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05.25.18

Links 25/5/2018: OpenSUSE 15 Leap Released, PostgreSQL 11 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 3:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSS as a Part of a Corporate Sustainability Plan

    In 1983 the United Nations convened a commission of 22 people to investigate the question of the worldwide environmental and social impact of human development. Four years later, in 1987, the commission released Our Common Future, more commonly known as the Brundtland Report in honour of Gro Harlem Brundtland, chairperson of the commission. This report detailed the very real socio-environmental issues facing humanity. One of its recommendations was for governments, organizations and companies to start engaging in what it called sustainable development. That is, “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

    Since then there’s been steep growth in the number of corporations that maintain and operate according to a corporate sustainability plan. These plans encompass environmental as well as social aspects of doing business. They encompass actions within an organization—such as natural resource usage, diversity and inclusion, and fair treatment of employees—as well as those external to the organization—such as the sustainability operations of their entire supply chain as well as the overall impact the corporation has on the Earth and its inhabitants.

  • Securing Third-Party and Open Source Code Components: A Primer [Ed: Citing, as usual, firms that try to sell their proprietary software by badmouthing FOSS]

    The increasing popularity of open source code continues to be a boon for developers across the industry, allowing them to increase efficiency and streamline delivery. But there are security risks to be considered when leveraging open source and commercial code components, as each carries with it a significant risk of becoming the enemy within, creating a vulnerability in the program it helps build.

  • Events

    • Speak at Open Source Summit Europe – Submit by July 1

      Open Source Summit Europe is the leading technical conference for professional open source. Join developers, sysadmins, DevOps professionals, architects and community members, to collaborate and learn about the latest open source technologies, and to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 63 to Get Improved Tracking Protection That Blocks In-Browser Miners

        Mozilla developers are working on an improved Tracking Protection system for the Firefox browser that will land in version 63, scheduled for release in mid-October.

        Tracking Protection is a feature that blocks Firefox from loading scripts from abusive trackers. It was first launched with Firefox’s Private Browsing mode a few years back, but since Firefox 57, released in November 2017, users can enable it for normal browsing sessions at any time.

      • Firefox 63 To Block Cryptojackers With Advanced Tracking Protection

        It has been reported by Bleeping Computer, a security blog, that Firefox 63 will be launched with an improved tracking protection system to ward off the threats and security concerns posed by in-browser miners.

        With the surge in incidents involving mining malware trying to use your CPU power to perform some CPU-intensive calculations for their own benefit, many browsers have raised their guards by providing additional security features. (You can read more about blocking cryptocurrency mining in your browser in our earlier published article.)

      • What’s the 411 on 404 messages: Internet error messages explained

        Nothing’s worse than a broken website. Well, maybe an asteroid strike. Or a plague. So maybe a broken website isn’t the end of the world, but it’s still annoying. And it’s even more annoying not knowing what those weird error messages mean. That’s why we’ve decoded the most common HTTP error messages.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Canonical founder calls out OpenStack suppliers for ‘lack of focus’ on datacentre cost savings

      The OpenStack supplier community’s reluctance to prioritise the delivery of datacentre cost savings to their users could prove “fatal”, says Canonical co-founder Mark Shuttleworth.

    • OpenStack in transition

      OpenStack is one of the most important and complex open-source projects you’ve never heard of. It’s a set of tools that allows large enterprises ranging from Comcast and PayPal to stock exchanges and telecom providers to run their own AWS-like cloud services inside their data centers. Only a few years ago, there was a lot of hype around OpenStack as the project went through the usual hype cycle. Now, we’re talking about a stable project that many of the most valuable companies on earth rely on. But this also means the ecosystem around it — and the foundation that shepherds it — is now trying to transition to this next phase.

    • Free OpenStack Training Resources
    • How the OpenStack Foundation Is Evolving Beyond Its Roots

      The OpenStack Foundation is in a period of transition as it seeks to enable a broader set of open infrastructure efforts than just the OpenStack cloud project itself.

      In a video interview at the OpenStack Summit here, OpenStack Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Bryce and Chief Operating Officer Mark Collier discussed how the open-source organization is still thriving, even as corporate sponsorship changes and attendance at events declines.

      At the event, Collier said there were approximately 2,600 registered attendees, which is nearly half the number that came to the OpenStack Boston 2017 event. OpenStack’s corporate sponsorship has also changed, with both IBM and Canonical dropping from the Platinum tier of membership.

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 11 Beta 1 Released!

      The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces that the first beta release of PostgreSQL 11 is now available for download. This release contains previews of all features that will be available in the final release of PostgreSQL 11, though some details of the release could change before then.

      In the spirit of the open source PostgreSQL community, we strongly encourage you to test the new features of PostgreSQL 11 in your database systems to help us eliminate any bugs or other issues that may exist. While we do not advise for you to run PostgreSQL 11 Beta 1 in your production environments, we encourage you to find ways to run your typical application workloads against this beta release.

    • PostgreSQL 11 Beta 1 Released With JIT Compilation, More Performance Tuning

      The first beta of PostgreSQL 11.0 is now available for testing.

      Just yesterday we happened to be talking about the new features coming for PostgreSQL 11 and today happened to mark the beta availability. PostgreSQL 11 is bringing continued performance optimizations, better handling of large data sets, usability improvements. initial JIT compilation support by making use of LLVM, and more.

    • MariaDB launches Oracle compatible enterprise open source database

      Enterprise computing has often been reliant on proprietary database architecture, but this can be both complex and costly, putting up a barrier to innovation.

      Now open source database specialist MariaDB is launching its latest enterprise offering with Oracle compatibility. This allows existing Oracle Database users to reuse existing code and established skill sets when migrating applications or deploying new ones.

      MariaDB TX 3.0 introduces built-in, system-versioned tables, enabling developers to easily build temporal features into applications. This eliminates the need to manually create columns, tables and triggers in order to maintain row history, freeing DBAs to simply create new tables with system versioning or alter existing tables to add it, streamlining the process significantly. Developers can query a table with standard SQL to see what data looked like at a previous point in time, such as looking at a customer’s profile history to see how preferences have changed over time.

    • MariaDB TX 3.0 Delivers First Enterprise Open Source Database to Beat Oracle, Microsoft and IBM

      MariaDB® Corporation today announced the release of MariaDB TX 3.0, the first enterprise open source database solution to deliver advanced features that, until now, required expensive, proprietary and complex databases.

    • 5 Open-Source SQL IDEs for You to Learn and Explore

      If you’ve done a lot with SQL, you’ve probably used some form of SQL IDE to help you complete that work. Yes, it’s possible to do everything in SQL from the command line; but creating or even maintaining databases and tables that way is an exercise in masochism. There are some nice commercial IDEs such as dbArtisan and SQL Server’s Management Studio, but IDEs is one area where open-source can do just as well (or in some cases, even better).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSFE Newsletter – May 2018

      Following a more than a decade long tradition, the FSFE once again led its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) in Barcelona, Spain, as a meeting point for world-leading legal exper…

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Opinion: Should Human-Animal Chimeras Be Granted “Personhood”?

      There are several emerging biotechnologies that raise ethical questions regarding the definition of personhood. One of these innovations is xenotransplantation, which uses gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) and stem cell technologies to create human-pig or human-sheep chimeras that can grow human organs for transplantation. While most people understand that pigs growing human livers and kidneys could save lives, there is an ethical fear that these technologies may generate animals that incorporate human cells into their brains or sex organs—situations that require broader discussions regarding the question whether such organisms attain the status of personhood.

    • Ingestible “bacteria on a chip” could help diagnose disease

      MIT researchers have built an ingestible sensor equipped with genetically engineered bacteria that can diagnose bleeding in the stomach or other gastrointestinal problems.

      This “bacteria-on-a-chip” approach combines sensors made from living cells with ultra-low-power electronics that convert the bacterial response into a wireless signal that can be read by a smartphone.

      “By combining engineered biological sensors together with low-power wireless electronics, we can detect biological signals in the body and in near real-time, enabling new diagnostic capabilities for human health applications,” says Timothy Lu, an MIT associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biological engineering.

  • Hardware

    • Internal Documents Show Apple Knew the iPhone 6 Would Bend

      Apple’s internal tests found that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are significantly more likely to bend than the iPhone 5S, according to information made public in a recent court filing obtained by Motherboard. Publicly, Apple has never said that the phones have a bending problem, and maintains that position, despite these models commonly being plagued with “touch disease,” a flaw that causes the touchscreen to work intermittently that the repair community say is a result of bending associated with normal use.

      The information is contained in internal Apple documents filed under seal in a class-action lawsuit that alleges Apple misled customers about touch disease. The documents remain under seal, but US District Court judge Lucy Koh made some of the information from them public in a recent opinion in the case.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Swiss Group Suggests Switzerland Use Compulsory Licences To Curb Cancer Drug Prices

      Public Eye, a well-known Swiss non-governmental organisation, convened the side event at the 71th World Health Assembly, taking place from 21-26 May. On this occasion, they launched a new campaign: ‘For Affordable Drugs’.

      According to Public Eye’s press release, the Swiss healthcare system is struggling to cope with the skyrocketing prices of new treatments, and in particular cancer drugs. Cancer treatments often reach over CHF 100,000 (US$100,000) per patient, per year, they said.

    • Why Your Health Insurer Doesn’t Care About Your Big Bills

      Michael Frank ran his finger down his medical bill, studying the charges and pausing in disbelief. The numbers didn’t make sense.

      His recovery from a partial hip replacement had been difficult. He’d iced and elevated his leg for weeks. He’d pushed his 49-year-old body, limping and wincing, through more than a dozen physical therapy sessions.

      The last thing he needed was a botched bill.

      His December 2015 surgery to replace the ball in his left hip joint at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City had been routine. One night in the hospital and no complications.

      He was even supposed to get a deal on the cost. His insurance company, Aetna, had negotiated an in-network “member rate” for him. That’s the discounted price insured patients get in return for paying their premiums every month.

      But Frank was startled to see that Aetna had agreed to pay NYU Langone $70,000. That’s more than three times the Medicare rate for the surgery and more than double the estimate of what other insurance companies would pay for such a procedure, according to a nonprofit that tracks prices.

  • Security

    • [Crackers] infect 500,000 consumer routers all over the world with malware

      VPNFilter—as the modular, multi-stage malware has been dubbed—works on consumer-grade routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, TP-Link, and on network-attached storage devices from QNAP, Cisco researchers said in an advisory. It’s one of the few pieces of Internet-of-things malware that can survive a reboot. Infections in at least 54 countries have been slowly building since at least 2016, and Cisco researchers have been monitoring them for several months. The attacks drastically ramped up during the past three weeks, including two major assaults on devices located in Ukraine. The spike, combined with the advanced capabilities of the malware, prompted Cisco to release Wednesday’s report before the research is completed.

    • Do Not Use sha256crypt / sha512crypt – They’re Dangerous

      I’d like to demonstrate why I think using sha256crypt or sha512crypt on current GNU/Linux operating systems is dangerous, and why I think the developers of GLIBC should move to scrypt or Argon2, or at least bcrypt or PBKDF2.

    • Intel CPU Bug Affecting rr Watchpoints

      I investigated an rr bug report and discovered an annoying Intel CPU bug that affects rr replay using data watchpoints. It doesn’t seem to be hit very often in practice, which is good because I don’t know any way to work around it. It turns out that the bug is probably covered by an existing Intel erratum for Skylake and Kaby Lake (and probably later generations, but I’m not sure), which I even blogged about previously! However, the erratum does not mention watchpoints and the bug I’ve found definitely depends on data watchpoints being set.

      I was able to write a stand-alone testcase to characterize the bug. The issue seems to be that if a rep stos (and probably rep movs) instruction writes between 1 and 64 bytes (inclusive), and you have a read or write watchpoint in the range [64, 128) bytes from the start of the writes (i.e., not triggered by the instruction), then one spurious retired conditional branch is (usually) counted. The alignment of the writes does not matter, and it’s not related to speculative execution.

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Ryzom falling: Remote code execution via the in-game browser

      Ryzom’s in-game browser is there so that you can open links sent to you without leaving the game. It is also used to display the game’s forum as well as various other web apps. The game even allows installing web apps that are created by third parties. This web browser is very rudimentary, it supports only a bunch of HTML tags and nothing fancy like JavaScript. But it compensates for that lack of functionality by running Lua code.

      You have to consider that the Lua programming language is what powers the game’s user interface. So letting the browser download and run Lua code allows for perfect integration between websites and the user interface, in many cases users won’t even be able to tell the difference. The game even uses this functionality to hot-patch the user interface and add missing features to older clients.

    • For Red Hat, security is a lifestyle, not a product

      Red Hat has a sterling reputation in Linux security circles. That means the company has a workable process for preventing problems and responding to them. Even if you don’t use Linux, the Red Hat security approach has a lot going for it, and some of its practices might be worth adopting in your own shop.

    • How insecure is your router?

      Your router is your first point of contact with the internet. How much is it increasing your risk?

      [...]

      I’d love to pretend that once you’ve improved the security of your router, all’s well and good on your home network, but it’s not. What about IoT devices in your home (Alexa, Nest, Ring doorbells, smart lightbulbs, etc.?) What about VPNs to other networks? Malicious hosts via WiFi, malicious apps on your children’s phones…?

      No, you won’t be safe. But, as we’ve discussed before, although there is no such thing as “secure,” it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t raise the bar and make it harder for the Bad Folks.™

    • 24 best free security tools
  • Defence/Aggression

    • The NFL’s ‘Anthem Policy’ Is Pure Hypocrisy

      The NFL’s new “anthem policy” requires players to “respect” the flag and the national anthem or stay in the locker room until it is played. The NFL refers to this as a compromise — it was anything but.

      This was a mandate, not a decision arrived at through a collaborative process. Despite claiming that they would consult with the players before making a decision on this issue, the National Football League Players Association said, “The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy.’” So the league and owners will decide what shows “respect.”

      Kneeling is out. The Pittsburg Steelers indicated that raising a fist or linking arms is out. If one team decides a gesture or posture is respectful but another team doesn’t like it, what will happen? One of the NFL officials actually said, “We will know it when we see it.”

      [...]

      John Elway and other NFL officials have said that we should “take the politics out of football.” Really? What about the millions of dollars paid to the NFL by the Department of Defense to promote the military? If encouraging people not to serve in the military is a political act, then encouraging them to serve is equally political. What about the show of military aircraft flying overhead and flags streaming across the field? Kneeling during the anthem has nothing to do with being for or against military recruiting, but the Pentagon paid for the NFL to promote the military — an overtly political act — and the NFL has been delivering. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is what it is. The NFL gave up being non-political a long time ago.

      The NFL said the new policy would change “a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic.” Think about that for a minute. There was a false perception that players were unpatriotic, meaning the players kneeling were patriotic. The cure for this false perception is to force players to stand when they would prefer to kneel. By forcing them to stand, the fans will now know they are patriotic. This makes no sense.

    • Cuba regrets CIA Bay of Pigs veteran died without trial

      Havana expressed regret Thursday that a former CIA agent who led a bloody campaign against Fidel Castro had died without ever being brought to justice for “terrorist” crimes against Cuba.

      Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban-born veteran of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, died Wednesday aged 90 at his home near Miami.

    • Cuba regrets CIA veteran died in Miami without facing trial for ‘terrorist’ crimes
    • U.S. Attacks That Killed ‘Hundreds’ of Russians and Syrians Detailed in New Report

      ew details have emerged regarding clashes between a U.S.-led coalition and an alliance of Syrian and Russian forces fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a new, dramatic report.

      Citing interviews and documents obtained by the newspaper, The New York Times revealed how a four-hour firefight erupted February 7 in eastern Syria, leaving hundreds of pro-Syrian government fighters—including Russians—dead. Syria has blamed the U.S. for the bloodshed, which the U.S. argues was in self-defense. Russia has distanced itself from the incident, telling the Pentagon that the Russians involved were volunteer fighters, not part of Russia’s armed forces.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Julian Assange’s refuge ‘in jeopardy’
    • Assange’s refuge in Ecuadorian embassy ‘in jeopardy’

      Julian Assange’s nearly six-year refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London is in danger, opening the WikiLeaks founder to arrest by British authorities and potential extradition to the US, multiple sources with knowledge tell CNN.
      While Assange has in the past claimed his position in the embassy was under threat, sources say his current situation is “unusually bad” and that he could leave the embassy “any day now,” either because he will be forced out or made to feel so restricted that he might choose to leave on his own. His position there is “in jeopardy,” one source familiar with the matter said.
      Assange’s exit from the embassy could open a new phase for US investigators eager to find out what he knows.

    • Report: Julian Assange Might Get Kicked Out of Ecuadorian Embassy

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is on the verge of being evicted from his hideout at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, according to CNN. A source said Assange could leave “any day now,” subjecting himself to extradition to the United States. CNN reports that the U.S. is pressuring Lenin Moreno, Ecuador’s new president, to kick Assange out. Assange might also be “made to feel so restricted that he might choose to leave on his own,” according to CNN.

    • Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange May Be Forced Out of Ecuadorian Embassy in London ‘Any Day Now’

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may be forced out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has lived for the past six years “any day now,” according to a CNN report.

    • Julian Assange “in jeopardy” of being forced into UK and US detention

      According to a CNN report today, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in imminent danger of being forced to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He would face arrest by British authorities and potential extradition to the US, where he could face life imprisonment or execution on espionage charges.

      CNN said that “multiple sources with knowledge” of Assange’s “unusually bad” situation warned that he could be removed from the embassy “any day now”—either forced out or made to feel so restricted that he might leave on his own.

      Since seeking political asylum in the embassy in 2012, Assange has been effectively detained in a tiny room without charge for 2,726 days. For 59 days, he has been denied visitors and outside communications since the Ecuadorian government cut off his access on March 28.

    • If Trump’s team was colluding with Russia, why did it keep asking WikiLeaks for things?
    • Assange’s protection from US extradition “in jeopardy”

      Almost two months after Julian Assange’s ability to receive visitors and access to digital communications was severely curtailed by the Government of Ecuador, CNN reports that the situation has become “unusually bad”.

      Without the protection of the Ecuadorian government, Assange is liable to be arrested in the UK on charges related to a bail violation. More seriously, this would also open the way to questioning and a likely extradition request from the United States, where a grand jury investigation has been looking into Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing US secrets since 2010.

      Last week, the Guardian reported that the UK and Ecuador were engaged in negotiations to attempt to bring the impasse over Assange’s asylum status to an end, without a guarantee that Assange should be protected from the prospect of extradition for his publication activities. Such a settlement would appear to breach principles of international and Ecuadorian domestic law.

    • Both Democrats And Republicans Blame The Messenger When Leaked Emails Are Made Available

      Back during the 2016 election, when Wikileaks published John Podesta’s leaked emails, Democrats freaked out and blamed Wikileaks, and even tried to lie about the validity of those emails. Many supporters of the Democratic party, to this day, believe that Wikileaks and/or Julian Assange should face legal consequences for publishing those hacked emails. Of course, Republicans cheered on that effort. Sean Hannity, who back in 2010 was screaming about how Assange was “waging his war against the U.S.” by publishing the leaked documents from Chelsea Manning and demanding that Obama “arrest” Assange, is now seen as one of Assange’s most vocal supporters even having him on his show.

      But, of course, when the shoe is on the other foot, things change. Just recently, various news organizations started reporting on shenanigans by top Trump fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, based on a leak of Broidy’s emails. Broidy’s not taking this very well, issuing a subpoena to the Associated Press to try to uncover the news organization’s source for his emails.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Trump is proposing to lift ZTE’s ban for $1.3bn and nobody is happy

      The latest word is that Trump wants a complete management overhaul at ZTE and a $1.3bn ‘fine’ paid to lift the restrictions which prevent the company from buying parts made by American companies.

      As if that wasn’t enough, Congress appears to be united against Trump on this – both sides of the house have expressed the wish that no deal is done and that the ZTE ban remains in place.

    • Media Quote Frank on Rolling Back Dodd/Frank–Not Disclosing He’s Now a Bank Director

      The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to roll back key provisions of the landmark Dodd/Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a 2010 law that increased regulatory scrutiny of banks following the 2008 financial crisis.

      One of the many provisions of the original Dodd/Frank law subjected banks with over $50 billion in assets to annual economic “stress tests” to gauge their potential for collapse in the event of an economic crisis. The rollback bill raises that threshold to $250 billion, which would exempt at least two dozen “small” banks, including SunTrust, BB&T, Charles Schwab and American Express. By comparison, in 2008, key failed bank Countryside had only $172 billion in assets, and so would have avoided stress testing, while other financial dominos like Washington Mutual ($264 billion) and Bear Stearns ($289 billion) were close to the lower limit.

      The Dodd/Frank rollback also relaxes banks’ reporting requirements on borrowers, and adds exemptions for banks with less than $10 billion in assets from the Volcker Rule, a Dodd/Frank provision that bars banks from investing deposits in risky private equity and hedge funds.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Elon Musk has a very bad idea for a website rating journalists

      Fact-checking sites perform an invaluable service, but they are labor-intensive, not a self-regulating system like what Musk proposes. Such systems are inevitably and notoriously ruled by chaos, vote brigades, bots, infiltrators, agents provocateur and so on.

    • Tom the Dancing Bug: Our Nation’s Leaders Analyze the Data on USA’s Gun Violence
    • European Earthquake as Populist Government Forms in Italy

      The revolt of voters across the Western world has reached a high point in Europe.

      The Five Star Movement and the League, two so-called “populist” political parties in Italy, are preparing to form a government after Wednesday’s appointment of a new prime minister following an election result that could directly challenge the foundations of the European Union.

      Like other anti-system movements around Europe, the Italian parties are calling in particular for abandoning the neoliberal economic policies and speculative finance, which are hollowing out the middle class.

      The breakthrough comes two and a half months after the elections held on March 4, in which Italian voters sent an unequivocal message to the current political institutions, not simply of protest, but of a desire to actually give power to those willing to implement deep changes.

    • Hey Elon Musk, Let’s Talk About The Media

      And, yesterday you went on a bit of a Twitter rant about the media and said that you were going to start a media truth rating site called Pravda (clever!). And, as with the Boring Company, I believe you’ll do it. I mean, you actually did incorporate Pravda Corp. last fall. So, you’ve got that going for you.

      On top of that, I even think you have a general point about how bad the mainstream media is. We’ve been at this for over 20 years, and some of our most successful stories have been calling out really bad reporting by big publications. It’s good to keep them honest.

      That said, I have some pretty serious concerns about this whole setup and believe you’ve misdiagnosed the problem.

      [...]

      I’m curious if you could point to any actual example of that happening in practice today for a mainstream publication? I know that Gawker — who your former colleague Peter Thiel killed off — used to pay writers a bonus based on clicks, but I can’t think of any other news organization that still does that. It’s a nice story that people outside the media like to claim, but actual journalists know is not actually the case. Hell, here at Techdirt, I’ve never actually told any of our writers how much traffic their stories get, because I don’t want them thinking about clicks at all. I want them to write the best stories they can write, and then they can let me focus on how to monetize good content and a good insightful community, rather than just going for scale and clicks.

      [...]

      But, there is a larger, more important issue here that should be discussed. I know you’ve dismissed a few people who have suggested your anti-media rant does more harm than good, but you might want to rethink that stance. Yes, the media makes mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes are pretty serious. And, yes, some media organization are just… terrible. But painting the entire media industry with a broad brush, at the same time that many other powerful institutions who don’t want to be held accountable (*cough* *cough*) are doing the same thing, doesn’t help make the media better or more credible. It just empowers those who seek to discredit the actually good and necessary job of underpaid, overworked reporters who are actually breaking important stories, holding the powerful accountable and speaking truth to power.

    • Are Democrats Screwing Themselves Over By Suing Russia?

      The DNC is suing Russia, Wikileaks, and Donald Trump for alleged campaign and election interference, and this lawsuit might be one of the biggest mistakes the Party has made in recent years. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss this.

    • Trump Administration Ordered to Help DNC With Lawsuit Against Russia

      The Democratic National Committee won a court order forcing President Donald Trump’s administration to help in the group’s lawsuit accusing Russia of interfering in the 2016 election.

      U.S. District Judge John Koeltl on Wednesday granted the DNC’s request to enlist Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s department to formally serve Russia with the complaint through a provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Russia generally refuses to accept U.S. legal complaints in the mail, complicating the Democratic group’s suit over the meddling.

      [...]

      Beginning in mid-2016, WikiLeaks released almost 20,000 emails from inside the DNC that showed, among other things, how staffers had favored Hillary Clinton during her primary campaign against Bernie Sanders — prompting Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida to resign as committee head. Later in the campaign, WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of emails from the Gmail account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Federal judge rules that Trump can’t block Twitter users

      Ever since Donald Trump took office, there’s been controversy around his Twitter addiction. Chief among the issues with president’s use of Twitter is how he frequently blocks his critics. As an elected official, many have argued that his account represents official communication that should be free for anyone to see, and there have already been several lawsuits around his habit of blocking users. As of today, it looks like there’s some legal weight behind that argument: a Federal judge just ruled that Trump should not be allowed to block users because it is a first amendment violation.

    • Court rules that Trump can’t block people on Twitter

      A New York federal judge has ruled that Donald Trump can’t block people he doesn’t like on Twitter, because he uses Twitter to communicate his edicts and policies as President of the United States, and the US government can’t exclude communications based on viewpoint, as this violates the First Amendment.

    • A Judge Ruled It’s Unconstitutional for President Trump to Block Twitter Users

      Because Trump’s account is considered a “public forum,” the judge ruled that “blocking of the plaintiffs based on their political speech constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment.”

    • Judge rules Trump can’t block users on Twitter

      But Buchwald did not order Trump or Scavino to unblock the individual plaintiffs in the case or prohibit them from blocking others from the account based on their views as the plaintiffs’ had asked.

      She said a declaratory judgment should be sufficient.

    • Court Says It’s Unconstitutional For Trump To Block People On Twitter, But Doesn’t Actually Order Him To Stop

      Just last month, we noted that a court in Kentucky had ruled that the Governor of that state was free to block critics on social media accounts, saying that while people are free to speak, the First Amendment does not mean that the Governor has to listen. As we noted at the time, that ruling did not bode well for a more high profile case that was filed by the Knight First Amendment Center at Columbia University against President Donald Trump under similar circumstances. However, as you may have heard, a federal court in New York has now ruled that Trump’s blocking is unconstitutional.

      This is, not surprisingly, getting lots of attention, but many people commenting on it are not fully understanding the actual issues in the lawsuit (shocking, I know, that people doing legal analysis on the internet might sometimes not get it right…). As we’ve noted plenty of times in the past, the First Amendment does not apply to private platforms, and nothing in this ruling means that Twitter is a “public forum” (as some nuttier lawyers are trying to argue in other cases). Instead, the ruling is specific that it is just the commentary in response to Donald Trump that has become a public forum.

      [...]

      There is one odd bit that is not mentioned in most of the commentary on this ruling. And it’s this: the court does not actually order Trump to stop blocking people. It just says that it’s unconstitutional. Given the choice between giving the Knight Center injunctive relief (i.e., forcing the defendant to comply) and merely declaratory relief (i.e., telling the plaintiff they are correct), it chose the latter. It notes that there is some question of whether or not the courts can impose injunctive relief on a sitting President, and decides to side-step the question altogether.

    • Swedish Journalist Probed for ‘Hate Speech’ Over Sharia-Mocking Cartoons

      According to Sjunnesson, he was reported to the police by the taxpayer-funded Näthatsgranskaren (Net Hate Examiner) group, which is on the lookout for online posts containing hate [sic] speech. The group presents itself as independent, yet received a total of SEK 600,000 ($74,000) in state aid via the Swedish Agency for Youth and Society (MUCF) in 2017.

      Fellow journalist and writer Katerina Janouch urged the public to share these “insulting” pictures to “give these Net Hate Terrorists a pain in the neck” and support Jan Sjunnesson. “Please RT. Let’s commit felony together,” Janouch tweeted.

    • NRATV host equates gun restrictions to media censorship

      “You can still report on the shootings, we just need reasonable laws that place limitation on the glory and fame you give to these killers and their twisted motivations,” he said.

      Noir then goes on to reveal that the calls to censor media coverage of shooters was a setup.

      “You know that feeling of anxiety that shot through your body when I said the government should pass laws to limit the media’s ability to exercise their First Amendment right?” Noir asked. “That’s the same feeling gun owners get when they hear people say the same thing about the Second Amendment.”

    • Childish Gambino shows pop music can be powerfully political despite censorship

      The ConversationIt is a violently subversive darkly comic take on police brutality, white supremacy, and US machismo – and Childish Gambino’s music video, This is America, has been released to critical acclaim, 180 million YouTube hits (and counting), and minimal backlash.

      It may seem incongruous, then, that in 1988, Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman proposed that the media industry would not oppose state or private power in any fundamental way.

      Herman and Chomsky highlighted five causal factors that led them to this conclusion: concentrated corporate ownership; the prevalence of advertising money; the reliance on official information sources; the disproportionate ability of powerful organisations to issue flak against dissenters, and a pervasive axiom that the Western economic system is a panacea.

    • Swedish ISP Telenor will voluntary block The Pirate Bay

      Now, a year later, Telenor – an ISP which has long fought against site-blocking in Sweden – will voluntarily begin blocking The Pirate Bay.

    • Prosper High School journalists allege newspaper censorship by principal, fight editorial policy

      Student journalists at Prosper High School are fighting an editorial policy that they say unfairly restricts what they can and cannot print after three controversial pieces were censored this year.

      Students were told by principal John Burdett that editorials would not be published because they were “incorrect, not uplifting and did not voice all 3,000 students at their high school,” a news release states.

    • Students protest censorship, job cuts at Otago uni

      About 170 students braved freezing weather to march on the University of Otago clocktower brandishing signs opposing the disposal of editions of Critic magazine, university job cuts, and too much of a focus on marketing at a protest today.

      [...]

      Representatives of the group Students Against Sexual Violence also spoke at the protest, about what they perceived as an attempt to censor them from speaking about sexual assault on campus.

    • Conservatives Fail the N.F.L.’s Free Speech Test

      The United States is in the grips of a free-speech paradox. At the same time that the law provides more protection to personal expression than at any time in the nation’s history, large numbers of Americans feel less free to speak. The culprit isn’t government censorship but instead corporate, community and peer intimidation.

      Conservatives can recite the names of the publicly shamed from memory. There was Brendan Eich, hounded out of Mozilla for donating to a California ballot initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and woman. There was James Damore, abruptly terminated from Google after he wrote an essay attributing the company’s difficulty in attracting female software engineers more to biology and free choice than to systemic discrimination. On campus, the list is as long and grows longer every semester.

      It is right to decry this culture of intolerance and advocate for civility and engagement instead of boycotts and reprisals. The cure for bad speech is better speech — not censorship. Take that message to the heartland, and conservatives cheer.

    • Ukraine war on free speech coordinated with US

      There is no independent policy in Kiev, they do everything in conjunction with the US, and new sanctions against Russian media reinforce those suspicions, executive editor of 21st Century Wire.com Patrick Henningsen told RT.

      Ukraine has blocked access to the websites of Russian news organizations by including them on a sanctions list that is in sync with the US Treasury. RIA Novosti-Ukraine and Sputnik with the agencies’ resources are banned for three years.

    • Russia accuses Ukraine of ‘censorship’ after sanctions on RIA news agency

      Ukraine’s decision to include a Russian state news agency in its sanctions list amounts to “political censorship”, the agency, RIA, quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying on Thursday.

      Kiev has added Russian state news agency RIA Novosti to its sanctions list, the website of the Ukrainian president said earlier on Thursday.

    • Ukraine blocks access to websites of leading Russian TV channels
    • Sanctions Against Sputnik Another Act of Political Censorship – Foreign Ministry
    • ‘USSR Blocked Western Media, Modern Ukraine Blocks Russia’s’ – Writer
    • Journalistic Community Slams Kiev’s Ban on Russian media
    • Sputnik, RIA Novosti Ukraine Blocked in Ukraine According to New Sanctions List
    • Menstruation magazine cover sparks censorship row in New Zealand
    • Row over New Zealand student magazine’s ‘period issue’
    • Kevin McCarthy Won’t Stand For Conservative Censorship
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • The EU’s new data-privacy law takes effect Friday. Its reach extends into the Triangle.

      Red Hat, SAS and other companies that hold data on Europeans have a new set of data privacy rules to deal with as of Friday.

      But while the local software giants, like other firms, have had two years’ notice of the advent of the European Union’s “General Data Protection Regulation” and think they’ve made a solid effort to comply, they admit the jury is still out on whether they’ve thought of and covered everything.

    • ​ICANN Makes Last Minute WHOIS Changes to Address GDPR Requirements

      The Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) struggled and sweated and with days left came up with a way to make the Domain Name System (DNS) and WHOIS, the master database of who owns what website name, compliant with the European Union (EU)’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

      We’ll see.

      It doesn’t appear to me that ICANN’s “Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data” will pass muster with the GDPR Article 29 working party, the GDPR enforcement group.

    • What is the GDPR Privacy Law and Why Should You Care?

      The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new European Union law that takes effect today, and it’s the reason you’ve been receiving non-stop emails and notices about privacy policy updates. So how does this affect you? Here’s what you need to know.

      The new GDPR law takes effect today, May 25th, 2018, and it covers data protection and privacy for EU citizens, but it also applies to a lot of other countries in various ways, and since all the tech giants are huge multi-national corporations, it affects a lot of the stuff that you use on a daily basis.

    • Woman says her Amazon device recorded private conversation, sent it out to random contact

      A Portland family contacted Amazon to investigate after they say a private conversation in their home was recorded by Amazon’s Alexa — the voice-controlled smart speaker — and that the recorded audio was sent to the phone of a random person in Seattle, who was in the family’s contact list.

      “My husband and I would joke and say I’d bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,” said Danielle, who did not want us to use her last name.

    • Amazon Alexa Records Couple’s Personal Conversation And Sends It To A Contact

      Another day, another stop in the ‘privacy breach’ journey of IoT.

      In a startling and alarming incident, a Portland, Oregon based woman named ‘Danielle’ has accused Amazon Alexa of recording her personal conversation with her husband and sending it to a contact without permission.

    • Wireless Carrier Abuse Of Location Data Makes The Facebook, Cambridge Scandal Look Like Amateur Hour

      As we’ve noted a few times now, however bad the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal was, the nation’s broadband providers have routinely been engaged in much worse behavior for decades. Yes, the Cambridge and Facebook scandal was bad (especially Facebook threatening to sue news outlets that exposed it), but the behavior they were engaging in is the norm, not the exception. And watching people quit Facebook while still using a stock cellphone (which lets carriers track your every online whim and offline movement) was arguably comedic.

      As the recent Securus and LocationSmart scandal highlights, wireless carriers pretty routinely sell your location data to a laundry list of companies, governments, and organizations with only fleeting oversight. And while some lawmakers are pressuring the FCC to more closely investigate the scandal (which resulted in the exposure of wireless location data of some 200 million users in the U.S. and Canada), few expect the same FCC that just killed net neutrality to actually do anything about it.

    • Trial Underway for Refugee Who Challenged NSA Surveillance

      A refugee from Uzbekistan conspired to support a terrorist group financially and planned to travel overseas to join them, U.S. prosecutors said Thursday, walking jurors through a trove of phone calls, emails and other online activity they said proves the man’s desire to help the group.

      The start of Jamshid Muhtorov’s trial comes more than six years after his arrest at a Chicago airport. The case led to the U.S. Justice Department’s first disclosure that it intended to use information obtained through one of the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance programs.

      Muhtorov challenged the constitutionality of the warrantless surveillance program but Judge John Kane ruled in 2015 that the program may have potential for abuse but did not violate his rights.

    • ‘Obama already did it to the French’: WikiLeaks weighs in on Trump’s ‘Spygate’ claims

      US President Donald Trump has seemingly found a ‘Spygate’ ally in WikiLeaks, after the whistleblowing organization tweeted to remind the public of CIA “espionage orders” for the 2012 French election.

      Reports that domestic intelligence chiefs in the US instructed an FBI informant to contact Trump’s campaign team during the 2016 US presidential election have incensed the current US commander-in-chief. In a hail of tweets, Trump dubbed the revelation ‘Spygate’ and described it as “one of the biggest political scandals in history.”

      Trump has since instructed the Department of Justice to investigate whether the alleged informant, an unnamed Cambridge University professor, was planted by his predecessor Barack Obama’s administration. WikiLeaks soon weighed in and responded directly to Trump’s tweets on the matter.

    • Comcast bug made it shockingly easy to steal customers’ Wi-Fi passwords

      A security hole in a Comcast service-activation website allowed anyone to obtain a customer’s Wi-Fi network name and password by entering the customer’s account number and a partial street address, ZDNet reported yesterday.

      The problem would have let attackers “rename Wi-Fi network names and passwords, temporarily locking users out” of their home networks, ZDNet wrote. Obviously, an attacker could also use a Wi-Fi network name and password to log into an unsuspecting Comcast customer’s home network.

      Shortly after ZDNet’s story was published, Comcast disabled the website feature that was leaking Wi-Fi passwords. “Within hours of learning of this issue, we shut it down,” Comcast told ZDNet and Ars. “We are conducting a thorough investigation and will take all necessary steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

    • Comcast Exposes Customer WiFi SSIDs and Passwords For Customers Paying To Rent A Comcast Router

      Look, when it comes to Comcast, it’s obviously quite easy to slap the company around for any number of its anti-consumer practices. Just sampling from the most recent news, Comcast was sued over its opt-out mobile hotspot from your home router plan, the company has decided to combat cord-cutting by hiking prices and fees on equipment for customers who cord-cut cable television, and it also has put in place a similar plan to charge all kinds of bullshit fees on equipment installations for customers who aren’t bundling in other services with its ISP offering. You should be noticing a trend in there that has to do with how Comcast handles so-called “equipment rental” fees for its broadband customers and how it handles customers that choose to bring their own device to their home networks instead. Comcast has always hated customers that use their own WiFi routers, as the fees for renting a wireless access point represent a huge part of Comcast’s revenue.

      Which is why you would think that the company would at least not expose the home networks of customers who use that equipment. Sadly, it seems that Comcast’s website made the network SSIDs and passwords available in plain text of customers who were renting router equipment, while those that used their own routers were completely safe.

    • What Facebook’s New Political Ad System Misses

      Facebook’s long-awaited change in how it handles political advertisements is only a first step toward addressing a problem intrinsic to a social network built on the viral sharing of user posts.

      The company’s approach, a searchable database of political ads and their sponsors, depends on the company’s ability to sort through huge quantities of ads and identify which ones are political. Facebook is betting that a combination of voluntary disclosure and review by both people and automated systems will close a vulnerability that was famously exploited by Russian meddlers in the 2016 election.

      The company is doubling down on tactics that so far have not prevented the proliferation of hate-filled posts or ads that use Facebook’s capability to target ads particular groups.

    • Zuckerberg accused of avoiding questions in luke-warm European Parliament grilling

      Indeed, many MEPs in attendance complained that the format meant that Zuckerberg had to wait for all of the leaders of the European Parliament’s various political groups – who, of course, all love the sound of their own voice – to ask several questions apiece before he could respond. Zuckerberg could then pretty much decide which questions he condescended to respond to.

      As a result, Zuckerberg spent a total of just 22 minutes answering questions, missing out any he didn’t like the sound of.

    • How GDPR will affect HR departments

      Here are four ways in which HR departments will be affected by GDPR.

    • FBI repeatedly exaggerated how many phones it needed to decrypt and couldn’t

      The agency has – not once – but repeatedly provided hugely inflated stats to Congress about how bad things are, claiming that 7800 devices had been nabbed last year, locked, as part of investigations.

      The real figure is somewhere between 1000 and 2000 says The Washington Post. The exact figure is somewhere around 1200, as far as we know.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • There Is Power in a Union

      For a period of 40 years, something managed to keep inequality in check in the United States. From 1940 to 1980, the richest 1 percent took home 9 percent of the wealth generated by the economy. Today, just as they did in the 1920s, the top 1 percent grabs about double that share. Surprisingly, the cause of this midcentury “Great Compression” has been largely neglected by economists, with many of them casually dismissing the role of unions.

    • Trump’s Assault on American Governance Just Crossed a Threshold

      The President has demanded that the Justice Department open an investigation into its own investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

    • Why Low-Level Offenders Can Get Longer Sentences Than Airplane Hijackers

      Marion Hungerford has a severe form of borderline personality disorder that led to her numerous suicide attempts. As her mental state deteriorated, her husband of 26 years left her. Alone and unable to support herself, she began a relationship with a man whom she helped to commit a string of armed robberies. She never even touched the gun the man used for the robbery. Even though this was her first offense, Hungerford was sentenced to 159 years in federal prison.

      Her case tells us everything we need to know about a set of harsh sentencing laws, particularly one known as “924(c),” that prosecutors use to swell prison populations and perpetuate injustice. There are already too many stories like hers, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ charging and enforcement policies — which roll back the previous administration’s more enlightened approach — will only worsen the problem and fuel mass incarceration across the nation.

      The details of Hungerford’s case do not match her over-a-century sentence. She “took no active part other than driving [the man] to or from the scene of the crime or casing the stores that [he] later robbed,” as one of the judges who reviewed her case explained. Together, they stole fewer than $10,000. No one was injured during the crime. The man turned on Hungerford in exchange for leniency in his sentencing — he got 32 years. At trial, a psychiatrist testified that she had a “very low capacity to assess reality” and “low level of intellectual functioning.”

    • DHS Fusion Center Gets Request For Documents On Extremists, Decides To Hand Over Mind Control Docs Instead

      Once you release a document to a public records requesters, it’s a public record, whether you meant to release it or not. The person handling FOIA requests for the Washington State Fusion Center (a DHS/local law enforcement collaboration known more for its failures than successes) sent Curtis Waltman something unexpected back in April. Waltman asked the Fusion Center for records pertaining to Antifa and white supremacy groups. He did get those records. But he also got something titled “EM effects on human body.zip.”

      [...]

      The files did not appear to have been generated by any government agency, but rather collected from other sources who thought there might be some way the government could control minds using electronic stimulation or “remote brain mapping.” Why the Fusion Center had them on hand remains a mystery, as does their attachment to a FOIA request containing nothing about electronic mind manipulation.

      This inadvertent disclosure has led to more requests for the same documents. Only this time, requesters — like Joshua Eaton of ThinkProgress — are asking specifically for government mind control files. It appears the Fusion Center first thought about withholding some mind control docs, but somewhere along the line decided it couldn’t pretend the documents that weren’t supposed to be released hadn’t actually been released.

    • In the ‘50s, CIA decried Soviet torture tactics that would later be used at Gitmo and Agency black sites

      In the early days of MKULTRA, while the Central Intelligence Agency scrambled to defend against the alleged “brainwashing” programs of foreign countries, and to create its own, Agency staff responsible for the program responded to a report describing reported Soviet brainwashing efforts. In a letter formerly classified SECRET, CIA staff dismissed the Soviet techniques as “police tactics which would not be condoned in a democratic country.” The tactics described in the report not only mimic tactics which have been used in Guantanamo and in CIA black sites, proved to be a source of inspiration for some post-9/11 interrogation programs.

      [...]

      The stress positions included the benign sounding forced prolonged standing, the effects of which are described in excruciating detail. According to the report, an edema is produced, resulting in the ankles feet, and even thighs swelling to twice their normal size. “The skin becomes tense and intensely painful. Large blisters develop … Eventually there is a renal shutdown. Urea and other metabolites accumulate in the blood.” The ultimate result would be “a delirious state, characterized by disorientation, fear, delusions and visual hallucinations,” which the report described as “psychosis.”

    • The Fairfax, Virginia, Fire Department Is Sexist

      When I returned to the FRD in the spring of 2016 after my fellowship, I was on a high, feeling optimistic about creating positive change for our department’s future leaders. A few weeks after my return in the spring of 2016, a young firefighter named Nicole Mittendorff took her own life. It turned out that she had been harassed on an anonymous website by people claiming to be her male co-workers. In response to the media scrutiny over the department’s sexist culture, I was named to the long-vacant position of women’s program officer.

      I knew firsthand how important it was to create a culture that’s more inclusive for women firefighters. Ever since Judy Brewer became America’s first female firefighter 45 years ago, women have been hazed in the fire service, including sabotaged oxygen tanks and glass in their boots. Today, fewer than four percent of the nation’s firefighters are women. One landmark study found that the majority of them face differential treatment, wear ill-fitting safety gear meant for male bodies, work in departments with no anti-discrimination procedures, and witness disrespectful treatment of female leaders.

      In Fairfax, I’ve been trying for a long time to tackle similar problems. In 2005, I joined with a group of FRD women to sue the department over a wide range of disparities, from hiring to promotions to harassment. We settled a year later, in exchange for promises that things would change. Although a report published in 2017 found that FRD is on par with the national average of women in the rank and file, we still lag far behind in command staff. That’s despite five more sex discrimination lawsuits filed against the department since it settled mine.

    • Reality Check: Will Haspel Stick to Her Word on Torture?

      It has been a heated fight for the nomination of Gina Haspel as the new CIA director. Some have nicknamed her the “Queen of Torture.”

      [...]

      Keep in mind, as I have told you before, Gina Haspel didn’t just oversee a black site prison. She helped to destroy evidence of the program she now says did damage to the U.S. standing in the world.

    • Egyptian Blogger and Activist Wael Abbas Detained

      When we wrote of award-winning journalist Wael Abbas being silenced by social media platforms in February, we never suspected that those suspensions would reach beyond the internet to help silence him in real life. But, following Abbas’s detention on Wednesday by police in Cairo, we now fear that decisions—and lack of transparency—made by Silicon Valley companies will help Egyptian authorities in their crackdown on journalists and human rights activists.

      Abbas was taken at dawn on May 23 by police to an undisclosed location, according to news reports which quote his lawyer, Gamal Eid. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) reported that Abbas was not shown a warrant or given a reason for his arrest. He appeared in front of state security yesterday and was questioned and ordered by prosecutors to be held for fifteen days. According to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), Abbas was charged with “involvement in a terrorist group”, “spreading false news” and “misuse of social networks.”

    • ICE Trying To Deport Journalist For Reporting On Abusive ICE Behavior

      For many years (looong before this current administration), we’ve documented the problems with ICE, a government agency that has long been totally out of control, abusing its power and authority not just in dealing with immigration, but in literally seizing blogs, because Hollywood told them to do so. The organization has done nothing to improve its reputation over the years, and lately almost seems to relish in the free reign it has to act like complete thugs in uniform.

      The latest story — as with seizing blogs — appears to have some serious First Amendment concerns, though there’s no indication that ICE cares at all about that. In this story, ICE detained a journalist and is trying to have him deported because of that reporter’s coverage of ICE activities. Freedom of the Press has the details, but the short version is that Manuel Duran, who fled El Salvador a decade ago over death threats there, has been living in the US and reporting for a few different Spanish language news organizations.

    • [Old] Trust damaged between Milwaukee police and community, Department of Justice draft report says

      The Milwaukee Police Department fails the community and its own officers by not communicating clearly, making too many traffic stops and applying inconsistent standards when disciplining officers, according to a draft of a federal report obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

      The draft report offers a particularly damning critique of Chief Edward Flynn’s reliance on data, a signature component of his strategy since he took over the department in 2008. Federal evaluators found this approach is having a damaging, if unintended, effect on police-community relations.

      “MPD’s attention to crime data has distracted the department from the primary tenet of modern policing: trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve,” the draft report states.

    • Report On Milwaukee PD Body Cams Show Fewer Complaints, Fewer Stops, But No Reduction In Use Of Force

      The DOJ also found officers had no idea what community policing entailed, suggesting it only applied to other officers officially designated as community liaisons. The DOJ highlighted the disconnection between the MPD’s statements and actions on community policing using this depressing anecdote.

      [...]

      It’s not all negative, however. As noted above, officers with cameras received 50% fewer complaints, suggesting the presence of another “witness” causes both parties to treat each other with a little more respect. Camera use can result in de-escalation, which is something rarely willfully practiced by officers.

      But we can’t read too much into that either. The drop in complaints is tracked by a drop in stops, which may suggest the cameras aren’t “civilizing” interactions so much as fewer of them are taking place.

      Body cams are band-aids, at best. They can never be a panacea, but they’re far from useless. Things do change when law enforcement operates under additional scrutiny. But they don’t change as quickly or dramatically as proponents of cameras hope they will. A seismic cultural shift is needed in most departments and body cameras will only incrementally increase the speed in which bad apples are expunged from the barrel. But the barrel will still be filled with slightly-less-rotten apples. That being said, cameras should be a requirement as should the presumption that missing footage weighs against a cop’s statements. Just because they’re not working as well as many of us thought they would doesn’t mean it’s without its merits.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brian Soucek on Aesthetic Judgment in Law

      As noted in my last post, one of the most quoted lines in copyright law is from Justice Holmes’s 1903 opinion in Bleistein: “It would be a dangerous undertaking for persons trained only to the law to constitute themselves final judges of the worth of pictorial illustrations.” This aesthetic neutrality principle has found purchase far beyond copyright law. But in a compelling new article, Aesthetic Judgment in Law, Professor Brian Soucek challenges this dogma: “Almost no one thinks the government should decide what counts as art or what has aesthetic value. But the government often does so, and often, it should.” Soucek’s article may have flown under the radar for most IP scholars because he does not typically focus on copyright law, but it is well worth a look.

      Soucek’s first point is that despite the “widespread aversion to aesthetic judgment” by government decisionmakers, such judgments are ubiquitous both at the “retail” level of individual artworks and at the “wholesale” level of “what constitutes art or aesthetic value in the first place.” A number of scholars have made similar points in the IP space; see, for example, Andrew Gilden’s argument that courts are more likely to consider images of women and racial minorities to be “raw materials” that are free to use. But the point holds even more strongly in other areas of law. Perhaps most obviously, there is significant direct spending on the arts that falls on the “government-set” side of the who decides? spectrum, including grant decisions by the National Endowment for the Arts, book purchases by public libraries, and hiring and curriculum decisions by humanities departments at public universities. Other examples are easy to find: Tariff and tax laws embody Congress’s decision to benefit only certain types of art, and they require government officials to make judgments such as whether abstract art is art. Land-use laws ban conduct that is “offensive to the visual sensibilities of the average person” like front-yard clotheslines. The test for obscenity asks whether the work “lacks serious literary [or] artistic” value.

    • Trademarks

      • Woof: The Prosecco People Successfully Oppose A Pet-Treat Company’s ‘Pawsecco’ Trademark Application

        In the realm of the alcohol industry, the French champagne makers have distinguished themselves for their jealous protection of the name of their sparkling white wine. This protectionism is taken to the extreme, with association groups representing champagne makers essentially forbidding anyone else from even using the term. France’s neighbor, Italy, has its own sparkling white wine called prosecco. And it seems that the makers of prosecco are trying to take a page from their champagne-making cousins in “protecting” their trademarks to a ridiculous degree.

        A maker of drinks for pets recently tried to trademark the name of a product it makes called “Pawsecco.” The pet treat is not alcoholic, is sold only to pet owners, and is, frankly, puntastic. Despite all of this being supremely obvious, Woof and Brew faced a trademark opposition from the prosecco people.

    • Copyrights

      • Forget The GDPR, The EU’s New Copyright Proposal Will Be A Complete And Utter Disaster For The Internet

        Today is GDPR day, and lots of people are waking up to a world in which EU regulations are having a widespread (and not always positive) impact on how the internet works. As we’ve detailed over the past couple of years, while there are many good ideas in the GDPR, there are also many ridiculously bad ones, combined with poorly thought out drafting, and we’re already seeing some of the fallout from that. But, believe it or not, there’s an even larger threat from the EU looming, and it’s received precious little attention: the EU’s new copyright reform proposal is set to be voted on next month and it will truly be disastrous to the internet. As it currently stands, it will require widespread censorship in the form of mandatory filtering and also link taxes that have already been shown to be harmful to news.

      • The Demise Of Copyright Toleration

        Although denying fair use, these content owners were acknowledging a larger truth about copyright, the Internet, and even the law in general: It works largely due to toleration. Not every case is clear; not every outcome can be enforced; and not every potential legal outcome can be endured. Instead, “grey area” conduct must be impliedly licensed, or at least tolerated.

        Counsel then or now could not have cited a single court holding on whether the private, noncommercial recording of a song is a lawful fair use. Long before the Supreme Court in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. said that video home recording from broadcasts as a fair use, the music industry could have pursued consumers for home audio recording from vinyl records. But the risk of losing and establishing a bad precedent was too great.

      • Mexico’s new copyright law allows censorship of online content, rights advocates warn

        Legal censorship of online content could be much easier in Mexico due to recently approved changes to the country’s copyright laws.

        On April 26, the Mexican Senate passed a bill that modified the Federal Copyright Law, enabling judges to order the removal of internet content that allegedly violates copyright law without needing to prove it in court or by sentence.

        The bill allows the suspension and removal of public content and includes “precautionary measures” against the equipment that enables the spread of such content. Approval of these changes was given hastily without following legislative procedures.

      • BPI Wants Piracy Dealt With Under New UK Internet ‘Clean-Up’ Laws

        This week, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, announced the launch of a consultation on new legislative measures to clean up the ‘Wild West’ elements of the Internet. In response, music group BPI says the government should use the opportunity to tackle piracy with advanced site-blocking measures, repeat infringer policies, and new responsibilities for service providers.

05.24.18

Links 24/5/2018: RIP Robin “Roblimo” Miller, Qt 5.11 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • RIP Robin “Roblimo” Miller

    Linux Journal has learned fellow journalist and long-time voice of the Linux community Robin “Roblimo” Miller has passed away. Miller was perhaps best known by the community for his roll as Editor in Chief of Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned Slashdot, SourceForge.net, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, and ThinkGeek from 2000 to 2008. He went on to write and do video interviews for FOSS Force, penned articles for several publications, and authored three books, The Online Rules of Successful Companies, Point & Click Linux!, and Point & Click OpenOffice.org, all published by Prentice Hall.

  • How CERN Is Using Linux and Open Source

    CERN really needs no introduction. Among other things, the European Organization for Nuclear Research created the World Wide Web and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator, which was used in discovery of the Higgs boson. Tim Bell, who is responsible for the organization’s IT Operating Systems and Infrastructure group, says the goal of his team is “to provide the compute facility for 13,000 physicists around the world to analyze those collisions, understand what the universe is made of and how it works.”

  • Server

    • ETSI Open Source MANO announces Release FOUR, moving faster than ever

      ETSI is pleased to announce the availability of OSM Release FOUR. Bringing a large set of new features and enhancements, this version is the most ambitious and innovative OSM Release to date and constitutes a huge leap forward in terms of functionality, user experience and maturity.

      This new Release brings substantial progress thanks to a number of architectural improvements, which result in a more efficient behaviour and much leaner footprint – up to 75% less RAM consumption. Additionally, its new northbound interface, aligned with ETSI NFV work, and the brand-new cloud-native setup, facilitate OSM’s installation and operation, while making OSM more open and simpler to integrate with pluggable modules and external systems, such as the existing OSS.

    • Open Source MANO Release FOUR lands

      In monitoring, ETSI says OSM Release FOUR’s alarm and metric settings are easier to use, and a new policy manager adds push notifications and reactive policy configuration, which the standards body says “opens the door to closed-loop operations”.

      The monitoring module uses Apache Kafka as its message passing bus, and the module also implements a flexible plugin model so sysadmins can BYO monitoring environment.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • XFS online filesystem scrubbing and repair

      In a filesystem track session at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Darrick Wong talked about the online scrubbing and repair features he has been working on. His target has mostly been XFS, but he has concurrently been working on scrubbing for ext4. Part of what he wanted to discuss was the possibility of standardizing some of these interfaces across different filesystem types.

      Filesystem scrubbing is typically an ongoing activity to try to find corrupted data by periodically reading the data on the disk. Online repair attempts to fix the problems found by using redundant information (or metadata that can be calculated from other information) stored elsewhere in the filesystem. As described in Wong’s patch series, both scrubbing and repair are largely concerned with filesystem metadata, though scrubbing data extents (and repairing them if possible) is also supported. Wong said that XFS now has online scrubbing support, but does not quite have the online repair piece yet.

    • Supporting multi-actuator drives

      In a combined filesystem and storage session at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Tim Walker asked for help in designing the interface to some new storage hardware. He wanted some feedback on how a multi-actuator drive should present itself to the system. These drives have two (or, eventually, more) sets of read/write heads and other hardware that can all operate in parallel.

      He noted that his employer, Seagate, had invested in a few different technologies, including host-aware shingled magnetic recording (SMR) devices, that did not pan out. Instead of repeating those missteps, Seagate wants to get early feedback before the interfaces are set in stone. He was not necessarily looking for immediate feedback in the session (though he got plenty), but wanted to introduce the topic before discussing it on the mailing lists. Basically, Seagate would like to ensure that what it does with these devices works well for its customers, who mostly use Linux.

    • Using user-space tracepoints with BPF

      Much has been written on LWN about dynamically instrumenting kernel code. These features are also available to user-space code with a special kind of probe known as a User Statically-Defined Tracing (USDT) probe. These probes provide a low-overhead way of instrumenting user-space code and provide a convenient way to debug applications running in production. In this final article of the BPF and BCC series we’ll look at where USDT probes come from and how you can use them to understand the behavior of your own applications.

      The origins of USDT probes can be found in Sun’s DTrace utility. While DTrace can’t claim to have invented static tracepoints (various implementations are described in the “related work” section of the original DTrace paper), it certainly made them much more popular. With the emergence of DTrace, many applications began adding USDT probes to important functions to aid with tracing and diagnosing run-time behavior. Given that, it’s perhaps not surprising that these probes are usually enabled (as part of configuring the build) with the –enable-dtrace switch.

    • Schedutil CPU Frequency Scaling Governor Improvements Coming To Linux 4.18

      Adding to the list of changes coming to Linux 4.18 are updates to CPUFreq’s “Schedutil” CPU frequency scaling governor.

      Schedutil is the newest CPUFreq governor introduced back during Linux 4.7 as an alternative to ondemand, performance, and others. What makes Schedutil different and interesting is that it makes use of CPU scheduler utilization data for its decisions about CPU frequency control.

    • Linux Foundation

    • Graphics Stack

      • ROCm 1.9 Compute Components To Support Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

        For those wanting to use the open-source ROCm Radeon Open Compute stack on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, it will be supported by the next release.

        The ROCm compute stack with OpenCL support will officially support Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the upcoming ROCm 1.9 release. Gregory Stoner of AMD’s compute team c

      • The Vulkan Open-Source Ecosystem Grows: Now More Than 2,100 GitHub Projects

        Just over one month after there were 2,000 Vulkan-mentioning projects on GitHub, the 2,100 project milestone has been breached.

      • RADV Gets Fix For DXVK With World of Warcraft & Other Games

        If you have been experiencing rendering issues with the Vulkan-over-Direct3D “DXVK” layer while playing games on Wine and are using the RADV Vulkan driver, you may want to upgrade to the latest Git.

      • Libinput 1.11 Is Bringing With It Many Linux Input Improvements

        Within the libinput world, the 1.11 development cycle has been going on long with Libinput 1.10 having debuted in January. But this long development cycle is bringing with it many changes.

        Peter Hutterer of Red Hat who started the libinput project today announced the first release candidate of the upcoming libinput 1.11.

      • Mesa 18.2 Due For Release In August

        While Mesa 18.1 just officially shipped last week, Mesa 18.2 as next quarter’s open-source 3D OpenGL/Vulkan graphics driver stack update is scheduled for release in mid-August.

        The tentative Mesa 18.2 release schedule puts the official Mesa 18.2.0 release for 10 August or potentially 17 August depending upon if a fourth release candidate is needed or any other release delays.

      • XWayland Gets Patches For Better EGLStreams Handling

        While the recently released X.Org Server 1.20 has initial support for XWayland with EGLStreams so X11 applications/games on Wayland can still benefit from hardware acceleration, in its current state it doesn’t integrate too well with Wayland desktop compositors wishing to support it. That’s changing with a new patch series.

      • Intel Mesa Driver Finally Supports Threaded OpenGL

        Based off the Gallium3D “mesa_glthread” work for threaded OpenGL that can provide a measurable win in some scenarios, the Intel i965 Mesa driver has implemented this support now too.

        Following the work squared away last year led in the RadeonSI driver, the Intel i965 OpenGL driver supports threaded OpenGL when the mesa_glthread=true environment variable is set.

      • Geometry & Tessellation Shaders For Mesa’s OpenGL Compatibility Context

        With the recent Mesa 18.1 release there is OpenGL 3.1 support with the ARB_compatibility context for the key Gallium3D drivers, but Marek Olšák at AMD continues working on extending that functionality under the OpenGL compatibility context mode.

      • Mesa Begins Its Transition To Gitlab

        Following the news from earlier this month that FreeDesktop.org would move its infrastructure to Gitlab, the Mesa3D project has begun the process of adopting this Git-centered software.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXQt 0.13 Desktop Environment Officially Released, It’s Coming to Lubuntu 18.10

      For starters, all of LXQt’s components are now ready to be built against the recently released Qt 5.11 application framework, and out-of-source-builds are now mandatory. LXQt 0.13.0 also disabled the menu-cached functionality, making it optional from now on in both the panel and runner, thus preventing memory leaks and avoiding any issues that may occur when shutting down or restarting LXQt.

    • Release LXQt 0.13.0

      The LXQt team is proud to announce the release of LXQt 0.13.0, the Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment.

      The LXQt team is working hard towards LXQt 1.0.0. Want to help us? Found any bugs? Please file bug reports and pull requests on our GitHub tracker!

    • LXQt 0.13 Released With More Improvements For This Lightweight Qt Desktop

      The developers working on the combined Razor-qt and LXDE desktop effort, LXQt, have rolled out their newest feature release.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.11 released

        Slightly ahead of our planned schedule, we have released Qt 5.11 today. As always, Qt 5.11 comes with quite a few new features as well as many bug fixes to existing functionality. Let’s have a look at some of the cool new features.

      • Qt 5.11 Released With A Big Arsenal Of Updates

        The Qt Company has managed to release Qt 5.11 one week ahead of schedule compared to its original road-map, which is quite a feat considering some of the past Qt5 release delays. Beyond that, Qt 5.11.0 is offering a big slab of improvements.

      • Porting guide from Qt 1.0 to 5.11

        We do try to keep breakages to a minimum, even in the major releases, but the changes do add up. This raises the question: How hard would it be to port a Qt application from Qt 1.0 to 5.11?

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GLib gets MinGW32 continuous integration and code coverage

        Thanks to the work of Christoph Reiter, GLib has had continuous integration builds on Windows (using MinGW32/MSYS2) for a week or two now. Furthermore, he’s added code coverage support, so we can easily see how our code coverage is changing over time. Thanks Christoph!

      • Automatically shutting down a daemon on inactivity

        Automatically shutting down daemons when not in use is in vogue, and a good way of saving resources quite easily (if the service’s startup/shutdown costs are low).

      • Moving clang out of process

        For the past couple of weeks, Builder from git-master has come with a new gnome-builder-clang subprocess. Instead of including libclang in the UI process, we now proxy all of that work to the subprocess. This should have very positive effect on memory usage within the UI process. It will also simplify the process of using valgrind/ASAN and obtaining useful results. In the future, we’ll teach the subprocess supervisor to recycle subprocesses if they consume too much memory.

      • Thunderbolt Networking on Linux

        Thunderbolt allows for peer-to-peer network connections by connecting two computers directly via a thunderbolt cable. Mika from Intel added support for this to the 4.15 kernel. Recently, Thomas Haller from NetworkManager and I worked together to figure out what needs to be done in userspace to make it work. As it turns out, it was not that hard and the pull-request was merged swiftly.

  • Distributions

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • What’s new in openSUSE Leap 15 – part 1

        openSUSE Leap 15 will be released on the 25th of May 2018! A new openSUSE release is always an exciting event. This means that I get to play with all kinds of new and improved software packages.

        I am aware that I can simply install openSUSE Tumbleweed and have a new release 4 or 5 times a week. But when using openSUSE Tumbleweed some time ago, I noticed that I was installing Gigabytes of new software packages multiple times per week. The reason for that is that I have the complete opposite of a minimum install. I always install a lot of applications to play / experiment with (including a lot of open source games). I am using openSUSE since 2009 and it covers all of my needs and then some. I am already happy with the available software, so there is no real reason for me to move with the speed of a rolling release. Therefore I prefer to move with the slower pace of the Leap releases.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RPKG guide from Tito user

        Since the beginning of the rpkg project, it was known as a client tool for DistGit. Times changed and a new era for rpkg is here. It was enhanced with project management features, so we can safely label it as a tito alternative.

        A features review, pros and cons and user guide is a theme for a whole new article. In this short post, I, as a long-time tito user, want to show rpkg alternatives for the tito commands, that I frequently use.

      • All-Flash Platform-as-a-Service: Pure Storage and Red Hat OpenShift Reference Architecture

        Pure Storage® is excited to announce a reference architecture for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, using both Pure Storage FlashArray and FlashBlade™ to provide all the underlying storage requirements.

      • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 Delivers Long-Term Support

        The Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 release was officially announced here on May 21, bringing along with it new features and expanded support for the open-source cloud platform.

        In a video interview with eWEEK, Mark McLoughlin, senior director of engineering for OpenStack at Red Hat, details what’s new in the release and what is set to come in the next release. Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 is based on the upstream OpenStack Queens release that first became generally available on Feb. 28.

        “The key thing for the OpenStack Platform 13 release is that it is a long life release,” McLoughlin said.

      • Delivering Container Storage-as-a-Service

        Today, Pure Storage is excited to announce Pure Service Orchestrator. It is now possible to deliver container storage-as-a-service to empower your developers to build and deploy scale-out, microservices applications. The agility that your developers expect they could only get from the public cloud is now possible, on premise!

        In this blog, we’ll discuss why the adoption of containers is exploding, how the the lack of persistent storage threatens to slow adoption, and why a newer, smarter approach to storage delivery for containerized application environments is needed.

      • Best practices for engaging with Red Hat Support

        With a Red Hat subscription, you get the latest enterprise-ready software, expert knowledge, product security and technical support from trusted engineers making software the open source way. Red Hat Support makes sure our enterprise technology works in your environment, and helps you minimize the impact to your business if an issue occurs. If you need to open a support case, it will be routed to engineers that are specialized in the product that you use, so your issue can be efficiently resolved by experts.

      • Red Hat Certifies Multiple Ribbon Virtual Network Functions on Open Stack Platform 10
      • Red Hat intros hyperconverged infrastructure for cloud

        Red Hat has introduced Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Cloud, an integrated solution for customers seeking to co-locate compute and storage functions in OpenStack environments. The new offering combines Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 and Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 in a single user experience, supported by a common lifecycle for greater operational and organizational efficiency.

      • How Red Hat has accelerated open source adoption to hit 25-year milestone

        The firm recently celebrated 25 years in business, and according to Miles, Red Hat is as strong as ever. Four years into his tenure at the company here in the Middle East, he has been “pleasantly surprised” and “very impressed” that regional organisations are already pursuing strong strategies in open source.

      • Red Hat rolls out OpenStack HCI platform for telco and enterprise hybrid clouds

        Red Hat launched a new hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform for telcos and enterprises that combines OpenStack compute with its Ceph storage.

        Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Cloud is an open, integrated platform for customers seeking to co-locate compute and storage functions in OpenStack environments.

        Announced Tuesday at the OpenStack Summit, the new platform blends Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 and Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 into a single user experience for hyperconvergence in the hybrid cloud. Red Hat said it was the biggest contributor to both open source projects.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • 10 tasks for running containers on Atomic Host

          Unlike a virtual machine, which includes an entire operating system, a container is meant to hold only the software needed to run an application. Therefore, to run a container efficiently and securely, you need an operating system that provides secure container services and acts as a foundation for running containers. One operating system developed for that task is Atomic Host.

          Think of Atomic Host as a secure, specialized version of Fedora, CentOS, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Its best use is to provide a reliable and easily upgradable operating system for running containers. Different formats of Atomic Host are available to run on anything from bare metal to a variety of cloud environments. With an Atomic Host system installed, you can use the docker command as you would on other container-enabled systems. However, Atomic Host also comes with an additional command called atomic, which expands what you can do with containers.

        • GNOME Terminal: a little something for Fedora 29

          Can you spot what that is?

    • Debian Family

      • More Vnlog demos

        More demos of vnlog and feedgnuplot usage! This is pretty pointless, but should be a decent demo of the tools at least. This is a demo, not documentation; so for usage details consult the normal docs.

        Each Wednesday night I join a group bike ride. This is an organized affair, and each week an email precedes the ride, very roughly describing the route. The two organizers alternate leading the ride each week, and consequently the emails alternate also. I was getting the feeling that some of the announcements show up in my mailbxo more punctually than others, and after a recent 20-minutes-before-the ride email, I decided this just had to be quantified.

        The emails all go to a google-group email. The google-groups people are a wheel-reinventing bunch, so talking to the archive can’t be done with normal tools (NNTP? mbox files? No?). A brief search revealed somebody’s home-grown tool to programmatically grab the archive:

      • First GSoC Report

        To whom it may concern, this is my report over the first few weeks of gsoc under the umbrella of the Debian project. I’m writing this on my way back from the minidebconf in Hamburg, which was a nice experience, maybe there will be another post about that ;)

        So, the goal of my GSOC project is to design and implement a new SSO solution for Debian. But that only touches one part of the projects deliveries. As you can read in the description Alexander Wirth originally posted in the Debian Wiki, the project consists of two parts, where the first one is the design and coding of a new backend and self-service interface for Debian guest users (this includes the accounts of Debian Maintainers).

      • Derivatives

        • Parrot 4.0 Ethical Hacking Linux Distro Released: Download Here To Get New Features

          Compared to its previous releases, Debian-based Parrot 4.0 ethical hacking distro has arrived with a lot more changes. The development team has called it an important milestone in the history of the project.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Unleashed 2019 and other books presale discount
          • Call for nominations for the Technical Board

            The current 2-year term of the Technical Board is over, and it’s time for electing a new one. For the next two weeks (until 6 June 2018) we are collecting nominations, then our SABDFL will shortlist the candidates and confirm their candidacy with them, and finally the shortlist will be put to a vote by ~ubuntu-dev.

            Anyone from the Ubuntu community can nominate someone.

          • Decreasing the complexity of IoT adoption with Edge as a Service model

            Last week, much of the IoT industry descended on Santa Clara, California, for the annual IoT World trade show. One of the exhibitors present were Rigado who Canonical partnered with earlier this year to deploy Ubuntu Core on their IoT gateways primarily targeted at commercial applications such as smart lighting and asset tracking. Rigado used IoT World as an opportunity to discuss the launch of Cascade, their new ‘Edge as a Service’ proposition, for commercial IoT.

            Cascade, which is offered as a simple monthly subscription, enables companies to focus on their business and what generates revenue rather than expending effort and resource dedicated to managing the infrastructure behind it. With many organisations looking at ways they can benefit from adopting IoT while removing perceived barriers, Cascade offers a low-risk, low-cost entry which in turn enables project teams to benefit from reduced development, support and no upfront hardware costs. The end result is a quicker path to IoT deployment and resulting ROI.

          • Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04: Make yourself at GNOME. Cup of data-slurping dispute, anyone?

            Comment Ubuntu 18.04, launched last month, included a new Welcome application that runs the first time you boot into your new install. The Welcome app does several things, including offering to opt you out of Canonical’s new data collection tool.

            The tool also provides a quick overview of the new GNOME interface, and offers to set up Livepatch (for kernel patching without a reboot).

            In my review I called the opt-out a ham-fisted decision, but did note that if Canonical wanted to actually gather data, opt-out was probably the best choice.

          • UBports To Work On Unity 8 / Mir / Wayland After OTA-4

            The UBports team have put out their latest batch of answers to common questions around this project that’s still working to maintain the Ubuntu Touch software stack.

            Among the project’s recent work has included getting QtWebEngine working on Mir and before their Ubuntu 16.04 LTS based release they still need to figure out Chromium crashes and to resolve that as well as updating the browser. For their first release of UBports derived from Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial” they are still going to rely upon Oxide while later on should migrate to a new browser.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Xubuntu: New Wiki pages for Testers

              During the last few weeks of the 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) cycle, we had 2 people drop by in our development channel trying to respond to the call for testers from the Development and QA Teams.

              It quickly became apparent to me that I was having to repeat myself in order to make it “basic” enough for someone who had never tested for us, to understand what I was trying to put across.

              After pointing to the various resources we have, and other flavours use – it transpired that they both would have preferred something a bit easier to start with.

              So I asked them to write it for us all.

            • Linux Mint tools – That which makes the distro unique

              Creating Linux distro spins is relatively easy. A few string replacements, some branding, and you’re done. Creating unique, independent and self-sufficient projects, that’s another matter entirely. The latter category is reserved to only a small number of distros that manage to balance their parenthood and individual identity while still providing users with a sensible and meaningful setup for work and fun. Linux Mint is one of such rare examples.

              For many years, Mint has successfully paddles its gray-green look and feel, topped with good and easy access to everyday needs. This hasn’t always been easy, as Ubuntu changes a lot, and this has often affected Mint in unpredictable ways. Still, overall, it managed to retain an edge of worth that goes beyond being yet another bland clone. Staying with the LTS releases as the baseline is one such manifest. A set of unique tools is another. We explore.

            • Kubuntu 18.04 Review: KDE Plasma at its Best

              Kubuntu 18.04 LTS has been released and we take it for a test drive in this detailed review of Kubuntu 18.04.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Zuul: Proven open-source continuous integration/continuous delivery

    If you think Zuul is the Gatekeeper, demigod, and minion of the ancient Hittite god Gozer, then you’re a Ghostbusters fan, too. But, if you’re interested in continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) and not “human sacrifice, dogs, and cats living together… mass hysteria,” then you want Zuul, OpenStack’s open-source CI/CD platform.

    Zuul originally was developed for OpenStack CI testing. For years, OpenStack, the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud, got all the attention. Over time, people began to realize that as impressive as OpenStack was, the CI system behind it, which enabled contributors and users across many different organizations to work and develop quickly together across multiple projects, was impressive in its own right.

  • Computer History Museum saves Eudora

    The Computer History Museum, based in California, has announced the publication of the source code for one of the first successful mainstream email clients: Eudora.

    Developed by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign programmer Steve Dorner in 1988, Eudora launched as an Apple Macintosh-exclusive client for the new-fangled electronic mail technology that was taking the world by storm at the time. Its original incarnation was just 50,000 lines of C code, but as Eudora’s popularity grew so did the code base: By 1991 it had become successful enough to attract the interest of Qualcomm, which licensed the software and took over development while launching it in 1993 as a paid-for commercial package for both Apple Macs and IBM PC compatibles.

  • Computer history Museum releases Eudora email client source code

    Before email was something you could access on the web, on your phone, or via Outlook, there were a handful or primarily text-based email applications such as Elm and Pine.

    One of the first popular email utilities to feature a graphical user interface was Eudora, created for Mac computers by Steve Dorner in 1988.

  • Events

    • Video: Containers Should Contain… Right?

      Here’s a presentation video from the very recent OpenStack Summit Vancouver 2018. The topic repeats what Dan Walsh was saying a couple of years ago. Again, this is talking about application containers using traditional kernel features like namespaces and cgroups… because as we all know, in the Linux kernel, containers are NOT a REAL thing.

      Just to be clear, OpenVZ… which is a mature out-of-tree patch for system containers that has been around and maintained for well over 13 years… does contain… but the hype is all around application containers like Docker and its work-alikes.

    • Updates in container isolation

      At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2018, several talks explored the topic of container isolation and security. The last year saw the release of Kata Containers which, combined with the CRI-O project, provided strong isolation guarantees for containers using a hypervisor. During the conference, Google released its own hypervisor called gVisor, adding yet another possible solution for this problem. Those new developments prompted the community to work on integrating the concept of “secure containers” (or “sandboxed containers”) deeper into Kubernetes. This work is now coming to fruition; it prompts us to look again at how Kubernetes tries to keep the bad guys from wreaking havoc once they break into a container.

    • Autoscaling for Kubernetes workloads

      Technologies like containers, clusters, and Kubernetes offer the prospect of rapidly scaling the available computing resources to match variable demands placed on the system. Actually implementing that scaling can be a challenge, though. During KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2018, Frederic Branczyk from CoreOS (now part of Red Hat) held a packed session to introduce a standard and officially recommended way to scale workloads automatically in Kubernetes clusters.

      Kubernetes has had an autoscaler since the early days, but only recently did the community implement a more flexible and extensible mechanism to make decisions on when to add more resources to fulfill workload requirements. The new API integrates not only the Prometheus project, which is popular in Kubernetes deployments, but also any arbitrary monitoring system that implements the standardized APIs.

    • An introduction to MQTT

      A few years ago, I was asked to put temperature monitoring in a customer’s server room and to integrate it with their existing monitoring and notification software. We ended up buying a rack-mountable temperature monitor, for nearly £200, that ran its own web server for propagating temperature data. Although the device ostensibly published data in XML, that turned out to be so painful to parse that we ended up screen-scraping the human-readable web pages to get the data. Temperature sensors are fairly cheap, but by the time you’ve wrapped them in a case with a power supply, an Ethernet port, a web server, enough of an OS to drive the above, and volatile and non-volatile storage for the same, they get expensive. I was sure that somewhere there must be physically-lightweight sensors with simple power, simple networking, and a lightweight protocol that allowed them to squirt their data down the network with a minimum of overhead. So my interest was piqued when Jan-Piet Mens spoke at FLOSS UK’s Spring Conference on “Small Things for Monitoring”. Once he started passing working demonstration systems around the room without interrupting the demonstration, it was clear that this was what I’d been looking for.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The General Data Protection Regulation and Firefox

        We are only a few days away from May 25th, when the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into full effect. Since we were founded, Mozilla has always stood for and practiced a set of data privacy principles that are at the heart of privacy laws like the GDPR. And we have applied those principles, not just to Europe, but to all our users worldwide. We feel like the rest of the world is catching up to where we have been all along.

      • Ready for GDPR: Firefox Focus Offers Additional Tracking Protection Against Advertisers

        It’s been nearly a year since we launched Firefox Focus for Android, and it has become one of the most popular privacy browsers for mobile around the world. In light of recent events, more and more consumers have growing awareness for privacy and secure products. The upcoming implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe later this month reflects this and, at the same time, highlights how important privacy is for all users.

      • rust for cortex-m7 baremetal
      • Tags are now available in Pontoon to help you prioritize your work

        Almost a couple of years ago I started working on a concept called string tiers. The goal was twofold: on one side help locales, especially those starting from scratch, to prioritize their work on a project as large as Firefox, with currently over 11 thousand strings. On the other hand, give project managers a better understanding of the current status of localization.

        Given the growth in complexity and update frequency of Developer Tools within Firefox (currently almost 2,600 strings), finding a solution to this problem became more urgent. For example, is a locale in bad shape because it misses thousands of strings? The answer would not automatically be ”yes”, since the missing strings might have a low priority.

        The string tiers concept assigns priority to strings based on their target – who is meant to see them – and their visibility. The idea is quite simple: a string warning the user about an error, or requiring an action from them, is more important than one targeting developers or website owners, and buried in the Error Console of the browser.

      • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 39
  • SaaS/Back End

    • Google Acquires Open Source Big Data Platform Cask

      Last week Cask Data, known for its open source Cask Data Application Platform (CDAP), announced that it’s being acquired by Google — specifically Google’s cloud division.

      “We are thrilled to announce that Cask Data, Inc. will be joining Google Cloud!” the company’s founders, Jonathan Gray and Nitin Motgi, said in its online announcement of the purchase.

    • Rackspace Jumps Into Kubernetes, Again

      “With Kubernetes-as-a-Service, we are providing the industry’s simplest Kubernetes consumption model by delivering it fully configured, tested and validated at enterprise scale with the managed cluster services customers need to effectively run their applications,” Scott Crenshaw, executive vice president of private clouds at Rackspace, stated.

      “Rackspace’s combination of operational experience and open source expertise, coupled with the security, improved economics and a fully managed Kubernetes offering available on leading public and private cloud technologies, helps companies accelerate their digital transformation,” Crenshaw continued.

    • How OpenStack Is Redefining Itself and Open Infrastructure

      The OpenStack Foundation is no longer interested in only its own cloud platform, but also in enabling the broader ecosystem of open infrastructure

      In a session at the OpenStack Summit, Thierry Carrez, VP of Engineering at the OpenStack Foundation, outlined the steps the foundation are taking to create what he referred to as a better-defined OpenStack. The key theme of the redefinition is that OpenStack is no longer just about the OpenStack cloud platform project.

    • OpenStack Boosts Container Security With Kata Containers 1.0

      The OpenStack Foundation announced on May 22 the Kata Containers 1.0 release which is designed to bolster container security.

      The Kata Containers project provides a virtualization isolation layer to help run multi-tenant container deployments in a more secure manner than running containers natively on bare-metal. The effort provides a micro-virtual machine (VM) layer that can run container workloads.

    • VMware OpenStack 5 Rolls Out for Data Centers and Telecoms
    • VMware Integrated OpenStack 5 Aims to Accelerate Carrier Clouds
    • What’s Coming in OpenStack Rocky?

      The OpenStack Rocky release is currently scheduled to become generally available on August 30th, and it’s expected to add a host of new and enhanced capabilities to the open-source cloud platform.

      At the OpenStack Summit here, Anne Bertucio, marketing manager at the OpenStack Foundation, and Pete Chadwick, director of product management at SUSE, outlined some of the features currently on the Rocky roadmap.

      Bertucio began the session by warning the audience that the roadmap is not prescriptive, but rather is intended to provide a general idea of the direction the next OpenStack release is taking.

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 11 Is Continuing With More Performance Improvements, JIT’ing

      PostgreSQL 11 is the next major feature release of this open-source database SQL server due out later in 2018. While it’s not out yet, their release notes were recently updated for providing an overview of what’s coming as part of this next major update.

      To little surprise, performance improvements remain a big focus for PostgreSQL 11 with various optimizations as well as continued parallelization work and also the recently introduced just-in-time (JIT) compilation support.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Review of Kaspersky Labs Report Confirms OPC Foundation’s Transparent, Open Source OPC UA Implementations Strategy Improves Security

      The Kaspersky Labs report issued on May 10th, 2018 has garnered a lot of media attention based on its claim of having identified 17 security issues in some OPC UA implementations. A detailed description of the 17 issues can be found at https://opcfoundation.org/security/.

    • Wind River Drives Open Source Edge Infrastructure

      In a recent blog post, Intel and Wind River have announced their intent to make open source some of the components from the Wind River Titanium Cloud portfolio. The code is now being upstreamed in a new open source project called StarlingX, hosted by the OpenStack Foundation.

      Wind River Titanium Cloud was built on open source components, which are then extended and targeted to be hardened to address critical infrastructure requirements: high availability, fault management, and performance management needed for continuous 24/7 operation. Wind River Titanium Cloud also includes the low latency, high performance, scalability, and security needed for edge and IoT workloads.

    • WhiteSource Rolls Out New Open Source Security Detector [Ed: When you call something “Open Source” but it is actually proprietary and it alerts about Open Source]

      WhiteSource on Tuesday launched its next-generation software composition analysis (SCA) technology, dubbed “Effective Usage Analysis,” with the promise that it can reduce open source vulnerability alerts by 70 percent.

      The newly developed technology provides details beyond which components are present in the application. It provides actionable insights into how components are being used. It also evaluates their impact on the security of the application.

      The new solution shows which vulnerabilities are effective. For instance, it can identify which vulnerabilities get calls from the proprietary code.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • TrueOS: A Simple BSD Distribution for the Desktop Users

      When you think of It’s FOSS you probably think mainly of Linux. It’s true that we cover mostly Linux-related news and tutorials. But today we are going to do something different.We are going to look at TrueOS BSD distribution.

      Linux and BSD, both fall into Unix-like operating system domain. The main difference lies at the core i.e. the kernel as both Linux and BSD have their own kernel implementation.

    • “FreeBSD Mastery: Jails” Sponsorships, and writing schedule changes

      Per my 2018 schedule, it’s time to start writing FreeBSD Mastery: Jails. I’ve been idly assembling the parts over the last couple of months.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Tesla disclosed some of its autopilot source code after GPL violation

      Tesla, a technology company, and the independent automaker are well known for offering the safest, quickest electric cars. The company uses a lot of open source software to build its operating system and features, such as Linux Kernel, Buildroot, Busybox, QT, etc also they have always been taciturn about the finer details and tech of its popular artefacts, such as Model S, Model X, but now Elon Musk’s company has just released some of its automotive tech source code into the open source community.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Mozilla teamed up with a brewery for an open-sourced beer, and we downed a pint

      Mozilla is seriously into open-source. So seriously, in fact, that developer doesn’t just want to see it restricted to software. In its eyes, just about anything can go open-source. Even beer.

      To prove it, Mozilla teamed up with Widmer Brothers, a brewery based in Portland, Oregon. The companies crafted a survey for community input on the style, hops, and any special additions drinkers might want to see. Responses were tabulated, weighed, and turned into a recipe by the brewers at Widmer.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Underwater Distributed Sensor Network

        One way to design an underwater monitoring device is to take inspiration from nature and emulate an underwater creature. [Michael Barton-Sweeney] is making devices in the shape of, and functioning somewhat like, clams for his open source underwater distributed sensor network.

  • Programming/Development

    • Best Websites For Programmers

      As a programmer, you will often find yourself as a permanent visitor of some websites. These can be tutorial, reference or forums websites. So here in this article let us have a look at the best websites for programmers.

    • The 2018 Python Language Summit

      Over the past three years, LWN and its readers have gotten a yearly treat in the form of coverage of the Python Language Summit; this year is no exception. The summit is a yearly gathering of around 40 or 50 developers from CPython, other Python implementations, and related projects. It is held on the first day of PyCon, which is two days before the main PyCon talk tracks begin. This year, the summit was held on May 9 in Cleveland, Ohio.

    • A Gilectomy update

      In a rather short session at the 2018 Python Language Summit, Larry Hastings updated attendees on the status of his Gilectomy project. The aim of that effort is to remove the global interpreter lock (GIL) from CPython. Since his status report at last year’s summit, little has happened, which is part of why the session was so short. He hasn’t given up on the overall idea, but it needs a new approach.

      Gilectomy has been “untouched for a year”, Hastings said. He worked on it at the PyCon sprints after last year’s summit, but got tired of it at that point. He is “out of bullets” at least with that approach. With his complicated buffered-reference-count approach he was able to get his “gilectomized” interpreter to reach performance parity with CPython—except that his interpreter was running on around seven cores to keep up with CPython on one.

    • Modifying the Python object model

      At the 2018 Python Language Summit, Carl Shapiro described some of the experiments that he and others at Instagram did to look at ways to improve the performance of the CPython interpreter. The talk was somewhat academic in tone and built on what has been learned in other dynamic languages over the years. By modifying the Python object model fairly substantially, they were able to roughly double the performance of the “classic” Richards benchmark.

      Shapiro said that Instagram is a big user of Python and has been looking for ways to improve the performance of the CPython interpreter for its workloads. So the company started looking at the representation of data in the interpreter to see if there were gains to be made there. It wanted to stick with CPython in order to preserve the existing API, ecosystem, and developer experience

    • Subinterpreter support for Python

      Eric Snow kicked off the 2018 edition of the Python Language Summit with a look at getting a better story for multicore Python by way of subinterpreters. Back in 2015, we looked at his efforts at that point; things have been progressing since. There is more to do, of course, so he is hoping to attract more developers to work on the project.

      Snow has been a core developer since 2012 and has “seen some interesting stuff” over that time. He has been working on the subinterpreters scheme for four years or so.

    • GitLab 10.8 open sources push mirroring

      GitLab 10.8 was released this week with the open sourcing of a highly requested feature. The company announced its push mirroring capability is now open sourced.

      Push mirroring was originally introduced as a paid feature, but GitLab says it is one of the most frequently requested to be moved into the open-source codebase.

      This move will add a few new use cases for GitLab Core users, such as freelance developers being able to mirror client repos and users migrating to GitLab being able to use push mirroring to ease the migration path.

    • How Security Can Bridge the Chasm with Development

      Enhancing the relationships between security and engineering is crucial for improving software security. These six steps will bring your teams together.

      There’s always been a troublesome rift between enterprise security teams and software developers. While the friction is understandable, it’s also a shame, because the chasm between these teams makes it all the more challenging to build quality applications that are both great to use and safe.

    • Which Programming Languages Use the Least Electricity?

      Can energy usage data tell us anything about the quality of our programming languages?

      Last year a team of six researchers in Portugal from three different universities decided to investigate this question, ultimately releasing a paper titled “Energy Efficiency Across Programming Languages.” They ran the solutions to 10 programming problems written in 27 different languages, while carefully monitoring how much electricity each one used — as well as its speed and memory usage.

    • How Java EE found new life as Jakarta EE

      The title of this post may seem strange, but if you look a bit into Java EE’s recent history, it will make sense.

      Originally, Sun started and ran Java Enterprise Edition, and later Oracle took over after it acquired Sun. Specifications were driven by a Sun/Oracle-governed process. At more or less regular intervals, they made a new version of the specification available, which was implemented by the server vendors. Those vendors had to license the technology compatibility kits (TCKs) and brand from Oracle.

      Let’s fast-forward a bit. In 2013, Java EE 7 was released, and Oracle began work on EE8, but it did not progress quickly. Meanwhile, new technologies like Docker and Kubernetes came along and changed the way applications run. Instead of running a single fat server process on a big machine, the software is now split into smaller, independent services that run in a (usually) Docker container orchestrated by Kubernetes.

Leftovers

  • Google Sheets is becoming a viable alternative to Microsoft Excel for most spreadsheet users
  • Science

    • Testing the “wide walls” design principle in the wild

      Seymour Papert is credited as saying that tools to support learning should have “high ceilings” and “low floors.” The phrase is meant to suggest that tools should allow learners to do complex and intellectually sophisticated things but should also be easy to begin using quickly. Mitchel Resnick extended the metaphor to argue that learning toolkits should also have “wide walls” in that they should appeal to diverse groups of learners and allow for a broad variety of creative outcomes. In a new paper, Benjamin Mako Hill and I attempted to provide the first empirical test of Resnick’s wide walls theory. Using a natural experiment in the Scratch online community, we found causal evidence that “widening walls” can, as Resnick suggested, increase both engagement and learning.

    • Natural experiment showing how “wide walls” can support engagement and learning

      Seymour Papert is credited as saying that tools to support learning should have “high ceilings” and “low floors.” The phrase is meant to suggest that tools should allow learners to do complex and intellectually sophisticated things but should also be easy to begin using quickly. Mitchel Resnick extended the metaphor to argue that learning toolkits should also have “wide walls” in that they should appeal to diverse groups of learners and allow for a broad variety of creative outcomes. In a new paper, Sayamindu Dasgupta and I attempted to provide an empirical test of Resnick’s wide walls theory. Using a natural experiment in the Scratch online community, we found causal evidence that “widening walls” can, as Resnick suggested, increase both engagement and learning.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • “Like slavery”: Rehab patients forced into unpaid labor to cover “treatment”
    • A Pioneering Heart Surgeon’s Secret History of Research Violations, Conflicts of Interest and Poor Outcomes

      There’s a story Bud Frazier tells often. It was around 1966, and Frazier, now one of the world’s most celebrated heart surgeons, was a medical student at Baylor College of Medicine.

      An Italian teenager had come to Houston for an aortic valve replacement, but at some point during or after the surgery, the teen’s heart stopped. Doctors told Frazier to reach in and start pumping the failed organ by hand.

      As he did so, the teen lifted a hand to Frazier’s face, and in that moment, just before the patient died, he says he realized his life’s calling.

      “As long as I was massaging that kid’s heart, he would wake up,” Frazier, now 78, said last year. “I thought then, and I’ve often returned to this: If my hand can keep this kid alive, why couldn’t we make a device to do the same?”

  • Security

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Security Researchers Discover Two New Variants of the Spectre Vulnerability
    • ARM64 Mitigation Posted For Spectre 4 / SSBD

      Following the Intel/AMD Spectre Variant 4 mitigation landing yesterday with “Speculative Store Bypass Disable” (SSBD) and then the POWER CPU mitigation landing today, ARM developers have posted their set of patches for 64-bit ARM CPUs to mitigate against this latest Spectre vulnerability around speculative execution.

    • Linux 4.9, 4.14, 4.16 Point Releases Bring SSBD For Spectre V4

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has today released the Linux 4.9.102, 4.14.43, and 4.16.11 kernels. Most notable about these stable release updates is Spectre Variant Four mitigation.

      Today’s 4.9/4.14/4.16 point releases carry the Intel/AMD mitigation for Spectre V4 albeit the Intel support is dependent upon to-be-released microcode updates and is vulnerable by default while for AMD processors there is SSB disabled via prctl and seccomp.

    • An Initial Look At Spectre V4 “Speculative Store Bypass” With AMD On Linux

      Yesterday the latest Spectre vulnerability was disclosed as Spectre Variant 4 also known as “Speculative Store Bypass” as well as the less talked about Spectre Variant 3A “Rogue System Register Read”. Here are my initial tests of a patched Linux kernel on AMD hardware for Spectre V4.

      Landing yesterday into Linux 4.17 Git was Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD) as the Linux-based mitigation on Intel/AMD x86 CPUs. Since then has also been the POWER CPU SSBD implementation and pending patches for ARM64 CPUs.

    • Exclusive: FBI Seizes Control of Russian Botnet

      FBI agents armed with a court order have seized control of a key server in the Kremlin’s global botnet of 500,000 hacked routers, The Daily Beast has learned. The move positions the bureau to build a comprehensive list of victims of the attack, and short-circuits Moscow’s ability to reinfect its targets.

      The FBI counter-operation goes after “VPN Filter,” a piece of sophisticated malware linked to the same Russian hacking group, known as Fancy Bear, that breached the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 election. On Wednesday security researchers at Cisco and Symantec separately provided new details on the malware, which has turned up in 54 countries including the United States.

    • Two-step authentication in Firefox Accounts
    • Parrot 4.0 Now Available, Eudora Email Code Open-Sourced, Firefox Now Offers Two-Step Authentication and More

      Mozilla began offering two-step authentication for Firefox this week. If you enable it, you’ll need to use an additional security code to log in. Mozilla is using the authentication standard TOTP (Time-based One-Time Password) to implement this feature. If you don’t see a “Two-step authentication” panel in your Preferences, see this page for further instructions on how to enable it.

    • Firefox Finally Offers Two Factor Auth to Protect Your Passwords

      Mozilla is rolling out two factor authentication for Firefox accounts and if you sync passwords using Firefox Sync you should enable it immediately.

      The option for two factor authentication should show up in your Firefox account settings in a few weeks, but you can skip the wait by clicking this link. Do that and you should see the option for two-factor authentication, as shown above.

    • Now Make Your Firefox Account Safer With New Two Factor Authentication

      It seems that tech giants, finally, are gearing up to make portals more secure. In an announcement made yesterday, Mozilla has announced two-factor authentication for Firefox accounts. It is an optional security feature that will require inserting authentication code after signing in your Firefox account with your credentials.

      The newly introduced two-step verification feature is based on the commonly used Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP)-based standard. Currently, the feature is available with Duo, Google Authenticator, and Authy. Users will need to install these apps to receive the authentication code.

    • Navigating the container security ecosystem

      SJ Technologies partnered with Sonatype for the DevSecOps Community 2018 Survey. The survey was wildly popular, receiving answers from more than 2,000 respondents representing a wide range of industries, development practices, and responsibilities. One-third of respondents (33%) came from the technology industry, and banking and financial services was the second most represented group (15%). 70% of all respondents were using a container registry. With so many respondents utilizing containers, a deeper dive into container security is in order.

    • New VPNFilter malware targets at least 500K networking devices worldwide
    • VPNFilter Malware Attacks Routers, Mitigations for Spectre Variant 4, OnePlus 6 Phone and More

      There’s a new type of malware called VPNFilter, which has “has infected at least half a million home and small business routers including those sold by Netgear, TP-Link, Linksys, MicroTik, and QNAP network storage devices”. This code is intended to “serve as a multipurpose spy tool, and also creates a network of hijacked routers that serve as unwitting VPNs, potentially hiding the attackers’ origin as they carry out other malicious activities”. See the story on Wired for all the details.

    • 500,000 Routers Are Infected With Malware and Potentially Spying On Users
    • 500,000 Routers In 54 Countries Hacked To Create Massive Botnet Army
    • PassProtect Tells You If Your Password Is Compromised

      A compromised password can’t protect you. PassProtect is a Chrome extension that notifies you whenever a password you enter is exposed, giving you the chance to change it.

      Data breaches happen all the time, and the result is usually a bunch of usernames and password floating around the web. Attackers use these lists to access accounts, so it’s important to change your passwords after a breach. Most users can’t keep track of it all, however.

      Which is where PassProtect come in. Using data from Have I Been Pwned, Troy Hunt’s database of compromised passwords, PassProtect lets you know when a password you use was part of a recent breach.

    • PassProtect warns Chrome users when their username or passwords get pwned

      Data breaches happen all the time. When they do, it’s invariably bad, with countless people ensnared. The MySpace breach, for example, impacted nearly 360 million. LinkedIn impacted 165 million more. One tool helping to mitigate the aftermath is Okta’s new Chrome plugin, PassProtect.

    • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #160

      This week’s edition was written by Bernhard M. Wiedemann, Chris Lamb, Levente Polyak and Mattia Rizzolo & reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible Builds folks on IRC & the mailing lists.

    • Security updates for Thursday
  • Defence/Aggression

    • The U.S. and the Fate of the World

      Americans ought to be more honest about U.S. military interventionism. There ought to be a serious debate about it. Instead there seems to be three, entrenched foreign policy camps who never talk to each other.

      The first is made up of avowed imperialists. They are easy to recognize, because they happen to be in power. They are the people for whom there is no such thing as a bad war. They have likely committed the United States to regime change in Iran. And they are currently spearheading an overly aggressive approach in attempting to defuse tensions with a nuclear-armed North Korea—an approach that will probably backfire in the end. This camp would also be the strongest to deny that there is any such thing as U.S. imperialism.

      Then there are people who totally reject imperialism in any form, committed by any country, as a grave error. These are the people who recognize that there must be other values that bind relationships between nations—shared values premised on international law, human rights, Individual and spiritual freedom, and the rule of law.

    • Bolton Trying to Convince Trump to Topple Iran

      Now that the Trump administration has derailed the Iran nuclear deal, the old issue of regime change in Iran is back again. National Security Advisor John Bolton is obviously the chief regime-change advocate in the administration, and there is every reason to believe he has begun to push that policy with Donald Trump in his first month in the White House.

      Bolton was part of the powerful neoconservative faction of national security officials in the George W. Bush administration that had a plan for supporting regime change in Iran, not much different from the one Bolton is reportedly pushing now. But it was a crackbrained scheme that involved the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) exiled terrorist organisation that never had Bush’s support.

      Bolton may find history repeating itself, with Trump resisting his plan for regime change, just as Bush did in 2003.

    • Yulia Skripal and the Salisbury WUT

      It was happy to see Yulia alive and looking reasonably well yesterday, if understandably stressed. Notably, and in sharp contrast to Litvinenko, she leveled no accusations at Russia or anybody else for her poisoning. In Russian she spoke quite naturally. Of the Russian Embassy she said very simply “I am not ready, I do not want their help”. Strangely this is again translated in the Reuters subtitles by the strangulated officialese of “I do not wish to avail myself of their services”, as originally stated in the unnatural Metropolitan Police statement issued on her behalf weeks ago.

      “I do not wish to avail myself of their services” is simply not a translation of what she says in Russian and totally misses the “I am not ready” opening phrase of that sentence. My conclusion is that Yulia’s statement was written by a British official and then translated to Russian for her to speak, rather than the other way round. Also that rather than translate what she said in Russian themselves for the subtitles, Reuters have subtitled using a British government script they have been given.

      It would of course have been much more convincing had Sergei also been present. Duress cannot be ruled out when he is held by the British authorities. I remain extremely suspicious that, at the very first chance she got in hospital, Yulia managed to get hold of a telephone (we don’t know how, it was not her own and she has not had access to one since) and phone her cousin Viktoria, yet since then the Skripals have made no attempt to contact their family in Russia. That includes no contact to Sergei’s aged mum, Yulia’s grandmother, who Viktoria cares for. Sergei normally calles his mother – who is 89 – regularly. This lack of contact is a worrying sign that the Skripals may be prevented from free communication to the outside world. Yulia’s controlled and scripted performance makes that more rather than less likely.

    • Who is Luis Posada Carriles, the anti-Castro militant known as ‘Bambi’?

      Luis Posada Carriles, considered a hero among members of the Cuban exile community for his role in the Bay of Pigs invasion and for his attempts to overthrow the late Fidel Castro, died Wednesday.

      The Cuban exile militant and CIA agent was 90.

      Here are some details on the life and times of Posada Carriles who was considered a terrorist by both the Cuban government and the United States’ FBI.

      ▪ He was born in Cinfuegos, Cuba, on Feb. 15, 1928.

      ▪ Posada Carriles studied medicine and chemistry at the University of Havana, where he first ran into a young Fidel Castro, and then worked as a supervisor for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.

    • Ex-CIA operative, militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles dies at 90

      Former CIA operative and militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles, who was accused of organizing a string of 1997 Havana hotel bombings and a 1976 Cuban airline bombing that killed 73 people, has died. He was 90.

      Posada, who had been diagnosed with throat cancer about five years ago, died Wednesday at a care home for elderly veterans in Broward Country, north of Miami, according to Arturo Hernandez, a lawyer for the hardline exile.

    • Thus Passed a True American-Made Terrorist

      Luis Posada Carriles should have died in a cell at Leavenworth. He was an anti-Castro terrorist on the CIA payroll. He was accused of committing atrocities in our name, and on our dime, throughout Central America and the Caribbean – including, it was alleged, being intimately involved with the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane just after takeoff from Barbados in which 73 people were killed including the entire Cuban fencing team.

    • Former CIA operative and militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles dies at 90

      Former CIA operative and militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles, who was accused of organizing a string of 1997 Havana hotel bombings and a 1976 Cuban airline bombing that killed 73 people, has died. He was 90.

      Posada, who had been diagnosed with throat cancer about five years ago, died Wednesday at a care home for elderly veterans in Broward Country, according to Arturo Hernandez, a lawyer for the hard-line exile.

    • Former CIA, Anti-Castro Militant Luis Posada Carriles Dead At 90

      Former Central Intelligence Agency operative and militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles, who was accused of organizing a string of 1997 Havana hotel bombings and a 1976 Cuban airline bombing that killed 73 people, has died. He was 90.

      Posada, who had been diagnosed with throat cancer about five years ago, died Wednesday at a care home for elderly veterans in Broward Country, north of Miami, according to Arturo Hernandez, a lawyer for the hardline exile.

      “An extraordinary life has ended,” Hernandez told The Associated Press. “It’s a very sad morning for me, to say farewell to such a great man.”

    • Former CIA Officials Assess Russia

      Winston Churchill stated in 1939 that Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Today, as then, Russian actions and intentions remain the subject of intense scrutiny in the West. To examine the state of American analysis of Russia, the Center for the National Interest convened a high-level panel of former veteran CIA officials on May 22. The speakers included George Beebe (Director for Intelligence and National Security at the Center for the National Interest, former director of the CIA’s Russia analysis and a former Special Advisor to Vice President Cheney), Milton Bearden (a former CIA officer who was a station chief in Pakistan where he played a central role in training and arming the Afghan mujahideen to battle the Soviet military) and Peter Clement (the former Deputy Director for Analytic Programs at the CIA and a professor at Columbia University). The meeting was moderated by Paul J. Saunders, the executive director of the Center for the National Interest and a former Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Dana Rohrabacher, GOP congressman, defends ‘honorable’ WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

      WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange received praise Wednesday from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, during an interview in which the congressman recalled their meeting last summer inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

      “He’s a very honorable man,” Mr. Rohrabacher, 70, told CNN.

      “Deep staters believe that he’s a bad guy and an evil person,” the congressman continued. “I don’t.”

      Mr. Assange, 46, was granted asylum from Ecuador in 2012 in lieu of being extradited abroad and potentially charged by U.S. prosecutors in connection with publishing classified documents released through his WikiLeaks website. Mr. Assange risks being arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy, however, and has remained on the property ever since.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • EPA boots reporters from meeting on chemicals called a PR disaster

      But the latest controversy is one the agency’s own making. This morning, Pruitt was speaking at a workshop convened to discuss the handling of specific chemical contaminants that have been found in water supplies. The EPA was already under fire for what appeared to be an attempt to stall a report that suggests these chemicals were more toxic than previously thought, so the workshop provided an opportunity to show that the agency took the risks seriously. Instead, the EPA started a brand-new controversy by specifically excluding CNN and the AP from Pruitt’s speech and by having security physically escort a reporter out of the building.

    • EPA’s War On Journalists Is Not A Good Look

      The Obama administration was terrible when it came to how it treated journalists, acting vindictively against many journalists, and opening up investigations that created massive chilling effects on journalism. While some supporters of our previous President insisted that these actions were necessary due to the journalists “leaking” or revealing sensitive information, that’s a ridiculous claim. A journalist’s job is to report on things, including revealing the kind of information a government would prefer be kept secret. And, more importantly, normalizing a government at war with the journalists who cover it was bound to be abused even more going forward.

      And that brings us to the current administration, whose attacks on journalists have been frequent as well, though of a different, more clumsy nature. While the last administration focused on keeping secrets and launching chilling investigations, this one seems focused on name calling and hamfisted attempts at shutting out the media in the most obvious and petty of ways. Neither approach is good, but the current administration’s attacks on journalists are so blatant and so stupid, it just makes people wonder what they’re so afraid of.

    • Focus on Pruitt’s Scandals Obscures Environmental Degradation Under Trump

      Scott Pruitt sure is busy these days. The climate change-denying head of the Environmental Protection Agency has been renting out a DC condo on the cheap from an energy lobbyist; installing a $43,000 soundproof booth for his telephone calls; passing out improper pay raises to aides; jet-setting around the world on first-class flights; hitting up Disneyland and the Rose Bowl with his oversized $3 million, 20-person security detail; receiving police escorts to trendy DC restaurant Le Diplomate; and even having a fancy dinner in Rome with Vatican treasurer, climate denier and recently charged child sexual abuser George Pell.

      What’s more, Pruitt’s staffers at the EPA have continued to cover up for their boss: Pruitt’s lavish travel schedule is only released after the fact, and he holds few press conferences compared to his predecessors. All told, he is under 12 different federal investigations, and has been grilled by members of both Senate and House committees. In Pruitt’s Senate hearing, New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall remarked that “your scandals are a mere sideshow distracting us from the long-lasting devastating your leadership is making on human health and the environment.”

      Indeed, while Pruitt seems to have adjusted well to the culture of gratuitous and unprecedented graft and corruption inside the Trump cabinet, the media’s focus on Pruitt’s dizzying array of personal scandals obscures his absolute contempt for his agency’s stated mission: environmental protection. Pruitt, along with President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, has quietly been dismantling a multitude of environmental regulations while pushing a number of fossil fuel-friendly policies that will certainly have disastrous long-term effects on the environment and public health.

  • Finance

    • Bitcoin’s stupendous power waste is green, apparently — bad excuses for Proof-of-Work

      Bitcoin uses as much electricity as all of Ireland. And everyone else is starting to notice — and they’re not happy.

    • Trump blasts ‘spoiled’ Canada and Mexico over NAFTA talks

      U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday railed against Mexico and Canada’s efforts in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying both neighbours have been “very difficult.”

      “NAFTA is very difficult. Mexico has been very difficult to deal with. Canada has been very difficult to deal with … but I will tell you that in the end we win,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We will win, and we’ll win big.

      “We’ll get along with Mexico, we’ll get along with Canada. But I will tell you, they have been very difficult to deal with. They’re very spoiled — because nobody has done this. But I will tell you that what they ask for is not fair.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • What Happens If Republicans Keep Control Of The House And Senate?

      Imagine this scenario: In November’s elections for the U.S. House, Democrats win the national House vote by a few percentage points and gain nearly 20 additional House seats, by both winning open seats and defeating some longtime GOP incumbents. In the Senate, Democrats pick up Nevada; win races in states President Trump carried in 2016, including in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and West Virginia; and only narrowly lose in the GOP strongholds of Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee.

    • Why Ohio’s Congressional Map is Unconstitutional

      National and state GOP officials conspired to redraw Ohio’s map to exclude Democratic voters.

      We all know how representative democracy is supposed to work — each election cycle, citizens vote to determine which elected officials will represent them in Congress. That’s not what’s happening in Ohio, where Republicans designed the state’s redistricting map to keep their party in office in violation of voters’ constitutional rights.

      Today, the ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking to replace Ohio’s gerrymandered map with one that reflects the will of voters and complies with the Constitution before the 2020 elections.

      How did Ohio become one of the most egregious examples of partisan gerrymandering in modern history? It’s a sordid tale involving high-level Republican operatives, a secret “bunker,” a rushed vote, and enormous consequences for our democracy.

      Here’s what you need to know.

    • Media Delegitimize Venezuelan Elections Amid Complete Unanimity of Outlook

      Nicolás Maduro was successfully re-elected president of Venezuela on Sunday, receiving 5.8 million of the 8.6 million ballots cast, on a turnout of 46 percent. His nearest challenger, Henri Falcon, received 1.8 million votes. The process was watched over by 150 international observers from over 30 countries, among them former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who said (Telesur, 5/20/18): “I do not have any doubt about the voting process. It is an advanced automatic voting system.”

      [...]

      Apart from spelling the president’s name wrong, the only source that could be an “independent” observer quoted was the Washington-based, State Department–funded conservative group Freedom House, a rather questionable example of an “independent observer.”

      [...]

      The extraordinary similarity and negative tone across Western media should not surprise anyone. As I detailed in Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting, there have been enormous cuts to foreign reporting, leading to a situation where only a tiny cadre of journalists create the news we hear from other countries. Media copy and paste from news organizations like Reuters and Associated Press, which themselves employ many cheaper local journalists.

      In Venezuela, these journalists are not neutral actors, but come from the highly partisan local media, affiliated with the opposition, leading to a situation where Western newsrooms see themselves as an ideological spearhead against Maduro, “the resistance” to the government.

    • CIA Knew Torture Was Extorting Bad Intelligence — Kept Doing It Anyway

      In February, we wrote about how Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks, has yet to stand trial — 17 years after the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center’s twin towers and the Pentagon.

      The reason for the delay, Mohammed’s attorney David Nevin asserts, is the government’s desire to hide the details of the torture and rendition program his client and many others were subjected to in the early years of the “war on terror.”

      [...]

      The CIA’s record of torture is front and center in the media again. This time because President Donald Trump’s new CIA Director, Gina Haspel, played a key role in the agency’s program of “enhanced interrogation” (i.e., torture). Haspel was head of station in at least one of the CIA’s black sites in Thailand where torture took place, and also held multiple senior roles at the CIA Counterterrorism Center, which oversaw the torture program.

      She was also involved in the destruction of the video recordings of the torture sessions and was less than forthcoming recently with members of Congress who asked about her role in that action.

      Nevertheless, the Senate confirmed her. The fact that Haspel, who played a key role in the CIA torture program, made it through the confirmation process fairly easily, signals, at the very least, that the agency should have no problem continuing to shield itself from any outside scrutiny of its treatment of terror suspects in the years after 9/11.

      Ominously, president Trump who has said he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” said Monday that “America is reasserting its strength” by putting Haspel in charge of the agency.

    • Haspel, the CIA, Government and Morality

      In his comments on Gina Haspel (“At the CIA, Immorality Is Part of the Job,” op-ed, May 17), Fay Vincent suggests that morality is at best tangentially related to the rule of law. The great tradition of Western jurisprudence would strongly disagree. Moses and Jeremiah, Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, St. Paul, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Barth, Bonhoeffer, Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr.—all uniformly affirmed that justice, morality and positive law are intimately connected in any good society. Statecraft, certainly no less than war, must be conducted within the confines of legal norms connected to…

    • With Haspel Sworn In as CIA Director, Let’s Stop Pretending That Her Atrocities Run Counter to American Values

      Although Gina Haspel’s nomination received the fewest supporting votes of any previous CIA director nominee, on Monday morning she was sworn in to head the agency. Introducing Haspel, Trump stated that “instead of apologizing for our nation, we are standing up for our nation.” He spoke these words knowing that Haspel oversaw the CIA’s first black site in the “war on terror,” where two Muslim prisoners were waterboarded repeatedly. Why? Because torture is American.

      Prior to her confirmation, there seemed to be three common mainstream responses to Haspel’s nomination: 1) The torture she oversaw wasn’t torture/was acceptable under the circumstances; 2) Those who were tortured provided valuable intelligence, therefore justifying this abuse; and 3) Torture is “un-American” because it is morally and legally impermissible.

    • Pompeo says there is no ‘deep state’ at State Department or CIA

      Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that he “does not believe there is a deep state” at the State Department or the CIA — contradicting President Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that there are forces within the government conspiring against him.

    • Mike Pompeo says there is no ‘deep state’ at CIA or State Department

      US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said that there was no “deep state” in either the CIA or the State Department.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Victory For The First Amendment: Court Rules That Government Officials Who Tweet to the Public Can’t Block Users Who They Disagree With

      Lawsuit Against President Trump Brought by Twitter Users He Blocked

      New York, New York—President Donald Trump’s blocking of people on Twitter because they criticize him violates the First Amendment, a federal judge in New York ruled today in a resounding victory for freedom of speech and the public’s right to communicate opposing political views directly to elected officials and government agencies.

      The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute alleging the president and his communications team violated the First Amendment by blocking seven people from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account because they criticized the president or his policies. The seven individuals include a university professor, a surgeon, a comedy writer, a community organizer, an author, a legal analyst, and a police officer.

      The plaintiffs were blocked by Trump on Twitter shortly after they posted tweets to the @realDonaldTrump account that were critical. President Trump and the other defendants conceded that they did so because they disliked the viewpoints the plaintiffs expressed in their tweets. U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that such viewpoint-based exclusion is “impermissible under the First Amendment.” The ruling is a win for the public’s right to speak out to public officials and engage with other members of the public on social media.

      In an amicus brief filed on behalf of the plaintiffs, EFF argued governmental use of social media platforms to communicate to and with the public, and allow the public to communication with each other, is now the rule of democratic engagement, not the exception. As a result, First Amendment rights of both access to those accounts and the ability to speak in them must apply in full force.

    • Facebook Moderation Ramps Up In Germany And Everything Keeps Getting Worse For Its Users

      Germany’s new hate speech law — and its intersection with social media platforms — has been a disaster. Subjecting platforms to millions of Euros in fines for each violation, the push to cleanse the (German) internet of hate speech has resulted in plenty of predictive content policing. When not nuking legal criticism or satire mocking intolerant speech, the new law is creating a moderating nightmare for Facebook and other social media services.

      The German wing of Facebook’s moderation employs 1,200 moderators who forward anything borderline to Facebook’s legal team, who then forward close calls they can’t make to another outsourced team of lawyers well-versed in German law. That’s a lot of money spent to avoid 50 million euro fines, but likely necessary given the law’s demand illegal content be removed within 24 hours. Facebook may have to the money to do this, but other platforms simply don’t have the resources. Compliance will result in Germans being given fewer services to choose from, all in the name of “protecting” Germans from hateful speech.

      But is the law really serving the German people? Or is it a legislative feel-good effort of marginal utility with the possibility of collecting massive fines the ribbon on top? Linda Kinstler’s long article on Facebook’s proactive moderation efforts in Germany suggests the general public doesn’t need these extra protections as much as the government seems to think they do.

    • Censorship concerns over water contamination hearings in Washington

      The second day of an EPA summit in Washington, D.C. on water contamination is hitting home here in the Capital Region.

      On Tuesday, the mayor of Hoosick Falls was sitting in on the summit but others were barred.

      There was some censorship concerns have come to the forefront surrounding the need for more information on water contamination.

      A report by the EPA is not being released and many people affected by contamination were not granted seats at that summit. There have even been reports of the media being barred from the meetings.

    • ‘Stop This BLATANT CENSORSHIP’: The Poor, Confused Souls Sending Their YouTube Complaints to the FCC

      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees telecommunications like radio, TV, and the internet in the U.S., doesn’t regulate content on online platforms like YouTube. But that hasn’t stopped people from sending complaints about the video site to the federal agency—and they’re every bit as unhinged as you’d expect.

      Gizmodo submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all complaints that the FCC has received about YouTube. We received 81 pages of grievances featuring everyone from PizzaGate conspiracy theorists to anti-nudity crusaders. YouTube, which is owned by Google, has cracked down on extremist content in recent months, doing everything from removing ISIS propaganda videos to demonetizing conspiracy theory channels. YouTube has even banned neo-Nazi channels like Atomwaffen altogether.

    • Conservative Principles Don’t Justify Silencing Conservatives
    • ‘Internet safety’ just means internet censorship

      At the end of a week in which the House of Commons defeated Labour’s draconian plans to regulate the press, the Tories revealed their own draconian plans to regulate the internet. The culture secretary, Matt Hancock, has pledged to make Britain ‘the safest place in the world’ to be online. But when the world’s ‘safest’ internet is currently found in China, where access is heavily restricted and censored by the state, it becomes clear how terrifying the government’s safety agenda really could be.

      Digital secretary Margot James told Sky News the government would order social-media firms to take down any ‘abusive’ content immediately. Fines for non-compliance could run up to four per cent of a firm’s global turnover, which could mean up to £1 billion for the largest firms. Just as clampdowns on press freedom are often justified with tough talk against the press barons, the war on social media is presented as a fight against the new social-media oligarchs. But, in truth, clampdowns on big tech are really just a proxy for clampdowns on us, the users. After all, it is we, the public, who actually produce all the supposedly vile, offensive and abusive content that social-media companies will be ordered to censor.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Privacy Statement

      This Privacy Statement is intended to describe this web site’s privacy practices and provide information about the choices you have regarding the ways in which information collected by this web site is used and disclosed.

    • An FUQ for the GDPR

      Today is Privmas Eve: the day before Privmas, aka GDPR Day: the one marked red on the calendars of every company in the world holding an asset the GDPR has suddenly made toxic: personal data. The same day—25 May—should be marked green for everyone who has hated the simple fact that harvesting personal data from everybody on the internet has been too damned easy for too damned long for too damned many companies, and governments too.

      Whether you like the GDPR or not (and there are reasons for both, which we’ll get into shortly), one thing it has done for sure is turn privacy into Very Big Deal. This is good, because we’ve had damned little of it on the internet and now we’re going to get a lot more. That’s worth celebrating, everybody. Merry Privmas!

    • Facebook Wants Your Nudes For Their New Anti-Revenge Porn Tool [Updated]

      the program still requires users to share nudes with a group of reviewers on Facebook….

    • Revenge porn: Facebook teaming up with Government to stop nude photos ending up on Messenger, Instagram

      If you’ve had a nude photo taken, you might be nervous about where it could end up.

      Your phone may be hacked or a relationship turn sour, meaning the “revenge porn” picture could be made public without your say so.

    • Data privacy in Sailfish OS is enhancing even further as GDPR comes into effect
    • Five Years After Snowden, Michigan Set to Be First State to Impede NSA’s Warrantless Surveillance

      On the heels of the fifth anniversary of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s disclosure of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents to journalists, one state legislature has recently taken steps to hold the government agency accountable for its warrantless surveillance programs by making it illegal for state and local governments, including law enforcement and public utilities, to support the NSA’s warrantless spying on American citizens.

    • Michigan Takes On The NSA With New Law, But Probably Won’t Have Much Of An Impact

      In the months following the appearance of the Snowden leaks, several state legislatures attempted stiff arm snooping feds by introducing bills prohibiting collect-it-all programs from being deployed against Americans by the NSA. Most targeted the NSA’s warrantless collection of metadata, creating a warrant requirement for the collection of data within the state’s borders.

      Others were a bit more creative, forbidding state law enforcement from participating in federal surveillance efforts or, in the case of Utah, where a new NSA data center was being built, forbidding the state’s water supply from being used in data collection efforts (to cool the agency’s many, many servers).

      In Michigan, one of these laws is actually being enacted. As the Washington Examiner reports, the effective date of the Fourth Amendment Rights Protection Act is nearly five years to the day from the first Snowden leak.

    • TOR Anonymity: Things Not To Do While Using TOR

      The awe-inspiring internet has its nightmares for the ones who get stalked and harassed in the digital world. They can’t get away from the predicament; one possible recourse is to go anonymous while using the internet with the help of various tools available. Name it, VPN, TOR, or you can use a proxy server for your anonymity needs.

      Apart from all these available options, TOR stands out first in the line when we compare the level of anonymity provided by various tools. The Onion Router project is regarded as the best cloak for those people who want to hide on the internet.

    • Many Of Those Desperate GDPR Emails You’ve Been Getting Are Violating A Different EU Regulation

      As we careen wildly into a post-GDPR world at the end of this week, you’ve probably already been inundated with tons upon tons of emails from various companies where you either have an account or have been signed up for their mailing list. Some of these emails likely note that they want you to confirm that you want to remain on their list because of the GDPR. Others pretend they’re just checking in with you for the hell of it. According to an expert in EU regulation, many of these emails probably violate another EU regulation, one designed to make spamming illegal. As for the others? They’re almost certainly not necessary under the GDPR and appear to be people misunderstanding the GDPR “out of an abundance of caution.”

    • Tech firms can’t keep our data forever: we need a Digital Expiry Date

      However, as government surveillance is emerging as a growing threat – especially in surveillance states like China or Iran – the long-term data storage enacted by all of the top tech companies is a dream come true for any current or future authoritarian state.

    • It’s Time to Break Up Facebook

      And it’s not just Republicans who have taken advantage of Facebook’s invasive features. Far from it: During the 2012 campaign, President Barack Obama’s reelection team built an app that extracted the same types of data in the same fashion as the Cambridge Analytica data in question, with one critical difference: Obama’s team extracted nearly five times the information.

      According to Carol Davidsen, a member of Obama’s data team, “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing.” [...]

    • China’s Black Mirror ‘social credit’ has already stopped 11m from taking flights

      Social Credit will ensure that “discredited people become bankrupt,” said Hou Yunchun, former deputy director of the development research center of the State Council, according to Global Times.

      [...]

      By the end of April the scheme which is expected to be fully rolled out by 2020 is said to have prevented 11.14m flights being taken and 4.25m high-speed train journeys were refused.

    • No one’s ready for GDPR

      After four years of deliberation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was officially adopted by the European Union in 2016. The regulation gave companies a two-year runway to get compliant, which is theoretically plenty of time to get shipshape. The reality is messier. Like term papers and tax returns, there are people who get it done early, and then there’s the rest of us.

    • Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before European Parliament yields an empty spectacle

      The result, for anyone who has been paying attention to the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, was a strong sense of déjà vu. In response to questions about data privacy, Zuckerberg said Facebook was reviewing thousands of apps that once had broad access to user information, and the process would take months to complete. Terrorism? Nearly all posts promoting al-Qaeda and ISIS are removed automatically through systems powered by machine learning. Disinformation? Facebook is working to remove the economic incentives for publishing fake news, which addresses the majority of people posting it. And monopoly power? The average person uses eight different apps to communicate, Zuckerberg said — without noting, as usual, that Facebook owns three of them.

    • Police use of Amazon’s face-recognition service draws privacy warnings

      The service, which Amazon markets under the name Rekognition, can recognize as many as 100 people in a single image and can compare images against databases containing tens of millions of faces. Company executives describe deployment by law enforcement agencies as common use case.

    • European Union Grills Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Over His ‘Digital Monster’

      At a hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels, legislators sought explanations about the growing number of false Facebook accounts and whether Facebook will comply with new EU privacy rules, but many were left frustrated by Zuckerberg’s lack of answers.

    • Zuckerberg’s European Parliament testimony criticised

      Mr Zuckerberg spent 22 minutes going through the huge number of questions put to him during the session and was able to pick and choose which to give answers to.

      Several of the politicians expressed frustration at this, and one accused Mr Zuckerberg of having “asked for this format for a reason”.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The Border Patrol Was Monstrous Under Obama. Imagine How Bad It Is Under Trump.

      The ACLU and the International Human Rights Clinic have obtained disturbing documents detailing Border Patrol abuses.

      On a December morning, Border Patrol agents confronted a 15-year-old high school student named Jahveel Ocampo at a rest stop in California while she and her friends were on their way to the mountains to see the winter’s first snow. Jahveel was a young child when she came to the United States from Mexico with her parents, and she grew up undocumented in southern California. She was a mother to a 2-year-old child, who was a U.S. citizen.

      An agent in a blue jacket asked whether Jahveel was an “illegal.” He handcuffed her and drove her to a Border Patrol station in the border town of Campo. There, he slapped her twice on the buttocks and ordered her into a cell. He and another male agent told her to sign an “order of voluntary departure,” a deportation order. She refused.

      Then the threats began. One agent said, in Spanish, according to the complaint she filed later, “Right now, we close the door, we rape you and f*** you. If you cooperate with us, we can deport you to Mexico. Otherwise, we will take you to jail and deport your entire family.” They told her that her child would end up in foster care.

      Terrified and alone, Jahveel signed.

    • Mugshots.com Operators Arrested For Letting Money Influence Editorial Decisions

      Earlier this month Ars Technica reported on the arrest of the alleged operators of Mugshots.com, a website that does what it says on the tin: hosts mugshots. The issue is, the site operators didn’t just host mugshots; they also charged people to have their mugshots removed from the site through a companion site, Unpublisharrest.com.

      Assuming the arrest warrant is fairly stating things, the site’s operators may not have had the best of intentions in running their site the way they did. According to the facts alleged they were more interested in making money by charging people to have their pictures removed from their site than in serving as any sort of public records archive.

      [...]

      Taken together, the arrest warrant concludes, the site operators are guilty of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion. But to prove extortion prosecutors must show that the accused threatened a victim either with violence, the accusation of a crime, or the exposure of a secret, if they didn’t pay the accused. Yet the defendants are accused of none of these things. Not only is there no issue of threatened violence, but what the site operators are alleged to have done in no way involves revealing a secret or accusing another of a crime. Instead it is the state that has already accused the site operators’ purported “victims” of a crime, and its having done so is no secret. The state’s accusation against these people became public when it originally released the mugshots, meaning there is nothing that the site operators could have been threatening to reveal that wasn’t already revealed.

      This apparently sloppy reading of the extortion statute, compounded with the 2015 statutory language giving mugshots a sort of magical status that prevents them from being treated as an ordinary public record, represents a chilling incursion on protected First Amendment activity. It’s one thing to impose liability for publishing content that isn’t lawful, perhaps because it’s defamatory, infringing, or somehow intrinsically wrongful unto itself. But it’s another thing entirely to impose liability for publishing content that is entirely lawful – especially, as in this case, when it is not only lawful but a public record.

    • There’s now only one US state where mug shots aren’t public records

      The South Dakota measure is certain to provide fresh material for the online mug shot business racket. These questionable sites post mug shots, often in a bid to embarrass people in hopes of getting them to pay hundreds of dollars to have their photos removed. The exposé I did on this for Wired found that some mug shot site operators had a symbiotic relationship with reputation management firms that charge for mug shot removals.

      That said, South Dakota’s attorney general, Marty Jackley, hailed the legislation, which was supported by the South Dakota Newspaper Association.

      “The release of criminal booking photographs to the public will result in greater transparency in the criminal process, enhance public safety, and will further assist the media and the public in the proper identification of individuals in the criminal process,” he said.

    • The Attorney General Thinks Police Having To Follow The Constitution Leads To Violent Crime Increases

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an old-school law and order man. He wants asset forfeiture returned to its former glory — no longer questioned by all and sundry for its ability to enrich law enforcement agencies without making much of a dent in criminal activity. He wants drug sellers jailed for as long as possible, suggesting the last time he read a policy paper was sometime during the mid-1980s. And he thinks people questioning law enforcement efforts should be ashamed of themselves, what with the dangers faced occasionally by officers whose workplace can’t even crack the Top 10 Deadliest Jobs in America list.

      [...]

      Second, Sessions shows he doesn’t care about police misconduct or public accountability by maligning those who demand accountability as “radicals.” This suggests Sessions is more interested in a docile nation than upholding his duties as Attorney General, which (used to) include investigating and prosecuting officers who abuse their power.

      Finally, his portrayal of the rise in violence in Chicago as the direct result of a consent decree is both dishonest and ugly. The consent decree dealt with the Chicago PD’s stop-and-frisk tactics. The PD agreed to revamp its policies after a 2015 report by the ACLU found the program disproportionately targeted black residents. In other words, Sessions is claiming requiring cops to behave Constitutionally results in increased criminal activity.

    • Promoters of Saudi Prince as Feminist Reformer Are Silent on His Crackdown on Women

      Nor did MBS’s biggest court stenographer, Thomas Friedman, find room in his latest column in his latest column (5/22/18) to note the crackdown. Given Times opinion page editor James Bennet was clear his paper was axiomatically “pro-capitalism” (3/1/18), one wonders whether he views Latin American socialists as uniquely worthy of condemnation, whereas Middle East petrol dictatorships that invest in American corporations and hosts glossy tech conferences deserve nuance and mild “reform” childing. We have to “get rid of” the former, and the latter simply need “guidance” from the US—their respective human rights records a total non-factor.

      CBS ran a 50-second story on the “emancipating” MBS’s crackdown on its web-only news network, CBSN (5/21/18), and an AP story on its website (5/19/18), but CBS News has thus far aired nothing on the flagrant human rights violation on any of the news programs on its actual network, and certainly nothing in the ballpark of its most-watched prime time program, 60 Minutes.

      If influential outlets like the Times opinion section and CBS News are going to help build up bin Salman’s image as a “reformer” and a champion of women’s rights, don’t they have a unique obligation to inform their readers and viewers when the image they built up is so severely undermined? Shouldn’t Bennet’s editorial board and Friedman—who did so much to lend legitimacy to the Saudi ruler’s PR strategy—be particularly outraged when he does a 180 and starts arresting prominent women’s rights advocates? Will 60 Minutes do a comparable 27-minute segment detailing these arrests and their chilling effect on activism?

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • No, The FTC Is Not Going To Do A Good Job Policing Net Neutrality

      We’ve noted repeatedly how broadband ISPs aren’t just trying to kill net neutrality, they’re trying to kill nearly all state and federal oversight over giant telecom monopolies entirely. From language buried in the net neutrality repeal aimed at preventing states from protecting consumers, to attempts to neuter the FCC and shovel all remaining oversight to an FTC ill-suited to police telecom operators, the end goal really is little to no real oversight of some of the least liked, least competitive companies in any industry.

      While this is all being portrayed as “regulatory modernization” by ISPs and their armies of consultants and allies, former FCC Boss Tom Wheeler has gone so far as to call the effort a “fraud.” Wheeler was quick to note that not only does the FTC lack rule-making authority, it can only act against an ISP if it can be very clearly shown that the ISP’s actions were “unfair or deceptive.” That’s tricky to do in the net neutrality era where anti-competitive behavior is often disguised as “reasonable network management.”

    • Two sitting Senators were among the people whose identities were stolen in FCC comments from anti-Net Neutrality bots

      The botmasters who ran the anti-Net Neutrality campaign went so far as to steal the identities of two sitting US Senators, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), who have written to the FCC demanding to know exactly what the fuck the Commission is going to do about it.

    • Two Senators Say Their Identities Were Stolen During Net Neutrality Repeal

      Throughout 2017, an unidentified culprit easily abused a lack of basic protections at the FCC website to flood the net neutrality proceeding with fake comments. In some instances the scammers used the identities of real people (like myself) to support the unpopular effort. In other instances, the names of dead people were hijacked for the same purpose.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Considerations Regarding a Canadian Patent Collective

      In its 2018 budget, the Government of Canada pledged CDN$85.3 million over five years to support an ambitious new intellectual property (IP) strategy, including CDN$30 million for the formation of a Canadian “Patent Collective.” This paper explores the possible structure and goals of such a collective, as well as potential risks and challenges of each. It concludes that appreciable technology development by Canadian firms is not likely to be achieved through the proposed patent collective, but that such a collective could assist Canadian firms by facilitating their participation in existing international defensive patent networks. The paper recommends that the proposed Canadian patent collective avoid the acquisition and aggregation of patents, and instead focus its limited resources on three supportive functions for Canadian industry: assisting Canadian firms, through subsidies or other resource commitments, to participate in existing international defensive patent networks; encouraging Canadian universities and research institutions to focus on commercially relevant “translational” research; and assessing the potential benefits of facilitating patent sharing or pooling arrangements in select Canadian industries, and offering administrative and infrastructural support for such efforts.

    • Competition Advocacy and the Patent System: Promoting Competitive Markets for Technology

      Current efforts at patent reform, through vehicles such as legislation, regulation, and appellate caselaw, are often met with advocacy advancing competing concerns reflecting the interests of discrete and separate groups of market participants. These viewpoints may not necessarily align with the policy goal of promoting consumer welfare. Historically, competition advocacy by competition authorities has been one mechanism for advocating for reforms that advance consumer welfare. Competition authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission have a lengthy history of empirical research and policy advocacy regarding the patent system. This paper reviews that advocacy and examines the circumstances under which competition advocacy has been employed. It observes that advocacy has been directed to two markets in which the patent system impacts competition: patents influence competition in the market for goods that embody them and patents are also themselves articles traded in technology markets. Regarding the latter form of competition, advocacy has been used to address legal doctrines that give rise to transaction costs and market failures in the market for the trade and license of patent rights.

    • Nike’s latest patent turns your workout clothes into towels

      Lets face it, going to the gym may be good for our health, but the amount of perspiration that we produce while exercising can bring a host of challenges at times. No one enjoys the feeling of sweat dripping into our eyes and too much moisture can make it difficult to grip kettlebells, weightlifting bars, or other exercise equipment, let alone interact with touchscreen devices. Thankfully, Nike is looking for ways to alleviate these challenges by potentially creating a new line of workout clothes designed to perform at a high level, while also offering athletes a way to wipe away excess sweat too.

    • Protecting Pfizer’s and Microsoft’s Patents in China Is Not ‘Our’ Concern

      OK, so Rampell tells us that we should not be concerned about a trade deficit that costs in the neighborhood of 2 million manufacturing jobs. Instead, we should be concerned that China is not as protectionist as she wants it to be when it comes to the intellectual property claims of our software and pharmaceutical companies.

      And why exactly should those of us who don’t own lots of stock in Microsoft and Pfizer care if China doesn’t pay them licensing fees and royalties? If we think through the economics here, this means that other things being equal, lower payments to these companies mean a lower-valued dollar, which would improve our trade balance on manufactured goods. What’s the problem here?

      Actually, the story gets even better. Suppose that China doesn’t honor the patents of Pfizer and other drug companies, so that it produces generic version of new drugs that sell for hundreds of dollars for a course of treatment, instead of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that these companies demand for the patent-protected product (equivalent to tariffs of tens of thousands of percent). Suppose it sells these generic versions to people in the United States, or just lets them come to China for their treatment.

      This would save patients in the United States enormous amounts of money, and possibly save lives. This is what free trade is all about.

    • Trademarks

      • Topical Trade Marks: Lionel Messi Tells Massi To Get On Its Bike
      • Trademark and branding pitfalls in a hashtag culture

        In July 2017 the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a new Exam Guide to address the basis for rejecting a US trademark application known as ‘merely informational matter’. The timing coincided roughly with that of President Donald Trump’s now-infamous “covfefe” tweet and the dozens of trademark applications for COVEFE that followed within hours, for everything from beer to investment advice. Shortly after the USPTO issued the new Exam Guide, Twitter debuted a longer character limit (from 140 to 280 characters) and hashtags such as #MeToo and #TakeAKnee covered many a social media feed.

    • Copyrights

      • Despite US Criticism, Ukraine Cybercrime Chief Receives Few Piracy Complaints

        In response to alleged failures by Ukraine in the fight against online piracy, last year the MPAA, RIAA and other groups asked the U.S. Government to impose sanctions while the European Commission warned that Ukraine risks damaging relations with the EU. But according to the head of Ukraine’s cyber-police unit, complaints received by him are few in number and are actually going down.

05.23.18

Links 23/5/2018: DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 and Kata Containers 1.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How open-source computing is making AI affordable

    computing and the cloud have brought many previously unaffordable IT options to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The same is becoming true of artificial intelligence (AI), although it brings new challenges to all sizes of company.

    Even though many of the commercial, high-profile products are aimed at Global 2000 companies, and others marketed at SMEs are perhaps heavier on hype than intelligence, the smarter smaller organisations can learn, build on and use AI techniques right now, with those same open-source and
    .

  • Free Ebook Offers Insight on 16 Open Source AI Projects

    Open source AI is flourishing, with companies developing and open sourcing new AI and machine learning tools at a rapid pace. To help you keep up with the changes and stay informed about the latest projects, The Linux Foundation has published a free ebook by Ibrahim Haddad examining popular open source AI projects, including Acumos AI, Apache Spark, Caffe, TensorFlow, and others.

    “It is increasingly common to see AI as open source projects,” Haddad said. And, “as with any technology where talent premiums are high, the network effects of open source are very strong.”

  • Open source image recognition with Luminoth

    Computer vision is a way to use artificial intelligence to automate image recognition—that is, to use computers to identify what’s in a photograph, video, or another image type. The latest version of Luminoth (v. 0.1), an open source computer vision toolkit built in Python and using Tensorflow and Sonnet, offers several improvements over its predecessor.

  • Finally: Historic Eudora email code goes open source

    The source code to the Eudora email client is being released by the Computer History Museum, after five years of discussion with the IP owner, Qualcomm.

    The Mac software was well loved by early internet adopters and power users, with versions appearing for Palm, Newton and Windows. At one time, the brand was so synonymous with email that Lycos used Eudora to brand its own webmail service. As the Mountain View, California museum has noted, “It’s hard to overstate Eudora’s popularity in the mid-1990s.”

  • The Computer History Museum Just Made Eudora Open Source
  • Openlab: what it is and why it matters

    Six months on from its announcement at Openstack Summit Sydney in late 2017, community testing project OpenLab is in full swing.

    OpenLab was initially formed by Intel, Huawei and the OpenStack foundation as a community-led project for improving SDK support and also introducing other platforms like Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry to the Openstack environment. Ultimately the idea is to improve usability in hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

    Melvin Hillsman sits on the governance board along with Dr Yih Leong Sun of Intel and Chris Hoge from the Foundation. Hillsman moved from Rackspace to Huawei to work specifically on the project.

    “The reason we think Openlab is important is, basically, Openstack for some time has been very specific about testing and integration for Openstack services, focusing only on the projects started at Openstack,” Hillsman tellsComputerworld UK at the Openstack Vancouver Summit. “It’s been working very well, it’s a robust system. But for me as a person in the user community – my getting involved in Openstack was more on the operator-user side.

  • Open source innovation tips for the customer-driven economy

    New technologies, ranging from big data and blockchain to 3D printing, are giving rise to new opportunities and challenges for companies today. To stay competitive, organizations need to become more intelligent, customer-centric, and increasingly agile to cope with changing business demands.

    The worry for many companies which are trying to innovate is that while the speed and scope of applications are expanding rapidly, the variety and complexity of technology is increasing simultaneously, putting pressure on their IT infrastructure.

    Speaking at the SUSE Expert Days 2018 held in Singapore recently, Dr Gerald Pfeifer, VP of Products and Technology Program, SUSE, told attendees that these prevailing trends have come together to make Open Source the primary engine for business innovation.

  • Qualcomm is able to release the Snapdragon 845 source code in 6 weeks

    Qualcomm‘s latest high-end system-on-chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, was announced at the Snapdragon Tech Summit back in December. The chipset offers 4 Kryo 385 (A75 “performance”) and 4 Kryo 385 (A55 “efficiency”) CPU cores, the latest Adreno 630 GPU, the Spectra 280 ISP, the Hexagon 685 DSP, the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, and a new Secure Processing Unit (SPU). The Snapdragon 845 SoC is a powerhouse in benchmarks and it is already available in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and the OnePlus 6. Developers on our forums have been itching to get their hands on a device with Qualcomm’s latest and greatest, but there’s just one thing that has made some developers worry about the future of development on the platform: The lack of publicly available source code for the kernel, HALs, framework branches, and more on the CodeAurora Forums.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Kata Containers 1.0

      The 1.0 release of Kata Containers is here! Thank you to the more than 40 individuals who have contributed to the first release of Kata Containers and to developing the Kata community.

    • VM-container chimera Kata Containers emerges from lab

      The open source Kata Containers project, an effort to combine the security advantages of virtual machines with the deployment and management advantages of software-based containers, hit its 1.0 milestone on Tuesday.

      Forged from a merger of Intel’s Clear Containers and Hyper’s runV announced last December, Kata Containers delivers an Open Container Initiative (OCI)-compatible runtime that addresses the downside of traditional container architecture, a shared kernel.

    • Kata Containers Project Releases 1.0 to Build Secure Container Infrastructure
    • Kata Containers 1.0
    • OpenStack Makes its Open Source CI/CD Platform Available to the Wider World

      The OpenStack Foundation made Zuul, an open source continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) platform, into an independent project. Zuul also released version 3 of its software.

      Zuul was originally developed for OpenStack CI testing and has since attracted contributors and users across many different organizations, including BMW, GoDaddy, OpenLab, and Wikimedia. It’s the third project to be managed by the OpenStack Foundation, joining OpenStack and Kata Containers.

    • Kata Containers 1.0 Released, Formerly Intel Clear Containers

      Back in December was the announcement of Intel’s Clear Containers being spun into a new project called Kata Containers in collaboration with other organizations. Kata Containers has now reached their version 1.0 milestone.

      Kata Containers 1.0 is now available for this container technology designed for offering a secure and scalable container experience built atop Intel VT technology.

    • What’s new in OpenStack?

      As OpenStack Foundation Chief Operating Officer Mark Collier referenced in his opening keynote, the uses which OpenStack is seeing today expand far beyond what most who were involved in the early days of the project could have ever imagined. While OpenStack started out primarily in the traditional data center and found many large-scale users, particularly in the telecommunications industry, who were using it to manage huge installations of traditional x86 server hardware, the flexibility of OpenStack has today allowed it to thrive in many other environments and use cases.

      Today, we see OpenStack powering everything from academic and research projects to media and gaming services, from online retail and e-commerce to manufacturing and industrial applications, and from finance to healthcare. OpenStack is found in all of these different places not just because it is cheaper than using the public cloud, not just because it makes compliance with various regulations easier, but because its open source code makes it flexible to all sort of different situations.

  • Databases

    • Should Red Hat Buy or Build a Database?

      For a decade, at least, observers of the company have speculated about whether Red Hat would or should enter the database market. The primary argument, one made in this space eight years ago, has historically been that Red Hat is de facto leaving potential dollars on the table by limiting itself to operating platform and immediately adjacent markets. In a more recent piece, analyst Krishnan Subramanian adds that Red Hat is at risk because databases represent a control point, one that the company is effectively ceding to competitors such as AWS or Microsoft.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 6.1 Beta Arrives Next Week for Second Bug Hunting Session on May 28

      Now that the first bug hunting session, which took place last month on April 27 for the alpha milestone, was a success leading to 91 bugs (8 of them marked as critical and 4 already fixed) being reported by those who attended the event, it’s time for a second bug hunting session at the end of May to discover and squash more of those pesky bugs and issues that may block the release of LibreOffice 6.1.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Tidelift Raises $15M Series A From General Catalyst, Foundry, & Others

      This morning Tidelift, a startup focused on helping developers work with open source technology, announced that it has closed a $15 million Series A round of funding co-led by General Catalyst, Foundry, and Matthew Szulik, the former CEO of Red Hat, a public open source-centered technology company.

      The subscription-powered startup has an interesting business model which we’ll dive into shortly, but it’s worth noting that the open source space as a whole is quite active. It’s something that Crunchbase News covered last year, describing how startups working with open source software have enjoyed a dramatic rise in investor interest.

      That puts Tidelift in the midst of a trend.

    • Tidelift lands $15M to deliver professional open-source support

      Tidelift Inc. is raising $15 million as it looks to boost its unique open-source software model that sees companies pay for professional support of their favorite projects, allowing those that maintain them to get compensated too.

      The Series A round was led by the investment firms General Catalyst and Foundry Group, as well as former Red Hat Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Matthew Szulik. The company was able to attract the investment after coming up with a novel idea for maintaining the most popular open-source software projects in a way that benefits both the users and those who help to create them.

      It works like this: Companies pay a subscription fee that entitles them to professional-grade support, similar to the kind of commercial subscriptions offered by firms such as Red Hat, Cloudera Inc. and Docker Inc. A part of these fees are then used to pay the developers who maintain the software. The net result, at least in theory, is that everyone is happy, as companies enjoy the benefits of professional support at lower rates than they might expect from an established firm, and the developers of the software are finally rewarded for their efforts.

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 Released

      While DragonFlyBSD 5.3/5.4 is exciting on the performance front for those making use of the stable DragonFly operating system releases, DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 is available this week.

      This is the first and perhaps only point release over DragonFly 5.2.0 that premiered back in April. DragonFlyBSD 5.2 brought stabilization work for HAMMER2 to make it ready for more users, Spectre and Meltdown kernel work, and months worth of other important updates.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Do European Governments Publish Open Source Software?

      From time to time I come across news articles about Governmental bodies in Europe adopting the use of Open Source Software. This seems to be a slowly increasing trend. But if European Governments make software for themselves, or are having it made for them, do they publish that software as Open Source?

      This was a question that came up in a meeting at one of my clients. To find an answer, I asked my friends at the FSFE NL-team and did a Quick Scan. Here are the results.

      The short answer: Yes, they do!

      The longer answer: read on.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Bill Gates Tries and Fails To Install Windows Movie Maker In Epic 2003 Email Rant
  • Science

    • Tempow raises $4 million to improve Bluetooth

      French startup Tempow has raised a $4 million funding round. Balderton Capital led the round, with C4 Ventures also participating. The company has been working on improving the Bluetooth protocol to make it more versatile.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Africa Takes Steps For Access To Medicines: Conference To Fight Fakes, Develop Local Production

      A week after African ministers of health adopted a treaty for the establishment of an African Medicines Agency, an international conference held on the side of the World Health Assembly denounced the rampant and increasing issue of fake medicines in Africa, and the lack of adequate action and political will. The Benin president said Benin’s efforts to fight traffickers is so far unsupported, and called developed countries to commit to the fight. Other speakers insisted on the importance of local production of medicines, and the need for biting legislation to defeat fake medicines.

      [...]

      The AMA was praised at the OIF conference, which was meant to bring to the international attention the issue of falsified and sub-standard medicines, everywhere in the world, but in particular in francophone Africa, and what is needed to curb the rampant criminal trade.

      Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, opening the conference, said Africa is bearing 25 percent of the global weight of disease, but only produces about 3 percent of the medicines it needs. He called for a criminalisation of fake medicines manufacturers and distributors.

    • 50 Years Of Global Health Progress – Interview With IFPMA Head Thomas Cueni

      Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in his inaugural speech at the World Health Assembly this week, explained that partnerships are a key strategy for the WHO to ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. He added that the WHO is engaging with the private sector as a crucial partner in achieving health for all. Thomas Cueni, IFPMA’s Director General, in an interview with Health Policy Watch on the occasion of the IFPMA’s 50-year anniversary, explains how the research-based biopharmaceutical industry together with IFPMA have contributed to the huge strides in health progress over 50 years. He explains the major leaps forward, setbacks and mistakes, as well as how industry is part of the solution, as “do-ers” and partners in global health progress. Cueni also talks about pricing and cost of R&D.

  • Security

    • efail: Outdated Crypto Standards are to blame

      I have a lot of thoughts about the recently published efail vulnerability, so I thought I’d start to writeup some of them. I’d like to skip all the public outrage about the disclosure process for now, as I mainly wanted to get into the technical issues, explain what I think went wrong and how things can become more secure in the future. I read lots of wrong statements that “it’s only the mail clients” and the underlying crypto standards are fine, so I’ll start by explaining why I believe the OpenPGP and S/MIME standards are broken and why we still see these kinds of bugs in 2018. I plan to do a second writeup that will be titled “efail: HTML mails are to blame”.

      I assume most will have heard of efail by now, but the quick version is this: By combining a weakness in cryptographic modes along with HTML emails a team of researchers was able to figure out a variety of ways in which mail clients can be tricked into exfiltrating the content of encrypted e-mails. Not all of the attack scenarios involve crypto, but those that do exploit a property of encryption modes that is called malleability. It means that under certain circumstances you can do controlled changes of the content of an encrypted message.

      [...]

      Properly using authenticated encryption modes can prevent a lot of problems. It’s been a known issue in OpenPGP, but until know it wasn’t pressing enough to fix it. The good news is that with minor modifications OpenPGP can still be used safely. And having a future OpenPGP standard with proper authenticated encryption is definitely possible. For S/MIME the situation is much more dire and it’s probably best to just give up on it. It was never a good idea in the first place to have competing standards for e-mail encryption.

      For other crypto protocols there’s a lesson to be learned as well: Stop using unauthenticated encryption modes. If anything efail should make that abundantly clear.

    • Comcast Leaked Customer Wi-Fi Logins in Plaintext, Change Your Passcode Now

      A Comcast Xfinity website was leaking Wi-Fi names and passwords, meaning now is a good time to change your Wi-Fi passcode.

      The site, intended to help new customers set up new routers, could easily be fooled into revealing the location of and password for any customer’s Wi-Fi network. A customer ID and a house or apartment number was all would-be attackers needed to get full access to your network, along with your full address.

    • Update Fedora Linux using terminal for latest software patches
    • Patch for New Spectre-Like CPU Bug Could Affect Your Performance
    • container_t versus svirt_lxc_net_t
    • Linux Redis Automated Mining For Worm Analysis and Safety Advice [Ed: Rather old an issue]

      Since Redis has not authorized the disclosure of the attack method of root authority of Linux system, because of its ease-of-use, the hacking behaviors of mining and scanning of Linux services by using this issue have been endless. Among the many cases that handle this problem to invade the server for black production, there is a class of mining that USES this problem and can automatically scan the infected machine with pnscan. The attack has always been there, but it has shown a recent trend of increasing numbers, which has been captured many times, and we’ve been able to do a specific analysis of it.

    • Turla cyberespionage group switched to open-source malware [Ed: Crackers share code, so let's badmouth FOSS?]

      The Turla cyberespionage group has implemented some new tactics over the last few months incorporating some open-source exploitation tools instead of relying solely on their own creations to run campaigns.

      ESET researchers found that starting in March the Turla has been leveraging the open-source framework Metasploit to drop the group’s proprietary Mosquito backdoor. The group has periodically used open-source hacking tools for other tasks, but ESET believes the group has never before used Metasploit as a first stage backdoor.

    • A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Not Getting Hacked

      Crackers are so to speak the evil hackers. Although these very often also do not offer the possibilities in order to do justice to the descriptions of the media. Then there are the would-be hackers, also called ScriptKiddies who use themTrojan2 and pre-programmed programs to get into computers and do damage.

      The “Kiddie” leads is a departure from the English “kid” (child), since young people are often behind such attacks. Due to their young age and lack of experience, ScriptKiddies often do not even know what they are doing. Let me give you an example. I have seen ScriptKiddies that use methods to intrude into Windows NT Calculator tried to break into a Linux machine. ScriptKiddies are often bored teenagers who try to have fun with the first tool. These tools are usually so simply knitted that actually, each normal, somewhat educated user can serve them.

      [...]

      According to Blendrit, co-founder at Tactica “One thing is clear: this language culture is constantly evolving, and many words find their way into the media, where they have a completely different meaning. Just as our most famous word, “hacker”, has fared.”

    • More Meltdown/Spectre Variants
    • Spectre V2 & Meltdown Linux Fixes Might Get Disabled For Atom N270 & Other In-Order CPUs

      There’s a suggestion/proposal to disable the Spectre Variant Two and Meltdown mitigation by default with the Linux kernel for in-order CPUs.

      If you have an old netbook still in use or the other once popular devices powered by the Intel Atom N270 or other in-order processors, there may be some reprieve when upgrading kernels in the future to get the Spectre/Meltdown mitigation disabled by default since these CPUs aren’t vulnerable to attack but having the mitigation in place can be costly performance-wise.

    • Linux 4.17 Lands Initial Spectre V4 “Speculative Store Bypass” For POWER CPUs

      Following yesterday’s public disclosure of Spectre Variant Four, a.k.a. Speculative Store Bypass, the Intel/AMD mitigation work immediately landed while overnight the POWER CPU patch landed.

    • New Variant Of Spectre And Meltdown CPU Flaw Found; Fix Affects Performance
    • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Gets First Kernel Update with Patch for Spectre Variant 4 Flaw

      Canonical released the first kernel security update for its Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system to fix a security issue that affects this release of Ubuntu and its derivatives.

      As you can imagine, the kernel security update patches the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system against the recently disclosed Speculative Store Buffer Bypass (SSBB) side-channel vulnerability, also known as Spectre Variant 4 or CVE-2018-3639, which could let a local attacker expose sensitive information in vulnerable systems.

    • RHEL and CentOS Linux 7 Receive Mitigations for Spectre Variant 4 Vulnerability

      As promised earlier this week, Red Hat released software mitigations for all of its affected products against the recently disclosed Spectre Variant 4 security vulnerability that also affects its derivatives, including CentOS Linux.

      On May 21, 2018, security researchers from Google Project Zero and Microsoft Security Response Center have publicly disclosed two new variants of the industry-wide issue known as Spectre, variants 3a and 4. The latter, Spectre Variant 4, is identified as CVE-2018-3639 and appears to have an important security impact on any Linux-based operating system, including all of its Red Hat’s products and its derivatives, such as CentOS Linux.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • A New Flotilla Steams Towards Gaza

      Elizabeth Murray is aboard a new flotilla to highlight the illegality of the 12-year old blockade that is choking the people of Gaza.

      [...]

      Elizabeth Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

    • An Alarming Tip About a Neo-Nazi Marine, Then An Uncertain Response

      It was Oct. 29, 2017, when Ed Beck decided he had to contact the military police.

      For weeks, Beck had been tracking the online life of a 21-year-old lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. He said he had concluded the young man, a North Carolina native named Vasillios Pistolis, was deeply involved in neo-Nazi and white supremacist activities.

      Beck said he had compiled an exhaustive dossier on the young Marine, tracing the evolution of Pistolis’ racist worldview over recent years and linking him to violent altercations at the bloody white power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. The most recent piece of evidence, Beck said, was a fresh video that appeared to show Pistolis standing alongside a leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a fascist group, during a confrontation with an interracial couple at a restaurant in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee.

      Beck was well positioned both to be offended by Pistolis’ alleged conduct and to report it: Beck had served in the Marines from 2002 through 2006, including a tour in Iraq. In fact, he’d been assigned to the 2nd Marine Logistics Unit, the same unit in which Pistolis was serving.

      Beck said he contacted the authorities at the unit’s headquarters, Camp Lejeune, a large Marine Installation on the North Carolina coast, and spoke briefly with an investigator for the post’s military police.

    • Drones Don’t Wear Uniforms. They Should.

      The video from Gaza starts with a just-visible multirotor drone juxtaposed against a remarkably blue sky. A group of TV journalists in blue helmets stand at the bottom of the frame, looking up at it. It hangs there for a second, and then tear gas canisters fall from it, issuing waving tails of white smoke. The canisters come to earth immediately in front of the cameras, and the reporters begin to run in all directions, coughing. The camera looks to the blue sky again, and the little black dot recedes, mysteriously, into the distance.

      Welcome to the next stage of the drone revolution.

      Israel may have become the first-ever nation observed using armed consumer drones in a real-world setting on March 12, when a Lebanese news network ran footage (probably dating from March 9) of one dropping tear gas on Gazan protesters. The deployment of drones against crowds of protesters — even armed ones — raises new and worrying questions about legality, identification, and purpose. Such usage may be unavoidable, but the international community at the very least needs to establish — and enforce — legal and ethical standards as soon as possible.

    • Real-Life CIA Card Game Makes Toppling Governments Fun!

      Maybe it’s because I’m a games journalist, but I really do believe that everything is a game. It’s just that some games have vastly higher stakes than others. There’s a big difference between The Game of Life the board game and The Game of the Life the experience of existing in this world.

      And you know who’s even better at turning incredibly serious real-world events into the most dangerous games? The Central Intelligence Agency. That’s why we were saddened but not at all surprised to learn there’s a card game being made based on real-life CIA tactics.

    • Forced to Choose Between a Job — and a Community

      After high school, Arnett joined the U.S. Marine Corps, in 1999. His unit, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines — the storied Suicide Charley — took him to the other side of the world: South Korea, Japan, Thailand. In the spring of 2003 he was an infantryman in the invasion of Iraq, spending five months in country — Baghdad, Tikrit, Najaf.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks suspect Joshua Schulte accused of leaking to reporters from behind bars: Reports

      A former CIA employee suspected of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks was accused Monday of sharing secrets with reporters involving the government’s case against him.

      Joshua Schulte, 29, violated a September 2017 protective order barring him from discussing elements of his case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Laroche argued in Manhattan federal court Monday, local media reported.

      “It is clear the defendant is discussing the search warrants,” Mr. Laroche said, according to New York Daily News.

      Mr. Schulte was arrested last year on federal child porn charges, though it only emerged last week that prosecutors also suspect he leaked top-secret CIA hacking tools published by WikiLeaks in 2017 under the label “Vault 7.”

    • GOP lawmaker: Julian Assange is a ‘very honorable man’

      Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) praised WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an interview published on Wednesday, calling him honorable.

      “He’s a very honorable man,” Rohrabacher told CNN.

      The California congressman visited Assange last August at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to discuss the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which Assange has said he believes was an “inside job” and not perpetrated by the Russian government.

      After his meeting with Assange, Rohrabacher said there was no evidence to suggest the hacking of the DNC was spearheaded by the Kremlin.

    • A GOP congressman’s lonely quest defending Julian Assange

      President Trump’s secretary of state has dubbed Julian Assange’s group WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” Trump’s national security adviser once called on the US to use WikiLeaks for “target practice.” And his attorney general asserted that the arrest of Assange remains a “priority” for the United States.
      But Rep. Dana Rohrabacher sees Assange differently.
      “He’s a very honorable man,” Rohrabacher told CNN.

      Rohrabacher, a California Republican facing a potentially difficult re-election this fall, occupies an unusual space in politics. He’s an unapologetic defender of someone viewed as a villain in Washington and a sharp skeptic of the widely held view in Congress and from US intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the US elections.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • We Examined 885 European Cities’ Plans To Tackle Climate Change — Here’s What We Found

      Around the world, cities endeavor to cut greenhouse gas emissions, while adapting to the threats – and opportunities – presented by climate change. It’s no easy task, but the first step is to make a plan outlining how to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, and help limit the world’s mean temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

      About 74% of Europe’s population lives in cities, and urban settlements account for 60-80% of carbon emissions – so it makes sense to plan at an urban level. Working to meet carbon reduction targets can also reduce local pollution and increase energy efficiency – which benefits both businesses and residents.

      But it’s just as important for cities to adapt to climate change – even if the human race were to cut emissions entirely, we would still be facing the extreme effects of climate change for decades to come, because of the increased carbon input that has already taken place since the industrial revolution.

    • The Netherlands Announces Ban On Coal, Plans Close Of 2 Power Plants By 2024

      The Netherlands has announced that it will ban the use of coal for electricity generation from 2030 onwards, and that the two oldest plants must close by the end of 2024, in a move that Germany utility company RWE has deemed “ill judged.”

    • City Trees Are Disappearing

      Forests are essential to combating climate change. They drink up huge amounts of planet-heating carbon from the atmosphere and provide shelter for species struggling to adapt to global warming. For that reason, experts have called for measures to protect forests. But what about trees in cites? We hear much less about them. Yet the trees that line streets and backyards are just as important as those in the forest — actually, maybe even more so. And we are losing them, too.

      New research suggests that American cities and their surrounding areas have been losing as many as 36 million trees a year. That might not sound like a lot when you think about the number of trees in our nation’s forests, but those trees have a powerful impact on health and well-being — and on climate change.

  • Finance

    • Amid Affordable Housing Dispute, Conservatives Seek a Home in Chicago

      When news broke last week that a proposed affordable housing development on Chicago’s Northwest Side had likely been put on hold, Ammie Kessem, a Republican candidate for state representative, vowed on Facebook that it wasn’t the end of the story. Democrats, Kessem wrote, would pay for pushing the plan — including 45th Ward Ald. John Arena, its chief sponsor, and Kessem’s opponent, state Rep. Robert Martwick.

      Martwick, she wrote, “cannot continue to hide on this subject. … The people are going to hold you accountable for it come November.”

      Kessem’s opposition to building the affordable housing complex in her neighborhood has been a central part of her campaign for the Illinois House. And she’s had help.

    • A Guide for Digging Through Trump’s Financial Disclosures

      When President Donald Trump’s latest financial disclosure form was released last week, we dropped what we were doing and started digging.

      We found a few things, including some newly registered companies and a jump in revenue for Trump Productions, which helped produce shows like “The Apprentice” and the lesser-known dating show, “Donald J. Trump Presents: The Ultimate Merger.”

      We’ve decided to show how we did it so you can help us go deeper. Below are tips and tricks for finding noteworthy items buried in the 92-page disclosure.

      First, some background. Trump’s financial disclosure form, which he files each year with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, provides the most detailed account available of the president’s finances, from his sprawling business empire to individual payments made to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The forms are the best window we have into his financial holdings. (His tax returns would also be helpful, but he hasn’t released those.)

      To see newly created companies, we put Trump’s new disclosure form next to last year’s form. That’s how we found T Retail LLC, an “online retail business; startup” that’s listed in the 2018 disclosure, but not in the 2017 one.

    • The ‘Black Hole’ That Sucks Up Silicon Valley’s Money

      The San Francisco Bay Area has rapidly become the richest region in the country—the Census Bureau said last year that median household income was $96,777. It’s a place where $100,000 Teslas are commonplace, “raw water” goes for $37 a jug, and injecting clients with the plasma of youth —a gag on the television show Silicon Valley—is being tried by real companies for just $8,000 a pop.

      Yet Sacred Heart Community Service, a San Jose nonprofit that helps low-income families with food, clothing, heating bills, and other services, actually received less in individual donations from the community in 2017 than it did the previous year. “We’re still not sure what it could be attributed to,” Jill Mitsch, the funds development manager at Sacred Heart, told me. It’s not the only nonprofit trying to keep donations up—the United Way of Silicon Valley folded in 2016 amidst stagnant contributions.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Tired Trope of Blaming Trump on ‘Liberal Smugness’

      In an attempt to understand the coalition that gave Trump his narrow victory, for the past year and a half the press has spun a whole new subgenre of stilted, tautological feature reporting on how Trump supporters support Trump (FAIR.org, 2/15/17).

      And in their opinion sections, corporate media have fared no better. They have routinely given platforms to those who claim, with little to no firm evidence, that Trump’s election and his steady (though historically low) popularity (as well as his predicted eventual reelection) are all partly if not wholly the fault of liberal smugness and left-wing political correctness run amok.

    • Giuliani’s New Stance On Russian Collusion: So What? It’s Not Illegal.

      His client insists there was “NO COLLUSION” with Russia to win the presidency, but Donald Trump’s lead lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has a new theory of the case: What’s the big deal if he did?

      In a recent interview with HuffPost, Giuliani initially disputed the notion that Trump’s daily citing, in the final month of his campaign, of Russian-aligned WikiLeaks and its release of Russian-stolen emails constituted “colluding” with Russia.

      “It is not,” Giuliani said.

      Then he switched tacks.

    • ‘Collusion’ and the insane media divide
    • Yes, a Reasonable Prosecutor Would Have Ordered an Investigation of the Trump Campaign

      We’re rapidly reaching a point in the Russia investigation where partisan opinion revolves almost entirely around unproven assertions. On the anti-Trump left (and parts of the Never Trump right) there exists a burning conviction that Robert Mueller “has the goods” — that there is strong evidence of criminal collusion by Trump and/or his campaign, and critics of the investigation intend to either block Mueller before he can deliver his final report or discredit his conclusions to save the Trump presidency.

      Conversely, among the president’s supporters, there is now a presumption that the entire Russia investigation was and is a bad-faith effort by the “deep state” to create an “insurance policy” against a Trump victory — that there was never reason to investigate Trump, and each new revelation about a different investigatory technique (national-security letters, informants, FISA applications, etc.) is proof of additional wrongdoing.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Tor Hidden Services

      When people write privacy guides, for the most part they are written from the perspective of the client. Whether you are using HTTPS, blocking tracking cookies or going so far as to browse the internet over Tor, those privacy guides focus on helping end users protect themselves from the potentially malicious and spying web. Since many people who read Linux Journal sit on the other side of that equation—they run the servers that host those privacy-defeating services—system administrators also should step up and do their part to help user privacy. Although part of that just means making sure your services support TLS, in this article, I describe how to go one step further and make it possible for your users to use your services completely anonymously via Tor hidden services.

    • Google sued for ‘clandestine tracking’ of 4.4m UK iPhone users’ browsing data

      Google is being sued in the high court for as much as £3.2bn for the alleged “clandestine tracking and collation” of personal information from 4.4 million iPhone users in the UK.

      The collective action is being led by former Which? director Richard Lloyd over claims Google bypassed the privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser on iPhones between August 2011 and February 2012 in order to divide people into categories for advertisers.

    • Google Sued For Secretly Collecting Data Of 4.4 Million iPhone Users

      Google has been accused of “clandestine tracking” of 4.4 million iPhone users in the UK and is facing a lawsuit in the high court for as much as £3.2 billion.

    • FBI repeatedly overstated encryption threat figures to Congress, public

      The FBI has repeatedly provided grossly inflated statistics to Congress and the public about the extent of problems posed by encrypted cellphones, claiming investigators were locked out of nearly 7,800 devices connected to crimes last year when the correct number was much smaller, probably between 1,000 and 2,000, The Washington Post has learned.

    • FBI Admits It’s Been Using A Highly-Inflated Number Of Locked Devices To Push Its ‘Going Dark’ Narrative

      Call it a lie. Call it a misrepresentation. Call it a convenient error. Call it what you want. Just don’t call it a fact. Devlin Barrett at the Washington Post delivers a bombshell: the thousands of phones the FBI supposedly just can’t crack despite a wealth of tech solutions at its disposal? It’s nowhere near as many as consecutive FBI directors have claimed.

      [...]

      The FBI’s count was inflated by bad software and sloppy recordkeeping. But it had no incentive to fix it. Even if the error was never detected by the methodology test, someone should have asked how the FBI’s stash of locked phones suddenly exploded from less than 900 to nearly 8,000 in 18 months. But, given the IG’s findings about its slow-walked search for outside tech solutions in the Apple court battle, any red flags were probably ignored in favor of pushing the most dramatic “going dark” narrative possible. Why ask why? Just go with the more jaw-dropping number, even if there’s no physical evidence to back the claim.

    • Ministry of Defence calls for registry of AI experts

      THE UK’S MINISTRY OF DEFENCE has suggested that the government should build a registry of security-cleared artificial intelligence and robotics experts, who can be called-up should Queen and country ever require their services.

      That’s according to a new Ministry of Defence Joint Concept Note entitled Human and Machine Teaming. It also laments the UK’s technical skills shortages and calls for ‘a register of security-cleared UK nationals’ with AI and robotics expertise.

      The document sets out the Ministry’s vision of the future in a world where artificial intelligence is critical to national defence.

      With development of both AI and robotics shifting from the public sector to the private sector, ‘civil commercial investment in AI and robotic technologies, and the recruitment of subject matter experts’, is vastly outstripping the resources available to nation states.

    • President Trump Thinks Basic Phone Security Is Simply Too Inconvenient

      For the past year much has been made of the President’s unwillingness to adhere to anything close to reasonable security when using his mobile phones. Whereas the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the National Security Agency usually work in concert providing state leaders with “hardened” devices that are heavily encrypted, routinely updated, and frequently swapped out, Trump has refused to use these more secure DMCC-S devices (effectively a Samsung Galaxy S4 device utilizing Samsung’s Knox security architecture) because they apparently infringe on his ability to Tweet.

    • Folks are shocked – shocked – that CIA-backed Amazon is selling face-recog tech to US snoops, cops

      The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday expressed dismay that Amazon Web Services has been urging US government agencies to use its Rekognition API for state-sponsored facial recognition.

      The advocacy organization published emails obtained over a six-month investigation documenting marketing efforts by Amazon employees to convince officials in Orlando, Florida, and Washington County, Oregon, to deploy its cloud-based image analysis tech.

    • Amazon Teams Up With Law Enforcement to Deploy Dangerous New Facial Recognition Technology

      Amazon, which got its start selling books and still bills itself as “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” has officially entered the surveillance business.

      The company has developed a powerful and dangerous new facial recognition system and is actively helping governments deploy it. Amazon calls the service “Rekognition.”

      Marketing materials and documents obtained by ACLU affiliates in three states reveal a product that can be readily used to violate civil liberties and civil rights. Powered by artificial intelligence, Rekognition can identify, track, and analyze people in real time and recognize up to 100 people in a single image. It can quickly scan information it collects against databases featuring tens of millions of faces, according to Amazon.

    • ACLU Obtains Documents Showing Amazon Is Handing Out Cheap Facial Recognition Tech To Law Enforcement

      It’s already been deployed to several areas around the country, with Amazon acting as the government’s best friend a la AT&T historic proactive cooperation with NSA surveillance efforts. The documents [PDF] obtained by the ACLU show Amazon has been congratulated by local law enforcement officials for a “first-of-its-kind public-private partnership,” thanks to its deployment efforts. On top of providing deployment assistance, Amazon also offers troubleshooting and “best practices” for officers using the tech. It has even offered free consulting to agencies expressing an interest in Rekognition.

      These efforts aren’t surprising in and of themselves, although Amazon’s complicity in erecting a law enforcement surveillance structure certainly is. Amazon is looking to capture an underserved market, and the more proactive it is, the more market it will secure before competitors arrive. To further cement its position in the marketplace, Amazon is limiting what law enforcement agencies can say about these public-private partnerships.

    • FBI Admits It Inflated Number of Supposedly Unhackable Devices

      We’ve learned that the FBI has been misinforming Congress and the public as part of its call for backdoor access to encrypted devices. For months, the Bureau has claimed that encryption prevented it from legally searching the contents of nearly 7,800 devices in 2017, but today the Washington Post reports that the actual number is far lower due to “programming errors” by the FBI.

      Frankly, we’re not surprised. FBI Director Christopher Wray and others argue that law enforcement needs some sort of backdoor “exceptional access” in order to deal with the increased adoption of encryption, particularly on mobile devices. And the 7,775 supposedly unhackable phones encountered by the FBI in 2017 have been central to Wray’s claim that their investigations are “Going Dark.” But the scope of this problem is called into doubt by services offered by third-party vendors like Cellebrite and Grayshift, which can reportedly bypass encryption on even the newest phones. The Bureau’s credibility on this issue was also undercut by a recent DOJ Office of the Inspector General report, which found that internal failures of communication caused the government to make false statements about its need for Apple to assist in unlocking a seized iPhone as part of the San Bernardino case.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Should AI Always Identify Itself? It’s more complicated than you might think.

      The Google Duplex demos released two weeks ago—audio recordings of the company’s new AI system scheduling a hair appointment and the other of the system calling a restaurant—are at once unsettling and astounding. The system is designed to enable the Google personal assistant to make telephone calls and conduct natural conversations, and it works; it’s hard to tell who is the robot and who is the human. The demos have drawn both awe and criticism, including calls that the company is “ethically lost” for failing to disclose that the caller was actually a bot and for adding human filler sounds, like “um” and “ah,” that some see as deceptive.

      In response to this criticism, Google issued a statement noting that these recordings were only demos, that it is designing the Duplex feature “with disclosure built-in,” and that it is going “make sure the system is appropriately identified.” We’re glad that Google plans to be build transparency into this technology. There are many cases, and this may be one of them, where it makes sense for AIs or bots to be labeled as such, so that people can appropriately calibrate their responses. But across-the-board legally mandated AI- or bot-labeling proposals, such as a bill currently under consideration in California, raise significant free speech concerns.

      The California bill, B.O.T. Act of 2018 (S.B. 1001), would make it unlawful for any person to use a social bot to communicate or interact with natural persons online without disclosing that the bot is not a natural person. The bill—which EFF opposes due to its over-breadth—is influenced by the Russian bots that plagued social media prior to the 2016 election and spambots used for fraud or commercial gain. But there are many other types of social bots, and this bill targets all of them. By targeting all bots instead of the specific type of bots driving the legislation, this bill would restrict and chill the use of bots for protected speech activities. EFF has urged the bill’s sponsor to withdraw the proposal until this fundamental constitutional deficiency is addressed.

    • Jeff Sessions Wants Police to Use Stop and Frisk Without Reasonable Suspicion

      The attorney general’s recent comments reaffirm his support for unconstitutional policing.

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions has claimed that the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Illinois against the Chicago Police Department resulted in approximately 236 additional victims killed and over 1,100 additional shootings in 2016 alone. This represents a new low for Sessions. He is wrong on the facts — there was no ACLU lawsuit — and wrong on what is required by the Constitution.

      This is not the first time Sessions has been wrong on the facts and argued for bias-filled unconstitutional policies that have been abject failures. He said nothing when the president expressly encouraged police officers not to worry about injuring suspects during arrests. In one of his first actions, he sought to back out of a consent decree imposed on the Baltimore Police Department, but the judge in the case refused his request. He has opened no investigations of systemic policing abuse since taking office, even refusing to act on a scathing report issued by the Justice Department on the Chicago police.

      The ACLU of Illinois did not sue the Chicago Police Department. A lawsuit was not necessary. It wrote a report, backed up by the department’s own data, demonstrating that its stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional and ineffective. The policy was characterized by random stops conducted under circumstances where there was no reasonable suspicion that any criminal activity was occurring or had occurred with respect to the person or people being stopped.

    • The Supreme Court Favors Forced Arbitration at the Expense of Workers’ Rights

      The #MeToo movement has offered an important lesson on the collective power of voices joining together to take on individual experiences of injustice. On Monday, the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to precisely this kind of collective power, ruling against the ability of workers to join together to take on employment discrimination and abuse.

      The court ruled that employers are free to force workers who have been victims of unfair labor practices into private arbitration to address their claims — even in cases where workers sought to bring a collective legal action. The decision came in a case about failure to pay overtime, but its implications are far broader and extend to many of the claims of harassment and discrimination that have surfaced thanks to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

      Arbitration contracts are agreements to bring any future legal dispute through a private system rather than through the public courts. Employees are often required to sign such agreements along with a raft of paperwork on their first day on the job, and many have no memory of signing them.

      The Supreme Court has long held that employers are free to enforce arbitration agreements for individual lawsuits. Monday’s decision extended that principle to cases brought on behalf of a “class” of individuals who claim they were harmed in the same way by discriminatory or unfair policies and seek to bring a single legal action on behalf of the group.

      [...]

      The court’s decision — which Justice Ginsburg, in dissent, called “egregiously wrong” — tips the scales even further in favor of employers and large corporations, at the expense of workers.

    • Chicago Wins ‘Most Corrupt City’ Award Due In No Small Part To Its Awful Redlight Camera System

      We’ve talked a great deal about my home city of Chicago, largely for the myriad of awful, corrupt practices it has put in place around topics that we cover here. For instance, we have an alderman trying to shore up the city budget by taxing the shit out of Uber and Lyft, our Mayor thought it was a great idea to have his own private email accounts to conduct business, and a red light camera system so hilariously geared towards bilking money from citizens that the courts have tossed out huge swaths of the tickets it generated, which led the city to decide to make it barely less corrupt by a measure of tenths-of-seconds worth of leeway for drivers crossing the intersection.

      Now, you might be thinking that all of this effort to be corrupt and insidious seems like a waste. Wouldn’t it be far easier, you might be thinking, to simply run the city in a sensible way? Wouldn’t that actually require less effort and be better for the people of Chicago? Perhaps, but then Chicago wouldn’t have received the prestigious award of “most corrupt city”, as it did this past week.

    • As new CIA chief takes helm, torture questions in Thailand remain

      With her formal swearing-in on Monday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, as President Donald Trump looked on, Gina Haspel has made history as the first female director of the Central Intelligence Agency and for now has outrun a controversy over torture in Thailand — a country outside her seven career postings at points officially undisclosed in Africa, Europe and beyond.

      In addition to English, Haspel speaks Russian and Turkish. Like a character in a spy novel, she has left no digital fingerprints from a 33-year clandestine career. She recently recounted to the U.S. Senate intelligence committee some “real life” adventures. “I excelled in finding and acquiring secret information that I obtained in brush passes, dead drops or in meetings in dusty alleys of Third World capitals,” she said.

    • The Belhaj case shows British intelligence agencies are out of control

      For years, Britain’s three security and intelligence agencies – the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6; the domestic Security Service, MI5; and GCHQ, the worldwide communications eavesdropping agency – have insisted they are accountable to ministers, that they are responsible to democratically-elected politicians. And for years, ministers have insisted that the agencies are properly accountable to them.

      We all now know what some of us have been saying for a very long time: such assertions are myths. The Prime Minister herself has admitted it.

      On 13 December 2005, Jack Straw, then foreign secretary responsible for MI6, told the Commons Foreign Affairs committee: “Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States …There is simply no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition full stop, because we never have been”. Straw added that the British government was not compliant in rendition, nor did it turn a blind eye to it.

    • Canadians Subject to CIA Brainwash Experiments Seek Damages

      The Survivors Allied Against Government Abuse (SAAGA) group met in Montreal, Canada, on May 20. “The government should offer an apology and there should be recognition of the injustice that was done,” said Gina Blasbalg, a patient at the institute in 1960.

      Dr. Ewen Cameron, who co-founded the World Psychiatric Association, served as director of the Allan Memorial Institute psychiatric hospital between 1943 and 1964.

      Cameron oversaw ‘depatterning’ and ‘psychic driving’ experiments which attempted to erase a patient’s memories and reprogram them with new thoughts, according to CBC News.

      Cameron tested experimental drugs such as LSD and PCP, medically induced sleep for extended periods, and also oversaw extreme forms of electroshock therapy and sensory deprivation. Many of his patient suffered brain damage as a result.

    • When the CIA Infiltrated a Presidential Campaign

      President Donald Trump seems to believe that FBI agents infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes, and has tweeted that the bureau’s actions could amount to a scandal “bigger than Watergate.”

      Trump hasn’t provided evidence to support these allegations, but regardless of their veracity, there is precedent for an American intelligence agency spying on a presidential campaign. It happened in the summer of 1964; the target was Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, and the perpetrator was the CIA, not the FBI.

    • Blood Will Tell

      Most mornings, the sky was still black when Mickey Bryan made the short drive from her house on Avenue O, through the small central Texas town of Clifton, to the elementary school. Sometimes her car was the only one on the road. The low-slung, red-brick school building sat just south of the junction of State Highway 6 and Farm to Market Road 219 — a crossroads that, until recent years, featured the town’s sole traffic light. Mickey was always the first teacher to arrive, usually settling in at her desk by 7 a.m. A slight, soft-spoken woman with short auburn hair and a pale complexion, she prized the solitude of those early mornings, before her fellow teachers appeared and the faraway sound of children’s voices signaled, suddenly and all at once, that the day had begun.

      [...]

      Joe was sent back to the same prison where he was previously held: Texas’ oldest penitentiary, known as the Walls Unit in Huntsville, where the state’s execution chamber is housed. In letters back home to his mother, his older brother and the few friends who remained in touch with him, Joe was circumspect, revealing little about his existence behind bars or the emotional toll of incarceration. By then, he no longer heard from many people he loved — including Jerry, his twin brother, who distanced himself after Joe’s first trial. Even his last remaining Clifton friends gradually faded away. Linda Liardon wrote to Joe every now and then, but eventually she let the correspondence languish. “I was busy raising my boys, and life moved on,” she said. “I’m ashamed to admit that. But after a while, I struggled with what to say.”

      Still, she was left with an uneasy feeling. After Joe’s first conviction, she told me, people had stopped talking about Judy Whitley’s death. “One rumor went around that maybe Joe killed her too,” she said. “I think wrapping all this violence up in one neat little package was comforting to people. Everyone could put this behind them and not have to think that maybe someone was out there who had gotten away with murder.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Senators Ask FCC Why It Did Nothing To Stop Their Names From Being Fraudulently Used During Net Neutrality Repeal

      Last year you’ll recall that somebody abused the nonexistent privacy protections at the FCC website to flood the net neutrality repeal proceeding with millions of fake comments. While the vast majority of real people oppose the repeal, a bad actor was able to either fraudulently use the identities of real people (like myself), or hijack the identities of dead people to spam the proceeding with bogus support. The goal: undermine public trust in the public comment period in order to downplay the massive opposition to the FCC’s handout to AT&T and Comcast.

      Up to this point, the FCC has done less than nothing to investigate the fraud or prevent it from happening again, largely because it aided the FCC’s agenda. In fact, the FCC went so far as to block a law enforcement investigation into who was behind the fraud.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Oncology drives major pharma deals while immuno-oncology patent activity soars

      Cancer immunotherapy is an exciting, relatively new therapy that treats cancer by unleashing the power of the immune system. It has been hailed as one of the most promising advances in the treatment of cancer in recent times.

      Immuno-oncology research is growing at a rapid pace and for the last three years this has begun to translate into a patenting frenzy as players seek to stake their claim in this wide commercial landscape. In this month’s piece from Clarivate Analytics, Bob Stembridge – the company’s marketing communications manager – looks at what the data is telling us.

    • Trademarks

      • Tam’s unanswered questions of dilution and Section 7

        Scandalous, immoral and disparaging marks are all now fair game, but the question of dilution is less clear. A speaker at the INTA Annual Meeting also questioned why the government didn’t use Section 7 of the Lanham Act to bolster its argument in Tam

    • Copyrights

      • German Court: TV show may not use ‘bloopers’ from other network without permission

        In a judgment dated 20.04.2018 (case No. 6 U 116/17), the Higher Regional Court of Cologne found that short video clips taken from other networks’ TV shows for entertainment purposes are not permissible as a parody or a quotation and thus need to be licensed.

        NDR, a German public broadcaster, had created a series of TV shows titled “Top Flops”. The show featured “funny” sequences (‘bloopers’) taken from various other programs, including shows belonging to RTL’s commercial television network.

      • Copyright Being Used To Prevent Actress From Showing Her Own Demo Reel

        Lawyer Stephen Doniger seems to be going out of his way to file lawsuits that involve creative interpretations of copyright (and by “creative” I mean “wrong.”) You may recall that Doniger was the lawyer behind Playboy suing Boing Boing for copyright infringement for linking to an Imgur collection of Playboy centerfolds. That case went so poorly that the judge tossed it out in just two months. Before that, Doniger made a name for himself (I kid you not) being a fabric copyright troll, filing loads of lawsuits against companies offering similar designs on fabric. He’s also jumped in on the whole situation created by the “Blurred Lines” mess by filing a bunch of “sounds alike” copyright cases.

        It’s almost as if he’s filing all sorts of nutty copyright cases just to demonstrate for us just how ridiculous modern copyright law has become, and how far from its purpose it has strayed. Indeed, that’s about the only explanation I can find for a new filing by Doniger, as noted by the Hollywood Reporter, in which Doniger, representing director Robin Bain is suing actress Jessica Haid for using a clip of the film, Nowhereland in her own demo reel.

        In short, Bain claims that Haid asked for permission to use clips in her demo reel and Bain refused (nice of him). She then got a copy of the film and gave it to another company to include it in her demo reel. Bain is now suing, claiming it’s an “unauthorized derivative work.” Indeed, the lawsuit claims that the clips in the demo reel “included a significant amount of unreleased footage from The Film, which taken together, encompassed the heart of The Film, as well as revealed the ending to The Film.”

      • EFF Presents Mur Lafferty’s Science Fiction Story About Our Fair Use Petition to the Copyright Office

        the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA 1201) makes it illegal to get around any sort of lock that controls access to copyrighted material. Getting exemptions to that prohibitions is a long, complicated process that often results in long, complicated exemptions that are difficult to use. As part of our ongoing to effort to fight this law, we’re presenting a series of science fiction stories to illustrate the bad effects DMCA 1201 could have.

        It’s been 20 years since Congress adopted Section 1201 of the DMCA, one of the ugliest mistakes in the crowded field of bad ideas about computer regulation. Thanks to Section 1201 if a computer has a lock to control access to a copyrighted work, then getting around that lock, for any reason is illegal. In practice, this has meant that a manufacturer can make the legitimate, customary things you do with your own property, in your own home or workplace, illegal just by designing the products to include those digital locks.

        A small bit of good news: Congress designed a largely ornamental escape valve into this system: every three years, the Librarian of Congress can grant exemptions to the law for certain activities. These exemptions make those uses temporarily legal, but (here’s the hilarious part), it’s still not legal to make a tool to enable that use. It’s as though Congress expected you to gnaw open your devices and manually change the software with the sensitive tips of your nimble fingers or something. That said, in many cases it’s easy to download the tools you need anyway. We’re suing the U.S. government to invalidate DMCA 1201, which would eliminate the whole farce. It’s 2018, and that means it’s exemptions time again! EFF and many of our allies have filed for a raft of exemptions to DMCA 1201 this year, and in this series, we’re teaming up with some amazing science fiction writers to explain what’s at stake in these requests.

05.22.18

Links 22/5/2018: Parrot 4.0, Spectre Number 4

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Lenovo denies claims it chose Windows over Linux in second row over technology

      Lenovo Group has angrily denied claims it chose the popular Microsoft Windows system over a domestically-produced Linux operating system (OS) in a recent government procurement programme.

      The company branded the allegations as “slander” in a statement that follows an internet storm in China in recent weeks over the company’s decisions on domestic versus overseas technology.

      China’s largest personal computer (PC) maker insisted it had suggested using a domestically-produced Linux OS for both desktop and notebook PCs in a recent PC procurement meeting for suppliers organised by the Central Government Procurement Center, according to the company statement on Tuesday.

    • Lenovo denies on voting against preloading domestic operating systems: report

      Lenovo says the report about it voting against preloading domestic operating systems (O/S) are “deliberate slander,” and the company “strongly condemns” the rumor, according to a report by qq.com late Monday.

      Lenovo claimed the suggestion it made was to use a separately made domestic Linux system solution, including in desktops and notebooks, adding that the advice has been submitted.

      The company has always supported the development of domestic O/S, Lenovo said.

      The response came after domestic news site guancha.cn reported earlier the same day that four leading computer manufacturers including Lenovo voted against preloading domestic O/S in personal computers in a poll organized by a government purchasing center on May 16.

    • Linux app support coming to older Chrome OS devices

      Linux apps on Chrome OS is one of the biggest developments for the OS since Android apps. Previous reports stated Chromebooks with certain kernel versions would be left in the dust, but the Chrome OS developers have older devices on the roadmap, too.

      When Google first broke silence on Linux app functionality, it was understood that Linux kernel 4.4 was required to run apps due to dependencies on newer kernel modules. Thanks to an issue found on Chromium’s public bugtracker, we have confirmation that containers won’t be limited to the handful of Chrome OS devices released with kernel 4.4.

  • Kernel Space

    • Looking Ahead To The Linux 4.18 Kernel

      There still are several weeks to go until the Linux 4.17 kernel will be officially released and for that to initiate the Linux 4.18 merge window, but we already know some of the features coming to this next kernel cycle as well as an idea for some other work that may potentially land.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.12.5 bugfix update for Kubuntu 18.04 LTS – Testing help required

        Are you using Kubuntu 18.04, our current LTS release?

        We currently have the Plasma 5.12.5 LTS bugfix release available in our Updates PPA, but we would like to provide the important fixes and translations in this release to all users via updates in the main Ubuntu archive. This would also mean these updates would be provide by default with the 18.04.1 point release ISO expected in late July.

      • Revisiting my talk at FOSSASIA summit, 2018

        Earlier this year, I had the chance to speak about one of KDE community’s cool projects that is helpding developers erase the line between desktop and mobile/tablet UI’s with ease. I’m referring to the Kirigami UI framework – a set of QtQuick components targetted at the mobile as well as desktop platforms.

        This is particularly important to KDE and a lot of projects are now migrating towards a Kirigami UI, particularly keeping in mind the ability to run the applications on the Plasma Mobile.

      • This Week in KDE, Part 2 : OYLG, Workspace KCM, Single/Double Click

        Last weekend, I went to İstanbul to attend Özgür Yazılım ve Linux Günleri (Free Software and Linux Days 2018) to represent LibreOffice. We had 3 presentations during the event about LibreOffice Development and The Open Document Format. We had booth setup with stickers, flyers, roll-up etc. These were all thanks to The Document Foundation’s supports! You can find detailed information about the event from here : https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Events/2018/OYLG2018

      • Watching the Detectives

        For instance, Kevin Ottens has been writing about understanding the KDE community by the “green blobs” method, showing who is active when. Lays Rodrigues has written about using Gource to show Plasma growing up. Nate Graham describes the goings-on in the KDE community nearly every week.

        Those are, roughly: a metric-, a visual-, and a story-based approach to understanding the community, over different timescales. But understanding of a system doesn’t come from a single dimension, from a single axis of measurement. It comes from mixing up the different views to look the system as a whole.

      • Managing cooking recipes

        I like to cook. And sometimes store my recipes. Over the years I have tried KRecipes, kept my recipes in BasKet notes, in KJots notes, in more or less random word processor documents.

        I liked the free form entering recipes in various notes applications and word processor documents, but I lacked some kind of indexing them. What I wanted was free-ish text for writing recipes, and some thing that could help me find them by tags I give them. By Title. By how I organize them. And maybe by Ingredient if I don’t know how to get rid of the soon-to-be-bad in my refridgerator.

      • KDAB at Qt Contributor’s Summit 2018, Oslo

        KDAB is a major sponsor of this event and a key independent contributor to Qt as our blogs attest.

        Every year, dedicated Qt contributors gather at Qt Contributors’ Summit to share with their peers latest knowledge and best practices, ensuring that the Qt framework stays at the top of its game. Be a Contributor to Qt!

      • Krita 2018 Sprint Report

        This weekend, Krita developers and artists from all around the world came to the sleepy provincial town of Deventer to buy cheese — er, I mean, to discuss all things Krita related and do some good, hard work! After all, the best cheese shop in the Netherlands is located in Deventer. As are the Krita Foundation headquarters! We started on Thursday, and today the last people are leaving.

      • Back from Krita Sprint 2018

        Yesterday I came back from 3,5 days of Krita Sprint in Deventer. Even if nowadays I have less time for Krita with my work on GCompris, I’m always following what is happening and keep helping where I can, especially on icons, and a few other selected topics. And it’s always very nice to meet my old friends from the team, and the new ones!

      • GSoC 2018 Week #1 with KDE

        There were quite some implementations out of the pre-plans and were huge. They got me very nervous at first. Such changes meant big updation in the code base and lots of time to have everything in place and with no warnings/errors ( well I can’t say much about bugs :p as they always arise in some cases which I or others haven’t tried, but hopefully they will be much less ).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Bodhi Linux 5.0 Enters Development Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, First Alpha Is Out

        Now that Canonical released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), more and more Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux distributions would want to upgrade to it for their next major releases, including Bodhi Linux with the upcoming 5.0 series. The first Alpha is here today to give us a glimpse of what to expect from the final release.

        Besides being based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the Bodhi Linux 5.0 operating system will be shipping with the forthcoming Moksha 0.3.0 desktop environment based on the Enlightenment window manager/desktop environment, and it’s powered by the Linux 4.9 kernel series. Also, it supports 32-bit PAE and non-PAE systems.

      • Emmabuntüs Debian Edition Linux Is Now Based on Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 “Stretch”

        Emmabuntüs Linux developer Patrick d’Emmabuntüs informs us today on the immediate availability for download of the Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 2 1.02 release.

        Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 2 1.02 is the second maintenance update to the Debian-based operating system used in schools and other educational institutions across the globe. It’s based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 “Stretch” operating system and brings various updated components, as well as improvements like the ability to turn off the script that handles the screensaver images and support for automatically detecting and configuring printers.

    • Slackware Family

      • VLC rebuilt for -current, Chromium and Palemoon updated

        Browser updates: both Google Chromium (66.0.3359.181) and Palemoon (27.9.2) released new versions last week which I packaged for Slackware 14.2 and -current. The Palemoon update contains CVE-tagged security fixes. You are advised to upgrade.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • OSCAL’18 Debian, Ham, SDR and GSoC activities

        Debian has three Google Summer of Code students in Kosovo this year. Two of them, Enkelena and Diellza, were able to attend OSCAL. Albania is one of the few countries they can visit easily and OSCAL deserves special commendation for the fact that it brings otherwise isolated citizens of Kosovo into contact with an increasingly large delegation of foreign visitors who come back year after year.

      • Derivatives

        • Parrot 4.0 is out

          Parrot 4.0 has been released. Parrot is a security-oriented distribution aimed at penetration tests and digital forensics analysis, with additional tools to preserve privacy.

        • Parrot 4.0 release notes
        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Don’t expect Ubuntu maker Canonical to IPO this year

            Canonical, the company best known for its Ubuntu Linux distribution, is on a path to an IPO. That’s something Canonical founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth has been quite open about. But don’t expect that IPO to happen this year.

            “We did decide as a company — and that’s not just my decision — but we did decide that we want to have a commercial focus,” Shuttleworth told me during an interview at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Canada today. “So we picked cloud and IoT as the areas to develop that. And being a public company, given that most of our customers are now global institutions, it makes for us also to be a global institution. I think it would be great for my team to be part of a public company. It would be a lot of work, but we are not shy of work.”

            Unsurprisingly, Shuttleworth didn’t want to talk about the exact timeline for the IPO, though. “We will do the right thing at the right time,” he said. That right time is not this year, though. “No, there is a process that you have to go through and that takes time. We know what we need to hit in terms of revenue and growth and we’re on track.”

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 528

            Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 528 for the week of May 13 – 19, 2018.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver – Canonical giveth, Canonical taketh

            This review focuses on Ubuntu with Gnome 3 – and so I will leave my findings with the Unity desktop separate, except a single sentence: Unity is the desktop environment that 18.04 should have had, and everything else is a fallout consequence of that. So yes, Ubuntu Bionic Beaver is okay. But that’s like saying paying mortgage for the rest of your life and then dying unceremoniously is okay. It’s not okay. Mediocre has never been anything to strive for. EVER.

            Ubuntu Beaver does a few things well – and with some updates, it’s also polished up some of them early turds, as I’ve outlined in the Kubuntu review; hint, the same is ALSO happening in Kubuntu, and we may have a presentable offering soon. Yes to media, phones, app stack, package management. But then, the network side of things should be better, resource utilization should be better, the desktop should be more usable for ordinary humans. It’s ridiculous that you NEED extensions to use Gnome 3, in addition to all the hacks Canonical introduced to make the system usable. So yes, if you wanna be mediocre go for it. 7/10. If not, wait for Kubuntu or MATE to get its game together, or stick Unity onto 18.04. More to follow soon.

          • Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth takes aim at VMware and Red Hat at OpenStack Summit

            “Google, IBM, Microsoft [are] all investing and innovating to drive down the cost of infrastructure. Every single one of those companies engages with Canonical to deliver public services,” he said.

            “Not one of them engages with VMware to offer those public services – they can’t afford to. Clearly they have the cash, but they have to compete – and so does your private cloud.”

            To capitalise on this trend, the firm is in the throes of rolling out a migration service to help users shift from VMware to a “fully managed” version of Canonical’s Ubuntu OpenStack distribution, which Shuttleworth said costs half as much to run.

            “When we take out VMware, and displace VMware, we are regularly told that a fully managed OpenStack solution costs half of the equivalent VMware estate [to run],” he added.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Storage: 64 Applications for Data Storage

    As data storage needs continue to grow and many organizations move toward software-defined infrastructure, more enterprises are using open source software to meet some of their storage needs. Projects like Hadoop, Ceph, Gluster and others have become very common at large enterprises.

    Home users and small businesses can also benefit from open source storage software. These applications can make it possible to set up your own NAS or SAN device using industry-standard hardware without paying the high prices vendors charge for dedicated storage appliances. Open source software also offers users the option to set up a cloud storage solution where they have control over security and privacy, and it can also offer affordable options for backup and recovery.

  • OpenStack Moves Beyond the Cloud to Open Infrastructure

    The OpenStack Summit got underway on May 21, with a strong emphasis on the broader open-source cloud community beyond just the OpenStack cloud platform itself.

    At the summit, the OpenStack Foundation announced that it was making its open-source Zuul continuous development, continuous integration (CI/CD) technology a new top level standalone project. Zuul has been the underlying DevOps CI/CD system that has been used for the past six years, to develop and test the OpenStack cloud platform.

  • OpenStack makes Zuul continuous delivery tool its second indie project

    The OpenStack Foundation has launched its Zuul continuous delivery and integration tool as a discrete project.

    Zuul is therefore Foundation’s second project other than OpenStack itself. The first was Kata Containers. Making Zuul a standalone effort therefore advance’s the Foundation’s ambition to become a bit like the Linux and Apache Foundations, by nurturing multiple open source projects.

  • OpenStack spins out its Zuul open source CI/CD platform

    There are few open-source projects as complex as OpenStack, which essentially provides large companies with all the tools to run the equivalent of the core AWS services in their own data centers. To build OpenStack’s various systems the team also had to develop some of its own DevOps tools, and, in 2012, that meant developing Zuul, an open-source continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) platform. Now, with the release of Zuul v3, the team decided to decouple Zuul from OpenStack and run it as an independent project. It’s not quite leaving the OpenStack ecosystem, though, as it will still be hosted by the OpenStack Foundation.

  • Nextcloud 13: How to Get Started and Why You Should

    In its simplest form, the Nextcloud server is “just” a personal, free software alternative to services like Dropbox or iCloud. You can set it up so your files are always accessible via the internet, from wherever you are, and share them with your friends. However, Nextcloud can do so much more.

    In this article, I first describe what the Nextcloud server is and how to install and set it up on GNU/Linux systems. Then I explain how to configure the optional Nextcloud features, which may be the first steps toward making Nextcloud the shell of a complete replacement for many proprietary platforms existing today, such as Dropbox, Facebook and Skype.

  • Why use Puppet for automation and orchestration

    Puppet the company bills Puppet the automation tool as the de facto standard for automating the delivery and ongoing operation of hybrid infrastructure. That was certainly true at one time: Puppet not only goes back to 2005, but also currently claims 40,000 organizations worldwide as users, including 75 percent of the Fortune 100. While Puppet is still a very strong product and has increased its speed and capabilities over the years, its competitors, in particular Chef, have narrowed the gap.

    As you might expect from the doyenne of the IT automation space, Puppet has a very large collection of modules, and covers the gamut from CI/CD to cloud-native infrastructure, though much of that functionality is provided through additional products. While Puppet is primarily a model-based system with agents, it supports push operations with Puppet Tasks. Puppet Enterprise is even available as a service on Amazon.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla uncovers ‘new conceptual framework’ for open source

        A report has been generated which claims to offers ‘a new conceptual framework’ of open source project archetypes.

        This research cover aspects of open source spanning business objectives, licensing, community standards, component coupling and project governance.

        It also contains some practical advice on how to use the framework (it actually is a working framework) and on how to set up projects.

      • Qt for WebAssembly – check out the examples!

        WebAssembly is now supported by all major web browsers as a binary format for allowing sand-boxed executable code in web pages that is nearly as fast as native machine code. Qt for WebAssembly makes it possible to run Qt applications on many web browsers without any download steps or special server requirements (other than serving the wasm file).

        To give you a closer look, we compiled some demos. For best performance, use Firefox.

      • Redeploying Taskcluster: Hosted vs. Shipped Software

        The Taskcluster team’s work on redeployability means switching from a hosted service to a shipped application.

        A hosted service is one where the authors of the software are also running the main instance of that software. Examples include Github, Facebook, and Mozillians. By contrast, a shipped application is deployed multiple times by people unrelated to the software’s authors. Examples of shipped applications include Gitlab, Joomla, and the Rust toolchain. And, of course, Firefox!

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • City student emerges winner in Google contest

      Abishek, who lives in Panangad, was among the 1,000-odd students roped in by FOSSASIA, an organisation from Asia engaged in developing open source software, as part of the contest. He was asked to complete 93 coding tasks in 49 days between November and January this year.

    • Open source startup Tidelift snags $15 mln Series A

      Boston-based Tidelift, an open source startup, has secured $15 million in Series A funding. General Catalyst, Foundry Group and former Red Hat Chairman and CEO Matthew Szulik led the round. In conjunction with the funding, Larry Bohn, managing director at General Catalyst, Ryan McIntyre, co-founder and managing director at Foundry Group and Szulik have all joined Tidelift’s board of directors.

    • Tidelift raises $15M to find paying gigs for open-source developers maintaining key projects

      Tidelift wants to give open-source developers a way to earn some money for contributing to important open-source projects and while helping the companies that are using those projects in key parts of their business, and it just raised $15 million to build those connections.

      General Catalyst, Foundry Group, and former Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik co-led the Series A founding round into the Boston-based startup, the first time the 17-person company has taken financing, said Donald Fischer, co-founder and CEO of Tidelift. The other co-founders — Havoc Pennington, Jeremy Katz, and Luis Villa — share a wealth of open-source experience across companies like Red Hat and organizations like The Wikimedia Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation.

    • Tidelift Raises $15M Series A To Make Open Source Work Better–For Everyone
  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD 5.3 Works Towards Performance Improvements

      Given that DragonFlyBSD recently landed some SMP performance improvements and other performance optimizations in its kernel for 5.3-DEVELOPMENT but as well finished tidying up its Spectre mitigation, this weekend I spent some time running some benchmarks on DragonFlyBSD 5.2 and 5.3-DEVELOPMENT to see how the performance has shifted for an Intel Xeon system.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing/Legal

    • VMware Announces OpenStack 5, Tesla Releases Some Source Code, KDE’s Plasma 5.13 Beta and More

      Tesla has released some of the source code for its in-car tech. Engadget reports that the company “has posted the source code for both the material that builds the Autopilot system image as well as the kernels for the Autopilot boards and the NVIDIA Tegra-based infotainment system used in the Model S and Model X.”

    • Tesla inches toward GPL compliance in low gear: Source code forcibly ejected into public

      Following five years of hectoring, Tesla has released a portion of the open-source code it’s obligated to provide under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

      Since 2013, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), responding to complaints of GPL violations related to software in the Tesla Model S, has pressed the carmaker to comply with the terms of the GPL.

      The SFC provides legal support to open source projects. In theory, Tesla could be sued for flouting the GPL, but even the SFC, which backed the controversial GPL claim against VMware, prefers resolving compliance issues outside of court.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Phase Genomics and Pacific Biosciences Announce the Release of Co-Developed Genome Assembly Phasing Software – ‘FALCON-Phase’

      FALCON-Phase is available as open source to scientists and also as a service through Phase Genomics. Scientists can utilize the new software to advance their current research and even revive historic genome projects with the addition of Hi-C data.

    • Open Data

      • Mapping Palestine Before Israel

        During the founding of the state, the Israeli military destroyed more than 500 Palestinian villages; some were completely abandoned, while others became the foundation for Jewish villages and towns. Some villages survived. A new open-source mapping project, Palestine Open Maps, allows users to see the Palestinian landscape as it looked before 1948—and to search for villages and towns from that era to find out whether they remain, were depopulated, or were built over.

        [...]

        The maps’ level of detail is exceptional, showing roads, topographic features, and property boundaries. The team’s next task: to make the maps downloadable.

        [...]

        In the decades since 1948, what Palestinians call the nakba (“catastrophe”) remains a matter of debate between the sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For Barclay, an aim of the mapping project is to clarify at least one part of this debate: the land itself, and what was once there. “Putting the villages on screen that were destroyed, depopulated, and built over in the form of these maps makes what happened irrefutable,” he said. He also noted the irony of using the maps of the former colonizer for such a project. “The British essentially drew these maps as part of their control of Palestine,” he said. “But the maps unintentionally captured the moment before the destruction occurred.”

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • World Health Assembly Begins Discussion On Access To Medicines

      On the second day of this week’s annual World Health Assembly, delegates began discussing the issue of “shortages of, and access to, medicines and vaccines.” It is generally held that access to safe, efficacious, and affordable medicines is of paramount importance to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, but there seems to be no expeditious solution, and no lack of divergent views on how to get there.

    • Global Antimicrobial Resistance R&D Hub Launched At Health Assembly

      According to a press release today from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, “the German Federal Government has led the establishment of the Global AMR R&D Hub: Under the German Presidency, the G20 Heads of State and Government resolved in the summer of 2017 to intensify global cooperation in the fight against AMR. The Federal Research Ministry subsequently proposed plans for the Global AMR R&D Hub and supported its establishment. Initially, the secretariat of the Global AMR R&D Hub will be based in Berlin, at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF).”

      “We urgently need new drugs, particularly antibiotics, in the fight against infectious diseases in order to protect the health and lives of people around the world,” German Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek said in the release. “Resources need to be used more effectively in order to develop more new treatments, diagnostics and prevention measures for resistant pathogens. We will therefore strengthen and improve the coordination of our research on antimicrobial resistance at the national and international level.”

    • WHO Director Dr Tedros Opens First Annual World Health Assembly With ‘Keys For Success’

      According to Tedros, the eradication of smallpox stands as one of the greatest achievement in the history of the WHO but also in the history of medicine. This victory shows “what WHO is capable of,” he said, adding that it could change the course of history, with partners.

    • Global Influenza Initiative Celebrates 10 Years, Adds Former WHO Official

      As the annual World Health Assembly opened today, a global initiative for sharing influenza genetic data celebrated its tenth anniversary and announced new senior advisors for international affairs and biosecurity issues, one of which is Marie-Paule Kieny, former World Health Organization Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation.

  • Security

    • Google and Microsoft disclose new CPU flaw, and the fix can slow machines down

      Microsoft and Google are jointly disclosing a new CPU security vulnerability that’s similar to the Meltdown and Spectre flaws that were revealed earlier this year. Labelled Speculative Store Bypass (variant 4), the latest vulnerability is a similar exploit to Spectre and exploits speculative execution that modern CPUs use. Browsers like Safari, Edge, and Chrome were all patched for Meltdown earlier this year, and Intel says “these mitigations are also applicable to variant 4 and available for consumers to use today.”

      However, unlike Meltdown (and more similar to Spectre) this new vulnerability will also include firmware updates for CPUs that could affect performance. Intel has already delivered microcode updates for Speculative Store Bypass in beta form to OEMs, and the company expects them to be more broadly available in the coming weeks. The firmware updates will set the Speculative Store Bypass protection to off-by-default, ensuring that most people won’t see negative performance impacts.

    • Spectre variants 3a and 4

      Intel has, finally, disclosed two more Spectre variants, called 3a and 4. The first (“rogue system register read”) allows system-configuration registers to be read speculatively, while the second (“speculative store bypass”) could enable speculative reads to data after a store operation has been speculatively ignored. Some more information on variant 4 can be found in the Project Zero bug tracker. The fix is to install microcode updates, which are not yet available.

    • Red Hat Says It’ll Soon Fix the Speculative Store Bypass Security Vulnerability

      Red Hat informed us today that they are aware of the recently disclosed Speculative Store Bypass (CVE-2018-3639) security vulnerability and will soon release updates to mitigate the issue on all of its affected products.

      Speculative Store Bypass (CVE-2018-3639) is a security vulnerability recently unearthed by various security researchers from Google and Microsoft, and it appears to be a fourth variant of the Spectre hardware bug publicly disclosed earlier this year in modern microprocessor, and later discovered to affect billions of devices. The Speculative Store Bypass vulnerability appearently lets an unprivileged attacker to bypass restrictions and gain read access to privileged memory.

    • Spectre chip security vulnerability strikes again; patches incoming

      After the first-wave of Spectre and Meltdown attacks were conquered, people relaxed. That was a mistake.

      Since the CPU vulnerabilities Spectre and Meltdown showed an entirely new way to attack systems, security experts knew it was only a matter of time until new assault methods would be found.

      They’ve been found.

    • Spectre Variants 3A & 4 Exposed As Latest Speculative Execution Vulnerabilities
    • Speculative Store Bypass explained: what it is, how it works
    • After Meltdown and Spectre, Another Scary Chip Flaw Emerges

      At the same time, though, a larger concern was also looming: Spectre and Meltdown represented a whole new class of attack, and researchers anticipated they would eventually discover other, similar flaws. Now, one has arrived.

    • 22 essential security commands for Linux

      There are many aspects to security on Linux systems – from setting up accounts to ensuring that legitimate users have no more privilege than they need to do their jobs. This is look at some of the most essential security commands for day-to-day work on Linux systems.

    • CVE-2018-3639: Spectre Variant 4 Vulnerability Affects the Linux Kernel

      A Spectre variant 4 vulnerability has been identified in the Linux kernel and represents a very dangerous threat to all affected machines. All system administrators are urged to apply the latest updates as soon as possible to mitigate any possible impact.

    • Spectre Number 4, STEP RIGHT UP!

      In the continuing saga of Meltdown and Spectre (tl;dr: G4/7400, G3 and likely earlier 60x PowerPCs don’t seem vulnerable at all; G4/7450 and G5 are so far affected by Spectre while Meltdown has not been confirmed, but IBM documentation implies “big” POWER4 and up are vulnerable to both) is now Spectre variant 4. In this variant, the fundamental issue of getting the CPU to speculatively execute code it mistakenly predicts will be executed and observing the effects on cache timing is still present, but here the trick has to do with executing a downstream memory load operation speculatively before other store operations that the load does not depend on. If the CPU is convinced to speculatively execute down this victim path incorrectly, it will revert the stores and the register load when the mispredict is discovered, but the loaded address will remain in the L1 cache and be observable through means similar to those in other Spectre-type attacks.

    • Email Might Be Impossible To Encrypt
    • Email Is Dangerous

      One week ago, a group of European security researchers warned that two obscure encryption schemes for email were deeply broken. Those schemes, called OpenPGP and S/MIME, are not the kinds of technologies you’re using but don’t know it. They are not part of the invisible and vital internet infrastructure we all rely on.

      This isn’t that kind of story.

      The exploit, called Efail by the researchers who released it, showed that encrypted (and therefore private and secure) email is not only hard to do, but might be impossible in any practical way, because of what email is at its core. But contained in the story of why these standards failed is the story of why email itself is the main way we get hacked, robbed, and violated online. The story of email is also the story of how we lost so much of our privacy, and how we might regain it.

    • Real Security Begins At Home (On Your Smartphone)

      When the FBI sued Apple a couple of years ago to compel Apple’s help in cracking an iPhone 5c belonging to alleged terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, the lines seemed clearly drawn. On the one hand, the U.S. government was asserting its right (under an 18th-century statutory provision called the All Writs Act) to force Apple to develop and implement technologies enabling the Bureau to gather all the evidence that might possibly be relevant in the San Bernardino terrorist-attack case. On the other, a leading tech company challenged the demand that it help crack the digital-security technologies it had painstakingly developed to protect users — a particularly pressing concern given that these days we often have more personal information on our handheld devices than we used to keep in our entire homes.

    • Software fault triggered Telstra mobile network outage

      The blackout was the third in May, with an outage to its triple-zero service occurring on 4 May after a cable between Bowral and Orange in NSW was cut due to lightning. On 1 May, the telco suffered an outage of its NBN services and 4G services.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Red Hat responds to Speculative Store Bypass and helps explain Variant 4 chip vulnerability
    • Microsoft, Google: We’ve found a fourth data-leaking Meltdown-Spectre CPU hole
    • Google and Microsoft Reveal New Spectre Attack
  • Defence/Aggression

    • This Article From 1985 Predicted Deadly Force by Police Would Be ‘Nonexistent’ in the Future

      When you imagine the American police officer of the future, what do you see? In the 1980s, one police officer saw “supercops”—a highly trained force of professionals who had the most high-tech toys at their disposal and almost never killed people.

      James R. Metts wrote an article for the October 1985 issue of The Futurist magazine about these “supercops” of the future. The piece is part utopian fantasy (jetpacks!) and part dystopian nightmare (surveillance!), but it’s also a fascinating look into what some people thought cops would look like in the future—just two years before the original RoboCop would hit theaters.

    • The U.S. Considered Declaring Russia a State Sponsor of Terror, Then Dropped It

      The attempt to kill a former Russian spy in England bore an ominous signature: The assailants used a lethal nerve agent of a type developed in the Soviet Union, and British investigators quickly concluded that only the Kremlin could have carried out such a sophisticated hit.

      Soon after the March attack, Rex Tillerson, then the U.S. secretary of state, ordered State Department officials to outline the case for designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law. Experts in the department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism began to assemble what they thought was a strong case.

      But almost as quickly as the review began — within about two days — the secretary of state’s office sent new instructions to drop the initiative, according to State Department officials familiar with the episode.

    • 2,000 years ago in Denmark, a fierce battle left dozens dead

      Months after the battle, people ritually damaged remains and put them under water.

    • Russia downs drone near military base in Syria

      The Russian military sais on Monday it shot down an unidentified drone approaching the Russian Hmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province.

      A statement carried on Monday by Russian news agencies reported that there were no casualties or damage to the base.

      The Hmeimim air base serves as the main hub for Russian operations in Syria.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Australian workers and youth defend Julian Assange

      Over the past week, the imperialist-led campaign against WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has intensified. The Guardian, acting as a mouthpiece of the intelligence agencies, has published a stream of articles aimed at providing the pretext for Assange to be expelled from Ecuador’s London embassy, where he was granted political asylum almost six years ago, and forced into the hands of the British and US authorities.

      [...]

      The sentiments of ordinary people stand in stark contrast to the venomous hostility to Assange on the part of governments and the corporate media. On Sunday, the Socialist Equality Party held a successful public meeting in Brisbane, concluding a national series titled “Organise Resistance to Internet Censorship, Free Julian Assange.” The Brisbane meeting, like previous events in Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, was attended by workers, retirees, students and WikiLeaks supporters.

    • For Ecuador, Currying Favor with Washington is as Simple as Sacrificing Julian Assange

      For all practical purposes, whistleblower and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now a prisoner in asylum at the Embassy of Ecuador in London, facing the torture of near-total isolation from the outside world and hanging by the thread of the Andean state’s dwindling hospitality.

      On Thursday, the Australian – who, strangely enough, was given Ecuadorian citizenship last December – faced a new layer of precariousness atop his six-year refuge, when Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno ordered that additional security assigned to the building be withdrawn.

    • Assange looks to be one step closer to eviction from embassy

      After half a decade of stagnation, the story of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his endless stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London may be moving into high gear. It was only a week ago when we learned that his hosts were talking about either trying to sneak him out of the country to Russia or simply telling him to pack his things and walk out the door. They were also complaining about his grubby living conditions and describing him as being a “threat” to embassy personnel. Now, in yet another signal that it may be time to go, Ecuador has fully withdrawn Assange’s special security detail who had been protecting him. (Reuters)

    • Assange Team Lawyer: It’s Important That Ecuador Maintains Independence From US

      Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has blasted the country’s government for depriving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of access to the outside world. Meanwhile Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Maria Espinosa stated that she and the UK share the intention to solve the issue. Sputnik spoke with Greg Barns, a member of Julian Assange’s legal team.

    • Judge admonishes ex-CIA worker over protective order

      A federal judge has sternly reminded a former CIA employee who may face charges connected to a leak at the agency that he can’t discuss sensitive material covered by a protective order with anyone other than his attorney.

      U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty spoke to 29-year-old Joshua Schulte on Monday at prosecutors’ request.

    • Accused CIA leaker must keep quiet about case, judge says

      Prosecutors said in Manhattan Federal Court that the terms of a September 2017 protective order regarding the case of Joshua Schulte, 29, had been broken by recent articles revealing he is under investigation for leaking the closely guarded cyber tools.

    • Alleged CIA leaker accused of sending press info about case

      A former CIA software engineer suspected of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks is also leaking information about his case to the press, it emerged in Manhattan federal court on Monday.

    • Suspect identified in CIA ‘Vault 7’ leak, that revealed iOS-Mac exploits

      U.S. Authorities have identified a major suspect in the so-called “Vault 7” leak that has released a huge cache of information detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s cyber-tools, including software exploits targeting iPhone and Mac devices.

    • Courts Says CIA Can Dump Classified Info To Members Of The Public And Still Deny They’ve Been Publicly Released

      Journalist Adam Johnson’s FOIA lawsuit against the CIA has been brought to a halt. Johnson sued the CIA for refusing to release classified documents it had previously voluntarily “leaked” to selected journalists. The CIA argued the documents were still classified and not subject to FOIA requests. Johnson argued the CIA had already released the documents to the public when it decided to release this classified info to journalists.

      Back in February, it appeared the court was on Johnson’s side. Responding to the government’s motion to dismiss, the court pointed out the CIA couldn’t waive FOIA exemptions when dumping docs to journalists and then seek to use them when other journalists asked for the same info.

  • Finance

    • Rupert Murdoch Believes In The Free Market… Until His Company Is Struggling: Then He Wants To Regulate Competitors

      Yes, Rupert Murdoch believes this right up until his own companies have trouble adapting and competing. Then he goes running to government to regulate those companies who are actually succeeding.

      There may be reasonable arguments for certain kinds of regulations. But Murdoch’s only reason for calling for regulations of internet companies — after whining about socialism and talking up free markets — is pretty blatantly an attempt to whine for a handout for his own businesses that have failed to adapt to changing times.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Twitter bots may have affected voters on Brexit, U.S. presidential race: study

      “Overall, our results suggest that the aggressive use of Twitter bots, coupled with the fragmentation of social media and the role of sentiment, could contribute to the vote outcomes,” wrote the authors of the paper, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the United Kingdom’s Swansea University.

    • Twitter Bots May Have Boosted Donald Trump’s Votes by 3.23%, Researchers Say

      Automated tweeting played a small but potentially decisive role in the 2016 Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidential victory, the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper showed this month. Their rough calculations suggest bots added 1.76 percentage point to the pro-“leave” vote share as Britain weighed whether to remain in the European Union, and may explain 3.23 percentage points of the actual vote for Trump in the U.S. presidential race.

    • “Just be fair”: when does journalism undermine its own reputation?
    • Media Ignore Government Influence on Facebook’s Plan to Fight Government Influence

      Facebook announced Thursday it was partnering with DC think tank the Atlantic Council to “monitor for misinformation and foreign interference.” The details of the plan are vague, but Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab wrote in a non-bylined Medium post (5/17/18) that the goal was to design tools “to bring us closer together” instead of “driving us further apart.” Whatever that means, exactly.

      Behind its generic-sounding name and “nonpartisan” label, the Atlantic Council is associated with very particular interests. It’s funded by the US Department of State and the US Navy, Army and Air Force, along with NATO, various foreign powers and major Western corporations, including weapons contractors and oil companies. The Atlantic Council is dead center in what former President Obama’s deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes called “the blob”—Washington’s bipartisan foreign-policy consensus. While there is some diversity of opinion within the Atlantic Council, it is within a very limited pro-Western ideological framework—a framework that debates how much and where US military and soft power influence should be wielded, not if it should in the first place.

    • Antifa or Antiwar: Leftist Exclusionism Against the Quest for Peace

      CounterPunch has astonished many of its old fans by its current fundraising ad portraying the site as a prime target of Russia hostility. Under the slogan, “We have all the right enemies”, CP portrays itself as a brave little crew being blown off the water by an evil Russian warship out to eliminate “lefty scum.”

      Ha Ha Ha, it’s all a joke of course. But it’s a joke that plays into the dangerous, current Russophobia promoted by Clintonite media, the deep state and the War Party. This is a reminder that Russophobia finds a variant in the writing of several prominent CounterPunch contributors.

      Yes, CounterPunch continues to publish many good articles, but appears also to be paying its tribute to the establishment narrative.

      Put on the defensive by the “fake news” assault against independent media, CP senior editor Jeffrey St Clair seemed to be shaken by Washington Post allegations that he had published articles by a “Russian troll” named Alice Donovan. St Clair never publicly questioned the FBI claim that the ephemeral plagiarist worked for the Kremlin, when she could as well have been planted by the FBI itself or some other agency, precisely in order to embarrass and intimidate the independent website.

    • Why Are So Many Democrats Afraid of Impeachment?

      Party leaders need to make clear that impeachment is always valid when there is evidence of presidential wrongdoing, cover-ups, and corruption of justice.

    • Virtually Everything the Government Did to WikiLeaks is Now Being Done to Mainstream US Reporters

      At Freedom of the Press Foundation, we believe it’s vital to defend WikiLeaks’ right to gather and publish classified information in the public interest, just as it’s vital to protect the rights of Associated Press and Fox News to do the same. Under the law, the AP, Fox News, and WikiLeaks are no different (a fact that even the government argues). If one falls, the others will not be far behind.

      Despite this fact, many journalists and mainstream media organizations purposefully stayed silent when WikiLeaks first came under attack by the Justice Department in early 2011. That disappointing silence left open the possibility that the Justice Department could use those same tactics against others in the future.

      And unfortunately now it’s clear: virtually every move made by the Justice Department against WikiLeaks has now also been deployed on mainstream US journalists.

    • Philip Cross Madness Part IV

      Mike Barson, keyboard player of the great ska group Madness, had his Wikipedia entry amended by “Philip Cross” to delete his membership of Momentum and interview with The Canary.

      [...]

      A number of people have opined in reply to my posts that the time spent to make all of Cross’s daily edits, as per the number of keystrokes, is not great. That ignores the colossal effort that goes into research and above all monitoring of Wikipedia by the “Philip Cross” operation.

      Finally, this is an excellent example of the bias of Wikipedia. The information about Barson is totally true. He is a proud member of Momentum. It is also quite interesting and an important bit of his life. But according to Wikipedia’s pro-MSM rules, “Philip Cross” can indeed delete it because the information is not from an MSM source. In the unlikely event of the Times or Telegraph ever writing about Barson’s Momentum membership, it would of course be in a hos

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Progressive groups launch petition for government to break up Facebook

      The groups, which include the Content Creators Coalition, Demand Progress and the Open Markets Institute, are urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to force Facebook to do three things: spin off its subsidiaries like Instagram and WhatsApp into separate companies, make it possible to communicate across third-party social media platforms and strengthen its privacy rules.

    • The most significant UK data breaches

      With only months until GDPR comes into effect in May 2018, high-profile breaches are still occurring. Here are some of the more significant from UK organisations.

    • Cookies That Go the Other Way

      The original cookie allowed the server to remember the client when it showed up again. Later the cookie would remember other stuff: for example, that the client was a known customer with a shopping cart.

      Cookies also came to remember fancier things, such as that a client has agreed to the server’s terms of use.

      In the last decade, cookies also arrived from third parties, some for site analytics but mostly so clients could be spied on as they went about their business elsewhere on the web. The original purpose was so those clients could be given “relevant” and “interest-based” advertising. What matters is that it was still spying and a breach of personal privacy, no matter how well its perpetrators rationalize it. Simply put, websites and advertisers’ interests end at a browser’s front door. (Bonus link: The Castle Doctrine.)

      Thanks to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into full force this Friday, that kind of spying is starting to look illegal. (Though loopholes will be found.) Since there is a world of fear about that, 99.x% of GDPR coverage is about how the new regulation affects the sites and services, and what they can do to avoid risking massive fines for doing what many (or most) of them shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.

    • Microsoft makes inroads with U.S. spy agencies [iophk: "now Russia, China, and others have easiest access to the 17 agencies data"]

      Microsoft has secured a potentially lucrative agreement that makes the full suite of the tech giant’s cloud-computing platform available to 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, executives said recently, moving agencies’ computer systems onto Office 365 applications and adding certain cloud-based applications not previously available to them.

    • The backlash that never happened: New data shows people actually increased their Facebook usage after the Cambridge Analytica scandal
    • Chinese school uses facial recognition to check if pupils aren’t concentrating
    • Acer becomes first PC maker to bring Alexa to laptops

      Acer first revealed its plans to bring Amazon’s easily-fooled AI assistant to its hardware line-up back in January, and news of the impending rollout comes just days after rival PC maker HP showed off the first all-in-one to come with Alexa smarts baked-in.

      The Acer Spin 5 line of convertibles, which come kitted out with four-microphone arrays for far-field voice detection, will be the first in line to receive the software update on 23 May, with the gaming-focused Nitro 5 Spin set to offer Alexa when it goes on sale next month.

    • Google has almost completely expunged ‘don’t be evil’ from its Code of Conduct

      Alphabet, the shell company created to house Google and other unrelated projects such as Waymo, never used the phrase, though they have something similar, but Google has always stuck to the idea that not being evil is worth mentioning. Heck, it’s even been the wifi password for shuttles to Google Campus.

    • Google Duplex will warn anyone it calls that they are being recorded

      Duplex calls will need to be recorded so they can be sent to the cloud for parsing. The other solution would be an on-device AI chip that would be much slower although Amazon is said to be looking at one as an accelerator for Echo devices.

    • Google’s Duplex AI Robot Will Warn That Calls Are Recorded

      On Thursday, the Alphabet Inc. unit shared more details on how the Duplex robot-calling feature will operate when it’s released publicly, according to people familiar with the discussion. Duplex is an extension of the company’s voice-based digital assistant that automatically phones local businesses and speaks with workers there to book appointments.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • UK gov will have fresh [I]nternet safety laws ready in a ‘couple of years’

      But you’d be wrong. The Department got Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will work with the Home Office and other government departments and industry to knock out a white paper later this year that’ll set out legislation to be brought forward to tackle [I]nternet nastiness.

    • Predatory behavior runs rampant in Facebook’s addiction support groups

      After the call, Couch was surprised to find that she could not log back in to Affected by Addiction. In fact, she came to realize, she’d been banned. The experience left her feeling paranoid, like she couldn’t trust anyone. She warned her son to be careful about support groups.

    • The Pointless “Security” At Airports Stops Everyone But The Criminals

      # warning: references the Fail

      This is the antithesis of security and means that we are actually more insecure than if we put all those TSA dollars into probable cause-based policing. No showy show show at the airport out of that, but it would actually keep us safer.

    • The effect of the new UK cybersecurity laws

      Interestingly, despite earlier indications, the UK government has moved away from applying the very high potential fines linked to percentage of turnover that the GDPR has. Instead, there is a sliding scale of fines depending on the severity of the contravention with the highest being £17 million for a material contravention which caused/could cause an immediate threat to life or significant adverse impact on the UK economy.

    • The Latest: Haspel jokes about rocky confirmation process

      Newly sworn-in CIA Director Gina Haspel says she wants to send more officers into the field, improve foreign language proficiency among the ranks and strengthen the agency’s working relationships with intelligence agencies in partner nations.

    • President Trump swears in new CIA Director Gina Haspel
    • Trump targets former CIA Director John Brennan, quoting a pundit on ‘Fox & Friends’
    • Here’s Why Donald Trump Is Criticizing Former CIA Director John Brennan
    • Trump lambastes a former CIA director ahead of installation of a new one
    • Group affected by CIA brainwashing experiments wants public apology, compensation from government

      A group of Canadians affected by CIA brainwashing experiments conducted at McGill University’s Allan Memorial Institute met for the first time on Sunday to start organizing for a public apology and compensation from the federal government through a possible class-action.

      Around 40 people gathered at a Montreal condo to share their stories, cry and support each other. The pain, many said, was palpable in the room.

      “The government should offer an apology and there should be recognition of the injustice that was done,” says Gina Blasbalg, who became a patient at the Allan in her teens in 1960, and drove with her husband from Richmond, B.C., to attend the weekend meeting.

      ​Survivors Allied Against Government Abuse (SAAGA), as the group calls itself, includes both victims and family members of people who were unwitting participants in brainwashing experiments conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ewen Cameron, director of the psychiatric hospital between 1943 and 1964.

    • China must stop pushing territorial claims, censorship on foreign firms

      China imposes its political assertions on foreign companies, and if they do not comply, it retaliates against them. China should end this excessive censorship, which hinders free economic activities by the private sector.

      The Chinese government has demanded Japanese, U.S. and other airlines describe Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao as part of China on their websites. They have also been directed to label Taiwan “Chinese Taiwan” and use the same color for Taiwan on their maps as the one for mainland China.

    • Chinese publishers are in uncharted territory as maps get left out of books

      New rules have made it so difficult for publishers to get maps of China past the censors that some are choosing to leave them out of books entirely.

      Three separate publishing sources have told the South China Morning Post that the process of getting them approved for publication is so difficult and costly, they’re even suggesting authors remove maps before they will go ahead with a book deal.

      While Beijing has always been fastidious about maps of China – particularly whether they include the nine-dash line showing its disputed claim in the South China Sea, and the self-ruled island of Taiwan – the censors are now also turning their attention to how the country is represented on maps of the world, and even historical maps.

    • China Now Leads the World — at Bullying

      China has made known that it wants to be the world’s premier power, and it already leads in one area: bullying. The latest example is GAP clothing retailer, which just issued a groveling apology to Beijing for releasing a t-shirt emblazoned with an “erroneous” map of China. The “error” was omitting Taiwan, parts of Tibet, and certain South China Sea islands — all places that Beijing fancies part of its territory.

      The kicker is that, apparently, the shirt wasn’t even being sold in China. In fact, it was photos of the garment taken in Canada’s Niagara region that attracted the Chinese attention after being circulated online. This reflects a little known phenomenon: Through economic bullying, China is influencing markets well beyond its borders.

    • Patriot or Double Agent? CIA Officer on Trial as U.S. Targets Spying by China

      To the U.S. government, Kevin Mallory was a man in desperate straits, with no income in his pocket but with information in his head useful to China, given his longtime work as a covert CIA officer who spoke Mandarin.

    • State TV Says Fishing Rods ‘Used To Communicate With CIA’

      Despite Iran’s Intelligence Ministry insisting there is no proof to suggest that the environmentalists who have been detained were involved in espionage against their homeland, their attorney sees no breakthrough in his clients’ situation.

      At least 13 environmentalists, charged with espionage for “enemies,” have been behind bars since January 24.

      The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) intelligence organization also detained more than 40 environmentalists, rangers, and their relatives on May 7 and 8 in Hormozgan Province, southern Iran.

    • South Carolina Legislature Repeals Racist ‘Disturbing School’ Law for Students

      In 2015, video surfaced of a police officer violently dragging a Black girl from her school desk. He was arresting her, and using shockingly excessive force, because she was “disturbing school,” a vague law that more or less made it a crime for a student to be loud, to talk back to staff or school police. In other words, it criminalized being a kid.

      Unsurprisingly, this law has disproportionately affected students of color, who are already over-policed outside the school walls, so we sued in August 2016. Last week, we scored a victory on behalf of all students who have been pulled into the maze of the state’s criminal justice system.

      On Thursday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed an amendment repealing the crime of disturbing schools for students in the state of South Carolina. The importance of this law being signed cannot be understated. Its passage will eliminate a major source of the school-to-prison pipeline, which has caused grievous and lifelong harm to students across South Carolina.

    • Uncle Sam Is Helping Missouri Cops Steal From the State’s Public Education Fund

      When it comes to the practice of civil asset forfeiture, the state of Missouri has the right idea. State law mandates that 100 percent of proceeds from cash and property forfeitures that result in convictions be used to fund the state’s public schools. That’s a sound idea, but there’s one problem: It isn’t happening.

      In 2016, local law enforcement only sent $100,000 to public schools when it seized $6.3 million worth of property. And of that total, 44 percent went to the feds. What accounts for this discrepancy?

      Simple: Missouri law enforcement has conspired with the Department of Justice, in defiance of state law, to ensure that the cash goes into their coffers rather than to the school children of Missouri.

      In 2001, Missouri’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Act (CAFA) was amended in an effort to impede state and local law enforcement from policing for profit, a common practice in many states across the county whereby police are incentivized to seize property and pocket its cash value. CAFA aimed to ensure that upon a defendant’s conviction their seized property be handed off to the local county prosecutor who would “deposit the proceeds into the public education fund as required by the Missouri Constitution,” thereby curtailing law enforcement’s incentive to arbitrarily and pervasively seize, and then keep or cash in, property allegedly involved in a crime.

    • The CIA made a Magic: The Gathering-style card game for training agents, and we played it

      Last year during SXSW, the CIA revealed it designs elaborate tabletop games to train and test its employees and analysts. After receiving a Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA sent out censored information on three different games it uses with trainees — and thanks to Diegetic Games, an adapted version of one of them will soon be available to the public.

      CIA: Collect it All is based off a card game described in the documents as “Collection Deck,” which was designed by CIA Senior Collection Analyst David Clopper. Its play style is roughly based on Magic: The Gathering, and demonstrates how different intelligence tactics can be used to address political, economic, and military crises — and how the system often manages to screw it all up. If you want a copy of your own, there’s a funded Kickstarter campaign for it that ends on Tuesday that charges $29 for a set of physical cards or $10 for a print-and-play version.

    • It takes more than a makeover to make a woman

      Munroe Bergdorf is pushing a pretty sexist view of womanhood.

    • A Death in Slow Motion

      James “Lee” Lewis had waited years for a new heart, praying for the day he would be free of the mechanical pump doctors implanted in him in 2015. The device had extended his life after his heart began to fail, but he hated that its wires and the portable battery pack kept him tethered to land and off his fishing boat.

      [...]

      For the next three months, he remained connected to life-support machines, enduring nearly 20 follow-up surgeries and procedures, before dying on March 23. For many weeks, the hospital withheld key details about his care, the family said, including what went wrong in the operating room during his transplant.

      Along the way, his wife and daughter chronicled Lee’s downward spiral in matter-of-fact Facebook posts that belied their sadness and anger but sometimes hinted at their frustration with the transplant program. ProPublica and the Chronicle confirmed their account through a review of medical records, answers to written questions from the hospital and an interview with a physician involved in Lee’s care.

      Taken together, excerpts from their social media feeds show how loved ones coped after Lee’s transplant — his shot at deliverance — went seriously wrong.

    • An old CIA memo provides rare proof of abuses by Brazil’s dictatorship

      From 1964 to 1985, Brazil was ruled by a military dictatorship that tortured and murdered dissidents in the name of fending off communism. The generals who ran the country have long denied the use of such brutal tactics, but a newly unearthed CIA memo reveals that Brazil’s top leaders knew and approved of a policy to execute people seen as threatening to the regime.

      In the two decades after Brazil’s military overthrew a democratically elected government in 1964, researchers say, the regime committed numerous atrocities. Interrogators utilized electric shocks on victims, drilled nails into their hands and doused their extremities in alcohol before setting them on fire. Hundreds of people deemed a threat to the government died or disappeared.

    • MoD wants to maintain a register of AI experts
    • Military brainboxes ponder ‘UK needs you’ list of AI boffins
  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Begins ‘Testing’ DSL Usage Caps It Refuses To Call Usage Caps

      For years now broadband providers have used a lack of competition to impose all manner of obnoxious additional fees on the backs of broadband consumers. That includes arbitrary and obnoxious usage caps and overage charges, which not only raise rates on captive customers, but quite intentionally make using streaming video competitors more expensive and cumbersome. Once caps are in place, large ISPs often exempt their own content from usage caps while still penalizing streaming competitors (aka zero rating).

      ISPs used to claim that such limits were necessary to manage network congestion, but as that argument was increasingly debunked (caps don’t actually help manage congestion) they’ve shifted their justifications to more flimsy alternatives. These days, ISPs usually offer no justification at all, or issue vague declarations that they’re simply trying to help users “better understand their consumption habits.”

    • FCC will take public comments on Sinclair-Tribune merger
    • T-Mobile should stop claiming it has “Best Unlimited Network,” ad group says

      AT&T challenged T-Mobile’s ads to the National Advertising Division (NAD), which ruled that T-Mobile hasn’t substantiated its claim that it has the best wireless network.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Chinese company which raised $1.3 billion in IP-backed financing has Virginia factory site foreclosed

      It would appear that the recipient of the largest ever IP-backed loan has come full circle to cautionary tale.

      Tranlin Paper, based in China’s Shandong Province, borrowed well over a billion dollars from the China Development bank in 2014 on the strength of its IP portfolio. It planned to invest part of the sum in a US-based paper mill which promised to provide 2,000 jobs.

      On the US side at least, the deal appears to have gone pear-shaped. And in China as well, serious questions are being asked about Tranlin’s financial situation.

    • Examining the Role of Patents in Firm Financing

      First, I’m working on a paper on this topic right now, using a high quality dataset that nobody has been able to exploit for this question. I hope my coauthor (David Ratigan, an economist here at Villanova) and I can do so! Hall’s paper lays out some of the challenges we face, and the primary criticism of prior papers: whether the benefit of financing is simply the patent right, or instead the underlying quality of the invention. Professor Hall suggests that the best approach may be a detailed study of companies with unpatented inventions as compared to companies with patented inventions. I think it would be great, but really difficult, to do such a study. But I’m not convinced it is necessary with the proper random sample and controls. We’ll find out, because that’s what we’re trying to do. Even if we fail, I think there is value in knowing the role of the patent right even if it is simply a proxy signal – more on this theoretical question below.

      Second, I think it would be good for law folks to read this. This is not a literature I hear discussed or cited very often.

      [...]

      This last question is the most important, and the one highlighted in this literature review. Must we separate the patent right from the patent innovation in order to determine that the patent system has value? Whenever I have propounded this theory of patenting, that’s the pushback I get – that the patent is just a correlated signal with firm quality, so the patent doesn’t have any real value on its own (this pushback even implies that the patent right has little value). But imagine a world where there is no patent system and firms innovate. How would they signal their quality? The method doesn’t really matter, except to note that those very same firms that don’t patent now can signal their quality in the exact same way.

    • A litigious Chinese Internet startup worth up to $30 billion buys patents for the first time

      China’s most popular news app, Toutiao, uses an algorithm to deliver a personalised feed of content to 120 million active users. The service, which produces no original content of its own, has dedicated most of its IP efforts to date to fending off copyright complaints. But a recent US assignment shows that it is preparing for potential patent conflict, too. Toutiao’s parent company, Bytedance, has raised money at a valuation of up to $30 billion, and remains independent of China’s three big internet giants, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Sleepwalking towards a perpetual (news?) publishers’ right in online publications
      • US Congress considers extending copyright term

        A Bill has been put before the US Congress that extends copyright protection for sound recordings (that were fixed before 1972) until 2067. This could mean that sound recordings fixed as early as 1923, would remain out of the public domain for evvvveeerrrr 144 years.

      • HBO Wins Stupid Copyright, Trademark Lawsuit Brought By Graffiti Artist Over 2 Seconds Of Background Scenery

        Whenever a company like HBO gets targeted with a lawsuit over intellectual property concerns, you might think we find it tempting to jump all over them in each and every case. After all, HBO has the distinction of being notably horrible when it comes to enforcing its own IP, from shutting down viewing parties, to offering streaming options, to abusing the the DMCA process just to keep spoilers from existing, as though that could possibly work.

        But the truth is the fun we have in cases where these types are found to be in legal trouble over intellectual property only extends to when that legal trouble is in some way warranted. When its not, we find that there is a helpful other party on which to heap our ire. That’s the case in a lawsuit HBO recently won against graffiti artist Itoffee R. Gayle, who complained about his work appearing in a scene of the HBO show Vinyl. The court ruled that HBO’s use was de minimis, or so fleeting so as to cause no injury and therefore not be actionable.

      • How The Recording Industry Hid Its Latest Attempt To Expand Copyright (And Why You Should Call Your Senator To Stop It)

        Last month, we wrote about the problems of the CLASSICS Act that the House was voting on. There’s a lot of background (much of it included in that post), that is not worth repeating, but the very short version is that sound recordings from before 1972 are treated somewhat differently under copyright law than songs recorded since February of 1972. Specifically, pre-1972 sound recordings are not covered by federal copyright law, but by a weird batch of state laws. Due to a bunch of shenanigans, many of those works will not be put into the public domain until 2067, even if by any other measure they should be in the public domain. The RIAA has always liked this aspect of pre-1972 songs. However, there are other aspects of pre-1972 songs that the RIAA does not like, and that’s mainly that the lack of federal copyright coverage means that those works (mostly) don’t get any performance rights, since most state laws didn’t have such a concept. That’s money the RIAA feels is being left on the table.

        One way to handle this would be to just federalize the copyright on pre-1972 works and put all works on an equal footing. Easy, right? But that’s not what the CLASSICS Act does. Instead, it just modernizes the parts of copyright for those works that help extract more money from people (such as adding in performance rights) while refusing to bring with it the parts of copyright law that protect the public — including the timeline for things moving into the public domain.

        [...]

        Instead, it’s just a welfare bill for musicians. And, hey, Congress can set up a welfare system for musicians if it wants to, but it should be described as such and debated as such. Instead, this is being positioned very differently, because of course that’s how the RIAA plays things.

      • Kodi-Addon Developer Gives Up Piracy Defense Due to Lack of Funds

        Shani, the brains behind the popular Kodi-addon ZemTV, has asked his attorney to stop defending him. The London-based developer says he doesn’t have the funds to fight the legal battle against Dish Networks in a US court. As a result, there’s a high likelihood that the broadcast provider will win a default judgment.

      • Singapore ISPs Block 53 Pirate Sites Following MPAA Legal Action

        Several major ISPs have blocked dozens of pirate torrent and streaming platforms following orders from the Singapore High Court. The action, which covers platforms including The Pirate Bay plus KickassTorrents and Solarmovie variants, follows a successful application from the MPAA, which accuses the platforms of flagrant copyright infringement.

05.21.18

Links 21/5/2018: Linux 4.17 RC6, GIMP 2.10.2

Posted in News Roundup at 1:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux vs. Unix: What’s the difference?

    If you are a software developer in your 20s or 30s, you’ve grown up in a world dominated by Linux. It has been a significant player in the data center for decades, and while it’s hard to find definitive operating system market share reports, Linux’s share of data center operating systems could be as high as 70%, with Windows variants carrying nearly all the remaining percentage. Developers using any major public cloud can expect the target system will run Linux. Evidence that Linux is everywhere has grown in recent years when you add in Android and Linux-based embedded systems in smartphones, TVs, automobiles, and many other devices.

    Even so, most software developers, even those who have grown up during this venerable “Linux revolution” have at least heard of Unix. It sounds similar to Linux, and you’ve probably heard people use these terms interchangeably. Or maybe you’ve heard Linux called a “Unix-like” operating system.

    So, what is this Unix? The caricatures speak of wizard-like “graybeards” sitting behind glowing green screens, writing C code and shell scripts, powered by old-fashioned, drip-brewed coffee. But Unix has a much richer history beyond those bearded C programmers from the 1970s. While articles detailing the history of Unix and “Unix vs. Linux” comparisons abound, this article will offer a high-level background and a list of major differences between these complementary worlds.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.16.10
    • Linux 4.14.42
    • Linux 4.9.101
    • Linux 4.17-rc6

      Things continue to be fairly calm. There’s a couple of commits in here that
      aren’t “trivial few-liners”, but most of it really is pretty small. And in
      fact, a quarter of the full patch for the week is tooling – and the bulk of
      that is the testing subdirectory.

      In fact, drivers are in the minority here, because another 30% is arch
      updates (arm, s390, x86), and we even have more lines of filesystem fixes
      than we have driver fixes (admittedly mostly due to a few of the
      more-than-a-few-liner patches being to filesystems: afs and btrfs).

      We do have a few driver fixes (all over – hwmon, usb, sound, acpi, gpu),
      but it’s all really small.

      So nothing special to report. Go read the shortlog, pull the changes,
      build, and test. It should all be good and pretty stable by this point.

      Linus

    • Linux 4.17-rc6 Kernel Released As Another “Fairly Calm” Release

      Linux 4.17 is up to its sixth weekly release candidate ahead of the official release expected by mid-June.

    • USB Audio Class 3.0 Improvements Coming To Linux 4.18

      With the recently minted Linux 4.17 kernel there was initial USB Audio Class 3.0 support for this audio-over-USB specification while with Linux 4.18 that UA3 support will be further enhanced.

      UAC3 is primarily geared for “USB audio over USB Type-C” that is an upgrade over UAC2 with improved power management, new descriptors, and more.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Linux Foundation LFCE: Hugues Clouâtre

        I started using Linux and open source software professionally at the beginning of my IT career while attending university. I found the simplicity and flexibility of Linux quite interesting, especially compared to the mainstream operating systems at that time (2004). Red Hat and Debian were the first Linux distributions I used in a business environment. Linux gives you the freedom to experiment — it got me interested right away.

    • Graphics Stack

      • IWOCL OpenCL 2018 Videos Start Appearing Online

        There is the conference program for those that are curious about the sessions that took place during this annual OpenCL conference. Eventually, slide decks should be available from there too.

        The most prominent session video of interest to hobbyists and general OpenCL developers/users will likely be The Khronos Group’s President, Neil Trevett, providing a “state of the nation” on CL…

      • Mesa 18.1 Officially Released as the Most Advanced Linux Graphics Stack Series

        The development team behind the open-source Mesa graphics stack announced over the weekend the general availability of the final Mesa 18.1 release for Linux-based operating systems.

        The Mesa 18.1 series comes approximately two months after the 18.0 branch, which probably most GNU/Linux distributions are using these days, and which already received its fourth maintenance updates. Mesa 18.1 introduces a few new features across all supported graphics drivers, but it’s mostly another stability update.

      • Mach64 & Rendition Drivers Now Work With X.Org Server 1.20

        Anyone happening to have an ATI Mach 64 graphics card from the mid-90′s or a 3Dfx-competitor Rendition graphics card also from the 90′s can now enjoy the benefits of the recently released X.Org Server 1.20.

        Mach 64 and Rendition are among the X.Org DDX (2D) drivers still being maintained for the X.Org Server. Even though using either of these two decade old graphics cards would be painfully slow with a Linux desktop stack from today especially if paired with CPU and memory from that time-frame, the upstream X.Org developers still appear willing to maintain support for these vintage graphics processors. Well, at least as far as ensuring the drivers still build against the newest software — we’ve seen before out of these old drivers that they are updated to work for new releases, but at times can actually be broken display support for years before anyone notices with said hardware.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ryzen 7 2700 / Ryzen 7 2700X / Core i7 8700K Linux Gaming Performance With RX Vega 64, GTX 1080 Ti

        With the Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 7 2700 last week I included a few Linux gaming benchmarks, but for those evaluating CPU options for your next Intel/AMD Linux gaming system upgrade, here is a much more thorough set of benchmarks from a wide variety of OpenGL and Vulkan powered Linux games. The Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 7 2700X, and Core i7 8700K processors were tested for this Ubuntu gaming comparison while testing with both a Radeon RX Vega 64 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

      • The Prominent Changes Of Phoronix Test Suite 8.0

        With development on Phoronix Test Suite 8.0 wrapping up for release in the coming weeks, here is a recap of some of the prominent changes for this huge update to our open-source, cross-platform benchmarking software.

      • AMD AOCC 1.2 Code Compiler Offers Some Performance Benefits For EPYC

        Last month AMD released the AOCC 1.2 compiler for Zen systems. This updated version of their branched LLVM/Clang compiler with extra patches/optimizations for Zen CPUs was re-based to the LLVM/Clang 6.0 code-base while also adding in experimental FLANG support for Fortran compilation and various other unlisted changes to their “znver1″ patch-set. Here’s a look at how the performance compares with AOCC 1.2 to LLVM Clang 6.0 and GCC 7/8 C/C++ compilers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Looks Like an Awesome Update

        The KDE Plasma 5.13 release is shaping up to be something rather special indeed.

        Currently in development, KDE Plasma 5.13 serves as the next major release of the leading Qt/Qml desktop environment. The update features a stack of improvements, refinements and some innovative new functionality.

        In this post we roundup the best KDE Plasma 5.13 features and changes, plus give you all the details on how to upgrade to Plasma 5.13 in Kubuntu and KDE Neon once it is released on June 12, 2018.

      • First week of coding phase, GSoC’18

        QML plugins will now be loaded into Falkon from the subdirectory qml in the standard plugin paths, similar to Python plugins. Also in metadata.desktop file for plugin, the main entry file (QML) can be specified so that the plugin named X can have the entry file Y.qml.

      • KDAB at SIGGRAPH 2018

        Yes, folks. This year SIGGRAPH 2018 is in Canada and we’ll be there at the Qt booth, showing off our latest tooling and demos. These days, you’d be surprised where Qt is used under the hood, even by the biggest players in the 3D world!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.30 Desktop to Introduce New App for Finding Free Internet Radio Stations

        GNOME 3.30 is currently in heavy development, with a second snapshot expected to land this week, and the GNOME Project recently updated their future plans page for the upcoming releases with the inclusion of the Internet Radio Locator app, which could make its debut during this cycle.

        Internet Radio Locator is an open-source graphical application built with the latest GNOME/GTK+ technologies and designed to help users easily locate free Internet radio stations from various broadcasters around the globe. It currently supports text-based location search for a total of 86 stations from 76 world cities.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian is wrong

        So, the MiniDebConf Hamburg 2018 is about to end, it’s sunny, no clouds are visible and people seem to be happy.

        And, I have time to write this blog post! So, just as a teaser for now, I’ll present to you the content of some slides of our “Reproducible Buster” talk today. Later I will add links to the video and the full slides.

      • Mini DebConf Hamburg

        Since Friday around noon time, I and my 6-year-old son are at the Mini DebConf in Hamburg. Attending together with my son is quite a different experience than plain alone or with also having my wife around. Though he is doing pretty good, it mostly means the day ends for me around 2100 when he needs to go to sleep.

      • Derivatives

        • Parrot 4.0 Ethical Hacking OS Debuts with MD Raid Support, Stable Sandboxed Apps

          Powered by the latest Linux 4.16 kernel series, Parrot 4.0 is a major release of the GNU/Linux distribution designed for ethical hacking and penetration testing operations. It’s the first to introduce stable, reliable support for sandboxed applications as an extra layer of security, and official Netinstall and Docker images.

          “Parrot on Docker gives you access to all the Parrot containers you need on top of Windows, Mac OS, or any other system supported by docker, no matter if it is just your laptop or a whole docker cluster running on an entire datacenter. You will always have access to all the parrot tools in all the isolated environments you need,” said the devs.

        • Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” Will Reach End of Security Support on June 17, 2018

          According to a security advisory posted by developer Moritz Muehlenhoff on the Debian-security-announce mailing list, the Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series will no longer receive regular security updates as of June 17, 2018. However, a limited number of packages will still be updated for a while.

          “This is an advance notice that regular security support for Debian GNU/Linux 8 (code name “jessie”) will be terminated on the 17th of June,” said Moritz Muehlenhoff. “As with previous releases additional LTS support will be provided for a reduced set of architectures and packages.”

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Tennibot is a really cool Ubuntu Linux-powered tennis ball collecting robot

            Linux isn’t just a hobby — the kernel largely powers the web, for instance. Not only is Linux on many web servers, but it is also found on the most popular consumer operating system in the world — Android. Why is this? Well, the open source kernel scales very well, making it ideal for many projects. True, Linux’s share of the desktop is still minuscule, but sometimes slow and steady wins the race — watch out, Windows!

            A good example of Linux’s scalability is a new robot powered by Linux which was recently featured on the official Ubuntu Blog. Called “Tennibot,” the Ubuntu-powered bot seeks out and collects tennis balls. Not only does it offer convenience, but it can save the buyer a lot of money too — potentially thousands of dollars per year as this calculator shows. So yeah, a not world-changing product, but still very neat nonetheless. In fact, it highlights that Linux isn’t just behind boring nerdy stuff, but fun things too.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Aims to Improve Laptop Battery Life

            It’s been less than a month since Ubuntu 18.04 LTS released, but when you work on a six-month release cycle the focus moves quickly to what comes next. Canonical is doing just that by telling us what we can expect to see in Ubuntu 18.10, which arrives in October.

            If you’re only just getting used to Ubuntu 18.04, don’t worry, Canonical hasn’t forgotten about you. In a blog post, Canonical’s desktop engineering manager, Will Cooke, details plans to release 18.04.1 in July. It will fix a number of bugs, but also introduce the ability to, among other things, unlock Ubuntu with your fingerprint.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Linux Operating System Launching Oct 2018

            Now that the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS operating system is available to download offering long-term support, its developers Canonical are now looking to the future and have announced that Ubuntu 18.10 operating system is expected to be made available during October 2018 and will bring with it some major new additions and enhancements.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 will come with a new default theme, improved power management, and more

            Scheduled to arrive in October, Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” will still use GNOME but will come with a new default theme called Communitheme, improved power saving options, a faster first-time startup for apps installed as snaps, DLNA media sharing, and more. Until then, version 18.04.1 is expected to drop in July with a few minor changes, as well as the usual tweaks and bug fixes.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu Drops 32-bit Install Images

              If you were planning to grab a Kubuntu 18.10 32-bit download this October you will want to look away now.

              Kubuntu has confirmed plans to join the rest of the Ubuntu flavour family and drop 32-bit installer images going forward.

              This means there will be no 32-bit Kubuntu 18.10 disc image available to download later this year.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • More Roads And Faster Browsers

      And it’s exactly what is happening with our Web pages. Browsers become more performant. So developers instead of using this extra performance to make the page extra-blazingly fast, we use it to pack more DOM nodes, CSS animations and JavaScript driven user experiences.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 61 Beta 6 Testday Results

        As you may already know, last Friday – May 18th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 61 Beta 6.

        Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: gaby2300, Michal, micde, Jarrod Michell, Petri Pollanen, Thomas Brooks.

        From India team: Aishwarya Narasimhan, Mohamed Bawas, Surentharan and Suren, amirthavenkat, krish.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.9.6 Update Helps Websites Prepare for GDPR

      The open-source WordPress content management system project announced its 4.9.6 update on May 17, providing users with privacy enhancements designed to help sites be compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

      GDPR is set to go into effect on May 25, requiring organizations to take steps to protect the privacy of end- user information. To be compliant with GDPR, organizations need to properly disclose how user data is stored and used.

      “It’s important to understand that while the GDPR is a European regulation, its requirements apply to all sites and online businesses that collect, store, and process personal data about EU residents no matter where the business is located,” WordPress developer Allen Snook wrote in a blog post.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • DragonFly BSD 5.2.0

      My experience with DragonFly this week was a lot like my experiences with other members of the BSD family. The system is lightweight, provides lots of useful documentation and gives us a minimal platform from which to build our operating system. The system was stable, fast and provided me with most of the software I wanted. Apart from DragonFly not working with my desktop computer’s hardware, I had an overall good experience with the operating system.

      I had mixed feelings about H2. At this point the file system seems stable and can be used for most common tasks. However, the advanced features that make the future of H2 look so appealing, are not all in place yet. So it might be best to wait another year before switching over to H2 if you want to make the most of snapshots and other advanced file system options.

      DragonFly is typically regarded as a server operating system, and that is where its strengths lie. However, this week I feel it performed well as a desktop platform too. It takes a little while to set up DragonFly as a desktop, but the documentation walks us through most of the process and I was able to do everything I would typically do on Linux desktop distribution.

    • Server maker IXsystems sets sail with new TrueNAS flagship

      All IXsystems storage runs a distribution of OpenZFS, based on the Zettabyte File System (ZFS) initially developed by Sun Microsystems, on x86-based appliances manufactured by iXsystems. The vendor, based in San Jose, Calif., also sells IXsystems FreeNAS rackmount systems used primarily by home offices and small businesses, and all-flash Z50 TrueFlash appliances on the high end.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GIMP 2.10.2 Released

      It’s barely been a month since we released GIMP 2.10.0, and the first bugfix version 2.10.2 is already there! Its main purpose is fixing the various bugs and issues which were to be expected after the 2.10.0 release.

    • GIMP 2.10.2 Released With HEIF Image Format Support

      Just shy of one month since the long-awaited debut of GIMP 2.10, the first stable point release is now available.

      Besides fixing bugs, there is new features too including support for HEIF images for importing and exporting, spherize and recursive transform filters added, improved histogram computation, and more.

    • GNU nano 2.9.7 was released

      Accumulated changes over the last five releases include: the ability to bind a key to a string (text and/or escape sequences), a default color of bright white on red for error messages, an improvement to the way the Scroll-Up and Scroll-Down commands work, and the new –afterends option to make Ctrl+Right (next word) stop at the end of a word instead of at the beginning. Check it out.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Tesla Starts Open Sourcing Some Software Code After Facing Criticism

      Elon Musk might enjoy the status of most-talked-about celebrity in the technology world, but his company Tesla doesn’t have many admirers when it comes to open source and free software enthusiasts. The company is known to be using many GPL-licensed technologies that need Tesla to share the source code of their software.

    • Tesla releases source code for some of its in-car tech
    • It Only Took Six Years, But Tesla Is No Longer Screwing Up Basic Software Licenses

      Tesla is actually doing it. The electric car maker is starting to abide by open source software licenses that it had previously ignored, and releasing the code it’s sat on for over six years, according to Electrek.

      Tesla’s super smart cars, specifically the sporty Model S sedan and Model X SUV, incorporate a lot of open source software, from Linux, the open source operating system, to BusyBox, a collection of tools that are useful when working with Linux and other UNIX environments (like macOS). All open source software is released under licenses and one of the most popular licenses is the GPL, or General Public License.

    • Tesla releases some of its software to comply with open source rules

      Tesla makes some of the most popular electric vehicles out there and the systems in those cars rely on open source software for operating systems and features. Some of that open source software that is used in Tesla products has a license agreement that requires Tesla to at least offer the user access to the source code. Tesla hasn’t been making that offer.

    • Tesla open sources some of its Autopilot source code

      ELECTRIC CAR MAKER Tesla tends to keep the details of its work under lock and key, but now Elon Musk’s company is plonking some of its automotive tech source code into the open source community.

      Tesla dumped some of its code used to build the foundations of its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving tech and the infotainment system found on the Model S and Model X cars, which makes uses of Nvidia’s Tegra chipset, on GitHub.

      Even if you’re code-savvy, don’t go expecting to build your own autonomous driving platform on top of this source code, as Tesla has still kept the complete Autopilot framework under wraps, as well as deeper details of the infotainment system found in its cars. But it could give code wranglers a better look into how Tesla approaches building infotainment systems and giving its cars a dose of self-driving smarts.

    • Tesla releases source code

      Tesla has taken its first step towards compliance with the GNU General Public Licence (GPL) by releasing some of its source code.

      The car maker has opened two GitHub repositories which contain the buildroot material used to build the system image on its Autopilot platform, and the kernel sources for the boards and the Nvidia-based infotainment system in the Model S and Model X.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Lemonade Proposes Open Source Insurance Policy for All to Change, Adopt

      Technology-focused homeowners and renters insurer Lemonade Inc. has proposed an open source renters insurance policy that anyone can contribute to changing, even its rivals since Lemonade is not copyrighting it.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Suitcase Computer Reborn with Raspberry Pi Inside

        Fun fact, the Osborne 1 debuted with a price tag equivalent to about $5,000 in today’s value. With a gigantic 9″ screen and twin floppy drives (for making mix tapes, right?) the real miracle of the machine was its portability, something unheard of at the time. The retrocomputing trend is to lovingly and carefully restore these old machines to their former glory, regardless of how clunky or underpowered they are by modern standards. But sometimes they can’t be saved yet it’s still possible to gut and rebuild the machine with modern hardware, like with this Raspberry Pi used to revive an Osborne 1.

        Purists will turn their nose up at this one, and we admit that this one feels a little like “restoring” radios from the 30s by chucking out the original chassis and throwing in a streaming player. But [koff1979] went to a lot of effort to keep the original Osborne look and feel in the final product. We imagine that with the original guts replaced by a Pi and a small LCD display taking the place of the 80 character by 24 line CRT, the machine is less strain on the shoulder when carrying it around. (We hear the original Osborne 1 was portable in the same way that an anvil is technically portable.) The Pi runs an emulator to get the original CP/M experience; it even runs Wordstar. The tricky part about this build was making the original keyboard talk to the Pi, which was accomplished with an Arduino that translates key presses to USB.

      • My talk from the RISC-V workshop in Barcelona
  • Programming/Development

    • 9 Best Free Python Integrated Development Environments

      Python is a widely used general-purpose, high level programming language. It’s easy to read and learn. It’s frequently used for science, data analysis, and engineering. With a burgeoning scientific community and ecosystem, Python is an excellent environment for students, scientists and organizations that develop technology software.

      One of the essential tools for a budding Python developer is a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

      Many coders learn to code using a text editor. And many professional Python developers prefer to stay with their favourite text editor, in part because a lot of text editors can be used as a development environment by making use of plugins. But many Python developers migrate to an IDE as this type of software application offers, above all else, practicality. They make coding easier, can offer significant time savings with features like autocompletion, and built-in refactoring code, and also reduces context switching. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

    • Want to Debug Latency?

      In the recent decade, our systems got complex. Our average production environments consist of many different services (many microservices, storage systems and more) with different deployment and production-maintenance cycles. In most cases, each service is built and maintained by a different team — sometimes by a different company. Teams don’t have much insight into others’ services. The final glue that puts everything together is often a staging environment or sometimes the production itself!

      Measuring latency and being able to react to latency issues are getting equally complex as our systems got more complex. This article will help you how to navigate yourself at a latency problem and what you need to put in place to effectively do so.

Leftovers

  • You Can Send Invisible Messages With Subtle Font Tweaks

    The method is a steganographic technique, meaning it hides secret information in plain sight such that only its intended recipient knows where to look for it and how to extract it. FontCode can be applied to hundreds of common fonts, like Helvetica or Times New Roman, and works in word processors like Microsoft Word. Data encoded with FontCode can also endure across any image-preserving digital format, like PDF or PNG. The secret data won’t persist after, say, copy and pasting FontCode text between text editors.

    The most significant format conversion FontCode messages can transcend, though, is digital to physical and back.

  • Damned Ads!!!

    This is ridiculous. I don’t mind advertisers paying for my browsing experience but killing the browser to do it? What’s with that? You advertisers better get your act together or you’re going to kill the web as we know it. I feel sorry for the noble websites funded by ads. They plead with us not to block ads. I don’t want the overhead of sorting advertisers out between the good, the bad and the ugly. I just don’t want to know. My life is too complicated for an old retired guy. Weeds I understand. They’re just doing their thing. I don’t understand advertisers driving markets away.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Trump Administration Aims to Gut Family Planning Program Primarily Serving Low Income Patients

      The new gag rule would cut off access to critical care and information for low income patients nationwide.

      The Trump administration announced Friday that it is proposing a new “gag rule” designed to block patients who rely on Title X from accessing critical family planning services at reproductive health care providers including Planned Parenthood.

      The new proposed rule, which comes despite strong opposition from more than 200 Members of Congress and 110 organizations, has not been released to the public. According to reports, however, the rule is intended to push Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care providers out of the Title X program if they provide or refer patients for abortions, and would allow providers in the program to withhold comprehensive information from patients about their options.

      If implemented, this will create a reality in which women with private health insurance receive comprehensive information, including referrals for abortion, from their doctors, while women whose providers are funded through the Title X program do not — because of restrictions imposed by the government on their doctors.

    • Five Years After The Indian Supreme Court’s Novartis Verdict

      On 1 April 2013, in a packed room inside India’s Supreme Court, a magnificent building in Indo-British architectural style, two judges delivered a verdict that impacted the national and global conversation about patents and patients.

      India’s apex court delivered a 112-page landmark judgement which dismissed Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG’s appeal for a patent for its life-saving cancer drug marketed under brand name Glivec in most parts of the world.

      The Novartis case triggered a hugely polarising discourse around the world about a key feature of India’s patent regime.

  • Security and Bugs

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 97 – Automation: Humans are slow and dumb

      Josh and Kurt talk about the security of automation as well as automating security. The only way automation will really work long term is full automation. Humans can’t be trusted enough to rely on them to do things right.

    • An introduction to cryptography and public key infrastructure

      Secure communication is quickly becoming the norm for today’s web. In July 2018, Google Chrome plans to start showing “not secure” notifications for all sites transmitted over HTTP (instead of HTTPS). Mozilla has a similar plan. While cryptography is becoming more commonplace, it has not become easier to understand. Let’s Encrypt designed and built a wonderful solution to provide and periodically renew free security certificates, but if you don’t understand the underlying concepts and pitfalls, you’re just another member of a large group of cargo cult programmers.

    • Teensafe, A Teen Phone Monitoring App, Leaks Thousands Of Apple ID Passwords

      Teensafe is a monitoring app used by parents for keeping a check on the activities of their children. The app allows parents to access their child’s location, call history, messages, browsing history, and apps downloaded by them without their permission.

    • Teen phone monitoring app leaked thousands of user passwords

      The mobile app, TeenSafe, bills itself as a “secure” monitoring app for iOS and Android, which lets parents view their child’s text messages and location, monitor who they’re calling and when, access their web browsing history, and find out which apps they have installed.

    • The weirdest bug I’ve found in a compiler: MSVC 2017

      There’s been discussion on cppitertools about the newest MSVC release (15.7) claiming to be fully standards compliant, which led me here.
      The following code fails to compile under MSVC for one reason: the U on lines 4 and 5 is a different name than the T on lines 10 and 11, so the result of the static_assert condition on line 19 is false. (Note that I’m not using std::declval here for simplicity’s sake).

    • Security updates for Monday
  • Defence/Aggression

    • War criminal Henry Kissinger: “AI is the end of the Enlightenment”

      This is a fascinating piece, but not because of its insights (which are anodyne, poorly argued, grounded in monumental ignorance of his subject, and years out of date — your basic high-paid management consultant, recycling five-year-old ideas for CEOs who are ten years out-of-date), but because of who they’re coming from.

      Kissinger is a living fossil, a monster of the 20th century that has staggered into the 21st, one of the last survivors of the cohort of genocidal authoritarians who included Pol Pot and Stalin. His doctrine once held that the state should gather its smartest (which is to say, “most Kissingerian”) elements inside of secret rooms where they would decide who would live and who would die, in the name of humanity’s greater good. They could do this because they had been through elite educational institutions that taught them about Greek, Roman and German philosophers.

    • Academics protest Google’s role in drone murder

      Three prominent technology scholars published an open letter Monday, which has now received over 900 signatures, condemning Google’s collaboration with the Pentagon’s illegal “targeted killing” program.

      The academics published their letter in support of over 3,100 Google employees who issued their own open letter last month protesting the company’s participation in a Pentagon program called Project Maven, designed to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to analyze footage collected by US military drones.

    • How Many Civilians Did Trump Kill in Drone Strikes Last Year?

      If civilian deaths from drone strikes are anything similar, Trump’s team is killing five to ten times as many civilians as Obama did. I’m a little surprised that they aren’t proud of this and eager to share that data, but I guess even the Trumpies have their limits.

    • ‘A Dangerous Low’: Trump Ignores Deadline for Reporting Civilians Killed by US Drone Attacks

      The Trump administration on Tuesday flouted two major deadlines for disclosing the number of civilians killed by U.S. military forces: one public report that was mandated by an Obama-era executive order and focused on drone strike deaths; and one report to Congress that is supposed to detail all civilian deaths tied to U.S. military operations.

      “The Trump administration’s decision not to comply with even the meager transparency requirements of the executive order is a dangerous low,” declared Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.

      “It’s unacceptable,” she added, “for the government to simply refuse to release the numbers of people killed, let alone their identities, the rules governing its deadly decisions, or investigations into credibly alleged wrongful killing.”

    • How the UAE’s Chinese-Made Drone Is Changing the War in Yemen

      “They are working incredibly hard to be the new entrepreneurial contractor in the region, both politically and militarily,” says Farea al-Muslimi, an associate fellow at Chatham House. “They no longer want to remain on the sidelines. Yemen is one of the battles where they think they can improve both their credentials and capabilities.”

      The UAE has invested heavily in military aid to coalition-backed forces in Yemen. It has constructed various security units, seen as proxy forces by the United Nations, to fight al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on the southern coast. Now, the UAE is directing its efforts to support Tareq Saleh, the nephew of late President Ali Abdullah Saleh who is leading an offensive to retake the strategic port of Hodeidah from the Houthis.

      “In recent days, we had been closely monitoring the Houthi leadership’s movements,” says a senior commander of the coalition’s ground forces advancing from the port of Mokha.

      The strike that killed Samad was part of the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive on Hodeidah. The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Khalid bin Salman, even tweeted about the strike earlier this week, claiming it was in retaliation for Houthi missile attacks. Samad “vowed [a] couple of weeks ago to make 2018 the ‘year of ballistic missiles on KSA,’” the Saudi ambassador wrote. “The response to him was a direct hit under the leadership of HRH Minister of Defense.”

      Though the Saudis have claimed credit for the strike, the intelligence for the attack was routed through Tareq Saleh’s staff to the UAE, which also carried out the operation.

      The UAE did not respond to a request for official comment

  • Finance

    • Over 80% Of 2017 IPOs Had ‘Negative’ Earnings – Most Since Dot-Com Peak

      Put a slightly different way, 2017 was the biggest “money for nothing” year since Pets.com… consider that the next time you’re told to buy the dip. Remember the only reason “the water is warm” is because it has been ‘chummed’ by the the last greater fool ready for the professional sharks to hand their ‘risk’ to…

    • Tax cut sparks record-setting $178 billion buyback boom

      One broad measure of business spending, real nonresidential fixed investment, rose by 6.1% during the first quarter. That’s solid growth signaling a strong economy. However, it was roughly in-line with the past several quarters. It even marked a slight deceleration from the final three months of 2017.

      That means companies have not significantly boosted spending on equipment, factories and other investments that create jobs and boost wages.

      Some economists aren’t surprised that the early windfall of the tax cuts is going to Wall Street, instead of Main Street. They note that companies have long had access to tons of cash. They note that companies have long had access to tons of cash.

      If they had plenty of cash, you shouldn’t really expect having access to more would lead them to invest,” said Alan Auerbach, director of Berkeley’s Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance.

    • The EU, Manufacturing and Brexit

      Britain already runs one of the world’s most efficient customs systems. In 2016, the World Bank ranked us fifth in the world on customs performance.

      [...]

      Brown writes, “The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is just a phrase, and it is hard to believe that devolution in England will achieve more than a further layer of bureaucracy. There is wide agreement on the need for North-South rebalancing, but I believe the fundamental key to achieving this is the recovery of manufacturing.”

      But governments here have seen engineering as just ‘metal bashing’. When the author asked Labour’s Ed Balls, when he was Chief Economic Advisor to the Treasury, his view on the decline of engineering, Balls replied, “You might as well mourn for the dinosaurs.”

      Brown ends with recommendations for accessing the single market, industrial policy, economic management, energy policy, education, taxation, fund management, corporate governance, private equity, representation and accountancy. His key recommendations are these:

      In industrial policy “Choose engineering as a sector to back. Consider import substitution and rebuilding supply chains, and support for exporters. … Conduct tougher public interest reviews of overseas takeovers. Change the restrictive terms of the Business Bank, establish an engineering investment fund …”

      In energy policy “Establish and implement a clear and effective policy embracing cost and security of supply, with protection of the environment. … Bring fracking under the control of one unified authority, and mitigate the impact on the environment and local communities.” He notes that “Thatcher “went on to privatise utilities that did not operate in freely competitive markets and where long-term consideration of the national strategic interest is crucial, for example energy and the railways. In these instances it has worked very much less well, and there is a strong need for reconsideration.”

      And in education “Invest more in primary and secondary schooling, while pruning tertiary colleges and greatly promoting vocational training. … Improve funding for technical subjects in universities, and increase their contacts with engineering industry. Introduce a prestigious engineering qualification. Remove private schools’ charitable status, and provide state schooling on the same basis for all children, with no faith or grammar schools. …”

    • Brexit blamed for dramatic fall in UK business registrations

      Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has sparked a dramatic fall in the number of French, Dutch and Belgian businesses registering in the UK, in a further illustration of Brexit’s impact on the UK economy.

      Figures from Companies House show that French companies registered 48% fewer businesses in the UK in 2016-17 than the previous financial year while companies in Belgium registered 38% fewer. Companies in the Netherlands, which is probably the worst affected by Brexit of Britain’s trading partners, registered 52% fewer companies last year than in 2015-16.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Hillary Clinton is Now a Victim of ‘Socialists’

      Hillary Clinton’s take on “what happened” in the 2016 election is a running tale of victimization. She was the casualty of FBI Director James Comey and of Vladimir Putin and WikiLeaks. She was unjustly loathed by that “basket” of racist, sexist, nativist, and homophobic “deplorables” that is supposedly the American “heartland,” white working-class and rural population – people she recently painted (at an elite globalist gathering in Mumbai, India) as a bunch of “pessimistic,” slow-witted and retrograde losers. She was victimized by Bernie Sanders, who (Hillary complained) wasn’t even a “real Democrat” but had the unmitigated chutzpah to let his primary campaign challenge her prearranged coronation as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

      Never mind the series of stupid, arrogant, and largely unforced errors that crippled her uninspiring and policy-bereft insider campaign that was under her command. And never mind her own epic unpopularity before and during the campaign – disapproval earned over her many years of functioning as a cold and transparently elitist Establishment agent of the wealthy corporate and financial Few.

    • Polls Show Being Anti-Trump Isn’t Enough to Beat GOP

      With six months to go before the midterm election, recent national polls are showing that the Democratic Party’s much-touted momentum to gain control of the House has stalled. The latest numbers tell us a lot about the limits of denouncing Donald Trump without offering much more than a return to the old status quo.

      Under the headline “Democrats’ 2018 Advantage Is Nearly Gone,” CNN on May 9 reported that nationwide polling found “the generic congressional ballot has continued to tighten” — “with the Democrats’ edge over Republicans within the poll’s margin of sampling error for the first time this cycle.”

      With so many gerrymandered districts as well as widespread voter-ID laws and other GOP-engineered voter suppression, Democrats will need a substantial margin in vote totals to prevent Republicans from retaining a majority in the House of Representatives. (The prospects are worse in the Senate, where Democrats are defending a lopsided number of seats this year.)

    • Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation

      Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

      Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

    • The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election

      Photo: YouTube
      The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election
      Glenn Greenwald
      May 19 2018, 2:27 p.m.

      An extremely strange episode that has engulfed official Washington over the last two weeks came to a truly bizarre conclusion on Friday night. And it revolves around a long-time, highly sketchy CIA operative, Stefan Halper.

      Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign – using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush – got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.

      Over the past several weeks, House Republicans have been claiming that the FBI during the 2016 election used an operative to spy on the Trump campaign, and they triggered outrage within the FBI by trying to learn his identity. The controversy escalated when President Trump joined the fray on Friday morning. “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president,” Trump tweeted, adding: “It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!”

    • Trump misspells Melania’s name in tweet on her return to White House from hospital

      Length of Walter Reed stay leads to questions over condition but spokeswoman says speculation on first lady’s health ‘uninformed’

    • Emma Barnett: A Classic “Philip Cross” Wikipedia Operation

      High Tory, ex Daily Telegraph and Murdoch, expensive private school, Emma Barnett is BBC Politics’ rising star and stood in as host of the BBC flagship Marr programme on Sunday. She was there rude and aggressive to Labour’s Barry Gardiner. The “highlight” of her career so far was during the general election when on Radio 4 Women’s Hour she demanded instant top of the head recall of complicated figures from Jeremy Corbyn, a ploy the BBC never turns on the Tories.

      The most interesting fact about Emma Barnett is that her exclusive private education was funded by her parents who were pimps and brothel keepers on a large scale, for which both were convicted.

      I know of no compelling evidence as to whether Barnett was, or was not, complicit in her parents’ activities, which financed her education into adulthood. But that this background is interesting and unusual is not in doubt. However the MSM’s image protector, “Philip Cross”, has been assiduous in, again and again, deleting the information about Barnett’s parents from Wikipedia. Not only has Cross deleted the referenced information of her parents being brothel-keepers, he has repeatedly inserted the ludicrous euphemisms that her father was a “businessman” and her mother a “housewife”.

    • The “Philip Cross” MSM Promotion Operation Part 3

      “Philip Cross” has just 200 Twitter followers, but has more MSM journalists following him than are to be found among my 42,300 twitter followers. Despite the fact a large majority of “Philip Cross’s” tweets are mere retweets, with Oliver Kamm and Nick Cohen most frequently retweeted. “Philip Cross” has never broken a news story and the few tweets which are not retweets contain no gems of expression or shrewd observation. In short, his twitter feed is extremely banal; there is literally nothing in it that might interest a journalist in particular. Do not take my word for it, judge for yourself.

      Why then does James LeMesurier, founder of the “White Helmets”, follow Philip Cross on twitter? Why does ex-minister Tristram Hunt follow Philip Cross on Twitter? Why does Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon, follow Philip Cross on twitter?

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Jacques: UM feels a lot like the USSR

      According to the complaint: “The University’s disciplinary code prohibits ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying,’ and further increases the potential penalties if such actions were motivated by ‘bias.’ All of those concepts, as the University interprets and applies them, can capture staggering amounts of protected speech and expression.”

      [...]

      “Students should be able to express themselves without fear of retribution,” Neily says.

    • Careful what you say in this university, its speech policies are those of Soviet Russia

      UM is an egregious example of how public institutions are limiting the free expression and debate of ideas — something that seems in opposition to the whole point of a college campus. And it is also creating a climate of suspicion on campus by encouraging students to spy on one another. They never know who they can trust.

      [...]

      The university’s system of encouraging anonymous tattletales (with real consequences for accused students) is “not workable,” she argues.

    • Christian Universities Engaging In Censorship Of Newspapers

      The censorship of newspapers is considered a grievous act in places of learning, but lately some Christian universities are facing accusations of meddling in the stories presented in their own publications. Several students who work at university newspapers have had their stories turned away by editors, claiming that the material was not interesting or would otherwise damage the school’s reputation. For example, Erin Covey of Liberty University complained that her desire to cover an anti-Trump and anti-Falwell event near the campus were blocked by her editors, seemingly because the protesters were only there for free publicity.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google Could Face $4.3 Billion Claim in U.K. IPhone Privacy Case

      IPhone users suing Google over data-collection claims may be seeking as much as 3.2 billion pounds ($4.29 billion), the search giant said in a court filing.

      The group representing iPhone users, known as Google You Owe Us, now includes 4.4 million people, according to documents filed with the court at a hearing Monday. The group says the Alphabet Inc. unit unlawfully collected people’s personal information by bypassing Apple Inc.’s iPhone default privacy settings.

      While any potential damages are still to be determined, the group has suggested each individual could receive 750 pounds if the case is successful, Google said in court documents. The Mountain View, California-based company denies the allegations and argued at the hearing that the dispute doesn’t belong in a London court.

    • Nearly Everyone In The U.S. And Canada Just Had Their Private Cell Phone Location Data Exposed

      The company recently received all the wrong kind of attention when it was caught up in a privacy scandal involving the nation’s wireless carriers and our biggest prison phone monopoly. Like countless other companies and governments, LocationSmart buys your wireless location data from cell carriers. It then sells access to that data via a portal that can provide real-time access to a user’s location via a tailored graphical interface using just the target’s phone number.

      [...]

      It was yet another example of the way nonexistent to lax consumer privacy laws in the States (especially for wireless carriers) routinely come back to bite us.

      But then things got worse.

      Driven by curiousity in the wake of the Times report, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University by the name of Robert Xiao discovered that the “try before you buy” system used by LocationSmart to advertise the cell location tracking system contained a bug, A bug so bad that it exposed the data of roughly 200 million wireless subscribers across the United States and Canada (read: nearly everybody).

    • Report Confirms Deep Flaws Of Automated Facial Recognition Software In The UK, Warns Its Use In The US Is Spreading

      Techdirt has written many stories about facial recognition systems. But there’s a step-change taking place in this area at the moment. The authorities are moving from comparing single images with database holdings, to completely automated scanning of crowds to obtain and analyze huge numbers of facial images in real time. Recently, Tim Cushing described the ridiculously high level of false positives South Wales Police had encountered during its use of automated facial recognition software. Before that, a post noted a similarly unacceptable failure rate of automated systems used by the Metropolitan Police in London last year.

      Now Big Brother Watch has produced a report bringing together everything we know about the use by UK police of automated facial recognition software (pdf), and its deep flaws. The report supplements that information with analyses of the legal and human rights framework for such systems, and points out that facial recognition algorithms often disproportionately misidentify minority ethnic groups and women.

    • Why Is My Facebook Android App Asking For “Superuser” Permission?

      It looks like developers working at Facebook really love to live dangerously. The company knows how to violate the user trust and play loose and fast with data protection and user privacy. The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal is a perfect example of the same.

    • The Facebook Android App Is Asking for Superuser Privileges and Users Are Freaking Out

      The Facebook Android app is asking for superuser permissions, and a bunch of users are freaking out about granting the Facebook app full access to their device, an understandable reaction following the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

      “Grants full access to your device,” read the prompts while asking users for superuser permissions.

    • Prime suspect in CIA ‘Vault 7′ hack still hasn’t been charged
    • Canada’s Trudeau Promotes ‘Anglosphere’ Spying

      While the media has been full of news about information-gathering by Facebook and other Internet giants, other secretive organizations that are a major threat to our personal privacy and public security are seldom mentioned. When they are, it has been because politicians are praising them and offering up more money for them to spy.

      For example, Justin Trudeau recently promoted the “Anglosphere’s” intelligence sharing arrangement. Two weeks ago, in a rare move, the PM revealed a meeting with his “Five Eyes” counterparts. After the meeting in London Trudeau labeled the 2,000 employee Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s main contributor to the “Five Eyes” arrangement, “an extraordinary institution”. Last year Trudeau said that “collaboration and cooperation between allies, friends and partners has saved lives and keeps all of our citizens safe.”

    • Jerry Chun Shing Lee spy trial: ex-CIA officer pleads not guilty, will wait a year before trial in US

      A former CIA officer and Hong Kong resident accused of passing top secret information to Chinese intelligence officers in exchange for money will have to wait a year before going on trial in the United States.

      Jerry Chun Shing Lee, an American citizen who worked for the CIA from 1994 to 2007, pleaded not guilty on Friday to one charge of conspiracy to commit espionage and two of illegally retaining classified information.

      Lee, 53, appeared for arraignment in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, “unshackled in a green jumpsuit and glasses”, according to CNN. US District Judge Thomas Selby Ellis III set his trial date for February 12, 2019.

    • UK Supreme Court to probe British spy court’s immunity from probing

      Privacy International’s years-long challenge against UK government hacking is headed to the nation’s final court of appeal at the end of the year.

      The case, part of the privacy activists’ ongoing legal battles over the UK’s spy agencies’ activities, focuses on the government’s use of general warrants to hack computers and devices inside and outside Blighty.

      The fight kicked off in 2014, when Privacy International issued a legal complaint to Britain’s spying oversight court, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, alleging the campaign group was hacked by GCHQ.

    • Chinese spies promised to take care of ex-CIA officer for life, prosecutors say

      Chinese spies promised to take care of a former CIA officer for life if he handed over information on clandestine activities in their country, federal prosecutors say.

      Defendant Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court in Alexandria to charges of conspiracy to commit espionage and holding on to classified information after leaving the CIA.

    • Ex-CIA officer accused of spying for China pleads not guilty

      The Justice Department alleges that Lee, a former CIA case officer and US citizen, was asked to trade information for money by two Chinese intelligence officers in 2010 and 2011 while he lived in Hong Kong.

    • ‘I felt exposed online’: how to disappear from the [I]nternet

      The process of deleting one’s Facebook account is deliberately arcane. The social network encourages you to “deactivate” your account, rather than “delete” it, to leave an open door if you later regret the decision. Permanent deletion requires a request be made to the company. If you log in within 14 days of the process being under way (easy to do accidentally if you have the app on your phone or linked accounts that require you to log in via Facebook), the company will automatically cancel your original request.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Is a Moral Compass Enough for the CIA?

      On Thursday, Gina Haspel was confirmed as America’s next CIA director after the Senate voted to approve her nomination in a 54-45 vote. Her appointment stirred concern among anti-torture advocates because of her role in operating a black site in Thailand where operatives used enhanced interrogation techniques on detainees. For today’s issue, I spoke to a few former intelligence officials to get a sense of how officers navigate through situations that are morally challenging, and what happens when an agent receives a potentially unethical directive.

    • CIA’s Haspel can tap undercover work in Russian operations

      Scrutiny of the 33-year spy career of new CIA director Gina Haspel has focused on her undercover role in the harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists, but she cut her teeth in intelligence operations against Russia.

      She’s sure to tap that latter experience as she takes over at the nation’s premier intelligence agency at a time of rising tension with Moscow. President Donald Trump has characterized it as worse than during the Cold War, and it’s been aggravated by investigations into Moscow’s interference in the election that brought Trump to power.

    • McCaskill defends CIA vote, says reasons are classified
    • Democrat McCaskill defends no vote on Trump CIA pick – but can’t say why
    • Dem McCaskill slammed for vote against Trump CIA pick
    • McCaskill defends CIA vote, says reasons are classified
    • McCaskill defends CIA vote: Reasons classified

      Earlier Saturday, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said McCaskill “put partisan politics over national security” by opposing Haspel.

    • Donnelly stands by support of new CIA director

      Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly is standing by his support of the CIA’s newest director.

      Gina Haspel will be the first female director of the CIA. Her nomination was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday.

      Her confirmation was reached because of yes votes from six Senate democrats. That includes a vote from donnelly.

    • Haspel was only following orders: she’ll make a good CIA chief

      Listening to members of Congress question the putative director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel (in some cases rudely), one quickly got the impression that with the exception of a very few individuals on both sides, senators had their minds made up long before they sat down.

      The major reason is simply politics. We are so deeply split politically that I suspect that Jesus Christ would have trouble getting widespread support from this committee.

    • New CIA chief Gina Haspel is the ‘spy’s spy’

      The more uncomfortable parts of the new CIA chief’s Senate confirmation hearing would have taken place behind closed doors – fitting for a person who has spent most of her career in the shadows.

    • Innocent Infants

      There is a certain amount of confusion about the reason for the practice, and even more confusion about whether the activity it is seeking to prevent is criminal or not. But one thing is absolutely clear. It is not the same as what the Nazis did in the 1930s and 1940s, when families were being taken to concentration camps. When arriving at the camps, children were sometimes taken from their parents and, in many cases following the separation, would never again see their parents. The families arriving at the camps were not undocumented immigrants. They were citizens of the countries in which they lived.

      The Trumpsters are dealing with families that are neither citizens nor residents of the United States. The children they are dealing with are newly arrived in the United States. They are with parents who have arrived illegally and are seeking asylum. Like the Nazis, Trumpsters make no attempt to deny what they are doing. But whereas the Nazis had no need to justify what they were doing, the Trumpsters know that to avoid criticism, they must justify their actions.

    • Bright Light: Romania’s ‘Utter Denial’ of CIA Renditions Role

      Poland has grudgingly paid damages, Lithuania is investigating and Macedonia has apologised. Even Donald Trump’s pick to head the CIA said this month that it should never happen again.

      Yet Romania maintains a stubborn silence over its own alleged role in a secret CIA renditions and torture programme after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

      A March 28 apology by Macedonia’s year-old government for its involvement in the CIA rendition of a man in 2004 and the appointment of CIA director Gina Haspel has refocused attention on one of the darkest chapters of former President George W. Bush’s ‘War on Terror’.

      An upcoming ruling at the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, is expected to punch a hole in the wall of official denial in Bucharest and a pending decision at the International Criminal Court, ICC, could yet bring more scrutiny.

    • This week’s reveals about the Deep State’s info ops

      It has been a big week for America, with big reveals showing how the Deep State manipulates the news – and our view of the world. Of course this has not been reported by the major news media.

    • Why misunderstanding identity politics undermines the goals of a just society

      The crisis of identity politics has undermined the concept of intersectionality, which is viewed as critical to the struggle for liberation from all forms of oppression. The recent assassination of the Brazilian Black queer activist Marielle Franco and the consequent public uproar demonstrate the threat intersectional leaders pose to the ruling establishment that uses division and preserves privilege to stifle change. Leaders such as Franco serve a vital unifying role in a peoples’ transnational solidarity movement that embraces—rather than eliminates—identities.

      Ashanti Monts-Treviska co-manages a social enterprise, Cascadia Deaf Nation, which focuses on creating a member-owned cooperative model that co-creates thriving spaces with Deaf Black Indigenous People of Color (DBIPOC*) in British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon. Monts-Treviska is a doctoral student in transformative studies and consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Respecting Foreign Judgments and $79 million for clicking “I agree”

      After losing in the UK, SAS brought its lawsuit to the USA and won on the same contract claim that was a loser in the UK (but lost on the copyright claim). The US lawsuit also included a fraudulent inducement and unfair trade practices under N.C. UDTPA. A jury found WPL liable — although WPL was barred from presenting any evidence regarding its reliance upon the UK and EU safe harbors. Damages $80 million.

      In this process, the district court refused to give any preclusive effect to the UK judgment.

      On appeal, the Fourth Circuit held that the UK judgment was properly denied preclusive effect since it was contrary to North Carolina policy. “North Carolina courts [are] more protective of the sanctity of contracts” than are UK or EU courts.

    • WIPO Asked To Improve Its Reporting On Development Agenda Implementation

      The World Intellectual Property Organization annual self-evaluation of the implementation of its 2007 Development Agenda was rubber-stamped by most delegates again this year at the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property. But Brazil offered detailed suggestions on ways to improve the report and ensure that past work is not being included in the reporting on new accomplishments. It also warned against confusing WIPO’s Development Agenda work with its broader activities for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Trademarks

      • Disparaging and scandalous trade marks post-Tam

        While the Supreme Court settled the issue of disparaging marks, Section 2(a)’s prohibition against immoral or scandalous marks is still being contested. The Federal Circuit last month declined to hear the Brunetti case en banc

      • Canada tackling trade mark trolls

        One provision in Canada’s national intellectual property strategy is to prevent the misuse of the registration system such as instances of “trademark squatting”

        The Canadian government unveiled its first national intellectual property strategy at the end of April, in which one provision was to prevent the misuse of the trademark registration system such as instances of “trademark squatting”.

    • Copyrights

      • Barton Beebe on Bleistein

        Barton Beebe’s recent article, Bleistein, the Problem of Aesthetic Progress, and the Making of American Copyright Law, was already highlighted on this blog by Shyamkrishna Balganesh, but I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own because I really enjoyed reading it—it is a richly layered dive into the intellectual history of U.S. copyright law, and a wonderful piece to savor on a weekend.

        In one sense, this is an article about one case’s role in U.S. copyright law, but it uses that case to tackle a fundamental question of copyright theory: what does it mean “to promote the Progress”? Beebe’s goal is not just to correct longstanding misunderstandings of Bleistein; as I understand it, his real point is that we can and should “assess[] aesthetic progress according to the simple propositions that aesthetic labor in itself is its own reward and that the facilitation of more such labor represents progress.” He thinks Justice Holmes’s invocation of “personality” in Bleistein represents a normatively attractive “third way” between judges assessing aesthetic merit and simply leaving this judgment to the market—that aesthetic progress is shown “by the mere fact that someone was willing to make the work, either for sale or otherwise, and that in making it, someone had invested one’s personality in the work.”

        This personality-centered view of copyright seems similar to the Hegelian personality theory that was drawn into IP by Peggy Radin and elaborated by Justin Hughes, though at times it seems more like Lockean theories based on the author’s labor. I think he could have done more to explain how his theory relates to this prior literature, and also how it’s different from a utilitarian theory that recognizes the value creators get from creating (à la Jeanne Fromer’s Expressive Incentives). In any case, I think Beebe’s take is interesting, particularly with the connection he draws to John Dewey’s American pragmatist vision of aesthetic progress.

      • Poking the IP [sic] bear

        Whether or not you believe “legacy” artists deserve more copyright protections, there is no good reason not to condition that gift upon the artist taking some steps to claim that right, so that the “legacy” recordings no one cares about can be simply and cheaply made available through archives and other sources. (And before you start with Berne and the like, re-read Sprigman’s piece.)

        This is the point just never engaged. [...]

      • Fairplay Canada Discredits “Pro-Piracy” TorrentFreak News, Then Cites Us

        Earlier this week Fairplay Canada, the coalition lobbying for a national piracy blocking mechanism, countered its critics in a detailed reply. Buried in the footnotes, the document also included a stab at TorrentFreak, ‘discrediting’ our coverage by labeling us a “pro-piracy” site. Interestingly, however, the same report later cites TorrentFreak as a reputable source on site-blocking jurisprudence.`

05.20.18

Links 20/5/2018: KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3, FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux fragmentation – The Sum of All Egos

    If Tom Clancy had been a technophile of the software kind, he’d have used this title instead of the familiar one for one of his iconic blockbuster thrillers. The thing is, Linux accounts for a tiny percentage of the overall desktop market share. The perennial 1% has been around roughly since 2005, and even if the actual share is higher than that, it’s still a small and largely insignificant fraction. And yet, there are hundreds of Linux distributions populating this narrow, crowded arena. Why? Well, ego, of course.

    One might say: open source. Ah, well, the open-source nature of Linux has been the chief excuse to the colorful abundance of replication and duplication of the Linux desktop world, while at the same time serving as the main catalyst to the expansion of Linux in the commercial space, which makes for a dubious cause. I believe the reason is different. Let me tell you what it is.

  • Desktop

    • ‘Crush Them’: An Oral History of the Lawsuit That Upended Silicon Valley

      The then-23-year-old giant, which ruled the personal computer market with a despotic zeal, stood accused of using monopoly power to bully collaborators and squelch competitors. Its most famous victim was Netscape, the pioneering web browser, but everyone from Apple to American Airlines felt threatened by late-’90s Microsoft. The company was big enough to be crowned America’s most valuable firm, bold enough to compare attacks on its domain to Pearl Harbor, and, eventually, bad enough to be portrayed as a (semifictionalized) cadre of hypercapitalist murderers in a major motion picture. The “don’t be evil” optics that colored the rise of today’s tech giants (and have recently lost their efficacy) were a direct response to Microsoft’s tyrannical rule.

  • Kernel Space

    • Steam Controller Kernel Driver Is Landing In The Linux 4.18 Kernel

      The Linux 4.18 kernel will feature the initial Steam Controller kernel driver that works without having to use the Steam client or using third-party user-space applications like the SC-Controller application.

      A few months back we reported on a kernel driver being worked on for the Steam Controller by an independent user/developer outside of the gates of Valve. In part through reverse-engineering, Rodrigo Rivas Costa has been working on this native Steam Controller Linux kernel driver that works for both USB cable and wireless modes of the Steam Controller and is a proper HID driver.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Zen CPU Microcode Added To Linux-Firmware Tree, Bulldozer Updated

        When the Linux Firmware tree was updated on Friday with the newest AMDGPU firmware files for the graphics processors, the Family 17h “Zen” CPU microcode files also made their debut.

      • Learn How To Make Use Of Vulkan’s New Debug Extension – VK_EXT_debug_utils
      • ARM Mali 400/450 “Lima” DRM Driver Steps Closer To Mainline

        When it comes to open-source ARM Mali graphics driver efforts there has been the Panfrost driver targeting the Mali T700 series that has occupied much of the limelight recently, but there has been a separate effort still working on open-source driver support for the older 400/450 series.

        Qiang Yu who works for AMD during the daytime has for the past number of months been working in his spare time on reviving open-source ARM Mali 400 series support. Qiang’s efforts are based upon the original “Lima” driver initiative that was started years earlier by Luc Verhaegen.

      • AMD Rolls Out New Firmware For A Number Of GPUs

        AMD has landed a number of updated firmware images into the linux-firmware tree for their recent generations of hardware.

        There is updated Radeon GPU firmware for Raven Ridge, Fiji, Tonga, Stoney, Topaz, Carrizo, Vega 10, Polaris 10, Polaris 11, and Polaris 12 GPU families. More or less, the newer AMD GPUs now have updated firmware available.

      • RADV Gets Support For 32-bit GPU Pointers For User SGPRs, Benefiting Performance

        Samuel Pitoiset of Valve’s Linux graphics driver team has been working on support for 32-bit GPU pointers for user SGPRs as his latest performance enhancement for this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver.

        Months after AMD’s Marek Olšák was working on 32-bit pointers for RadeonSI to free up some scalar general purpose registers (SGPRs), Pitoiset has been pursuing similar support for the RADV Vulkan driver.

      • Raven Ridge With The Ryzen 5 2400G On Mesa 18.2 + Linux 4.17 Is Finally Stable

        Depending upon the motherboard and other factors, the Raven Ridge Linux support has been a bit of a mess since its February launch. Fortunately, with time various Linux driver fixes have landed for improving the stability and performance of these APUs with Zen CPU cores and Vega graphics. During my recent testing of the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G, it was completely stable and running fine with the newest open-source driver code but the Ryzen 3 2200G was still a stability nightmare.

      • Mesa 18.1 is out with the shader cache on for Intel

        Open source drivers on Linux have advanced rather quickly and now we have another fresh release out with Mesa 18.1 which was released yesterday.

        One of the major new features, is that the shader cache for Intel is now turned on by default, which should hopefully result in smoother performance for those of you gaming with an Intel GPU. Vulkan 1.1 support for the AMD RADV and Intel ANV drivers, plus various performance improvements and bug fixes.

  • Applications

    • SMTube review – Your train to Youtube

      It’s a no brainer. On the desktop, you go online, and you open a tab and you load Youtube, and then you play clips. But then, on mobile devices, you have dedicated applications, which usually offer a somewhat more efficient media experience. So, on the desktop, it’s the browser way or the … SMTube way?

      SMTube is a cross-platform Youtube player, which allows you to search and play videos from the popular media platform, with some additional search tweaks and filters, and extra download options, all this from the desktop, without having to keep a browser tab open. It’s a convenient tool to use, and with the recent rewrite, it actually works, and it works fairly well. I decided to test to see what gives.

      [...]

      SMTube looks like a nice tool. It is not strictly necessary or needed, but it does allow you to have Youtube open and playing, even if you’re not currently using your browser, i.e. you can use it like any other media player. This is nice, plus you get a clean and intuitive interface, decent search and filter options, and it’s easy to change settings and configure additional players. You also have the option to download clips.

      I don’t know where SMTube stands when it comes to Google, Youtube, but ordinary users will surely appreciate the extra flexibility they get with a media player rather than just a browser tab. Of course, you’re not signed in, you don’t get recommendations, comments or playlists, and such, so I guess there are benefits to going directly to Youtube. But if you’re only after what Youtube can play without any socializing, SMTube is an excellent choice. It’s had a rough ride, it never quite fully worked for me in my various distro reviews, but this new version is stable, robust and works well. At the very least, it’s worth testing. Choo choo.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • FRAMED Collection, a noir-styled spy adventure where you rearrange comic tiles is now out

        It’s actually a compilation of FRAMED and FRAMED 2, games that have been widely praised and previously only available on mobile platforms. It has you moving around slices of an animated comic book, to put the noir-styled spy adventure story together. It actually sounds hilarious, as it’s not a basic “this one has to go here” type of game, as it changes what happens based on where you put the tiles creating some amusing sounding failures:

      • Paradox’s grand strategy titles will be getting more content soon

        At their annual convention, Paradox Interactive have announced new expansions for their current grand strategy titles. There’s a little bit of everything for fans of these games.

      • Stellaris: Distant Stars story DLC pack releases May 22nd, new trailer is out

        The latest and probably one of the most exciting story DLC packs for Stellaris, Distant Stars, is now set to release May 22nd.

        In short, there’s going to be a lot more to find when you go exploring. One of the problems I repeatedly talked about with Stellaris (even though I do love it) was that it just didn’t have enough content. This pack seems like it will fix that problem and then some. They say there’s around 50% more anomalies to discover, they’ve also improved some of the originals. There’s three new leviathans, new types of stars and something about discovering a constellation outside our own galaxy.

      • Myst 25th Anniversary Collection will not being seeing a Linux release for now

        It seems the plans to team up with Codeweavers to bring Myst 25th Anniversary Collection [Kickstarter] to Linux didn’t work out.

      • A Linux beta build of Solstice Chronicles: MIA may come soon

        The developer behind the great looking top-down shooter Solstice Chronicles: MIA [Official Site] has said that they may soon have a Linux beta build.

      • What are you playing on Linux this weekend and what do you think about it?

        It’s a weekend, the sun is shining in a rare event for where I live, so naturally I will be spending my time playing Linux games. What will you be playing this weekend?

        Personally, I’m going to be jumping back into Rocket League. Between the intense gameplay and sweet music, it’s certainly in my top 10 most played Linux games. As much as I love the game, I’m simply terrible at it. Anyone who’s watched some of our livestreams will attest to that fact, but even so I soldier on and keep playing. It truly says something about a game, to keep pulling you back in even when you know you’re probably go to have loss after loss.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.12.5, Applications 18.04.1 and Frameworks 5.46.0 by KDE now available in Chakra

        On your next system upgrade you will receive all the latest versions of KDE’s Plasma, Applications and Frameworks, in addition to several other package updates. For more details and the full changelogs on KDE’s software releases, you can read the official announcements:

        Plasma 5.12.5
        Applications 18.04.1
        Frameworks 5.46.0

        Other noteworthy package updates include wine 3.8, skypeforlinux 8.20.0.9 and pypy 6.0.0.

      • Doxyqml 0.4.0

        After almost two years, here comes a new version of Doxyqml, the QML filter for Doxygen. This new version adds a new command-line option: –namespace to wrap the generated C++ in a namespace, and makes the parser more robust. Nothing ground-breaking, but some nice changes nevertheless.

        What’s interesting with this project is that I don’t use it these days, but it still receives contributions from time to time. This puts me in the unusual position (for me) where most of my contributions to the project are reviewing code, cleaning things, a bit of infrastructure (I just added code coverage checks: 88%, not too bad) and release management.

        Surprisingly, I like doing this, I am happy to see this little tool remains useful enough that others keep it alive.

      • KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3 released

        KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3 released

        We today provide a stabilization and bugfix release with version 5.2.2 and 5.2.3. 5.2.2 was tagged 6 weeks ago, but we never managed to release it because we did not have the patience to fix the Windows installers in time due to a broken CI. Windows installers are provided for 5.2.3 again. We’ll only provide source tarballs for 5.2.2 and we encourage everyone to just skip this release and use 5.2.3 which contains a few more bug fixes.

        This is a bugfix-only release, which introduces no new features and as such is a safe and recommended update for everyone currently using KDevelop 5.2.1.

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 19

        This week we announced a beta of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.13 release, and so far the internet seems pretty excited about it.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Nautilus Ability To Launch Binaries Or Scripts To Be Reverted, Might Be Implemented Differently

        It looks like the decision to remove the ability to run binaries and scripts from Nautilus file manager will be reverted. The change comes after some use cases appeared that the developers agreed they need to support, “especially for enterprise and content creators”.

        One such use case that was mentioned as a reason for reverting this is a small “if then that” script for building HTML and PDF files, which uses Zenity to display a dialog, as well as notifications to display the progress.

        I find the use case being used as an example a bit weird because that’s certainly not something common, like a self-extracting game script for instance.

      • Stickers in Riot

        The matrix.org protocol is flexible so this is a good example of how to add new features to the clients that uses matrix without the need to change the protocol.

        This is not a core feature because you can send images, but I think this is great and add a simple way to show reactions for the users, so as I was reading I thought that we can add this to Fractal, so I started to read how we can add support for this.

      • Talking at GPN 2018 in Karlsruhe, Germany

        Similar to last year I managed to attend the Gulasch Programmier-Nacht (GPN) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Not only did I attend, I also managed to squeeze in a talk about PrivacyScore. We got the prime time slot on the opening day along with all the other relevant talks, including the Eurovision Song Contest, so we were not overly surprised that the audience had a hard time deciding where to go and eventually decided to attend talks which were not recorded. Our talk was recorded and is available here.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Cinnamon Desktop Spices Up RoboLinux Raptor

        RoboLinux is a unique distro that focuses on incorporating Windows versions XP through 10 within a fully functional Linux operating system. You might never need the Stealth VM features that let you easily install and run Microsoft Windows within most any Linux distro. Still, RoboLinux is a topnotch general purpose Linux computing platform that comes with a choice of leading desktop environments. RoboLinux creates a cloned Drive C from a Windows partition and installs your favorite Windows version with all of your costly Windows software running in a virtual machine.

    • AsteroidOS

    • Gentoo Family

      • A short history of Gentoo copyright

        As part of the recent effort into forming a new copyright policy for Gentoo, a research into the historical status has been conducted. We’ve tried to establish all the key events regarding the topic, as well as the reasoning behind the existing policy. I would like to shortly note the history based on the evidence discovered by Robin H. Johnson, Ulrich Müller and myself.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Free software log (April 2018)

        This is rather late since I got distracted by various other things including, ironically, releasing a bunch of software. This is for April, so doesn’t include the releases from this month.

        The main release I worked on was remctl 3.14, which fixed a security bug introduced in 3.12 with the sudo configuration option. This has since been replaced by 3.15, which has more thorough maintainer testing infrastructure to hopefully prevent this from happening again.

      • MiniDebCamp Hamburg – Friday 18/5, Saturday 19/5

        Friday and Saturday have been very productive days, I love events where there is time to hack!

        I had more chats about contributors.d.o with Ganneff and Formorer, and if all goes according to plan, soon salsa will start streaming commit information to contributors and populate information about different teams: not only about normal packaging repos, but also about websites, tools, native packages, etc.

      • Progress report from the Movim packaging sprint at MiniDebconf

        Nik wishes you to know that the Movim packaging sprint (sponsored by the DPL, thank you!) is handled under the umbrella of the Debian Edu sprint (similarily sponsored) since this package is handled by the Teckids Debian Task Force, personnel from Teckids e.V.

        After arriving, I’ve started collecting knowledge first. I reviewed upstream’s composer.json file and Wiki page about dependencies and, after it quickly became apparent that we need much more information (e.g. which versions are in sid, what the package names are, and, most importantly, recursive dependencies), a Wiki page of our own grew. Then I made a hunt for information about how to package stuff that uses PHP Composer upstream, and found the, ahem, wonderfully abundant, structured, plentiful and clear documentation from the Debian PHP/PEAR Packaging team. (Some time and reverse-engineering later I figured out that we just ignore composer and read its control file in pkg-php-tools converting dependency information to Debian package relationships. Much time later I also figured out it mangles package names in a specific way and had to rename one of the packages I created in the meantime… thankfully before having uploaded it.) Quickly, the Wiki page grew listing the package names we’re supposed to use. I created a package which I could use as template for all others later.

      • Help the Debian kernel team to help you

        I gave the first talk this morning at Mini-DebConf Hamburg, titled “Help the kernel team to help you”. I briefly described several ways that Debian users and developers can make it easier (or harder) for us to deal with their requests. The slides are up in on my talks page, and video should be available soon.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UbuCon Europe 2018: Analysing a dream [English|Spanish]

            The idea of organising the Ubucon in Xixon, Asturies was set two years ago, while participating in the European Ubucon in Essen (germany). The Paris Ubucon took place and in those days we uderstood that there was a group enough of people with the capacities and the will to hold an European Congress for Ubuntu lovers. We had learnt a lot from German and French colleagues thanks to their respective amazing organizations and, at the same time, our handicap was the lack of s consolidated group in Spain.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • What’s New in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS

              Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS has been released and announced by Ubuntu MATE project. As part of official ubuntu flavor, this release features the latest MATE Desktop 1.20.1 as default desktop environment. Also introduces numerous improvements and new features, including better support for HiDPI displays, new desktop layouts, as well as support for indicators in all layouts by default.

              Familiar is new default layout of desktop Ubuntu MATE 18.04. it based on the traditional layout with the menu-bar (Applications, Places, System) replaced by Brisk Menu. Use MATE tweak if you want try out the various desktop layouts.

              Brisk Menu applications menu is now enabled by default in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS, which ships with the Head-Up Display (HUD) feature of the Unity 7 desktop environmentand .MATE Tweak, which now lets you toggle the HiDPI mode more easily and a revamped Ubuntu MATE Welcome screen that now includes browser selection support and system telemetry if you want to help the Ubuntu MATE team improve future releases.

              Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS also received several improvements. Among these, we can mention the Caja file manager, which can now encrypt your most precious files, advenced bulk rename, hash checking and advanced ACl properties. Marco window manager, which got hardware acceleration. MATE Dock Applet, which now features icon scrolling and matching

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 19-year-old Developer at the Forefront of TRON (TRX) Opensource Wallet DApp
  • 19-years-old German developer Spearheads TRON (TRX) Opensource Wallet DApp

    No doubt that Tron community is preparing for mainnet launch, with different ideas coming in from all roads. As part of its readiness, Tron has unveiled its Opensource Wallet DApp developed by 19-year old German developer, Marius Gill, who has been programming since 13 years old.

    The DApp is an outcome of Project Genesis, which was launched in March 2018 purposely to encourage TRON’s community engagement in bringing in new things into Tron ecosystem. The project provides a bonus pool of 2 billion dollars for active members around the world have lent their hands in implementing ideas for the community.

  • Events

    • Collabora and GStreamer spring in Sweden

      Earlier this month, a few of us from Collabora, Olivier Crête, Nicolas Dufresne, George Kiagiadakis and I attended the GStreamer Spring Hackfest in Lund, Sweden. Hosted by Axis Communications (who uses GStreamer in their surveillance cameras for many years now), it was a great opportunity for the GStreamer community to touch base and work on open bugs and pet projects.

      [...]

      As for myself, I mainly worked on (or rather started to work on) split-field interlacing support in GStreamer, adding relevant formats and modes in the GStreamer video library. In addition, as a Meson developer (Nirbheek Chauhan) was present, I took the opportunity to discuss with him the last bit of porting build system of Geoclue to Meson, a side project I’ve been working on. It helped me get it done faster but also helped Nirbheek find some issues in Meson and fix them!

      All in all, my first GStreamer hackfest was an awesome experience (even though I was not feeling well). It was also very nice to hangout and socialize with old and new friends in the GStreamer community after a long time. Many thanks again to Axis for hosting us in their offices! See you at the GStreamer Conference this fall!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Reality Redrawn Opens At The Tech

        The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose was filled on Thursday with visitors experiencing new takes on the issue of fake news by artists using mixed reality, card games and even scratch and sniff cards. These installations were the results of Mozilla’ Reality Redrawn challenge. We launched the competition last December to make the power of misinformation and its potential impacts visible and visceral. Winners were announced in February.

      • Tangerine UI problems

        I’ve been a big fan of Tangerine for a while, it’s a bank that doesn’t charge fees and does what I need to do. They used to have a great app and website and then it all went a bit wrong.

        It’s now a HTML app for Desktop and mobile. This isn’t the fault of the tools used, but there’s some terrible choices in the app across both.

        [...]

        The overall feel of the app is that its full of spinners, far too cluttered and just to confusing. Hey not everything I’ve built is perfect, but even I can spot some real problems with this app. I pretty sure Tangerine can do better than this.

        And yes, I’m writing this while drinking a beer I recently bought, as shown on my transaction page.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 9 Drops Support For Older ARM Microarchitecture Versions

      Next year’s GCC 9 compiler release will be eliminating support for older ARM versions.

      Fortunately, ARMv7 and newer is still in great shape given they are still common and even ARMv6 support is also still supported by the GNU Compiler Collection. But as of Friday they dropped support for ARMv3 and older followed by dropping ARMv5 and ARMv5E.

      The dropping of ARMv3 and older even includes finally eliminating the support for ARM2. The ARM2 target in GCC is finally no more.

      This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise though with pre-ARMv4T support being deprecated since GCC 6 and the ARMv5 support being deprecated since GCC 7 last year.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Congratulations to Tesla on Their First Public Step Toward GPL Compliance

      Conservancy rarely talks publicly about specifics in its ongoing GNU General Public License (GPL) enforcement and compliance activity, in accordance with our Principles of Community Oriented GPL Enforcement. We usually keep our compliance matters confidential — not for our own sake — but for the sake of violators who request discretion to fix their mistakes without fear of public reprisal. As occurred a few years ago with Samsung, we’re thrilled when a GPL violator decides to talk about their violation and works to correct it publicly. This gives us the opportunity to shine light on the real-world work of GPL and copyleft compliance.

      We’re thus glad that, this week, Tesla has acted publicly regarding its current GPL violations and has announced that they’ve taken their first steps toward compliance. While Tesla acknowledges that they still have more work to do, their recent actions show progress toward compliance and a commitment to getting all the way there.

    • Tesla releases some of its software to comply with open source licences

      Tesla is a software-heavy company and it has been using a lot of open source software to build its operating system and features, such as Linux Kernel, Buildroot, Busybox, QT, and more.

      Some of the copyright holders have been complaining that Tesla hasn’t been complying with their licenses.

    • The Software Freedom Conservancy on Tesla’s GPL compliance

      The Software Freedom Conservancy has put out a blog posting on the history and current status of Tesla’s GPL compliance issues.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.0 beta 3

      Git-cinnabar is a git remote helper to interact with mercurial repositories. It allows to clone, pull and push from/to mercurial remote repositories, using git.

    • RcppGSL 0.3.5

      A maintenance update of RcppGSL just brought version 0.3.5 to CRAN, a mere twelve days after the RcppGSL 0.3.4. release. Just like yesterday’s upload of inline 0.3.15 it was prompted by a CRAN request to update the per-package manual page; see the inline post for details.

    • Sony Is Working On AMD Ryzen LLVM Compiler Improvements – Possibly For The PlayStation 5

      One of Sony’s compiler experts has taken to working on some tuning for the AMD Ryzen “znver1″ microarchitecture support within the LLVM compiler stack. This begs the question why Sony is working on Ryzen improvements if not for a future product.

Leftovers

  • Longer talk at MSST2018

    The most important lesson I’ve learned is that this is fundamentally an economic problem; we know how to do it but we don’t want to pay enough to have it done.

    How far into the future should we be looking?

    What do the economics of storing data for that long look like?

    How long should the media last?

    How reliable do the media need to be?

  • Google Drops “Don’t Be Evil” Motto From Its Code Of Conduct

    In 2015, when Google reorganized itself under Alphabet, the new parent company drafted a new motto for itself — “Do the right thing.” However, Google’s own unofficial motto remained “Don’t be evil.” The company kept it as a part of the corporate code of conduct since 2000.

    In the latest development, Gizmodo has uncovered that Google has dropped the “Don’t be evil” phrase from its Code of Conduct. As per the findings, the updated version of the web page, which was first archived by the Wayback Machine, has a significant change.

  • Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct

    Google’s unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase “don’t be evil.” But that’s over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show.

    “Don’t be evil” has been part of the company’s corporate code of conduct since 2000. When Google was reorganized under a new parent company, Alphabet, in 2015, Alphabet assumed a slightly adjusted version of the motto, “do the right thing.” However, Google retained its original “don’t be evil” language until the past several weeks. The phrase has been deeply incorporated into Google’s company culture—so much so that a version of the phrase has served as the wifi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters, sources told Gizmodo.

  • Science

    • How heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness

      According to a survey in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health, Britons aged 14-24 believe that Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have detrimental effects on their wellbeing. On average, they reported that these social networks gave them extra scope for self-expression and community-building. But they also said that the platforms exacerbated anxiety and depression, deprived them of sleep, exposed them to bullying and created worries about their body image and “FOMO” (“fear of missing out”). Academic studies have found that these problems tend to be particularly severe among frequent users.

    • Humans Are Dumb At Figuring Out How Smart Animals Are

      The court declined to hear the case, but one judge did say that some highly intelligent animals probably should be treated more like people and less like property.

  • Hardware

    • Popular YouTuber Says Apple Won’t Fix His iMac Pro Damaged While Disassembled

      The damage resulted when they dropped the display while attempting to reattach it to the aluminum chassis. Towards the end of the video, Sebastian also says the iMac Pro requires a new logic board and power supply unit, suggesting there may have been a short circuit that caused damage to internal components as well.

  • Security

    • Purism’s New Purekey OpenPGP Security Token, Windows 10 Now Includes OpenSSH, Vim 8.1 Released and More

      Purism, maker of the security-focused Librem laptops, announced yesterday it has partnered with Nitrokey to create Purekey, “Purism’s own OpenPGP security token designed to integrate with its hardware and software. Purekey embodies Purism’s mission to make security and cryptography accessible where its customers hold the keys to their own security.” You can purchase a Purekey by itself or as an add-on with a laptop order. According to Purism’s CSO Kyle Rankin, “By keeping your encryption keys on a Purekey instead of on a hard drive, your keys never leave the tamper-proof hardware. This not only makes your keys more secure from attackers, it makes using your keys on multiple devices more convenient.”

    • Encrypted Email and Security Nihilism

      Earlier this week, a group of German researchers published an alarm about newly discovered problems with encrypted email that is creating major controversy in the internet security community. This research — published in a snappy-titled report called EFail — is a valuable and important work highlighting the challenges with email security.

      Unfortunately, many of the responses to this report have been close to the line of “security nihilism:” Throwing your hands in the air and saying that because certain important security measures aren’t perfect, we should abandon them altogether. This is harsh and potentially damaging to the best efforts we currently have to protect email and risks leading people astray when it comes to securing their communications. In fact, there are important things that people can do to protect their email. This post examines the controversy, what people should do to secure their email, and how we might do better in the future.

      Email is a widespread communications tool and people generally expect it to be private. But from a security standpoint, the baseline assumption is that email is “like a postcard:” Anything you write in an email can be read by your email provider (e.g., Google, if you use Gmail) and also by the email provider of the person you send mail to. If those providers (or any of their system administrators or lawyers) want to read your mail, or are hacked, or bribed, or coerced by law enforcement into sharing access, the content of your email is easily accessible to them.

    • Most dangerous new cyber security threats [iophk: "Windows TCO, yet neither Microsoft nor Windows get a mention"]
  • Defence/Aggression

    • No monopoly on David Kelly’s death: Miles Goslett responds to David Aaronovitch’s criticism

      As Oborne has demonstrated, Aaronovitch misrepresented my book and portrayed me as an unhinged conspiracy theorist. In fact, the book is intended to be a careful analysis of the Hutton Inquiry into Kelly’s death and the ramifications of that process. Its aim is to show how Tony Blair’s desperate government rode roughshod over the long-established method of inquiry into this event – a coroner’s inquest – and installed its own, less rigorous investigation. As a result key witnesses were excluded, evidence was concealed and loose ends allowed to remain untied. I believe, though I accept I may be wrong, that Aaronovitch began his review with a firmly closed mind. Let me explain why I have arrived at this interpretation.

    • The Donald, Vlad, and the Bibi

      As a general rule, it is pointless to rank world leaders or lesser political figures by measures that track their vileness or how much harm they inflict upon the world.

      Sometimes, though, it can be enlightening to do precisely that – provided it is understood that what is being compared are not so much the character traits of deplorable individuals, but the political lines they advance in the circumstances they confront.

      One such time is now – as Donald Trump is doing his best to launch a “stupid war” against Iran. That expression was candidate Barack Obama’s in 2008; he used it to describe the war George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched against Iraq.

      Since at least 1945, the United States has only fought stupid wars. Some have been stupider than others, but, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, Democrats and Republicans have supported them all. If Trump does get an Iran War going, count on bipartisan support for it too, though, for sheer stupidity, it would rival and perhaps even exceed the Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon war against Vietnam.

    • Trump: Making America Dread Again

      Trump’s flagrant disregard for the safety of the American people has been punctuated by the proposed elimination of the budget reserved for containing an Ebola epidemic. Earlier this year, Trump pushed through Congress an additional $84 billion for the bloated, unauditable military budget—more than the Pentagon had requested.

      Callous Donald is determined to enable and even abet companies that are spewing dangerous toxics into our air, water, and food-growing areas. Many of these companies have contributed to his campaign. This serial failed gambling czar’s coldblooded personality is anti-law. President Trump and his agency chiefs are violating federal statutory mandates to protect the health and safety of Americans.

    • Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg: Civil Disobedience Against Vietnam War Led Me to Leak Pentagon Papers

      Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst in 1971 when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers and played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. We speak with Ellsberg about the recent 50th anniversary of one of the most famous acts of civil disobedience in the United States. On May 17, 1968, Catholic priests and activists broke into a draft board office in Catonsville, Maryland, and stole 378 draft cards and burned them in the parking lot as a protest against the Vietnam War. They became known as the Catonsville Nine. Ellsberg discusses the role nonviolent direct action can play in social movements. Ellsberg says that the ending of the war in Vietnam “relied on a lot of people doing unusual things.”

    • Google, drone murder and the military-intelligence-censorship complex

      The publication of this week’s open letter by leading academics protesting Google’s role in the military’s drone assassination program exposes the close partnership between the major technology giants and the US military/intelligence complex.

      The letter, now signed by nearly 1,000 academics, declares that “Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation, either domestically or internationally.” It adds, “While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.”

      In March, Google admitted to helping the Pentagon develop artificial intelligence software to identify objects in video recordings captured by drones, within the framework of a program called Project Maven. While Google claims that the technology is not being used to kill people, the letter’s authors note that the system can be easily modified to identify human beings for assassination.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Revealed: Julian Assange’s embassy guest list in the summer of the Clinton email leak which includes RT reporters, hackers and Michael Moore [Ed: And now Daily Fail participates in selectively associating Wikileaks with crime, Russia etc.]
    • Ecuador Removes Extra Security At Embassy Where Julian Assange Lives

      Ecuador’s president has ordered the removal of extra security at the country’s London embassy — where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been since 2012.

    • Price of Coming Forward: Joshua Schulte’s Past Whistleblowing Comes Back to Haunt Him

      On Tuesday, the New York Times and Washington Post publicly identified the U.S. government’s prime and only suspect in the leaks of CIA documents to the transparency organization WikiLeaks. Joshua Schulte, a former CIA software engineer, has been suspected of being the WikiLeaks source since last year, when authorities raided his Manhattan apartment just one week after the first batch of the documents, known collectively as “Vault 7,” were released last March.

      Vault 7 has been a sore spot in the U.S. intelligence community since it broke, largely because it was the “largest ever publication of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents,” one that detailed the CIA’s global and covert hacking program as well as its arsenal of hacking tools and exploits.

      As MintPress reported at the time, one of the agency’s capabilities revealed by Vault 7 was the CIA’s ability to leave the “fingerprints” of foreign governments on hacks the CIA itself had conducted. The revelation of this capacity cast immediate doubt on the evidence that the Russian government had hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

      In addition, the leak represented an unparalleled embarrassment for the agency, particularly after the high-profile leaks of NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden and the measures taken by the government to prevent a repeat occurrence. The sensitive nature of the case is a likely reason as to why Schulte continues to be in government crosshairs despite the lack of evidence against him.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Clean air, water on voters’ agenda, but not Congress’

      All of which provides a backdrop to the truly bizarre spectacle that took place in a hearing held by the House Science Committee this week. In a hearing meant to focus on technological solutions to climate change (like the hugely popular wind and solar), Republican members of the committee decided to once again raise questions about whether humans were influencing the warming climate, with one Congressman suggesting that the warming-driven rise in our oceans might instead be caused by rocks falling into the seas.

    • Republican Rep. Mo Brooks Blames Coastal Erosion for Rising Seas

      Bridenstine’s new comments came a day after Alabama Republican Congressmember Mo Brooks suggested during a House Science committee hearing that coastal erosion—and not greenhouse gas emissions—is to blame for rising sea levels. Rep. Brooks made the comments as he questioned Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center.

    • ‘Somebody’s Cheating’: 8 Years After Ban, Scientists Urge World Leaders to Find Mysterious Source Behind Skyrocketing CFC Levels

      Despite having been banned, emissions of a chemical found to create holes in the ozone layer have skyrocketed in recent years, according to a new study—leading scientists to wonder whether the pollutant is being secretly manufactured somewhere on Earth.

      Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that CFC-11 emissions have gone up 25 percent since 2012, although the international community agreed to end production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by 2010 as part of the Montreal Protocol in 1987.

      “Somebody’s cheating,” Durwood Zaelke, founder of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, told the Washington Post of the new research. “There’s some slight possibility there’s an unintentional release, but…they make it clear there’s strong evidence this is actually being produced.”

    • Most Americans say climate change affects their local community, including two-thirds living near coast

      Roughly six-in-ten Americans (59%) say climate change is currently affecting their local community either a great deal or some, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

      Some 31% of Americans say the effects of climate change are affecting them personally, while 28% say climate change is affecting their local community but its effects are not impacting them in a personal way.

      As is the case on many climate change questions, perceptions of whether and how much climate change is affecting local communities are closely tied with political party affiliation. About three-quarters of Democrats (76%) say climate change is affecting their local community at least some, while roughly a third of Republicans say this (35%).

    • Oh, POLITICO, Please Don’t Publish Garbage — Reality Check For Electric Vehicle Hit Job

      I’ve read many wonderful pieces of work from POLITICO. The outfit has a great crew of political reporters who sometimes break huge and important stories. The op-eds and in-depth political analyses can be superb. From time to time, POLITICO has been the top source I’ve relied on for US political coverage … and funny cartoons.

      That said, I think I’ve read only one piece on the website about electric vehicles … and it was absolute garbage. Actually, garbage is just something useless that needs to be thrown in the trash can, whereas this was worse. This piece, reaching people fairly new to the concept of electric vehicles, misled readers on a critical point or two. Furthermore, think about who the audience reading the article might be — politically involved people with a left leaning. These are people who might one day (if not today) be in a position to make policy, and they are people who might have particular concern (or at least political concern) to push and vote for environmentally friendly policies. Convincing them that electric cars are not greener than gasoline cars is a disservice to society.

  • Finance

    • Trump personally pushed postmaster general to double rates on Amazon, other firms

      Details of Amazon’s contract with the Postal Service are secret, making it difficult for financial experts to assess claims about the relationship. Amazon has said that publicly releasing the contract, which contains detailed information on the company’s delivery systems, would give competitors an unfair advantage.

    • Trump reportedly wants to punish Amazon by trying to double Postal Service rates

      The Postal Service, though it’s lost money for the last 11 years, reported a 11.8 percent year-over-year increase in revenue to $19.5 billion last year, some of which is likely attributable to Amazon’s increased spending in the area. The nature of Amazon and the Postal Service’s deal remains secret.

    • PayPal in talks to buy Swedish small-business platform iZettle for $2.2 billion
    • PayPal to Buy iZettle for $2.2 Billion to Compete With Square

      The deal is the biggest ever for San Jose, California-based PayPal and will help it compete with Square Inc., which made a name for itself by helping small businesses and food-truck vendors conduct credit card and mobile transactions. Founded in 2010 by Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson, iZettle also started out with a mobile-phone gadget for accepting credit card payments. It has since expanded into software and financing services to support small businesses.

    • Lighthizer says NAFTA countries are ‘nowhere’ near reaching a deal

      U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that after nine months the United States, Mexico and Canada are still far from completing an update of the 24-year-old NAFTA deal with a slew of sticking points looming over the talks.

    • Where next for migrant Roma communities post-Brexit?

      The number of migrant Roma living in the UK is not known. Estimates by the Council of Europe put the figure at 225,000 Roma, which amounts to 0.36% of the entire population. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, however, claims that the real figure is between 500,000 and 1,000,000, excluding indigenous Gypsies and Irish Travellers. In the wake of Brexit this group faces an uncertain future.

      A recent report of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on ‘Roma communities and Brexit’ has highlighted what it called “a triple whammy of risks: uncertainty over their future legal status, rising concerns about hate crime, and a potential loss of EU funding for integration and support services”.

      The report’s findings do not come as a surprise. They reveal long-standing concerns of human rights activists, NGOs and public policy think tanks over both the UK response to the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, on one hand, and the consequences of the Brexit vote, on the other.

    • Why I am not a Liberal and how we need to fight bin Trump and Brexit

      In the year 2000, when post-1989 globalisation was at the zenith of its self-confidence, four of us got together in North London to plan how to respond to what we experienced as a growing problem with the way the world is governed. We felt the need for a serious space to question the suffocating future being offered us, with the socialist left defeated everywhere except Brazil. Along with Paul Hilder, Susan Richards, David Hayes and others, I initiated openDemocracy.

      Perhaps because he confuses my commitment to openness with liberalism, Jan Zielonka, Oxford professor of European politics, has just tagged me as a Liberal; in openDemocracy, in his contribution to a vitally important debate over how to frustrate the hard right. The exchange began in March, when the historian of Liberalism, Edmund Fawcett, called for liberals like himself and leftists to unite in the face of danger. I then responded and welcomed Fawcett’s positive challenge. How to confront the grim international setting matters far more than my personal politics. And new and surprising allies, such as the ex-Director of the CIA, have emerged. I want to take the opportunity to explore the significance of this, especially for the United States as Trump shreds the Iran nuclear agreement.

      But first, I want to be clear about the direction I’m coming from to explain why Zielonka gets me completly wrong. While liberal in my personal views I have never been a ‘Liberal’ politically. I am an advocate and organiser of political openness, which is quite different. The way politics is conducted remains closed, indeed it invents new forms of closure. The brilliant Transformation section of openDemocracy now focuses on this with a coverage that is both granular and general. As its editor Mike Edwards recently argued, an open approach, “runs counter to the realities of modern politics, media and knowledge production, but the other options are much, much worse: a slide into authoritarianism, enforced artificial unity, or permanent division”.

    • Gender Justice at the Heart of the Poor People’s Campaign

      The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, will begin six weeks of actions on May 13 in more than 30 state capitals. Each week will have a different theme, with the first week dedicated to raising up “Children, Women, and People with Disabilities in Poverty.”

      In a recent interview, Rev. Liz Theoharis explained that when she and fellow campaign co-chair Rev. William Barber II first began developing this initiative, they mapped out the poorest communities in the United States. “Our research revealed that the states with the highest overall poverty rates also had the worst voter suppression and the highest number of women and children in need,” she said.

      The campaign teamed up with the Institute for Policy Studies to conduct an extensive audit of key indicators since Dr. Martin Luther King and other leaders launched the original Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. The report, organized around the themes of poverty, systemic racism, militarism, and ecological destruction, integrates issues related to gender justice throughout. Here are five charts which show that while poverty affects all demographic groups in the United States, women (especially women of color) and transgender individuals are particularly hard hit.

    • Yes, neoliberalism is a thing. Don’t let economists tell you otherwise

      Well, this one at least is half-true. Like literally every concept that has ever mattered, the concept of ‘neoliberalism’ is messy, it’s deeply contested, it has evolved over time and it differs in theory and practice. From the start, there has been debate within the neoliberal movement itself about how it should define itself and what its programme should be. And, yes, it’s often used lazily on the left as a generic term for anything vaguely establishment. None of this means that it is Not A Thing. This is something sociologists and historians instinctively understand, but which many economists seem to have trouble with. Having said this, it is possible to define some generally accepted core features of neoliberalism. Essentially, it privileges markets as the best way to organise the economy and society, but unlike classical liberalism, it sees a strong role for the state in creating and maintaining these markets. Outside of this role, the state should do as little as possible, and above all it must not interfere with the ‘natural’ operation of the market. But it has always been part of the neoliberal project to take over the state and transform it for its own ends, rather than to dismantle or disable it. Of course, there’s clearly a tension between neoliberals’ professed ideals of freedom and their need for a strong state to push through policies that often don’t have democratic consent. We see this in the actions of the Bretton Woods institutions in the era of ‘structural adjustment’, or the Troika’s behaviour towards Greece during the Eurozone crisis. We see it most starkly in Pinochet’s Chile, the original neoliberal experiment. This perhaps helps to explain the fact that neoliberalism is sometimes equated with libertarianism and the ‘small state’, while others reject this characterisation. I’ll say it again: none of this means that neoliberalism doesn’t exist.

    • C.F.P.B. Payday Loan Rule Likely Spared Wrath of Congressional Review Act

      There was rare good news for regulatory safeguards this week: The window closed for Congress to pass legislation repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule on payday loans, according to advocates of the initiative.

      Stop the Debt Trap, a coalition of labor unions and non-profits, said Wednesday evening that the “legislative clock has expired” on efforts to annul the rule under the Congressional Review Act.

      “Consumer and civil rights advocates are urging the consumer bureau to keep intact the rule, which is set to go into effect summer 2019, and to fulfill the bureau’s responsibility to enforce the law,” the organization said in a statement.

      [...]

      While Congress appeared on Wednesday to officially spare the payday rule, hours earlier, there was an ominous development in Washington for consumer safeguards. In a party-line vote, the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 to approve Andrew Smith as head of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

      Smith has previously served as a lawyer for some of the most recognizable corporations accused of malfeasance, as noted Monday by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • England is restless, change is coming

      My purpose today is to make a big argument about the state of politics in England. Namely, without radical devolution we are not going to achieve social justice.

      I’m pleased to be speaking here at IPPR as recently you produced an important report describing the emergence of Englishness as a political force.

      You were correct to begin a conversation about England. There is a restlessness here. A mounting dissatisfaction which ‘Little Englander’ politics has attempted to colonise. I am going to set out why their narrow message fundamentally misunderstands what is happening.

    • The McCain Cult

      So much time spent on this trifle of a story. Someone named Kelly Sadler, a “special assistant” and “communications aide” to the president stated in a White House meeting May 10 that Sen. John McCain’s opposition to the appointment of Gina Haspel as CIA director was irrelevant.

      “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” she said, according to a leak—presumably by a White House colleague wanting to embarrass her. And so the liberal media—assiduously avoiding coverage of the unprecedented teachers’ strikes in this country, or the Afghan situation as the U.S.-trained army deteriorates and the Taliban expands, or the situation in Iraq as the anti-U.S. Sadrists take power, or the opening of that record-breaking bridge from mainland Russia to Crimea—dwells on this issue of a Trump aide making a “joke” about McCain’s likely immanent death.

    • Iraq elections final results: Sadr’s bloc wins parliamentary poll

      A political bloc led by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has won the country’s parliamentary election, the electoral commission said, ahead of internationally favoured Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s bloc.

      Al-Sadr himself cannot become prime minister as he did not run in the election, but his bloc’s victory puts him in a position to have a strong say in negotiations.

      His electoral list captured 54 parliamentary seats, according to the results released on Saturday.

      The Fatah bloc led by Hadi al-Amiri, who has close ties with Iran, came in second with 47 seats.

    • Trump Jr. met with Gulf adviser who offered help to win election: report
    • Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election

      The Trump Tower meeting and follow-ups are the first indication that countries beyond Russia may have offered help to the Trump campaign.

    • Tory MPs prepare for snap autumn election as Theresa May hit by Brexit deadlock

      Conservative MPs are preparing for another snap general election as they fear the Brexit deadlock will become insurmountable for the prime minister.

      Some have spoken to their local party associations asking to be readopted as prospective parliamentary candidates in readiness for an autumn election.

      The back-bench MPs acted after meeting Theresa May last week for a private Brexit briefing as she tried to stop a row over Britain’s future customs relationship with the European Union tearing the party apart.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The Curious Takedown Notices of ‘Tongues of Glass’ Poet Shaun Shane

      The poet going by the name Shaun Shane has come to the forefront again, half a decade after his one-line poem triggered a takedown controversy. In a series of DMCA notices sent to Google, the poet posits that people are using black hat SEO to get to him. Targeted sites include BoingBoing and Techdirt, but also entirely unrelated ones, including the homepage of the company ‘Shaun Shane Bricklaying.’

    • UK government plans new legislation to tame internet’s ‘wild west’

      The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Home Office are jointly working on a white paper that is expected to be published in the autumn.

    • Gruesome Jihadi Content Still Flourishes on Facebook and Google+
    • ‘Blocking Pirate Sites Through Court is Uncertain, Slow and Expensive’

      Fairplay Canada sees its own site blocking proposal as the best option to counter infringing websites. In a reply response to the CRTC, the coalition argues that the ‘alternative’ judicial option is uncertain, costly, and will take a lot of time. The response further criticizes misleading and false comments from the public, while adding more support for its blocking plans.

    • Students take on press censorship, get national coverage

      A study of press freedom at Christian universities conducted by Taylor University students has garnered national coverage.

      Religion News Service, the Washington Examiner, the Student Press Law Center and several other religion and college media news sites have run stories in the last two weeks about the study, which was released on May 1 by the newly formed Student Press Coalition. Taylor students created the SPC in order to publicize their study’s results and make clear they weren’t representing the university.

    • Music streaming service Spotify initiates censorship against R. Kelly and XXXTentacion

      On May 10, global music streaming platform Spotify began a regime of censorship against artists it accuses of “Hateful Conduct.” The same day, singers Robert “R.” Kelly and Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy (known as XXXTentacion) became its first targets.

      Under the new policy, Spotify will censor music that “incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status[!], or disability.” Moreover, the announcement goes on, “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”

      [...]

      Works by the 20-year-old Onfroy (XXXTentacion), who presently faces charges for battery against a pregnant woman, were given the same treatment, including removal from the Spotify playlist “Rap Caviar,” which has nearly 10 million followers.

      Prior to these acts of censorship, a witch-hunt atmosphere had been whipped up around these two singers in the press and on social media. In the case of Kelly, the group of Hollywood figures known as the “Time’s Up movement” threw their weight behind an existing campaign to “Mute R. Kelly.” The manifesto at muterkelly.org makes clear its disdain for democratic rights:

    • Germany’s Attempt to Fix Facebook Is Backfiring

      The new year was just a day old when Alice Weidel, the 38-year-old co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and Beatrix von Storch, her deputy, came under investigation for inciting hatred on Twitter. Both women had attacked the police in Cologne for tweeting a New Year’s greeting in Arabic: “What the hell is wrong with this country?” von Storch asked in a racially incendiary tweet, accusing the police of supporting what she called “barbaric, gang-raping Muslim hordes of men.” Weidel echoed that sentiment, accusing the police of supporting “knife-stabbing migrant mobs.”

    • Govt to take censorship issue to parliament, says minister

      Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Saturday that the censorship issue would be taken to parliament instead of the information minister tendering her resignation in protest.

      Addressing an Iftar dinner she hosted for journalists, she said the government was aware of the problems being faced by some publications and “I have personally been under pressure to resign on the issue. But I thought for how long the ministers would keep stepping down on such issues instead of taking them head-on”.

    • Minister regrets not doing away with media censorship completely

      Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has said she regrets that her ministry could not do as much as it wished to eliminate the culture of censorship on the media.

      Speaking at an Iftar dinner, hosted by her ministry for the Lahore media, she said that in her short period as the minister she tried her best that the media could be facilitated to the maximum to bring clarity regarding the government affairs.

      She said that she is aware of the concerns and complaints of the media fraternity regarding censorship and sabotage of certain media outlets. She said the government tried its best to do whatever it could to curtail such activities. But, still there was a lot of room for improvement in that regard, she added. The minister pledged that if the PML-N would come to power against after 2018 elections, it would give special attention to the issue.

    • Warframe Moderator’s Authoritarian Censorship Spawns Community Backlash

      Digital Extremes could be looking at some steep community unrest if things don’t get resolved quickly regarding a North American chat moderator for Warframe who has taken the reigns of authority and utilized it to abuse censorship within the community.

    • Prime Minister’s Spokesperson Denounces Church For Censoring Nonconformist Priest

      The Prime Minister’s spokesperson has denounced as “outrageous” an ultimatum by the Church to outspoken priest Mark Montebello that he will be defrocked if he continues speaking out in the media.

      “The Church censors one of its most progressive thinkers,” Kurt Farrugia tweeted. “I had the privilege to work with Fr Mark as deputy editor of It-Torċa…it seems freedom of speech in Malta is a privilege only afforded to conservatives. Outrageous.”

    • Erdoğan ends UK state visit by calling jailed journalists ‘terrorists’

      Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has ended his three-day state visit to the UK by insisting that all the journalists locked in Turkish jails were terrorist criminals, ignoring a warning from Theresa May not to lose sight of democratic values as he sought to defend his country from “the extraordinary pressures of a failed coup and Kurdish terrorism”.

      At a press conference in Downing Street alongside May, Erdoğan made no reference to May’s remarks about human rights, but instead urged her to do more to extradite Turkish exiles from the Gulenist or Kurdish movements, saying that if she did not act act against terrorists, it would come back to bite her.

    • Turkish President Visits UK To Remind Everyone He Still Wants To Punish Critical Speech

      I’m not sure why any nation with at least a passing respect for civil liberties would continue treating Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a world leader worth discussing ideas with. Erdogan rolled into the United States with his entourage of thugs and thought he could have critics beaten and unfriendly journalists tossed from press conferences. He continually petitions other countries to punish their own citizens for insulting him.

      Back at home, Erdogan is jailing journalists by the hundreds, claiming they’re terrorists. A failed coup set off the latest wave of censorial thuggery, with Erdogan bolstering his terrorist claims by pointing to criminal acts like… robbing ATMs. A massive backlog of “insulting the president” cases sit in the country’s court system — a system that’s certainly aware it’s not supposed to act as a check against executive power.

      And yet, world leaders continue to act as though Erdogan is an equal, rather than an overachieving street thug with an amazingly fragile ego. UK Prime Minister Theresa May, hoping to strike a trade deal with Turkey, invited Erdogan to not only discuss a possible deal, but speak publicly.

    • Valve Warns Anime Developers To Censor Sexualized Content On Steam Or They Will Be Removed
    • Steve Stoute Says If R. Kelly & XXXTentacion Music’s Banned, Then Why Don’t People Say ‘We’re F**king No Playing Michael Jackson’
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Revealed: Storyful uses tool to monitor what reporters watch

      Software developed by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to help journalists verify content on social media is also being used to monitor the videos and images viewed by reporters who use the tool.

    • The growing threat to privacy from big data forensics and false positives

      It turned out that the ambulance crew who had taken him to the hospital that day were later called to where the murder in question took place. Somehow, the ambulance team carried with them the DNA of the accused man, and left it on the body of the victim. Even though the quantity of genetic material involved was minuscule, today’s DNA amplification techniques are such that it is possible to extract long enough genetic sequences from these kind of situations to allow them to be matched with DNA database entries. Ironically, the very sensitivity of DNA forensic techniques means that cases of innocent people being accused of crimes are likely to become more common. The problem is that we shed and leave our DNA on everything we touch, even where we stand, and so it is possible for it to be picked up and transferred somewhere else – even on to a murder victim.

    • Website leaked real-time location of most US cell phones to almost anyone

      LocationSmart, as the service is known, identifies the locations of phones connected to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, often to an accuracy of a few hundred yards, reporter Brian Krebs said. While the firm claims it provides the location lookup service only for legitimate and authorized purposes, Krebs reported that a demo tool on the LocationSmart website could be used by just about anyone to surreptitiously track the real-time whereabouts of just about anyone else.

    • Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy amidst “siege” of negative attention

      The Friday court document also notes that the attorney preparing the filing was paid for by Emerdata, a new data analytics firm founded by many of the same people who were formerly involved in Cambridge Analytica. Emerdata, like Cambridge Analytica, is largely funded by the Mercer family, who are well-known Republican donors and Trump supporters. Rebekah Mercer was named as a director to Emerdata in March 2018. What exactly Emerdata does or how it will operate going forward remains a bit of a mystery.

    • GDPR Hysteria

      In another week the GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation will become enforceable and it appears that unlike any other law to date this particular one has the interesting side effect of causing mass hysteria in the otherwise rational tech sector.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Labor undecided on support for increased airport ID checks

      The government made its proposal known on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying the measure was being advanced because there were “dangerous times” facing the country, according to an ABC report. A sum of $294 million has been set aside to increase security at Australian airports and put in new measures in regional centres.

      Turnbull and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton announced legislation to give the police the power to carry out random identity checks at airports without any cause.

    • TSA Thuggos Turn Into The “Security” Version Of Vindictive Uber Drivers, Secretly Rating You

      This turn of events we’re left with — citizens as docile sheep in the face of our civil liberties being violated — ultimately doesn’t go in a good direction, let’s just say, and it probably won’t end well down the road.

    • $10K Isn’t What It Used To Be — Nor Are Constitutional Rights: Time To Revisit Banking Reporting Requirements

      And Holcombe makes the point that $10K in 1970 dollars would be $65K in today’s.

    • US Immigration Officials Pull Plug on High-Tech ‘Extreme Vetting’

      According to reports, ICE has dropped the requirement to use machine learning or other automated predictive decision-making technologies in its proposals to contractors vying for government business. Instead, ICE will emphasize human oversight of the vetting process.

    • New York workers could get right to ignore bosses emails and phone calls

      That’s if a “right to disconnect” bill sponsored by New York City councilman Rafael Espinal passes. It sets a $250 fine for employers who require staff to answer calls and emails after hours. Espinal’s bill was inspired by a similar law that went into effect last year in France.

    • An Agricultural Movement for People-to-People Reparations Puts Itself on the Map

      On a small plot of land on the outskirts of Chicago, a farm collectively owned by gender-non-conforming immigrants will cultivate produce and a younger generation of food justice activists. That’s the vision that Viviana Moreno, Nadia Sol Ireri Unzueta Carrasco and Jazmín Martinez, organizers and farmers based in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, are working to turn into reality.

      Catatumbo Collective, as the three call themselves, told Rural America In These Times in an email: “We’re approaching a worker-owned farm through an intersectional and holistic lens that understands that our community’s issues can be addressed in part by sustainable farming and food justice educational programs.”

      Viviana, Ireri and Jazmín have known each other from years of organizing against deportations in Chicago and working in Little Village’s Semillas de Justicia community garden.

      Of Venezuelan and Mexican heritage, the three incorporate their families’ experiences—with land stewardship and NAFTA-driven migration—and the history of campesinos’ and Indigenous peoples’ land struggles into their approach.

    • Socialists and Progressives Just Trounced the Democratic Establishment

      If members of the Democratic Party establishment weren’t already worried, after Tuesday night, they should be. In primaries across the country, at least eight candidates running on explicitly progressive platforms won out, including open socialists and political newcomers who took out longtime incumbents.

      These victories are proof that the recent successes of left challengers are no fluke. Rather, the wins show that voters who are tired of the type of milquetoast, means-tested policies pushed by centrist Democrats are willing to embrace candidates running on bold, redistributive policies. And far from being too far left to win, these candidates have the political winds at their backs.

    • Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees

      According to the National Catholic Reporter, Honduran human rights leader and Jesuit priest Fr. Ismael Moreno Coto, who was a friend of slain environmental activist Berta Caceres, plans to meet with members of the US Congress this week in order to “offer a number of suggestions on how the U.S. government can play a constructive role in promoting human rights in Honduras.” He is currently on a 9-city tour of the United States to raise awareness about the state of contemporary Honduran society and the historically negative role that the US has played there, especially in its support and funding of right-wing governments and the Honduran military.

      The Trump administration’s recent decision to suspend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 57, 000 Hondurans who came to the United States after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country in 1998 may have also inspired his visit. Trump’s refusal to renew TPS will affect a total of 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians. The vast majority are perfectly law-abiding members of US society who have now, at the stroke of a pen, been criminalized. It is not outside the realm of possibility that Father Ismael may appeal to American government officials to fight against sending vulnerable people to one of the most dangerous countries in the Western Hemisphere.

    • Time to quell the Lords’ anti-democratic riot

      The constitutional crisis that nobody on the left wants to talk about.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The decline of Snapchat and the secret joy of internet ghost towns

      When websites become useless, they become a reminder of what was lost when the [I]nternet gained purpose, function, and profit. We are all still searching for an online space where we can yell our secrets and be unseen and disappear. These opportunities now often exist only in dying online spaces, the last place where no one is looking.

    • ISPs and Ajit Pai are really sad about Senate’s vote for net neutrality

      USTelecom claimed to speak on behalf of Internet users, saying that “Consumers want permanent, comprehensive online protections, not half measures or election year posturing from our representatives in Congress.”

    • ‘Uphill Battle,’ But Net Neutrality Defenders Say Victory in House Possible

      Celebrating the ‘historic win’ in the Senate on Wednesday for only the briefest of moments, advocates for the open Internet who have worked relentlessly to reverse an effort by the telecommunications industry and Trump’s FCC to kill net neutrality protections have immediately turned their attention to the U.S. House of Representatives where they say victory is possible if the American people keep up the pressure.

      “The people saying we can’t win on net neutrality in the House are the same people who, just 5 months ago, were saying we could never do it in the Senate,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Thursday. “Ignore them. Just keep fighting.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Webinar on Defend Trade Secrets Act
    • Copyrights

      • Police Forces Around Europe Hit Pirate IPTV Operation

        More than 150 law enforcement officers in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Spain have coordinated to dismantle a large pirate IPTV operation. TV channel sources, which were spread among companies, commercial premises and even private homes, were targeted in dozens of locations. The investigation focused on 49 suspects, five of whom were arrested and taken into custody.

      • Congress wants to extend the copyright on some sound recordings to 144 years

        Hatch merged the bill with the CLASSICS act, which creates a new federal copyright rule for pre-1972 sound recordings; in some cases, this will create a 144 year copyright term for these older recordings. What’s more, it gives an unassailable advantage to the biggest streaming companies like Spotify and Pandora, whose existing music publisher agreements lock in a much lower royalty rate than the statute provides for, something no new competitor will be able to use.

      • Congress’ Latest Move to Extend Copyright Protection Is Misguided

        Twenty years later, the fight for term extension has begun anew. Buried in an otherwise harmless act, passed by the House and now being considered in the Senate, this new bill purports to create a new digital performance right—basically the right to control copies of recordings on any digital platform (ever hear of the internet?)—for musical recordings made before 1972. These recordings would now have a new right, protected until 2067, which, for some, means a total term of protection of 144 years. The beneficiaries of this monopoly need do nothing to get the benefit of this gift. They don’t have to make the work available. Nor do they have to register their claims in advance.

05.19.18

Links 19/5/2018: Mesa 18.0.4 and Vim 8.1

Posted in News Roundup at 12:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is systemd on Linux Evil – For The Record

    Is systemd on Linux Evil? How does it compare to alternatives like runit? I discuss some considerations with systemd and below are the links I reference in the video.

  • Desktop

    • A beginner’s guide to Linux

      The key difference is that Linux is open source. In the most simple terms, it just means that no one single person or corporation controls the code. Instead, the operating system is maintained by a dedicated group of developers from around the world. Anyone who is interested can contribute to the code and help check for errors. Linux is more than an operating system; it is a community.

    • Why Linux apps on Chromebooks are a really big deal (really!)

      It may have gotten lost in the shuffle of all the Android P news at Google’s I/O conference last week, but fear not, dear friends: Chrome OS has definitely not been forgotten.

      Google’s been making steady progress in advancing its Chromebook operating system over the past several months, particularly around its efforts to further align Android and Chrome OS and turn Chromebooks into all-purpose productivity machines and Android tablet replacements. Practically every week, in fact, there’s some new and noteworthy feature being added into the platform (something we’ve talked about a great deal in my weekly newsletter as of late).

      And though it wasn’t in the keynote, a massive new development did sneak its way into Chrome OS during I/O: the quietly announced ability for Chromebooks to run Linux apps as if they were native applications, without the need for any complex and security-defeating configurations. Linux app support is on its way to the Pixelbook to start — currently in that device’s developer channel and likely becoming available much more broadly before long.

    • System76’s Oryx Pro Laptop Targets AI Developers

      System76’s latest laptop Oryx Pro is a beast in terms of configuration and it focuses on AI and Machine Learning developers. Read about the specifications and pricing

    • Linux Apps On Chromebooks – Unleaded Hangouts

      Linux Apps On Chromebooks. Does this present a compelling reason to buy a Chromebook or instead, is this too little too late for Google? We discuss.

  • Server

    • Blockchain Consolidation Phase Is Imminent, Hyperledger Chief Says

      Brian Behlendorf, a driving force behind the Apache web server and longtime supporter of open source software, now spends his time developing blockchain technology for the enterprise.

      As the executive director of the Hyperledger project, an open source blockchain initiative hosted by the Linux Foundation, Mr. Behlendorf is working to create enterprise-ready distributed ledger technologies and develop a community of corporate blockchain developers that will outlast a fevered investment climate.

      Blockchain is still nascent in the enterprise, but the conversation has evolved beyond basic technology questions to more involved discussions about scale, interoperability and governance, Mr. Behlendorf said.

    • 6 key data strategy considerations for your cloud-native transformation

      Many organizations are making the move to cloud-native platforms as their strategy for digital transformation. cloud-native allows companies to deliver fast-responding, user-friendly applications with greater agility. However, the architecture of the data in support of cloud-native transformation is often ignored in the hope that it will take care of itself. With data becoming the information currency of every organization, how do you avoid the data mistakes commonly made during this cloud transformation journey? What data questions should you ask when building cloud-native applications? How can you gain valuable insight from your data?

      The ensuing presentation includes six key considerations companies must have when they make this transition to cloud-native.

    • Making Kubernetes Easier with Cloud Foundry Platform

      Kubernetes is one of the biggest technology disruptors to hit the IT industry in a long time — maybe since Amazon EC2, now more than a decade old. It has helped turn containers from a convenient packaging method into the building blocks of modern application architectures, and has shifted the discussion in many circles from cloud computing to cloud-native computing.

      If that seems like a form of technological hair-splitting, it isn’t. Cloud-native technologies and architectures are the means by which more traditional businesses — like insurance, financial services or even heavy machinery — can transition from simply consuming cloud resources into operating like the cloud providers themselves. This is shifting the way they run their businesses, making them more agile, distributed and ready to tackle via software, whatever their businesses demand. As with most new technologies, however, it’s important to look at Kubernetes with some perspective.

    • Virtualized lab demonstration using a tweaked Labtainers running in a container

      Labtainers is quite interesting as it allows isolating a lab in several containers running in their own dedicated virtual network, which helps distributing a lab without needing to install anything locally.

      My tweak allows to run what I called the “master” container which contains the labtainers scripts, instead of having to install labtainers on a Linux host. This should help installation and distribution of labtainers, as well as deploying it on cloud platforms, some day soon. In the meantime Labtainer containers of the labs run with privileges so it’s advised to be careful, and running the whole of these containers in a VM may be safer. Maybe Labtainers will evolve in the future to integrate a containerization of its scripts. My patches are pending, but the upstream authors are currently focused on some other priorities.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Remote KMS Linux Backend Is Being Worked On That Could Work With VNC

      Thomas Hellstrom of VMware who has worked on Mesa going back to the Tungsten Graphics days is developing a remote KMS back-end that could be transmitted over VNC or similar protocols.

      In essence this kernel mode-setting (KMS) kernel back-end would allow the display to be transmitted remotely over VNC or similar remote desktop sharing technologies. The current intention is on open-source VNC server support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • mesa 18.0.4

        Mesa 18.0.4 is now available.

        In this release we have:

        r600 driver gets a fix for constant buffer boounds, which fixes rendering bugs
        in Trine and Witcher 1.

        Several fixes for RADV driver: fixes around alpha channel in Pre-Vega, fix in
        multisample image copies, and fixes around multilayer images in compute path.

        For the case of ANV/i965 drivers, also a couple of fixes, all of them around
        ISP. On top, there are a couple of fixes relative to code emission around 16-bit
        integers, and a a fix for a leak in blorp for Gen4 and Gen5.

        Speaking of leaks, there are also fixes for winsys/radeon/amdgpu and
        pipe-loader.gets a couple of patches to fix a couple of leaks.

        SPIR-V part gets a patch to apply OriginUpperLeft to FragCoord.

        Mesa core gets a couple of patches to fix error handling in
        get_framebuffer_parameteriv, and to add missing support for
        glFogiv(GL_FOG_DISTANCE_MODE_NV).

      • Mesa 18.0.4 Released With A Handful Of Bug Fixes

        Mesa 18.1 might be out this weekend but for those riding the Mesa 18.0 stable release series for now, Mesa 18.0.4 is the latest point release.

      • AMD Will Continue Maintaining Multiple Compute Stacks For Linux

        With the great shape that ROCm has been getting into recently for open-source Radeon GPU compute support on Linux including advancing OpenCL support, one might have rightfully assumed that was going to be their centralized compute stack moving forward. It turns out that their PAL-based compute stack will continue to be maintained too.

      • VC5 Gallium3D Driver Becomes V3D, Enabled By Default In Mesa

        What was developed as the VC5 Gallium3D driver is now renamed to V3D and enabled by default in new Mesa 18.2 builds.

        The Broadcom Video Core V driver that was already part of Mesa was renamed to V3D to match the name of the V3D DRM kernel driver. The VC5 to V3D renaming occurred since this driver is already supporting a VideoCore VC6 device, so the VC5 naming was no longer deemed appropriate.

      • VMware 13.3 X.Org Driver Brings DRI3 With Latest Mesa, X.Org Server 1.20 Support

        Usually X.Org DDX driver releases aren’t too notable these days with most of the open-source Linux graphics innovations happening elsewhere in the stack, but for those using the VMware graphics virtualization support available through their different virtualization products, the xf86-video-vmware update out today is on the heavier side.

      • Open-Source NVIDIA Volta GV100 Support Queued For Linux 4.18

        Initial open-source driver support for the NVIDIA GV100 “Volta” GPUs will be introduced with the upcoming Linux 4.18 kernel cycle.

        Earlier this month I wrote about the initial open-source GV100 Volta patches coming out for the Nouveau Direct Rendering Manager while now that work has been queued into the DRM-Next tree ahead of the Linux 4.18 merge window opening in June.

      • The Open-Source ARM Mali “Panfrost” Driver Now Supports Textures & More

        The in-development Panfrost reverse-engineered, open-source driver for supporting ARM Mali T700 series graphics is now much more capable thanks to work carried out on their “half-way” Gallium3D driver in recent weeks.

        Alyssa Rosenzweig has provided an update on the Panfrost driver progress and their very early stage Gallium3D driver. Their recent code is quite a bit of progress considering where they were one month ago with just being able to render a cube.

      • CUDA 9.2 Released With GEMM Improvements

        We knew it was coming while today NVIDIA has rolled out the CUDA 9.2 stable release update.

        The CUDA 9.2 release includes speed-ups for launching CUDA kernels as well as faster performance for GEMM computational performance for half-precision and small N matrices. CUDA 9.2 also fixes a number of issues, including incorrect results with some GEMM calls on V100 Tensor Core GPUs and other BLAS problems.

      • Mesa 18.1 Released With Intel Shader Cache Default, OpenGL 3.1 ARB_compatibility

        First time Mesa release manager Dylan Baker has managed to release Mesa 18.1 on time as the Q2’2018 quarterly update to this OpenGL/Vulkan driver stack.

        While it feels like Mesa 18.0 was just recently released, it’s already been a month and a half, which had arrived significantly late due to release delays. Fortunately, Mesa 18.1 is now available and hopefully allowing for a normal Mesa 18.2 release cycle for next quarter.

        Mesa 18.1 ships with the Intel OpenGL shader cache now being enabled by default, OpenGL 3.1 with ARB_compatibility context support for the prominent Gallium3D drivers, ARB_bindless_texture support for Nouveau NVC0 that is important for some newer Linux game ports like Dawn of War 3, EXT_semaphore support for RadeonSI, various other new OpenGL and Vulkan extensions being supported by Radeon and Intel, and other enhancements. See our Mesa 18.1 feature overview for a more thorough look at all of the changes that made it into this release.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Closer Look At The GCC 8 Compiler Performance On Intel Skylake

        In continuing with our recent benchmarks of the brand new GCC 8.1 compiler, here are more tests while using an Intel Skylake CPU and testing with -O2, -O3, and -O3 -march=native optimization levels while comparing the resulting binary performance of GCC 8.1 and GCC 7.3.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.13 Beta

        Thursday, 17 May 2018. Today KDE unveils a beta release of Plasma 5.13.0.

        Members of the Plasma team have been working hard to continue making Plasma a lightweight and responsive desktop which loads and runs quickly, but remains full-featured with a polished look and feel. We have spent the last four months optimising startup and minimising memory usage, yielding faster time-to-desktop, better runtime performance and less memory consumption. Basic features like panel popups were optimised to make sure they run smoothly even on the lowest-end hardware. Our design teams have not rested either, producing beautiful new integrated lock and login screen graphics.

      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Enters Beta with New Lock & Login Screens, Browser Integration
      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Beta Released With A Compelling Number Of Improvements
      • Greeting

        Hello all! This is my first time writing about my work progress in a blog, so some things are still awnkward for me. And it is also my first time participating in GSoC and there are many things new to me. I’m cooperating with KDE organisation or rather with one of their projects, named Krita.

      • Calamares 3.2.0 released

        The Calamares team is happy to announce the availability of Calamares 3.2.0, the first iteration of the new features-and-functionality series of Calamares 3.2.x releases. This is the new series of Calamares releases following on from the stable 3.1 series.

        Calamares is a distribution-independent system installer, with an advanced partitioning feature for both manual and automated partitioning operations. Calamares is designed to be customizable by distribution maintainers without need for cumbersome patching, thanks to third party branding and external modules support.

      • Calamares 3.2 Linux Installer Framework Released

        Version 3.2 of the Calamares universal Linux distribution installer framework is now available as their latest big feature release that has been in development the past number of months.

        Calamares 3.2 features new localization capabilities, improved logging, enhanced GeoIP detection, improved KDE Plasma integration, optional user-tracking, upgraded KPMCore usage, and various module improvements.

      • Qt 5.11.0 RC2 out

        We have released Qt 5.11.0 RC2 today. Delta to RC(1) release can be found as an attachment. We are still targeting to release Qt 5.11.0 Tue 22nd May as planned

      • Qt 5.11 RC2 Released With The Final Expected Next Week

        The Qt Company is hoping to be able to release the Qt 5.11 tool-kit in just a few days.

        Developers working on Qt 5.11 are striving still to release this half-year tool-kit update ahead of schedule on Tuesday, 22 May, rather than the following week as originally was planned.

      • Get Started with Qt 3D Studio 2.0 beta 1

        Now that the beta 1 release of Qt 3D Studio 2.0 is out, let’s go through the steps involved in trying it out for real.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • virtual-keyboard: Add new virtual keyboard protocol
      • Purism Is Proposing A Virtual Keyboard Protocol For Wayland

        Purism’s Dorota Czaplejewicz has been active within the Wayland community recently as they work on their Librem 5 phone Wayland compositor and Phosh shell for this software stack and iMX8 hardware they hope to begin shipping next year.

        On behalf of Purism, Dorota’s latest Wayland work is proposing a new virtual keyboard protocol for Wayland. This allows for the emulation of keyboards by applications and complements the existing input-method protocol. The new virtual-keyboard protocol is based upon the Wayland keyboard specification but with support for seat bindings and dropping serials.

      • Introducing Calls

        Arguably the most critical functionality in a phone is the ability to make and receive calls through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), that is normal cellular calls using phone numbers. While at Purism we are eager to implement communication systems that enable much greater privacy and security than one can expect from PSTN calls, the PSTN is still the most ubiquitous network and for the time being we can’t very well go around selling a phone that isn’t able to make PSTN calls.⁰

        My task has been to develop a dialer and call handler for PSTN calls. Like all of our work on the Librem 5, this is intended to make use of existing code wherever possible and also target the GNOME platform which our PureOS defaults to. There is currently no GNOME PSTN dialer so we intend to contribute our program to the GNOME project.

      • Purism Introduces Its Telepathy-Using GTK3-Based Phone Dialer Plans

        Purism has formally introduced “Calls”, its GTK3-based PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone dialing application that it hopes will be accepted into the upstream GNOME project. Purism plans to develop this phone dialer using GNOME’s Telepathy framework but for now is using a simple oFono back-end.

        Calls is the new program Purism is developing to make and receive conventional telephone calls for supporting their default GNOME-based software stack being developed for the Purism 5 smartphone.

        While Telepathy is controversial among even GNOME developers, they are pursuing this framework for their phone call application as it will also support SIP calls and other features provided by the GNOME framework.

      • Boxes now supports RDP connections

        Boxes has been the go-to option for easy virtual machine setups in GNOME for quite some time, but some people don’t know that our beloved application can also act as a remote viewer.

        The “Enter URL” option in the new machine assistant is how you get a new remote machine added to your collection. It supports addresses of Spice and VNC servers and oVirt and Libvirt brokers. You can also paste the URL of an operating system image (iso, img, qcow, etc…) and Boxes will download and boot it for you.

      • Dual Monitor: Fix Mouse Getting Stuck On Second Monitor In Gnome Shell With Ubuntu Dock Or Dash To Dock

        On my dual monitor setup, if I made any application fullscreen on the primary monitor (left-hand side screen – monitor “1″ in the image above), the mouse cursor would get stuck on the secondary monitor (right-hand side screen) and I could only move it back to the primary monitor if I moved between monitors through the top part of the screen.

      • Dash to Panel Update Adds Intellihide, New Configuration Options

        Dash to Panel merges the GNOME Dash (aka Dock) and top bar into a unified, single panel that you can place on any edge of the screen:

        In the latest update, Dash to Panel v14, the task bar picks up a bunch of welcome improvements, including support for “intellihide” (aka auto-hide).

        This option (off by default) makes the panel slide out of view when an application window is maximised and/or touching it, and gracefully restored when there’s space for it.

        Although hidden you can access the panel at any time just by moving your mouse to the screen edge it’s hiding under.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Using Ansible Galaxy Roles in Ansible Playbook Bundles

        The Open Service Broker API standard aims to standardize how services (cloud, third-party, on-premise, legacy, etc) are delivered to applications running on cloud platforms like OpenShift. This allows applications to consume services the exact same way no matter on which cloud platform they are deployed. The service broker pluggable architecture enables admins to add third-party brokers to the platform in order to make third-party and cloud services available to the application developers directly from the OpenShift service catalog. As an example AWS Service Broker created jointly by Amazon and Red Hat, Azure Service Broker created by Microsoft and Helm Service Broker created by Google to allow consumption of AWS services, Azure services and Helm charts on Kubernetes and OpenShift. Furthermore, admins can create their own brokers in order to make custom services like provisioning an Oracle database on their internal Oracle RAC available to the developers through the service catalog.

      • Government, enterprise interest in Red Hat and open source sky rocketing

        A popular quote from Mohandas Gandhi graces most of the Red Hat Canada offices across the country: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

        It’s been said that making money from something that’s given away for free is next to impossible, but Red Hat and its Canadian business has turned that assumption on its head and remains dedicated to the open source community.

      • Red Hat’s CloudForms to slum it by wrangling boring old VMs

        Red Hat’s decided virtual servers ought not to be a standalone silo for much longer, so has created a “Virtualization Suite” that combines Red Hat Virtualization with the CloudForms tool it offers to manage OpenStack and cloud-native applications.

        CloudForms has been around for a while and offers administrators one app with which to manage and automate hybrid infrastructure. But Red Hat’s Virtualization (RHV) tools have remained their own little island.

      • Red Hat’s AI Strategy

        “The impact of AI will be visible in the software industry much sooner than the analog world, deeply affecting open source in general, as well as Red Hat, its ecosystem, and its userbase. This shift provides a huge opportunity for Red Hat to offer unique value to our customers. In this session, we’ll provide Red Hat’s general perspective on AI and how we are helping our customers benefit from AI.”

      • Microsoft and Red Hat Announce a Managed OpenShift Offering on Azure
      • OpenShift Common Briefing: OpenShift on OpenStack with Ramon Acedo Rodriguez (Red Hat)

        In this briefing, Red Hat’s Ramon Acedo Rodriguez presents the strategy, vision and current state of affairs for containers within Red Hat OpenStack Platform. In this session you will learn what role containers play in OpenStack, what we as Red Hat are focusing on, what we already have brought to our customers and what you can be expecting in the future in infrastructure as well as tenant layers.

      • News Bits: QNAP, Veritas, Dell EMC, ClearSky Data, Cohesity, Quest, Red Hat, NVIDIA, & More
      • Emergent, LLC Exclusively Awarded Small Business DoD Enterprise Software Initiative Contract To Provide Red Hat Solutions
      • Red Hat Summit: An Eventful Tour from Enterprise Integration to Serverless
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Features: New Theme, Android Integration, Better Power Consumption

            As you can imagine, Ubuntu 18.10 will come with a lot of new features and improvements, some of which Canonical planned for a long time but didn’t manage to implement them in the recently released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system due to its long-term support status and the focus on stability and reliability.

            So, like any other 9-month supported release, Ubuntu 18.10 will be a testbed for Canonical to try new things. Some of these include the ability to unlock your Ubuntu desktop with a fingerprint reader, integration with the KDE Connect Android app by default through GS Connect, a new installer, and a new system theme.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Aims To Lower Power Use, Default To New Desktop Theme
          • Creating the world’s first robotic tennis ball collector with Ubuntu

            Why else did the Tennibot team turn to Ubuntu originally? “We needed something that was both light and compatible with libraries and existing software. Given the geographical spread of where the Tennibot would end up, our final choice needed to have remote upgrading capability too. And of course, both for ourselves plus our users who are not tech savvy, it needed to be solidly tested and stable” said Lincoln Wang, CTO at Tennibot.

            Haitham Eletrabi, CEO of Tennibot adds, “The compatibility with software like ROS and OpenCV makes the implementation and testing of Tennibot’s algorithms an easy task. The support from the Ubuntu community also simplifies debugging the device’s software. In addition, Ubuntu is so versatile with different sensors and components that it really makes it the more superior option for us.”

          • Desktop plans for 18.10

            Bionic is out the door and we’ve started the Cosmic cycle so I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about our plans for this cycle, the sorts of features we want to work on and what you can expect from 18.10 when it arrives in October.

          • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E11 – Station Eleven – Ubuntu Podcast

            This week we reconstruct a bathroom and join the wireless gaming revolution. We discuss the Steam Link app for Android and iOS, the accessible Microsoft Xbox controller, Linux applications coming to ChromeOS and round up the community news.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 will bring power improvements, new default theme, and more

            With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS out the door, the folks at Canonical are starting to talk about plans for the next version of the popular GNU/Linux distribution. Actually, the next two.

            Ubuntu 18.04.1 is expected to roll out in July, bringing bug fixes and a few new features including easier access to Thunderbolt settings and support for unlocking a PC with your fingerprint.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu Devs to Focus More on Supporting ARM Laptops & Raspberry Pi Than 32-Bit

              Earlier this month, the Kubuntu developers have confirmed to us that they won’t support new 32-bit installations with the upcoming Kubuntu 18.10 release, and now they made it official.

              Developer Valorie Zimmerman posted a message on the Kubuntu-devel mailing list a couple of days ago to officially announce that Kubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) is the last Kubuntu release to offer 32-bit ISO images, as starting with Kubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) they won’t be supporting new 32-bit installations.

              As already widely reported, the removal of the 32-bit install media revolution has begun amongst official Ubuntu flavors. The first to take the big step was Ubuntu MATE, followed closely by Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Studio, and Ubuntu Kylin. After an official proposal from developer Bryan Quigley, Xubuntu and Kubuntu followed too.

            • Hands-On with First Lubuntu 18.10 Build Featuring the LXQt Desktop by Default

              The Lubuntu development team promised to finally switch from LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) to the more modern and actively maintained LXQt (Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment), and the switch is now official.

              Lubuntu developer Simon Quigley approached us earlier today to inform that the latest Lubuntu 18.10 daily build is quite usable as he and his team did a lot of work in the past week to accommodate the LXQt desktop environment by default instead of the LXDE desktop environment.

              The main difference between LXDE and LXQt is that the former is written with the GTK+ 2 technologies, which will eventually be phased out in favor of the more advanced GTK+ 3, and the latter is built using the Qt framework. However, it doesn’t look like there are any plans for LXDE to move to GTK+ 3.

            • Lubuntu 18.10 Officially Switching From LXDE To LXQt

              After working on Lubuntu-Next for a while in transitioning from the GTK-based LXDE desktop environment to the modern and maintained LXQt desktop environment that is powered by Qt5, the Lubuntu 18.10 will be the release that officially moves over to the LXQt desktop and pushes out LXDE.

              Walter Lapchynski of the Lubuntu project has confirmed that for the Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” cycle they are switching to LXQt for good.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choosing the right open source tool for movie project management

    One thing artists, engineers, and hackers share in common is their antipathy for management. So, when the time comes when we actually need project management, it comes as a painful growing experience.

    For the Lunatics! animated open movie project, we started by using basic tools popular with open source software projects, like a version control system (Subversion), a wiki (MediaWiki), and a bug-tracker and online browser for the source code (Trac). This is viable for a team of a half-dozen people and an unhurried schedule on a volunteer project. But it quickly becomes unmanageable for larger teams and tighter schedules.

  • Addressing the Complexity of Big Data with Open Source

    Simple software is a thing of the past. Think about it: No program out there is created in a vacuum. Every program uses libraries, has run-time dependencies, interacts with operational environments, and reacts to human inputs. Free and opensource software, as a creative free-market approach to software development, provides more than one solution for every challenge. There are multiple compilers, operating systems, statistics packages (known today as machine learning), test frameworks, orchestration solutions, and so on. Each project moves at its own speed, releasing new features and adding new attributes. Imagine for a second that there is a need to combinea few of these complicated projects into a meta-complex system. It sounds quite sophisticated, doesn’t it?

  • Review: Icinga enterprise-grade, open-source network monitoring that scales

    Continuing our quest for robust, enterprise-grade open source network monitoring, we tested Icinga Core 2 (version 2.8.1) and the stand-alone Icinga Web 2 interface. Created in 2009 as a fork of the Nagios network monitoring tool, Icinga has come a long way.

    We found Icinga to be a powerful monitoring tool with many great features. The Core install is straightforward and basic monitoring is easy with either pre-configured templates or plugins. However, we discovered that the Web install is a bit more complicated and could stand to be streamlined.

  • DigitalBits Foundation Networks Blockchain Companies In Open Source Consortium

    The DigitalBits Foundation is an open source project that provides development resources, infrastructure, events and education via a global transaction network and protocol. Loyalty program operators are able to tokenize their respective loyalty points as digital assets on this decentralized network and users can trade these various digital assets on-chain. DigitalBits latest addition is a partnership with Cogeco Peer 1, a global provider of business-to-business products and services.

    The Foundation’s vision is to see the DigitalBits blockchain help solve portability, security and liquidity issues with certain digital assets, such as Loyalty and Rewards programs, and help generate additional value for consumers, businesses and certain charitable organizations.

    Al Burgio, the founder and CEO, talked with Block Tribune about the organization.

  • How Will U.S. Tensions With China Affect Open Source Networking?

    There’s been a lot of drama in 2018 concerning the Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE and their ability to do business in the United States. The fate of these companies seems inextricably tied to larger geo-political events.

    ZTE has been banned for seven years from buying components from U.S. companies for its products. And members of the U.S. Congress have attacked Huawei’s ability to do business in the country, claiming the vendor’s equipment poses a national security risk.

  • SD Times Open Source Project of the Week: Bazel

    The project is led by a core group of contributors and Googlers, and managed by the community. The group of core contributors is self-managing and added by two supporting votes from other core contributors.

    According to Google, some parts of Bazel will never make it into open source because it integrates with Google-specific technology or the company plans to get rid of those features in the future.

    The Angular team has announced plans to migrate its build scripts with Bazel to get faster and more reliable incremental builds. As of Angular 6, Angular itself is now built with Bazel, according to Stephen Fluin, developer advocate for Angular. “Bazel is the build system that Google and the Angular team use to keep incremental builds under 2 seconds,” the team wrote in a post.

    Bazel is already being used by companies such as Asana, Ascend.io, Databricks, Dropbox, Etsy, Google, Huawei, LingoChamp, Pinterest and Uber. Open-source projects using Bazel include Angular, Deepmind Lab, GRPC, gVisor, Kubernetes, Sonnet, TensorFlow and Trunk.

  • Events

    • Welcome Our New Google Summer of Code Students

      KDE Student Programs is happy to present our 2018 Google Summer of Code students to the KDE Community.

      Welcome Abhijeet Sharma, Aman Kumar Gupta, Amit Sagtani, Andrey Cygankov, Andrey Kamakin, Anmol Gautam, Caio Jordão de Lima Carvalho, Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan, Csaba Kertesz, Demetrio Carrara, Dileep Sankhla, Ferencz Kovács, Furkan Tokac, Gun Park, Iván Yossi Santa María González, Kavinda Pitiduwa Gamage, Mahesh S Nair, Tarek Talaat, Thanh Trung Dinh, Yihang Zhou, and Yingjie Liu!

    • PyCon US 2018 Wrapup

      I attended PyCon US in Cleveland over the last week. Here’s a quick summary of the conference.

      Aside from my usual “you should go to PyCon” admonition, I’d like to suggest writing a summary like this every time you visit a conference. It’s a nice way to share what you found valuable with others, and also to evaluate the utility of attending the conference.

      I barely write a lick of Python anymore, so I mostly attend PyCon for the people and for the ideas. ome themes are common to PyCon: data science, machine learning, education, and core language. Of course, there’s always a smattering of other topics, too.

      During the poster session, I saw a poster on the Python Developers Survey 2017 from JetBrains. One statistic that surprised me: 50% of respondents use Python primarily for data analysis.

    • LinuxFest NorthWest 2018 Recap

      Nineteen years in, LinuxFest Northwest is the original community LinuxFest and is easily the lowest-stress event on my calendar. While Bellingham, Washington may seem like an odd place to host a conference, it is actually the natural end of the line for tech workers who migrate up the West coast from Silicon Valley in search of an affordable place to live and work where you can kayak after work. This lifestyle draw has created quite the tech scene in the Bellingham area and its proximity to the Canadian border makes LFNW an attractive destination for Vancouver, B.C. community members. Some attendees traveled from as far away as Germany and Taiwan, making this an international event despite its remote location. If you have never been to an LFNW, I encourage you to consider attending the 20th anniversary one in 2019!

    • Fractal hackfest in Strasbourg

      Apart from the technical side of things, I also tried to act as a city guide and hope my guests liked the places I took them. I for sure had lots of fun hanging out with all those people!

    • FOSS-North 2018 – OSS community at its finest

      On April 22nd and 23rd, we attended a growing OSS event called FOSS North in Gothenburg – Sweden. According to foss-north.se, “FOSS-North is a free / open source conference covering both software and hardware from the technical perspective. Hosted in Gothenburg between Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm with an international airport, we provide a meeting place for the Nordic foss communities and will bring together great speakers with a great audience.” and that alone sounds like a lot of fun for us nerds!

      [...]

      FOSS-North hosted a bevy of different speeches during the 2-day period with 25 speakers, 2 of them from Jolla! We held our speech about the history of Jolla and the Sailfish community, continued by a piece of our roadmap for Sailfish X, Sailfish 3, and what is planned for the future. We ended the talk by a rather long Q&A from the audience. You can watch the whole talk below, and also access our slides that we used during the talk here.

    • Mastering CI/CD at OpenDev

      After launching in 2017, the OpenDev Conference is now an annual event. At the inaugural event last September, the conference focus was on edge computing. This year’s event, taking place May 22-23, will be focused on Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) and will be co-located with the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver.

    • Join us in Hamburg for the Hamburg Mini-DebConf!

      Thanks to Debian, I have the chance to be able to attend the Hamburg Mini-DebConf, taking place in Hamburg from May 16th to May 20th. We are hosted by Dock Europe in the amazing Viktoria Kaserne building.

    • MiniDebConf Hamburg – Thursday

      I missed my flight on Wednesday, and for a moment I thought I would have to cancel my attendance, but luckily I was able to buy a ticket for Thursday for a good price.

      I arrived at the venue just in time for a “stand-up” meeting, where people introduced themselves and shared what are they working on / planning to work on. That gave me a great feeling, having an idea of what other people are doing, and gave me motivation to work on my projects.

      The venue seems to be some kind of cooperative, with office space for different associations, there is also a small guest house (where I am sleeping), and a “kantina”. The building seems very pretty, but is going through some renovations, so the scaffolding does not let you see it much. It also has a big outdoors area, which is always welcomed.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • [Mozilla] SQL Style Guide
      • Mozilla Firefox 60.0.1 Released with Many Improvements, Disables WebVR on macOS

        Mozilla released on Wednesday the first point release to the Firefox 60.0 web browser, version 60.0.1, which brings several improvements and fixes some annoyances reported by users lately.

        One of the annoyances that Mozilla resolved in the Firefox 60.0.1 release, which started rolling out to Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms, is the displaying of “Sponsored content” on the New Tab page. Mozilla says that it will now immediately disappear when the user disables the “Sponsored Stories” option in Preferences.

        With the Firefox 60.0.1 release, the web browser now avoids overly long cycle collector pauses with certain add-ons, improves momentum scrolling on non-zoomable pages for touchscreen devices, and restores language translations of the Preferences panels when using a language pack.

  • CMS

    • Goodbye Octopress, hello Pelican

      I’ve spent some time during this DebCamp to migrate to Pelican, which is written in Python, packaged in Debian, and its dependencies are quite straighforward to install. I had to install (and write) a few plugins to make the migration easier, and port my custom Octopress Bootstrap theme to Pelican.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD on the System76 Galago Pro

      Hey all, It’s been a while since I last posted but I thought I would hammer something out here. My most recent purchase was a System76 Galago Pro. I thought, afer playing with POP! OS a bit, is there any reason I couldn’t get BSD on this thing. Turns out the answer is no, no there isnt and it works pretty decently.

      To get some accounting stuff out of the way I tested this all on FreeBSD Head and 11.1, and all of it is valid as of May 10, 2018. Head is a fast moving target so some of this is only bound to improve.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Is GIMP’s 2.10 Release Catching up with Photoshop?

      Of the many notable new features, GIMP 2.10 has ported most of its image processing capabilities to GEGL, a data flow based image processing framework that is free software (its source code is in GNOME git).

      GEGL provides floating point processing and non-destructive image processing capabilities, “allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more”.

      GIMP’s lack of multi-core processing has historically caused performance issues, which is a true deterrent in the graphics processing world.

      Moreover, the program can now utilise parallel processing, which is a big deal for various reasons, namely, more efficient processor usage through use of multiple cores.

    • Code & Supply is here for Pittsburgh’s ‘awesome’ software community

      The 2016 Abstractions conference drew software professionals from all over the world — many of them big names in the field, such as Larry Wall, who invented the Perl programming language; Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of GNU; and Raffi Krikorian, formerly of Twitter and Uber — which was one of Reese’s goals when he first started hosting Code & Supply’s meetups.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Calculator Teaches us about Quality Documentation

        Graphing calculators are one of those funny markets that never seem to change. Standardized testing has created a primordial stew of regulatory capture in which ancient technology thrives at modern retail prices while changing little. The NumWorks calculator certainly isn’t the first competitor to challenge the Texas Instruments dynasty with a more modern interface (and a design from this decade), but behind it’s subtle color pops and elegant lines lies the real gem; a fantastically well documented piece of open source hardware. The last time we wrote about the NumWorks, it was to demonstrate a pretty wild hack that embedded an entire Pi Zero but it’s worth drawing attention to the calculator itself.

  • Programming/Development

    • Git Has A New Wire Protocol Yielding Much Greater Performance

      The Git Protocol Version 2 was announced today by Google as a major update to the distributed revision control system’s wire protocol. Git protocol version 2 is much more efficient and yields significant performance benefits.

      The new Git wire protocol offers server-side filtering for references, easy extensibility for new features, and simplified client handling of the HTTP transport.

    • Introducing Git protocol version 2

      Today we announce Git protocol version 2, a major update of Git’s wire protocol (how clones, fetches and pushes are communicated between clients and servers). This update removes one of the most inefficient parts of the Git protocol and fixes an extensibility bottleneck, unblocking the path to more wire protocol improvements in the future.

      The protocol version 2 spec can be found here.

      [...]

      We recently rolled out support for protocol version 2 at Google and have seen a performance improvement of 3x for no-op fetches of a single branch on repositories containing 500k references. Protocol v2 has also enabled a reduction of 8x of the overhead bytes (non-packfile) sent from googlesource.com servers. A majority of this improvement is due to filtering references advertised by the server to the refs the client has expressed interest in.

    • Push Notifications Considered Harmful

Leftovers

  • fridge 0.1

    Imagine something really cool, like a fridge connected to a powerwall, powered entirely by solar panels. What could be cooler than that?

    How about a fridge powered entirely by solar panels without the powerwall? Zero battery use, and yet it still preserves your food.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Patent Paradox In Brazil And Its Implications For Access To Medicines

      The patent system was allegedly designed to allow recovery of the investment in research and development (R&D) of a new product, through the selling of the product under exclusivity for a period of time. Several studies have related high prices of medicines to the monopoly situation established by the patent system and other monopoly rights (such as data exclusivity). It is known that the existence of a patent can lead to high prices due to the market condition in which one producer can operate with exclusivity. In the absence of competition, a producer can charge virtually any price for its product. Competition, therefore, can promote significant price reduction and increase access.

    • Patent Backlogs Fuel Efforts To Extend Pharma Patent Terms In Thailand And Brazil, AIDS Activists Say [Ed: Some people needlessly die due to particular kinds of patents]

      It takes five to eight years for a patent to be examined in Thailand because of the Department of Intellectual Property’s (DIP’s) “innovative step examination” procedure, said Chalermsak Kittitrakul, coordinator for access to medicines campaigns at AIDS Access Foundation. When a patent application is submitted to the DIP, the agency makes a formal notification to the public. Patent protection begins from the filing date and extends for up to 20 years. If the application is not opposed, or is opposed but later accepted, the applicant has the option of waiting five years to submit a request to start the examination process, he said.

      A study carried out with the support of the DIP and the Thai Food and Drug Administration found that the large patent examination backlog is attributable both to the innovative step examination and to the multinational pharmaceutical industry, said Chalermsak. Since patent protection begins when an application is filed, multinational drug companies will often send threatening legal notices to generic companies seeking to produce a similar drug even if it’s not yet clear that the patent will be granted, he said. Companies also take advantage of the gap in the patent examination process, he said: The study, on evergreening patents on medicines carried out be an academic team covering patents and patent applications in 2000-2010, showed that most innovative step examination requests for drug patents are submitted to the DIP in the fourth and fifth year.

    • News of 25-year patent term is premature, but expect big pharma changes in China in the near future

      Headlines were generated earlier this week, following a report that China has introduced 25-year patent terms for some innovative drugs. However, it turns out not to be true, with a number of sources confirming that no such changes have yet been implemented. Nevertheless, with a conditional patent term extension for pharmaceuticals products having been proposed by Chinese state institutions – which are also considering other reforms of pharmaceutical IP rights – life sciences innovators ought to keep a close eye on developments in the country. The reports began with a Nikkei Asian Review article on the 16th May…

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Summer of Code: Bug found!

      I totally forgot to talk about EFAIL in my last blog posts. It was a little shock when I woke up on Monday, the first day of the coding phase, only to read sentences like “Are you okay?” or “Is the GSoC project in danger?” :D
      I’m sure you all have read about the EFAIL attack somewhere in the media, so I’m not going into too much detail here (the EFF already did a great job *cough cough*). The E-Fail website describes the attack as follows:
      “In a nutshell, EFAIL abuses active content of HTML emails, for example externally loaded images or styles, to exfiltrate plaintext through requested URLs.”

    • Red Hat admin? Get off Twitter and patch this DHCP client bug
    • What You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency ‘Malware’ Found on Ubuntu’s Snap Store
    • Security and privacy: Do you know what’s lurking on your system?

      The first was the kernel. I ended up hand-crafting a kernel, removing anything I thought was unlikely we’d need, then restarting several times when I discovered that the system wouldn’t boot because the things I thought I understood were more … esoteric than I’d realised. I’m not a kernel developer, and this was a salutary lesson in how skilled those folks are. At least, at the time I was doing it, there were less code and fewer options than there are today. On the other hand, I was having to hack back to a required state, and now there are more cut-down kernels and systems to start with than there were back then.

      The other piece I left for last was pruning the installed operating system applications and associated utilities. Again, there are cut-down options that are easier to use now than then, but I also had some odd requirements—I believe that we needed Java, for instance, which has, or had …. well let’s say a lot of dependencies. Most modern Linux distributions start off by installing lots of pieces so you can get started quickly without having to worry about trying to work out dependencies for every piece of external software you want to run.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • An Iranian Viewpoint on the Battle for Syria

      This policy has continued to the present. In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency outlined their strategy in a secret document : “THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR).”The U.S. looked favorably on what the document predicts will be the creation of the “Islamic State”: “THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”.

      Then, in a leaked audio conversation with Syrian opposition figures in September, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S., rather than seriously fight Islamic State in Syria, was ready to use the growing strength of the jihadists to pressure Assad to resign, just as outlined in the DIA document.

      “We know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh [a derisive name for Islamic State] was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened,” Kerry said. “We thought however we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him.”

      Russia began its military intervention in late September 2015 without the United States, with the Kremlin’s motives made abundantly clear by Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials. But such clear explanations are rarely reported clearly by Western corporate media, which instead peddles the line from officials and think tanks that Russia is trying to recover lost imperial glory in the Middle East.

      [...]

      The true “state sponsor of terrorism” is not Iran; it is the West and their allies. Since Iran has been fighting ISIS and other extremists in Syria, it is appropriate that the first feature length movie depicting that battle against terrorism and ISIS comes from Iran.

      Hundreds of Iranians have given their lives alongside their Syrian and Iraqi comrades. “Damascus Time” is not the product of Hollywood fantasy; it’s the product of actual human drama and conflict occurring in the Middle East today. “Damascus Time” is fictional but based on a real conflict with actual blood, atrocities, tragedies and martyrs.

    • Blaming the Victims of Israel’s Gaza Massacre

      Monday’s casualties included 1,861 wounded, bringing total injuries inflicted by Israel to 6,938 people, including 3,615 with live fire. Israel is using bullets designed to expand inside the body, causing maximum, often permanent damage: “The injuries sustained by patients will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities,” says Médecins Sans Frontières (Ha’aretz, 4/22/18).

    • Gaza & the US Press

      The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza says Israeli soldiers killed at least 60 Palestinians and wounded as many as 2,700 in an eight-hour period pm May 14. Palestinians protesting both the horrific living conditions in Gaza and their inability—despite international law—to leave it, to return to the homes from which they were expelled, along with hundreds of thousands of people, in the 1940s. At the same time—and for many US TV viewers, on a sickening split-screen—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrating the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, declared it a “great day for peace.”

      Media could hardly avoid revealing the disjunction, even as many worked hard to tell you you weren’t seeing what you thought you were seeing—that the overwhelmingly unarmed people were a violent mob, that the snipers picking them off from a distance were defending their lives.

    • US Not Sitting Idly By on Eve of Venezuelan Election

      Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is the frontrunner in the presidential elections that will take place on Sunday. If past pronouncements and practice by the United States are any indication, every effort will be made to oust an avowed socialist from the the U.S. “backyard.”

      This week, the leftist president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, tweeted: “Before the elections they (U.S. and allies) will carry out violent actions supported by the media and after the elections they will try a military invasion with Armed Forces from neighboring countries.”

      U.S. antipathy towards the Venezuelan government started with the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998, followed by a brief and unsuccessful U.S.-backed coup in 2002. Chávez made the magnanimous, but politically imprudent, gesture of pardoning the golpistas, who are still trying to achieve by extra-parliamentary means what they have been unable to realize democratically. After Chávez died in 2013, the Venezuelans elected Maduro to carry on what has become known as the Bolivarian Revolution.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Finance

    • The Surprising Popularity of ‘Far Left’ Policies

      “The Far Left Is Winning the Democratic Civil War” was the headline over a Washington Post report (5/16/18) on the results of recent primary elections.

      So what counts as “far left” to the Washington Post, the newspaper owned by the world’s richest human?

      [...]

      Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania was described as “the grandson of Henry Wallace, who was Franklin Roosevelt’s vice president for a term, and then ran against Harry Truman, who FDR dumped him for, from the far left in 1948.” Aside from Scott Wallace’s self-description as a “proud progressive” and his promise to “make America sane again,” genealogy was all the Post presented to tie him to the “far left.”

      There were also some candidates who were implicitly placed in the “far left” by the fact that they successfully challenged “Democratic moderates,” thus “causing a new bout of heartburn among party strategists.” For example, Pennsylvania congressional candidate Susan Wild was worrisome because she defeated John Morganelli who “opposes abortion rights and ‘sanctuary cities,’” and whom she criticized for “for speaking positively about Trump and tweeting that he was open to taking a job in the administration during the transition.” You know, like “moderates” do.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The United States’ New ‘Religious Freedom’ Appointee Is a Religious Bigot

      Tony Perkins does not believe the Constitution protects the religious freedom of Muslims or liberal Christians.

      The newest addition to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Tony Perkins, does not believe in religious freedom.

      Perkins, who was appointed to the post by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will now serve on a commission that supposedly serves as a watchdog “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad,” even though he has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not believe in the equal protection of Muslims and others.

      The commission has a long history of politicization, along with anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT bias. Perkins’ inclusion will only continue to undermine its credibility.

      While he claims to support religious freedom, Perkins believes that the Constitution does not protect the rights of Muslims.

    • Federal judge skeptical of lawsuit brought by 3 Democrats against Trump campaign

      A federal judge on Thursday cast doubt on a civil lawsuit brought against the Trump campaign and Roger Stone by three Democrats who claim that election-year WikiLeaks releases destroyed their reputations.

      The hearing put Trump campaign lawyers in the position of arguing in court that there was no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians — a drama that played out on the one-year anniversary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into exactly that matter.

    • Trump campaign decries lawsuit claiming Russian link to hacked emails

      A lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign on Thursday rejected as “wild speculation” allegations by three Americans that it conspired with Russians to disseminate their private information from hacked emails to deter them from supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

    • “Trump, Inc.” Live: From “The Art of the Deal” to the Dossier

      A few days ago, we held a live taping of the “Trump, Inc.” podcast at The Greene Space in New York City. Tony Schwartz, the co-author with Donald Trump of “The Art of The Deal,” talked with Ilya Marritz from WNYC and Jesse Eisinger from ProPublica about what Schwartz does and does not recognize in President Trump now.

    • How a Typical Government Leak Turned Into a Three-Way War Between Comey, McCabe and Trump

      That conclusion is inescapable if you closely examine the sworn testimony of two erstwhile FBI allies, James Comey and Andrew McCabe, about the leaking episode that led to McCabe’s firing in March. After all, two diametrically opposed accounts can’t both be correct.

      President Donald Trump has seized upon the situation — laid bare in a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general — to assail both men, long among his favored targets for reasons having nothing to do with their veracity. “He LIED! LIED! LIED!” Trump wrote, in a veritable presidential tweet-gasm, hours after the McCabe report’s release. “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”

      This is much more than a venomous 21st century personal duel — tweet versus tweet at 10 paces. The credibility of Comey and McCabe is crucial, giving Trump every incentive to tar them. The former has offered withering accounts of his interactions with the president. And given what the two men observed both before and after Trump sacked Comey, both could be called on for key testimony in a potential obstruction of justice charge against the president.

    • Making Excuses for Russiagate

      The best evidence that Russia-gate is sinking beneath the waves is the way those pushing the pseudo-scandal are now busily covering their tracks. The Guardian complains that “as the inquiry has expanded and dominated the news agenda over the last year, the real issues of people’s lives are in danger of being drowned out by obsessive cable television coverage of the Russia investigation” – as if the Guardian’s own coverage hasn’t been every bit as obsessive as anything CNN has come up with.

      The Washington Post, second to none when it comes to painting Putin as a real-life Lord Voldemort, now says that Special counsel Robert Mueller “faces a particular challenge maintaining the confidence of the citizenry” as his investigation enters its second year – although it’s sticking to its guns that the problem is not the inquiry itself, but “the regular attacks he faces from President Trump, who has decried the probe as a ‘witch hunt.’”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • New Malaysian Prime Minister Who Promised To Kill ‘Fake News’ Law Decides It Might Be Useful Now That He’s In Power

      The “fake news” law erected in Malaysia was put in place to do one thing: allow the government to increase its control of journalists. Top-level corruption needed to be buried, and a “fake news” law seemed like a handy way to do it. The law made one thing clear: the government alone would decide what news was fake. The most likely target appeared to be reporting about the mysterious appearance of $700 million in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account.

      The law claimed its first victim shortly after being enacted. A Danish citizen visiting Malaysia was arrested and charged after he posted a YouTube video allegedly misrepresenting the time it took for emergency services to respond to the shooting of a Hamas engineering expert. The man will now spend a month in jail after being unable to pay the $2,500 fine handed down by the court.

      It once looked like the law might be headed for a swift derailment. Mahathir Mohamad promised he would abolish the law entirely if elected Prime Minister. The BBC reports only part of the previous sentence has come to pass.

    • My innocent joke about lingerie and an insidious culture of censorship: Leading academic says trouble caused by a one-liner he cracked in a lift left him reeling

      Maybe, in a crowded lift packed with people whom I didn’t know, I was feeling a little claustrophobic. Maybe I’m too fond of old jokes.

      But when a voice from the front of the elevator called out: ‘What floors would you like, people at the back?’ I retorted: ‘Ladies’ lingerie!’

    • First they came for Josh Blackman: why censorship isn’t the answer

      Having been thinking, reading, speaking, and writing about “hate speech” over the last four decades, I had come to believe that I had nothing new to say, and that all arguments on all sides of the topic had been thoroughly aired.

      That view began to change several years ago, as I started to see increasing activism on campus and beyond in sup­port of various equal rights causes. Having been a student activ­ist myself, I have been thrilled by the recent resurgence of student engagement. I have been disheartened, how­ever, by the fact that too many students and others have called for censoring speakers who don’t share their views, apparently believing that freedom of speech would undermine the social justice causes they champion.

    • Desire for censorship? It’s more likely than you think

      On the heels of World Press Freedom Day – a day designed to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind leaders of their duty to uphold and respect the right to freedom of expression – I’m reminded I shouldn’t have to point that fact out.

      Isn’t it 2018? Aren’t we all preaching for acceptance of diversity, as well as diverse thoughts and points of view?

      Not according to some, and that was on full display in the community last week.

      A group of individuals were angry a particular letter had been published in our Letters to the Editor section for it expressing an opinion they disagreed with. Rather than contact us directly and speak with us about the rationale behind why the letter was published, they decided to use social media to slam the Lacombe Globe as if we endorsed the letter or were using it as a “publicity stunt.”

    • Texas A&M Sued for Social Media Censorship

      In what could emerge as an interesting First Amendment test case, Texas A&M University was sued in federal court for allegedly censoring user comments on its official Facebook page. The lawsuit was filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to defending civil liberties online, on behalf of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The plaintiffs believe government-owned social media sites should be a forum for public discourse. Since 2016 PETA has been waging a campaign against alleged animal abuse at Texas A&M’s muscular dystrophy dog laboratory, and claims that the university’s social media team has been suppressing user comments about the lab.

    • The Philip Cross Affair

      The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen. I run what is arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My “timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings. Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly rounded human being.

      [...]

      There is no doubt that Kamm, leader wirter of Murdoch’s Times, is close the the “Philip Cross” operation. Many people believe that Kamm and Cross are the same person, or that Kamm is part of a multiple persona. Six times I have personally had hostile edits to my Wikipedia page by “Philip Cross” made in precise conjunction with attacks on me by Kamm, either on Twitter, in a Times editorial or in Prospect magazine. Altogether “Philip Cross” has made 275 edits to my Wikipedia page. These include calling my wife a stripper, deleting my photo, removing my reply to attacks made on me by Kamm and Harding among others, and deleting my refusal of all honours while a British diplomat.

      Neil Clark and Peter Oborne are among many others who have suffered attacks on them by Philip Cross on Wikipedia simultaneously with attacks by Kamm on other media. Clark is taking Kamm to court for stalking – and “Philip Cross” has deleted all reference to that fact from Kamm’s Wikipedia page.

      What is plain is that Kamm and Cross have extremely similar political views, and that the dividing line of those they attack and those they defend is based squarely on the principles of the Euston Manifesto. This may be obscure, but is in fact an important Blairite declaration of support for Israel and for neo-con wars of intervention, and was linked to the foundation of the Henry Jackson Society. Who do we find editing the Wikipedia entry for the Euston Manifesto? “Philip Cross”.

      What is particularly interesting is that “Philip Cross”‘s views happen to be precisely the same political views as those of Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales has been on twitter the last three days being actively rude and unpleasant to anybody questioning the activities of Philip Cross. His commitment to Cross’s freedom to operate on Wikipedia would be rather more impressive if the Cross operation were not promoting Wales’ own opinions. Jimmy Wales has actively spoken against Jeremy Corbyn, supports the bombing of Syria, supports Israel, is so much of a Blairite he married Blair’s secretary, and sits on the board of Guardian Media Group Ltd alongside Katherine Viner.

    • UK Gov’t To Allow Citizens To Head To Nearest Newsstand To Buy Porn… Licenses

      The UK government’s continuing efforts to save the country’s children from the evils of internet porn are increasingly ridiculous. Filtering efforts applied by ISPs have managed to seal off access to plenty of non-porn sites while still remaining insanely easy to circumvent. The government — with a straight face — suggested there was nothing not normal about internet customers turning over personal information to ISPs in exchange for the permission to view porn. It’s as if building a database of the nation’s porn aficionados was the government’s original intent.

      Since nothing about this was working about the way the porn filter’s architects (one of whom was arrested on child porn charges) imagined, the UK government decided the same non-functioning tech could be put to work filtering out “terrorist content.” Bad ideas have repeatedly been supplanted by worse ones, and now it appears UK citizens may be able to opt out of ISP porn-related data harvesting by [squints at press report] buying a porn license from their local newsjobber.

    • As Childish Gambino shows, pop music can be powerfully political – despite censorship

      It is a violently subversive darkly comic take on police brutality, white supremacy, and US machismo – and Childish Gambino’s music video, This is America, has been released to critical acclaim, 133,000,000 YouTube hits (and counting), and minimal backlash.

      It may seem incongruous, then, that in 1988, Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman proposed that the media industry would not oppose state or private power in any fundamental way. Herman and Chomsky highlighted five causal factors that led them to this conclusion: concentrated corporate ownership; the prevalence of advertising money; the reliance on official information sources; the disproportionate ability of powerful organisations to issue flak against dissenters, and a pervasive axiom that the Western economic system is a panacea.

    • Rice Bunny: Censorship And #MeToo In China

      As you might know, translating from a language like Mandarin to English is not as simple as say, French to English, especially when it comes to names. Ben, for example, took a Mandarin class and the teacher gave him the name “Jiang Pin Sun” because it sounds kind of like “Ben Johnson.”

      This idea, of phonetic translation, brings us to… Rice Bunny. If you translate the English words “rice” and “bunny” into Chinese, you get something that kind of sounds like “me too.” And if you’ve been an adult on the internet recently, you’re pretty familiar with what “Me Too” means.

      In China, though, the hashtag #metoo is censored; posts containing it are deleted and wiped out forever by government censors. So activists and supporters, who are constantly trying to keep the movement alive, have started using the words for rice and bunny, or the emoji of a a rice bowl and a rabbit.

    • There Is No Magic Bullet For Moderating A Social Media Platform

      Obviously, many of the examples we chose were designed to be challenging (many based on real situations). But the process was useful and instructive. With each question there were four potential actions that the “trust & safety” team could take and on every single example at least one person chose each option. In other words, even when there was a pretty strong agreement on the course of action to take, there was still at least some disagreement.

      Now, imagine (1) having to do that at scale, with hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of pieces of “flagged” content showing up, (2) having to do it when you’re not someone who is so interested in content moderation that you spent an entire day at a content moderation summit, and (3) having to do it quickly where there are trade-offs and consequences to each choice — including possible legal liability — and no matter which option you make, someone (or perhaps lots of someones) are going to get very upset.

    • Fight Hate Speech with More Speech, Not Censorship: ACLU’s Nadine Strossen

      Few issues are as controversial as the right to free speech, especially when it’s pitted against people’s desire not to feel attacked or hated simply because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.

      Over the past 20 or 30 years, speech codes have proliferated in the workplace and at colleges and universities. By a narrow margin, says Gallup, today’s college students say promoting an inclusive campus environment is more important than protecting First Amendment rights of free speech. Yet large majorities also say they want a campus in which all speech is allowed and that their own campus stifles free expression.

      Nadine Strossen, who served as the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 to 2008, is the author of the new book Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, which lays out a compelling argument against policies that try to restrict what individuals are allowed to say. Attempts to legally prevent and criminalize hate speech, Strossen writes, typically end up being used against the very people and groups they are intended to protect. What’s more, she says, the alleged harms caused by ugly speech are routinely overstated.

    • Legislating Censorship in California

      People have a right to hear all sides of controversial issues and to decide for themselves what they want to believe. They should be free to buy books and attend conferences that address controversial topics. Adults should be permitted to seek voluntary, faith-based counseling services that they believe are in their best interest.

      [...]

      Specifically, California Assembly Bill 2943 would make “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual,” connected with the sale of goods or services, unlawful as a type of consumer fraud. The bill defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” Of course, the bill does not prohibit those psychotherapies that the government believes are intended to affirm rather than change gender expressions or romantic feelings.

    • Civil liberties group unveils Repeal mural, calls out ‘chilling effect’ of censorship

      A new Repeal the 8th mural, commissioned by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, was unveiled in Dublin today, as the council said censoring art is “highly questionable” legally. The mural by street artist Giant Sigh, at Bang Bang café in Phibsboro, calls for a Yes vote and is of a figure combining Lavery’s Cathleen Ní Houlihan, familiar from the old pound note, with Rosie the Riveter, the second World War symbol of working women, complete with a Repeal tattoo on her arm.

    • ‘Chilling’ artistic censorship in abortion campaign criticised

      The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has criticised what it has described as censorship in the artistic community surrounding the debate on the Eighth Amendment.

      It said it was concerned at the “chilling effect” of decisions to remove Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin, and to drop a discussion on a new book on the repeal campaign from Dublin’s International Literature Festival.

      The council, which is advocating a Yes vote in the referendum, also cited difficulties encountered by Grace Dyas and Emma Fraser in presenting a touring theatre piece Not At Home, which incorporates testimonies from Irish women and is designed to be accessible to all sides.

    • Here’s How Twitter Is Trying to Stop Bullying and Abuse on Its Service
    • Steam Game Developers That Do Not Censor Sexual Content Will Be Removed: Valve
    • Valve seem to be tightening their rules on games with sexual content
    • [Updated] HuniePop and Other Adult Games Facing Removal From Steam Store
    • Valve’s Inconsistent Rules On Sexy Steam Games Continue To Baffle Devs
    • Mature Visual Novels are at Risk of Being Taken Down from Steam
    • NCOSE Takes Credit For Steam Censoring And Removing Ecchi Games, Visual Novels
    • Sen. Ted Cruz: Social Media Censorship “Real and Present Danger”
    • Iran Tightens Internet Censorship by Requiring Government Agencies to Use State-Approved Search Engines
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Real-time Location Data Of Nearly All US Smartphone Users Exposed

      A cell phone tracking service called LocationSmart has been reportedly leaking real-time location data on millions of mobile phone customers across North America.

      Exploiting a bug in its website, anyone could track the location of US cell phone users without obtaining their consent. This bug was spotted by Robert Xiao, a Carnegie Mellon University researcher, in a free trial feature of the website.

    • AT&T Customers Can’t Accelerate NSA Docs Hearing

      A California federal judge summarily refused Wednesday to accelerate a hearing considering access to classified materials sought by AT&T customers pursuing a putative class action over records collected by the National Security Agency.

      U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White did little more than sign his name to the NSA’s proposed order refusing to move the hearing up from July 6 to June 8 as the customers wanted, to counteract delays granted the government and address arguments on their standing to sue.

    • Evolving Chrome’s security indicators

      Previously, we posted a proposal to mark all HTTP pages as definitively “not secure” and remove secure indicators for HTTPS pages. HTTPS usage on the web has taken off as we’ve evolved Chrome security indicators. Later this year, we’ll be taking several more steps along this path.

    • Google Chrome To Drop ‘Secure’ Indicator From HTTPS Pages

      Google announced on Thursday in an official blog post that the ‘Secure’ indicator on websites will be removed from September onwards. The move is followed by the gradual shift of web towards adopting HTTPS as the default safety protocol.

    • As the Web moves toward HTTPS by default, Chrome will remove “secure” indicator

      The background to this change is the Web’s gradual migration to the use of HTTPS rather than HTTP. With an ever-growing fraction of the Web being served over secure HTTPS—something now easy to do at zero cost thanks to the Let’s Encrypt initiative—Google is anticipating a world where HTTPS is the default. In this world, only the occasional unsafe site should have its URL highlighted, not the boring and humdrum secure site.

    • Judge Allows Fourth Amendment Challenge Of Warrantless Device Searches At The Border To Continue

      A federal judge has allowed the ACLU, EFF, and the several plaintiffs they represent to continue their Fourth Amendment lawsuit against DHS, ICE, and CBP. The plaintiffs are challenging the Constitutionality of border device searches — something that has skyrocketed in recent years. As it stands now, these agencies believe nothing stronger than reasonable suspicion is needed to perform highly-intrusive searches. In many cases, not even suspicion is needed, thanks to the “border search” exception to the Fourth Amendment courts have carved out for the government.

      Policies for agencies performing border device searches are pretty much identical. All allow searches and seizures of devices without individualized suspicion. This warrantless, suspicionless search may also result in the device being confiscated for weeks or months while a forensic search is undertaken — again, supposedly without violating travelers’ rights. CBP’s policy was altered this year, requiring forensic searches and the mirroring of devices to at least reach the level of reasonable suspicion. Better than ICE’s policy, but still nothing approaching a warrant.

      The government sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming the plaintiffs had no standing to assert violations, much less seek injunctive relief on the theory they would likely be subjected to intrusive device searches the next time they traveled.

    • Apple co-founder: ‘We’ve lost our privacy’

      He also applauded the European Union for its efforts to reclaim back taxes from major companies. The EU has ordered Apple to pay Ireland $15 billion after regulators determined that the country had granted it illegal tax breaks. Apple is appealing the ruling.

    • Steve Wozniak tells us: ‘We’ve lost our privacy and it’s been abused’

      He also hinted it is worth considering whether monopolists like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple should be split up.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Slovakia police criticised over treatment of murdered journalist’s colleague

      “The actions of the National Crime Agency are hostile and seem to point to an investigation of reporters and not the murder of Ján Kuciak,” the OCCRP said in a statement. “We have seen this same behaviour by police in captured states and autocratic regimes. It does not belong in Europe.”

      During the alleged interrogation, it is claimed an attempt was made to download information from her phone using specialist equipment. Holcová was allegedly threatened with a €1,650 (£1,440) fine unless she agreed to cooperate. When the download attempt failed, officers are said to have produced a prosecutor’s order which allowed them to seize it.

    • Haspel Could Be Subject to Arrest Abroad Under Universal Jurisdiction

      Francis Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He is the author of many books on International Law and an outspoken critic of US policy in the Middle East. Boyle’s books include Foundations of World Order and the sequel, Destroying World Order. In the following interview with Pacifica Radio host Dennis J Bernstein, Boyle warns that, among other things, given her background as key implementer of the US torture program, Gina Haspel is vulnerable to be arrested for war crimes and crimes against humanity if she travels abroad.

      [...]

      We have a 600-page executive summary of the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee’s report on the extent of torture and extraordinary disappearances by the CIA. This is an official US government document. She was not personally named in there, but she was a high-level official who was personally involved. She certainly supervised the operation in Thailand. Under international law, there is a command responsibility. She is denying that she herself physically tortured anyone, but she supervised others doing the torturing. Under international criminal law, she is accountable for the criminal behavior she oversaw.

    • Oakland: The New Gold Standard in Community Control of Police Surveillance

      There is a new gold standard in the movement to require transparency and community engagement before local police departments are permitted to acquire or use surveillance technology. Oakland’s Surveillance and Community Safety ordinance builds upon the momentum of several cities and counties that have enacted laws to protect their residents from the unchecked proliferation of surveillance technology with the power to invade privacy and chill free speech.

      Santa Clara County in Northern California passed the first ordinance of this type in 2016, putting into public view a range of surveillance equipment already in county law enforcement possession and requiring use policies, annual impact reports, and approval at a public hearing before agencies could acquire or use surveillance equipment. Since then, cities across the country, including Seattle, WA; Berkeley, CA; and Davis, CA; have expanded on this model. In addition to reports on the potential risks to civil liberties and privacy, required reporting includes an assessment of whether the surveillance technology’s use would impact or has resulted in a disparate impact on a particular segment of their community.

      Oakland’s Surveillance and Community Safety ordinance raises the floor on what should be expected as additional cities and towns look to embrace these critical protections. For example, Oakland’s ordinance more clearly applies the definition of surveillance technology to include software used for surveillance-based analysis. Also, Oakland’s ordinance sets a new bar in disclosure by expressly prohibiting city agencies from entering into non-disclosure agreements (NDA) or any surveillance-related contract that conflicts with the ordinance.

    • DOJ Still Wants To Lock People Up For Protesting The Government, Or Even Just Talking About It

      The government is still trying to land a conviction from its mass arrest of participants in last year’s Inauguration Day protests in Washington, DC. So far, it has nothing to show for its efforts but a far-too-casual disregard for civil liberties.

      The prosecutions began with the government’s breathtaking demand for the personal info of all 1 million+ visitors to the Disrupt J20 website. From there, things did not improve. The government’s prosecutors accused protest participants of “hiding behind the First Amendment” while attempting to strip away First Amendment protections. One of those charged by the government with rioting was journalist Alexi Wood, who had filmed the protests and had the footage to show he wasn’t a participant in violent or destructive acts.

      The government compounded its unconstitutional behavior in court when its lawyer (Jennifer Kerkhoff) tried to downplay the significance of a foundational part of our justice system — that the accusers must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” the accused committed a crime.

    • Call Them by Their Names

      The presumption of innocence is supposed to protect those accused of a crime, in law and in the press. In corporate media, that rule also seems to apply to white people who report people of color to the police for doing innocuous things. As FAIR found, their identities are far more closely protected than those of people falsely targeted for “suspicious” behavior.

      In the past few weeks, major news media have been flooded with coverage of incidents of alleged racial profiling and implicit bias—from golfers reported to police for playing “too slowly,” to picnickers fingered for using the wrong type of grill at a park. This coverage was prompted by viral videos and other social media posts released by the accused or by concerned bystanders, in real time or soon after these events occurred. The characters in these stories had one thing in common: The callers and officers involved were white; the alleged offenders, black or brown.

    • ICE Drops Extreme Vetting Software Plan After Discovering No One Could Possibly Deliver What It Wants

      It appears the concept of “extreme vetting” at our borders has been backburnered. The Washington Post is reporting ICE has scrapped plans to acquire software capable of strip-mining immigrants’ social media accounts and converting this info into a RATE MY DANGEROUSNESS number. However, it does not appear the concept is being done away with entirely.

    • ICE just abandoned its dream of ‘extreme vetting’ software that could predict whether a foreign visitor would become a terrorist

      Federal immigration officials have abandoned their pursuit of a controversial machine-learning technology that was a pillar of the Trump administration’s “extreme vetting” of foreign visitors, dealing a reality check to the goal of using artificial intelligence to predict human behavior.

      Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told tech-industry contractors last summer they wanted a system for their “Extreme Vetting Initiative” that could automatically mine Facebook, Twitter and the broader Internet to determine whether a visitor might commit criminal or terrorist acts or was a “positively contributing member of society.”

    • ‘The Idea of Storytelling Is Just Essential’

      After campus police at Colorado State University pulled two Native American teens off a college tour when a woman told 911 that they were “definitely not” supposed to be there, the school’s president spoke directly to concern about “white supremacists” and their attempt to “frighten and isolate people.” While, if headlines are meant to tell the tale, the New York Times’ “Native American Brothers Pulled From Campus Tour After Nervous Parent Calls Police” fell rather short. Euphemism aside, listeners likely heard about the incident, spotlighted like others, via social media.

      Did you know, though, that fully a third of the senior Interior Department officials reassigned in Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recent reshuffle are Native American, even though Native Americans make up less than 10 percent of the department’s workforce? Sources say it’s part of Zinke’s barely veiled plan to remove obstructions to extractive industry. That news, reported by Alice Ollstein at Talking Points Memo—and that’s about it—is also a story about indigenous people and their life in 2018 America. Isolated snapshots of outrageous harms are a meager substitute for genuine coverage of a complex community. There are plenty of things that won’t be captured on cellphone cameras.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • RIPE76 Presentation Archive
    • All California Kids Deserve Internet Access—Including Youth in Detention and Foster Care

      A 2014 report by the National Institute of Justice, part of the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, highlighted the counterproductive nature of punitive policies in the juvenile justice system. They simply don’t work. It would be more effective to provide incarcerated youth with educational opportunities so they don’t fall behind their peers, ensuring they have a fair shot at integrating back into society. California has an opportunity to accomplish exactly this by providing the state’s juvenile offenders with access to quality education resources though the Internet.

      Juvenile facilities and state-run foster care programs across California don’t have to provide youth with Internet access for educational purposes. Assemblymember Mike Gipson introduced a bill, A.B. 2448, that aims to fix this problem. The bill ensures that juvenile detention facilities provide youth with access to Internet and computer technology for educational purposes. It also encourages those facilities to provide Internet access for youth to remain in contact with family members. Additionally, youth in foster homes will be given access to the Internet for age-appropriate enrichment and social activities.

    • Here’s the Name of Every Senator Who Voted Against Net Neutrality—and When to Vote Them Out
    • The ‘Race To 5G’ Is Largely Just Marketing Nonsense

      By now you’ve probably been informed that the next-generation of wireless broadband technology is going to revolutionize everything. Much like they did with 3G and 4G, wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have repeatedly hyped the fifth-generation (5G) wireless standard, insisting that the technology will somehow usher forth a “societal transformation” that’s going to have a magical, cascading impact on every sector in technology, from the internet of (broken) things to the smart cities and self-driving car technologies of tomorrow.

    • The Path to Victory on Net Neutrality in the House of Representatives and How You Can Help

      The United States Senate has voted to overturn the FCC and restore net neutrality protections, the fate of that measure currently rests in the House of Representatives. While many will think that the uphill battle there makes it a lost cause, that is simply not true. Together, we have the power to win in the House of Representatives.

      Now that the Senate has officially voted 52-47 to reverse the FCC’s so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” under an expedited procedure known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA). It is now pending a vote in the House of Representatives. And while many will incorrectly assume since House Republican leadership has expressed their opposition to ever voting on net neutrality, nothing will come of it, the wishes of the leadership are frankly irrelevant.

      What actually matters is whether 218 members of the House of Representatives from either party want to vote to protect net neutrality through a process called a “discharge petition.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Robot inventors are on the rise. But are they welcomed by the patent system?

      This article is brought to you based on the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

      Author: Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum LLC & Yoon Chae, Prior Fellow, World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; Intellectual Property Associate, Baker McKenzie.

    • Warburg Pincus sells ipan to Castik Capital

      Warburg Pincus has sold intellectual property management service ipan Group to Castik Capital.

      Since its acquisition by Warburg Pincus in 2014, ipan has more than tripled its revenues.

      Earlier this year, ipan further expanded its product offering by launching ip-x-change, a new open platform for IP related Software and Services.

    • Magistrate Disclosure of Daughter’s Summer Associate Employment

      I thought this was interesting. Magistrate’s daughter will be a summer associate at the patentee’s firm, and so she disclosed it to the parties and invited their views on whether they thought the case should be reassigned. It is Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc. v. Certainteed Gypsum, available here.

      When I was clerking for the CAFC a few years ago, as clerks we avoided cases where we had any entanglement as an internal procedure, but I thought this was interesting because obviously the patentee’s firm knew it was going to hire the daughter, and the magistrate thought it wasn’t a conflict, but wanted the facts out there.

    • UK publishes Trade Secrets Regulations 2018

      The main change from the draft is the introduction of a new third regulation that seeks to set out the relationship between trade secrets and the existing law of confidential information

      The UK government published the Trade Secrets Regulations 2018 today after the legislation was laid before parliament.

    • Trademarks

      • Big Barber Chain Bullies Owner Of Single Barbershop Over Using The Name ‘Tommy’

        There are a couple of things to note here. Tommy Gun’s applied for its trademark in Canada in 2009. Luong opened his shop under its current name in 2003. At that time he also registered his business with the local government, something that Tommy Gun’s is insisting he change as well. Tommy Gun’s own LinkedIN page suggests that the chain was founded in 2009, meaning that Luong was using the name in commerce first. If anything, it seems that Luong should have been the one to have fired off a C&D rather than the other way around.

      • CJEU rules innovative products alone do not make marks distinctive

        Triggerballs’ failed attempt to register a 3D mark for its massage ball follows a growing trend of reluctance for EU courts to grant trade mark rights in shapes

        The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on May 16 that a trade mark does not have distinctive character because the product it covers is innovative.

      • China to become biggest foreign trade mark filer – CompuMark report

        China is set to overtake the US as the biggest foreign trade mark filer by 2020, according to a CompuMark study published today.

      • Food Fight Over: New Jersey Turnpike Authority Gets Told To Pound Sand By PTAB Over Florida Pizza Company’s Logo

        You may recall that way back in early 2015, we discussed the absurd story of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority suing Jersey Boardwalk Pizza for trademark infringement. At issue was that the pizza joint’s owners, both from New Jersey, had crafted a clever logo that mimicked the logo for the Garden State Parkway, except it altered all the words to be the parlor’s name and the food it served. It was a clear homage. Nobody denied it. That didn’t change the fact, however, that the NJ Turnpike Authority is both not in the business of selling pizza, nor is it in the business of being in Florida. As such, there was zero potential for customer confusion, and the court dismissed the case.

        You would have thought that would be the end of this story. But, no, the NJTPA decided to go the trademark office and try to have the pizza parlor’s trademark invalidated.

      • Pizza fight may be lost after feds deliver burn to N.J. in trademark case

        New Jersey has lost a significant battle against the owners of a small Florida-based pizza franchise whose owners modeled their advertising logo after the state’s Garden State Parkway sign.
        logos-border.jpgJersey Boardwalk Pizza has been using the logo on the left to advertise its business. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority argues its too similar to the Parkway logo. File photo

        Three administrative judges with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ruled Monday that Jersey Boardwalk Pizza can continue to use its logo, which the New Jersey Turnpike Authority argued was confusingly similar to the Parkway logo.

    • Copyrights

      • How The Record Labels Screwed Up The Music Industry, And The Tech Industry Saved Them

        If you’ve been following how much the record labels stumbled around the internet for the past couple of decades, then you know the basics here. But time has a way of erasing some of the nuances of history, and I find it incredible to watch the RIAA and the record labels these days walking around proudly acting as if they were the ones who “saved” the music industry by embracing streaming services that now make up the bulk of the recording industry’s revenues. Indeed, as we’ve pointed out for years, the recording industry has a very long history of overvaluing the music and undervaluing the services that people want. They’ve spent so long insisting that the music is the sole source of the value of what they produce, that they always downplay (or entirely erase) the rest of the equation: getting the music to fans in a manner that is convenient, reasonable, and non-burdensome. Instead, they always focus on killing the golden goose — insisting that any successful music tech service pay them more and more until they’re squeezed dry.

        Over at Motherboard, Ernie Smith, has a good history of how the recording industry screwed up streaming in the early days (unfortunately he does what most people do and refers to what’s really the “recording industry” as the “music industry” — and also simplifies the history to be just one round of mistakes, rather than many, many mistakes leaving a graveyard of dead tech companies in its wake — but the overall article is still excellent). It’s a very instructive piece in detailing exactly how the record label bosses were so focused on making sure that they had control and limits, that they didn’t care at all about providing a service that people actually wanted. Much of it focuses on the two idiotic music label-approved streaming services that the industry tried to launch MusicNet and PressPlay (which we dubbed MusicNot and PressPause way back in 2001). Smith details how both services were built entirely focused on “how do we protect our revenue stream” rather than “how do we serve the customer.”

      • De Gaulle’s manuscripts: ‘public archives’ and ‘public domain’ – same difference in France?

        Last month, the Conseil d’Etat, the highest administrative court in France, declared that the 313 manuscripts and telegrams written by Charles de Gaulle between 11 December 1940 and 11 December 1942 were official public archives belonging to the state of France (see herein French). As a result, the manuscripts written by the former French President and leader of the Resistance during the Second World War will soon be made available to the public as opposed to becoming part of a private collection. For many historians and public domain enthusiasts, the decision reads as a win. The dispute was not one of copyright but rather of heritage law, leaving the status of these archives in relation to the (copyright) public domain in need of further clarification. Indeed, war-time copyright material is eligible for a special type of protection in France… Read on for more on this.

05.17.18

Links 18/5/2018: AsteroidOS 1.0 Released, More Snyk/Black Duck FUD

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Raptor Launching Talos II Lite POWER9 Computer System At A Lower Cost

      For those that have been interested in the Talos II POWER-based system that is fully open-source down to the firmware but have been put off by its cost, Raptor Computer Systems today announced the Talos II Lite that is a slightly cut-down version of the Talos II Workstation.

      The Talos II Lite is still a very competent beast of a system and features a single POWER9 CPU socket, EATX chassis, 500W ATX power supply, and is sold as a barebones package. The Talos II Lite motherboard supports up to the 22-core POWER9 CPU, eight DDR4 ECC RAM slots, one PCI Express 4.0 x16 slot, one PCI Express 4.0 x8 slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port.

    • A little Talos of your very own

      Overall, that $3300 really does translate into greatly improved expandability in addition to the beefier power supplies, and thus it was never really an option for my needs personally. Maybe my mini:Quad analogy wasn’t so off base. But if you want to join the POWER9 revolution on a budget and give Chipzilla the finger, as all right-thinking nerds should, you’ve now got an option that only requires passing a kidneystone of just half the size or less. It ships starting in July.

  • Server

    • Containers and microservices and serverless, oh my!

      A new round of buzzword-heavy technologies are becoming relevant to—or at least discussed among—developers, operations professionals, and the tech staff who lead them. Need to come up to speed on the changing cloud and container trends and technologies? If you feel out of the loop, this tech-transfer explainer should provide enlightenment.

      Once upon a time, virtual machines changed how we thought about servers. Then, the cloud changed how we thought about IT. Now, containers have started a new transformation. The latest entry is “serverless”—though I should point out immediately that the term serverless is a misnomer. Future cloud-native applications will consist of both microservices and functions, often wrapped as Linux containers.

      VMs and the cloud enabled DevOps, the practice of developers and IT operations staff collaborating to optimize technology processes. Cloud technologies’ dynamic compute and storage resources made it easier to provision resources. The idea behind DevOps is that developers no longer need to worry about infrastructure because that’s taken care of in the background by programs such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet.

      Then along came containers. Containers use far fewer resources than VMs by using shared operating systems. Containers are also easier to spin up and down when circumstances require it.

    • How a competitive cycling team applies DevOps and agile methods
    • Red Hat Virtualization 4.2 Gains New SDN, High-Performance Features
    • Scaling AMQ 7 Brokers with AMQ Interconnect

      Red Hat JBoss AMQ Interconnect provides flexible routing of messages between AMQP-enabled endpoints, including clients, brokers, and standalone services. With a single connection to a network of AMQ Interconnect routers, a client can exchange messages with any other endpoint connected to the network.

      AMQ Interconnect can create various topologies to manage a high volume of traffic or define an elastic network in front of AMQ 7 brokers. This article shows a sample AMQ Interconnect topology for scaling AMQ 7 brokers easily.

      AMQ Interconnect does not use master-slave clusters for high availability. It is typically deployed in topologies of multiple routers with redundant network paths, which it uses to provide reliable connectivity. AMQ Interconnect can distribute messaging workloads across the network and achieve new levels of scale with very low latency.

      The router accepts AMQP protocol–based connections from clients and creates AMQP connections to brokers or AMQP services. The router classifies incoming AMQP messages and routes the messages between message producers and message consumers.

      A messaging client can make a single AMQP connection into a messaging bus built with routers, and over that connection it can exchange messages with one or more message brokers connected to any router in the network. At the same time, the client can exchange messages directly with other endpoints without involving a broker at all.s

    • Advisory: Red Hat DHCP Client Command Injection Trouble
  • Kernel Space

    • Is it time to remove ZONE_DMA?

      The DMA zone (ZONE_DMA) is a memory-management holdover from the distant past. Once upon a time, many devices (those on the ISA bus in particular) could only use 24 bits for DMA addresses, and were thus limited to the bottom 16MB of memory. Such devices are hard to find on contemporary computers. Luis Rodriguez scheduled the last memory-management-track session of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit to discuss whether the time has come to remove ZONE_DMA altogether.

    • Zone-lock and mmap_sem scalability

      The memory-management subsystem is a central point that handles all of the system’s memory, so it is naturally subject to scalability problems as systems grow larger. Two sessions during the memory-management track of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit looked at specific contention points: the zone locks and the mmap_sem semaphore.

    • Hotplugging and poisoning

      Memory hotplugging is one of the least-loved areas of the memory-management subsystem; there are many use cases for it, but nobody has taken ownership of it. A similar situation exists for hardware page poisoning, a somewhat neglected mechanism for dealing with memory errors. At the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management summit, Michal Hocko and Mike Kravetz dedicated a pair of brief memory-management track sessions to problems that have been encountered in these subsystems, one of which seems more likely to get the attention it needs than the other.

    • Reworking page-table traversal

      A system’s page tables are organized into a tree that is as many as five levels deep. In many ways those levels are all similar, but the kernel treats them all as being different, with the result that page-table manipulations include a fair amount of repetitive code. During the memory-management track of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, Kirill Shutemov proposed reworking how page tables are maintained. The idea was popular, but the implementation is likely to be tricky.

    • get_user_pages() continued

      At a plenary session held relatively early during the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, the developers discussed a number of problems with the kernel’s get_user_pages() interface. During the waning hours of LSFMM, a tired (but dedicated) set of developers convened again in the memory-management track to continue the discussion and try to push it toward a real solution.

      Jan Kara and Dan Williams scheduled the session to try to settle on a way to deal with the issues associated with get_user_pages() — in particular, the fact that code that has pinned pages in this way can modify those pages in ways that will surprise other users, such as filesystems. During the first session, Jérôme Glisse had suggested using the MMU notifier mechanism as a way to solve these problems. Rather than pin pages with get_user_pages(), kernel code could leave the pages unpinned and respond to notifications when the status of those pages changes. Kara said he had thought about the idea, and it seemed to make some sense.

    • XFS parent pointers

      At the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Allison Henderson led a session to discuss an XFS feature she has been working on: parent pointers. These would be pointers stored in extended attributes (xattrs) that would allow various tools to reconstruct the path for a file from its inode. In XFS repair scenarios, that path will help with reconstruction as well as provide users with better information about where the problems lie.

    • Shared memory mappings for devices

      In a short filesystem-only discussion at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Jérôme Glisse wanted to talk about some (more) changes to support GPUs, FPGAs, and RDMA devices. In other talks at LSFMM, he discussed changes to struct page in support of these kinds of devices, but here he was looking to discuss other changes to support mapping a device’s memory into multiple processes. It should be noted that I had a hard time following the discussion in this session, so there may be significant gaps in what follows.

    • A new API for mounting filesystems

      The mount() system call suffers from a number of different shortcomings that has led some to consider a different API. At last year’s Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), that someone was Miklos Szeredi, who led a session to discuss his ideas for a new filesystem mounting API. Since then, David Howells has been working with Szeredi and VFS maintainer Al Viro on this API; at the 2018 LSFMM, he presented that work.

      He began by noting some of the downsides of the current mounting API. For one thing, you can pass a data page to the mount() call, but it is limited to a single page; if too many options are needed, or simply options with too many long parameters, they won’t fit. The error messages and information on what went wrong could be better. There are also filesystems that have a bug where an invalid option will fail the mount() call but leave the superblock in an inconsistent state due to earlier options having been applied. Several in the audience were quick to note that both ext4 and XFS had fixed the latter bug along the way, though there may still be filesystems that have that behavior.

    • Controlling block-I/O latency

      Chris Mason and Josef Bacik led a brief discussion on the block-I/O controller for control groups (cgroups) in the filesystem track at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. Mostly they were just aiming to get feedback on the approach they have taken. They are trying to address the needs of their employer, Facebook, with regard to the latency of I/O operations.

      Mason said that the goal is to strictly control the latency of block I/O operations, but that the filesystems themselves have priority inversions that make that difficult. For Btrfs and XFS, they have patches to tag the I/O requests, which mostly deals with the problem. They have changes for ext4 as well, but those are not quite working yet.

    • A mapping layer for filesystems

      In a plenary session on the second day of the Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Dave Chinner described his ideas for a virtual block address-space layer. It would allow “space accounting to be shared and managed at various layers in the storage stack”. One of the targets for this work is for filesystems on thin-provisioned devices, where the filesystem is larger than the storage devices holding it (and administrators are expected to add storage as needed); in current systems, running out of space causes huge problems for filesystems and users because the filesystem cannot communicate that error in a usable fashion.

      His talk is not about block devices, he said; it is about a layer that provides a managed logical-block address (LBA) space. It will allow user space to make fallocate() calls that truly reserve the space requested. Currently, a filesystem will tell a caller that the space was reserved even though the underlying block device may not actually have that space (or won’t when user space goes to use it), as in a thin-provisioned scenario. He also said that he would not be talking about his ideas for a snapshottable subvolume for XFS that was the subject of his talk at linux.conf.au 2018.

    • Fantastic kernel patches and where to find them

      I’ve griped before about kernel development being scattered and spread about. A quick grep of MAINTAINERS shows over 200 git trees and even more mailing lists. Today’s discussion is a partial enumeration of some common mailing lists, git trees and patchwork instances. You can certainly find some of this in the MAINTAINERS file.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Sprint Joins ORAN Alliance and Linux Foundation Networking Fund

        Sprint is becoming a member of the ORAN Alliance, formerly known as the xRAN Forum, and it is also joining the LF Networking Fund (LNF).

        The two moves signal the operator’s commitment to the open source world. It’s making these inroads prior to its planned merger with T-Mobile. The two companies announced earlier last month that they will merge. The deal, if approved, will close in early 2019.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Vulkan 1.1.75 Released With Many Issues Resolved

        It’s been almost one month since the Vulkan 1.1.74 debut but now that’s been succeeded by Vulkan 1.1.75.

        The Khronos Group has put out Vulkan 1.1.75 this morning as the newest revision to this graphics/compute API. The Vulkan 1.1.75 update doesn’t introduce any new extensions, but there are a wide number of issues resolved — as usual, mostly document clarifications about intended behavior and some fixes.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 2600 / Ryzen 7 2700 Benchmarks On Linux, 9-Way Ubuntu CPU Comparison

        Last month we delivered launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 7 2700X for these new “Zen+” processors while recently we received the non-X Ryzen 5 2600 and Ryzen 7 2700 processors for Linux testing as well. In this article are benchmarks of these new AMD Ryzen processors as well as other Intel/AMD CPUs for delivering a fresh nine-way Linux distribution comparison using the very latest software components.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • LabPlot Support for live data

        Coming close to the next release of LabPlot, the last new feature in this release that we want to introduce is the support for live data. This feature developed by Fábián Kristóf during “Google Summer of Code 2017” program. In this context, the support for live data refers to the data that is frequently changing and the ability of the application to visualize this changing data.

        Prior to the upcoming release, the only supported workflow in LabPlot was to import the data from an external file into LabPlot’s data containers and to do the visualization. On data changes, the user needed to re-import again. With LabPlot 2.5 we introduced the “Live Data Source” object that is “connected” to the actual data source and that takes care of re-reading the changed data according to the specified options.

      • News about Elisa

        Elisa is a music player developed by the KDE community that strives to be simple and nice to use. We also recognize that we need a flexible product to account for the different workflows and use-cases of our users.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Shell Dash To Panel v14 Brings Intellihide, Configurable Window Previews Size

        The Gnome Shell Dash to Panel extension combines the Dash with the top Gnome panel. The result is a single panel that provides an icon taskbar, the tray, system menu, and date / time indicator. This is similar to the KDE Plasma and Windows 7 (and newer) taskbar. The extension supports Gnome Shell 3.18 and newer.

      • Working on GNOME To Do this Summer

        I am Rohit Kaushik (kaushik on IRC) from Delhi, India. I am currently pursuing B.E Computer Science at BITS Pilani, Goa. I am interested in Software Engineering, Machine Learning and Research. I usually spend my free time playing badminton, cricket or listening to music.
        Last year, I worked on implementing Todoist for GNOME To Do and this time again I will be working on GNOME To Do, improving the two plugins that I wrote earlier and implementing newer features. I am grateful to GNOME and my mentor feaneron for giving me this opportunity.

      • Banquets and Barbecues

        One of the biggest problems with Fractal at the moment is that 1-1 messaging is pretty terrible. Since the rooms in the sidebar are sorted by most recent activity, high-traffic public rooms (such as GNOME IRC channels) tend to drown out rooms with less traffic, such as 1-1s and small groups. This is problematic because the signal-to-noise ratio in 1-1 chats and small groups tends to be much higher than in high-traffic public rooms. This leaves the user constantly searching for the rooms they care about, while the rooms they don’t care about are always at the top.

      • Performance hackfest
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Linspire Server 2018 Released, Based On Ubuntu 16.04 With Xfce Desktop

        Back in January was the news of Linspire (formerly known as “Lindows”) making a comeback and this week marks the release of Linspire Server 2018.

        Linspire/Lindows had previously been focused on just a desktop offering, but PC/OpenSystems acquired the Linspire rights a few months back and now they are spinning up new products. The newly-announced Linspire Server 2018 is based on Ubuntu Server 16.04 and is available for free with a self-support license while the company is also selling commercial support for interested users.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018 Taiwan: Call for proposals is open

        openSUSE.Asia Committee calls for proposals of talks for openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018 held at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology on August 11 and 12. We might have community day on 10th August before the summit.

        openSUSE.Asia Summit is one of the great events for openSUSE community (i.e., both contributors, and users) in Asia. Those who usually communicate online can get together from all over the world, talk face to face, and have fun. Members of the community will share their most recent knowledge, experiences, and learn FLOSS technologies surrounding openSUSE.

    • Slackware Family

      • HandBrake 1.1.0 – now also in a patent-friendly package

        A new release of HandBrake, the video transcoder/ripper. The version 1.1.0 (released last month) comes with a load of enhancements, bug fixes and new features. Read the announcement to get all the details.

        And its GTK+-3 based GUI still compiles on Slackware 14.2. The devs must have done something right. Thank you! Still, it is sad that I can not compile the HandBrake GUI on Slackware 14.1 – or older – due to the GTK+-3 requirement (how I wish that the Qt based GUI was still an option). You could still build the CLI-only variant I suppose. But it might also be a good idea to upgrade to Slackware 14.2 if you thought of running the graphical HandBrake program…

    • Red Hat Family

      • Enhanced OpenShift JBoss AMQ container image for production

        As a Solution Architect at Red Hat, I had the opportunity to run an « JBoss AMQ on OpenShift workshop » some weeks ago at a customer site. Working with AMQ for years outside OpenShift and having just played with the containerized version, I was astonished that some features were already there but not documented while some others were simply missing.

        This post is a walk-through some enhancements I’ve made to Red Hat JBoss AMQ container image in order to meet my customer requirements. It goes through some topics like: adding a monitoring layer to AMQ, making configuration management across environments easier and explaining source-2-image process and use-cases for AMQ. By the way, if you’re interested on monitoring topic on Red Hat integration solutions, I recommend having a look at Bruno Meseguer excellent blog post that was an inspiration for reproducing on AMQ what was done on Fuse.

      • Red Hat brings cloud-native capabilities to software partner ecosystem

        Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, has introduced Kubernetes Operators to the Red Hat OpenShift ecosystem, providing a simplified path for software partners to ultimately deliver tested and validated Kubernetes applications on the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform.

      • Red Hat’s AI Strategy

        Daniel Riek leads the AI Center of Excellence in the CTO Office at Red Hat, which is tasked with advancing the adoption of AI across Red Hat’s products, services and communities. Before that, Daniel has managed engineering groups, worked on Container Strategy and has led RHEL Product Management.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Video Channel Updates

        I’ll still keep uploading to YouTube, but ultimately I’d like to make my self-hosted site the primary source for my content. Not sure if I’ll stay with MediaDrop, but it does tick a lot of boxes, and if its easy enough to extend, I’ll probably stick with it. MediaDrop might also be a good platform for viewing the Debian meetings videos like the DebConf videos.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Coreboot 4.8 Released With 17 New Motherboards Supported

    While many Coreboot users just habitually ride the latest Git code, for those sticking to official stable releases, Coreboot 4.8 was released today.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The Rust compiler is getting faster

        As changes are made to the Rust compiler, a suite of benchmarks measuring compile time is run regularly on the development version. The data is viewable at http://perf.rust-lang.org. The default view is graphical, showing data from the past month.

      • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 38
      • Scaling Firefox Development Workflows

        One of the central themes of my time at Mozilla has been my pursuit of making it easier to contribute to and hack on Firefox.

        I vividly remember my first day at Mozilla in 2011 when I went to build Firefox for the first time. I thought the entire experience – from obtaining the source code, installing build dependencies, building, running tests, submitting patches for review, etc was quite… lacking. When I asked others if they thought this was an issue, many rightfully identified problems (like the build system being slow). But there was a significant population who seemed to be naive and/or apathetic to the breadth of the user experience shortcomings. This is totally understandable: the scope of the problem is immense and various people don’t have the perspective, are blinded/biased by personal experience, and/or don’t have the product design or UX experience necessary to comprehend the problem.

      • Release of python-zstandard 0.9

        Zstandard is a highly tunable and therefore flexible compression algorithm with support for modern features such as multi-threaded compression and dictionaries. Its performance is remarkable and if you use it as a drop-in replacement for zlib, bzip2, or other common algorithms, you’ll frequently see more than a doubling in performance.

      • Revisiting Using Docker

        When Docker was taking off like wildfire in 2013, I was caught up in the excitement like everyone else. I remember knowing of the existence of LXC and container technologies in Linux at the time. But Docker seemed to be the first open source tool to actually make that technology usable (a terrific example of how user experience matters).

        At Mozilla, Docker was adopted all around me and by me for various utilities. Taskcluster – Mozilla’s task execution framework geared for running complex CI systems – adopted Docker as a mechanism to run processes in self-contained images. Various groups in Mozilla adopted Docker for running services in production. I adopted Docker for integration testing of complex systems.

      • Extensions in Firefox 61

        Firefox 60 is now in the Release channel, which means that Firefox 61 has moved from Nightly to the Beta channel. As usual, Mozilla engineers and volunteer contributors have been hard at work, landing a number of new and improved WebExtensions API in this Beta release.

        Before getting to the details, though, I’d like to note that the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge has come to an end. The contest was a huge success and the judges (myself included) were overwhelmed with both the creativity and quality of the entrants. A huge thank you to everyone who submitted an extension to the contest and congratulations to the winners.

      • Enigmail 2.0.4 available – better protection against Efail

        Enigmail now discovers if GnuPG prints a warning message about missing MDC (Modification Detection Code) for old algorithms like CAST5 and treats it like a hard failure. Such a message will no longer be displayed.

  • Databases

    • Built-in Sharding for PostgreSQL

      Built-in sharding is something that many people have wanted to see in PostgreSQL for a long time. It would be a gross exaggeration to say that PostgreSQL 11 (due to be released this fall) is capable of real sharding, but it seems pretty clear that the momentum is building. The capabilities already added are independently useful, but I believe that some time in the next few years we’re going to reach a tipping point. Indeed, I think in a certain sense we already have. Just a few years ago, there was serious debate about whether PostgreSQL would ever have built-in sharding. Today, the question is about exactly which features are still needed.

      If you haven’t followed progress in this area closely, I highly recommend that you read the Built-in Sharding page which my colleague Bruce Momjian wrote up for the PostgreSQL wiki in December of 2016 as well as the very interesting slides which Etsuro Fujita, Kyotaro Horiguchi, Masahiko Sawada, and Amit Langote presented at PGCONF.ASIA 2016. (Note that the atomic commit feature mentioned in that presentation did not make it into PostgreSQL 11.)

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • TDF announces LibreOffice 5.4.7

      The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.4.7, the last minor release of the LibreOffice 5.4 family, currently targeted at mainstream users and enterprises.

      TDF suggests deploying LibreOffice in production environments with the backing of certified developers, migrators and trainers (an updated list is available at https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/). This is extremely important for the growth of the LibreOffice ecosystem.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)