the lesson to train on.

          There is now a new sidebar offering all the courses KTouch has for a total of 34 different keyboard layouts. In previous versions, KTouch presented only the courses matching the current keyboard layout. Now it is much more obvious how to train on different keyboard layouts than the current one.

        • KDE Applications 19.08 released with improvements in Dolphin and Konsole Tiling

          The KDE community releases KDE Applications 19.08 and users will find more stability and usability in applications including Dolphin, Konsole, Okular, Kate, and many others.

          With this update, KDE has implemented many new features, improvements, and bug-fixes into their software. With that being said, their most prominent work can be found in Dolphin and Konsole. So let’s see what the new KDE applications have in store for its users.

        • KDE Applications 19.08 Brings New Features to Konsole, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Okular and Dozens of Other Apps (KDE.News)

          KDE.News reports on the release of KDE Applications 19.08. The release has updates for many different applications, as can also be seen in the official announcement.

        • New features with each release, The Kde applications version 19.08 is here!

          KDE is one of the best desktop environments for the Linux operating system that is particularly popular with customization enthusiasts
          The KDE development team makes sure to make it better with each release by adding a host of features and improvements.

        • Applications 19.08

          The KDE community is happy to announce the release of KDE Applications 19.08.

          This release is part of KDE’s commitment to continually provide improved versions of the programs we ship to our users. New versions of Applications bring more features and better-designed software that increases the usability and stability of apps like Dolphin, Konsole, Kate, Okular, and all your other favorite KDE utilities. Our aim is to ensure you remain productive, and to make KDE software easier and more enjoyable for you to use.

          We hope you enjoy all the new enhancements you’ll find in 19.08!

        • KDE Applications 19.08 Brings New Features to Konsole, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Okular and Dozens of Other Apps
        • KDE Applications 19.08 Released With Dolphin Improvements, Better Konsole Tiling
        • Cantor 19.08

          Since the last year the development in Cantor is keeping quite a good momentum. After many new features and stabilization work done in the 18.12 release, see this blog post for an overview, we continued to work on improving the application in 19.04. Today the release of KDE Applications 19.08, and with this of Cantor 19.08, was announced. Also in this release we concentrated mostly on improving the usability of Cantor and stabilizing the application. See the ChangeLog file for the full list of changes.

          For new features targeting at the usability we want to mention the improved handling of the “backends”. As you know, Cantor serves as the front end to different open-source computer algebra systems and programming languages and requires these backends for the actual computation. The communication with the backends is handled via different plugins that are installed and loaded on demand. In the past, in case a plugin for a specific backend failed to initialize (e.g. because of the backend executable not found, etc.), we didn’t show it in the “Choose a Backend” dialog and the user was completely lost. Now we still don’t allow to create a worksheet for this backend, but we show the entry in the dialog together with a message about why the plugin is disabled.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Microsoft’s Component Firmware Update Is Their Latest Short-Sighted Spec

          Microsoft’s newest specification is the “Component Firmware Update” that they envision as a standard for OEMs/IHVs to be able to handle device firmware/microcode updating in a robust and secure manner. While nice in theory, the actual implementation has a number of issues that complicate the process and could quickly evolve into another troubling specification from Microsoft in the hardware space.

          Red Hat’s Richard Hughes who is the lead developer on Fwupd and LVFS for firmware updating on Linux has written a lengthy blog post with his thoughts after studying the specification. Now that vendors have begun asking him about CFU, he’s getting his opinions out there now and there are issues with the specification. Ultimately though if there is enough interest/adoption, he could support Component Firmware Update via Fwupd but he certainly isn’t eager to do so.

    • Distributions

      • Clear Linux launches a new documentation website

        Clear Linux fans will now be able to have better access to more information about the operating system as Clear Linux announces a new and improved documentation website.

        New Linux users can be somewhat unfamiliar with the Clear Linux Project. Accordingly, let FOSSLinux give a brief introduction of this wonderful operating system. Powered by Intel, the Clear Linux OS is a Linux-based, rolling-release distro that has its eyes set on providing optimal performance and security. Other than that, users will also find this operating system to be manageable and customizable.

        Now that we’re done with its introduction let’s get to the actual news. The new Clear Linux documentation site is based on a Sphinx/reST framework and uses the Read-The-Docs theme, which you will find on most of the documentation sites out there. With this, it can be seen that Clear Linux wants to stay in the same lane as its competition.

      • New Releases

        • Raspberry Digital Signage donation

          The build of Raspberry Digital Signage you can download from SourceForge is limited is some functionality: if you like this project please donate.

          As a donor, you will have full access to the unrestricted versions of: Raspberry Digital Signage (web-based digital signaging), Raspberry Slideshow (image/video slideshow-based digital signaging) and Raspberry WebKiosk (cheap web kiosking), which can be deployed on how many devices you wish!

      • Fedora Family

        • Flock 2019 – Budapest, Hungery : Internationalization, Localization and Testing

          I am one of the lucky person who has got an opportunity to consistently participate in amazing Fedora community to drive innovation in free and open source way. This was my 5th flock after 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Indeed, it’s great to see how many things has been changed in technology space. Values of Fedora still remains the same, Freedom, Friends, Features and First !!

          For me the highlight talks was Denise Dumas on “Fedora, Red Hat and IBM”. She very well explained how Fedora and Fedora community is very very important to Red Hat and it will remain the same even after acquisition.

          Other than that i also attended all talks from Brendan Conoboy. He nicely explained on RHEL-8 planning side stuff.

        • Flock Fedora Conference 2019

          I attended the annual Fedora Flock conference this year at Budapest, and has been one of the most productive conferences so far. Here is a brief trip report.

      • Debian Family

        • APT Patterns

          Patterns allow you to specify complex search queries to select the packages you want to install/show. For example, the pattern ?garbage can be used to find all packages that have been automatically installed but are no longer depended upon by manually installed packages. Or the pattern ?automatic allows you find all automatically installed packages.

          You can combine patterns into more complex ones; for example, ?and(?automatic,?obsolete) matches all automatically installed packages that do not exist any longer in a repository.

          There are also explicit targets, so you can perform queries like ?for x: ?depends(?recommends(x)): Find all packages x that depend on another package that recommends x. I do not fully comprehend those yet – I did not manage to create a pattern that matches all manually installed packages that a meta-package depends upon. I am not sure it is possible.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Mythical Economic Model of Open Source

        Simply put, the Open Source model, involving huge freedoms to developers to decide direction and great opportunities for collaboration stimulates the intellectual creativity of those developers to a far greater extent than when you have a regimented project plan and a specific task within it. The most creatively deadening job for any engineer is to find themselves strictly bound within the confines of a project plan for everything. This, by the way, is why simply allowing a percentage of paid time for participating in Open Source seems to enhance input to proprietary projects: the liberated creativity has a knock on effect even in regimented development. However, obviously, the goal for any Corporation dependent on code development should be to go beyond the knock on effect and actually employ open source methodologies everywhere high creativity is needed.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Announcing Rust 1.37.0

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.37.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

          • Using WebThings Gateway notifications as a warning system for your home

            Ever wonder if that leaky pipe you fixed is holding up? With a trip to the hardware store and a Mozilla WebThings Gateway you can set up a cheap leak sensor to keep an eye on the situation, whether you’re home or away. Although you can look up detector status easily on the web-based dashboard, it would be better to not need to pay attention unless a leak actually occurs. In the WebThings Gateway 0.9 release, a number of different notification mechanisms can be set up, including emails, apps, and text messages.

      • BSD

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Designing open audio hardware as DIY kits

            Previously in this series about people who are developing audio technology in the open, I interviewed Juan Rios, developer and maintainer of Guayadeque and Sander Jansen, developer and maintainer of Goggles Music Manager. These conversations have broadened my thinking and helped me enjoy their software even more than before.

            For this article, I contacted Håvard Skrödahl, founder of Muffsy. His hobby is designing open source audio hardware, and he offers his designs as kits for those of us who can’t wait to wind up the soldering iron for another adventure.

            I’ve built two of Håvard’s kits: a moving coil (MC) cartridge preamp and a moving magnet (MM) cartridge phono preamp. Both were a lot of fun to build and sound great. They were also a bit of a stroll down memory lane for me. In my 20s, I built some other audio kits, including a Hafler DH-200 power amplifier and a DH-110 preamplifier. Before that, I built a power amplifier using a Motorola circuit design; both the design and the amplifier were lost along the way, but they were a lot of fun!

          • Nuvoton Launches Brand New M261/M262/M263 Series MCUs for IoT Applications

            Low power and robust security are two major requirements for the Internet of Things (IoT) applications. In terms of low power consumption, NuMicro M261/M262/M263 series provides multiple power modes for different operating scenarios, integrating RTC with independent VBAT to support low power mode. The power consumption in normal run mode is 97 μA/MHz (LDO mode) and 45 μA/MHz (DC-DC mode). Standby power-down current is down to 2.8 μA and Deep power-down current is less than 2 μA. The low power, low supply voltage, and fast wake-up (9 μs from Fast-wakeup Power-down mode) features make M261/M262/M263 series suitable for battery-powered IoT applications.

            The robust security functions of NuMicro M261/M262/M263 series include secure boot function to ensure that a device boots using only trusted software through a series of digital signature authentication processes. The M261/M262/M263 series integrates complete hardware crypto engines such as AES 256/192/128, DES/3-DES, SHA, ECC, and True Random Number Generator (TRNG). Furthermore, it provides 4-region programable eXecute-Only-Memory (XOM) to secure critical program codes and up to six tamper detection pins against outer physical attack, which significantly improves the product security.


            Third-Party IDEs such as Keil MDK, IAR EWARM, and NuEclipse IDE with GNU GCC compilers are also supported.

          • Arm, WDC and Qualcomm Announce OpenChain Conformance Activities

            Arm and Western Digital Corporation, Platinum Members of the OpenChain Project and key participants in the global supply chain, today announce conformance with the OpenChain Specification. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Platinum Member and founding contributor of the OpenChain Project, today announces expanded conformance to the latest version of the OpenChain Specification.

            The OpenChain Project establishes trust in the open source from which software solutions are built. It accomplishes this by making open source license compliance simpler and more consistent. The OpenChain Specification defines inflection points in business workflows where a compliance process, policy or training should exist to minimize the potential for errors and maximize the efficiency of bringing solutions to market. The companies involved in the OpenChain community number in the hundreds. The OpenChain Specification is being prepared for submission to ISO and evolution from a growing de facto standard into a formal standard.

  • Leftovers

    • How many books could you read if you quit social media?

      Cutting out three 10-minute social media checks a day means you could read as many as 30 more books a year.

    • How many extra books could you read if you quit social media?

      Globally, digital consumers spend an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on social media, according to GlobalWebIndex’s Flagship Report for 2019.

    • Science

      • Green Party Education Spokesperson: A-levels do not reflect 21st-century skills needs

        Commenting on today’s A-levels results, Vix Lowthion, Green Party Education Spokeperson and a secondary teacher who was with her pupils as they got the results this morning, said:

        “This morning I was looking at the nervousness of students, teachers and parents and reflecting how A-levels are high-stakes testing.

        “Pupils feel that their whole future is fixed in three exams taken in the summer heat. The working reality for adults is investigation, project work and in teams. Our qualifications system should reflect these 21st-century skills.

      • The Devolution Trap

        For the many who expressed kind concern at the bureaucratic impasse involved in Cameron starting his new school, I should update you with the good news. Cameron was able toThe Devolution Trap start on time in the local school, and I am very happy to say that both staff and pupils have been extremely friendly and helpful. Which does not obviate the daftness of the system which makes it impossible to get more than a day’s notice of acceptance, but we are getting over the problems that caused.

        But I have also to say that I am genuinely shocked that Cameron took the 33rd place in his class, which is now full. Class size is a very major factor in pupil achievement and I am perplexed to find these Victorian levels of pupil/teacher ratio still surviving in 2019.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Sick to the Stomach: Pesticides and the Cocktail of Toxicity

        Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and recently released the CMO annual report for 2019. The report focuses on UK engagement with global health and forging partnerships.

      • Green Party calls for move away from failed ‘War on Drugs’

        Responding to the news that drug-related deaths in England and Wales are the highest they have been since records began more than a quarter of a century ago (1), Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack said:

        “We are seeing in these figures the huge human cost of the ‘War on Drugs’, and the impact of cutbacks to treatment and prevention services following Westminster government austerity.

        “It is striking the higher levels of deaths in the poorer regions of the UK, including in Wales.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Microsoft’s latest Surface updates are causing CPU and Wi-Fi issues

        Microsoft is working to fix CPU throttling on the company’s latest Surface devices, while owners complain of Wi-Fi issues, too. “We are aware of some customers reporting a scenario with their Surface Books where CPU speeds are slowed,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to TechRepublic. “We are quickly working to address via a firmware update.”

        The CPU throttling appears to be affecting both the Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro 6, according to a variety of complaints on Reddit. Processors are getting throttled all the way down to a measly 400MHz, and it’s not immediately clear what is causing the problems. TechRepublic reports that the throttling appears to be related to an Intel CPU flag being locked on by mistake, causing the CPU to throttle as it thinks it’s at a thermal limit.

      • Bluetooth BR/EDR supported devices are vulnerable to key negotiation attacks

        The encryption key length negotiation process in Bluetooth BR/EDR Core v5.1 and earlier is vulnerable to packet injection by an unauthenticated, adjacent attacker that could result in information disclosure and/or escalation of privileges. This can be achieved using an attack referred to as the Key Negotiation of Bluetooth (KNOB) attack, which is when a third party forces two or more victims to agree on an encryption key with as little as one byte of entropy. Once the entropy is reduced, the attacker can brute-force the encryption key and use it to decrypt communications.

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (irssi, ledger, libheimdal, libmediainfo, libqb, and libsass) and Slackware (mozilla).

      • Inspect PyPI event logs to audit your account’s and project’s security

        To help you check for security problems, PyPI is adding an advanced audit log of user actions beyond the current (existing) journal. This will, for instance, allow publishers to track all actions taken by third party services on their behalf.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Somalia Assesses Al-Shabab Moles’ Infiltration of Government

        The July 24 suicide bombing that killed the mayor of Somalia’s capital was disturbing on multiple levels, security experts say. Abdirahman Omar Osman was slain by one of his own aides, who was female and blind, and who acted in concert with another one of his employees, also female.

        Besides those unsettling facts, Osman’s death highlighted a cold, hard reality: militant group al-Shabab had again infiltrated an important Somali government entity.

      • Diplomats Losing Out to Trump Picks for Top Spots

        Former diplomats are sounding alarm bells over what they see as a “diplomatic disarmament” of America’s professional foreign service ranks.

        Successive administrations have squeezed out career diplomats from senior jobs, both in Washington and abroad, in favor of political appointees. But the trend appears to have accelerated under President Donald Trump as more and more management and ambassador posts are being handed to people with the right connections

      • The Root Cause of Mass Shootings is the Rage of Alienation

        Mass shootings prompt simple explanations of the gunman’s motivation. At Columbine High School in Colorado, the killers supposedly snapped after being bullied. The guy who shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado was wild-eyed carrot-topped nuts. After a massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, an anti-immigrant manifesto posted online pointed to right-wing politics. Simple mental illness—if there is such a thing—appears to be the culprit in Dayton, Ohio. Also misogyny. But the Dayton shooter’s Twitter feed indicates the shooter liked Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So right-wing media blames his progressive leanings.

      • Green MEP at “Stand with Kashmir” event in London

        London’s Green MEP Scott Ainslie will today be attending the “Stand With Kashmir” event in Trafalgar Square, which starts at 5pm.

        In advance of the event, Scott said: “Security in Kashmir can only come from the respect of human rights and self-determination. Time and time again UN agencies and human right organisations have found how Kashmiris’ human rights are being violated.

        “It is time to put an end to the decades of violence and human rights suffered by the inhabitants of Kashmir, and the decisions by India to unilaterally end the rights of Kashmiris is deeply disturbing and should be called out.

        “By virtually cutting off the region, India is making Kashmiris inhabitants of an open-air prison, completely flouting the principle of autonomy enshrined in its constitution. Far from guarantee its security, the Indian Government is raising the stakes in a dangerous game that will only satisfy the hawks in its administration.

    • Environment

      • Greta Thunberg: Climate change activist sets sail from Plymouth

        The teenager, who refuses to travel by air because of its environmental impact, said of climate sceptics: “There’s always going to be people who don’t understand or accept the united science, and I will just ignore them, as I’m only acting and communicating on the science.”

      • Modi has vowed to ban single-use plastics to fight India’s trash crisis

        About 70% of the plastic the country consumes is simply discarded and there is no processing of waste in most Indian cities, according to the Ministry of Environment’s Central Pollution Control Board.

        As a result the world’s largest democracy is home to vast trash mountains that loom over the outskirts of major cities, and huge quantities of plastic end up in the water by way of the Ganges. The river is second only to China’s Yangtze in the amount of plastic it contributes to the world’s oceans, according to a 2017 study.

      • 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg says no company on Earth right now has a climate change strategy that’s good enough

        When Business Insider asked whether she thinks any company on Earth is doing a good enough job to tackle the climate and ecological crisis at a Wednesday press conference, Thunberg said: “We will just simply have to see.”

        “If they succeed in reducing enough CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions then of course they have succeeded in doing that. And if they won’t, then they haven’t.”

        “And as it looks now, it doesn’t look very good,” she said.

      • Energy

        • Cheap renewables will price out oil on roads

          The days of oil as a fuel for cars, whether petrol or diesel, are numbered − because the economies offered by wind and solar energy and other cheap renewables, combined with electric vehicles, are irresistible, a French bank says.

          BNP Paribas Asset Management calculates that oil majors like Exxon, BP and Shell will have to produce petrol from oil at $10 a barrel (the current price is $58) to compete with electricity on price, while for diesel, it says, oil can cost no more than $19 a barrel.

          “The oil industry has never before in its history faced the kind of threat that renewable electricity in tandem with electric vehicles poses to its business model,” the bank says. Electric vehicles (EVs) could easily replace 40% of the current market for crude oil.

        • Investing in Science to Improve Climate Risk Management

          Climate change caused by past and ongoing emissions from fossil fuel burning poses sizable risks for current and future generations through its impacts on multiple interacting sectors, including, for example, food and water supplies and public health [O’Neill et al., 2017].

          The extent of these risks is subject to deep uncertainties and tipping points, suggesting the need for flexible approaches to climate adaptation. One example of a deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate is the degree to which local and regional storm surge intensities are modulated by a warming climate [Lee et al., 2017; Wong et al., 2018].

          In climate risk management, these uncertainties often affect estimates of potentially damaging impacts, thus amplifying the importance of the uncertainties [Wong et al., 2017a].

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Deforestation in the Amazon may soon begin to feed on itself

          SINCE THE 1970s nearly 800,000km² of Brazil’s original 4m km² (1.5m square miles) of Amazon forest has been lost to logging, farming, mining, roads, dams and other forms of development—an area equivalent to that of Turkey and bigger than that of Texas. Scientists worry this is uncomfortably close to the threshold for tree loss, of between 20 and 25%, beyond which deforestation begins to feed on itself, turning much of the Amazon basin into drier savannah known as cerrado. Under Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing president of Brazil who was inaugurated in January, the Amazon appears to be rushing towards that tipping point.

        • A Chance to Save the ‘Rhinos of the Sea’

          Many scientists wait for their whole careers to see their predictions proven correct — and if that happens, it’s often cause for celebration. But for conservation scientists who study threatened species, it can be a gut punch to learn your prediction’s come true.

          For Alec Moore, a conservation biologist at Bangor University, that’s exactly what happened.

          In 2016 Moore participated in a symposium focusing on sawfishes, which were then considered the most endangered marine fish in the world. His talk, however, focused on emerging threats to a similar group of fishes called guitarfishes, a type of ray related to sharks.

          At the time Moore said several of the 55 known guitarfish species faced a risk of extinction. He then called for “comprehensive and coordinated action” for guitarfish that could be conducted in conjunction with current sawfish conservation efforts — which themselves arrived almost too late.

    • Finance

      • Kenyan Government Risks Squandering The Long-Term Potential Of Mobile Transactions In The Hope Of A Little Extra Tax Revenue

        The report notes the many benefits of promoting mobile payments — things like serving as an economic driver, and encouraging savings and credit. Particularly important for developing countries is the how mobile-based services increase financial inclusion, providing access to banking for even the poorest sectors of society, which can help to reduce overall levels of poverty.

        The authors of the study point out that the tendency of taxes to operate on a Laffer curve means that as rates increase, tax revenue from mobiles and data use may decline at some point, making such moves self-defeating. Moreover, if people start to turn back to cash to avoid increased costs of mobile payments, the benefits of digital transactions are lost, including the ability for governments to track and tax transactions more easily, leading to further revenue losses.

      • Boris Johnson accuses MPs of ‘collaborating’ with Brussels to block No Deal Brexit

        The claims by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson were described on Thursday by Labour MP Mary Creagh as “a wicked lie.”

        Speaking during a Facebook event hosted at Downing Street, Johnson said, “There’s a terrible kind of collaboration as it were, going on between people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends.”

        “The more they think there’s a chance that Brexit can be blocked in Parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position.”

      • A Corbyn-led GNU would be a ridiculous creature

        It’s the latest trend in Westminster politics. There has been a lot of talk lately about a government of national unity – a GNU…

      • Marikana was a product of capitalism

        The strike had been taking place for a week – too long for the faceless men who sent a command to the police to end the strike and halt the slide in profits.

        Today marks seven years since the brutal killings of 34 mineworkers by the South African Police Service, aka the Marikana massacre.

        It was August 16, 2012, when police officers were the mediator between hundreds of disgruntled mineworkers and Lonmin mine bosses. The strike had been taking place for a week – too long according to the faceless men who sent a command to the police to end the strike and halt the slide in profits.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The old man and the stream

        The point of Sanders’ stream is to connect with people where they are. “It’s another opportunity, I think, to tap in to a potentially supportive audience that we may not be hitting other ways,” says Josh Miller-Lewis, Sanders’ director of digital comms. “Our goal with Twitch is to not only let people know what we’re doing on the campaign every day, and what Bernie’s doing — but also hear from them, and bring their opinion into what we’re trying to do and into the political process.”

      • Bernie Sanders launches Twitch channel

        The senator is one of the first presidential candidates with a presence on the video game streaming service.

      • Why the deepfakes threat is shallow

        The bottom line: Deepfakes take advantage of human vulnerabilities that can be exploited much more efficiently by other means.

        That means the disinformation problem won’t be solved through technology or policy alone.

      • State officials beg Congress for more election security funding

        Speaking at a forum hosted by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) and Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D) said additional federal funding is the best way Congress can help states shore up election security and ward off cyberattacks.

      • Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity

        But many campaigns have said little on their cyber efforts. The Hill reached out to other 2020 presidential campaigns, but those campaigns did not provide details on their cyber efforts.

      • Why Bernie Sanders is Right About the Washington Post–and Corporate Media Overall

        Many decades ago, the great media critic George Seldes observed: “The most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.” That remains true today.

      • Here’s the Evidence Corporate Media Say Is Missing of WaPo Bias Against Sanders

        And then I wonder why the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why.

        The Post‘s executive editor, Martin Baron, immediately retorted (CNN, 8/12/19) that Sanders was spouting a “conspiracy theory,” insisting that “Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.”

        Many others in corporate media were incensed as well. NPR‘s All Things Considered (8/13/19) accused Sanders of “echoing the president’s language,” and CNN (8/13/19) ran a segment that likewise accused him of using Trump’s “playbook”; CNN‘s Poppy Harlow warned ominously, “This seems like a dangerous line, continuous accusations against the media with no basis in fact or evidence provided.”

        FAIR has been following this issue for quite some time, so we’re happy to offer the evidence CNN and the Post protest is lacking.

      • Bill of Rights: the Last Seduction

        Patrick Henry’s objection to the Constitution is given in the above passage. He, and Richard Henry Lee were anti-Federalists, and thought the substitution of the Constitution for the Articles of Confederation as big a revolution as that of 1776. The United States’s unrestrained power of raising taxes and an army outweighs any structural controls within the document. The speech above and the letters below were written between the ratification of the Constitution and the passing of the amendments called the Bill of Rights. Henry and Lee, above all others, championed the Bill of Rights on the grounds that the Constitution not only did not protect rights, but is an instrument of despotism. They hoped, expressly, to limit the powers of the new government. Henry’s surprising opinion of the Bill of Rights is here:

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ‘Google Blocked TorrentFreak From Appearing in Search Feature’

        Documents released by whistleblower Zachary Vorhies suggests that Google actively blocked hundreds of sites, including TorrentFreak, from its Google Now service. The blocklist doesn’t provide a specific reason for the blockade, but other sites are flagged for having a high user block rate or for peddling hoax stories. Vorhies has shared the documents with the US Department of Justice.

      • In its struggle to subdue Kashmir, India is stripping it of liberties

        …has obscured the northernmost tip of India. Since it scrapped Jammu & Kashmir’s largely nominal autonomy on August 5th and carved the state into two territories, the central government has maintained a curfew in the region. Internet and telephone services have been suspended. Travel has been restricted. A young academic in Delhi says the lockdown made it impossible for him to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid with his family in rural Kashmir. The territory has “disappeared”, he says, leaving people like him only able to guess what might be happening there.

      • YouTube is changing how some copyright claims work, and it could result in ‘more blocked content’

        Now, when a copyright claim is manually filed for “very short clips” of music or for music that is “unintentional[ly]” playing in the background of a video clip, the rights holder will no longer be allowed to earn money from ads placed on the video. Instead, they’ll have to choose between leaving the video up and blocking the creator from making money, or blocking the video entirely. The new rules apply to audio copyright claims only, so short clips of videos aren’t covered.

      • Lawyers Who Sued YouTube For Anti-Conservative Bias Are Suing YouTube Again… For Anti-LGBTQ Bias

        So, this is interesting. Every time we talk about alleged “anti-conservative” bias on various internet platforms, people who believe it’s true (and who yell at us for daring to ask for evidence) tend to do two things: (1) cite Dennis Prager and his claims of YouTube’s anti-conservative bias and (2) insist that there is no equivalent on the more liberal end of the spectrum that received similar treatment. We’ve discussed in great detail why both of those claims are laughably wrong, but we never quite expected the very same lawyers who filed Prager’s failed lawsuit against YouTube — the very same lawsuit that Prager himself just used on the pages of the Wall Street Journal to insist was proof of anti-conservative bias — would now file a nearly identical complaint against YouTube… but on behalf of various LGBTQ+ YouTube channels.

        In both cases, the plaintiffs are represented by Peter Obstler and Eric George of the law firm Browne George Ross law firm. And this new lawsuit has basically as much chance of succeeding as Prager’s lawsuit did. Of course, it strikes me as rather ironic that this very lawsuit seems to undermine the basic claim of the Prager lawsuit, that the “only” reason why Prager’s videos could have been put into restricted mode were because of the conservative viewpoints they represented. Yet, here, in this lawsuit, there are lots of claims about how Google/YouTube are purposefully discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community.

      • Is There A Conspiracy Among Legacy Media Companies To Push A False Narrative About Big Tech?

        Over the last few months we’ve witnessed a veritable flood of misleading to simply false articles about internet companies showing up in mainstream sources. There were misleading articles in Vox and the Washington Post. And then, just recently, we saw not one but two NY Times pieces that went out of their way to misrepresent the law. And, then of course, there’s the Wall Street Journal that has been misrepresenting Section 230 for ages. To date, the only one of these publications to run a serious correction (and to continue to help debunking misrepresentations) is the smallest of those listed above: Vox, who did some research and published a big mea culpa.

        This has gotten many in the tech industry to begin to wonder. It’s one thing for (cross aisle) grandstanding politicians like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Nancy Pelosi, and Richard Blumenthal to totally misrepresent the law. But when the mainstream media is doing so on a regular basis — it’s causing a lot of talk behind the scenes about whether this is a coordinated hit. Some, like the excellent reporter Anna Wiener, recently more or less dismissed this theory as being “mostly… a facile argument,” though I think she mixes up two separate issues. First, it is absolutely true that many startup founders don’t know how to deal with the press well, and get personally offended by bad press coverage. And, for those entrepreneurs: fuck ‘em. They should grow up and learn what the press actually does, when done right — which includes researching and debunking nonsense (and there’s a ton of nonsense in Silicon Valley).

        But, that’s a separate issue from whether or not there’s a coordinated campaign to undermine the foundations of the internet by a few larger, legacy industries who have failed to adapt to a changing time. Indeed, we saw significant evidence of Hollywood’s top lobbyists working behind the scenes (though, it occasionally slipped out publicly) to push for FOSTA, the first bill that significantly undermined Section 230.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Researcher buys NULL vanity plate and ends up with $12,000 in fines

        A security researcher by the moniker of Droogie decided he wanted to have some fun with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems (ALPR in the US) systems and much to his surprise and delight, found that the number plate “NULL” was available.

        This seemed like a splendid wheeze. That is until the tickets started.

      • Danish government wants more CCTV to tighten security following explosions

        Moving forwards, the government wants an effective CCTV system so surveillance material can be quickly accessed by the authorities, and it also wants to increase the penalties for blowing things up.

      • Manhattan DA served Google with a “reverse search warrant” in a bid to prosecute antifa protesters

        The Manhattan DA filed assault and riot charges against four Proud Boys, but that’s not all: the DA’s office also served Google with a “reverse search warrant” seeking the names of the owners of every mobile device present on the scene, in a bid to unmask and charge antifa protestes.

      • Trump Administration Asks Congress to Reauthorize N.S.A.’s Deactivated Call Records Program

        The White House is seeking reauthorization of a law that lets the N.S.A. gain access to logs of Americans’ phone and text records — while acknowledging that the program has been indefinitely halted.

      • Victory! California Supreme Court Blocks Sweeping Search Condition of Minors’ Electronic Devices and Social Media Accounts

        The California Supreme Court just rejected the government’s attempt to require a youth probationer, as a condition of release, to submit to random searches of his electronic devices and social media accounts. The trial court had imposed the condition because the judge believed teenagers “typically will brag” about drug use on the Internet—even though there was no evidence that the minor in this case, Ricardo P., had ever used any electronic devices in connection with any drugs or illegal activity, let alone ever previously bragged about drug use online.

        EFF and the ACLU filed an amicus brief in the case back in 2016, warning that the search condition imposed here was highly invasive, unconstitutional, and in violation of the California Supreme Court’s own standard for probation conditions—which requires that search conditions be “reasonably related to future criminality.” We also warned of the far-reaching privacy implications of allowing courts to impose such broad electronic search conditions. We’re pleased that the California Supreme Court heeded our warnings and recognized the substantial burden this “sweeping probation condition” imposed on Ricardo’s privacy.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Jailed Saudi activist rejects deal to deny torture for release, says family

        Hathloul, who was arrested in May 2018 as part of a crackdown on government critics, initially agreed to sign a document denying the torture, her brother Walid al-Hathloul wrote on Twitter Tuesday. But when Saudi security officials requested she make the statement on camera, she rejected the offer, Walid added.

      • Immigration Is for Rich People

        Oh, and about that “line” that Republicans want immigrants to get in? You can buy your way out of that, too. USCIS gives applicants the option of shelling out an additional $1,410 for what’s known as “premium processing,” which cuts the wait time for a status approval (or denial) from several months to 15 days.

    • The End of Humanitarianism?

      The last century has seen the emergence of several humanitarian norms and laws that were arduous, even frustrating, to implement and often ignored by governments, but which were the result of important lessons learned from the destruction that the world wars brought to civilian populations.

    • Was It a Thumbs Up Sign or a Finger Gun Pointing at Us?

      I have to say it doesn’t take very long for Kansas’ 1st district Rep. Roger Marshall and his staff to feel like as though they are the victims of their constituents’ concerns and not the other way around.

    • The Continuing Hong Kong Impasse

      I was in Hong Kong 10 days ago, which is now in its tenth week of demonstrations that began as a response to a proposed extradition law, but have since expanded to include other grievances and demands for democratic reforms. These include the following:

    • ‘Black Communities Are Already Living in a Tech Dystopia’ – CounterSpin interview with Ruha Benjamin on racism and technology

      This week on CounterSpin: Listeners may have heard about the electronic soap dispensers whose light sensors can’t detect black skin, Google and Flickr’s automatic image-labeling that—oops—tagged photos of black people with “ape” and “gorilla.” An Asian-American blogger wrote about her Nikon digital camera that kept asking, “Did someone blink?” And you can, I’m afraid, imagine what turns up in search engine results for “3 black teenagers” versus “3 white teenagers.”

      Some examples of discriminatory design are obvious, which doesn’t mean the reasons behind them are easy to fix. And then there are other questions around technology and bias in policing, in housing, in banking, that require deeper questioning.

      That questioning is the heart of a new book called Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. CounterSpin spoke with author Ruha Benjamin; she’s associate professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, and author, also, of the book People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier. Ruha Benjamin, today on CounterSpin. That’s coming up, but first we’ll take a very quick look at some recent, relevant press.

    • Attorney General William Barr Declares War On The General Public

      So far, the administration has failed to end the “dangerous anti-police atmosphere” or turn “living in a safe community” into a fundamental right. Trump may back the blue, but the blue keep making things worse for themselves by refusing to alter their tactics, their “us v. them” attitude, or their routine abuse of the rights of those they’re supposed to be serving.

      The former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, wanted to roll back the clock for law enforcement, replacing the minor alterations of years of DOJ/law enforcement agency consent decrees with old school drug warring that shoots first and never asks questions.

      Sessions is out and the new boss is in. Attorney General William Barr has already made it clear he believes tech companies should create encryption backdoors for law enforcement. Now, he’s declaring war on the general public. His speech to a national police union gathering makes it clear the only people who matter are those wearing badges.

    • Prosecutor Tosses Charges Against Driver After Field Drug Test Claims Bird Poop On A Car’s Hood Is Cocaine

      Maybe with enough lawsuits, this nation of zealous drug warriors will finally abandon field drug tests. The tests are cheap, which makes them popular with law enforcement agencies. But they sure as hell aren’t accurate.

      A field drug test declared a small crumb of an over-the-counter pain relief medicine to be crack cocaine, resulting in the wrongful jailing of a woman for three weeks. Thanks to this faulty field test, this person lost her home and her job.

      A man received a $37,500 settlement for an arrest predicated on a drug field test that turned Krispy Kreme donut crumbs into methamphetamine. In the same state (Florida), another man was arrested after drywall residue was declared to be cocaine by the $2 test.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The Pai FCC Is Oddly Quiet About Trump’s Plan To Have The Agency Police Speech

      So last week, you probably saw the leaked plan by the Trump administration to try and “fix” the nonexistent censorship of Conservatives on social media. According to the leak, a large part of the plan would involve having the FCC, which has no real authority in this area, police speech on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Most legal experts I’ve spoken to say the plan is illegal and utterly nonsensical, and the FCC has no authority to do this under Section 230 or anywhere else. The order would also undermine most of the logic the Pai FCC used in its effort to repeal net neutrality.

      Oddly though, an FCC that has been very vocal on this subject when convenient has been oddly mute since the story broke, with none of the agency’s three Republican Commissioners (Ajit Pai, Brendan Carr, or Mike O’Rielly) making so much as a peep about the terribleness of the latest Trump “plan.”

    • Congress is demanding that 8chan owner Jim Watkins testify over his site’s involvement in recent mass shootings

      After being “respectfully requested” to appear before the House Committee on Homeland Security last week, 8chan owner Jim Watkins was sent a subpoena on Wednesday ordering him to testify on September 5.

    • Cloudflare filings say sites like 8chan and the Daily Stormer are business risks

      Cloudflare isn’t a social media platform, and it’s described the 8chan and Daily Stormer bans as exceptions to its usual neutrality. But it’s also expounded on some sweeping theories of what free speech should mean for an infrastructure provider. The filing offers some economic justification for this, suggesting that, right now, brushing off moderation and censorship questions is bad business.

  • Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Nintendo Hates You: Company DMCAs Over 100 Videos Celebrating Nintendo Game Music

        Our posts on famed gaming giant Nintendo will likely give you the impression that the company has a very strange distaste for its own fans. Your brain will probably try to convince you that this doesn’t make any sense, since Nintendo fans are what makes Nintendo money. Your brain is wrong. Nintendo has demonstrated over and over again that if forced to choose between maximum control over its intellectual property and allowing fans to do fan-things, it will choose control every single time.

        YouTube in particular tends to find itself in Nintendo’s crosshairs, what with the site being the natural place for fans of Nintendo to share Nintendo-y things with other fans. It’s worth noting again that, on matters of copyright at least, there’s really no reason why Nintendo must issue takedowns for anything that even barely could be seen as infringing on its IP. Such is the case with the recent spate of takedowns the company issued against a YouTube channel which had the singular purpose of celebrating Nintendo game music.


Links 15/8/2019: GNOME’s Birthday, LLVM 9.0 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 10:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • System76’s First 4K OLED Linux Laptop is Here.

        System76 – the american computer manufacturer introduced the first 4K OLED Linux powered laptop. Named Adder WS, this device targets to the content creators, gamers and researchers who needs high performance hardware with Linux. Powered by Intel i9 series 8-core CPU and 64GB ram, this device includes a 15″ 4K OLED display with RTX 2070 graphics.

    • Server

      • Kubic Project: Kata Containers now available in Tumbleweed

        Kata Containers is an open source container runtime that is crafted to seamlessly plug into the containers ecosystem.

        We are now excited to announce that the Kata Containers packages are finally available in the official openSUSE Tumbleweed repository.

        It is worthwhile to spend few words explaining why this is a great news, considering the role of Kata Containers (a.k.a. Kata) in fulfilling the need for security in the containers ecosystem, and given its importance for openSUSE and Kubic.

      • Why multi-cloud has become a must-have for enterprises: six experts weigh in

        Remember the one-size-fits-all approach to cloud computing? That was five years ago. Today, multi-cloud architectures that use two, three, or more providers, across a mix of public and private platforms, are quickly becoming the preferred strategy at most companies.

        Despite the momentum, pockets of hesitation remain. Some sceptics are under the impression that deploying cloud platforms and services from multiple vendors can be a complex process. Others worry about security, regulatory, and performance issues.

      • Containers 101: Containers vs. Virtual Machines (And Why Containers Are the Future of IT Infrastructure)

        What exactly is a container and what makes it different — and in some cases better — than a virtual machine?

      • IBM

        • Linux-maker Red Hat Purchase Adds Risk to Owning IBM Stock

          Amid evolving technologies, IBM has to pivot again to remain relevant. It has attempted this feat by buying Red Hat. Investors are bailing out of the shares as integration of the Linux maker will take time. Given the time lag and the falling profits, owning the stock amounts to a gamble on whether management can successfully absorb Red Hat into the company.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 542: Dancer

        Dancer is a web application framework for Perl. It was inspired by Sinatra and was written by Alexis Sukrieh originally.

        It has an intuitive, minimalist, and very expressive syntax: has PSGI support, plugins and its modular design allow for strong scalability: and Dancer depends on as few CPAN modules as possible, making it easy to install.

    • Kernel Space

      • An end to implicit fall-throughs in the kernel

        The C switch statement has, since the beginning of the language, required the use of explicit break statements to prevent execution from falling through from one case to the next. This behavior can be a useful feature, allowing for more compact code, but it can also lead to bugs. The effort to rid the kernel of implicit fall-through coding patterns came to a conclusion with the 5.3-rc2 release, where the last cases were fixed. There is a good chance that these fixes will have to be redone in the future, though.

        The problem with C’s fall-through behavior is that it is implicit, with no indication of whether the behavior is intended or not. Developers learn (the hard way, sometimes) to end each case with a break statement as a matter of habit, but it’s still an easy thing to forget, and the resulting code is seen by the compiler as being entirely valid. A forgotten break almost certainly introduces a bug, even if it might not manifest itself for years. Many developers have had reason to wish that the C language required an explicit indication by the programmer that fall-through behavior is desired.

      • vDSO, 32-bit time, and seccomp

        The seccomp() mechanism is notoriously difficult to use. It also turns out to be easy to break unintentionally, as the development community discovered when a timekeeping change meant to address the year-2038 problem created a regression for seccomp() users in the 5.3 kernel. Work is underway to mitigate the problem for now, but seccomp() users on 32-bit systems are likely to have to change their configurations at some point.

        The virtual dynamic shared object (vDSO) mechanism is an optimization provided by the kernel to reduce the cost of certain frequently used system calls. The vDSO is a small region of kernel-provided memory that is normally mapped into the address space of every user-space process; it contains implementations of system calls that can, in some circumstances at least, do their work in a user-space context. That allows the caller to avoid making a real system call and, thus, to avoid the cost of a context switch into kernel mode. System calls related to timekeeping, such as gettimeofday() are implemented in the vDSO, since they can often run quickly in user space and they tend to be called frequently.

        The vDSO has generally been implemented in an architecture-specific way, even though the functions it performs are mostly the same across architectures. In the 5.2 development cycle, Vincenzo Frascino added a generic vDSO implementation that factored out much of the architecture-specific code into a single implementation that could be used on all architectures. During the 5.3 merge window, the x86 architecture switched over to the generic version, and all was well — or so it seemed.

      • Oracle Is Working To Upstream More Of DTrace To The Linux Kernel & eBPF Implementation

        While DTrace prospects for the Linux kernel are no longer viewed as magical or groundbreaking as they once were more than a decade ago, Oracle continues to work on its DTrace port to Linux and extending its reach beyond just their “Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel” for their RHEL-cloned Oracle Linux. Oracle now says they are working towards upstreaming more work as well as getting an eBPF-based implementation for the kernel.

        On Wednesday, Oracle published a blog post outlining DTrace on Fedora. Getting DTrace working on Fedora isn’t trivial: currently it requires building a patched version of the Linux kernel and also building the DTrace user-space utilities. That’s how it currently is for most or all Linux distributions besides Oracle Linux with UEK.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) Europe 2019 Schedule – October 28-30

          I may have just written about Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 schedule, but there’s another interesting event that will also take place this fall…

        • Cloud Native Computing Foundation Reaches 100 End User Community Members

          “The End User Community is a crucial pillar of CNCF, providing feedback on projects, suggesting new projects, and ensuring the community remains vendor neutral,” said Cheryl Hung, Director of Ecosystem at Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “We are hugely grateful for these member organizations and their commitment to the cloud native community, and look forward to continued growth in both the development and use of cloud native technologies.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Renoir Lands In Mesa’s RadeonSI – Further Pointing To Vega, Not Navi

          Last week AMD sent out their initial Linux graphics driver support for next-gen Renoir APUs. Those Linux kernel bits will land with AMDGPU in the upcoming Linux 5.4 cycle while the RadeonSI changes were merged today marking that OpenGL support as a new feature for the upcoming Mesa 19.2.

          Renoir leaks up to this point indicated it would be a 7nm APU based on Zen 2 with Navi graphics. The Zen 2 cores still could be accurate, but the graphics driver patches from last week and the RadeonSI OpenGL driver support today all point to it being Vega.

        • AMD Bulldozer/Jaguar CPUs Will No Longer Advertise RdRand Support Under Linux

          Not directly related to the recent AMD Zen 2 BIOS update needed to fix an RdRand problem (though somewhat related in that the original systemd bug report for faulty AMD RdRand stems from these earlier CPUs), but AMD has now decided to no longer advertise RdRand support for Family 15h (Bulldozer) and Family 16h (Jaguar) processors under Linux.

          The RdRand instruction will still work on capable CPUs, but the CPU ID bit is being cleared so that it won’t be advertised for software explicitly checking for the support. Tom Lendacky of AMD reesorted to clearing the RDRAND CPU ID bit for 15h/16h processors (no impact for Zen, etc) due to RdRand issues cropping up after suspend/resume. Those issues have affected some users for a while and originate with the original AMD RdRand systemd bug report over problems following that cycle.

    • Applications

      • A Collection Of The Ultimate Web Browsers For Ubuntu

        Web browsers are vital if you’re going to have any sort of online experience on your computer. There are hundreds of choices out there, as well as the standard browser which will come pre-installed on your computer, but that’s often not the best choice, and it can be quite an intimidating task to sift through every dodgy review site on the internet to try and find the right browser for you. Ending up with a Downloads folder filled with installers and a desktop littered with icons isn’t what you want or need, so this collection of web browsers for Ubuntu should be able to help you decide on which one you want before you go and download every single browser available on the internet.

      • LiVES Video Editor 3.0 is Here With Significant Improvements

        We recently covered a list of best open source video editors. LiVES is one of those open source video editors, available for free.

        Even though a lot of users are still waiting for the release on Windows, a major update just popped up for LiVES Video Editor (i.e v3.0.1 as the latest package) on Linux. The new upgrade includes some new features and improvements.

      • elfutils 0.177 released with eu-elfclassify

        elfutils 0.177 was released with various bug fixes (if you ever had issues updating > 2GB ELF files using libelf, this release is for you!) and some new features. One of the features is eu-elfclassify, a utility by Florian Weimer to analyze ELF objects.

        People use various tricks to construct ELF files that might make it non-trivial to determine what kind of ELF file you might be dealing with. Even a simple question like “is this a program executable or shared library?” might be tricky given the fact that (static) PIE executables look a lot like shared libraries. And some “shared libraries” are also “program executables”.

      • Proprietary

        • Let’s see what the sweet, kind, new Microsoft that everyone loves is up to. Ah yes, forcing more Office home users into annual subscriptions

          Microsoft is continuing its campaign to drive Office users onto a subscription plan by killing off its discounted Home Use program.

          The program covers individuals whose employer already has an Office subscription and allowed them to download standalone software on a separate home machine for a greatly reduced price of just $15. But no more.

          Eligible users will still get a discount – but only on an Office subscription package. No more standalone software. Microsoft is keen that everyone recognizes this change for the wonderful opportunity it is.

          “Microsoft is updating the Home Use Program to offer discounts on the latest and most up to date products such as Office 365, which is always up to date with premium versions of Office apps across all your devices,” it chirpily announced in a new FAQ question this week, before noting that “Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available as Home Use Program offers.”

          Why the change? You won’t believe this but it seems money is at the root of it. Rather than pay $15 for a piece of software that you can then use for years, Microsoft’s “update” will require home users (whose employers already have a subscription with Microsoft) to pay either $49 or $70 for the Personal and Home Office 365 services respectively. Every year.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 12 extensions for your GNOME desktop

          The GNOME desktop is the default graphical user interface for most of the popular Linux distributions and some of the BSD and Solaris operating systems. Currently at version 3, GNOME provides a sleek user experience, and extensions are available for additional functionality.

          We’ve covered GNOME extensions at Opensource.com before, but to celebrate GNOME’s 22nd anniversary, I decided to revisit the topic. Some of these extensions may already be installed, depending on your Linux distribution; if not, check your package manager.

        • Happy anniversary GNOME: What’s your favorite version?

          Today is the 22nd anniversary of the first GNOME release. To celebrate, we want to hear from you. What’s your favorite GNOME version? And what does your favorite version say about you? Are you change-averse or are you a pioneer of new releases? Take our poll!

          We asked our writers to weigh in on the topic and we received some impassioned responses. Even though GNOME 3 was released about 8 years ago, GNOME 2 continues to be the preferred version among our writers. Many of our writers proclaimed that MATE is the best version. Others argued that MATE is indeed not a GNOME version while some suggested that it may as well be considered GNOME 2.

          “GNOME 2 or MATE Desktop.” —Ivan Bazulic

          “My favorite is always the latest version. Each release has new goodies I can’t wait to try out. These are the ones from 3.32 which was released with Fedora 30 – my favorite is the new icons, I love the vibrantly-colored redesign!” —Máirín Duffy

          “I’m a fan of GNOME 2, since I have been using Linux Mint + Mate desktop for a good number of years on my home computers.” —Eli Marcus

          “My favorite GNOME was 2, simply because it had the option to set the window borders to the theme “microgui” which I really like.” —Germán Pulido

          “GNOME 2.x, I can’t get used to GNOME 3 unfortunately, I think the GNOME 2 user experience was a lot better.” —Mario Torre

        • Musings on the Microsoft Component Firmware Update (CFU) Protocol

          CFU has a bazaar pre-download phase before sending the firmware to the microcontroller so the uC can check if the firmware is required and compatible. CFU also requires devices to be able to transfer the entire new transfer mode in runtime mode. The pre-download “offer” allows the uC to check any sub-components attached (e.g. other devices attached to the SoC) and forces it to do dep resolution in case sub-components have to be updated in a specific order.

          Pushing the dep resolution down to the uC means the uC has to do all the version comparisons and also know all the logic with regard to protocol incompatibilities. You could be in a position where the uC firmware needs to be updated so that it “knows” about the new protocol restrictions, which are needed to update the uC and the things attached in the right order in a subsequent update. If we always update the uC to the latest, the probably-factory-default running version doesn’t know about the new restrictions.

          The other issue with this is that the peripheral is unaware of the other devices in the system, so for instance couldn’t only install a new firmware version for only new builds of Windows for example. Something that we support in fwupd is being able to restrict the peripheral device firmware to a specific SMBIOS CHID or a system firmware vendor, which lets vendors solve the “same hardware in different chassis, with custom firmware” problem. I don’t see how that could be possible using CFU unless I misunderstand the new .inf features. All the dependency resolution should be in the metadata layer (e.g. in the .inf file) rather than being pushed down to the hardware running the old firmware.

        • Emmanuele Bassi: Another layer

          Five years (and change) ago I was looking at the data types and API that were needed to write a 3D-capable scene graph API; I was also learning about SIMD instructions and compiler builtins on IA and ARM, as well as a bunch of math I didn’t really study in my brush offs with formal higher education. The result was a small library called Graphene.

          Over the years I added more API, moved the build system from Autotools over to Meson, and wrote a whole separate library for its test suite.

          In the meantime, GStreamer started using Graphene in its GL element; GTK 3.9x is very much using Graphene internally and exposing it as public API; Mutter developers are working on reimplementing the various math types in their copies of Cogl and Clutter using Graphene; and Alex wrote an entire 3D engine using it.

    • Distributions

      • Clear Linux Project has a new documentation site

        The Clear Linux OS Docs team is happy to announce that our documentation site for the Clear Linux Project has moved to a Sphinx/reST site with the ubiquitous Read-The-Docs theme, consistent with many open source documentation projects.

      • Clear Linux Rolls Out Revamped Documentation

        While Arch Linux remains the gold standard for quality Linux documentation, Intel’s Clear Linux has rolled out a new documentation web-site to assist new/existing users in making use of this performance-optimized and security-oriented Linux operating system.

      • Fedora Family

        • Immutable Linux with Silverblue: My favorite superpower

          I’m a recent but dedicated convert to Silverblue, which I run on my main home laptop, and which I’ll be putting onto my work laptop when I’m due a hardware upgrade in a few months’ time. I wrote an article about Silverblue over at Enable Sysadmin, and over the weekend, I moved the laptop that one of my kids has over to it as well. In terms of usability, look, and feel, Silverblue is basically a version of Fedora. There’s one key difference, however, which is that the operating system is mounted read-only, meaning that it’s immutable.

          What does “immutable” mean? It means that it can’t be changed. To be more accurate, in a software context, it generally means that something can’t be changed during run time.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 8 Ways Snaps are Different

          Depending on the audience, the discussion of software packaging elicits very different responses. Users generally don’t care how software is packaged, so long as it works. Developers typically want software packaging as a task to not burden them and just magically happen. Snaps aren’t magic, but aim to achieve both ease of maintenance and transparency in use.

          Most software packaging systems differ only a little in file format, tools used in their creation and methods of discovery and delivery. Snaps come with a set of side benefits beyond just delivering bytes in a compressed file to users. In this article, we’ll cover just 8 of the ways in which snaps improve upon existing Linux software packaging.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla revamps Firefox’s HTTPS address bar information

            Mozilla plans to make changes to the information that the organization’s Firefox browser displays in its address bar when it connects to sites.

            Firefox displays an i-icon and a lock symbol currently when connecting to sites. The i-icon displays information about the security of the connection, content blocking, and permissions, the lock icon indicates the security state of the connection visually. A green lock indicates a secure connection and if a site has an Extended Validation certificate, the name of the company is displayed in the address bar as well.

            Mozilla plans to make changes to the information that is displayed in the browser’s address bar that all Firefox users need to be aware of.

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: August Edition

            We’re quickly approaching the deadline for Firefox 69. The last day to ship your changes in this version is August 20, less than a week away.

            A lot of content targeting Firefox 70 already landed and it’s available in Pontoon for translation, with more to come in the following days. Here are a few of the areas where you should focus your testing on.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 299
          • Mozilla’s WebThings Gateway now available for Turris Omnia router

            The first step for adding devices is to put them in a mode that is receptive to a new pairing, one at a time, then to tell the Gateway web application to scan for them. Once they are recognized (and renamed to something that makes more sense to the user), there are a number of different options. The device state can be queried (e.g. is a door open or a light on) or changed, for example; some devices may require an add-on in order to access them. Users can also create a floor plan of their house to place icons of the devices in the right locations.

            Beyond that, there is a rules engine where automated changes can be programmed. So if the user wants a certain light to go on or off at a specific time, for example, that can be done. The interface is icon oriented, which should make it easier for less technical users. There is also an experimental Smart Assistant feature that allows voice or typed commands like “turn on the kitchen light” to be handled. The voice data is sent to Google’s voice assistant API; the text commands are handled locally on the Gateway device. It is not clear why the assistant is not using Mozilla’s speech-processing engine.

            New for version 0.9 is a Notifier add-on that will send an email or SMS text message based on rules that the user specifies, so motion sensor activity could trigger a text message, for example. Accompanying the Gateway release is the 0.12 release of the WebThings Framework. It has made some changes to the Web Thing API to more closely align it with the recent W3C WoT Thing Description draft.

            Centralizing IoT handling on a system controlled by the user is an admirable goal. The IoT world has so far proven to be an insecure morass of competing lock-in plays, or so it seems to this cynical observer. Wresting control of the devices from the manufacturers and placing it in the hands of their owners seems like an excellent step forward. Hopefully Mozilla sticks with this project for the long haul and that it gets the community support that it surely deserves—and needs.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Asia Conference Report: Part 2

          Foreword: the LibreOffice Asia Conference was successfully held in May 2019 in Tokyo. Kuan-Ting Lin, a university student and civic tech reporter also attended this conference and gives his observations here. In Part II, Kuan-Ting starts with the Open Document Format, and expounds on how to form an open government and better autonomy of Taiwan.

          The “Taiwanese Language channel” (tâi-gí-tâi) of the Public Television Service (PTS) in Taiwan started its broadcasting service in July 2019. This channel became possible only because the National Languages Act was approved in parliament. This policy was rooted by many in the decision to improve expression, alleviation of limits on speeches, and the consolidation of autonomy following the new law.

          After a long-time struggle, the state also sees a silver lining regarding another autonomy issue: document liberation.

        • Poll about design preview for dropdown controls

          One of the tasks for the design team is to evaluate enhancement requests on our bugtracker. Most are definitely valuable and improve LibreOffice but sometimes we have to balance effort against benefit. We also have to take into account that a function or option for a few users might be adverse to many others, for example by bloating the options dialog. And we are not always sure what decision is the best and have to ask the community. So here is a poll about switching the design preview (font is listed as shown in the document, styles are (mostly) shown as they will appear in the document) into a plain dropdown (pure text without any preview).

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD -stable binary packages

          The OpenBSD base system has received binary updates for security and some other important problems in the base OS through syspatch(8) for the last few releases.

          We are pleased to announce that we now also provide selected binary packages for the most recent release. These are built from the -stable ports tree which receives security and a few other important fixes: [...]

        • FreeBSD Around the World

          One of our major goals this year is to increase FreeBSD awareness around the world. I’m excited about upcoming events, like the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit, where we are giving a talk on FreeBSD. But first, I wanted to highlight some of the events we’ve attended over the past few months. I have been pretty bad about writing event reports, so I’m summarizing some of them here. It’s a good thing our Marketing Director isn’t local, otherwise she would be camping in our office forcing me to write the reports.


        • Guix Makes Bitcoin Core Development More Trustless

          According to Dong, “Guix allows users to verify that the Bitcoin Core client they download corresponds exactly to the code that Bitcoin Core developers write. It mitigates attacks that target the way we turn our codebase into the client executables we release.”

          In spite of the clear focus on the needs of developers, Guix is also something that users may need and want to use if they choose to be cautious about the software that they run.

          At press time, Guix is only available for Ubuntu builds.

      • Public Services/Government

        • New Finnish government to promote open source

          The new government of Finland, formally appointed on 6 June, will promote the use of open source software for public services’ IT systems. The preference for open source, open (programming) interfaces and open data is part of the Government Programme that was published on 3 June. A machine translation from the Government Programme entitled: “A participatory and knowledgeable Finland – a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable society”: [...]

        • Why Los Angeles decided to open source its future

          Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst should be proud. Over a decade ago Whitehurst lamented the waste inherent in traditional enterprise IT, where every organization rolled their own systems and shared little. Now, there’s an increasing trend toward open source, with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DOT) taking the lead in building out the Mobility Data Specification (MDS) to manage the influx of dockless e-scooters and bicycles. The project made sense for a city plagued by horrendous traffic, but it’s the open sourcing of MDS that makes it powerful, with over 80 cities worldwide now embracing it.

          To understand the motivations and future of MDS and enterprise open source, I talked with Jascha Franklin-Hodge, until recently Boston’s chief information officer and now executive director of the Open Mobility Foundation.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Racket: Lisp for learning

          Lisp is one of the oldest programming languages still in use today—Fortran is older by a year, but the Lisp community (or communities) seems to be the more dynamic of the two. In any case, the Lisp landscape has a lot of nooks and crannies to explore; I recently ran into a dialect that I had not encountered before: Racket. That may simply reflect ignorance on my part, but, while I was introduced to Lisp (too) many moons ago, I had not really paid it much mind until I sat in on a talk about Lisp at linux.conf.au earlier this year. Something about Racket caught my eye, so I did some poking around to see what it is all about.

          The dynamism in the Lisp world also means that there are lots of projects, subprojects, dialects, descendants, and so on to keep straight. Lisp itself has split into three main dialects: Common Lisp, Scheme, and Clojure. Common Lisp and Scheme each have multiple implementations. Racket is based on Scheme; it was known as “PLT Scheme” (after the PLT organization behind the language) until version 5.0 was released in 2010.

        • The Compact C Type Format in the GNU toolchain

          The Compact C Type Format (CTF) is a way of representing information about a binary program; it can be seen as a simpler alternative to the widely used DWARF format. While CTF has been around for some years, it has not seen much use in the Linux world. According to Elena Zannoni, who talked about CTF at the 2019 Open Source Summit Japan, that situation may be about to change; work is underway to bring CTF support to the GNU tools shipped universally with Linux systems.
          Compiling a program into its binary form discards a lot of information found in the source code; that information can be needed when the time comes to track down a bug in the compiled program. To facilitate this work, compilers create debugging information that records the names and types of the variables used by a program, along with function names, the line numbers in the source program, and more; this information is then stored in one of many formats. DWARF is by far the most commonly used format on Unix-like systems, but it is not the only one.

        • Append Vs. Extend in Python List

          In this tutorial, you’ll explore the difference between append and extend methods of Python List. Both these methods are used to manipulate the lists in their specific way.

          The append method adds a single or a group of items (sequence) as one element at the tail of a list. On the other hand, the extend method appends the input elements to the end as part of the original list.

          After reading the above description about append() and extend(), it may seem a bit confusing to you. So, we’ll explain each of these methods with examples and show the difference between them.

        • Accessing Remote Data with a Generalized File System

          For context, we are talking about the low-level business of getting raw bytes from some location. We are used to doing that on a local disk, but communicating with other storage mechanisms can be tricky, and certainly different in every case. For example, consider the different ways you would go about reading files from Hadoop, a server for which you have SSH credentials, or for a cloud storage service like Amazon S3. Since these are important to answer when dealing with big data, we developed code to complement Dask just for the job, and released packages like s3fs and gcsfs.

          We found that those packages, which were built and released standalone, were popular even without Dask, partly because they were being used by other PyData libraries such as pandas and xarray. So we realised that the general idea of dealing with arbitrary file systems, as well as helpful code to map URLs to bytes, should not be buried in Dask, but should be made open and available to everyone, even if they are not interested in parallel/out-of-core computing.

        • Escape sequences in Python strings

          The three-quote version allows for simpler multi-line strings and can use three double quotes instead if the programmer wants. But strings can also contain escape sequences, such as ‘\n’ for newlines, ‘\t’ for tabs, and so on. That means the backslash has a special meaning, so it needs to be escaped (i.e. ‘\\’) if it is to be used literally, as well. A few other characters, notably a real newline or an embedded quote of the type used to delimit the string, also need to be backslash escaped.
          But what to do about string literals with invalid escape sequences in them? A programmer who has put ‘\latex’ as part of a string literal (to pick a not entirely random example) presumably actually wants ‘\\latex’, which is what Python currently translates it to. Python does emit a DeprecationWarning in that case, but the warning was invisible by default until Python 3.7. However, that same programmer probably does not want ‘\tan(x)’ to turn into a tab plus ‘an(x)’, but that is exactly what happens.

          The change for Python 3.8 is to further elevate the warning to a SyntaxWarning, with plans to turn that into a SyntaxError in Python 3.9. A bug report filed in February 2018 shows the path of the change. But shortly after the Python 3.8 beta releases were made, Raymond Hettinger reported that he was seeing the warnings “pop up from time to time” from various third-party packages. Aaron Meurer concurred with Hettinger and pointed out a number of other problems he had encountered.

        • LLVM 9.0-RC2 Released While LLVM 10 Switches To C++14

          LLVM 9.0 Release Candidate 2 is now available for testing while LLVM 10.0 has switched its code-base over to supporting C++14.

          Hans Wennborg announced the second and expected final release candidate for the LLVM 9.0 release and associated sub-projects like Clang 9.0. LLVM 9.0 is running about one week behind schedule at this point but there’s still time to get it to ship on-time in two weeks, otherwise it’s looking like it should land just slightly belated in early September.

        • [llvm-dev] [9.0.0 Release] Release Candidate 2 is here
          Hello everyone,
          9.0.0-rc2 was tagged yesterday from the release_90 branch at r368683.
          In the Git monorepo it's available as the llvmorg-9.0.0-rc2 tag.
          Source code and docs are available at https://prereleases.llvm.org/9.0.0/#rc2
          Binaries will be added as they become available.
          The tag went in roughly one week behind schedule (see "Upcoming
          Releases" at https://llvm.org), but there are still two weeks left to
          the planned release date.
          Please file bug reports for any issues you find and mark them blocking
          https://llvm.org/PR42474 Please also look at the blockers and see if
          there's anything you can help with -- there are several bugs which
          lack traction at the moment.
          Release testers: please start your engines, run the script, share your
          results, and upload binaries.
          Many thanks,
        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Swift

          Swift is a powerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language for the OS X, iOS, watchOS, and Linux operating systems. It’s developed by Apple Inc. Swift is intended to be more resilient to erroneous code (“safer”) than Objective-C, and more concise.

        • Intel SYCL Compiler/Runtimes Updated With Unified Shared Memory Support

          Intel has released a new version of their SYCL compiler and run-time code for single-source C++ programming and allowing offloaded computations to accelerators via OpenCL.

          With the new release of their SYCL stack for Linux, there is now support in place for Unified Shared Memory. Unified Shared Memory via the cl_intel_unified_shared_memory extension is Intel’s alternative to OpenCL Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) for allowing pointer-based programming in OpenCL. This OpenCL support in turn is leveraged for pointer-based programming with SYCL.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Contra Gelernter on Darwin

        David Gelernter recently wrote an essay on Giving Up Darwin that is not obviously stupid. Dr. Gelernter, in many ways an astute thinker, does not commit obvious stupidities – but I have had to call him out before for allowing himself to be blinded by a hunger for epistemic gaps that fit the shape of religion. Apparently it is, alas, time to do that again.

        The central argument of Gelernter’s essay is that random chance, is not good enough, even at geologic timescales, to produce the ratchet of escalating complexity we see when we look at living organisms and the fossil record. Most mutations are deleterious and degrade the functioning of the organism; few are useful enough to build on. There hasn’t been enough time for the results we see.

        Before getting to that one I want to deal with a subsidiary argument in the essay, that Darwinism is somehow falsified because we don’t observe the the slow and uniform evolution that Darwin posited. But we have actually observed evolution (all the way up to speciation) in bacteria and other organisms with rapid lifespans, and we know the answer to this one.

        The rate of evolutionary change varies; it increases when environmental changes increase selective pressures on a species and decreases when their environment is stable. You can watch this happen in a Petri dish, even trigger episodes of rapid evolution in bacteria by introducing novel environmental stressors.

      • Huawei’s Founder Wants an ‘Invincible Iron Army’ to Fight U.S.

        Huawei Technologies Co.’s billionaire founder intends to kick off a three- to five-year overhaul of the networking giant, creating an “iron army” that can help it survive an American onslaught while protecting its lead in next-generation wireless.

        Major structural shifts are around the corner as U.S. sanctions threaten the survival of its cash-cow smartphone business, Ren Zhengfei warned in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News and verified by a Huawei spokeswoman. The consumer business faces a “painful long march,” Ren wrote, a possible reference to the Communist Party’s historic cross-country trek.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Biometrics of one million people discovered on publicly accessible database

        A biometrics database used by the police, banks and defence contractors has been discovered online unprotected, with the fingerprints and facial recognition scans unencrypted.

        Furthermore, the Biostar 2 database – used as part of security systems for warehouses and offices – also contained user names, passwords and other personal information. And the database was so exposed that data could easily be manipulated, and new accounts with corresponding biometrics added

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Troops at the border: A Chinese military intervention in Hong Kong?

        The video of what appears to be the deployment of Chinese military personnel to within miles of the Hong Kong border were published by Chinese state media earlier this week.

        That was followed by satellite images, taken on Monday but released on Wednesday by US-based Maxar Technologies, showing what looked to be Chinese military vehicles parked inside the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre, a 20,000-seat arena that once hosted a concert by English pop singer Jessie J, but may now be the staging post for a military operation by the People’s Liberation Army.

      • Air Force Chief Grapples With Suicide Scourge: ‘I Don’t Have a Solution’

        It has not worked. The Air Force’s active duty component stands alone as the only group for which the rates of suicide increased dramatically during the last year, jumping from nine in the first quarter of last year to 26 during the same time this year. So far this year, 78 airmen killed themselves, up from 50 at the same time last year. The service is on track to lose 150 service members or more this year to suicide.

      • Tomgram: William Astore, Military Strength Is Our National Religion

        Or, maybe, just maybe, we might start anew by questioning our militarized profession of faith. We might begin to realize that our warrior-church isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We might begin to seek meaning and salvation not through wars and weaponry, not through generals and their admirers, not through impossible dreams of total dominance, but through compassion and a desire for global justice.

        I confess that I long ago turned my back on the Catholic Church of my youth, but I haven’t turned my back on Christianity and the wisdom it can offer. For what does it profit a country if it gains the whole world yet loses its soul? (In our case, of course, it might be more appropriate to say: For what does it profit a country if it gains nothing from its wars and military mindset yet loses its soul?) The more we Americans profess our faith in warriors, weapons, and wars, the more we endanger our nation’s collective soul. There’s a reason, after all, that Jesus placed the peacemakers, not the warriors, among the children of God.

      • Marine Who Warned Of Insider Threat Should Remain In The Corps, Military Board Says

        What did attract attention was that Brezler had sent classified information over an insecure network. The Marine Corps then embarked on what would be a multiyear effort to kick out Brezler — claiming it was for mishandling information. Brezler maintained it was retaliation for calling attention to deaths he thought might have been prevented.

      • Trump: Out of the Graveyard and Into the Pyre?

        Afghanistan has long been touted as the “graveyard of empires.” The British and the Soviets certainly discovered that lesson to their great regret. Perhaps future historians will judge the failure of the United States to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan over a two-decade period as a critical factor in the loss of American hegemony as well. If so, these historians will no doubt chuckle at the irony of Mr. Make America Great Again throwing the last shovelful of dirt on the grave.

      • At the End of the Barrel of a Gun

        I want to stay far away from anything resembling anti-intellectualism or guilt by association, especially since the right-wing political, economic, and social systems we live in in the US give plenty of space to anti-intellectualism and the dominance of ignorance. Blood now runs in the streets, so the impact of the far right (read fascists) must also be acknowledged and strenuously fought.

      • Medellín Diary: Remembering Our Dead

        Twenty years ago, on August 7, 1999, student leader Gustavo Marulanda was shot and killed in Medellín by far right AUC paramilitaries (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia) under the command of Éver Veloza García, alias H.H., near the Universidad de Antioquia, where Marulanda studied philosophy. Paramilitaries had murdered Hugo Ángel Quintero, who ran the university law school’s cafeteria, on campus the day before, and Professor Hernán Henao, director of the university’s prestigious Institute of Regional Studies (INER), in his office on May 4. What set Marulanda’s death apart from so many others in those years, when the Colombian government of Andrés Pastrana negotiated peace with the insurgent guerrilla movement, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), and the paramilitaries targeted intellectuals as well as social and trade union movement activists as guerrilla supporters, is that Marulanda publicly forecasted his murder at a student assembly.

      • You’re Not Helping: ESPN Delays ‘Apex Legends’ Broadcast After 2 Mass Shootings

        Of all the battles we wage here, my personal frustration probably peaks on the topic of video games and real world violence. The amount of calories spent even having this discussion should go down as some kind of complete human failure. Study after study, never mind the input from actual law enforcement professionals, has demonstrated that the political talking points on violent games are complete bunk. I used to be fond of saying that the science on this topic was unsettled. At this point, the science is quite clear.

        Which means what we really need for that science to take hold with the public and end this stupid debate is to stop signaling that the debate isn’t over. But when ESPN, with all of its popularity, decides to suspend a broadcast for an Apex Legends tournament because of the recent mass shootings, it’s doing the opposite.

      • What is the cure for our mass shootings?

        The first cure for mass shootings is for Donald Trump to stop telling his constituents that the Mexicans trying to come into our country are rapists, murderers and thieves.

        Secondly, Trump should climb out of the National Rile Association’s pocketbook. The NRA applauded Trump’s speech condemning the mentally ill, the internet and video games, of course never mentioning the assault rifles used in these killings.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Prosecution of Julian Assange Affects Us All

        The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, expressed his grave concerns for Assange, who is now facing 175 years in prison if convicted by the US. He assessed that, if extradited, he would “be exposed to a real risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Renowned journalist John Pilger, who visited Assange in prison last week, alarmed the public about his deteriorated health and noted how Assange is isolated and treated “worse than a murderer”.

        The prosecution of Assange, if it were ever successful, would threaten the ability of journalists to receive information and publish information that the government deemed classified all around the world. Assange’s plight is tied to the future of press freedom. But what is at stake is a much larger issue that concerns all of us. Why ought the public engage in his fight against extradition? To answer this question, we have to examine why WikiLeaks matters.

      • Teens Now Trust YouTubers More Than Journalists

        Of the teens who go to social media for news, about 60 percent specifically relied on celebrities or other influencers to tell them what’s been going on, according to the poll. They also clarified that they understood that their sources of news were less reliable than established media.

      • Influencer, celebrity, journalist? Teens are turning to YouTube for news, survey shows

        The survey of over 1,000 teens finds the majority prefer visual media to consume news. While on YouTube, 60% of teens say they are getting their news from celebrities, influencers and personalities, something Michael Robb, senior director of research at Common Sense, says is a “cause for concern.”


        Half of teens say they watch videos that play automatically or are recommended for them based on the site’s algorithm. YouTube recently came under fire recently for its recommendations, including graphic videos being intertwined with children’s content and spreading hateful messages on the platform.

    • Environment

      • Air Pollution May Be As Harmful To Your Lungs As Smoking Cigarettes, Study Finds

        A new study published Tuesday in JAMA finds that long-term exposure to slightly elevated levels of air pollution can be linked to accelerated development of lung damage, even among people who have never smoked.

        The study looked at the health effects of breathing in various pollutants, including ground-level ozone, the main component of smog.

        The researchers found that people in the study who were exposed for years to higher-than-average concentrations of ground-level ozone developed changes to their lungs similar to those seen in smokers.

      • It’s raining multicoloured plastic in the Rocky Mountains, scientists find

        It’s raining multicoloured plastic in the Rocky Mountains, according to the latest research that suggests microplastics are found in even the most remote parts of our planet.

        Plastic shards, beads and fibres were identified in more than 90 per cent of rainwater samples taken from across Colorado, including at more than 3,000 metres high in Rocky Mountain National Park, according to researchers from the US Geological Survey.

      • The Once Common Republican Environmentalist Is Virtually Extinct

        Nixon wasn’t really an environmentalist. He just did what was popular. That was especially true with regard to the Endangered Species Act. Fifty years ago, Republicans generally wanted to be in the forefront of fights to save the planet—some for reasons of politics, like Nixon, but others out of sincere commitment, like Oregon Governor Tom McCall and Pennsylvania Representative and Senator John Heinz. Environmentalism was bipartisan. The Senate voted 92-0 for the measure, while the House approved it 390-12. Democrats were all on board for green legislation, as were almost all Republicans; liberals backed it, and so did conservatives. In the states, Republicans were often even more outspoken on environmental issues. California Governor Ronald Reagan—no liberal he—ruminated in his 1970 State of the State Address about “the absolute necessity of waging all-out war against the debauching of the environment.”

        Five decades on, another Republican president is all about debauching the environment—so much so that, as we read on the front page of Tuesday’s New York Times, “The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law and making it harder to protect wildlife from the multiple threats posed by climate change.”

      • Siberian Wildfires Set To Break Land Area Record

        Nearly 5.5 million hectares are ablaze, mostly in Siberia, with smoke clouds covering more than 5 million square kilometers, more than the size of the European Union, the UN’s authoritative World Meteorological Organization said in a tweet on August 11.

        A state of emergency has been declared in four Siberian regions as the fires rage into a third month. The Guardian reported that, since June, Russia has suffered the most from fires in the Arctic zone, which also includes Alaska, Greenland, and Canada.

      • Day Zero for water: Mexico on the list of water-stressed countries

        Mexico falls into the high-stress category, the second-highest on the list, meaning that the nation consumes between 40% and 80% of the water supply available in a year. Overall, Mexico ranks 24th out of the 164 nations included in the study.

        However, a more detailed look at the maps included in the study shows that some regions of Mexico are under significantly more baseline water stress than others. Fifteen states, all in northern and central Mexico, fall within the “Extremely High Baseline Water Stress” category, meaning that they consume between 80% and 100% of available water every year.

      • How to Take Direct Action on the Climate Crisis at Your School This Year

        The back-to-school checklist is usually pretty standard: ordering textbooks, buying new notebooks and pens, looking up the locations of your new classrooms. But this year young climate activists hope you add another item to your list: figuring out how to help address the impending threat of the climate crisis.

      • Hot future prompts new ideas for cool cities

        The world could need a quarter more energy by 2050, to cool cities and survive the global heating expected by then. And that assumes that nations will have taken steps to control greenhouse gas emissions and that the rise in temperature will be moderate.

        If, on the other hand, the world goes on burning fossil fuels under the notorious “business as usual” scenario, then according to new research the people of the planet could demand up to 58% more energy, just to drive the extra air conditioning and refrigeration in ever more frequent and ever more intense extremes of heat.

        The latest study, by researchers based in Boston, Massachusetts and Venice in Italy, helps to settle one of the more intricate questions that accompany climate projections and energy demand: yes, there will be more people and bigger cities which demand more power anyway, and yes, warm zones will get hotter and demand more expense on keeping cool. But chilly and temperate nations will enjoy milder winters and spend less on staying warm. Which wins?

      • Energy

        • ‘People Are Demanding Accountability for the Fossil Fuel Industry’ – CounterSpin interview with Sriram Madhusoodanan about climate justice

          Climate disruption presents a test for corporate news media: Will they act on the understanding that a conversation that doesn’t acknowledge that unprecedented measures need to be taken is an irresponsibly detached conversation? Will they vigorously expose the corporate actors, the fossil fuel companies and their executives, who continue to dissimulate and deny? Or will they go on giving those that profit from harm-causing industries pride of place in the conversation about how to mitigate that harm?

          Corporate media’s response to some promising state-level developments in climate action is not itself very promising. Our next guest will explain work you might not know about, being done to push fossil fuel companies out of the way of climate justice solutions. Sriram Madhusoodanan is deputy campaigns director at the group Corporate Accountability; he joins us now by phone from Washington, DC. Welcome to CounterSpin, Sriram Madhusoodanan.

        • From dumpster to diesel: How an Ontario pilot project is turning plastic waste into fuel

          A pilot project in Whitby, Ont., is using technology to give plastic waste a second life by turning it into fuel.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Trump Administration Just Gutted the Endangered Species Act

          The Department of the Interior, currently headed by former fossil fuel lobbyist David Bernhardt, and the Department of Commerce made sweeping changes to the regulations required by the ESA just months after a United Nations report detailed an “unprecedented” decline of biodiversity and accelerating extinction rates. The changes “clarify, interpret, and implement portions of the Act,” according to the text of the final regulations.

    • Finance

      • The Federal Reserve Board’s Recent Figures on the Outrageous Unequal Distribution of Wealth

        Recent figures released by the Federal Reserve Board once again verify the shameful growing wealth inequality in the United States.[1]

      • Thoughts on China’s Currency

        There is a conventional wisdom on China’s currency that gets repeated almost everywhere and never seems to be challenged in the media. The basic story is that in the bad old days China ‘manipulated” its currency, but that stopped years ago. At present, its currency controls are actually keeping the value of its currency up, not down. As much as I hate to differ with the conventional wisdom, there are a few issues here that deserve closer examination.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • “Productivity” is a perfect example of the pseudscience underpinning economics

        Economists are famously fragile about their field; after all, this is the field that created a fake Nobel prize to give its practitioners the veneer of credibility and empiricism that actual sciences enjoy.

        A favored tactic among economists is the use of complex equations that make it hard for nonpractitioners to spot the cards they’re palming. Just as con-artists like to lard complexity into bar-bets to make it hard to calculate the odds, and just as casino games like craps add extra lines and payouts the table to confound your ability to spot the house advantage, neoliberal economics has weaponized equations to exclude its critics from the discussion. Sometimes, this shitty math is so terrible that it threatens the whole planetary economy.

      • Extortion and alleged ISIS threats: A Saudi embassy learned the hard way about email security

        The Dutch Diplomatic Police emailed other embassies around The Hague amid all the threats. But they made one mistake — they used the cc field on the email, not bcc, exposing many diplomatic email addresses. Because the attacker still had access to the Saudi email account, they had a whole host of new targets.

      • Germany: AfD’s anti-refugee Facebook video sparks massive incitement probe

        The investigations have resulted in fines for 97 people so far, prosecutors in the town of Deggendorf told local public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk.

        Three people have been formally charged with incitement, although it is not clear when their court dates will be.

        Another 56 cases had to be dropped, as investigators could not determine exactly who was behind the comments as users hid their identities with pseudonyms.

      • Report says eight states to use paperless voting in 2020 despite security concerns

        At least eight states are on course to use paperless voting equipment, or machines without paper records, as the primary polling place equipment during the 2020 elections, a report published Tuesday by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice found.

        The report said that around 12 percent of Americans, or about 16 million people, will vote on paperless machines in 2020 and will have no paper record of how they voted.

      • Voting Machine Security: Where We Stand Six Months Before the New Hampshire Primary

        In late July, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the Russian government’s attacks on America’s election infrastructure.[1] While the report offered dozens of recommendations related to vast and varied election systems in the United States (from voter registration databases to election night reporting), it pointedly noted that there was an urgent need to secure the nation’s voting systems in particular.[2] Among the two most important recommendations made were that states should (1) replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems with “at minimum… a voter-verified paper trail,” and (2) adopt statistically sound audits. These recommendations are not new and have been consistently made by experts since long before the 2016 election.[3]

      • Protesters in Hong Kong take their grievances to the airport

        Meanwhile, across the border in China, the official language grows more shrill. In Beijing this week the government warned that the demonstrations showed “early signs of terrorism”. It claims to divine nefarious “black hands” at work fostering the unrest—ie, the United States and its friends. A Chinese state television channel has published a video claiming, in no unsubtle terms, to show the People’s Armed Police taking part in a large exercise near the border with Hong Kong. The suggestion that Chinese forces might intervene in a territory which was supposedly given a high degree of autonomy at the time of its handover to China 22 years ago is raising alarm in many world capitals. The prime ministers of Canada and Australia have called for Hong Kong’s leaders to seek to de-escalate the crisis by listening to local concerns. In the current mood, China may well interpret such interventions as yet more foreign meddling.

      • Artist Mitch O’Connell (not Moscow Mitch McConnell) wants to erect his famous Trump/They Live billboard in Times Square

        Well, Mitch recently found out that a Times Square billboard company will allow him to display his illustration on a billboard and he’s started a gofundme campaign to make this dream a reality. Go, Mitch!

      • The Phony Patriots of Silicon Valley

        Not long ago, many leading technologists considered themselves too lofty and idealistic to concern themselves with the petty affairs of government. John Perry Barlow, a lion of the early internet, addressed his “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” to the “governments of the industrial world,” saying that for him and his fellow netizens, these creaky institutions had “no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.”

        But that was before privacy scandals, antitrust investigations, congressional hearings, Chinese tariffs, presidential tweets and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

        Now, as they try to fend off regulation and avoid being broken up, some of the largest companies in Silicon Valley are tripping over their Allbirds in a race to cozy up to the United States government. [...]

      • Green MP Caroline Lucas responds to Labour no-confidence proposal

        Responding to a letter received this evening from Jeremy Corbyn about co-operation in the coming month in parliament, Green MP Caroline Lucas said:

        “We absolutely support and welcome Jeremy Corbyn’s call for a vote of no-confidence in order to avoid the catastrophe of the so-called ‘No Deal’. Preventing a crash-out Brexit on the 31st October was what lay behind my proposal earlier this week.

        “But the proposal from the Labour leader does not guarantee that the people are given the final say on Brexit.

      • Media Elites Melt Down Over Bernie Sanders’ Critique Of Washington Post

        Senator Bernie Sanders clarified his critique of the Washington Post’s coverage of his presidential campaign. “We are taking on corporate America. Large corporations own the media in America, by and large, and I think there is a framework, about how the corporate media focuses on politics.”

        “That is my concern. It’s not that Jeff Bezos [owner of the Washington Post] is on the phone every day; he’s not,” Sanders added.

        Sanders never said anything about the Amazon CEO being involved in the daily news and editorial decision-making of the Washington Post. In fact, what he said was in line with his past critiques of corporate media.

        In 1980, when Sanders was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he said, “Commercial television, as we know is owned and controlled by corporate interests whose only concern is profit. It makes no difference how many times during the hour are interrupted by commercials. It makes no difference what the content of the programming is. The function of commercial television is only to sell profits and make money for the people who own the stations.”

        On August 12, in New Hampshire, Sanders sardonically told supporters that he talks about Amazon not paying their fair share in taxes all the time. “I wonder why the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why.”

      • Jeremy Corbyn’s letter has turned the tables on Jo Swinson

        Who’s to blame for the failure of a cross-party government to prevent no deal? That’s the big question that Jo Swinson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, faced at her big speech this morning, which also saw the formal unveiling of their latest defector, the Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston.

        Jeremy Corbyn’s letter has successfully turned the media narrative – which given the whole “GNU” row is a tussle in the bubble is really all that matters – to a question not just of “What will Labour do?” but “Aren’t the Liberal Democrats also part of the problem”, which put Swinson on the defensive during the Q&A.

        The nonsense of the whole row is that both leaders are right. It’s not reasonable to expect Corbyn to publicly concede that doubts about his leadership are sufficiently large that there is no prospect of him forming a government. That would mean Labour going into an election telling the voters that a no-deal Brexit was a calamity that had to be prevented – having publicly conceded that the argument that a Corbyn government is an equal calamity is at least sufficiently worthwhile to be conceded to in order to prevent no deal. No political leader would ever agree to an act of such colossal self-destruction. No cross-party government – whether you want to call it a unity government, a caretaker government as Corbyn did or an emergency government as Swinson did today – can succeed without the leader of the largest opposition party or the leader of the governing party at its head.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Killing Free Speech in Canada

        As has become standard in such cases, the charter contains no definition of what constitutes “hate”, making it a catchall for whatever the Canadian government deems politically inopportune. This is all exhaustingly familiar by now: Germany already has legislation that requires social media platforms to censor their users. France is working on it.

      • Judge Dismisses Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Defamation Lawsuit Against The New York Times

        Attorney Larry Klayman is building himself quite the portfolio of high-profile losses. He’s well on his way to seeing his lawsuit on behalf of Judge Roy Moore tossed by an irritated court. His lawsuit against social media companies for their banning of noted tire slash expert Laura Loomer has already been dismissed.

        Well on his way to having his law license suspended, Klayman has just seen another one of his ridiculous lawsuits tossed by a federal court. [h/t Adam Steinbaugh]

        This one claimed three publications — including the New York Times — besmirched the previously-unsullied reputation of (ex) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, preventing him from successfully running for Senator.

        Reciting the litany of terrible things Arpaio had done over his career, the New York Times pointed out Arpaio is pretty much defamation-proof. Even though the Times screwed up by calling him a convicted felon rather than a convicted misdemeanant, everything else written about him was true or protected opinion.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Facebook has been collecting audio from some voice chats on Messenger and paying contractors to listen to and transcribe it

        But the company doesn’t disclose in its data-use policies that it collects audio from users or that it sends such data to people to transcribe, Bloomberg reported.

      • Microsoft’s latest privacy policy says vendors listen to voice data

        A spokesperson for Microsoft said the company collects voice data to provide voice-enabled services for Skype and Cortana and sometimes uses vendors to assist in improving these services.

      • GitHub faces class-action lawsuit over role in Capital One breach

        The plaintiffs claim Capital One and GitHub of failing to protect customers’ personal information and said that both companies need to be held responsible for their role in the data breach. They also accuse the source-code hosting website of being involved in actively encouraging “(at least) friendly [cracking]“.

      • 5 Reasons GitHub Is Being Sued Over the Capital One Data Breach

        Let’s take a look at what the lawsuit says about GitHub as it relates to the Capital One [cracking] case.

      • We Talked to the Teen Who Tweeted From Her Fridge After Her Mom Took Her Phone

        In her recounting over Twitter DM, Dorothy told me that her mom took away her phone after she “was boiling rice and was too busy on phone and stove burst into flames.” She was watching YouTube at the time.

        After her phone was confiscated, she began desperately searching for other ways to tweet. “I’ve been bored all summer and twitter passes the time for me,” she said. She also worried that if she stayed off the platform too long, she’d lose her mutuals — [Internet] shorthand for users who follow each other.

      • British Airways E-Ticketing Flaw Exposes Passenger Flight, Personal Data

        Researchers on Tuesday said that check-in links being sent by British Airways to their passengers via email are unencrypted – opening them up to an attack that could expose victims’ booking reference numbers, phone numbers, email addresses and more. Researchers told Threatpost they estimate that 2.5 million connections were made to the affected British Airways domains over the past six months, so the potential impact is “significant.”

      • Facebook Paid Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio Chats

        Facebook Inc. has been paying hundreds of outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its services, according to people with knowledge of the work.

        The work has rattled the contract employees, who are not told where the audio was recorded or how it was obtained – only to transcribe it, said the people, who requested anonymity for fear of losing their jobs. They’re hearing Facebook users’ conversations, sometimes with vulgar content, but do not know why Facebook needs them transcribed, the people said.

      • Facebook Paid Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio Chats

        Facebook confirmed that it had been transcribing users’ audio and said it will no longer do so, following scrutiny into other companies. “Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company said Tuesday. The company said the users who were affected chose the option in Facebook’s Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed. The contractors were checking whether Facebook’s artificial intelligence correctly interpreted the messages, which were anonymized.

      • Facebook also hired human contractors to listen to audio from its Messenger app

        Since 2015, Messenger has offered a feature to transcribe voice clips to text, although it is turned off by default. Facebook claims only those who opted in to the feature had their audio clips reviewed by third-party contractors. However, according to its support page, if even one person in your chat has consented to Facebook transcribing the conversation, any audio in the thread would have been translated, regardless of who sent it.

        The findings are particularly troubling given that nowhere in Facebook’s support page or terms of service does it indicate that humans would be reviewing the audio. “Voice to Text uses machine learning. The more you use this feature, the more Voice to Text can help you,” the support page reads.

      • How Facebook Is Changing to Deal With Scrutiny of Its Power

        Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for the breakup of big tech companies like Facebook. Regulators have opened investigations into Facebook’s power in social networking. Even one of Facebook’s own founders has laid out a case for why the company needs to be split up.

        Now the world’s biggest social network has started to modify its behavior — in both pre-emptive and defensive ways — to deal with those threats.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Supreme Court upholds legality of HS journalist’s home search

        The court decision means that police have been able to use material confiscated during the home search in its preliminary investigation. In addition, they do not have to return the material recovered in the search.

      • Iranian Photojournalist’s Whereabouts Unknown More Than A Week After Arrest

        Jafari was detained outside her Tehran home on August 3 and taken to an unknown location, the New York-based media freedom watchdog said, citing news reports.

        Authorities also searched Jafari’s home that day and confiscated dozens of items, including her phone, memory drives, and cameras, according to a photograph of an Iranian judiciary document that circulated on social media.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Jailed Saudi woman activist told to deny torture in release ‘deal’

        Hathloul, who recently marked her 30th birthday in jail, is among around a dozen prominent women activists who are currently facing trial after being detained last year in a sweeping crackdown on dissent.

        She was among a few detainees who accused interrogators of subjecting them to torture — including electric shocks, flogging and groping in detention — a charge vigorously denied by the government.

      • ASAP Rocky: A complete timeline of rapper’s assault case

        The rapper spent most of July behind bars in Sweden after a violent incident on the streets of Stockholm between him, his entourage and two unknown men.

      • A$AP Rocky found guilty in Sweden assault case, fined $1,300 but will not serve jail time

        The artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, earlier pleaded self-defense and said he had tried to avoid a confrontation with two men who he said were persistently following his entourage. One of them picked a fight with one of Mayers’ bodyguards, the rapper told the Stockholm District Court.

      • ‘Don’t go out alone’: Swedish police warn women after four rapes in four days

        Police did, however, release a warning. Not to any would-be rapists, but to their potential victims. “Women in town should not be worried, but must think how to behave,” the city’s police force said in a statement to newspaper Expressen.

        “Feel free to walk on illuminated streets and not alone in alleys or parks,” they continued, adding that because officers “cannot be in all places, both men and women have to think ahead.”

      • Seventy years on, the Geneva Conventions are more relevant than ever

        Seventy years ago this week, following the devastation of the Second World War, the diplomatic conference of the International Committee of the Red Cross adopted the Geneva Conventions – also known as the laws of war.

        The conventions describe how, in times of war, nations should treat the wounded and sick, the shipwrecked, prisoners of war and civilians. They have been signed by every country in the world.

      • Travel Advisory: United States of America

        The Amnesty International travel advisory for the country of the United States of America calls on people worldwide to exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan when traveling throughout the USA. This Travel Advisory is being issued in light of ongoing high levels of gun violence in the country.

      • Whitney Cummings Posts (Partially) Nude Photo Of Herself In Response To Blackmail Threat; Is That Revenge Porn?

        Revenge porn — or, more accurately, “non-consensual” posting of naked photos — is a real problem. Such postings are, rightly, seen as an invasion into people’s private lives, and are (quite frequently) supported by really awful online services, run by scammers and jackasses who keep ending up in prison or in other trouble with the law. Most of time this is because existing laws can, and do, handle these situations. Most mainstream internet platforms now have very clear rules against non-consensual nudity and act quite quickly to take it down.

        However, there are continued efforts at passing laws to deal with this issue — even if the attempts to do so mostly appear to be unconstitutional. We’ve also pointed out that these laws potentially criminalize behavior most people don’t think of as “revenge porn,” which could represent a real issue.

      • Jonathan Weisman’s Judgment Has Been Lapsing for a Long While Now

        This was followed by a bizarre controversy in which Weisman demanded an “enormous apology” from African-American writer Roxane Gay, who had criticized him for “telling a black woman she isn’t black.” Weisman had chided the progressive Justice Democrats for endorsing a challenger to “an African-American Democrat”; when the challenger, Morgan Harper, pointed out, “I am also black,” Weisman retorted: “@justicedems‘s endorsement included a photo.”

        The Times announced that Weisman “will no longer be overseeing the team that covers Congress or be active on social media,” and these are good things. But I would take issue with the idea that his “lapses in judgment” are recent. At FAIR, we’ve been following Weisman’s career for quite some time, and “lapses of judgment” seem to be par for the course for him.

      • NYPD’s Failure To Remove A Vehicle From Its Stolen Car Database Results In Another Citizen Staring Down The Barrel Of Several Guns

        So far, it seems Cashman’s effusive praise for the officers who drew down on him isn’t misplaced. (We’ll get to his praise in a moment.) But if this was all that had actually happened, the cops would be completely in the right. A stolen vehicle being driven by someone is generally a guns-out sort of operation. That’s why ALPRs suck so much when they’re wrong. And they’re wrong more often than law enforcement would like to admit.

        But that’s not the whole story. Cashman was actually on his way to the Norwalk police department to have his car examined for evidence. The NYPD had already recovered Cashman’s car and returned it to him. However, the NYPD failed to take his vehicle off the stolen vehicle hotlist. Cashman received a call from Westchester police en route saying his plate had apparently been snagged by an ALPR operated by them and officers wanted to know if he was driving his vehicle.

        Somehow, this information never made it to the Darien PD, which was already searching for a Jeep like Cashman’s due to a report of a man driving a similar vehicle brandishing a weapon at a local doctor’s office. That increased the itchiness of the trigger fingers, which became even itchier when his plate was run and the NYPD database still showed the vehicle as “stolen.”

        Somewhere between five and ten officers handled the dangerous Cashman who was just trying to bring his car to the local PD to be processed for evidence. Cashman had nothing but praise for the officers spurred into action by the NYPD’s inexplicable inaction.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Fight Over Section 230—and the Internet as We Know It

        Section 230, as it’s commonly known, provides “interactive computer services”—that is, anything from web hosts to websites to social media companies—with broad immunity from civil cases over the content users publish on their platforms. (Companies can still be held liable under federal criminal law and for intellectual property violations.) Among other things, this protection allowed social media companies to flourish without worrying about each and every post bringing about some potential, ruinous lawsuit. But it’s also come under increasing scrutiny, with some critics arguing that tech firms need more accountability.

      • Verizon Ruined Tumblr And Just Sold It For Peanuts

        But it wasn’t the lack of porn that killed Tumblr, just the mere presence of Verizon and Yahoo. From the moment the suits took over, user numbers started taking a six year nosedive and new members were cut by a third. Which is something anyone on Tumblr could’ve told them in five memes or less. After all, part of the site’s whole appeal was to serve a little nook of chaotic freedom far away from our (mainstream commercialized) reality. An illusion that becomes hard to maintain when you’re constantly being reminded that it also has a boss who has a boss who has a boss — well, you get the idea.

      • The Past and Future of The Internet: A Symposium for John Perry Barlow

        The Duke Law and Technology Review has released a special edition dedicated to examining the legal and philosophical legacy of John Perry Barlow: co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; junior lyricist for the Grateful Dead; biofuel entrepreneur; philosopher; poet; hacker Zelig; and driven, delightful weirdo.

      • Three Years of Misery Inside Google, the Happiest Company in Tech

        For this article, WIRED spoke with 47 current and former Google employees. Most of them requested anonymity. Together, they described a period of growing distrust and disillusionment inside Google that echoed the fury roaring outside the company’s walls. And in all that time, Google could never quite anticipate the right incoming collision. After the travel ban walkout, for example, the company’s leaders expected the worst—and that it would come from Washington. “I knew we were snowballing toward something,” a former executive says. “I thought it was going to be Trump calling us out in the press. I didn’t think it was gonna be some guy writing a memo.”

    • Lock-in/Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Apple locked me out of its walled garden. It was a nightmare

        I started to realize just how far-reaching the effects of Apple disabling my account were. One of the things I love about Apple’s ecosystem is that I’ve built my media collection on iTunes, and can access it from any of my Apple devices. My partner and I have owned numerous iPods, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, iMacs, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, and even a HomePod, over the years. Apple plays a big part in my professional life too: I’m the IT manager for Quartz, and we use Apple hardware and publish on Apple platforms.

        But when Apple locked my account, all of my devices became virtually unusable. At first, it seemed like a mild inconvenience, but I soon found out how many apps on my iOS and Mac devices couldn’t be updated, not to mention how I couldn’t download anything new. When I had to take a trip for a family emergency, the JetBlue app wouldn’t let me access my boarding pass, saying I had to update the app to use it. It was the first time I’d flown with a paper boarding pass in years. I couldn’t even pass time on the flight playing Animal Crossing on my phone, because I got a similar error message when I opened the game.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Global Innovation Index Highlights The Difference Between Patents And Innovation

          The 2019 Global Innovation Index (GII) was recently released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Conceived of as a broad measure of the innovative environment in various countries, the GII incorporates a wide variety of indicators in an attempt to measure innovation, ranging from scientific articles normalized by economic output, to the number of full-time equivalent researchers per capita, to ease of access to the Internet. (And yes, it also includes the number of patents.) It also includes some indicators that I’m less certain are meaningful, such as Wikipedia edits or country code top-level domains (CCTLDs) per capita.1 While innovation-ranking systems are hard to design—in part, because innovation is hard to measure—the GII at least attempts to use a variety of well-defined indicators. (Other such systems, not so much.)

          But the most important part of the Global Innovation Index isn’t the indicators, or even the ultimate ranking. (The U.S. is ranked third, behind Switzerland and Sweden. No offense to my Swiss or Swedish friends, but I’m a little skeptical of that order.) It’s in how the report defines an innovation.


          Promoting patents isn’t the same thing as promoting progress.

        • The first AI inventor – IPKat searches for the facts behind the hype

          As has been recently widely reported (BBC, Financial Times and The Times), a number of patent applications have been filed designating a machine learning (ML) algorithm as an inventor. The aim of the applications appears to kickstart a conversation on how patent law could be changed to take account of AI inventorship. But before we answer the “could”, we need to answer the “should”. A claim of AI inventorship is also one that should be carefully examined. An AI that can understand the state of the art and articulate a meaningful and inventive contribution to the field, would be an incredible advance in machine learning.


          It could be argued that the algorithm’s inventions are themselves evidence of its inventive capacity. The applications naming the algorithm as an inventor relate to a food container (EP18275163, the corresponding US application can be seen here) and a flashing light to be used in emergency situations (EP18275174, the corresponding US application can be seen here). The University of Surrey press release indicates that the UK IPO has already found these inventions to be novel, inventive and to have industrial application. Of course, novel, inventive and industrial applicable subject matter is not necessarily commercially useful or practical.

        • Avanci patent pool outlines how it seeks to duck Continental’s U.S. antitrust action going for its throat

          The next important date in this case is August 21. That’s when Judge Koh will hold the case management conference (in preparation of which the above statement was filed), and it’s also the deadline (no coincidence, obviously) for the parties to file a briefing schedule for a consolidated motion to dismiss by all defendants. The motion to dismiss will be accompanied, simultaneously or near-simultaneously, by a motion to stay discovery. Surprise, surprise: Continental will oppose those motions.

          While Continental accurately notes that the defendants put a whole lot of substantive stuff into this case management statement, I’m actually glad they did, as this gives all of us a better idea of the issues that Avanci and its co-defendants will put front and center.

          This litigation has barely begun, and there already are some questions on the table for Judge Koh to resolve. The defendants would like to escape her jurisdiction by means of a transfer to the Northern District of Texas, and Continental’s motion for an antisuit injunction has been fully briefed (in other posts I discussed Nokia’s German anti-antisuit injunction and Continental’s reply brief, which mentions five German Sharp v. Daimler patent infringement cases).

          A transfer from San Jose to Dallas would help Avanci avoid unfavorable (to SEP abusers) case law in the Northern District of California, but ideally they want to get rid of this U.S. antitrust case altogether. That’s why they’re preparing the aforementioned motion to dismiss. Yesterday’s joint case management statement provides an outline of the key theories underlying the forthcoming motion.

      • Copyrights

        • Malibu Media, Litigious Porn Studio, Sued for Allegedly Cheating Financiers

          The complaint, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, targets Colette Pelissier and Brigham Feld, responsible for such films as My Neighbor’s Wife and Perfect Threesomes. At Malibu Media, the duo run runs X-Art, but that’s not what makes them so infamous in legal circles. Instead, it’s the countless lawsuits filed since 2012 against anonymous “John Does” using BitTorrent to download pornography. In the years since Malibu Media became nearly synonymous with copyright trolling, courts have been flooded with hard questions about due process. And the company has faced its fair share of legal troubles along the way.

          Now Malibu Media is on the defensive due to a complaint filed by Genova Capital and Warmblood Inc., both run by Joshua Hunter and Robert Cook.

          According to the legal action, Pelissier and Feld’s “high-end lifestyle has begun to outstrip their business income.”

          Genova says it first extended $2.5 million in loans to the duo in 2016 to assist them in fending off an ownership dispute over a real estate property in Malibu. Later, Warmblood invested $400,000 in Malibu Media.

        • Giant Copyright Troll, Malibu Media, Sued By Investors

          We’ve written a bunch of stories about Malibu Media, a copyright trolling operation. The company’s founders, Colette Pelissier and Brigham Feld, like to claim that they’re purveyors of “classy” pornography under the X-Art brand, but their business seems almost entirely focused on trolling practices. And its embrace of copyright trolling has resulted in some significant problems for the company over the years, as judges have very much caught on to the company’s long history of sketchy practices.

        • Warner Bros. Obtains Several Blocking Orders Targeting Major Pirate Sites

          Warner Bros. has obtained several interim injunctions which compel ISPs in India to begin blocking major ‘pirate’ sites including EZTV, TorrentDownloads, Zooqle, Monova, Tamilrockers, and many more. The original applications are for permanent blocking injunctions that can be varied to counter circumvention. In some cases, domain suspensions have also been ordered.


Links 14/8/2019: Best Chromebooks, EPEL 8.0, LibreOffice 6.2.6

Posted in News Roundup at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • How Mobile Linux Differs from Desktop Linux

      Next year might be “the year of desktop Linux” in perpetuity, but mobile operating systems aren’t waiting around. They represent the fastest-growing of the Linux kernel, powering the vast majority of mobile devices. But how can the same kernel work on the desktop and a mobile system? Android doesn’t make much of a desktop operating system after all. The basic rules stay the same, but there are significant differences between mobile and desktop operating systems.

    • Desktop

      • Best Chromebook laptops for school

        You might think a Chromebook is limited because it can only run programs when it’s online. That’s not true. For example, you can still work with Google Docs when you’re offline.

        Also, you can now run many Android apps on Chromebooks. And, these days you can run a full Linux desktop on your new Intel-based Chromebook. Indeed, as my tech buddy Mike Elgan points out, today’s high-end Chromebook laptops “run more apps without dual- or multi-booting than any other computing platform. Chromebook laptops can run apps from Android, Linux, and Windows concurrently in the same session.”

        In addition, as FutureSource points out, when it comes to school work, Chromebook laptops combine “affordable devices, productivity tools via G-Suite, easy integration with third-party platforms/tools, task management/distribution via Google Classroom, and easy device management remains extremely popular with US teachers and IT buyers alike.”

        One unsung advantage of Chromebook laptops is that, if your dog ate the Chromebook, you wouldn’t have lost your work. All you need do is get another one, log on, and you’re back in business with all your e-mail, documents, and calendars intact and ready to go. Another sweet deal that comes when you buy a Chromebook is that you can get 100GB of free Google One cloud storage for a year. That’s more than enough room for your homework.

        And, since it’s easy to erase a Chromebook and then reset it to your account, this is safer than using a used Windows laptop.

    • Server

      • Linux and Cloud Computing: Can Pigs Fly? Linux now Dominates Microsoft Azure Servers [Ed: This is not about “Linux” dominating Microsoft but Microsoft trying to dominate GNU/Linux]

        Over the last five years things have changed dramatically at Microsoft. Microsoft has embraced Linux. Earlier in the year, Sasha Levin, Microsoft Linux kernel developer, said that now more than half of the servers in Microsoft Azure are running Linux.

      • Google Cloud Adds Compute, Memory-Intensive VMs

        Google added virtual machine (VM) types on Google Compute Engine including second-generation Intel Xeon scalable processor machines and new VMs for compute- and memory-heavy applications.

      • Kubernetes Ingress

        On a similar note, if your application doesn’t serve a purpose outside the Kubernetes cluster, does it really matter whether or not your cluster is well built? Probably not.

        To give you a concrete example, let’s say we have a classical web app composed of a frontend written in Nodejs and a backend written in Python which uses MySQL database. You deploy two corresponding services on your Kubernetes cluster.

        You make a Dockerfile specifying how to package the frontend software into a container, and similarly you package your backend. Next in your Kubernetes cluster, you will deploy two services each running a set of pods behind it. The web service can talk to the database cluster and vice versa.

      • IBM

        • Announcing EPEL-8.0 Official Release

          The EPEL Steering Committee is pleased to announce that the initial EPEL-8 is ready for release. We would like to thank everyone in the community for helping us get the initial set of builds out to mirrors and to consumers worldwide. Special thanks go to Patrick Uiterwijk, Jeroen van Meeuwen, Robert Scheck, and many others in the community who helped in the last 6 months to get this release done.

          EPEL-8.0 has packages for the x86_64, ppc64le, aarch64, and now the s390x platforms.
          What is EPEL?

          EPEL stands for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux and is a subcommunity of the Fedora and CentOS projects aimed at bringing a subset of packages out of Fedora releases ready to be used and installed on various Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is not a complete rebuild of Fedora or even of previous EPEL releases. EPEL is also a community and not a product. As such we need community members to help get packages into the repository more than done in Fedora.

        • EPEL 8.0 released
          The EPEL Steering Committee is pleased to announce that the initial
          EPEL-8 is ready for release. We would like to thank everyone in the
          community for helping us get the initial set of builds out to mirrors
          and to consumers worldwide. Special thanks go to Patrick Uiterwijk,
          Jeroen van Meeuwen, Robert Scheck, and many others in the community
          who helped in the last 6 months to get this release done.
          EPEL-8.0 has packages for the x86_64, ppc64le, aarch64, and now the
          s390x platforms.
          ## What is EPEL?
          EPEL stands for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux and is a
          subcommunity of the Fedora and CentOS projects aimed at bringing a
          subset of packages out of Fedora releases ready to be used and
          installed on various Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is not a
          complete rebuild of Fedora or even of previous EPEL releases. EPEL is
          also a community and not a product. As such we need community members
          to help get packages into the repository more than done in Fedora.
          If you are interested in getting a package into EPEL, contact the
          package maintainer through bugzilla. This way the request can be
          tracked, and if the primary maintainer is not interested in branching
          to EPEL, others can step in and do so. Optionally you can send a
          request to the epel-devel@lists.fedoraproject.org mailing list. If you
          do so, please include why the package is needed, to help other
          volunteers decide whether they can support it.
          ## What is new?
          ### Playground for Rawhide like things
          We have added an additional set of channels for EPEL-8 called
          playground. It is similar to Fedora Rawhide so packagers can work on
          versions of software that are too fast moving or will have large API
          changes compared to versions in the regular channel.
          To make this purpose transparent, when a package is built in epel8, it
          will normally also be built in epel8-playground. This is done via a
          packages.cfg file which lists the targets for fedpkg to build against.
          A successful package build will then go through two different paths:
          * epel8 package will go into bodhi to be put into epel8-testing
          * epel8-playground will bypass bodhi and go directly into
          epel8-playground the next compose.
          If a packager needs to focus only on epel8 or epel8-playground they
          can edit packages.cfg to change the target=epel8 epel8-playground to
          Packages in epel8-playground are intended to be used in the following manner:
          * To test out a new version of the package that might not be stable yet.
          * To test out new packaging of the package
          * To test a major version change of the package intended for the next
          EPEL-8 minor release.
          * To build a package that will never be stable enough for EPEL-8, but
          still could be useful to some.
          At minor RHEL releases (ie, 8.1, 8.2) people can pull in big changes
          from playground to the main EPEL-8 packages. Since people will be
          upgrading and paying more attention than usual anyhow at those points,
          it’s a great chance to do that change, but you can test beforehand in
          the playground to make sure these changes work.
          Consumers should be aware that packages in EPEL8-playground are
          without any Service Level Expectations. You may want to only cherry
          pick packages from the playground as needed.
          ### New Architecture: s390x
          We have added the s390x platform to builds. Some consumers have wanted
          this platform for many years but we did not have the time to integrate
          necessary changes. We have done this with EPEL-8, and hope to be able
          to do so for EPEL-7 if there are continued requests for it.
          ## What is next? (Why is it called EPEL-8.0?)
          The goal for EPEL-8.1 will be implementing modules into the
          repository, which allows builds for packages that depend on
          non-shipped devel packages. It also allows maintainers to supplement
          and replace other packages they could not under standard EPEL rules.
          ## Known Issues:
          1. EPEL-8.0 does not come with modules. Packages built for perl,
          python and other modules are only built against “default” modules. For
          example installing a perl library from EPEL will work with the
          perl-5.26 but not with the perl-5.24 module.
          2. RHEL-8.0 and RHEL-8.1 beta do not come with the same packages in
          all architectures. There are 720 ‘desktop’ packages which were only
          shipped for x86_64 and ppc64le. Packagers looking to deliver GNOME,
          KDE, or other platforms will need to exclude s390x and aarch64 at this
          3. The dnf in RHEL-8.1 beta does not work with the EPEL repository due
          to zchunk code. This has been opened as an upstream bug as
          4. Until modularity and module builds are implemented in EPEL, there
          will be many packages which can not be built for EPEL. This is mainly
          due to RHEL-8 not shipping many -devel packages and the need for us to
          rebuild those packages in a module to make those -devel available to
          build against. When running into this please open a ticket with
          https://pagure.io/epel/new_issue for us to put in a request for it to
          be added to Red Hat’s Code Ready Builder. Please list the package(s)
          which is blocked from being built because of its absence. We will
          collate these items into bugzilla tickets which will be reviewed by
          the Red Hat product groups to see if they will be added in future Code
          Ready Builder releases. Doing this will ensure that we do not have 70
          requests for foo-devel but can have one with all the packages needing
          5. /usr/bin/python does not exist in RHEL8. Developers should aim
          towards /usr/bin/python3 or /usr/bin/python2 and patch appropriately.
          Python2 packages are discouraged. RHEL-8 will contain python2.7 until
          probably the end of life of RHEL-7. However support upstream will only
          be minimal. When modularity occurs, we suggest that you make whatever
          python2 packages modules which can be pulled out when RHEL-8.N no
          longer has python2.
          6. python2-sphinx is not shipped. Most packages should work with
          python3-sphinx, and if it doesn’t please open a bug. The python team
          has been good about making fixes for this.
          7. When branching python packages, be aware that python in EL-8 is
          python36 and not the version currently in rawhide. This has come up
          with a couple of test packages where they assumed python37 or later.
          8. While EL-8 comes with platform-python, it should NOT be used in
          Requires: unless absolutely necessary. python3 should be used instead.
          (Exceptions can be made but will be rare and need justification.)
            * Accepted exception: Use python3.6dist(coverage) instead of
          python3-coverage. This package is not shipped but is needed in %check
          10. Sometimes RHEL8 only has a python3 package for a dependency you
          need for your build. (Example: python-bleach requires
          python2-html5lib, but RHEL8 provides only python3-html5lib). For
          EPEL-8.0 we recommend strongly to only focus on python3 subpackages..
          11. RHEL-8 was built with packages which were not shipped. In general
          it is OK to branch these packages and build them in EPEL.
          12. systemd-rpm-macros is not a separate packages. If needed, used
          BuildRequires: systemd
          13. You will need to make sure you have a version of fedpkg greater
          than fedpkg-1.37-4 to work with both `epel8` and `epel8-playground`.
          Versions before that should work with just `epel8`.
          ## Developer requests for multiple branches
          Branching is handled the same way as requesting a branch using fedpkg
          request-branch. A maintainer can request an epel8 branch using fedpkg
          request-branch epel8 which will create a ticket in
          https://pagure.io/releng/fedora-scm-requests/issues and Release
          Engineering will process these requests.
          To branch multiple packages please use this or a variant of this script:
          # Reminder to get an updated pagure token for releng tickets
          # Usage: epel-8.sh package1 package2 package3 package4
          if [ $# -lt 1 ]
              echo "At least one package name should be provided"
              TMPDIR=`mktemp -d /tmp/epel8.XXXXXX`
              pushd "$TMPDIR"
              for pkg in "$@"
                  fedpkg clone "$pkg"
                  pushd "$pkg"
                  fedpkg request-branch epel8
                  fedpkg request-branch epel8-playground
              rm -rfv "$TMPDIR"
          Releng will then work through the tickets in the system which is
          adding branches to the PDC and src.fedoraproject.org.
          ## Known RHEL-8 packages missing -devel
          * libblueray-devel
          * liba52-devel
          * libXvMC-devel
          * libdvdnav-devel
          * gfbgraph-devel
          * libuv-devel
          * rest-devel
          * qgpgme-devel
          ## Definitions
          * Package maintainer. Person who has accepted responsibility to
          package and maintain software in the Fedora Project ecosystem. The
          main packager is usually someone focused on Fedora Linux, and
          secondary packagers may be focused on particular use cases like EPEL.
          * Consumer. A person who has subscribed to EPEL for packages but is
          not a maintainer.
          * PDC. Product Definition Center. A tool to help list the lifetime and
          permissions that a product has so that branching and updates can be
          better managed.
        • EPEL 8.0 Is Now Ready To Offer Up More Packages To Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Users

          EPEL 8.0 is now ready for users of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and the eventual CentOS 8 for complementing the standard repositories with extra packages for what is found in Fedora.

          The “Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux” continues providing a sub-set of Fedora’s packages to RHEL/CentOS users. Just as they’ve done for prior RHEL series, EPEL 8.0 provides updated/additional packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 / CentOS 8.0 users.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 315 – Les, Dan and the Banter

        In the first half, Dan learns Jekyll and Ruby web development, Les teaches kids to code in Manchester, Leo has been testing Ubuntu 19.04 and attending a wedding, Bo is now certified, Tony Hughes has been Volunteering again and running ‘ARCH’, Moss is Distrohopping big time and is getting a new Pi 2B, Josh is publishing another issue of his magazine, and Joe buys new ‘old’ laptops for the kids and plays with Pis.

        Then, our news, we discuss new hardware, the death of the floppy drive (or not), Demise of another Linux magazine and some controversy in the OS world.

    • Kernel Space

      • BFQ (Budget Fair Queuing) I/O Scheduler Improves Linux Systems Responsiveness (Video)

        Storage is normally the slowest part of a system, and operating systems such as Linux try to limit I/O access with “tricks” like caching. The I/O.

      • RapidDisk version 6.0-1 released

        RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives.


        I also made sure to verify that the latest module code compiles cleanly with version 5.3 (currently at -RC4) of the Linux kernel.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Announcing New Course: DevOps and SRE Fundamentals-Implementing Continuous Delivery

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced today that enrollment is now open for the new DevOps and SRE Fundamentals – Implementing Continuous Delivery eLearning course. The course will help an organization be more agile, deliver features rapidly, while at the same time being able to achieve non-functional requirements such as availability, reliability, scalability, security, etc.

          According to Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, “The rise of cloud native computing and site reliability engineering are changing the way applications are built, tested, and deployed. The past few years have seen a shift towards having Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) on staff instead of just plain old sysadmins; building familiarity with SRE principles and continuous delivery open source projects are an excellent career investment.”

    • Benchmarks

      • Blender 2.80 Performance With Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 vs. AMD EPYC 7742

        The Blender 2.80 release arrived at the end of July that unfortunately was too late for using that big new release in our launch-day testing of AMD’s EPYC 7002 “Rome” processors but as a follow-up here are AMD EPYC 7742 performance benchmarks up against the Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 Cascade Lake as well as the AMD EPYC 7601 2P. Blender 2.80 performance is the focus of this article along with some other renderer benchmarks.


        The three servers used for testing (AMD Naples, AMD Rome, Intel Cascade Lake) were using Intel Optane 900p NVMe SSDs for storage and RAM satisfying all available channels and at each processor’s optimal frequencies. Ubuntu 19.04 was running on each server with the Linux 5.2 kernel. The Phoronix Test Suite test profile makes use of Blender 2.80′s official binaries and some of the common benchmark scenes, similar to the long-standing Blender 2.79 test.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Time travelling adventure game The Great Perhaps is out now

        Caligari Games and Daedalic Entertainment have today released their time bending adventure game The Great Perhaps and with it comes same-day Linux support as promised.

        A very intriguing game this one, since it’s both pre and post-apocalypse due to the time travelling mechanics involved. The game tells the story of an astronaut returning to Earth destroyed by natural disasters. While searching amongst the ruins, you find an usual old lantern which has the ability to shine a light into time itself.

      • The Great Perhaps Out Now for PC Mac and Linux

        Daedalic Entertainment has launched the original time travel adventure game The Great Perhaps, the debut title from indie developer Caligari Games. Featuring hours of puzzle-based gameplay and atmospheric storytelling in a unique sci-fi universe, this thought-provoking journey will be available for £8.99 / €9.99 / $9.99 on Windows PC, Mac and Linux via Steam, GOG.com and other portals.

      • pyLinuxWheel and Oversteer, two open source tools for managing Steering Wheels on Linux

        Don’t get frustrated by the lack of official support from Logitech for their steering wheels on Linux, reclaim your hardware with these two handy open source tools.

        The first, is pyLinuxWheel (GPL). This supports Driving Force Pro, Driving Force GT, G25, G27 and the G29.

        A few days ago, pyLinuxWheel had a brand new 0.4 release adding support for alternate modes, a Spanish translation and Driving Force Pro Logitech wheel support.

      • Dead Cells feature filled Who’s the Boss update out now under a new company

        Some exciting news if you’re a big Dead Cells fan like me, as work shall continue on it to expand the game even further under a new dedicated company.

        Motion Twin, the original developer is a “workers co-op” and they said this makes growing their team a little difficult. Since they’ve been prototyping new games, they also wanted to continue working on Dead Cells. So to do exactly that, the company Evil Empire was created. They’re all still in the same office, they have the exact same creative control as before but now they have a dedicated team for Dead Cells. Well, that’s one way to do it!

      • Tactics V: “Obsidian Brigade” brings a retro turn-based tactics game to Linux

        Retro-style tactical turn-based strategy game Tactics V: “Obsidian Brigade” has recently released with Linux support.

        Another new interesting release for you recently, developed by From Nothing Game Studios, Tactics V: “Obsidian Brigade” is inspired by console tactical RPGs from the 1990s like Final Fantasy Tactics.

      • Defeat enemies and take their abilities in the roguelike dungeon crawler Emberlight, now available

        Released on Steam yesterday with same-day Linux support, Emberlight is a dungeon crawler with a bit of a difference.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Best desktop environments for Debian

        Under Linux the desktop environment, or graphical environment is independent of the OS (Operating system) in contrast to Windows which, as its name says, incorporated windows as part of its core rather than an optional feature we could add to MS-DOS. I won’t explain deeply that Linux is a kernel rather than an OS and all additional components are complementary including the graphical environment but it is what brings the flexibility on tools choice.
        Initially Linux wasn’t developed for domestic use, based on Unix it provided multiuser, multitask and networking functions and the graphical environment wasn’t an initial priority, actually in contrast to Windows servers Linux servers lack of graphical environment because it is unnecessary (but optional, as with any Linux installation).

        For domestic or professional use, users need a graphical interface of which you can choose among many options, some of which will be explained in this article.

        The disclaimer is no one can affirm what the best desktop environments are since the choice is based on individual needs and tastes, this article lists some desktop environments currently remain unused like Fluxbox because I consider it great, sadly the Linux community disagreed.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Lazy Qt Models from QVariant

          In Calamares there is a debug window; it shows some panes of information and one of them is a tree view of some internal data in the application. The data itself isn’t stored as a model though, it is stored in one big QVariantMap. So to display that map as a tree, the code needs to provide a Qt model so that then the regular Qt views can do their thing.


          This is strongly oriented towards the key-value display of a QVariantMap as a tree, but it could possibly be massaged into another form. It also is pushy in smashing everything into string form. It could probably use data from the map more directly (e.g. pixmaps) and be even more fancy that way.

          Most of my software development is pretty “plain”. It is straightforward code. This was one of the rare occasions that I took out pencil and paper and sketched a data structure before coding (or more accurate: I did a bunch of hacking, got nowhere, and realised I’d have to do some thinking before I’d get anywhere – cue tea and chocolate).

          What I ended up with was a QVector of quintptrs (since a QModelIndex can use that quintptr as intenal data). The length of the vector is equal to the number of nodes in the tree, each node is assigned an index in the tree (I used depth-first traversal along whatever arbitrary yet consistent order Qt gives me the keys, enumerating each node as it is encountered). In the vector, I store the parent index of each node, at the index of the node itself. The root is index 0, and has a special parent.

    • Distributions

      • How to Distro Hop With a Web Browser

        Getting familiar with Linux up close and personal is easy to do with a free service provided by DistroTest.net, a website that allows testing without ISO downloads or local installations.

        Are you a wandering Linux distro hopper looking for a way to streamline the selection process? Are you a Windows or macOS user who wants to try Linux?

        Linux has countless distributions and dozens of desktop environments. How can you choose?

        Now you can find the perfect combination of distro and desktop without leaving the Web browser running on your current operating system. Just point that browser to DistroTest.net.

        The DistroTest website is a relatively new online Linux distro-vetting system. It even includes some BSD offerings if you have a hankering to venture into an operating system that is similar to Linux.

      • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 82

        July and August are very sunny months in Europe? and chameleons like sun. That?s why most YaST developers run away from their keyboards during this period to enjoy vacations. Of course, that has an impact in the development speed of YaST and, as a consequence, in the length of the YaST Team blog posts.


        Bcache technology made its debut in YaST several sprints ago. You can use the Expert Partitioner to create your Bcache devices and improve the performance of your slow disks. We even published a dedicated blog post with all details about it.

        Apart of the Expert Partitioner, AutoYaST was also extended to support Bcache devices. And this time, we are pleased to announce that ? we have fixed our first Bcache bug!

        Actually, there were two different bugs in the AutoYaST side. First, the auto-installation failed when you tried to create a Bcache device without a caching set. On the other hand, it was not possible to create a Bcache with an LVM Logical Volume as backing device. Both bugs are gone, and now AutoYaST supports those scenarios perfectly.

      • Fedora Family

        • Sausage Factory: Modules – Fake it till you make it

          Last week during Flock to Fedora, we had a discussion about what is needed to build a module outside of the Fedora infrastructure (such as through COPR or OBS). I had some thoughts on this and so I decided to perform a few experiments to see if I could write up a set of instructions for building standalone modules.

          To be clear, the following is not a supported way to build modules, but it does work and covers most of the bases.

        • Fedora: Flock Budapest 2019

          Probably the best from FLOCK was to being able to record several members from our community who kindly accepted to say their names, the places where they come from and the language they speak, and create a small video showing how Diverse and Inclusive Fedora is. Produce a short 2min video in such a chaotic schedule is challenging enough, so after 3 hours of recording, and a rough 2:30hs of editing, I ended up finishing the render of the video just as I was plugin my laptop to the main stage… People usually don’t know how long it takes to do something like that, but I’m just glad everyone seemed to like it and that my laptop didn’t died in the process.

          While working on the video, I was able to have small interviews with several folks from Fedora and got to ask them how comfortable they felt in the community. It was satisfactory to learn from them that the overall care we have take to make minorities feel more included has worked, however, it was a bit sad to learn how hard has been for our contributors to deal with burn out, how tired they are of putting fires out instead doing new projects and mainly getting a general sense of getting stuck into the same routine.

          As our team says, our labor is not only to help with the diversity efforts for making everyone feel comfortable, but we also need to work more to include more effective ways to give people a sense of purpose, provide new challenges that put them on a fun path and give them the recognition they deserve. Fedora has always put a lot of effort into bringing new people to contribute, but I’ve seen that the old contributors are getting on a side because “everything is working” and we need to take care of that. They need the same attention (and I would dare to say that probably more) than new contributors do. At the end, is this amazing group of people who has to mentor new contributors. Feel free to reach me or any member of the Diversity and Inclusion Team if you feel that this words got your attention and you’re willing to share some thoughts. Anonymity is a top priority.

        • Flock to Fedora 2019 Trip Report

          I just flew back from Flock 2019 in Budapest, Hungary, and boy are my arms tired!

          Flock is the Fedora Project’s annual contributor-focused conference. This was my first time attending Flock, and I’ve only attended a handful of previous conference in general, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was also my first-ever experience presenting at a conference, and I’m not a fan of long flights in cramped seats—so I arrived for the conference with a bit of anxiety in addition to jet lag. However, sampling the local food and beverage choices helped me adjust.

          I found the four days of events to be filled with interesting sessions that sometimes required difficult choices when deciding what to attend.

          Based on my impression of sessions I attended and discussions in which I participated or observed, here are several topics that seemed to be generating a lot of interest and activity within the Fedora community.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Pi-Hole – The DNS Triangle

        At the end of the day, I had Pi-hole running, but the setup was far from trivial. There were four or five cardinal problems, and none of these should have happened, because the installation wizard could have gone through separate checks to make sure things were working. Part of the first-time run could be the service check, and if there are issues there, some sort of self-diagnosis to make sure FTL is up and running. The same applies to the Web service. Then, there’s the password reset and list update. All of these would make the experience much more streamlined.

        As a product, Pi-Hole is a very nice and powerful tool. It does its job extremely well, it’s fast, effective and robust, and the Web UI is nicely designed. You also gain some on the traffic side, as there’s less content that needs to be served, and fewer queries to be resolved, hence performance improvement for the stuff that matters. The setup isn’t trivial but it is achievable, and you have a lot of flexibility in how you wire up your network. You could have Pi-Hole as a standalone system, or it could serve all the different devices in your home. All in all, this is the doomsday weapon for if and when the Internet turns rogue on you. Well worth testing, but remember the second rule of thermodynamics. You can’t have trivial and complex at the same time.

      • Proven Linux OS Expanded to Aitech’s Multi-core Remote I/O Subsystem

        Chatsworth, Calif. July 2019 – Aitech Defense Systems, Inc., a part of the Aitech Group, has ported the cost-effective, open source Linux operating system onto its intelligent Ai-RIO remote I/O interface unit (RIU). This modular small form factor (SFF) RIU internally networks up to eight expansion modules – or ‘slices’ – for extremely high density and low power in a compact physical space.

      • Tiny Type 10 module serves up Apollo Lake with 16GB DDR4

        Kontron’s Linux-friendly, COM Express Mini Type 10 form-factor “COMe-m4AL10” and “COMe-m4AL10 (E2)” modules are built around Apollo Lake SoCs and offer up to 16GB DDR4 and 64GB eMMC with up to -40 to 85°C (E2) support.

        Kontron announced two 84 x 55mm, Intel Apollo Lake based compute modules with 16GB DDR4. The Atom-powered, -40 to 85°C ready COMe-m4AL10 (E2) and Pentium and Celeron equipped, 0 to 60°C COMe-m4AL10 both support up to twice the RAM of the previous (circa-2017) industrial temp COMe-mAL10 (E2) and commercial COMe-mAL10 modules, which use DDR3L RAM.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Codefresh improves its open source marketplace by removing barriers to faster code deployment
      • Codefresh’s More Robust, Open Source Marketplace Makes Coding Easier, Faster, More Secure

        First deployed in December 2018, the Codefresh Marketplace makes it easier for code developers to find commands without having to learn a proprietary API – every step, browsable in the pipeline builder, is a simple Docker image. The Marketplace contains a more robust set of pipeline steps provided both by Codefresh and partners, such as Blue-Green and Canary deployment steps for Kubernetes, Aqua security scanning, and Helm package and deployment. All plugins are open source and users can contribute to the collection by creating a new plugin.

      • Databases

        • MongoDB 4.2 materialises with $merge operator and indexing help for unstructured data messes

          Document-oriented database MongoDB is now generally available in version 4.2 which introduces enhancements such as on-demand materialised views and wildcard indexing.

          Wildcard indexing can be useful in scenarios where unstructured, heterogeneous datasets make creating appropriate indexes hard. Admins can use the function to create a filter of sorts that matches fields, arrays, or sub-documents in a collection, and adds the hits to a sparse index.


          Speaking of cloud, last year MongoDB decided to step away from using the GNU Affero General Public License for the Community Edition of its database and switched to an altered version. The Server-Side Public License is meant to place a condition – namely, to open source the code used to serve the software from the cloud – on offering MongoDB as a service to clients.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.2.6 is ready, all users should update for enhanced security

          The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.2.6, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 6.2 family, targeted at users in production environments. All users of LibreOffice 6.1.x and LibreOffice 6.2.x versions should upgrade immediately for enhanced security, as the software includes both security fixes and some months of back-ported fixes.

      • Programming/Development

        • An Effective Python Environment: Making Yourself at Home

          When you’re first learning a new programming language, a lot of your time and effort go into understanding the syntax, code style, and built-in tooling. This is just as true for Python as it is for any other language. Once you gain enough familiarity to be comfortable with the ins and outs of Python, you can start to invest time into building a Python environment that will foster your productivity.

          Your shell is more than a prebuilt program provided to you as-is. It’s a framework on which you can build an ecosystem. This ecosystem will come to fit your needs so that you can spend less time fiddling and more time thinking about the next big project you’re working on.

          Although no two developers have the same setup, there are a number of choices everyone faces when cultivating their Python environment. It’s important to understand each of these decisions and the options available to you!

        • Think carefully about API language standards

          The idea behind an API is pretty simple. The developer exposes functions from within the application in an abstracted manner. In doing so, the developer can change the functions within the application while all external systems can access the service minus the need for rewrites.

          But developers can hit a snag when they need to change the API library to support new functionality. This this action can — and often does — break calling systems that don’t adhere to the framework of the original API.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Farm Rot is Eating America Alive

        American politics covers up the bleeding of nature

      • Why can’t we sell our own organs?

        I just clicked the box on the government form that asks if, once I die, I’m willing to donate my organs to someone who needs them.

        Why not? Lots of people need kidneys, livers, etc. When I’m dead, I sure won’t need mine.

        Still, there are not enough donors. So, more than 100,000 Americans are on a waiting list for kidneys. Taking care of them is so expensive, it consumes almost 3% of the federal budget!

        So why not allow Americans to sell an organ?

      • Senators Call for Closing “Loopholes” That Make Health Care Fraud Easy

        Following a detailed account of how scam artists can easily gain access to health care cash, six Democratic senators this week sent a letter to federal regulators urging them to “close loopholes” that allow “bad actors” to commit fraud.

        The letter came in response to a recent story by ProPublica and Vox that traced the brazen scam of a Texas personal trainer, who despite having no medical credentials was able to submit a blizzard of fake bills with some of the biggest insurance companies in the country and recoup millions. The story revealed not only how David Williams exploited weaknesses at each step, but how slowly the insurers responded to his ongoing fraud.

        Williams’ con, for which he was later prosecuted, was initially enabled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The federal agency issues and administers National Provider Identifiers, or NPIs, the unique numbers medical providers need to bill insurance plans. ProPublica found that Medicare doesn’t check the credentials of medical providers who apply for NPI numbers, such as whether they have valid licenses, which means scammers can lie to obtain them. Williams obtained at least 20 NPI numbers and used them to bill insurers.

        The insurers he scammed — Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare — then allowed his fraud to proceed for years, largely unchecked. The companies also failed to verify that Williams was a licensed physician, even as he billed them for complex, and expensive, office visits as an out-of-network provider. Instead, they paid him more than $4 million over a span of four years, despite alerts from his ex-wife and her dad about his scam. Williams was convicted of four counts of health care fraud in 2018 and sentenced to about nine years in federal prison. The insurers declined to comment on his fraud.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Wednesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (kernel, linux-4.9, otrs2, and tomcat8), Fedora (igraph and jhead), openSUSE (ansible, GraphicsMagick, kconfig, kdelibs4, live555, mumble, phpMyAdmin, proftpd, python-Django, and znc), Oracle (kernel and openssl), Red Hat (kernel, openssl, and rh-mysql80-mysql), Scientific Linux (kernel and openssl), Slackware (kernel), SUSE (containerd, docker, docker-runc, golang-github-docker-libnetwork and mariadb-100), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-snapdragon, php5, php7.0, php7.2, and wpa).

      • He tried to prank the DMV. Then his vanity license plate backfired big time.

        It seemed like a good idea at the time.

      • Thoughts from Defcon 27 – This is why I do what I do

        Every year, thousands of security professionals descend upon Las Vegas to take part in a series of conferences known as Hacker Summer Camp. This year, Black Hat, BSides Las Vegas, Defcon 27 and the Diana Initiative took up the majority of the conference space. So, what makes this one of the most relevant and successful security conferences?

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Careerism and the War Machine

        In Three Guineas, which I am reading at the request of a young friend who tells us she is writing her dissertation on Woolf and James Baldwin, Virginia Woolf answers the question asked of her by a prominent liberal of his day, which is that she give her opinion as to how war – this was 1938, in Europe – can be prevented. In the course of answering, Woolf suggests that the independent aspect of women’s thought, cultivated as (unwilling) outsiders in patriarchal society is what’s needed to address the evil of war. She does not so much answer his question as state that, by virtue of their differences, well-intentioned men and women must seek to “destroy” evil in different ways. Her vision of a just (i.e., sane, healthy) society as one that must include its outsiders, bringing them from the margins into the center, has not come to pass, needless to say. The problem may have been that she did not envision women remaining outsiders, and, moreover, presumed that by the fact of their inclusion, and the breakdown of patriarchy, society would be improved.

      • Atomic Bombs Are Not Lifesavers

        One shouldn’t have to state the obvious. It is well known that two atomic detonations, in early August, 1945, killed over 100,000 Hiroshima and Nagasaki residents, revealing the unlimited human capacity for atrocity in wartime. But it seems many U.S. history teachers are still telling students that the atomic bombings somehow saved lives.

      • Massacres at Home and Abroad

        On August 5, former President Obama released a powerful statement in response to the latest gun massacres in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton that left scores dead and wounded—including children who were shopping for school supplies at Walmart with their mothers, and with their families at the wonderful Gilroy Garlic Festival. He decried the madness of violence that has been fueled by Trump’s vile pronouncements and policies that help spread anti-immigrant and racist poison across the nation.

      • Militarized Observers: Institutional Daydreams of Ethics End Runs to Weaponize Culture

        A significant limitation facing scholars studying US military uses of anthropology and other social sciences is that while the existence and activities of various military programs are known, and some related documents are available, there is much about these programs that remains unknown to outsiders. Yet, even with these gaps in knowledge, it is possible to detect patterns indicating trends or recurrent institutional desires and approaches.

      • Nothing Less Than a Revolution Can Save Us

        Is there no limit to the lethal and authoritarian absurdity of America, land of mass gun massacres like Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, and now El Paso and Dayton among other pockmarked sites?

      • Are We Ready Now to Put Shooters’ Gender at Center of Gun Debate?

        Last weekend’s killing sprees in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, brought the number of mass shootings in the first 215 days of the year to 251. In the United States of Ammunition, that’s more than one a day. What’s going on? To paraphrase James Carville, “It’s the masculinity, people.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Sneering at “Conspiracy Theories” is a Lazy Substitute for Seeking the Truth

        On the morning of August 10, a wealthy sex crimes defendant  was reportedly found dead in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.

      • Fox News Commentator Calls For A ‘Backlash’ Against Big Tech… Because Wikileaks Released His Phone Number

        It’s widely recognized that there’s been a widespread backlash against the big tech companies over the last few years. Politicians on both sides of the aisle in the US have been calling for massive, sometimes crippling, regulations, fines or even antitrust breakups of the companies. Regulators around the globe have been fining the companies billions of dollars.

        Apparently all of that is news to Fox News contributor Juan Williams, who has taken to the august pages of The Hill to publish an op-ed calling for a backlash to big tech. Dude, it’s already happening. Still, perhaps Williams has a new argument that is worth considering? I mean, there are legitimate points to be made about competition, privacy and the like. But… nope. Williams is mad that Wikileaks — which, last I checked, is not considered a member of “big tech” — leaked his cell phone number in a cache of John Podesta emails…

    • Environment

      • Climate Crisis Means the Ruling Class has Failed. Can the Working Class Inherit the Earth?

        The climate crisis is proof positive that the ruling class is an utter failure — but it will not fall on its own. Can the working class rise to the challenge? It sure will help if we understand that our class interests are not merely the economic needs of working people — no matter how important that is — but the universal interests of a healthy planet for all the people. Let’s start acting like it.

      • Energy

        • Fracking and Shale Drilling Caused Spike in Climate-Warming Methane Pollution, Says New Study

          Climate-changing pollution reached unprecedented levels in 2018. That’s both judged against the last 60 years of modern measurements and against 800,000 years of data culled from ice cores, according to the U.S. government’s State of the Climate report, which was published this week with the American Meteorological Society.

          That pollution creates a greenhouse effect that is over 42 percent stronger than it was in 1990, the report added.

          And while carbon dioxide hit a new level last year, it isn’t the only climate-changing gas that’s on the rise globally. Pollution of the powerful but short-lived greenhouse gas methane also climbed in 2018, showing an increase “higher than the average growth rate over the past decade,” the report adds.

        • Fracking’s methane leaks drive climate heat

          An atmospheric methane rise that will speed up global temperature rise is probably being caused mainly by the gas industry’s fracking methane leaks in North America, a new study says.

          The analysis, confirming environmentalists’ worst fears about fracking, is a serious blow to the industry, which claims the gas it produces is cleaner than coal and is needed in the interim before renewables can replace fossil fuels.

          The study is the work of a scientist from Cornell University in the US who has examined the rapid rise in methane concentrations in the atmosphere since 2008. He has found that the gas’s carbon composition has changed.

          His research suggests that methane from biological sources such as cows and bogs has less carbon-13 relative to carbon-12 (denoting the weight of the carbon atom at the centre of the methane molecule) than does methane from conventional natural gas and other fossil fuels such as coal.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Millions of Tokay Geckos Are Taken From the Wild Each Year. International Protection Could Help Save Them

          A popular reptile often found in pet stores is also one of the most heavily traded wildlife species on the planet — perhaps even more than pangolins. A decision pending later this month could help change that.

          Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) are colorful, foot-long reptiles native to Southern China through southern and Southeast Asia. Although widespread they’re increasingly threatened throughout their range, with millions of animals traded every year for use in traditional Chinese medicines, and to a lesser extent, as pets, which are mainly exported to the European Union and United States.

        • We Ignore Thousands of Threatened Plant Species at Our Own Peril

          Endangered animals may get more attention from the public, but without plants, humans won’t survive.

    • Finance

      • Dow set to fall 400 points after bond market flashes a recession warning, bank stocks drop

        The yield on the 2-year Treasury note topped the 10-year rate, a so-called yield curve inversion that has been a precursor to past recessions.

      • U.S. Economy Faces ‘Strongest Recession Signal Yet’

        Warning signs that the U.S. economy could be barreling toward a recession quickly became alarm bells Wednesday after the Treasury bond yield curve—a key indicator that has preceded every major downturn over the past five decades—inverted for the first time since the Wall Street crash of 2007.

        As the Washington Post reported, “the yields on short-term U.S. bonds eclipsed those of long-term bonds” on Wednesday, a phenomenon that “suggests investors’ faith in the economy is faltering.”

        Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank, told the Post that “yield curves are all crying timber that a recession is almost a reality, and investors are tripping over themselves to get out of the way.”

      • Bodies on the Ground and the Rise and Rise of the Economic Elite

        The US is less of a nation than a collective, psychotic episode.

      • Five Ways the Economy is Stacked Against the Young

        The mechanics of wealth building are fairly simple. Save more than you spend, invest those savings to generate more money. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      • Dear Progressives for Warren: Your Class Is Showing

        Let me begin by making the apparently mandatory and sacrosanct ritual offering to the gods of progressive politics in 2019: “Sure, I like Warren. In fact, I agree with her on many issues. She’s not bad.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Boris Johnson Recklessly Picks at the Scabs of Ireland’s Violent Past

        On 8 May 1987 a Provisional IRA unit of eight men attacked a police station in the village of Loughgall in county Armagh 15 miles from the Irish border. One man drove a digger with a bomb in its bucket towards the building, half of which was destroyed in the explosion. But British forces had been informed of the time and place of the assault and SAS soldiers waiting in ambush opened fire killing all eight Provisionals and a civilian.

      • Epstein, Faction, and Neopatrimonialism

        Never has the word “conspiracy” been spoken so easily.

      • The Case Against Voting for President

        As individuals, our choices make very little difference to the state of the world, often virtually none. Nonetheless, those same choices can have significant effects on ourselves, sometimes profoundly.

      • The Need for Unity in Ethiopia

        Ethiopia is a tribal nation, made up of 80 or so different groups, some large some small, some powerful, some not. Large numbers of people, the majority perhaps, identify themselves with their tribe more powerfully than their country, or their region. Tribal affiliation runs deep among all age groups, loyalty is strong, resentment of tribal others can be fierce.

      • Democrats and the Politics of Change

        With the political season underway, the question of an effective politics is the subtext of the debates and speeches intended to motivate constituencies and movements. This should read as odd: in the U.S., it is the act of getting elected that defines effective politics. But as neoliberalism has crept into every aspect of modern life, elections have become an anti-politics, a way of working against the democratic will.

      • The “Trump Recovery”: Behind Right-Wing Populism’s Radical Transformation

        Trump’s unique brand of right-wing populism has long been sold in “mainstream” discourse via a narrative that his supporters are angry as hell over mounting personal and economic insecurity, in an age that affords fewer and fewer opportunities to the “working class.” This story was popularized in part because of Trump’s rhetoric, and because of his higher support among those (especially whites) with low levels of education, who were angry (at the time of Trump’s election) at the state of the nation and economy, and who were opposed to corporate “free trade” agreements. But this narrative was always highly misleading. As social scientists have documented in recent years (see some examples here, here, here, and here), there is little evidence that Trumpeters are economically insecure relative to non-supporters. And their opposition to “free trade” is largely a function of being socialized to oppose it via Trump’s rhetoric, rather than due to personal experiences being harmed by the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs. There is no indication that Trumps supporters are more likely to come from rustbelt areas of the nation that are disproportionately affected by outsourcing. Rather, the story of 2016 was one of Democratic demobilization of the working class, not Republican mobilization. This was most evident in the finding that the Democrats lost 3.5 times as many working-class votes from the 2012 to 2016 presidential elections than Republicans gained. In other words, the Democrats gave us Trumpism as much as Republican right-wing “identity politics” and Trump’s activation of the reactionary right did.

      • Boris Johnson: Three Weeks After

        Johnson’s tempestuous energy which in the past poured itself into writing endless articles over a 25-year-period is undimmed. He continues to write for any paper that will publish him all sorts of diatribes that will please his voter base.

        To this arsenal, he now adds Facebook appeals produced at Downing Street. The latest was a promise to make life much harsher for prisoners and to build new prisons to house 10,000 future criminals. The UK has by far the largest number of women and men incarcerated in Europe.

        Why is he doing that? Johnson cannot copy Trump and attack Muslims. He cannot copy Salvini and attack refugees. He cannot copy Kaczynski and copy attack gays.

        But to satisfy his voters’ palpable sense of indignation, he has chosen to be very tough on the women and men who are mostly locked up for non-violent offences. These include items such as petty fraud or providing recreational drugs to, well, politicians like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in their younger years.

      • It’s Very Clear: Bernie Sanders Can Beat Donald Trump

        When trying to guess which candidate will be strongest against Donald Trump in 2020, you would be equally well-served by a dowsing rod, Ouija board, tea leaves, or deck of tarot cards as you would by the informed judgment of cable news pundits or political reporters. Yet polls show the Democratic primary electorate, apparently still scarred by Trump’s surprise win in 2016, are attempting cast their own political yarrow stalks by lining up whoever has the best chance to win next year.

        Only God knows which Democratic candidate will be the strongest in 14 months’ time. However, we can say one thing with as much confidence as can be mustered in this fallen world: Bernie Sanders could beat Donald Trump.

        Polls are obviously rather fluid at this early stage in the election cycle, but they’re also the only data we have on how candidates would stack up against Trump in a head-to-head race. They have consistently shown Sanders ahead of Trump by about 5 points (while former vice president Joe Biden is ahead by about 8 points). Sanders’ approval rating has also been consistently in the mid-50s, with disapproval in the high 30s. That is far, far better than either Trump’s or Hillary Clinton’s numbers in 2016.

      • Bernie Sanders Sees Right Through The Washington Post

        Many decades ago, the great media critic George Seldes observed: “The most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.” That remains true today.

        Bernie Sanders set off the latest round of outraged denial from elite media this week when he talked to a crowd in New Hampshire about the tax avoidance of Amazon (which did not pay any federal income tax last year). Sanders went on to say: “I wonder why the Washington Post — which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon — doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why. But I guess maybe there’s a connection.”

        Sanders has fought explicitly and effectively to raise the wages of Amazon workers as well as millions of others. Yet the mass-media pretense is that the financial interests of the Post’s owner have no effect on the newspaper’s coverage of Sanders.

        Corporate denial is the name of that media game. Usually, expressed denials aren’t necessary. But there’s nothing usual about Bernie Sanders, who’s been willing to call out the biases and blind spots of corporate media since he entered politics.

        For his latest transgression, Sanders earned purportedly authoritative pushback from the likes of the Post’s top editor, its media columnist and others with high media visibility. “Contrary to the conspiracy theory the senator seems to favor,” Post executive editor Martin Baron declared, “Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Difficult Discussions, Not-So-Difficult Answers

        There are some things we should not have to discuss with our kids. Ever.

      • Epstein Jail Guards Suspected of Falsifying Logs

        Jail guards on duty the night Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates every half-hour as required, according to a person familiar with the investigation into the financier’s death.

        Surveillance video shows guards never made some of the checks noted in the log, said the person, who was not authorized to disclose information about the case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

        Epstein, 66, is believed to have killed himself early Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, where he was awaiting trial in a sex trafficking case. The cause of the death has not been announced, but a person familiar with operations at the federal lockup said the financier was discovered in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck.

        His death prompted the Justice Department to place two guards on leave and remove the jail’s warden pending the outcome of investigations by the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general. Falsifying log entries can be a federal crime.

      • Epstein’s Death Should Generate Investigations, Not Conspiracy Theories

        Anti-Clinton/Trump hashtags will not get to the bottom of Epstein’s death, or how the rich and powerful’s involvement in child sex abuse, The Nation’s Jeet Heer explains

      • We’re All Enemies of the State

        We’ve been down this road many times before.

      • Educating Ourselves About Violence

        I’m at a loss to say whether Educated: A Memoir, Tara Westover’s highly-celebrated account of her escape from a fundamentalist, survivalist, home-schooled upbringing in Idaho to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, is a good book. What I can say without hesitation is that it’s a disturbing book. It took me awhile to get through it, actually. I was reading it at night before I went to sleep. I had barely started it when I was overcome one morning by dizziness and nausea as I got out of bed. The feeling subsided as the day wore on, but it returned the next morning, and if anything, it was even worse.

      • Conspiracy, Death and Jeffrey Epstein

        Within minutes of news about his death in a Manhattan jail cell Saturday morning, theories spread with pestilential vigour. Was Jeffrey Epstein murdered? Accepting the premise without qualification, the next question followed: Who did it? MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was not giving anyone time to wonder. “A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives end up dead in his jail cell. How predictably…Russian.”

      • Ken Cuccinelli just took his racist interpretation of the Statue of Liberty poem to another level

        The poem only refers to welcoming “people from Europe,” he claimed this week.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Preclusion at the USITC

        The Federal Circuit previously released its opinion in this appeal that I discussed in an essay titled Who Needs Proof of Actual Confusion? Not a TM Plaintiff, Patentlyo-O (May 9, 2019) (Swagway I). Now, the court has released a new opinion focusing on the preclusive impact of ITC orders.


        Based upon this briefing, the panel has withdrawn its original opinion and issued a new one. The new opinion has the same result, but removes the declaration that the ITC order would have no preclusive effect.

        In particular, the court found that the error alleged in Swagway’s appeal was that the ITC denied the consent order motion using the wrong paper — in the Final Initial Determination [ID] rather than in an Order. Since on remand the ITC could simply reissue the denial in an “Order” — the court found no actual harm.

        Biggest bottom line: Non-patent ITC orders are likely to begin having preclusive effect in parallel district court litigation. This improves the attractiveness of the ITC for enforing trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets against companies importing products into the US. The result then – get a quick win on the merits at the ITC and obtain an exclusion order; then take decision to the district court to collect damages.

      • Irish Supreme Court in Merck v Clonmel puts “adequacy of damages” back in the balance when granting preliminary junctions

        Right at the end of July, came big news from the Irish Supreme Court in Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp v Clonmel Healthcare Ltd 2019 IESC 65. The case concerned the launch of a generic version of an ezetimibe/simvastatin combination drug for the treatment of cardiac related issues and the grant of a preliminary injunction. The decision is a big deal in Ireland as it has reformulated the approach to be adopted by the Irish Courts in the application of the three stage Campus Oil test for the grant (or not) of a preliminary injunction (PI).

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • PPH: diverging opinions at the USPTO and EPO

          Lawyers tell Managing IP that because of different approaches by the offices, plus some examiners’ tendency to take less notice of previous results, the PPH programme is not always beneficial

          Lawyers have told Managing IP that they would not normally recommend that clients opt for the Patent Prosecution Highway when trying to accelerate claims at the USPTO or the EPO – as it is uncertain whether either office would accept claims previously granted…

        • Ajinomoto Co. v. International Trade Commission (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          The Federal Circuit again reviewed a determination of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, in this instance by the International Trade Commission (ITC), again finding that one of the Supreme Court’s exceptions to the preclusive effects of prosecution history estoppel (the “tangential relationship” test) applied, and affirmed the ITC’s finding of infringement under the doctrine.

          Ajinomoto petitioned the International Trade Commission (ITC) under Section 337 (19 U.S.C. § 1337) for an exclusion order against CJ Cheiljedang for importing animal feed-grade L-tryptophan amino acid products produced by several different strains of Escherichia coli and that infringed Ajinomoto’s U.S. Patent No. 7,666,655. The relevant claim of the ’655 patent (claim 20) is directed to methods for “producing an aromatic L-amino acid, which comprises cultivating the bacterium according to any one of claims 9–12, 13, 14, 15–18, or 19.”


          The Federal Circuit affirmed the Commission’s decision in an opinion by Judge Taranto joined in full by Judge Moore; Judge Dyk concurred in part and dissented in part. Beginning with the Commission’s claim construction, the panel unanimously affirmed that construction and rejected Ajinomoto’s argument that the term “encompasses mutagenesis of individual nucleotides within the native promoter” rather than being limited to replacement of the native promoter with a “stronger” one. The Court found that this construction was supported by the ordinary and customary meaning of the claim language (using as examples of “replacing” an object “a laptop computer, a bicycle, a sail-boat, a blender,” comprising an interesting Markush group). The opinion asserts that “context matters, stating that “[i]n many contexts, one would not refer to swapping out one small component of a larger unit as ‘replacing’ the unit or as providing a ‘substitute’ for the unit, even though the net result is a differently constituted larger unit.” This interpretation is consistent with the disclosure in the specification of the ’655 patent, which tellingly does not recite the term “replacing” but does recite the word “substituting,” (even reciting in an express example that the promoters were substituted), which the Court held was consistent with the Commission’s construction of the phrase. And nothing in the prosecution history was to the contrary. The opinion recapped the course of prosecution and amendments and argument relevant to the construction, saying that even though patent applicants may have restricted the scope of their claims to a greater extent than necessary, “there is no principle of patent law that the scope of a surrender of subject matter during prosecution is limited to what is absolutely necessary to avoid a prior art reference that was the basis for an examiner’s rejection,” citing Norian Corp. v. Stryker Corp., 432 F.3d 1356, 1361 (Fed. Cir. 2005), and Biogen Idec, Inc. v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, 713 F.3d 1090, 1095–96 (Fed. Cir. 2013), for the proposition that this principle applies to rejections under § 112. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the Commission’s construction.

Links 14/8/2019: Apache Evaluated, HardenedBSD Has New Release

Posted in News Roundup at 8:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audios

      • Clementine Music Player for All Your Audio Needs

        VLC is a mainstay for most fans of FOSS technology and most Linux distros. It’s a great little player, don’t get me wrong, but if you have a large library of audio files, some times you need something more powerful.

        The Clementine Music Player is a full-service audio player with all the tools you need to keep track of your audio library. According to the project’s website, Clementine “inspired by Amarok 1.4, focusing on a fast and easy-to-use interface for searching and playing your music.”

      • Episode #143: Spike the robot, powered by Python!
      • Bigger. Faster. Harder to Maintain. | LINUX Unplugged 314

        It’s huge, and it’s getting bigger every month. How do you test the Linux Kernel? Major Hayden from Red Hat joins us to discuss their efforts to automate Kernel bug hunting.

        Plus our honest conversation about which Linux works best for us.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3 Will Address Crackling Audio on AMD PCs

        Linux users received some good news today: Phoronix reported that Linux 5.3 will finally address issues with audio input on systems with AMD processors. Those fixes will be added to currently available versions of the Linux kernel, too, so users won’t have to install the point upgrade.
        Phoronix said that Linux users who rely on AMD processors have been reporting “crackling” audio input since at least 2017. The problems don’t usually appear to affect the audio output, so many people were probably unaware of the issue, but there were sporadic reports of “occasional playback hiccups.”
        These issues were said to affect systems featuring motherboards built around AMD’s X470 and X370 chipsets that used Realtek audio codecs. Linux users couldn’t find a workaround to address the issue–which isn’t common for that particular community–so they simply had to accept the crackle.

      • Reiser4 File-System Port Updated For The Linux 5.1 + Linux 5.2 Kernels

        Up until today the newest Linux kernel version supported by the official Reiser4 out-of-tree file-system driver patch was Linux 5.0, but that has now changed with the belated Linux 5.1 kernel support arriving as well as a separate patch for Linux 5.2 kernel support.

        Bringing Reiser4 to the Linux 5.1 kernel required various changes to the block layer’s interface while porting to Linux 5.2 required some additional block layer interface changes. The Linux 5.2 version also has one additional bug fix as well.

      • Patch Workflow With Mutt – 2019

        Given that the main development workflow for most kernel maintainers is with email, I spend a lot of time in my email client. For the past few decades I have used (mutt), but every once in a while I look around to see if there is anything else out there that might work better.

        One project that looks promising is (aerc) which was started by (Drew DeVault). It is a terminal-based email client written in Go, and relies on a lot of other go libraries to handle a lot of the “grungy” work in dealing with imap clients, email parsing, and other fun things when it comes to free-flow text parsing that emails require.

        aerc isn’t in a usable state for me just yet, but Drew asked if I could document exactly how I use an email client for my day-to-day workflow to see what needs to be done to aerc to have me consider switching.

        Note, this isn’t a criticism of mutt at all. I love the tool, and spend more time using that userspace program than any other. But as anyone who knows email clients, they all suck, it’s just that mutt sucks less than everything else (that’s literally their motto)

      • Building The Default x86_64 Linux Kernel In Just 16 Seconds

        It’s now been one week since the launch of AMD’s EPYC Rome processors with up to 64 cores / 128 threads per socket and better IPC uplift compared to their previous-generation parts. Rome has outperformed Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs in their class while offering better power efficiency and way better performance-per-dollar. One of my favorite metrics has been how quickly the new EPYC 7742 2P can build the Linux kernel.

        It used to be that building out the Linux kernel could easily take the time needed to enjoy a beverage or have a meal while now with the EPYC 7742 2P it’s easy to build the Linux kernel in just 15~16 seconds! Up until the Rome testing I was never able to crack 20 seconds with any of the hardware at my disposal while now it’s easy hitting 15 seconds. That is with a Linux x86_64 default “defconfig” build. As shown in the launch article, that easily beats the likes of a dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 and a big improvement as well over the Naples EPYC 7601 2P configuration.

      • Linux Foundation

        • 9 open source cloud native projects to consider

          I mean, just look at that! And this is just a start. Just as NodeJS’s creation sparked the explosion of endless JavaScript tools, the popularity of container technology started the exponential growth of cloud-native applications.

          The good news is that there are several organizations that oversee and connect these dots together. One is the Open Containers Initiative (OCI), which is a lightweight, open governance structure (or project), “formed under the auspices of the Linux Foundation for the express purpose of creating open industry standards around container formats and runtime.” The other is the CNCF, “an open source software foundation dedicated to making cloud native computing universal and sustainable.”

          In addition to building a community around cloud-native applications generally, CNCF also helps projects set up structured governance around their cloud-native applications. CNCF created the concept of maturity levels—Sandbox, Incubating, or Graduated—which correspond to the Innovators, Early Adopters, and Early Majority tiers on the diagram below.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA have released the 435.17 beta driver with Vulkan and OpenGL support for PRIME render offload

          NVIDIA have a little present available for Linux fans today, with the release of the 435.17 beta driver now being available.

          This is a beta driver and it includes quite the highlight with the addition of PRIME render offload support for Vulkan and OpenGL. This is where you might have your Intel GPU running most normal applications, with an NVIDIA chip then powering your games. It’s usually found in Notebooks and it’s been a source of annoyance for NVIDIA Notebook owners for a long time, so it’s really pleasing to see proper progress like this.

        • NVIDIA 435.17 Linux Beta Driver Adds PRIME Offloading For Vulkan and OpenGL+GLX

          The latest NVIDIA 435.17 Linux beta driver has added Vulkan and OpenGL+GLX support for PRIME render offload.

          PRIME is a collection of features in the Linux kernel, display server, and various drivers to enable GPU offloading with multi-GPU configurations under Linux, like laptops using NVIDIA Optimus (which use an integrated Intel GPU and a discrete NVIDIA GPU).

          Thanks to the new on-demand PRIME render offload, you’ll be able to run specific application on the discrete NVIDIA GPU, while using the integrated GPU for everything else, saving battery power.

        • New Firmware update Reportedly solves Ryzen 3000 boot issues Linux

          We don’t talk about Linux a lot, as the install base is small and not really the PC Gamers domain, however as it turns out Linux users have had Boot issues with Ryzen 3000. A problem that is now confirmed to be solved with the latest BIOS updates.

          AMD provided a solution for the Linux issues at hand as firmware updates with AGESA Combo-AM4 should solve the problems (and various others on the Windows platform). The Linux issues had been named Systemd error, at least that is listed at the change log of the ROG Crosshair VII Hero bios.

    • Applications

      • The beast of 3D editors version 2.80 is free in the wild !

        Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It is characterized by high features that made it a fierce competitor for commercial tools. It is considered one of the most important open source pieces.
        Recently, all those interested in the field of 3D tools have been closely watching the developments and news of version 2.80, and also waiting for its release date.

      • 10 Best Free Linux Document Management Systems (Updated 2019)

        Document Management is an information technology that has taken over from legacy systems of manual or server based file sharing, the electronic filing cabinet, to control policies and procedures. It is one of the functions provided by Enterprise Content Management.

        A document management system enables individuals and businesses to manage documents, making it easy to locate a previous document version. This is important from a record control perspective, and to ensure that compliance standards are met within a user-friendly environment.

        The main benefit offered by a document management system is that it gives individuals and businesses the tools to store and index many different types of documents and electronic files. Information and knowledge within the organisation can be accessed as appropriate, leading to an increase in productivity. Any kind of binary data can be stored in the document system. Other uses of this type of system include document workflow, records management, image management, disaster recovery, backup, and access control.

      • Proprietary

        • New Snip Smartphone App Converts Math Screenshots Into LaTeX

          Not so long ago, mathematics students and researchers had to spend a tedious amount of time writing out equations in the technical and scientific documentation typesetting system LaTeX. The launch this April of the AI-powered desktop tool Snip changed that. Available for Mac, Windows and the Ubuntu system, Snip converts screenshots of mathematical formulas into LaTeX code in seconds. Snip went viral as an easy-to-use time-saver for the math and science community.

        • What Microsoft’s upcoming ‘outsourcing’ licensing changes could mean for your business

          Microsoft’s cloud competitors have been making a lot of noise about changes in Microsoft’s licensing coming on October 1. And Microsoft, which has been positioning itself as an ally of customer choice, found itself on the wrong side of accusations of untrustworthiness and price-gouging.

  • Instructionals/Technical

  • Games

    • Korean survival horror-adventure The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters announced with Linux support

      After recently releasing Vambrace: Cold Soul, Devespresso Games are going back to horror with The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters.

    • The Dreamcast emulator Flycast has made some amazing progress lately

      In a post on the official Libretro website, the team notes that open source Dreamcast emulation with Flycast (a fork of Reicast) has progress along tremendously.

      Thanks to all the work that has gone into it, you will no longer need an external Dreamcast BIOS which is a pretty big milestone for such an emulator and will make it a lot easier to setup and use with the RetroArch front-end.

    • The dev of Assault Android Cactus is working on Unpacking, a zen puzzle game

      Witch Beam, known for the awesome twin-stick shooter Assault Android Cactus is going to bring us something a little calmer with their next game: Unpacking.

      Unlike real-life moving, stuffing your life into boxes and then unpacking everything again, Unpacking is supposed to be a little more relaxing. They say it’s like “item Tetris” mixed with home decoration “while learning clues about the life you’re unpacking”.

    • SNES-styled RPG made by Janitors, Kingdoms of the Dump has managed to get funded on Kickstarter

      With only a few hours left to go, Kingdoms of the Dump a SNES-styled RPG which is being made in the FOSS game engine Godot Engine by a team which includes some real-life Janitors has reached over the funding goal.

      Launched on Kickstarter on July 15th with a goal of $60,000 they’ve done really well hitting over $73,000!

    • Mozilla VR Blog: WebXR category in JS13KGames!
    • Roll dice, swap around cards and kick butt in Dicey Dungeons, out now

      Dicey Dungeons is a lighthearted deck-building roguelike, where you’re a massive walking die and it’s available today with Linux support.

      Made by Terry Cavanagh (VVVVVV, Super Hexagon), Chipzel, Marlowe Dobbe and Justo Delgado Baudí, this new team have managed to created something extremely unique with Dicey Dungeons.

    • Impressive looking science fiction point and click game ENCODYA is now on Kickstarter

      Encodya, the upcoming science fiction point and click with a free demo on itch.io, is now on Kickstarter. While the demo showed a rather ordinary day of orphan Tina and her Robot SAM-53, she’ll be going on real adventures in the full game.

      The beautiful game the author attributes to “the sweetness and creativity of Studio Ghibli, the setting and atmosphere of Blade Runner and the humor and game style of Monkey Island”, is looking for at least 27,500€ (~$30,800) in funding. The first stretch goal is 32,500€ for three additional languages, namely Italian (the developer is Italian by origin), German (we are the home of adventure games, right?) and Spanish. The second stretch goal promises an additional hour of gameplay with extra puzzles, locations and characters if 45,000€ is reached. Additional stretch goals would be unlocked later.

    • Be ready for a party with the new Humble Jackbox Party Bundle 2019

      Having people over and fancy a laugh? The Humble Jackbox Party Bundle 2019 just recently went live and has some good picks for you.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The lightweight desktop environments champion version 4.14 is here !

      XFCE is one of the best Linux desktop environments, its lightness, fast performance and High customization capability, made it very popular among Linux users, especially those with weak hardware.
      Despite the slow development of the project, we are surprised from time to time with new and impressive versions that bring with it a lot of improvements and new features.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krita Sprint 2019

        So, we had a Krita sprint last week, a gathering of contributors of Krita. I’ve been at all sprints since 2015, which was roughly the year I became a Krita contributor. This is in part because I don’t have to go abroad, but also because I tend to do a lot of administrative side things.

        This sprint was interesting in that it was an attempt to have more if not as much artists as developers there. The idea being that the previous sprint was very much focused on bugfixing and getting new contributors familiar with the code base(we fixed 40 bugs back then), this sprint would be more about investigating workflow issues, figuring out future goals, and general non-technical things like how to help people, how to engage people, how to make people feel part of the community.

      • A Script Making It Easier Turning A FreeBSD Install Into A Working Desktop

        With TrueOS (formerly PC-BSD) no longer focused on delivering a quality BSD desktop as they once did, while there still are options out there for a desktop-focused BSD like MidnightBSD, for those wanting to use a vanilla FreeBSD installation can now setup a desktop easier using a new script.

        FreeBSD developer Adriaan de Groot who has done much of the FreeBSD + KDE packaging work and other tasks over the years decided to create a script making it easier to deploy a desktop from a clean FreeBSD install.

      • Introducing Qt Quick 3D: A high-level 3D API for Qt Quick

        As Lars mentioned in his Technical Vision for Qt 6 blog post, we have been researching how we could have a deeper integration between 3D and Qt Quick. As a result we have created a new project, called Qt Quick 3D, which provides a high-level API for creating 3D content for user interfaces from Qt Quick. Rather than using an external engine which can lead to animation synchronization issues and several layers of abstraction, we are providing extensions to the Qt Quick Scenegraph for 3D content, and a renderer for those extended scene graph nodes.

        Does that mean we wrote yet another 3D Solution for Qt? Not exactly, because the core spatial renderer is derived from the Qt 3D Studio renderer. This renderer was ported to use Qt for its platform abstraction and refactored to meet Qt project coding style.

      • The Qt Company Announces Its New High-Level 3D API – Qt Quick 3D

        Continuing on from the recent technical vision for the Qt6 tool-kit, The Qt Company has now announced their new high-level 3D API they are developing for this next major release of Qt.

        Qt Quick 3D is this new high-level API for creating 3D content for user-interfaces out of Qt Quick without the need for any external engine. Qt Quick 3D will make use of the renderer currently employed by the Qt 3D STUDIO.

      • Implementing a derivated class of kis_brushes_pipe

        I am still working on the change of the brush index, so far I’ve been confused with the classes, because I am not sure why somethings are implemented and then overriden or why somethings are where they are, and I am not sure exactly when or why to do this.

        I’ve been working all week, instead of trying to deliver a feature I tried to write and organize the whole class, and then slowly write all the small functions, this is because I’ve had problem with classes and objects, but I understand functions, so I to tried work with my strengths.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • A look at MX Linux 18.3

        I’ve been doing a little bit of distrohopping in the last week or so to take a look at new systems being developed and to try a few I haven’t had a look at in a while; MX Linux being one of the latter.

        The last time I touched MX Linux was at least two or three years ago, and I remember that I wasn’t a fan at the time. However, I’m really happy to say that my opinion of the OS has changed with my latest dive into it.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Fedora Family

      • Taz Brown: How Do You Fedora?

        We recently interviewed Taz Brown on how she uses Fedora. This is part of a series on the Fedora Magazine. The series profiles Fedora users and how they use Fedora to get things done. Contact us on the feedback form to express your interest in becoming a interviewee.

        Taz Brown is a seasoned IT professional with over 15 years of experience. “I have worked as a systems administrator, senior Linux administrator, DevOps engineer and I now work as a senior Ansible automation consultant at Red Hat with the Automation Practice Team.” Originally Taz started using Ubuntu, but she started using CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora as a Linux administrator in the IT industry.

        Taz is relatively new to contributing to open source, but she found that code was not the only way to contribute. “I prefer to contribute through documentation as I am not a software developer or engineer. I found that there was more than one way to contribute to open source than just through code.”

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cooling The Raspberry Pi 4 With The Fan SHIM & FLIRC For Better Performance

      With the Raspberry Pi 4, a passive heatsink is an absolute minimum for running this new ARM SBC unless you want to deal with potentially drastic performance limitations based upon your operating conditions. However, if you will be enduring the Raspberry Pi 4 with significant load for any measurable length of time, an active cooler is almost warranted or otherwise a very capable passive cooler. In this article we’re looking at the Raspberry Pi 4 performance with a Fan SHIM as an active fan designed for running on the Raspberry Pi off the GPIO pins as well as the FLIRC as a metal case that passively cools the device.

    • Tiny i.MX8M Mini module plugs into carrier via M.2

      InnoComm’s audio focused “WB15” module is built around an i.MX8M Mini SoC and ships with 1GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, WiFi/BT, and connectors that plug into dual M.2 expansion slots on the $195 “WB15EVK” dev kit.

      InnoComm has launched a tiny, 50 x 45mm compute module equipped with NXP’s quad-core, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M Mini SoC. The WB15 is designed for streaming audio applications including wireless smart speakers. This is the first module we’ve seen that connects to its carrier board via a pair of M.2 E-Key expansion slots. (See farther below for more on the WB15EVK dev kit.)

    • Orange Pi Zero2 mini PC supports Android & Linux, measures 2.2 inches wide

      About three years after launching a tiny single-board computer called the Orange Pi Zero, the folks at Shenzhen Xunlong are introducing a Orange Pie Zero2 with a faster processor, an HDMI port, and other upgrades.

      It still measures just 2.2″ x 2.2″ across, making it one of the smallest single-board computers I’m aware of to feature a 64-bit, quad-core processor and full-sized USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports.

    • The Librem 5 Smartphone in Forbes

      Purism’s crowdfunding campaigns on the Crowd Supply platform consistently achieved more than their funding goal. The latest, concerning the Librem 5 smartphone, raised over $2 million. And what makes the Librem 5 smartphone different from other phones? Several factors, such as the business model, an engaged community, and the fact that privacy and security are starting to be a great concern– and not just for everyday smartphone users but for the government as well.

    • Blankets give them enough warm but not Education!

      Operating System?

      Hanthana Linux, a Fedora remix bundle with bunch of Educational tools and Sugar Desktop.


      LibreOffice, Firefox, VLC, Educational Tools, Gnome/Sugar Desktop.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Take Your Time With IBM Stock as it Digests its Behemoth Linux Maker Deal

      Prior to the Red Heat deal, IBM was treading water. The company released earnings on July 17. For the second quarter of 2019, revenue was down year-over-year. Sales were $19.1 billion, down from $20 billion in the prior year’s quarter. The company’s Cloud and Business Services unit saw slight growth (5% and 3% YoY, respectively), but declines in the Global Technology Services and Systems units countered this improvement. Despite this slight revenue slip, IBM managed to keep quarterly operating income steady at ~$2.8 billion.

      The Red Hat deal adds a variety of growth catalysts to the International Business Machines story. For one thing, the acquisition makes IBM a bigger player in the $1 trillion cloud computing space. The deal is expected to accelerate revenue growth and improve gross margins. The deal is also very synergistic. IBM can now sell Red Hat’s suite of solutions to their existing customer base. With IBM’s global reach, the company could expand Red Hat’s business better than Red Hat would have done as an independent company.

    • Apache Software Foundation’s Code-Base Valued At $20 Billion USD

      The Apache Software Foundation has published their 2019 fiscal year report highlighting their more than 350 open-source projects/initiatives and this also marks their 20th anniversary.

      The Apache Software Foundation’s 2019 report values their code-base at more than $20 billion USD using the COCOMO 2 model for estimating. Though for their 2019 fiscal year the foundation turned a profit of $585k USD thanks to sponsors. There are more than 190 million lines of code within Apache repositories.

    • Web Browsers

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • With Microsoft dumping MS Office, consider LibreOffice for your next PC office suite

        LibreOffice’s Export as PDF has improved. It now fully supports PDF/A-2 document format. This is required by several organizations for long-term file storage. It also simplified its editable PDF forms by incorporating the Form menu into LibreOffice Writer.

        A new feature, which security-minded businesses may find interesting, is that you can now “redact” information in documents. With this, you can remove or hide sensitive information such as personal data before exporting or sharing the file.

        You can run LibreOffice on Linux, MacOS, and Windows. You can also use as a cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application, LibreOffice Online, by deploying it on a cloud you control.

      • New LibreOffice out

        The open source office suite LibreOffice released its version 6.3 with many new features, interoperability enhancements and performance increases.

        There are several performance improvements related to loading and saving documents in Writer and Calc. For example there is a FOURIER() function in its spreadsheet app Calc.

        The biggest improvement are the document redaction tools which enables you to stick black bars you see across sensitive passages in documents that are only intended to be partially released.

        When you select Tools⟶Redact, a Draw window opens up with your flattened document in it. So does a simplified toolset allowing you to draw boxes or scribble over content you don’t want to expose. When you’re done, you can export the redacted version of a document; this produces a completely flattened PDF. There are no hidden text elements to be sleuthed out by pesky journalists.

    • BSD


    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Teaching People to Share Technology: Adafruit Founder Limor Fried

          When Adafruit founder Limor Fried was studying electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, she realized she was less interested in the electrical engineering part.

          “What I really liked to do was build stuff,” she said.

          Instead of working on her homework or thesis, Fried spent her time designing hardware projects in her dorm. She built an MP3 player way before Apple made iPods popular.

          “With electronics, you could build anything from an MP3 player to a GPS tracker,” she said.


          “Open source hardware is a perfect middle ground. It’s inexpensive and allows you to customize the way you need it,” Fried said. “The code is there. Instructions are there. Anyone can do it. Since it’s open source, people can iterate, tweak, fine-tune to their needs. We are seeing a lot of interest in open source hardware for assistive technologies.”

          Adafruit’s hardware is working for everyone from creative hobbyists to people interested in building things for their smartphones to developers inventing products for the next industrial revolution. Adafruit also worked with computer game company Nvidia to help build its Jetson Nano Developer Kit, which lets users run multiple neural networks for artificial intelligence, machine learning and edge computing.

    • Programming/Development

      • buildah error: vfs driver does not support overlay.mountopt options

        Buildah and podman make a great pair for building, managing and running containers on a Linux system. You can even use them with GitLab CI with a few small adjustments, namely the switch from the overlayfs to vfs storage driver.

        I have some regularly scheduled GitLab CI jobs that attempt to build fresh containers each morning and I use these to get the latest packages and find out early when something is broken in the build process.

      • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #381 (Aug. 13, 2019)
      • Gcc 4.2.1 to be removed before FreeBSD 13, a firm timeline
        As promised for almost the past decade or so, gcc 4.2.1 will be removed
        from the tree before FreeBSD 13 is branched.
        I propose the following timeline for its removal:
        2019-08-31: disconnect gcc 4.2.1 from CI build
        Turn off -Werror on gcc 4.2.1 platforms
        Turn off all gcc 4.2.1 from universe by default (can be turned on)
        2019-12-31: Turn off gcc 4.2.1 build by default (can be turned on)
        2020-03-31: svn rm gcc 4.2.1 and friends
        2020-05-31: svn rm all non-clang platforms not supported by in-tree LLVM or
        converted to ext toolchain.
        2020-07-31: svn rm all ext toolchain platforms not supported by re@ release
        The basic notion is that it’s long past time to have a firm plan for EOL
        gcc 4.2.1 in the tree. There is ample external toolchain support today for
        platforms that need it to build images, though that integration with
        buildworld could use some more polish. It’s now completely sufficient to
        move to the next phase of removing gcc 4.2.1 from the tree.
        We already have gcc 6.4 as an xtoolchain on amd64 in CI. This should
        somewhat mitigate the risk for cross-compiler portability. This is a
        long-established part of our CI. We want to retain gcc support for modern
        versions of gcc since its debuggability is higher. Notifications for this
        are currently turned off, but will be enabled soon. It’s expected that this
        always will be working later in the year. We’ll work to update the
        committers guide to reflect this, as well as give a recipe for testing.
        The first phase will be at the end of the month. We’ll turn off -Werror on
        gcc 4.2.1 (and MFC it to stable/11 and stable/12). We’ll then stop building
        all platforms that require it as part of CI. New warnings will come up, but
        will no longer waste developer time in trying to fix. Gcc 4.2.1 platforms
        will no longer be built as part of universe, unless you add
        -DMAKE_OBSOLETE_GCC is added to the command line. We plan on implementing
        this by 2019-08-31.
        An experimental branch will be created that will remove gcc related bits to
        expose gaps in planning and to come up with a list of action items needed
        to ensure Tier 1 platforms are unaffected by the gcc removal. The timeline
        for this is by the end of September.
        Next, we’ll turn off building gcc by default. This will effectively break
        all gcc platforms with in-tree compilers. The external toolchain support we
        have will suffice here, and patches will be accepted for whatever
        integration are needed for these platforms with our current ports /
        packages. The onus for these changes will be squarely on people that want
        the platforms to continue. However, as a stop-gap gcc building can be
        turned on for those people transitioning gcc-only platforms until gcc 4.2.1
        is removed. This will happen on or about 2019-12-31.
        After a 3 month transition period, gcc 4.2.1 will be removed from the tree.
        This will be done on or about 2020-03-31.
        After an additional 2 month transition period, all those platforms that
        have not integrated with the FreeBSD CI system, work in a make universe
        with the proper packages installed, and are shown to boot on real hardware
        will be removed from the tree. This will happen on or about 2020-05-31.
        After an additional 2 month grace period, those platforms that require
        external toolchain integration that aren’t supported by the release
        engineer’s release scripts will be removed. This  will happen on or about
        The timeline gives powerpc, mips, mips64, and sparc64 9 months to integrate
        either into an in-tree compiler, or to have a proven external toolchain
        solution. This is on top of the many-years-long warnings about this being
        the end game of the clang integration.
        This is the proposed timeline, but should there be a significant issue
        that’s discovered, the timeline can be amended.
        Also note: the all toolchains in tree discussions are specifically out of
        bounds here. Let’s remove one compiler and get the infrastructure needed to
        make external toolchains robust before embarking on that discussion.
      • FreeBSD 13 Is Preparing To Finally Retire GCC 4.2

        A firm timeline has been established for removing GCC 4.2.1 before next year’s FreeBSD 13 release. This timeline includes dropping GCC 4.2.1 from continuous integration builds at the end of the month and turning off GCC 4.2.1 from universe by default. At the end of the calendar year they will turn off GCC 4.2.1 by default and at the end of March is when they will remove the compiler code entirely from their SVN. Next May they also intend to drop non-Clang platforms that are not supported by the in-tree LLVM or converted to an external toolchain.

      • Designing Continuous Build Systems: Handling Webhooks with Sanic

        After covering how to design a build pipeline and define build directives in the continuous builds series, it’s time to look at handling events from a code repository.

        As internet standards evolved over the years, the HTTP protocol has become more prevalent. It’s easier to route, simpler to implement and even more reliable. This ubiquity makes it easier for applications that traverse or live on the public internet to communicate with each other. As a result of this, the idea of webhooks came to be as an “event-over-http” mechanism.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • The Impending Demise of “PGP & GPG”

        My No Starch books normally sell out their print run, get reprinted a few times, and fade into Out Of Print status. But PG3 never sold out its initial print run.

      • Down the Rabbit-Hole…

        It took a lot of effort and research to reach the point that I could understand enough of CTF to realize it’s broken. These are the kind of hidden attack surfaces where bugs last for years. It turns out it was possible to reach across sessions and violate NT security boundaries for nearly twenty years, and nobody noticed.

        Now that there is tooling available, it will be harder for these bugs to hide going forward.

      • Flaws in 4G Routers of various vendors put millions of users at risk

        “Those manufacturers who are going to be selling 5G routers are currently selling 3G and 4G routers. Which – and I really cannot stress this enough – are mainly bad.”

      • Hack in the box: Hacking into companies with “warshipping”

        Penetration testers have long gone to great lengths to demonstrate the potential chinks in their clients’ networks before less friendly attackers exploit them. But in recent tests by IBM’s X-Force Red, the penetration testers never had to leave home to get in the door at targeted sites, and the targets weren’t aware they were exposed until they got the bad news in report form. That’s because the people at X-Force Red put a new spin on sneaking in—something they’ve dubbed “warshipping.”

        Using less than $100 worth of gear—including a Raspberry Pi Zero W, a small battery, and a cellular modem—the X-Force Red team assembled a mobile attack platform that fit neatly within a cardboard spacer dropped into a shipping box or embedded in objects such as a stuffed animal or plaque. At the Black Hat security conference here last week, Ars got a close look at the hardware that has weaponized cardboard.

      • These Legit-Looking iPhone Lightning Cables Will Hijack Your Computer

        It looks like an Apple lightning cable. It works like an Apple lightning cable. But it will give an attacker a way to remotely tap into your computer.

      • Nmap Defcon Release! 80+ improvements include new NSE scripts/libs, new Npcap, etc.

        Nmap 7.80 source code and binary packages for Linux, Windows, and Mac are available for free download from the usual spot: [...]

      • Microsoft Warning Impacts 800M Windows 10 Computers

        Microsoft has warned users of ‘critical’ new vulnerabilities across all versions of Windows which have the potential to spread worldwide…

      • We checked and yup, it’s no longer 2001. And yet you can pwn a Windows box via Notepad.exe

        Software buried in Windows since the days of WinXP can be abused to take complete control of a PC with the help of good ol’ Notepad and some crafty code.

        On Tuesday, ace bug-hunter Tavis Ormandy, of Google Project Zero, detailed how a component of the operating system’s Text Services Framework, which manages keyboard layouts and text input, could be exploited by malware or rogue logged-in users to gain System-level privileges. Such level of access would grant software nasties and miscreants total control over, and surveillance of, the computer.

        The flaw, designated CVE-2019-1162, is patched in this month’s Patch Tuesday release of security fixes from Microsoft. The relevant update should be installed as soon as possible.

      • No, Zwift Racing Wasn’t Hacked. Yet. Sorta. Let Me Explain.

        One of the most well-known conferences from a lore standpoint is Def Con, but there are also many other huge ones such as BlackHat, SANS, and RSA, and other vendor-specific ones like BlueHat (run by Microsoft for Microsoft technologies) or government-specific ones. Again, in general the goal of these summits is to learn about security and improve security practices.

        This past Sunday at Def Con (considered one of the more rambunctious events on the circuit) a presentation was given around Zwift and ‘hacking’ it – titled “Cheating in eSports: How to Cheat at Virtual Cycling Using USB Hacks”. Now one has to understand that while in the ‘mainstream’ the term ‘hacking’ is usually akin to ‘breaking’, in the computer world, the term ‘hacking’ is often a bit more nebulous. Sometimes used interchangeably with ‘tweaking’ or ‘optimizing’, and sometimes used in the less ideal variant such as ‘credit cards were hacked’. So one has to take any usage of that term with a bit of sanity check to see what’s going on.

      • Protecting your organization against privileged identity theft

        What do the top data breaches of the 21st century have in common? Privileged identity abuse. In these breach instances, well-resourced, external actors were able to gain the credentials of users with access to privileged accounts – such as administrative, service or operational accounts – giving them the ability to collect and exfiltrate industrial-scale amounts of data.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Rattling the Nuclear Cage: India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran and the US

        We like our anniversaries in blocks of 50 or 100 – at a push we’ll tolerate a 25. The 100th anniversary of the Somme (2016), the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (2015). Next year, we’ll remember the end of the Second World War, the first – and so far the only – nuclear war in history.

      • China Hysteria Down Under

        The blinkered security establishment is standard fare in politics. From Washington to Manila, we hear of terrors and concerns which tend to more spectral than not. Legitimate concerns such as catastrophic environmental failure, or a nuclear accident, are treated with a sigh, its warners doomsday advocates rather than reasoned citizens. It is the unseen demon that preoccupies.

      • Russian Blast Points to Danger of New Nuclear Arms Race

        On Thursday August 8th, an explosion at the Nenoksa Missile test site in northern Russia during testing of a new type of nuclear propelled cruise missile resulted in the death of at least seven people, including scientists and was followed by a spike in radiation in the atmosphere.

      • Chinese intervention in Hong Kong would be a ‘catastrophe,’ says ex-governor Chris Patten

        Patten told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Hong Kong was “close to the abyss”, because its leader Carrie Lam refused withdraw a controversial extradition bill and hold an inquiry into the reasons for the ongoing demonstrations and the way they have been policed.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • I’m a journalism student in an era of closing newsrooms, ‘fake news.’ But I still want in.

        Journalism jobs are vanishing and the industry is changing, but I still want in.

        A few days after I asked investigative journalist and University of Michigan professor Will Potter for advice on entering the journalism industry, he tweeted that our conversation forced him to escape to the woods. Talking about the state of the journalism industry had literally made him sick.

        That wasn’t exactly the response I expected when I set out to write about why young journalists like me want to pursue a career in journalism. I came into it with a wide-eyed attitude and, though Potter hasn’t changed my mind, he has wisened me up to the stakes.

      • On Banning Terrorist Boots: This Is What Occupation Looks Like

        In its latest, greatest victory, Israel’s COGAT, the bureaucratic arm of the Occupation, just announced it has confiscated several dozen pairs of hiking boots “hidden in a shipment of civilian goods in an attempt to smuggle them into Gaza for terrorist purposes” – news breathlessly reported in the Israeli press with, “Battling Gaza Terrorists On a New Front.” COGAT, for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, tweeted the find complete with stark photos of… shoes…and the sinister warning, “This is another miserable and failed attempt by terrorist groups in Gaza to hide behind the civilian population…The more these attempts continue, the more security and stability are compromised.” That’s the “security and stability” of the world’s largest open-air prison, where millions lack water, power, housing and other necessities, up to 70% of people are unemployed, and the still-rubble-strewn streets are filled with groups of young amputees on crutches thanks to the Israeli military’s deliberate shooting of unarmed young men in the legs – a practice an IDF spokesman says represents “the minimal use of force possible.” Since the 2018 start of Great March of Return protests, that restraint has killed 300 Palestinians and injured over 31,000, some as young as 13; over 7,000 have been shot, mostly in the lower legs. The UN estimates 1,700 of those need complex surgeries to walk again; due to lack of funding and medical care, they will likely face amputations instead. Under international law, Israel has now committed 31,000 more war crimes.

      • Russian senator breaks with political establishment and criticizes Moscow’s police crackdown on protesters

        On August 12, Vyacheslav Markhaev wrote on his Instagram page: “Instead of hearing out [protesters’] claims by organizing a dialogue, the administration found it easier to rely on force that was excessive in many cases.” The text was remarkable because Makhaev is a member of Russia’s Communist Party and a sitting senator in the Federation Council, as well as a former riot-police commander with 27 years of service. He says the actions of police officers and National Guard troops in Moscow in recent weeks has been “unlawful and professionally illiterate.” Makhaev’s comments about Moscow’s protests are sharply at odds with statements from other lawmakers. For example, Andrey Klimov, a fellow senator and chairman of Russia’s State Sovereignty Protection Commission, has accused the West of inciting activists. Communist leader and State Duma deputy Gennady Zyuganov, meanwhile, says the protests in the capital are the “evil grin of orange shenanigans” (referring to political unrest in Ukraine more than a decade ago). Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova asked Senator Markhaev why he’s decided to speak out in support of Moscow’s protesters, despite the hard-line positions of his colleagues and fellow party members.

    • Environment

      • Old Sailor Logs Show How Frighteningly Fast the Arctic Is Losing Ice

        When scientists report trends in Arctic sea ice, they tend to focus on the satellite era, or 1979 onwards. Research published last month in the Journal of Climate is helping extend those records back to the early 20th century. While it’s not the first attempt to do so, the study makes use of a novel dataset of ships’ logs that volunteers are digitizing from records held in the National Archives as part of the Old Weather project.

      • One in 4 people live in places at high risk of running out of water

        The world is facing a water scarcity crisis, with 17 countries including India, Israel and Eritrea using more than 80 percent of their available water supplies each year, a new analysis finds. Those countries are home to a quarter of the world’s 7.7 billion people. Further population rise or dwindling water supplies could cause critical water shortages, the researchers warn.

      • In Echo of Flint Lead Crisis, Newark Offers Bottled Water

        For nearly a year and a half after high lead levels were first discovered in the water system, Mr. Baraka and other officials blamed aging lead pipes, insisting on the city’s website that the water was “absolutely safe to drink.”

        But Newark changed course after a study found that lead was leaching into the water because of ineffective corrosion treatment at the city’s Pequannock plant. Last year, lead levels in more than half the samples tested at homes served by the plant exceeded the 15 parts per billion standard.

      • Zambia Urged to Declare Emergency After Worst Drought Since 1981

        A Southern Africa Development Community report last month forecast 2.3 million Zambians will be food insecure by March, after large parts of the southern and western areas of the country received the lowest rainfall since at least 1981. Over the same period, the report forecast Zambia would have an 888,000-ton cereal deficit.

        The government says it has enough corn, the staple food, to last until the next season and won’t need to import.

      • Power-Starved Zimbabwe, Zambia Face Further Drought-Induced Blackouts

        The Kariba dam that straddles Zambia and Zimbabwe, the world’s biggest man-made reservoir, is emptying fast, sparking fears the countries may have to cut hydropower production there completely.

      • Oregon Republicans End 9-Day Walkout as Climate Bill Fails

        Republican lawmakers returned to the Oregon Senate on Saturday, ending an acrimonious nine-day walkout over a carbon-emissions bill that would have been the second-such legislation in the nation.

        The boycott had escalated when the Democratic governor ordered the state police to find and return the rogue Republicans to the Senate so the chamber could convene, and a counter-threat by one GOP senator to violently resist any such attempt. Senate Republicans fled the state to avoid being forcibly returned by the Oregon State Police, whose jurisdiction ends at the state line.

        Democrats have an 18 to 12 majority in the Senate but need at least 20 members — and therefore at least two Republicans — to vote on legislation.

        Nine minority Republicans returned to the Senate on Saturday after Senate President Peter Courtney said the majority Democrats lacked the necessary 16 votes to pass the legislation aimed at countering climate change.

        Sen. Sara Gelser, a Democrat from the college town of Corvallis, said the demise of the cap-and-trade bill has deeply upset many constituents.

      • Energy

        • Adani Beware: Coal Is on the Road to Becoming Completely Uninsurable

          The announcement by Suncorp that it will no longer insure new thermal coal projects, along with a similar announcement by QBE Insurance a few months earlier, brings Australia into line with Europe where most major insurers have broken with coal.

          U.S. firms have been a little slower to move, but Chubb announced a divestment policy in July, and Liberty has confirmed it will not insure Australia’s Adani project.

          Other big firms such as America’s AIG are coming under increasing pressure.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Proposed California Law Would Punish Companies for Failing to Limit Harm to the Planet’s Forests

          In an effort to cut carbon emissions and forestall the climate crisis, California legislators are pushing a new law aimed at helping limit deforestation around the globe.

          The proposed bill, called the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act, or AB 572, would require companies that contract with the state to certify that their products do not cause the cutting of sensitive tropical forests or the destruction of boggy peatland soils in tropical regions — both of which contain enormous stores of carbon dioxide.

        • Sea Level Rise!

          Sea level has been stable, at current levels, throughout recorded history for 5,000 years. That’s about to change. Still, it’s very difficult for people to imagine a change in sea level after 5,000 years of rock solid stability.

    • Finance

      • In a Tight Labor Market, the Profit Share of Income is Falling

        Last month’s GDP report also included revisions to previously reported profit data for the last three years. The earlier reports showed a slight increase in the profit share in 2018; the revised data showed that the profit share of corporate income had fallen by 0.4 percentage points from the prior year. This is important both because it means that workers are now clearly getting their share of the gains from growth and also because of what it tells us about the structure of the economy.

      • Sen. Elizabeth Warren: We Need to Make Structural Changes to Our Government & Economy

        Senator Elizabeth Warren pushed for structural changes to the U.S. government in Wednesday’s presidential debate, saying she would make college free and eliminate private insurance altogether. We speak with Anand Giridharadas, editor-at-large at Time magazine and author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, about Warren’s debate performance and the issues facing the 2020 candidates. He joins a roundtable discussion with Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash, She the People founder Aimee Allison and Ana María Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Myth of the Rugged Individual

        Let’s stop perpetuating this myth of the self-made individual. And let’s start rebuilding the American dream by creating opportunities for all, not just those who are already wealthy, privileged, and well-connected. 

      • The British Still Haven’t Learned the Lessons of the Troubles

        Fifty years ago, the Battle of the Bogside in Derry between Catholics and police, combined with the attacks on Catholic areas of Belfast by Protestants, led to two crucial developments that were to define the political landscape for decades: the arrival of the British army and the creation of the Provisional IRA.

      • [Old] Reporters Committee urges prison to allow Reality Winner interviews

        In a letter sent May 29, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press urged a Texas prison warden to allow journalists to interview Reality Winner, the first person under the current administration to be sentenced to prison under the Espionage Act for leaking classified information to a news outlet.

        Last year, Winner pled guilty to leaking a classified National Security Agency report that described a Russian cyberattack on a U.S. voting software supplier to a news outlet. Her prison sentence — five years and three months — is the longest a journalistic source has received under the Espionage Act.

      • Greens say withdrawal of UK staff from Brussels is ‘dereliction of duty’

        Responding to reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to pull UK officials from meetings in Brussels (1),

        Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack said:

        “The plans would constitute a complete dereliction of duty by the Government that will consciously fail to perform its basic functions.”

        “Once again it is clear that for propagandistic reasons the Prime Minister would risk the security of our country and our standing in relation to our natural allies.

        “Brexit was never presented as a diminishment of our status in the world. Every day we are safer as a country as a result of the exchange of information with our EU allies.”

        “The EU has always been at the forefront of consumer protection, it would be a mistake to abandon those standards.”

      • Media Defend Biden by Attacking Dems for ‘Attacking’ Obama

        Coming out of the second round of Democratic debates, a curious storyline crystallized in the media: The candidates are attacking Obama, and that’s a sure-fire way to hand the election to Trump. It’s the latest flavor of “the Democrats are moving too far left” (FAIR.org, 7/2/19)—this time echoing both Trump himself and the right-wing Democratic candidates, including former Obama Vice President Joe Biden.

        During the first debate, Rep. John Delaney pitched the story, claiming, “Most of the folks running for president want to build economic walls to free trade and beat up on President Obama.” Biden’s team was also quick to hype the story after his own appearance in the second debate. The Washington Post‘s Steven Stromberg (7/31/19) quoted one of his advisers immediately after the debate: “Many people on this stage spent more time attacking Obama than they did Trump. I think Democratic primary voters will make a judgment about this.”

      • How Wavering Democrats Bought Into Kochs’ Free Trade Scheme

        When George Soros and Charles Koch announced in July that they are partnering to create a think tank dedicated to ending the United States’ forever wars, Steven Kinzer of The Boston Globe called the idea “one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history.”

        Despite the jarring image of the liberal billionaire joining forces with the radical conservative, the forthcoming Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft is not such an anomaly in the history of the Koch family. As Ryan Grim and Andrew Perez explain in a joint report from The Intercept and Maplight, in 2007, Koch Industries “ secretly financed a report by Third Way, a corporate-funded think tank with ties to the centrist wing of the Democratic Party.”

        Grim and Perez’s reporting is based on research from a new book, “Kochland,” by Christopher Leonard, an investigative reporter.

      • Welcome to Ayn Rand’s America

        There’s a direct link between a sociopathic killer in 1927 and the GOP’s willingness to embrace a sociopathic president like Trump. That link runs through the work of Ayn Rand.

        When Donald Trump was running for the GOP nomination, he told USA Today’s Kirsten Powers that Ayn Rand’s raped-girl-decides-she-likes-it novel, “The Fountainhead,” was his favorite book.

        “It relates to business, beauty, life and inner emotions,” he told Powers. “That book relates to … everything.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russian diplomats summon U.S. embassy official to complain about Internet posts…

        Russia’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Tim Richardson, the head of the U.S. Moscow Embassy’s Political Section, to question him about a post on the embassy’s website and a tweet by the U.S. State Department’s Travel account on August 2 that showed a map of Moscow’s unpermitted march on August 3.

      • Russia tells Google to block ads for ‘illegal’ protests

        The watchdog, Roscomnadzor, said some entities had been buying advertising tools from YouTube, such as push notifications, to spread information about illegal mass protests, including those aimed at disrupting elections.

      • Dennis Prager Peddles Complete Nonsense About ‘Google Censorship’ In The WSJ

        Another day, another major publication peddling complete and utter bullshit about big internet platforms. The latest is Dennis Prager, whose Wall Street Journal op-ed, Don’t Let Google Get Away With Censorship (possibly paywalled) is so utterly full of wrong that it should maybe be a canonical example of how to bloviate wrongness. The entire premise is bullshit, with most of it focusing on the made up claim that YouTube is somehow censoring Prager’s videos because of his “conservative” viewpoints. We’ve debunked Prager’s arguments in great detail before, but apparently we need to do so again.

        As a quick summary: a very small percentage (less than 12%) of Prager’s videos are put into “restricted” mode. This does not demonetize them. It only means that the very small percentage of people who have opted-in to set up YouTube to not return videos that are inappropriate for children (which is less than 1.5% of YouTube’s users) don’t see that small percentage of YouTube videos in their search results. This includes videos with titles like: “Born to Hate Jews” and “Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?” which “includes an animated depiction of a nearly naked man lunging at a group of women.” You might recognize why people at YouTube thought this might not be appropriate for children. But Prager insists that it’s evidence of an anti-conservative bias.

      • NY Times Publishes A Second, Blatantly Incorrect, Trashing Of Section 230, A Day After Its First Incorrect Article

        Last week we wrote about the NY Times having to issue a whopper of a correction on a giant front page of the Business Section, totally false claim, saying that Section 230 “protected hate speech” online — which they later had to edit to note that it was actually the 1st Amendment that protected such speech (and the article leaves out that it’s actually Section 230 that allows websites to remove hate speech). Coming from a paper that, just weeks earlier, had published an editorial mocking politicians for getting 230 wrong, this was kind of embarrassing.

        Even more embarrassing, though, was the day after the NY Times had to totally correct that false article, they ran another blatantly wrong op-ed about Section 230, this one published by Jonathan Taplin, who two years previously had published another op-ed at the NY Times that completely fabricated a bunch of blatant lies about how YouTube and Google operate. You would think that would be enough for the NY Times to maybe think twice about having him publish another op-ed, especially about Section 230 a day after the paper got called out for getting the Constitution wrong. But, nope. Taplin got to publish his anti-Section 230 op ed with no problems, until the NY Times felt the need to issue a correction on that one too.

      • Be Careful What You Wish For In Asking Silicon Valley To Police Speech Online

        We live in a weird moment right now where any piece — no matter how misleading or unhinged — seems to be able to find a publication place so long as it blames basically everything on the big internet companies and demands that they do more (or sometimes less) to stop bad stuff from happening online. There are still a few brave souls out there pointing out how problematic all of this might be, and thankfully the EFF’s executive director, Cindy Cohn, has taken to the pages of Wired to explain why asking the internet to stifle speech online could backfire in a really big way. She notes that it’s a reasonable emotional reaction to mass murdering assholes posting screeds on 8chan to seek to shut the site down entirely, but that comes with serious costs as well.

      • Online Harms: Blocking websites doesn’t work – use a rights-based approach instead

        Blocking websites isn’t working. It’s not keeping children safe and it’s stopping vulnerable people from accessing information they need. It’s not the right approach to take on “Online Harms”.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie says data still not safe from tech giants like Facebook

        Cambridge Analytica used the data to influence not only the 2016 US presidential election of Donald Trump, but also the Brexit Leave vote in the United Kingdom.

        Mr Wylie wants people to understand the risks of social media and data manipulation.

      • NatWest trials home banking via Google Assistant smart speaker [iophk: s/speaker/microphone/;]

        The trial will use a combination of voice recognition and a six-figure PIN to authenticate users, enabling customers to find out the details of their bank balances, pending transactions, and recent spending – and nothing else at this stage of the trial.

        Because recent reports have suggested that voice recognition alone could be an unreliable form of authentication, users will additionally need to authenticate by barking out two digits from a six-digit code, provided exclusively for voice assistant banking.

      • Evaluating the NSA’s Telephony Metadata Program

        This paper sheds significant light on all three of these concerns. First, we carefully analyze the numbers, showing how forty orders might lead to the collection of several million CDRs, thus offering a model to assist in understanding Intelligence Community transparency reporting across its surveillance programs. Second, we show how the architecture of modern telephone communications might cause collection errors that fit the reported reasons for the 2018 purge. Finally, we show how changes in the terrorist threat environment as well as in the technology and communication methods they employ ­ in particular the deployment of asynchronous encrypted IP-based communications ­ has made the telephony metadata program far less beneficial over time. We further provide policy recommendations for Congress to increase effective intelligence oversight.

      • The FBI Can’t Get Into The Dayton Shooter’s Phone. So What?

        A high-profile act of violence has brought FBI complaints about device encryption to the surface again. This has been a long-running theme with the agency, one amplified recently by domestic surveillance advocate/Attorney General William Barr. Barr claimed encryption was creating a more dangerous world for everyone. Barr’s claims echoed those of successive FBI directors. Both Barr and Wray continue to talk about device encryption despite having (so far) refused to update the number of encrypted devices the FBI can’t access.

        As Barr warned in his rant against encryption, all it would take is one major attack to sway public opinion to the government’s side.


        Then there’s the dishonesty: intellectual and otherwise. Most of what’s offered as arguments for backdoors is intellectually dishonest. The FBI’s failure to inform the American public about the true number of locked devices in its possession is the regular kind of dishonest. So is the assertion made by the FBI that it could be “months or years” before it can access the phone’s contents. Multiple companies offer devices that can (supposedly) bypass any device’s encryption, including the latest iPhones. The FBI and DOJ simply pretend these options don’t exist when talking to Congress, law enforcement agencies, and the general public.

        Every tragedy is an opportunity. The FBI isn’t going to let these pass without attempting to capitalize on them. Unfortunately, it seems our country is capable of generating an endless amount of tragic opportunities. And it only takes one to give the government everything it wants.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Jeffrey Epstein’s Eyes

        Jeffrey Epstein had a collection of eyeballs on his wall. They were originally “made for injured soldiers,” we’re told, which presumably means they were artificial. Each was individually framed and mounted in his entranceway. We’re not told whether any soldiers had the chance to use them first.

      • The Case That Made an Ex-ICE Attorney Realize the Government Was Relying on False “Evidence” Against Migrants

        Laura Peña could see that her 36-year-old client was wasting away. Gaunt and haggard after nearly two months in jail, he ran his fingers through his hair and opened his hands to show her the clumps that were falling out. He was so distraught that his two young children had been taken from him at the border, he could barely speak without weeping.

        After Carlos requested political asylum, border and immigration agents had accused him of being a member of the notorious MS-13 gang in El Salvador — a criminal not fit to enter the United States. But as Peña looked at him, she saw none of the typical hallmarks of gang membership: the garish MS-13 tattoos or a criminal record back home. He was the sole caregiver for his 7-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. He’d even brought an official letter from El Salvador’s Justice Ministry certifying that he’d never been in jail. Something else about his case bothered her, too: She’d been peppering the government’s lawyers with phone calls and emails for weeks and they’d yet to reveal any evidence to back up their accusation.

      • Trump Called Baltimore “Vermin Infested” While the Federal Government Fails to Clean Up Rodents in Subsidized Housing

        BALTIMORE — President Donald Trump launched a multiday Twitter tirade last month directed at U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, sharing video footage of derelict Baltimore neighborhoods and asking why the Democratic congressman wasn’t doing more to address the “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” in his district.

        Though Trump didn’t say so, some of the responsibility for any such conditions rests with his own administration. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ultimate oversight of nearly 35,000 public housing and federally subsidized rental units in the city, many of which suffer from the squalor the president decried on social media. HUD has known for years of failing conditions in many of them but hasn’t taken steps to ramp up oversight as it has done in other regions, such as New York City.

      • Confounding New Details Emerge in Epstein Case

        One of Jeffrey Epstein’s two guards the night he hanged himself in his federal jail cell wasn’t a regular correctional officer, according to people familiar with the detention center, which is now under scrutiny for what Attorney General William Barr on Monday called “serious irregularities.”

      • Placido Domingo Concerts Canceled as Harassment Probe Opens

        SAN FRANCISCO—Two music companies canceled appearances by Placido Domingo and the Los Angeles Opera said Tuesday it would launch an investigation in response to an Associated Press story in which numerous women accused the opera legend of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior spanning decades.

      • Top Trump Official Disavows Statue of Liberty Greeting

        Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli is under fresh fire on Tuesday after telling NPR in an interview that the famous words engraved on the U.S. Statue of Liberty—based on the poem by Emma Lazarus—should be re-cast with a qualifier when it comes to the kinds of people arriving at the nation’s shores seeking refuge or welcome.

      • Expanding Involuntary Confinement is Not the Answer to Solve Gun Violence

        In the wake of last weekend’s tragic shootings, President Trump did what he does best: stoked fear and cast blame. He proclaimed that  “we must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people, not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement.”

      • We have Until Aug 13 to Oppose Trump’s Anti-Trans Health Care Plan

        The Trump Administration has shown it will stop at nothing to undermine access to health care for marginalized communities. Most recently, the Administration has proposed to undermine critical protections against sex discrimination in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the Health Care Rights Law. Instead of combatting discrimination in accessing health care and insurance coverage, the Administration is looking for any opportunity to weaken the Health Care Rights Law’s protections, which have been life saving for many transgender and non-binary people.

      • After the Power of Protest Ousts a Governor, Puerto Rico has a New Leader. For Now.

        Public outcry and protests in Puerto Rico brought on the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, and the successor he appointed — former politician and lawyer Pedro Pierluisi — had to step down yesterday. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court unanimously decided that appointing Pierluisi as governor without Senate confirmation is unconstitutional. Wanda Vázquez, the former secretary of justice, took the oath as governor before the end of day yesterday. Puerto Ricans are now in a new period of doubt in its leadership, with many wondering how long the seemingly unpopular Vázquez might be governor.

      • They’re Still Dying at an Early Age

        Fast forward thirty years later. I retired from teaching in public schools and learned that the Providence schools were looking for counselors. I put my name in for a position and I was soon called and asked to report to a middle school only a few miles from the school where I had taught in 1969.

        The single day I spent in a counseling role in that school opened my eyes as almost no other experience I had in those decades of teaching. I was assigned to work in a counseling holding room where students who misbehaved spent the day out of class. It was a recipe for disaster because placing so many adolescents in a room for an entire school day was akin to asking a leftist to spend a day trying to reason with all of those doves that Donald Trump claims to have working in his administration.

        During the first hour of that day, two students began prodding a young girl to arrange times after school where she would be available to have sex with people they were lining up. After listening in on the conversation, I called the administrative office to have someone come down to the room to sort out the situation: No one ever showed up.

        Next, a student in the back of the room found some 78 rpm records on a shelf and began breaking them by hurling them across the room. I had never seen this kind of acting out, and thought that I had seen and dealt with everything in several educational roles over many decades.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Sisvel / Xiaomi – FRAND: Injunction Claim in Summary Proceedings Denied

          While the numerous recent court decisions may suggest so, the ‘F’ in FRAND does not stand for ‘Fashionable’. The reader of this blog, well-informed in patent matters, will know by heart what this acronym spells out. He (or, I say once and for all, she)1 will also know that, next to technical intricacies of assessing the validity of a (portfolio of) SEP – yes, another term of this fine art – FRAND cases add another layer of complexity: what is FRAND? Not the acronym, but in the facts and circumstance of a specific case.

          This question was not answered in a recent judgment in summary proceedings (in Dutch: Kort Geding) between Sisvel and Xiaomi (1 August 2019, Dutch version here). The Preliminary Relief Judge – who is not known to shy away from complex cases, even in summary proceedings – did not touch upon the What is FRAND? question. Sisvel’s claim for an injunction under its SEP patents was already denied due to a lack of urgent interest.


          Disclaimer: This author’s firm represented Xiaomi in this case.

        • Our Product is Lossy and Slow — Therefore we Don’t Infringe

          Iridescent’s patent covers a method of providing “high quality” bandwith “on demand” using custom routes (rather than ad hoc packet-by-packet routing) to maximize the availability of bandwidth, minimize packet loss, and reduce latency.

          On appeal, the main issue was the meaning of “high quality” network service as used in the claims. AT&T argued particularly that the term should be defined as having a connection speed of >= 1 mbps; packet loss <= 0.0001%; and latency of < 1 second. Under that definition, everyone agreed that AT&T’s service was not “high quality.”

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed. Although the patent does not define “high quality,” it did provide a chart that appeared to delineate between some services that are high quality and those that are not.


          Thus, the decision here provides some caution and guidance to patent prosecutors using “coined terms:” (1) even if your term uses “ordinary words” it can be considered coined if it lacks an “ordinary and customary meaning” in the art; (2) the court is more willing to look to prosecution history to understand the meaning of a coined term.

      • Trademarks

        • Brewery In Wales Changes Name Of 2 Beers After Fight With Hugo Boss

          For some time now we’ve discussed in a series of posts the trademark fallout that has hit the craft brewing industry. With the explosion of this industry throughout the world, the once-congenial attitude breweries had towards intellectual property concerns has slipped away, replaced by both aggression when it comes to protecting IP and the threat of aggressive action from those outside the industry, given the amount of money being made in brewing. It’s been sad to see and it has frankly led to some of the silliest IP disputes I’ve ever seen.

          As in any other industry, however, the truly frustrating stories when it comes to trademark disputes in the brewing business involve those outside the industry initiating conflict where it doesn’t belong. The most recent example of this is Boss Brewing having to change the name of a couple of its beers after being bullied by Hugo Boss, the upscale clothier.

      • Copyrights

        • Top University Of California Scientists Tell Elsevier They’ll No Longer Work On Elsevier Journals

          Last week we highlighted the ongoing dispute between academic publishing giant Elsevier and the University of California (UC) system. Earlier this year, UC cancelled its contract with Elsevier, after the publishing giant — which gets nearly all of its content and labor for free, but charges insane prices for what is often publicly funded research — refused to lower prices or to work with the UC system on moving to an open access approach. Last week, we covered how Elsevier had emailed a bunch of UC folks with what appeared to be outright lies about the status of negotiations between the two organizations, and UC hit back with some facts to debunk Elsevier.

        • Leadership Transitions at Creative Commons

          Today Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley is announcing the conclusion of his five years of leadership of the organization. As he describes in his personal message, he is stepping down as CEO to start a new position at Wikimedia. We are thankful to Ryan for his five years of leadership at CC and excited for him and the Commons that he will continue as a leader in the open knowledge community. We are all very proud of Creative Commons’ accomplishments during the past five years—including redesign of our global network, launch and development of the CC Certificate program, and our new search engine—which provides a welcoming front door to the commons.

          In other leadership news, I am delighted to announce today the appointment of four new members of the Creative Commons Board of Directors. Carolina Botero, Bilal Randeree, Alek Tarkowski, and Alexander Macgillivray are all longtime members of the CC community. Each of them brings incredible expertise and insight to this new role with the organization, as the bios below illustrate. Carolina, Bilal, and Alek have begun their CC board service, while Alex will begin his term in January 2020. All of us at Creative Commons are thrilled to start working with these outstanding CC community members in this new capacity.

          Two of the touchstones of the organizational strategy that has driven our recent work have been gratitude and collaboration. On behalf of the Creative Commons Board of Directors, I want to express my sincere gratitude for Ryan’s service to our organization and mission. Looking to the future, we are excited about the opportunities for collaboration we will have with Ryan in his new role. I am also grateful to our new board members for their willingness to serve, and I’m excited to collaborate with them and with the global Creative Commons community on the process of searching for a new leader for CC as we enter our third decade. We will soon be announcing details about that search process and inviting community input. In the meantime, my board colleagues and I are working closely with CC’s dedicated management team to ensure continuity and momentum for our important work.

        • Moving on from Creative Commons

          I have some bittersweet professional news to share. I will be stepping down from my position at Creative Commons and joining the Wikimedia Foundation as Chief of Staff. Leading Creative Commons has been the most challenging and rewarding role of my career. It has been a privilege to do this work, and together we’ve had some incredible accomplishments. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with such a dedicated and professional staff, and a caring and driven community — I deeply believe that our collaborative efforts are the reason for every success we’ve had. I’m excited to continue working on issues that I care about in the open community. And I’m excited to continue working collaboratively with the CC team as a community member and partner.

          Looking back on five years as CC’s CEO, I believe that the organization is in a stronger position than it has ever been. CC’s focus is clear, building a vibrant, usable commons powered by collaboration and gratitude through community support and training, product development and partnerships, and engagement.

          Operationally, CC has an inspired and driven management team, with exceptional staff leading all aspects of our operations and programs. They are some of my favorite humans, and it’s been a joy to work with them. The team is guided by a multi-year strategy and collaboratively developed goals that support accountability and transparency. Financially, the organization has established a meaningful reserve upon which it can draw, secured partnerships with new multi-year funders, and initiated a strategy to secure multi-year relationships that has been embraced by the Board and is being executed upon by CC’s senior management.

        • Zomato delivery boys refuse to deliver beef and pork as it hurts their ‘religious sentiments’

          Raged by the hypocrisy, people had slammed Zomato for the stark contrast in the manner in which it deals with the grievances of different religious communities. Customers pointed out how Zomato customer care which had offered a moral science lecture to the Hindu customer, was seen prostrated before one community for Halal meat.

        • Why the Jeffrey Epstein Investigation Is Not Over

          Federal prosecutors and F.B.I. agents who built the case against Mr. Epstein will turn their attention to people whom his accusers have said participated in a scheme that dates back more than a decade and involved the sexual exploitation of dozens of underage girls.

          That could include a circle of close associates whom accusers said helped recruit, train and coerce them into catering to Mr. Epstein, a wealthy financier.


Links 13/8/2019: Mir 1.4 Released, Qt PDF Discussed

Posted in News Roundup at 12:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Leaving Windows 7? Here are some non-Windows options.

        Then there’s my own favorite: the Linux desktop. But while I love it, I’m well aware of the Linux desktop’s many problems.

        But recently the Linux community looks to be finally getting its act together. So now might be a good time to kick Linux’s tires.

        Personally, when it comes to the many distros, I favor Linux Mint. It’s good, secure and fast. It also has the advantage, from your perspective, of looking a good deal like Windows 7. That makes switching over to it easier than you might expect.

        But if you need corporate support, you’ll be better off with Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation or Canonical’s Ubuntu for desktop. You can, by the by, use Linux desktops with your existing Active Directory domains if that’s what’s stopping you from considering Linux.

        Which is best for you? Only you can answer that question. What I can say, though, is that these days you don’t have to just grit your teeth and shift over to the next version of Windows. Thanks in large part to the move to a SaaS model for nearly all applications, you have real desktop OS choices.

    • Server

      • Taashee Linux Services Joins Bright Computing Partner Program
      • IBM

        • Fedora Developers Discuss Ways To Improve Linux Interactivity In Low-Memory Situations

          While hopefully the upstream Linux kernel code can be improved to benefit all distributions for low-memory Linux desktops, Fedora developers at least are discussing their options for in the near-term improving the experience. With various easy “tests”, it’s possible to easily illustrate just how poorly the Linux desktop responds when under memory pressure. Besides the desktop interactivity becoming awful under memory pressure, some argue that an unprivileged task shouldn’t be able to cause such behavior to the system in the first place.

        • Stephen Gallagher: Flock 2019 Trip Report

          As usual, the conference began with Matthew Miller’s traditional “State of Fedora” address wherein he uses pretty graphs to confound and amaze us. Oh, and reminds us that we’ve come a long way in Fedora and we have much further to go together, still.

          Next was a keynote by Cate Huston of Automattic (now the proud owners of both WordPress and Tumblr, apparently!). She talked to us about the importance of understanding when a team has become dysfunctional and some techniques for getting back on track.

          After lunch, Adam Samalik gave his talk, “Modularity: to modularize or not to modularize?”, describing for the audience some of the cases where Fedora Modularity makes sense… and some cases where other packaging techniques are a better choice. This was one of the more useful sessions for me. Once Adam gave his prepared talk, the two of us took a series of great questions from the audience. I hope that we did a good job of disambiguating some things, but time will tell how that works out. We also got some suggestions for improvements we could make, which were translated into Modularity Team tickets: here and here.

        • IBM Cloud: No shift, Sherlock

          IBM’s cloud strategy has gone through a number of iterations as it attempts to offer a compelling hybrid cloud to shift its customers from traditional IT architectures to modern cloud computing.

          IBM is gambling those customers who have yet to embrace the public cloud fully, remain committed to private and hybrid cloud-based infrastructure, and, if they do use public clouds, they want a cloud-agnostic approach to move workloads. In July, IBM closed the $34bn purchase of Red Hat, an acquisition it hopes will finally enable it to deliver cloud-agnostic products and services.

          To tie in with the completion of the acquisition of Red Hat, IBM commissioned Forrester to look at the benefits to those organisations that are both Red Hat and IBM customers.

        • Red Hat Shares ― Not just open source, *enterprise* open source

          Open source software (OSS), by definition, has source code that’s available for anyone to see, learn from, use, modify, and distribute. It’s also the foundation for a model of collaborative invention that empowers communities of individuals and companies to innovate in a way that proprietary software doesn’t allow.

          Enterprise open source software is OSS that’s supported and made more secure―by a company like Red Hat―for enterprise use. It plays a strategic role in many organizations and continues to gain popularity.

        • How open source can help banks combat fraud and money laundering

          Jump ahead a few years to the Fourth EU AML Directive – a regulation which required compliance by June 2017 – demanding enhanced Customer Due Diligence procedures must be adhered to when cash transactions reach an aggregated amount of more than $11,000 U.S. dollars (USD). (The Fifth EU AML Directive is on the way, with a June 2020 deadline.) In New Zealand’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Amendment Act of 2017 it is stated that banks and other financial entities must provide authorities with information about clients making cash transactions over $6,500 USD and international monetary wire transfers from New Zealand exceeding $650 USD. In 2018, the updated open banking European Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) that requires fraud monitoring also went into effect. And the Monetary Authority of Singapore is developing regulations regarding the use of cryptocurrencies for terrorist funding and money laundering, too.

        • Automate security in increasingly complex hybrid environments

          As new technologies and infrastructure such as virtualization, cloud, and containers are introduced into enterprise networks to make them more efficient, these hybrid environments are becoming more complex—potentially adding risks and security vulnerabilities.

          According to the Information Security Forum’s Global Security Threat Outlook for 2019, one of the biggest IT trends to watch this year is the increasing sophistication of cybercrime and ransomware. And even as the volume of ransomware attacks is dropping, cybercriminals are finding new, more potent ways to be disruptive. An article in TechRepublic points to cryptojacking malware, which enables someone to hijack another’s hardware without permission to mine cryptocurrency, as a growing threat for enterprise networks.

          To more effectively mitigate these risks, organizations could invest in automation as a component of their security plans. That’s because it takes time to investigate and resolve issues, in addition to applying controlled remediations across bare metal, virtualized systems, and cloud environments — both private and public — all while documenting changes.

    • Kernel Space

      • Oracle’s Kernel Test Framework Might Be Added To The Linux Kernel Tree

        Knut Omang of Oracle is working on integrating the Kernel Test Framework into the Linux kernel source tree/repository.

        The Kernel Test Framework is used for unit testing of the Linux kernel as well as different component testing of the code. Up to this point the Kernel Test Framework has been developed separate of the Linux kernel tree in order to allow for testing against arbitrary versions of the Linux kernel. Now, however, Oracle is wanting to get this kernel testing framework as part of the Linux kernel source tree.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Essential Developer Guide for Building Blockchain Applications Using Hyperledger Sawtooth

          Hyperledger Sawtooth is an enterprise blockchain platform for building distributed ledger applications and networks. The design philosophy targets keeping ledgers distributed and making smart contracts safe, particularly for enterprise use.

          Sawtooth simplifies blockchain application development by separating the core system from the application domain. Application developers can specify the business rules appropriate for their application, using the language of their choice, without needing to know the underlying design of the core system.

          Sawtooth is also highly modular. This modularity enables enterprises and consortia to make policy decisions that they are best equipped to make. Sawtooth’s core design allows applications to choose the transaction rules, permissioning, and consensus algorithms that support their unique business needs.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mir 1.4 Released With Fix For GTK3, Support For Exclusive Zones

          The Canonical team led by Alan Griffiths for maintaining the Mir display server with Wayland support today rolled out Mir version 1.4.

          Mir 1.4 brings support for the concept of exclusive zones to the MirAL layer, various Wayland layer shell improvements, making the MirClient socket optional, a fix for GTK3 handling, and various other Wayland handling improvements.

        • NVIDIA Continues To Be Involved With Making Vulkan More Appropriate For Machine Learning

          NVIDIA engineers continue to be among those in the Vulkan technical sub-group working to advance machine learning for this API.

          Vulkan machine learning is being worked on for functionality like NVIDIA’s DLSS, bots, character animations, and other functionality that can be tailored to machine learning in high frame-rate applications. There’s also the benefit of Vulkan being an industry standard unlike CUDA and friends.

        • NVIDIA 435.17 Linux Beta Driver Adds Vulkan + OpenGL PRIME Render Offload

          NVIDIA this morning introduced their 435 Linux driver series currently in beta form with the release of the 435.17 Linux build. With this new driver comes finally the best PRIME/multi-GPU support they have presented to date.

          The NVIDIA 435.17 driver has a new PRIME render offload implementation supported for Vulkan and OpenGL (with GLX). This PRIME offloading is about using one GPU for display but having the actual rendering be done on a secondary GPU, as is common with many of today’s high-end notebooks that have Intel integrated graphics paired with a discrete NVIDIA GPU.

        • Vulkan Video Decoding Coming In H1’2020, Ray-Tracing Progressing

          The Khronos Group has posted their material from the SIGGRAPH 2019 graphics conference and includes some interesting updates on Vulkan and their ongoing efforts.

          In addition to making Vulkan better for machine learning, ray-tracing and video decode are two other topics of interest to us.

    • Applications

      • Cast To TV v10 GNOME Extension Adds Support For Casting To Other Linux Devices

        Cast to TV GNOME Shell extension v10 brings Playercast app support, allowing users to cast media files to other Linux devices on the same network remotely, from GNOME Shell.

        Cast to TV is a GNOME Shell extension to cast videos, music and pictures to Chromecast or other devices over a local network. It supports video transcoding on the fly (for videos that can’t directly play on the device), customizable subtitles, it can show a music visualizer while casting music, and much more. For controlling the device, the Gnome Shell extensions adds a new button on the top panel with playback controls.

        The latest v10 release of Cast to TV extension doesn’t come with any exciting features for Chromecasts, but it brings support for Playercast app.

      • Easy rTorrent + ruTorrent Installation And Configuration Script For Debian Or Ubuntu

        Installing and setting up rTorrent and ruTorrent on an Ubuntu or Debian server can be a complicated, tedious task, specially for inexperienced users. rtinst is a script that makes this easier, by automatically installing and configuring rTorrent, ruTorrent (stable or master), and everything else needed for an Ubuntu or Debian (including on Raspberry Pi) seedbox.

        The script was updated recently with some important improvements, like support for the latest Debian 10 (buster) stable release, and automatic Let’s Encrypt certificates generation if possible (in case it fails, it falls back to self-signed certificates).

        rTorrent is a text-based ncurses BitTorrent client based on libTorrent, great for usage on servers, while ruTorrent is a web front-end for rTorrent.

      • Listen to Online Radio on Ubuntu through Cantata

        There are many ways through which you can listen to online radio through Ubuntu. However, if you are looking for a stable application that gives you dedicated access to a large number of radio stations, we recommend using Cantata. It is a free graphical MPD client for Linux, macOS, Windows, and Haiku.

        In this article, we will explain how you can install Cantata to your Ubuntu through the official Ubuntu repositories, and also through the PPA(for latest version). We will also explain how you can set up and use Cantata to listen to online radio stations.

      • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Abbey Games have released the Will Of The People update for Godhood

        After entering Early Access in July, Godhood from Abbey Games has received a bit of a mixed impression from users but they’re moving quickly to improve it.

        I can understand where some of the negative reviews have currently come from, while a nice looking game and one I’ve enjoyed playing, it’s currently pretty simple. To be expected from Early Access though, it’s going to evolve over time. They’ve recently adjusted the way they describe it too, originally saying it was a “strategy god game” but they’re now saying it’s a “roster-management auto-battling god game”—okay then. Hoping to hook in some auto-battler fans I see!

      • Duck in Town – A Rising Knight, a comedy adventure coming to Linux later this year

        Here’s another game being created with the FOSS tool Godot Engine: Duck in Town – A Rising Knight, a comedy 3D graphic adventure.

      • The ambitious Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is out with Linux support, some thoughts

        Combining elements from both 3D and 2D games, Anodyne 2: Return to Dust has officially released with Linux support.

        A very ambitious game, using a 3D art style inspired by the PS1, PS2, and N64 era of gaming and 2D sections much like you would have seen on the GBA and SNES. Developed by Analgesic Productions (Even the Ocean, All Our Asias, Anodyne), it’s incredibly impressive when you realise this was made by two people.

      • PS3 emulator RPCS3 can now play Demon’s Souls at 60FPS thanks to a patch

        RPCS3 for emulating the PlayStation 3 continues advancing quickly! A new blog post is up showing off a patch that enables you to play Demon’s Souls at 60FPS and 4K.

      • The Goldberg Steam Emulator has a new release, marking one year

        The Goldberg Steam Emulator is an interesting project and one that could be important if Steam ever goes fully offline.

        It’s a replacement for the Steam API file, allowing you to play a Steam game that uses Steam’s multiplayer APIs on a LAN without Steam or an internet connection. Sounds like it’s a pretty handy project.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Temperatures continue warming in Riverside County, extreme heat on the way

        The mercury could climb into the triple digits today in the Inland Empire, with even hotter temperatures expected in the next few days.

        A high-pressure system moving in from Texas will bring a rise in temperatures through Wednesday in the Riverside metropolitan area and through Thursday in the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, according to the National Weather Service.

        The NWS issued an excessive heat warning that will last from 11 a.m. Wednesday to 9 p.m. Thursday for those two desert areas.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE.org Applications Site

          I’ve updated the kde.org/applications site so KDE now has web pages and lists the applications we produce.

          In the update this week it’s gained Console apps and Addons.

          Some exciting console apps we have include Clazy, kdesrc-build, KDebug Settings (a GUI app but has no menu entry) and KDialog (another GUI app but called from the command line).

        • Instant Workstation

          Some considerable time ago I wrote up instructions on how to set up a FreeBSD machine with the latest KDE Plasma Desktop. Those instructions, while fairly short (set up X, install the KDE meta-port, .. and that’s it) are a bit fiddly.

          So – prompted slightly by a Twitter exchange recently – I’ve started a mini-sub-project to script the installation of a desktop environment and the bits needed to support it. To give it at least a modicum of UI, dialog(1) is used to ask for an environment to install and a display manager.

          The tricky bits – pointed out to me after I started – are hardware support, although a best-effort is better than having nothing, I think.

          In any case, in a VBox host it’s now down to running a single script and picking Plasma and SDDM to get a usable system for me. Other combinations have not been tested, nor has system-hardware-setup. I’ll probably maintain it for a while and if I have time and energy it’ll be tried with nVidia (those work quite well on FreeBSD) and AMD (not so much, in my experience) graphics cards when I shuffle some machines around.

        • Krita 2019 Sprint: Animation and Workflow BoF

          Last week we had a huge Krita Sprint in Deventer. A detailed report is written by Boudewijn here, and I will concentrate on the Animation and Workflow discussion we had on Tuesday, when Boudewijn was away, meeting and managing people arriving. The discussion was centered around Steven and his workflow, but other people joined during the discussion: Noemie, Scott, Raghavendra and Jouni.

          (Eternal) Eraser problem

          Steven brought up a point that current brush options “Eraser Switch Size” and “Eraser switch Opacity” are buggy, so it winded up an old topic again. These options were always considered as a workaround for people who need a distinct eraser tool/brush tip, and they were always difficult to maintain.

    • Distributions

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Compact, TX2-based embedded computer has four PoE ports

        Aaeon’s rugged, low-height “Boxer-8170AI” AI edge computer runs Linux on a Jetson TX2 and supplies 4x USB 3.0 and 4x PoE-enabled LAN ports for powering cameras. You also get 2x HDMI, 2x serial, GbE, and optional SATA and CANBus.

        Aaeon has launched a fanless Boxer-8170AI computer for $1,200. The latest in a line of Boxer-branded, Nvidia Jetson TX2 based compact embedded computers is focused on Power-over-Ethernet for AI edge camera control.


        The wallmount-enabled, 2.15 kg system supports -20 to 50°C temperatures with 0.5 m/s airflow per IEC68-2-14 and resists vibration at 3 Grms/5~500Hz. The system runs Aaeon ACLinux 4.4, which is based on Ubuntu 16.04.

      • Orange Pi Zero2 is a Tiny Allwinner H6 SBC with HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, Ethernet & WiFi

        Slightly larger than its predecessor, Orange Pi Zero2 is also more powerful with an Allwinner H6 quad core Cortex-A53 processor, USB 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0.

      • Linux-driven i.MX6 gateway offers 4G plus isolated serial and CANBus

        Forlinx announced a compact “FCU1201” IoT gateway that runs Linux on an i.MX6 DualLite and offers 4G, WiFi/BT, LAN, CAN, HDMI, USB, serial, DIDO, and CANBus.

        Chinese embedded vendor Forlinx has unveiled a power-efficient FCU1201 IoT gateway equipped with NXP’s 1GHz, dual-core Cortex-A9 i.MX6 DualLite. Like the company’s i.MX6 UL-equipped FCU1101, the system combines extensive serial interfaces with wireless connectivity.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • HarmonyOS – Huawei’s New Open Source Mobile OS

        HarmonyOS is a lightweight, compact operating system with powerful functionality, and it will first be used for smart devices like smart watches, smart screens, in-vehicle systems, and smart speakers. Through this implementation Huawei aims to establish an integrated and shared ecosystem across devices, create a secure and reliable runtime environment, and deliver a holistic intelligent experience across every interaction with every device.

        Huawei also announced the evolution roadmap for HarmonyOS and its kernel. HarmonyOS 1.0 will be first adopted in its smart screen products, which are due to launch later this year. Over the next three years, HarmonyOS will be optimized and gradually adopted across a broader range of smart devices.

        Moving forward, Huawei will lay the foundations for HarmonyOS in the Chinese market, and then expand it further to the global ecosystem.

      • Huawei Could Rid Itself Of Spying Accusations If It Open-Sourced Its Software

        Huawei is seen as a threat to American national security because of the software loopholes in its telecom equipment, but TechRepublic’s James Sanders says that Huawei could rid itself of spying accusations if it would open-source its telecom software.

        Open-sourcing its telecom software would allow third parties to see it, examine vulnerabilities, and investigate the software apart from Huawei. To open up the software would allow other companies to gain trust in Huawei and roll back the concerns of Chinese espionage that everyone has on their minds nowadays following the spying accusations.

      • Huawei’s Open Source Operating System HarmonyOS Is The Answer To Google’s Android

        According to the reports, Yu said that the platform supports various sizes of RAM ranging from kilobytes to gigabytes and this operating system will have no support for any root access. The platform also supports a number of applications where applications from other operating systems like Linux, Android, etc will be compatible. HarmonyOS will use ARK compiler for app development and it will also support several other languages such as Java, Kotlin, JavaScript, C, and C++.

        HarmonyOS 1.0 will be launched this year within the smart screen products. Then the next three pears are planned to optimise this operating system and make it adopt across a wider number of smart devices and other wearables, etc.

      • Huawei to help build China’s first open-source software foundation

        The foundation plan came after GitHub, the world’s largest host of source code, in July prevented users in Iran and other sanctioned nations from accessing portions of its service. The incident highlights increasing geopolitical interference with global open-source tech communities, which are supposed to be fair and open to all, analysts said.

      • Huawei to help create nation’s first open-source foundation
      • Huawei to help create nation’s first open-source foundation

        Huawei Technologies Co said it plans to partner with other companies to set up China’s first open-source software foundation, which is expected to begin to operate in a month or two to expand the nation’s software community.

        The plan for the software foundation came after GitHub, the world’s largest host of source code, prevented in July users in Iran and other nations sanctioned by the United States government from accessing portions of its service. The incident highlights increasing geopolitical interference with global open-source tech communities, which are supposed to be fair and open to all, analysts said.

        Wang Chenglu, president of the software department at Huawei’s consumer business group, said software development relies on open-source codes and communities.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • A look at LibreOffice’s new 6.3.0 “fresh” release

          The open source office suite LibreOffice released its version 6.3.0 last week. This was a major release that added many new features, as well as interoperability enhancements (read: better import and export of Microsoft Office documents) and performance increases. LibreOffice 6.3.0 is a “fresh” (not long-term support) release that may be downloaded directly—or, if you’re a Linux user, you might choose to install it from the Snap Store instead. Ubuntu (and probably most Linux users) will get a separate installation of LibreOffice 6.3.0 regardless of whether users install natively from download or install from snaps; Windows users who download the new version will have their existing LibreOffice version (if any) completely replaced upon installation.

          The release notes for 6.3.0 boast of several performance improvements related to loading and saving documents in Writer and Calc. We were able to confirm these performance improvements—but only when installing LibreOffice natively. When we tested LibreOffice 6.3.0 installed from the Snap Store, performance was fine when actually inside the app and working on a document. But application launch times were significantly slower.

      • Education

        • SUSE Academic Program News: Working With Students Around The Globe

          The end of summer for many marks the start of a new semester or calendar school year. At SUSE, we have been working harder than ever to engage with more academic partners and customers, bringing the latest in Linux and Open Source training and education. To only name a few, here are some highlights of recent success within the academic community;

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • University Research Teams Open-Source Natural Adversarial Image DataSet for Computer-Vision AI

            In a paper published in July, researchers from UC Berkeley, the University of Washington, and the University of Chicago described their process for creating the dataset of 7,500 images, which were deliberately chosen to “fool” a pre-trained image recognition system. While there has been previous research on adversarial attacks on such systems, most of the work studies how to modify images in a way that causes the model to output the wrong answer. By contrast, the team used real-world, or “natural” images collected un-modified from the internet. The team used their images as a test-set on a pre-trained DenseNet-121 model, which has a top-1 error rate of 25% when tested on the popular ImageNet dataset. This same model, when tested with ImageNet-A, has a top-1 error rate of 98%. The team also used their dataset to measure the effectiveness of “defensive” training measures developed by the research community; they found that “these techniques hardly help.”

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt PDF as a new TP module for Qt 5.14

          I suggest to promote Qt PDF to a Qt module. For Qt 5.14, it will be in Tech Preview state, and Shawn Rutledge is volunteering to be the maintainer. Although still staying an independent library from the user’s perspective, it will be hosted and built in the qtwebengine.git repository. Initially only the desktop platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS) would be supported.

          Qt PDF is so far a Qt labs module [1]. It allows Qt applications to render/view PDF’s in QWidget based applications [2], and is built on top of PDFium. However, development has been stagnant, also because it is built on top of a rather old version of PDFium.

          Why wasn’t PDFium updated? PDFium got merged into Chromium a while ago, and is nowadays built as part of Chromium, using their build system (gn). Updating qtpdf.git to ship with latest PDFium would require quite some work, and keeping it up to date would require continuous work, too – work that nobody was willing to invest into so far.

          But it turns out that, since Qt 5.11, we have PDFium already in our sources, and we’re actually also building it! It’s part of the Qt WebEngine libs that use it for PDF rendering in HTML. So technically, you can already render PDF’s by loading them into a Qt WebEngine page. Anyhow, not everybody wants to ship a web browser for ‘just’ rendering PDF’s [3] …

          So the idea is that we leverage on the existing build infrastructure for PDFium in qtwebengine.git, and host and build the Qt PDF libraries there. This also means that PDFium will be updated as part of the regular Chromium updates in qtwebengine.git. qtwebengine.git would furthermore get configure flags so that you can build just the Qt PDF libs. And, to reiterate: The Qt PDF libraries will _not_ depend on Qt WebEngine libs at runtime.

          What do you think? Are there any objections for going forward with this for Qt 5.14?

        • Qt PDF Being Discussed For Qt 5.14

          Being evaluated for Qt 5.14 is shipping Qt PDF that allows PDF documents to be rendered/viewed inside QWidget-based applications.

          Qt PDF would be introduced as a technical preview module for Qt 5.14. This Qt component is currently built off the PDFium library. PDFium as part of the Chromium sources for Qt WebEngine is already within the Qt tree and their goal would be to re-use that existing code for the PDF library support.

        • Top 9 Django Concepts – Part 1: 4 Mins

          When I first dive into Django after deciding to specialise as a Django developer.

          The number of concepts that are required for anyone to learn to understand Django can be overwhelming.

          Since Django development approach forces, you to develop in a single and opinioned way of web development with a vast ecosystem of packages to support your needs.

          This could discourage potential Django developers, who prefer flexibility, a lesser amount of learning and unopinionated approach to develop a web application using Python.

          These are the people who want to get things done by picking their own adventure using a smaller amount of packages instead of Django’s batteries-included approach.

          In the first part of the series, I will be covering only 3 concepts and their related technical terms to help you get up to speed in using Django.

        • Stack Abuse: Using Django Signals to Simplify and Decouple Code

          Systems are getting more complex as time goes by and this warrants the need to decouple systems more. A decoupled system is easier to build, extend, and maintain in the long run since not only does decoupling reduce the complexity of the system, each part of the system can be managed individually. Fault tolerance has also enhanced since, in a decoupled system, a failing component does not drag down the entire system with it.

          Django is a powerful open-source web framework that can be used to build large and complex systems, as well as small ones. It follows the model-template-view architectural pattern and it is true to its goal of helping developers achieve the delivery of complex data-driven web-based applications.

          Django enables us to decouple system functionality by building separate apps within a project. For instance, we can have a shopping system and have separate apps that handle accounts, emailing of receipts, and notifications, among other things.

          In such a system, several apps may be need to perform an action when certain events take place. One event can occur when a customer places an order. For exmaple, we will need to notify the user via email and also send the order to the supplier or vendor, at the same time we can be able to receive and process payments. All these events happen at the same time and since our application is decoupled, we need to keep every component in sync, but how do we achieve this?

        • Traditional Face Detection With Python

          Computer vision is an exciting and growing field. There are tons of interesting problems to solve! One of them is face detection: the ability of a computer to recognize that a photograph contains a human face, and tell you where it is located. In this course, you’ll learn about face detection with Python.

          To detect any object in an image, it is necessary to understand how images are represented inside a computer, and how that object differs visually from any other object.

        • What’s in a Name? Clarifying the Anaconda Metapackage

          The name “Anaconda” is overloaded in many ways. There’s our company, Anaconda, Inc., the Anaconda Distribution, the anaconda metapackage, Anaconda Enterprise, and several other, sometimes completely unrelated projects (like Red Hat’s Anaconda). Here we hope to clarify two of those – the difference between the Anaconda Distribution and the anaconda metapackage.

          The Anaconda Distribution is the installer that many people download to get a good start on a Python data science coding environment. It includes Python, pandas, scikit-learn, multiple data visualization options, and many other helpful libraries. This installer may come in the form of a GUI .pkg installer (for MacOS), a command-line .sh installer (for MacOS and Linux) and a GUI .exe installer (for Windows). When you see “Anaconda Distribution,” we’re referring to these installers.

        • Getting Started with Machine Learning in the Enterprise

          Machine learning (ML) is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) in which data scientists use algorithms and statistical models to predict outcomes and/or perform specific tasks. ML models can automatically “learn from” data sets to improve their performance.

          ML is uniquely applicable to enterprise business use cases across a wide number of industries — for example, credit scoring and fraud detection in financial organizations, and tumor detection and DNA sequencing in healthcare. Given the wide applicability, it’s no surprise that many in the enterprise have already embraced machine learning. According to Deloitte Insight’s 2018 survey of US-based early adopters, 63% were already using ML in their enterprise organizations.

        • Organizing PythonPune Meetups

          One thing I like most about meetups is, you get to meet new people. Talking with people, sharing what they are doing helps a lot to gain more knowledge. It is also a good platform to make connections with people having similar area of interests. I have been attending PythonPune meetup since last 2 years. In this blog post, I will be sharing some history about this group and how I got involved in organizing meetups. I will also cover all things involved in organizing a monthly meetup of PythonPune.

  • Leftovers

    • Haben Girma: Guide dogs don’t lead blind people. We wander as one.

      My guide dog crossed the street, then jerked to a halt. “Mylo, forward.” My left hand held the leather harness that wrapped around his shoulders. “Forward,” I repeated. The harness shifted, and I knew he was peering back at me. Some barrier, unseen and unheard by me, blocked our passage.

      Cars created little earthquakes in the street on our left. Behind us ran the road we just crossed. I made the decision: “Mylo, right.” He turned and headed down the sidewalk. I directed him around the block to bypass whatever had stood in our way.

      My dog never knows where I’m going. He has his theories, of course. You went to this cafe yesterday, so clearly you’re going there again, right? Or he’ll veer toward an open door. Seriously, Haben, we need to step in here for a sniff.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Josh Bressers: Appsec isn’t people

        The best way to think about this is to ask a different but related question. Why don’t we have training for developers to write code with fewer bugs? Even the suggestion of this would be ridiculed by every single person in the software world. I can only imagine the university course “CS 107: Error free development”. Everyone would fail the course. It would probably be a blast to teach, you could spend the whole semester yelling at the students for being stupid and not just writing code with fewer bugs. You don’t even have to grade anything, just fail them all because you know the projects have bugs.

        Humans are never going to write bug free code, this isn’t a controversial subject. Pretending we can somehow teach people to write bug free code would be a monumental waste of time and energy so we don’t even try.

        Now it’s time for a logic puzzle. We know that we can’t train humans to write bug free code. All security vulnerabilities are bugs. So we know we can’t train humans to write vulnerability free code. Well, we don’t really know it, we think we can if you look at history. The last twenty years has had an unhealthy obsession with getting humans to change their behaviors to be “more secure”. The only things that have come out of these efforts are 1) nobody likes security people anymore 2) we had to create our own conferences and parties because we don’t get invited to theirs 3) they probably never liked us in the first place.

      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, postgresql, and postgresql-libs), Debian (atril, chromium, evince, ghostscript, jackson-databind, kernel, and php5), Fedora (kf5-kconfig, mingw-sqlite, pam-u2f, and poppler), Mageia (kernel), openSUSE (aubio, chromium, kconfig, kdelibs4, nodejs10, osc, and zstd), Red Hat (ghostscript), and Ubuntu (ghostscript and MariaDB).

      • When your mail hub password is updated…
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Assange Must Not Also Die in Jail

        There is no official explanation as to why Julian’s health has continued to deteriorate so alarmingly in Belmarsh. Nobody genuinely believes him to be a violent danger, so there is absolutely no call for him to be imprisoned in the facility which houses the hardcore terrorist cases.

        Assange is fighting major legal cases in the UK, Sweden and the United States, yet is permitted visitors for only two hours per fortnight, inclusive of time spent with his three sets of lawyers. All of his visitors have been alarmed by his state of physical health and many have been alarmed by his apparent disorientation and confusion.

        It is because of Assange’s draconian one year sentence for “bail-jumping” on claiming political asylum that he can be kept in such harsh conditions and with so little access to his lawyers. That is why his sentence was so unprecedentedly stiff for missing police bail. Otherwise, as a remand prisoner awaiting extradition hearing his conditions would ordinarily be less harsh and his access to lawyers much better. The Establishment has conspired to reduce his ability to defend himself in court. I am not convinced it is not conspiring to destroy him.

    • Environment

      • Humans cause Antarctic ice melt, study finds

        A team of British and American scientists has found what it says is unequivocal evidence that humans are responsible for significant Antarctic ice melt.

        They say their study provides the first evidence of a direct link between global warming from human activities and the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

        The discovery is fundamentally important to international efforts to limit climate change, as a small number of scientists still argue that global warming results from natural rather than human causes. That argument should from now on be harder to sustain.

      • Energy

        • Russia says radiation levels rose by 4-16 times in city after accident: TASS

          Radiation levels in the Russian city of Severodvinsk rose by up to 16 times on Aug. 8 after an accident that authorities said involved a rocket test on a sea platform, Russia’s state weather agency said on Tuesday, the TASS news agency reported.

          The defense ministry initially said background radiation had remained normal after the incident on Thursday, but city authorities in Severodvinsk in northern Russia said there had been a brief spike in radiation levels.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • UK Moves To Give Regulators Power To Fine Internet Companies 5% Of Revenue If They Can’t Wave A Magic Wand And Make Bad Content Disappear

        While in theory the UK is supposed to be leaving the EU soon, it’s still technically a part of it, and now appears to be implementing the AVMSD (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) which was agreed to last year. One section of the agreement talks about “protection of minors” and like pretty much all “think of the children” type regulations, it’s full of moral panics and impossible demands. While the Directive looks like it was designed for professionally broadcast content, apparently the UK has determined that it should apply to all online video, and the UK Parliament “quietly approved” a plan to give its media regulatory body, Ofcom, the power to fine social media companies up to 5% of their revenue if they can’t magically make stuff that “might seriously impair” minors disappear from the internet.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Interoperability and Privacy: Squaring the Circle

        Last summer, we published a comprehensive look at the ways that Facebook could and should open up its data so that users could control their experience on the service, and to make it easier for competing services to thrive.

        In the time since, Facebook has continued to be rocked by scandals: privacy breaches, livestreamed terrorist attacks, harassment, and more. At the same time, competition regulators, scholars and technologists have stepped up calls for Facebook to create and/or adopt interoperability standards to open up its messenger products (and others) to competitors.

        To make matters more complex, there is an increasing appetite in both the USA and Europe, to hold Facebook and other online services directly accountable for the actions of its users: both in terms of what those users make available (copyright infringement, political extremism, incitements to violence, etc) and in how they treat each other (harassment, stalking, etc).


        Standards-washing: the lesson of Bush v Gore

        But not all interoperability is created equal. Companies have historically shown themselves to be more than capable of subverting mandates to adhere to standards and allow for interconnection.

        A good historic example of this is the drive to standardize voting machines in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v Gore. Ambiguous results from voting machines resulted in an election whose outcome had to be determined by the Supreme Court, which led to Congress passing the Help America Vote Act, which mandated standards for voting machines.

        The process did include a top-tier standards development organization to oversee its work: the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which set about creating a standard for their products. But rather than creating a “performance standard” describing how a voting machine should process ballots, the industry sneakily tried to get the IEEE to create a “design standard” that largely described the machines they’d already sold to local election officials: in other words, rather than using standards to describe how a good voting machine should work, the industry pushed a standard that described how their existing, flawed machines did work with some small changes in configurations. Had they succeeded, the could have simply slapped a “complies with IEEE standard” label on everything they were already selling and declared themselves to have fixed the problem…without doing the serious changes needed to fix their systems, including requiring a voter-verified paper ballot.

        Big Tech is even more concentrated than the voting machine industry is, and it’s far more concentrated than the voting machine industry was in 2003 (most industries are more concentrated today than they were in 2003). Legislatures, courts or regulators that seek to define “interoperability” should be aware of the real risk of the definition being hijacked by the dominant players (who are already very skilled at subverting standardization processes). Any interoperability standard developed without recognizing Facebook’s current power and interest is at risk of standardizing the parts of Facebook’s business that it does not view as competitive risks, while leaving the company’s core business (and its bad business practices) untouched.

        Even if we do manage to impose interoperability on Facebook in ways that allow for meaningful competition, in the absence of robust anti-monopoly rules, the ecosystem that grows up around that new standard is likely to view everything that’s not a standard interoperable component as a competitive advantage, something that no competitor should be allowed to make incursions upon, on pain of a lawsuit for violating terms of service or infringing a patent or reverse-engineering a copyright lock or even more nebulous claims like “tortious interference with contract.”


        But it turns out that you don’t need the phone company’s cooperation to design a device that works with its system. Careful reverse-engineering and diligent product updates meant that even devices that the phone companies hated–devices that eroded their most profitable markets–had long and profitable runs in the market, with devoted customers.

        Those customers are key to the success of adversarial interoperators. Remember that the audience for a legitimate adversarial interoperability product are the customers of the existing service that it connects to. Anything that the Bell system did to block third-party phone devices ultimately punished the customers who bought those devices, creating ill will.

        And when a critical mass of an incumbent giant’s customer base depends on–and enjoys–a competitor’s product, even the most jealous and uncooperative giants are often convinced to change tactics and support the businesses they’ve been trying to destroy. In a competitive market (which adversarial interoperability can help to bring into existence), even very large companies can’t afford to enrage their customers.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Daily Dose of Protest: I Dream Guillotine and Mercedes Marxist – IDLES

        One of the best protest albums of 2018 was Joy As An Act Of Resistance by the UK punk band IDLES.

        The album’s socially conscious tunes tackled the regressive attitudes and xenophobia that contributed to Brexit and the culture of “Make America Great Again.” Multiple tunes also addressed toxic masculinity.

        IDLES recently released a seven-inch single featuring two unreleased songs from the album’s session, “Mercedes Marxist” and the B-side “I Dream Guillotine.” Even though the band may have felt that they didn’t fit the mood of their last album, both tracks are hard-hitting, insightful and well worth a listen.

        The band made a video for “Mercedes Marxist.” The visuals support the song’s lyrical message, which relates to the frustration of being a cog in the life-sucking machine of capitalism.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Courts Again Shoot Down FCC For Ignoring The Law, Making Up Stuff

        As the FCC has rushed to kiss up to telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon, it has enjoyed a fairly casual relationship with both the truth and the law. The agency’s repeal of net neutrality, for example, was hinged largely on the idea that the modest rules devastated sector investment, something that data repeatedly disproved. Other Pai FCC policies have equally leaned on flimsy and manufactured data plucked directly from the mouths of sector lobbyists. And while this casual relationship to the truth may play well to Pai’s allies, just making things up doesn’t work quite as well when it comes time to defend these policies in the courts.

        Case in point: earlier this year the FCC tried to take away a modest $25 per month broadband stipend for tribal residents (you know, for freedom or whatever), while also banning smaller companies from receiving broadband subsidies (giants like AT&T and Verizon surely appreciated that). But while Pai’s office claimed screwing tribal residents would somehow massively spur broadband deployment, the courts shot that ruling down for being “arbitrary and capricious,” noting that Pai’s FCC failed completely to follow the law or to justify its policy with actual facts.

        Fast forward to last week, and the FCC found itself again slapped down for playing fast and loose with factual reality. This time, the courts shot down a sizeable chunk of a recent proposal that gutted most state and local authority over the placement of cellular towers (and so-called “small cells,” which are smaller antenna usually affixed to city street lights to extend wireless coverage). While the FCC claimed that doing so would speed up broadband deployment, a coalition of local leaders stated the plan was little more than a giveaway to giants like AT&T and Verizon, who don’t like having to deal with pesky things like environmental reviews for cell tower placement.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Eli Lilly & Co. v. Hospira, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          In its decision in a consolidated appeal, Eli Lilly & Co. v. Hospira, Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Ltd., the Federal Circuit had the occasion to apply the Supreme Court’s distinction regarding the limits of prosecution history estoppel on the doctrine of equivalents, regarding the effects on the estoppel of amendments made that are only tangentially related to patentability.


          The panel completes its analysis by rejecting Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories’ argument that the “disclosure-dedication” rule, Johnson & Johnston Assocs. Inc. v. R.E. Serv. Co., 285 F.3d 1046, 1054 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (en banc), prevented Lilly from asserting its claims under the doctrine of equivalents. The Federal Circuit agreed with Lilly that this doctrine does not apply where, as here, the patent does not disclose the specific embodiment at issue (here, pemetrexed ditromethamine) and thus could not have dedicated it to the public. Despite reference to earlier disclosure comprising about 50 antifolate compounds (none of them pemetrexed) and disclosure related to pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof (but not ditromethamine), in the absence of express disclosure of pemetrexed ditromethamine “we see no reason why a skilled artisan would set out on DRL’s winding path to cobble together pemetrexed ditromethamine” and thus held that the dedication-disclaimer rule did not preclude Lilly from asserting infringement under the doctrine of equivalents.

          And on the merits, the Federal Circuit found no clear error in the District Court’s determination that the methods for treating pemetrexed ditromethamine claimed by defendants was equivalent to Lilly’s claimed methods for administering pemetrexed disodium. Thus, the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant in each case of summary judgment of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents.

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