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Links 5/6/2018: Jailhouse 0.9, Libinput 1.11, Qt Creator 4.7 Beta, Oracle Lays Off Java Mission Control Team

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Samsung’s Chromebook Plus now supports Linux apps
      Google began bringing Linux app support to Chrome OS almost exactly one month ago, but it only started with a single device, the very expensive Pixelbook. Now, that’s changing: Linux support is becoming available for Samsung’s Chromebook Plus as well, as spotted by users on Reddit.

    • Samsung Chromebook Plus is second device to support Linux apps
      The idea of Chromebooks (and Chrome OS in general) supporting Linux apps changes the game for the Chrome OS ecosystem. If Chromebooks support Linux apps there suddenly are so many more applications available to run, which makes Chromebooks a more robust competitor to Windows and Mac laptops.

      However, the only Chromebook that supported Linux apps when Google announced the feature was the Pixelbook – probably the most expensive Chromebook on the market.

      But some savvy Redditors just found that the much-more-reasonably-priced Samsung Chromebook Plus now supports Linux apps as well. It’s a little tricky to get them installed, but the support is there nonetheless.

  • Kernel Space

    • [ANNOUNCE] Jailhouse 0.9 released
      We are happy to have completed a new version of the partitioning hypervisor Jailhouse. The release got delayed a couple of times, primarily due to the introduction of MMU support to ARM demo inmates. But now it's done and working.

      Code changes are fewer than for the previous release, but the number of commits is almost this same: 171 commits, 240 files changed, 4458 insertions, 1925 deletions.

    • Jailhouse 0.9 Hypervisor Released With NVIDIA TX2 Support
      A new version of the Jailhouse partitioning hypervisor for Linux systems is now available.

      Hardware now supported by the Jailhouse 0.9 release include the NVIDIA Jetson TX2, NXP MCIMX8M-EVK, and Emtrion emCON-RZ/G1H.

    • Linux 4.18 Lands Chromebook Tablet Switch Driver
      Another one of the hardware support additions for the now in-development Linux 4.18 kernel is finally the mainlining of the Chromebook Tablet Switch Driver.

      This Chromebook Tablet Switch Driver has been in development for more than one year in patch form outside of the mainline kernel and already used by Chrome OS. This driver is responsible for handling the tablet switch event on Intel-powered convertible/2-in-1 Chromebooks when switching between the conventional Chromebook/laptop mode and tablet mode.

      These x86 Chromebooks rely upon ACPI for the tablet switch event and the driver makes use of the kernel's SW_TABLET_MODE switch event.
    • Linux 4.16.14
    • Linux 4.14.48
    • Linux 4.9.106

    • GNU Linux-Libre 4.17 Kernel Arrives for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs
      Based on the recently released Linux kernel 4.17, the GNU Linux-libre 4.17-gnu kernel borrows all the new features incorporated upstream but without including any proprietary drivers or firmware. Apart from the usual deblobbing, this release includes a free, open-source version of the Dreamcast Yamaha AICA sound driver.

      "The greatest news is that the driver for Dreamcast Yamaha AICA sound hardware is no longer cleaned up: the firmware for it is Free Software, and Jason Self's upcoming linux-libre-firmware release will have it," said Alexandre Oliva. "No other significant changes were made, just the usual assortment of adjustments."

    • [ANNOUNCE] libinput 1.11.0
      libinput 1.11 is now available.

      The automatic parsing of the trackpoint sensitivity sysfs file has been reverted, this caused the trackpoint to send NaN deltas on some devices, notiably the Lenovo CompactKeyboard with Trackpoint. Other devices affected would've been any device with a low sensitivity. A full fix to this will have to be addressed after the release.

    • Libinput 1.11 Released With Record & Replay Capabilities, New Acceleration Code
      Libinput 1.11 is out today as a significant update to this generic input handling library for Linux systems that is used by both X.Org (in the form of xf86-input-libinput) as well as Wayland systems for their unified input needs. The Libinput 1.11 release offers several new features.

      One of the big features to libinput 1.11 is integrated record and replay capabilities. This allows for Libinput to record input events and to then replay them back at a later point, which can be practical for debugging and similar use-cases.

    • No Kernel 5.0! Linus Torvalds Prefers Releasing it as Kernel 4.17
      Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux Kernel 4.17. Take a look at main new features in the latest kernel release.

      A new Linux Kernel has been released today and unlike the expectations, it is not called Kernel 5.0.

    • Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 4.17, Plans To Ship v5.0 After v4.20
      Ever since Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux kernel 4.16, the open source enthusiasts found themselves making predictions regarding the Linux 5.0. Even though Torvalds had already wished 5.0 release to be “meaningless,” it was being expected that kernel 4.17 could actually end up being kernel 5.0.

      But that didn’t happen. The Linux boss chose to go ahead with Linux 4.17 even though the 6 million Git object milestone for 5.0 release has already been passed.

    • Linux 4.17 Arrives with New Kernel Memory Consistency Module
      Linus Torvalds officially released the Linux 4.17 kernel on June 3, after seven release candidates. Linux 4.17 is the third major Linux kernel release of 2018 and follows the Linux 4.16 release, which was announced on April 1.

      Among the major new features that have landed in Linux 4.17 is the new Linux Kernel Memory Consistency Module (LKMM).

    • Linux Foundation

      • Community-Created Apps Help Ease Kubernetes Administration
        It didn’t take long at all for Kubernetes to become a star in the open source arena, emerging as the standard way to containerize applications at scale. Kubernetes is ushering in “operations transformation” and helping organizations make the transition to cloud-native computing, said Craig McLuckie, co-founder and CEO of Heptio and a co-founder of Kubernetes at Google, in a recent free webinar.

    • Graphics Stack

      • What’s New in macOS

        Apps built using OpenGL and OpenCL will continue to run in macOS 10.14, but these legacy technologies are deprecated in macOS 10.14. Games and graphics-intensive apps that use OpenGL should now adopt Metal. Similarly, apps that use OpenCL for computational tasks should now adopt Metal and Metal Performance Shaders.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Look At The RadeonSI/RADV Performance From Mesa 17.2 To Mesa 18.2
        Testing was done from the past year as going back to Mesa 17.1 and prior would yield a corrupted desktop on those older releases. With Mesa 17.2 and newer, everything was working fine on both the RADV Vulkan and RadeonSI OpenGL drivers in the games tested. For the older Mesa releases, older versions of LLVM had to be paired with it for API compatibility. The combinations of Mesa tested included Mesa 17.2.8 with LLVM 5.0.1, Mesa 17.3.9 with LLVM 6.0.0, Mesa 18.0.5 with LLVM 6.0.0, Mesa 18.1.1 with LLVM 7.0.0, and Mesa 18.2-devel Git as of this week with LLVM 7.0.0 SVN.

      • Dota 2 Vulkan Performance Across MacOS, Windows 10 & Linux
        Last week Valve released their long-awaited Vulkan renderer for Dota 2 on macOS by making use of the MoltenVK driver they facilitated its open-sourcing of earlier in the year for bringing Vulkan to macOS/iOS via this wrapper layer to map Vulkan calls to Apple Metal drivers. The initial benchmarks of Vulkan'ized Dota 2 on Mac were quite compelling while for your viewing pleasure today are some additional data points.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 8.0 Debuts With Official Windows Support, Easier Benchmark Creation
        Phoronix Test Suite 8.0 has premiered today as the latest quarterly update to our open-source, cross-platform automated benchmarking software. This also happens to be our largest release ever and also commemorates ten years since the release of Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 and fourteen-years since the start of Phoronix. Here is a look at some of the many enhancements to find in this open-source benchmarking software.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • This Week in KDE, Part 3 : Touchpad KCM, Mouse KCM, Libinput
        The previous days were full with discussions since the changes I’m working on will affect the user experience directly. At last, we decided to ship the changes as it is and apply the other changes part by part. I did a Touchpad KCM UI redesign in Kirigami and I would do it for Mouse KCM too but Mouse KCM had some name changes last time so small problem occurred in my system. (KCM’s are part of the KDE Plasma Desktop so changes may be affected by other things.) The code is ready. After solving the problem, new Mouse KCM will be shipped My first coding phase plan of GSoC is kind of finished, too. My next task will be about Libinput so currently, I’m working on a bug to get used to Libinput hacking and to introduce myself to the Libinput community (actually better to say Wayland community).

      • Qt Creator 4.7 Enters Beta, Uses Clang Code Model By Default
        The Qt Company has issued its first public beta today of the Qt Creator 4.7 Qt/C++ integrated development environment.

        One of the biggest changes for the Qt Creator 4.7 cycle is the Clang Code Model is now enabled by default. This Clang-based C/C++ integration in Qt Creator succeeds the homegrown C/C++ Code Model previously employed by the IDE. Clang is being leveraged due to the C++ standards advancing much quicker in recent years, more flexibility, and greater performance.
      • Qt Creator’s Clang Code Model

        Starting with the upcoming Qt Creator 4.7, the Clang Code Model is enabled by default. That’s a great time to look at the differences between our old code model and the new Clang Code Model. But first things first.

      • Qt Creator 4.7 Beta released

        The greatest improvements were again done for our Clang based C++ support. First of all we made the Clang code model the default for Qt Creator 4.7. That is quite a milestone after years of experimenting and developing, so Nikolai has wrapped up the history and current state in a separate blog post. I’ll just summarize some of the most important changes in 4.7 here.

      • Krita Sprint: long fight with jaggy lines on OSX

      • [GCompris] GSoC 2018: Week 2 & 3

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Security vulnerability in Epiphany Technology Preview

        If you use Epiphany Technology Preview, please update immediately and ensure you have revision 3.29.2-26 or newer. We discovered and resolved a vulnerability that allowed websites to access internal Epiphany features and thereby exfiltrate passwords from the password manager. We apologize for this oversight.

        The unstable Epiphany 3.29.2 release is the only affected release. Epiphany 3.29.1 is not affected. Stable releases, including Epiphany 3.28, are also not affected.
      • Nautilus File Operations
        While unit tests are meant to be fairly short and simple, tackling individual instances of a functionality or component, Nautilus would not really allow us to do that. Due to Nautilus’ nature and its tight relation to I/O operations, unit testing for us meant cherry-picking the simpler functions which we use and testing these. However, for the larger, more important components, we’d rely on integration tests, which represented one of the following items on our list.
      • 23rd of April
        Lo and behold (not as surprising as it was for me considering I am writing this) my project had been accepted and I was about to start my bonding period as an official member and contributor under the GNOME community!

        I doubt I’ll soon (if ever) forget the feelings I went through as I saw my name listed there. At first, I could not find myself. The GNOME projects list kept going and going, I even went past my fellow Nautilus GSOC’er project and would not see my name. Eventually, I saw it, “Tests, profiling and debug framework for Nautilus” with my name on top of it. It just felt both rewarding (as I had been contributing to Nautilus for a while up to that point) and relaxing, knowing I would get to contribute to something I use on my day-to-day work and alongside the people I got to learn so much from, all whilst being a part a of a huge project, whose name is familiar to millions of users.

  • Distributions

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux 2018.06.01 Is Now Available for Download, Uses Linux Kernel 4.16.12
        Arch Linux 2018.06.01 has been released as a refreshed install media for the popular and lightweight GNU/Linux distribution, including the Linux 4.16.12 kernel and all the security patches and software updates that were made available through the project's repositories during May 2018.

        The install media is slightly bigger than last month's ISO image and weights about 571.0 MB in size and supports only 64-bit (amd64/x86_64) architectures. The included Linux 4.16.12 kernel is not the latest version available as Linux kernel 4.16.13 is already in the stable repositories, and Linux kernel 4.17 is in the Staging one.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Centralize and Simplify Secrets Management for Red Hat OpenShift Container Environments with the CyberArk Conjur Enterprise Integration

      • Red Hat Launches Fuse 7, Fuse Online for Better Cloud Integration
        Red Hat on Monday launched its Fuse 7 cloud-native integration solution and introduced Fuse Online, an alternative integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS).

        Red Hat Fuse is a lightweight modular and flexible integration platform with a new-style enterprise service bus (ESB) to unlock information. It provides a single, unified platform across hybrid cloud environments for collaboration between integration experts, application developers and business users.

        The Fuse 7 upgrade expands the platform's integration capabilities natively to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. OpenShift is a comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform.

      • Red Hat unveils Fuse 7 integrated with OpenShift and Fuse Online
        Red Hat has introduced the latest version of its cloud-native integration solution: Red Hat Fuse 7, which was formerly called Red Hat JBoss Fuse.

        Fuse 7 is a cloud-native distribution solution for developers to develop, deploy and scale integration capabilities. It has now been integrated with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for better collaboration among diverse users.

        Developers will get a unified solution to create, extend, and deploy containerized integration services across hybrid cloud environments. Fuse 7 integrated with OCP will enable greater productivity and manageability in private, public and hybrid clouds.

      • Rethinking how we work
        Everyone's talking about it—because no one can avoid it—and it's causing even the longest-running and most venerable businesses to radically rethink how they operate. Economic, cultural, and technological conditions are changing so rapidly that entire industries are getting upended at an unprecedented rate. Faced with that kind of change, organizations typically find themselves in one of two positions: They're either disrupting their industries—changing the rules of the game, solving new problems, realizing new sources of value—or they're being disrupted by nimbler, more innovative, digitally native competitors.

      • How to install Python Flask on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 28 - Improvements drowned in slowness

          Fedora 28 is buggy, riddled with problems and that awful performance issue, some good and brilliant points, and it takes a lot of hard work to tame and put into order. In other words, it's a perfect toy for the typical developer, I guess. For ordinary folks, the good points of being able to play music, connect phones and find nice software are definitely appreciated. But they are more than offset by Gnome 3 being useless and hard to make less useless, inadequate default font settings, tons of visual inconsistencies, occasional app and kernel crashes, and dreadful performance and resource utilization.

          This distro makes sense as a test bed for software, nothing more. It is not suitable for day-to-day use, and there are too many problems. I find this sad, because RHEL and CentOS are the exact opposites of this equation, and that means a person interested in a Red Hat distro for their home use will probably have to compromise in some way. All in all, worth checking, but it's a tinkerer's trinket, not a system for serious use. None of the spring crop seem to be. Anyway, feel like testing, go ahead. But I still find the older 24/25 releases to have been much better. 4/10. Take care, freedom fighters.

        • New GLPI dedicated repositories

          Until now, GLPI 9.1 was available in the "remi" repository and GLPI 9.2 in the "remi-test" repository, which doesn't make sense anymore, as version 9.2 is stable and most plugins are compatible.

        • [Week 3] GSoC Status Report for Fedora App: Amitosh

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • A tennis ball retriever powered by Ubuntu
            A couple years back, Haitham Eletrabi, CEO of startup Tennibot, was practicing his backhand against a ball machine when he came to a frustrating realization: He was spending far more time cleaning up balls than hitting them.

            His solution, Tennibot, is a Roomba-inspired robot that scours the court targeting balls for autonomous pickup.

            It's a quirky application of autonomous mobility, but what caught my eye was the speed of development. In just a couple years the Tennibot team has gone through multiple prototypes and software builds to arrive at a product they plan to ship in January 2019.

          • Top Snaps in May 2018
            Spring has sprung a bounty of applications in the snap store! We’ve hand picked a small selection from those we highlighted during May 2018.

          • EzeeLinux Show 18.22 | Ubuntu 18.04 Follow Up and 10 Years on YouTube
            Some observations on Ubuntu 18.04 including what has changed under the hood and getting Unity to work.

          • How to Make Ubuntu Look More Like Windows

          • Ubuntu's New Server Installer Will Soon Support RAID & LAN Bonding
            With Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS there is a new server installer that is completely redone compared to the Debian Installer it's been relying upon to this point. But it is missing some basic features for traditional server administrators like RAID, encryption, and LVM partitioning.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 – Download Links, Release Date, Features & More
            Ubuntu 18.10 will be released this October, and we already have information about the new Ubuntu’s features, changes, release date, and more.

            Some of you requested an article for 18.10 like we did one for Ubuntu 18.04, so here it is. Though it’s still relatively early, there is some information available about the new features, what will be changed, the name, and more.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 19 Beta Is Now available to Download
              Linux Mint 19 Beta is now available to download with 3 desktop flavors “Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce”. Let’s check the main features you would expect in the final release Linux Mint 19.

              Linux Mint 19 with a code name “Tara” is based on the long term support release Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) which will be supported until April, 2023. So, you would expect receive security updates from Ubuntu repositories along with enhancements from Linux Mint team as well.

            • Linux Mint 19 “Tara” Xfce – BETA Release
              Linux Mint 19 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2023. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

            • Linux Mint 19 “Tara” MATE – BETA Release
              Linux Mint 19 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2023. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Sound themes in Linux: What every user should know
    Like all modern operating systems, Linux has a set of specifications for sound themes. Sound themes are sets of similar sounds coordinated into themes that sound good together. They signal events such as switching to a different workspace, opening a new application, plugging and unplugging hardware, and alerting you when your battery is low or fully charged. The sounds that play is determined by which themes you have installed and which ones you’re currently using. If your desktop tries to play a sound your theme doesn’t have, it will play a sound from another sound theme if it can find one.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Get All the Color, New Firefox Extension Announced
        Remember when you were a kid and wanted to paint your room your favorite color? Or the first time you dyed your hair a different color and couldn’t wait to show all your friends (or at least, wanted to)? We feel that, too, and that’s why we put the new Color Extension in the mix of add-ons available for Firefox browser.

      • It’s A New Firefox Multi-tasking Extension: Side View
        Introducing Side View! Side View is a Firefox extension that allows you to view two different browser tabs simultaneously in the same tab, within the same browser window.


        With Side View, you can compare news stories and informational material against one another. You can also read an article on one side, and compare quoted source material to the original on the other side.

        And this is a really great use of Side View: Comparing revisions of documents and images to note changes and see if the new version looks and reads better than the old version. Version control—all in the same window!

      • Latest Firefox Test Pilot Experiments: Custom Color and Side View
        Before we bring new features to Firefox, we give them a test run to make sure they’re right for our users. To help determine which features we add and how exactly they should work, we created the Test Pilot program.

        Since the launch of Test Pilot, we have experimented with 16 different features, and three have graduated to live in Firefox full time: Activity Stream, Containers and Screenshots. Recently, Screenshots surpassed more than 100M+ screenshots since it launched. Thanks to active Firefox users who opt to take part in Test Pilot experiments.

        This week, the Test Pilot team is continuing to evolve Firefox features with two new extensions that will offer users a more customizable and productive browsing experience.

      • Introducing Firefox Color and Side View
        We’re excited to launch two new Test Pilot experiments that add power and style to Firefox.

      • Overscripted! Digging into JavaScript execution at scale
        As champions of a healthy Internet, we at Mozilla have been increasingly concerned about the current advertisement-centric web content ecosystem. Web-based ad technologies continue to evolve increasingly sophisticated programmatic models for targeting individuals based on their demographic characteristics and interests. The financial underpinnings of the current system incentivise optimizing on engagement above all else. This, in turn, has evolved an insatiable appetite for data among advertisers aggressively iterating on models to drive human clicks.

      • Overscripted Web: a Mozilla Data Analysis Challenge
        What happens while you are browsing the Web? Mozilla wants to invite data and computer scientists, students and interested communities to join the “Overscripted Web: a Data Analysis Challenge”, and help explore JavaScript running in browsers and what this means for users. We gathered a rich dataset and we are looking for exciting new observations, patterns and research findings that help to better understand the Web. We want to bring the winners to speak at MozFest, our annual festival for the open Internet held in London.


        Cryptojacking: websites using user’s computers to mine cryptocurrencies are mainly video streaming sites

      • Management books in review
        I became a manager of a fantastic team in February. My standard response to a new role is to read many books and talk to a lot of people who are have experience is this area so I have the background to be successful.

  • Databases

    • MySQL without the MySQL: An introduction to the MySQL Document Store
      MySQL can act as a NoSQL JSON Document Store so programmers can save data without having to normalize data, set up schemas, or even have a clue what their data looks like before starting to code. Since MySQL version 5.7 and in MySQL 8.0, developers can store JSON documents in a column of a table. By adding the new X DevAPI, you can stop embedding nasty strings of structured query language in your code and replace them with API calls that support modern programming design.

      Very few developers have any formal training in structured query language (SQL), relational theory, sets, or other foundations of relational databases. But they need a secure, reliable data store. Add in a dearth of available database administrators, and things can get very messy quickly.

      The MySQL Document Store allows programmers to store data without having to create an underlying schema, normalize data, or any of the other tasks normally required to use a database. A JSON document collection is created and can then be used.

    • Quest Doubles Down on Open Source Relational Database Management with Postgres Support in Toad Edgeâ„¢ 2.0

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • BSD


    • GNU Health patchset 3.2.10 released
      Starting GNU Health 3.x series, you can do automatic updates on the GNU Health and Tryton kernel and modules using the GNU Health control center program.

  • Programming/Development

    • Ericsson proud of its open source history as Erlang turns 20
      There’s an incorrect presumption that the telecoms vendor and OEM community is divided between the legacy equipment companies and the open source community, with clear separation between the two. Not so; although there are obviously significant differences and business models in play. The so-called legacy vendors are keen to maintain their sizeable gross margins on networking products, whereas the open source-based newer entrants are competing on both innovation and lower costs.

    • Microsoft Buys GitHub
      If you're an open-source developer using GitHub, it's time to start looking for new place to store your code.

    • Microsoft Has Acquired GitHub And Developers Are Not Happy
      On Monday, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Github, the world’s largest repository of open-source code for $7.5 billion.

      However, this announcement has provoked a backlash from several developers as they see the death of a community-driven platform that is crucial to open source software development.

    • So Pigs Do Fly: Microsoft Acquires GitHub
      Disclosure: Microsoft is a RedMonk customer...

    • Microsoft’s GitHub deal triggers software coders’ trust issues
    • Microsoft is buying GitHub, but will the open source world follow?

    • Oracle Lays Off Java Mission Control Team After Open Sourcing Product
      The Java Mission Control suite of tools, also known as JMC, was open sourced by Oracle on May 3rd with much applause and excitement from the Java development community. The excitement was replaced with unease as sources reported that the entire JMC development team had been laid off.

      JMC is a well-known profiling and diagnostics tools suite for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) primarily targeting systems running in production. It is used by developers to gather detailed low-level information about how the JVM and the Java application are behaving. The official open source announcement came on May 5th from Marcus Hirt, a member of the Java Platform Group at Oracle.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • 10 Open Source Security Tools You Should Know

      The people, products, technologies, and processes that keep businesses secure all come with a cost — sometimes quite hefty. That is just one of the reasons why so many security professionals spend at least some of their time working with open source security software.

      Indeed, whether for learning, experimenting, dealing with new or unique situations, or deploying on a production basis, security professionals have long looked at open source software as a valuable part of their toolkits.

      However, as we all are aware, open source software does not map directly to free software; globally, open source software is a huge business. With companies of various sizes and types offering open source packages and bundles with support and customization, the argument for or against open source software often comes down to its capabilities and quality.

      For the tools in this slide show, software quality has been demonstrated by thousands of users who have downloaded and deployed them. The list is broken down, broadly, into categories of visibility, testing, forensics, and compliance. If you don't see your most valuable tool on the list, please add them in the comments.

    • Open Source Tools for Active Defense Security
      So, what can we do when this happens? One option is to employ free or open source tools in limited deployment. This choice can help demonstrate value and work as a proof point for future budget conversations — and can even work for a strategy like active defense.

    • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #162

    • Security updates for Tuesday

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Call For Britain To 'Come Clean' Over Civilian Deaths In Raqqa
      The US-led coalition campaign to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from the so-called Islamic State killed hundreds of civilians and injured thousands, a charity has claimed.

    • UK 'must come clean' over airstrikes in Syria, says Amnesty International
      The coalition air campaign to liberate Raqqa from Islamic State has been described as a “war of annihilation”, which killed hundreds of civilians and injured thousands more.

      The claims have been made by the charity Amnesty International, which singles out the involvement of the RAF in the battle, saying that "the UK needs to come clean over its role in this carnage".

    • Syria war: Amnesty says UK 'should come clean' on Raqqa attacks
      The UK should "come clean" about its role in attacks on the Syrian city of Raqqa which allegedly killed hundreds of civilians, a charity has said.

      Amnesty International said it has found evidence air strikes by a US-led coalition were "potential war crimes".

      The charity spent two weeks in Raqqa, which had been targeted in the war against the so-called Islamic State (IS), interviewing 112 witnesses.

    • Pro-Trump Author Says CIA Has Plan to Kill the President
      It is not difficult to conclude that we now have a conspiracy theorist as president of the United States. During Barack Obama’s presidency Donald Trump promised to find proof that he was not born in the United States and claimed that he had sent people to Hawaii to find the evidence. If he really sent anyone, they never came back with the proof Trump expected. Then in March 2017, as president, he tweeted that Obama had ordered a wiretap on his phone at Trump Tower. That too was false.

      Of late, Trump has engaged in several “tweet storms” claiming that a conspiracy by the “Deep State” exists and is doing all it can to delegitimize his presidency and get him removed from office. Trump believes the Deep State was instituted by John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, and includes all of the intelligence agencies. His latest claim is that before leaving office the Obama team planted an FBI spy in his campaign, tweeting a phrase his supporters would soon repeat: “SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!”

    • Big Tech firms march to the beat of Pentagon, CIA despite dissension
      funny thing has happened to Google and Amazon on their path toward high-tech success: They have become crucial cogs in the U.S. national security establishment.

    • Another Defense Agency to Tap CIA's Commercial Cloud

    • Ex-CIA Officer Says US Supports Terror Groups - Ideological al-Qaeda Descendants
      Larry Johnson: Because the United States was supporting terrorist groups in Syria. That's the real irony in all of this. In 2001 when the United States was attacked by al-Qaeda and we find ourselves now supporting groups that are the ideological descendants of al-Qaeda in Syria. It's just absolute insanity.

    • Africa: U.S. Military Killed Almost 500 Civilians in 2017 - Pentagon Report [Ed: Well, they count it based on bogus criteria/definitions of “civilian” (usually female under 12 or so)]
      The Pentagon has told Congress that the US military killed almost 500 civilians and injured a further 169 in 2017.

      The civilians were killed in operations around the world, from Somalia to Yemen to Syria.

      "[The Department of Defense] assesses that there are credible reports of approximately 499 civilians killed and approximately 169 civilians injured during 2017," reads the Pentagon's report to Congress, as per CNN.

    • US Marines move tanks from secret caves in Norway to Finland

      US Marines withdrew tanks and weapons from storage caves in secret locations in Norway and brought them to southern Finland last month. Once there, they fired tank guns and other weaponry alongside the Finnish army as part of an annual training exercise called Arrow 18.

    • Aid Groups Issue Grave Warnings as Trump Considers Major Escalation of US Military Role in Yemen
      In a “horrifying” development that international aid groups and independent critics warn could worsen what is already the world’s most devastating humanitarian crisis, the Trump administration is reportedly considering a plan to greatly expand the US military’s role in Yemen in an effort to help Saudi-backed forces seize the country’s main humanitarian aid port.

      According to the Wall Street Journal—which first reported the details of the plan on Sunday—the Trump White House “is weighing an appeal from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for direct US support” for Saudi-forces that are closing in on the port city of Hodeidah, where nearly 80 percent of all humanitarian aid and food arrives. Hodeidah is currently controlled by Houthi rebels.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Lift the ban on communications! Free Julian Assange!

      June 6 will mark 10 weeks since the Ecuadorian government blocked all communication by WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange with the outside world, including personal visitors. Assange has been trapped inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when Quito granted him asylum in the face of a legal witch-hunt by the governments of the United States, Britain and Sweden.

      Britain was moving to extradite Assange to Sweden on trumped-up allegations of sexual abuse as the first step in transferring him to the US to face charges of espionage, which carry a possible death sentence. Washington had vowed to punish Assange for having exposed before the world war crimes committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US intrigues against other countries.

      In remarks last Wednesday, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno attempted to defend the silencing of Assange. He sought to deny—unconvincingly—that this action was the outcome of his government’s capitulation to pressure and threats by the United States.

    • Lawyer Julian Burnside endorses June 17 Sydney demonstration for Assange’s freedom
      I join with John Pilger and endorse the demonstration that will take place in Sydney on Sunday, June 17, at 1:00 pm, to demand that the Australian government act immediately to secure the freedom of WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange.

      I urge all people to take part, especially my colleagues in the legal profession. We cannot remain silent or passive as the democratic principles we uphold are shredded. Assange has not committed any crime. He is being persecuted because he published leaks that exposed government acts that are criminal under the law.

      The Turnbull government must help Julian Assange now. He must be helped to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy without being arrested by Britain (our allies) and be allowed to return to Australia, to his children, mother and supporters, with guaranteed protection from arrest by the British and any American extradition request.

    • Singer-songwriter Roger Waters calls for defence of Assange
      The above message was displayed above the stage of musician Roger Waters’ “Us + Them 2018” concert in Berlin, Germany on June 2.

      Roger Waters was part of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd from 1965 to 1985. For the past 33 years, he has continued a solo career, which has included staging the largest live concert event in history.

      Throughout his long career, singer-songwriter Waters has spoken out publicly against war, oppression and injustice.

    • Ecuador: No set date for Assange to regain internet access

      No date has been set for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to regain access to the internet at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has been in asylum since 2012, Ecuador’s foreign minister said.

      Maria Fernanda Espinosa said Mr Assange has not complied with his agreement to avoid intervening in the politics of other countries.

      “On several occasions he has agreed on not intervening in internal politics of third-party countries and unfortunately he has not complied with his commitment, so for the time being he is not allowed to have access to the internet,” she told The Associated Press. “It is not a matter of censorship.”

    • Ecuador: No set date for Assange to have access to internet
      Ecuador's foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, said on Monday that there is no set date for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to regain access to the internet in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has taken shelter since 2012.

      Ecuador's government cut off Assange's internet connection in March after he made social media posts decrying the arrest of a Catalan separatist politician.

    • Assange still to wait for internet access [Ed: AP again]

    • John Pilger: Justice and freedom for Julian Assange mean free speech for us all
      This month, it will be six years since Julian was forced to take refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He had been warned; the US Department of Justice was likely to file an application with Britain’s Home Office for his extradition to the United States. The allegations against Julian and WikiLeaks in the US were subsequently declared secret by a US District Court judge, but it has since been confirmed that a grand jury in Virginia has concocted a number of possible ‘charges’ against the WikiLeaks founder.

      The most likely of these is ‘espionage’, which harks back to a long -defunct First World War law designed to punish conscientious objectors.

      Julian is not an American; neither has he ‘betrayed’ any state. His ‘crime’ has been free journalism and publishing, which are protected under the US Constitution, a document whose sanctity has apparently been jettisoned.

    • Julian Assange in jeopardy

      Julian Assange’s status in the Ecuadorian embassy has been in jeopardy over the past months, particularly since Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno came to power, with Ecuador and the UK believed to be engaged in negotiations to bring his stay to an end. In a recent interview, Moreno said, “Let’s not forget the conditions of his asylum prevent him from speaking about politics or intervening in the politics of other countries. That’s why we cut his communication.”

      Isolated without internet access since March, Julian Assange will have been arbitrarily detained by the UK in the Ecuadorian Embassy for six years on 19 June 2018. The UN has condemned his detention; leading intellectuals, academics, and artists around the world have called for an end to his isolation; and the UK refuses to guarantee safety from extradition should he step outside the embassy.

    • John Pilger and Courage Foundation announce “urgent campaign” to free Assange

    • Ecuadorian foreign minister asserts treatment of Assange is “not censorship”
      Speaking from New York yesterday, Ecuador’s foreign minister María Fernanda Espinosa defended her government’s vindictive decision to cut WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange off from all communication and even personal visitors. For 10 weeks, Assange has been deprived of contact with the outside world, under conditions in which his health has been seriously compromised by being confined inside the small Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly six years.

      Espinosa again hinted that Ecuador is working to force Assange out of the embassy into the clutches of waiting police and a prison cell, and the prospect of extradition to the United States on charges of espionage. She stated she was in discussion with both British authorities and Assange’s lawyers. “I think all parties are interested in finding an outlet, a solution, to this complex situation,” she declared.

    • Terry Hicks, father of former Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, supports Julian Assange
      Assange has not committed any crime but has been virtually jailed in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for six years. No one should be treated this way. There was all this hullaballoo in Sweden, but there were never any charges, and then, all of a sudden, it was just dropped. He’s been accused of treason, called a spy, a terrorist and all sorts of other things by American politicians and the media. These are just lies and part of an orchestrated script.

      If Julian Assange walks out of the embassy he will be taken to the US and put on trial for crimes that have been cooked-up by the US government. People say extradition, but I prefer to use the word kidnapping. We cannot allow this to happen.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Trump Fiddles As Fossil Fuels Burn
      I have to admit that as sad as the spectacle in Washington is, I feel for Donald Trump. Surely, I think, somewhere within him there must be a frightened child, desperate for praise he never got. I am not sure what else could explain his folly.

      Coal and nuclear power are both dying, falling victim to natural gas and renewable energy. Trump used to blame the Democrats, and especially “Obama’s war on coal.” He used to take the position that removing subsidies for renewable power would be sufficient to bring a renaissance to the coal industry. But despite his efforts, coal plants have just kept closing.


      In 2014, both FERC and NASA have warned us about the possibility of long-term national outages. The FERC warning related to terrorists potentially attacking grid transmission facilities and bringing the grid down for over a year. And NASA warned us about a coronal discharge that could shut the grid down for over three years. In neither case would the presence of coal-burning plants be helpful. In both cases, nuclear plants could make things far, far worse.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • As China censors 'Tank Man' anniversary, protestors re-enact iconic demonstration near Tiananmen Square

      A lone man stood defiantly before a row of tanks near China's Tiananmen Square 29 years ago Tuesday. And while images of the anonymous "Tank Man" remain iconic in the West, China tightly censors all such reminders of its deadly crackdown on protestors in 1989.

      But that hasn't stopped one Chinese artist from urging Tank Man's remembrance: In days leading to the demonstration's anniversary, images appeared on social media under the hashtags "#tankman" and "#tankman2018": People stood firm and held shopping bags — just as the Tank Man did nearly three decades ago.

      The Chinese cartoonist known as Badiucao launched a campaign calling for performances honoring Tank Man around the world, donning his black-and-white outfit and standing on a raised platform to connect the moment's legacy to current events.
    • Alleged censorship of high school paper fuels hope for legislative action
      This year’s alleged censoring of the school newspaper at Prosper High School in North Texas was the latest in a series of episodes that has First Amendment advocates hopeful for legislative change.

      In May, Prosper High School Principal John Burdett terminated the contract of school newspaper advisor Lori Oglesbee-Petter, who has advised student papers for over three decades, after several incidents in which Burdett forced the Eagle Nation Online to remove content.

      Burdett, who came to the district in March 2017, began to review the news content in February, vetting it for material that was controversial or ran counter to “community norms.” He sought content that was “uplifting.”
    • ‘Any company could die overnight’: China’s online services struggle with rising censorship demands
      The rapid tightening of Chinese censorship demands has plunged local internet companies into a high-stakes game of survival, with executives knowing they face closure if they allow the distribution of banned content.

      “It’s no exaggeration to say that any company could die overnight,” said Chen Taifeng, a vice-president at Yixia Technology, the developer of MiaoPai, a hugely popular service for live-streaming and video-sharing in the country.

      It has become an industry joke that “almost all of the people in charge of content-audit departments have white hair.”

      Those departments are charged with enforcing government censorship edicts, which have grown increasingly strict as China seeks to ensure internet video abides by standards more similar to those that have long governed broadcast television.
    • Facebook expands censorship of news organizations with restrictions on political ads
      Facebook’s new measures restricting use of its advertising platform have begun to impact news and media organizations, according to a report published Friday by the Verge. The moves are the latest step in the company’s campaign to censor its platform under the bogus pretext of combating “Russian interference” and “fake news.”

      Starting May 24, Facebook began requiring that anyone wishing to purchase a “political ad” must undergo an onerous authorization process, submitting images of a government-issued ID and verifying their address and Social Security number, among other requirements.

      In addition to ads relating to elections, referenda, political parties or candidates for office, the social media company has designated 20 “issues of national importance” which fall under its new restrictions. The issues—abortion, budget, civil rights, crime, economy, education, energy, environment, foreign policy, government reform, guns, health, immigration, infrastructure, military, poverty, social security, taxes, terrorism, values—are so broadly defined as to include virtually all news or information of any significance.

    • The Cost of Extreme Media Censorship – a View From Pakistan
      There is a price to pay for professional broadcast journalism in Pakistan. That was the sobering message for the media from the blatant, but unofficial, blackout in large swathes of the country in April 2018 of Geo News, the market leader among 37 current affairs 24/7 channels. The blackout seemed arbitrary but not without method — transmission was disrupted intermittently, thereby delaying public awareness about the odd phenomenon.

      Puzzlingly, for the public at least, there did not seem to be any explanation. The reason: neither did Jang Media Group, which owns Geo, publicise the matter at first or protest nor did the remainder of the media industry report it even when it understood what was happening. Social media leaks were the primary source of information about the blackout.

    • Republican Congressman Devin Nunes Claims Drudge Report Is Being Censored by Twitter

    • Google up to its old tricks again and Devin Nunes has a bead on them

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Data Privacy: Why It Matters and How to Protect Yourself
      When it comes to privacy on the internet, the safest approach is to cut your Ethernet cable or power down your device. But, because you can't really do that and remain somewhat productive, you need other options. This article provides a general overview of the situation, steps you can take to mitigate risks and finishes with a tutorial on setting up a virtual private network.

      Sometimes when you're not too careful, you increase your risk of exposing more information than you should, and often to the wrong recipients—Facebook is a prime example. The company providing the social-media product of the same name has been under scrutiny recently and for good reason. The point wasn't that Facebook directly committed the atrocity, but more that a company linked to the previous US presidential election was able to access and inappropriately store a large trove of user data from the social-media site. This data then was used to target specific individuals. How did it happen though? And what does that mean for Facebook (and other social-media) users?

    • It’s Time for Payment Processors Like Stripe and Paypal to Start Publishing Transparency Reports

      Modern payment processors are making hard choices every day about how and when they’ll stand up for users. Whether they comply with or reject a government request for user data and whether they shut down an account or leave it up can have enormous ramifications for what types of speech can thrive online. These choices shouldn’t be made in a bubble, shielded from public oversight.

      Payment processors like Stripe, Paypal, Bitpay, and Coinbase are the intermediaries that allow you to support your favorite websites, send donations, and make purchases online. They’re often privy to details of your financial life, which can be deeply revealing. Your finances can say a lot about your daily habits, your political orientation, your physical location at different moments in time, your associates, and your health concerns. Given how sensitive this information is, you might assume that law enforcement agents must show probable cause to a judge and receive a search warrant before accessing financial records. But you’d be wrong. Financial data is frequently obtained through a less stringent process, such as a subpoena, a 314 (a) request, or a National Security Letter, none of which require review from a judge before being sent to the financial service provider. Furthermore, the financial industry is already heavily regulated and laws currently mandate that various financial institutions, from banks to money transmitters, must keep extensive customer records and proactively report information about large or suspicious transactions to the government. Over the last two decades, the volume of these reports has grown rapidly, now surpassing millions per year. In effect, thousands of companies have been deputized to bulk collect and report reams of private financial information to the government.
    • 'Tesco probably knows more about me than GCHQ': Infosec boffins on surveillance capitalism
      Privacy of medical data and the machinations of surveillance capitalism were under the spotlight at a Cambridge University symposium last week.

      Much of the day-long event, marking the 20th anniversary of think tank the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR), was spent debating state-backed surveillance in its many forms from bulk data interception to equipment interference. But the discussions also touched upon how privacy was affected by large internet giants.

      The systematic data collection by intel agencies has been facilitated by the business models of companies like Facebook and Google. The internet habits of hundreds of millions are collected by these firms in the interests of targeting ads and this data also provides a high source of intelligence for governments as well as presenting a privacy risk in its own right.

    • Edward Snowden: 'The people are still powerless, but now they're aware'
      What has happened in the five years since? He is one of the most famous fugitives in the world, the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, a Hollywood movie, and at least a dozen books. The US and UK governments, on the basis of his revelations, have faced court challenges to surveillance laws. New legislation has been passed in both countries. The internet companies, responding to a public backlash over privacy, have made encryption commonplace.

      Snowden, weighing up the changes, said some privacy campaigners had expressed disappointment with how things have developed, but he did not share it. “People say nothing has changed: that there is still mass surveillance. That is not how you measure change. Look back before 2013 and look at what has happened since. Everything changed.”
    • The surreal moment the Guardian destroyed the Snowden files
      GCHQ insisted on purely symbolic act despite knowing the information was already elsewhere

    • How NSA Motivated Employees to Keep Secrets in the 50s and 60s
      The National Security Agency is well-known for its surveillance programs, counterintelligence and role in the post-Edward Snowden discourse. Lesser known, perhaps, are the motivational posters the agency has developed to discourage employees from leaking secrets.

      Transparency group Government Attic in 2016 sent a Freedom of Information Act request to NSA that was fulfilled Monday for "security/motivational posters from the 1950s and 1960s." And what a haul it uncovered.

    • Vintage internal security posters, pried loose from the NSA's archives
    • There’s a vintage NSA security poster for everyone
    • Security Alert: NSA security education posters from the Cold War
    • The NSA Just Released 136 Historical Propaganda Posters
    • These vintage NSA posters are weird as hell
    • Edward Snowden Fast Facts
    • The Fifth Anniversary of the Snowden Disclosures
    • 'I have no regrets': Edward Snowden praises himself for 'changing everything' as he speaks from Russia five years after leaking the biggest cache of top secret documents in history

    • Supporters hold vigil for Reality Winner, accused NSA leaker

    • 1 year later: Channel 2 revisits the NSA leaker case
      Reality Winner’s Augusta home is no longer a minimalist, yoga haven.

      There’s a TV in the living room, baby pictures framed around an open space, and other signs that the house is now a home to a family.

      It’s a rental property for a new family friend, and a place for the alleged NSA leaker’s mother to stay whenever she makes her frequent trek from Texas to Georgia.

      On Monday, it’s also the set of a German-American documentary team, following Winner’s mother.

    • More data and surveillance are transforming justice systems

      Now the relationship between information and crime has changed in two ways, one absolute, one relative. In absolute terms, people generate more searchable information than they used to. Smartphones passively track and record where people go, who they talk to and for how long; their apps reveal subtler personal information, such as their political views, what they like to read and watch and how they spend their money. As more appliances and accoutrements become networked, so the amount of information people inadvertently create will continue to grow.

    • Senators press Facebook amid new questions on data-sharing practices

      Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) on Monday said that his committee plans to send Facebook a letter seeking more information on the matter.

    • Top Dem wants answers on Facebook sharing data with phone makers

      “It’s deeply concerning that Facebook continues to withhold critical details about the information it has and shares with others,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) in a statement.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • British MI6 Spies Still Shares Intelligence Obtained Under Torture
      Britain’s spies are still sharing intelligence obtained under torture in breach of their official guidance, the UK Labour Party has reveled in a letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.


      “Even worse, in eight of those cases, it was found that the intelligence was shared despite the fact that the Guidance should have prohibited further action – presumably as a result of what were serious risks of torture or other ill-treatment,” the letter read.

      The revelation is specifically damaging for London as it follows the government’s last unreserved apology to Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar, who were detained in Malaysia by the CIA with help from MI6 spies.

    • How the CIA funded smears against Shostakovich
      Joe Horowitz has been reading old Encounter articles by Nicolas Nabokov, a Russian emigré composer and CIA-funded propagandist who made it his business to attack the music of Soviet composers.

    • University Of Michigan Now Has Almost 100 Full-Time Staff Dedicated To "Diversity"

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Google Fiber Broadband Hype Replaced By Delays And Frustration

      When Google Fiber first arrived back in 2010, it was lauded as a game changer for the broadband industry. Google Fiber would, we were told, revolutionize the industry by taking Silicon Valley money and using it to disrupt the viciously uncompetitive and anti-competitive telecom sector. Initially things worked out well; cities tripped over themselves offering all manner of perks to the company in the hopes of breaking free from the broadband duopoly logjam. And in some areas where Google Fiber was deployed, prices certainly dropped thanks to Google Fiber market pressure.

      But that was then, and this is now.

      In late 2016 Alphabet made it clear that the company had grown bored with the high costs and slow pace of deploying fiber. The project has burned through several CEOs in just a year, laid off numerous employees, and the company ultimately announced it was considering a pivot to cheaper wireless technology. The problem: Google's still conducting numerous tests in various spectrum bands (including millimeter wave), but doesn't actually know what this replacement tech looks like yet. Meanwhile, the cities once promised a broadband revolution are seeing that hope replaced with annoyance and frustration.

    • Google AMP and the website obesity problem

      Now I want to ask any frontend web developer: "Have you forgotten the KISS principles? Or rather, do you even know what it means ?".

      I didn't, but I'm fairly confident on the fact that most answers I'll get will be in the negative.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • United States: Business Method Patents: Non-Patentable Only In Books?
      The legal situation of granting business method patent depends from place to place. The reason being that Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) did not expressly address the said patent issue. Thus, countries grant (or do not grant) looking upon its local conditions and national policies. That said, India is one of the country that does not believe in granting business method patent and has declared so statutorily in Section 3(k) of the Patent Act, 1970 and Entry of the Patent Manual.


      In India, Patent Office considers a particular method to be a business method if it involves a monetary transaction or mere marketing or sale purchase methodology. Section 3(k) expressly bars business method patents as innovations. The landmark case of Yahoo v. Controller and Rediff was a prominent case where J. Prabha Sridevan discussed Business Method Patents.

    • The Patented Solution for Paying Off the National Debt
      With the jump in projected deficits due to the Republican tax cuts, the deficit hawks are preparing for a battle the next time Democrats gain control of the White House. We can count on their thoughtful insistence that, however desirable, we can’t possibly spend more money on child care, health care, or other neglected areas.

      This is why we should get out front and preemptively pay off the national debt even while Republicans still control the government. The path to debt repayment is simple: we sell off patents.

      To remind folks, patents are government-granted monopolies. We give them to people and companies, ostensibly to promote innovation. They are tremendously valuable because these monopolies allow companies to charge prices that are far above the free market price.

    • Coolpad hints at India suit against Xiaomi, but it may not have much ammunition there
      Shenzhen-based Coolpad is seeking to keep up the pressure on Xiaomi as the start-up heads toward its initial public offering in Hong Kong. This time, chief IP officer Nancy Zhang has stated that Coolpad is open to expanding the pair's litigation battle to India. A look at the Indian Patent Office database, however, suggests that this threat is likely to have a bigger impact on the front pages than in the courtroom. In comments to India’s Economic Times, Zhang stopped short of saying that a suit in Delhi or elsewhere is in the offing.

    • ZTE may need to pay billions to overturn US ban
      The US government could collect a $1.7 billion fine from beleaguered Chinese firm ZTE, as well as assurances about its future conduct, to allow it to continue trading with American firms.

      Washington has prohibited US suppliers of products and services from dealing with ZTE after it breached an agreement reached for illegally shipping products to North Korea and Iran.

      Although four senior officials were dismissed as a result of the scandal, 35 other employees were not disciplined.

    • Copyrights

      • Study Shows That Wartime Program To Abolish Copyright On German Science Books Brought Significant Benefits To US

        As Techdirt readers know, there is a ratchet effect that means copyright always gets longer and stronger. As well as being inherently unfair -- why must the public always lose out when copyright law is changed? -- there's another unfortunate consequence. If the term or breadth of copyright were reduced from time to time, we would be able to test the effects of doing so on things like creativity. For example, if it turned out that shortening copyright increased the number of works being produced, then there would be a strong argument for reducing it further in the hope that the effect would be strengthened. The fact that we have been unable test this hypothesis is rather convenient for copyright maximalists. It means they can continue to call for the term of copyright to be increased without having to address the argument that this will cause less creativity, or reduce access to older works.

        Even though it is not possible to test the effects of reduced copyright directly, two US academics, Barbara Biasi and Petra Moser, have spotted a clever way of investigating the idea indirectly, in the field of science publishing. As they write in a post on CEPR's policy portal, in 1942 the US Book Republication Program (BRP) allowed US publishers to reprint exact copies of German-owned science books, effectively abolishing copyright for that class of works. They have looked at what impact this dramatic change had on the use of those reprinted works by scientists.

      • Judgment Day Nears for EU’s ‘Piracy Filters’

        The EU's plans to modernize [sic] copyright law in Europe are moving ahead. With a crucial vote coming up later this month, protests from various opponents are on the rise as well. They warn that the proposed plans will result in "Internet filters" which threaten people's ability to freely share content online. According to Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda, these filters will hurt regular Internet users, but also creators and businesses.

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