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Links 30/6/2018: Linux 4.16 EoL, Gentoo Crack, Linux Mint Release

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  • Microsoft Abuses

    • The 17 years since the Microsoft antitrust case taught us that regulation can spur innovation
      Seventeen years ago today (June 28), the world’s richest man breathed a sigh of relief.

      Bill Gates and Microsoft, the company he dropped out of Harvard to found 25 years prior, were embroiled in a multiyear lawsuit with the US government over antitrust claims. The justice department argued that Windows’s dominance of the computer operating system market let Microsoft unfairly favor its other products, like Internet Explorer.

      (If that sounds familiar, similar allegations were made against Google, which was slapped with a $2.7 billion fine from the European Union last year for using its search tool to favor its Google Shopping results over competitors’.)

      In June of 2000, a judge in the US district court for the District of Columbia ruled that Microsoft should be broken up into two separate units—one for Microsoft’s operating system and another for its software products. In June of 2001, an appeals court disagreed.

    • Microsoft quietly cuts off Win7 support for older Intel computers
      If you have a Pentium III, for example, you may no longer be able to install Win7 Monthly Rollups or Security-only patches, in spite of Microsoft's promise to support you until January 2020. It’s all about SSE2 and some retroactively fudged documentation. Will anybody notice?

    • Tracy Rosenberg on ICE’s Corporate Collaborators, Patty Lovera on the Undercovered Farm Bill
      This week on CounterSpin: “As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border,” the global tech company declared in a statement. “Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II.” The same Microsoft bragged a few months ago about ICE’s use of its Azure cloud computing services to “accelerate facial recognition and identification” of immigrants, though the post has since been altered to omit the phrase “we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud.”

  • Google

    • Google invests $22 M in Linux-based mobile operating system KaiOS
      Google has invested $22 million in Linux-based mobile operating system KaiOS. As part of its Next Billion Users initiative, Google will bring some of its core products — Search, Maps, YouTube, Google Assistant — to ‘smart feature phones’ that run on KaiOS. These apps will be developed specifically for the KaiOS platform, which is entirely web-based and uses open standards such as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS.

    • KaiOS now 2nd most popular mobile OS after Android in india as iOS drops to third

      DeviceAtlas collects web traffic from hundreds of thousands of websites. In it's most recent Q1 2018 report the company found that Android is by far the most popular, and it continues to gain market share from iOS in some areas like Malaysia. There are few surprises here, as Sailfish OS remains the only viable smartphone OS alternative to the Apple and Google offerings.

      One interesting tidbit in the results are for Feature Phone traffic. The devices are still popular around the world, with Jio, Nokia and others pumping out millions of devices to the market each year. An example of such a device is the nostalgic remake of the Nokia 8110 "Matrix phone", which runs KaiOS. India is the largest source of traffic for these four devices, making for a whopping 88 percent of all feature phone traffic collected in the survey.

    • Google invests $22M in feature phone operating system KaiOS
      Google is turning startup investor to further its goal of putting Google services like search, maps, and its voice assistant front and center for the next billion internet users in emerging markets. It has invested $22 million into KaiOS, the company that has built an eponymous operating system for feature phones that packs a range of native apps and other smartphone-like services. As part of the investment, KaiOS will be working on integrating Google services like search, maps, YouTube and its voice assistant into more KaiOS devices, after initially announcing Google apps for KaiOS-powered Nokia phones earlier this year.

    • 18 Chromebooks get Linux app support
      If you thought Chrome OS was just a boring glorified web browser turned OS, then your impressions are woefully outdated. Next to still unofficial, or even unconfirmed, platforms like Google Fuchsia or Microsoft Andromeda, Chrome OS is shaping up to be one of the most exciting operating systems of late. That is, if you owned a Google Pixelbook or one of the more recent, more powerful, more expensive recent Chromebooks. Worry not because Google has just recently flipped the switch that will give even the cheaper and older ones some powerful features, namely Linux app support.
    • Looks Like 18 More Chrombooks Are Getting Support for Linux Apps Soon
      It would appear the Google plans to extend support for Linux apps to a whole lot of Chromebooks soon with an upcoming release of its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system.

      Google announced a few months ago that it will enable support for running containerized Linux apps on the Chrome OS Chromebook operating system, and that its Google Pixelbook would be the first to offer them to users. A few weeks later, we learned that Samsung’s Chromebook Plus is also getting support for Linux apps.

    • Chromebooks with Linux app support will soon be able to install Debian packages
      Recent code updates indicate forthcoming support for no-fuss Debian .deb package installation on Chrome OS devices that support Linux apps. The forthcoming feature will bring a new flow for installing Linux applications through .deb packages. A string of commits shows that support isn’t simply being turned on, but that all the finicky elements like interacting with the terminal, checking dependencies, and authentication will be hidden from the user.

    • Google aims lower than Android Go with new $22m investment
      KaiOS is one of the fastest growing mobile platforms right now, bringing smart functionality to feature-phones in emerging markets. Google has evidently been paying attention, because the Mountain View firm has made a $22-million investment in the company.

    • LTE-enabled Samsung Chromebook on the way, suggest new commits
      Only days after launching the second version of the Chromebook Plus (V2), Samsung seems to be working on one more variant of the Chromebook. In fact, the South Korean giant is now venturing into the always-connected Chromebook market. XDA Developers have unearthed a Coreboot code commit which shows the introduction of a new SKU of Nautilus (which, if you’re not aware is the codename for the Chromebook Plus V2). The commit clearly shows configuration changes that mention LTE support.

    • Google Updates: More Linux Chromebooks, World Cup tags and 'Better Together'
      Another 18 Chromebooks will be able to run Linux apps soon. The plan to roll out the windowed apps, further making them a viable alternative to Windows, now takes in Chrome OS machines from Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Dell joining the frey.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 4.16 Reaches End of Life, Users Are Urged to Upgrade to Linux 4.17
      Just two months after the end of life of the Linux 4.15 kernel series, renowned Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the end of life of Linux kernel 4.16.

      Back on April 2018, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the eighteenth point release to the Linux 4.15 kernel series to inform the Linux community that this is the last update that would be released for the branch, urging users to update to the Linux 4.16 kernel series, which appears to have followed the same road.

      Earlier this week, the developer released Linux 4.16.18 as the eighteenth and also the last maintenance update in the series, notifying users that Linux kernel 4.16 is now EOL (End of Life) and won’t receive further updates. Greg Kroah-Hartman urged users to move to a more recent Linux branch, namely the Linux 4.17 kernel series.

    • Linux kernel 4.16 reaches end of life
      Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced that the Linux 4.16 kernel has reached end of life.

      As reported by Softpedia News, Linux 4.16.18 has been released – and it is the last maintenance update in the series.

      Kroah-Hartman has told users to therefore upgrade to the Linux 4.17 kernel series.

      “This is the LAST 4.16.y kernel release. This branch is now end-of-life. Please move to the 4.17.y kernel now,” he stated in his announcement.

    • Stupid RCU Tricks: Changes to -rcu Workflow

    • Linux Security Summit North America 2018: Schedule Published

    • Linux Foundation

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 18.2 Git Lands RadeonSI OpenGL 4.4 Compatibility Profile Support
        It was just four days ago that Valve Linux GPU driver developer Timothy Arceri was thinking it could take a while before having OpenGL 4.4 compatibility profile support for RadeonSI, but tonight that milestone is checked off the list.

        Yesterday were RadeonSI GL 4.4 compatibility profile patches posted by Arceri after he made a breakthrough in achieving support for this OpenGL revision under the compatibility mode that allows GL's deprecated functionality to be utilized.

      • Nouveau NIR Support Nears The Mesa Merging Milestone
        It has been a while since last having anything to report on the Nouveau Gallium3D driver's effort to support the NIR intermediate representation as part of their effort to re-use existing code-paths for helping to bring-up SPIR-V compute support for this open-source NVIDIA Linux driver and ultimately working towards Vulkan support. But the latest version of these Nouveau NIR patches are now available and almost ready to be mainlined.

      • mesa 18.1.3
        Mesa 18.1.3 is now available. This is a bug fix point release in the 18.1 series.

      • Mesa 18.1.3 Released With The Latest Load Of Fixes
        For those planning to enjoy some Linux games this weekend while using the RadeonSI / RADV / Intel / Nouveau drivers, Mesa 18.1.3 is now out as the newest stable point release.

        Mesa 18.1.3 leads with several (rather random) fixes to the RADV Vulkan driver, Meson build system updates, Autotools build system updates, fixes within the common NIR and GLSL compiler code paths, just a few Intel driver fixes, and other updates.

      • Linux Driver Indicates AMD Vega 20 Graphics Could Support PCIe 4.0
        The PCI-Express 3.0 interface has been around for quite some time now. Strangely enough, the eight-year-old standard has been holding up strong. Not even the current graphics cards on the market come close to saturating a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Nevertheless, the next-generation of graphics cards could possibly change that--or at least that's what AMD might be trying to tell us.

      • AMD Linux Driver reveals Vega 20 GPUs Support PCI-Express 4.0
        All eyes are set on the release of AMD’s new 7nm Vega 20 GPUs and now we have a solid proof that AMD engineers are working on the AMD Linux Driver. The driver has given us physical proofs that it has been updated with PCI-Express 4.0. The high speed interface was imminent and long longed for, and this driver has confirmed that AMD is going to give what was expected from them.

      • AMD Vega 20 To Get PCIe 4.0 Support on Server Graphics Cards – PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 Roadmap Reveals Consumer Platform Adoption Still Far Away
        Talks about AMD using the latest PCIe standard for their next-generation Vega 20 GPUs don’t seem so far-fetched. The latest details from Videocardz show that the upcoming Vega 20 parts for servers and HPC (Deep Learning / Datacenter) market are going to adopt new standards.

    • Benchmarks

      • EXT4 LUKS dm-crypt, eCryptfs, Fscrypt Encryption Benchmarks For A USB 3.0 HDD
        A few weeks back I posted benchmarks of EXT4 fscrypt vs. eCryptfs vs. LUKS dm-crypt benchmarks for showing the EXT4 file-system performance encryption performance for these kernel-based approaches. That testing was done with a SATA 3.0 SSD while in this article is a look at the performance in another popular choice: if using a USB 3.0 external enclosure with a hard drive.

      • A Look At Some Of The Clear Linux Performance Changes For June 2018
        Given Clear Linux is a "rolling release" Linux distribution with new releases often being put out multiple times per day, and a lot of the emphasis by Intel on their open-source Linux distribution being performance, I decided it would be fun to start providing a monthly look at how their performance has been evolving.

        Clear Linux continues offering among the highest performing out-of-the-box/stock Linux distribution experience on x86_64 hardware. With their relentless performance tuning, I was curious to see how much of a performance impact was made just over the course of the past month.

      • A Ton Of Wine vs. Windows 10 vs. Linux Direct3D/OpenGL Performance Data
        Last week I posted a number of Wine vs. Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks focusing mostly on the CPU/system performance for various cross-platform applications/programs. For those interested in the graphics/gaming performance, here are a number of Direct3D and OpenGL benchmarks.

        Today is just a look at the plethora of raw data collected when running a number of graphics benchmarks that natively support Linux and Windows, including tests of the Windows binaries on Wine under Ubuntu Linux. In the Wine/Windows tests for many of these runs are also Direct3D 9 / Direct3D 11 renderer options tested too while obviously under Linux is just the OpenGL runs. The tests used today do not have Vulkan support.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Easily building and testing KDE applications into a separate prefix
        When developing your projects you will often need to install them somewhere safe. On my system I have a prefix full build of all Qt, KDE software, but this doesn’t work when we just want to work on an application or want to test a build in someone else’s system.

        Installing to /usr doesn’t feel right, /usr/local isn’t that much helpful either, so what I usually do is to create a sub-directory in /opt (e.g. /opt/discover, /opt/kalgebra), then it was a matter of having the session point at the right place. This is why I submitted a small change in ECM that generates a that sets the right environment variables. This was merged a while ago, so it should be part of any distribution by now.

      • Krita 4.1 Open-Source Digital Painting App Lets Users Save and Load Sessions
        The Krita Foundation announced the release of Krita 4.1, the first major update of the open-source and cross-platform application since the release of the Krita 4.0 series earlier this year.

        Highlights of the Krita 4.1 release include the ability to save and load sessions that can include a set of images and views, support for creating multi-monitor workspace layouts, improved workflow when working with animation frames, and better animation timeline display.

        Krita 4.1 also enables handling of larger animation files by buffering rendered frames to the local disk drive, replaces the old reference images docker with an all-new reference images tool, adds a mixing option to the color picker tool, and improves the performance of brush masks through vectorization.

      • Free Painting Software Krita 4.1.0 Released With New Reference Images Tool, Option To Save And Load Sessions, More
        Krita, the free and open source raster / vector graphics editor, was updated to version 4.1. The new release includes major new features like a new reference images tool, option to save and load sessions, multi-monitor workspace layouts, among others.

      • 正式发布Qt 5.11

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Nautilus Tagged Entry Redux
        Since my last post, the tagged entry became a subclass of GtkSearchEntry, as was the case with GdTaggedEntry (yay GTK+ 4) and the tags became GtkWidgets (instead of GtkBins). It didn’t take much effort to move from GtkBin to GtkWidget – only implementing size_allocate(), measure() and snapshot(), which are really trivial when working with actual widgets as children. That, and tweaking the appearance some more, as the move broke the styling a tad. Some perhaps questionable methods of dealing with that were employed, but nothing too nefarious.
      • Trying out GTK+ 4
        I was asked today if there is already a Flatpak runtime that includes GTK+ 3.94. A very natural question. GTK+ 4 and flatpak are both cool, so of course you want to try them together.
      • NetworkManager 1.12 Released With Many Linux Networking Goodies
        NetworkManager 1.12 is now available as the latest stable release of this widely-used Linux network management software.
      • NetworkManager 1.12, ready to serve your networking needs
        A brand new version of NetworkManager, a standard Linux network management daemon, is likely to reach your favourite Linux distribution soon. As usual, the new version is 100% compatible with the older releases and most users can update their systems without spending much time caring about technicalities.
      • Hyperlinks in GNOME terminal

        Over the years I’ve learned about many of the advantages of using a modern terminal and shell. I’m talking about using bash with GNOME terminal on a modern GNU/Linux distribution.

        I particularly like switching between the terminal and GUI applications. It’s now even better.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • 4MLinux: More Than Just Another Lightweight Distro
        4MLinux is a very intriguing distribution that’s really hard to classify; Jack takes a closer look in this distro review. Used with permission

        I don’t want to get up on yet another “Here’s another lightweight Linux distribution to revive your aging hardware” soapbox. So many distributions make that promise, and most of them do an outstanding job of fulfilling their mission statement. Also, many of those distributions are fairly similar: They offer a small footprint, work with 32-bit systems, and install a minimal amount of software dedicated to the task of helping you get your work done as best a lightweight operating system can do.

        But then there’s 4MLinux. This particular take on the lightweight Linux distribution is a different beast altogether. First and foremost, 4MLinux doesn’t include a package manager. That’s right, the only way you can install packages on this distribution is to do so from source (unless you install the limited number of packages from within the Extensions menu (more on that in a bit). That, of course, can lead to a dependency nightmare. But if you really give it some thought, that could be a serious plus, especially if you’re looking for a distribution that could be considered an ideal desktop for end users with specific use cases. If those users only need to work with a web browser, 4MLinux allows that while preventing users from installing other applications.

      • Xfce dock & global menu - Nice and elegant

        While the setup was far from trivial, I am rather pleased with the look & feel I've achieved. The choice of the dock is less important, so go with what you like - most won't let you launch more than a single instance of an application, btw. Both Docky and Plank were stable and behaved pretty well, and they are a good choice for our Mac-ified desktop.

        On the global menu side, it was much trickier, with broken packages, missing dependencies, complex compilations, and whatnot. In the end, I had it all running, albeit with some odd glitches here and there. Not perfect, but quite reasonable. Very similar to Mutiny, I have to say, if not quite as straightforward to set up. And I do understand why this is not a default set in Xfce desktops, but it would be nice to have that. Xfce has grown a lot in the past few years, and it need not lurk in the corner shyly. It can proudly wear its laurels. There. Pretty looks and functionality. All covered. I hope you enjoyed this.

    • Gentoo Family

      • GitHub Repositories of Gentoo Linux Hacked!
        Hackers gained access to the GitHub repositories and tampered the source code of Gentoo by introducing a malicious script to delete all of your files.

      • Gentoo's GitHub mirror compromised

      • Gentoo GitHub mirror hacked and considered compromised
        Linux distribution Gentoo has had its GitHub mirror broken into and taken over, with GitHub pages changed and ebuilds replaced.

        In an alert, Gentoo said the attacker gained control of the Github Gentoo organisation at June 28, 20:20 UTC.

      • Gentoo Was Compromised On GitHub
        Unknown individuals were able to gain access to the Gentoo repositories on GitHub, including the modification of said repositories.

        While we don't normally cover all these individual security incidents, a Gentoo representative has asked we relay it here. Their public announcement warns, "All Gentoo code hosted on github should for the moment be considered compromised."

      • File-Wiping Malware Placed Inside Gentoo Linux Code After GitHub Account Hack
        An unknown hacker has temporarily taken control over the GitHub account of the Gentoo Linux organization and embedded malicious code inside the operating system's distributions that would delete user files.

        Thankfully, the malicious code fails to trigger properly and users' files remain safe.

        How the hacker gained access to Gentoo's GitHub account still remains a mystery, but since announcing the hack late last night, the Gentoo team says it regained control over their account, albeit their profile remained offline at the time of this article's publication.

      • Gentoo Linux Github Organization hacked and repo code compromised
        A hacker managed to take control of the Github account for Gentoo Linux, going as far as inserting malicious code into the distros. The malware was designed to delete user data.

        Although the situation is now under control, an investigation is underway to determine what happened. Anyone who has downloaded a Gentoo distro or other files recently, is warned to "refrain from using code from the Gentoo Github Organization" for the time being.

      • Linux distro hacked on GitHub, “all code considered compromised”
        Data breaches are always bad news, and this one is peculiarly bad.

        Gentoo, a popular distribution of Linux, has had its GitHub repository hacked.

        Hacked, as in “totally pwned”, taken over, and modified; so far, no one seems to be sure quite how or why.

      • Gentoo Linux Distro Hacked: All Code On GitHub Compromised
        Gentoo Linux holds the reputation of being a “build it yourself” distribution; it needs you to download the source code from the web and compile it on your own. Making this experience scary, some unknown notorious actors have hacked Gentoo Linux GitHub repository and infected it with malware.

      • Gentoo Linux Reports Hack of GitHub Mirror Site
        Gentoo Linux reported on June 28 that its GitHub repository was breached, with attackers planting malicious code in the open-source Linux project's account.

        The malware that was found on the Gentoo Linux GitHub project site was designed to specifically remove all of the files on a victim's system.

      • Kristian Fiskerstrand: My comments on the Gentoo Github hack

        Gentoo has mainly had a presence on GitHub in order to facilitate pull requests from external contributors and proxied maintainers, actually, using GitHub for anything critical goes against the Gentoo Social Contract

        The primary method of synchronizing the Gentoo Ebuild Repository is using rsync, and github was never part of the mirroring infrastructure for rsync. Furthermore; for Portage users, gemato is used to verify the MetaManifests and in turn the ebuilds using OpenPGP (aka GPG aka PGP) signatures by default.

      • Hackers took over the Gentoo Linux GitHub repository
        Popular Linux distribution Gentoo has been “totally pwned” according to researchers at Sophos, and none of the current code can be trusted. The team immediately posted an update and noted that none of the real code has been compromised. However, they have pulled the GitHub repository until they can upload a fresh copy of the unadulterated code.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Fourth GSoC Report
        As announced in the last report, i started looking into SSO solutions and evaluated and tested them. At the begining my focus was on SAML integration, but i soon realized that OAuth2 would be more important.

        I started with installing Lemonldap-NG. LL-NG is a WebSSO solution writting in perl that uses ModPerl or FastCGI for delivering Webcontent. There is a Debian package in stable, so the installation was no problem at all. The configuration was a bit harder, as LL-NG has a complex architecture with different vhosts. But after some fiddling i managed to connect the installation to our test LDAP instance and was able to authenticate against the LL-NG portal. Then i started to research how to integrate an OAuth2 client. For the tests i had on the one hand a gitlab installation that i tried to connect to the OAuth2 providers using the omniauth-oauth2-generic strategy. To have a bit more fine grained control over the OAuth2 client configuration i also used the python requests-oauthlib module and modified the web app example from their documentation to my needs. After some fiddling and a bit of back and forth on the lemonldap-ng mailinglist i managed both test clients to authenticate against LL-NG.

      • Automation & Risk
        Linaro created the LAVA (Linaro Automated Validation Architecture) project in 2010 to automate testing of software using real hardware. Over the seven years of automation in Linaro so far, LAVA has also spread into other labs across the world. Millions of test jobs have been run, across over one hundred different types of devices, ARM, x86 and emulated. Varied primary boot methods have been used alone or in combination, including U-Boot, UEFI, Fastboot, IoT, PXE. The Linaro lab itself has supported over 150 devices, covering more than 40 different device types. Major developments within LAVA include MultiNode and VLAN support. As a result of this data, the LAVA team have identified a series of automated testing failures which can be traced to decisions made during hardware design or firmware development. The hardest part of the development of LAVA has always been integrating new device types, arising from issues with hardware design and firmware implementations. There are a range of issues with automating new hardware and the experience of the LAVA lab and software teams has highlighted areas where decisions at the hardware design stage have delayed deployment of automation or made the task of triage of automation failures much harder than necessary.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir 0.32.0 release: Despite persistent rumors Mir is not dead: We’ve now tagged and released Mir 0.32.0
            Last year Canonical withdrew entirely from Unity8 and dramatically reduced its investment in Mir. Both projects continued with UBports (and for a while Yunit) working on Unity8 and Canonical continuing with Mir but focusing its efforts on IoT which had previously had to compete for attention with phone and desktop.

          • Mir 0.32 Released With Much-Improved Wayland Support
            Canonical's Alan Griffiths has just announced the release of the huge Mir 0.32 update.

          • 21 Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 18.04 [Must for beginners]

          • Is implementing and managing Linux applications becoming a snap?
            Quick to install, safe to run, easy to update, and dramatically easier to maintain and support, snaps represent a big step forward in Linux software development and distribution. Starting with Ubuntu and now available for Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo Linux, and openSUSE, snaps offer a number of significant advantages over traditional application packaging.

          • Comment: New business models on IoT hardware, by software

            Cometh the hour, cometh the age of the Linux developer. It’s no secret that some of the brightest minds in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) honed their skills on Linux.

            The nature of open source is such that it allows developers to innovate at a greater pace than any closed ecosystem would allow, minimising constraints and fostering a space ripe for collaboration. And yet, while a productive environment for individuals, businesses as a whole are yet to capitalise on such a rich and diverse user base that currently stands in the tens of millions.

          • Fingbox Network Security Appliance Adopts Canonical’s Ubuntu Core Linux & Snaps
            If you’re in the market for a network security appliance running a Linux-based operating system, you should know that Fing’s Fingbox adopted Canonical’s Ubuntu Core embedded operating system for IoT devices and its Snappy technologies for seamless software updates.

            Fingbox is a plug’n play network security appliance and mobile application for Android and iOS that promises to help you protect your smart home from a wide range of online attacks. To achieve this goal, Fingbox uses the Ubuntu Core operating system, a slimed-down variant of the world’s most popular Linux-based operating system used by millions of computer users worldwide.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 19 Has Been Released [And It’s Awesome]
              Linux Mint 19 has just been released. The new release comes with fresh new look and features. You can either upgrade to it or download and install it afresh.

            • Linux Mint 19 “Tara” Cinnamon released!
              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 released!
              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” Xfce released!
              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" released
              Linux Mint 19 "Tara" has been released in Cinnamon and MATE editions.

            • Linux Mint 19 Officially Released With Cinnamon, MATE & Xfce Editions
              The Linux Mint crew has delivered on their goal of shipping Linux Mint 19 "Tara" in June.

              Linux Mint 19 is the latest major release of the desktop-focused, easy-to-use Linux distribution. Linux Mint 19 is based off Ubuntu 18.04 LTS rather than the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS base used by the Linux Mint 18.x series.

            • Linux Mint 19 “Tara” Officially Released, It’s Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
              The Linux Mint project announced today the official and general availability of the Linux Mint 19 “Tara” operating system as Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions.

              Based on Canonical’s Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series, the Linux Mint 19 “Tara” operating system is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware architectures, comes with the Cinnamon 3.8, MATE 1.20, and Xfce 4.12 desktop environments, and it’s supported for five years until April 2023.

              “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,” said Clement Lefebvre in today’s announcement. “This new version of Linux Mint contains many improvements.”

            • Pinguy OS 18.04 Mini LTS – Final

            • Ubuntu-friendly signage system supports Intel’s OPS spec
              Ibase has launched an Ubuntu-ready “IOPS-602” digital signage player with a 7th Gen U-series CPU, up to 32GB RAM, M.2 storage and wireless options, and support for Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification.

              Ibase unveiled an IOPS-602 signage player that runs Windows 10 or Ubuntu Linux on Intel’s 6th or 7th Gen. Core QC/DC processors, with a default to dual-core, 7th Gen “Kaby Lake” U-series processors with 15W TDPs. The standard SKU is a Core i7-7600U (2.8GHz/3.9GHz) with 8GB RAM and 128GB of M.2 storage.

            • Fan-less quad-core computer dedicated to Linux Mint

              Other Mint variants, or other Linux variants, or even Windows 10, FreeBSD or a hypervisor like ESXi can be installed, but “Linux Mint Cinnamon is considered by many as the most user-friendly desktop-oriented Linux distribution. MBM2 ships with clean Linux Mint Cinnamon so the buyer can start using Linux in minutes,” said Compulab.

            • MintBox Mini 2 PC: Industrial Chic Meets Linux Mint 19
              Linux Mint has announced a new version of its popular mini desktop PC, the MintBox Mini. The MintBox Mini 2 is the 4th generation of the MintBox product line and comes with latest Linux Mint 19 release pre-installed.

            • Linux Mint 19 Released, Available to Download Now

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • ASIFA-Hollywood Continues Commitment to Open-Source Animation Technology
    The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood announced its continued commitment to open-source animation technology earlier in June with a special development sponsorship to Synfig, a 2D vector graphics animation program. The amount awarded was $2,000. This grant will help keep their new developer employed full-time, working on bug-fixes and improving stability of the free and open source software.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: FLIR Systems
    FLIR Systems is enabling the acceleration of being able to test thermal sensors on autonomous vehicles with the release of its open-source thermal dataset, which features more than 10,000 annotated thermal images of day and nighttime scenarios.

    The company has over a decade of experience within the automotive industry. More than 500,000 FLIR thermal sensors are installed in driver warning systems from various automakers including General Motors, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, according to the company.

    This dataset will enable developers to evaluate thermal sensors on next-generation algorithms. By combining this data with visible light cameras, LiDAR, and RADAR, developers will be able to build a more comprehensive and redundant system for identifying objects on the road.

  • Keeping Ethereum's Promise: CryptoKitties Is Embracing Open-Source
    Announced this week, CryptoKitties debuted a number of new initiatives that will further decentralize its popular ethereum app, which while largely passing under the radar, show the startup is making strides to give users rights. It's been the subject of criticism for the beloved game, which raised $12 million in March with the expectation it would loosen controls on its code in line with the larger crypto ethos.

    Among a slew of updates, CryptoKitties is open-sourcing its API and smart contracts for gameplay in the KittyVerse – a virtual world of experiences including catfights, racing and accessories – through a developer toolkit. Plus, it's updated its user agreements to be more lenient and introduced a players' rights contract called the Nifty License.

  • CryptoKitties Goes Open Source
    One of the most popular ethereum-based dApp projects, CryptoKitties, has announced several changes and new initiatives to further decentralize the premium virtual feline offering, reports CoinDesk.


    In addition, it has also raised questions about whether the project really operates in a truly decentralized manner. For instance, it is possible for Kitty Core, the owner of the CryptoKitties project, to edit the underlying algorithm and mutate a popular or high-worth digital kitten despite objections from the kitten's owner. Essentially, the project runs in a centralized manner, with the project owner(s) having the utmost power.

  • Web Browsers

    • Brave Introduces Beta of Private Tabs with Tor for Enhanced Privacy while Browsing

      Today we’re releasing our latest desktop browser Brave 0.23 which features Private Tabs with Tor, a technology for defending against network surveillance. This new functionality, currently in beta, integrates Tor into the browser and gives users a new browsing mode that helps protect their privacy not only on device but over the network. Private Tabs with Tor help protect Brave users from ISPs (Internet Service Providers), guest Wi-Fi providers, and visited sites that may be watching their Internet connection or even tracking and collecting IP addresses, a device’s Internet identifier.

      Private Tabs with Tor are easily accessible from the File menu by clicking New Private Tab with Tor. The integration of Tor into the Brave browser makes enhanced privacy protection conveniently accessible to any Brave user directly within the browser. At any point in time, a user can have one or more regular tabs, session tabs, private tabs, and Private Tabs with Tor open.

    • Brave Browser Goes Beyond Private Browsing With Tor-powered Tabs
      The ad blocking browser Brave is presently counted as one of the top net surfing browsers of 2018, primarily for its steady privacy and secure browsing experience. It is now advancing towards perfecting private browsing

      An update (Brave 0.23) launched on Thursday for its desktop clients has integrated Private tabs with Tor to defend users from leaving digital footprints on the internet.

    • Mozilla

      • Some More Very Satisfying Graphs
        The power of cleaning up old code: removing 150kb from the average “main” ping sent multiple times per day by each and every Firefox Nightly user.

      • Ad-blocker-blockers hit a new low. What's the solution?
        It may be the wrong day to slam the local newspapers, but this was what greeted me trying to click through to a linked newspaper article this morning on Firefox Android. The link I was sent was from the Riverside Press-Enterprise, but this appears to be throughout the entire network of the P-E's owners, the Southern California News Group (which includes the Orange County Register, San Bernardino Sun and Los Angeles Daily News):

      • This week in Mixed Reality: Issue 11
        This week, we're making great strides in adding new features and making a wide range of improvements and our new contributors are also helping us fix bugs.

      • Python unit tests now running with Python 3 at Mozilla

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 11 Beta 2 Released!

      The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces that the second 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) as well as bug fixes that were reported during the first beta.

      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 2 in your production environments, we encourage you to find ways to run your typical application workloads against this beta release.

    • PostgreSQL 11 Beta 2 Released With VACUUM & XML Fixes
      One month has passed since PostgreSQL 11 Beta 1 while today the second beta has succeeded it.

      PostgreSQL 11 is prepping many new features including various performance improvements, better partitioning, parallelism enhancements, SQL stored procedure handling, initial JIT compilation for some code using LLVM, various performance optimizations, and much more.

  • 'Office' Suites

    • LyX – A Powerful Open Source Document Processor for Linux
      LyX is a GUI document processor with a focus on writing and it allows you to create virtually any type of document based on structure. In short, it is more of a WYSIWYM app than WYSIWYG app. Meaning that what you see in the editor is an approximation of what the finished document will look like.

      Its initial release was 23 years ago and given that it is still an active project, it is easy to see how LyX has managed to stay relevant to this day.

      It features a well-thought-out layout with toolbars and functionality icons for document creation and editing and quick navigation across the app window.

    • Best Microsoft Office alternatives in 2018

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Rewards of Up to $500,000 Offered for FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Linux Zero-Days
      Exploit broker Zerodium is offering rewards of up to $500,000 for zero-days in UNIX-based operating systems like OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, but also for Linux distros such as Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, and Tails.

      The offer, first advertised via Twitter earlier this week, is available as part of the company's latest zero-day acquisition drive. Zerodium is known for buying zero-days and selling them to government agencies and law enforcement.

      The company runs a regular zero-day acquisition program through its website, but it often holds special drives with more substantial rewards when it needs zero-days of a specific category.

    • LLVM Gets ARMv8.4 Enablement, GCC Gets Cortex-A76 Support
      It's been another busy week in compiler land for ARM.

      First up, the GCC compiler now officially supports the Cortex-A76. The A76 is the new Cortex processor announced back in May for yielding much better performance and efficiency, especially for AI and machine learning.


    • An insider's look at drafting the GPLv3 license
      Last year, I missed the opportunity to write about the 10th anniversary of GPLv3, the third version of the GNU General Public License. GPLv3 was officially released by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) on June 29, 2007—better known in technology history as the date Apple launched the iPhone. Now, one year later, I feel some retrospection on GPLv3 is due. For me, much of what is interesting about GPLv3 goes back somewhat further than 11 years, to the public drafting process in which I was an active participant.

      In 2005, following nearly a decade of enthusiastic self-immersion in free software, yet having had little open source legal experience to speak of, I was hired by Eben Moglen to join the Software Freedom Law Center as counsel. SFLC was then outside counsel to the FSF, and my role was conceived as focusing on the incipient public phase of the GPLv3 drafting process. This opportunity rescued me from a previous career turn that I had found rather dissatisfying. Free and open source software (FOSS) legal matters would come to be my new specialty, one that I found fascinating, gratifying, and intellectually rewarding. My work at SFLC, and particularly the trial by fire that was my work on GPLv3, served as my on-the-job training.

      GPLv3 must be understood as the product of an earlier era of FOSS, the contours of which may be difficult for some to imagine today. By the beginning of the public drafting process in 2006, Linux and open source were no longer practically synonymous, as they might have been for casual observers several years earlier, but the connection was much closer than it is now.

    • Compiler fuzzing, part 1
      Much has been written about fuzzing compilers already, but there is not a lot that I could find about fuzzing compilers using more modern fuzzing techniques where coverage information is fed back into the fuzzer to find more bugs.

    • GCC Picks Up Meaningful Bash Completion Support To Help With Compiler Options
      One of the advantages of the LLVM Clang compiler has been better integration with Bash completion support, but now the GCC compiler supports a --completion argument for feeding into the Bash completion script with better matching of supported options/values when typing into a supported terminal.

  • Programming/Development

    • RcppArmadillo 0.8.600.0.0
      A new RcppArmadillo release 0.8.600.0.0, based on the new Armadillo release 8.600.0 from this week, just arrived on CRAN.

      It follows our (and Conrad’s) bi-monthly release schedule. We have made interim and release candidate versions available via the GitHub repo (and as usual thoroughly tested them) but this is the real release cycle. A matching Debian release will be prepared in due course.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Novartis v. Teva: Patent rivalries meet again, this time on a non-negligible injunction.
      On June 7, 2018, the Paris Court of First Instance (Judge Marie Courboulay) issued a preliminary injunction against Teva's generic version of Novartis' anti-hypertensive drug Exforge (valsartan/amlodipine) on the basis of Novartis’ European Patent EP 2 322 174. The dispute was subject to parallel proceedings in several EU countries. In fact, an injunction was issued by the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf on 14 December 2017, but an injunction was refused by the courts in Spain and Switzerland. Teva decided after these earlier rulings not to proceed with the planned commercialization of the generic version in Austria and Finland.

    • Supporters of a Famed Houston Surgeon Have Alleged Inaccuracies in Our Investigation. Here’s Our Response [Ed: Investigative journalism is much harder work than just repetition and blind praises]
      During the past month, nearly 50 physicians, researchers, patients and community leaders have authored letters criticizing an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica that revealed allegations of serious research violations and ethical breaches by famed Houston heart surgeon O.H. “Bud” Frazier.

      Several of the letters supporting Frazier were published in the Houston Chronicle’s opinion pages; others have been shared directly with reporters or compiled on a website that was launched following publication of the article.

      Many of the writers lavished praise on Frazier, who helped pioneer mechanical heart pumps and is working to develop an artificial heart. Indeed, the news organizations’ reporting described in detail Frazier’s contributions to his field and included supportive comments from a fellow surgeon and a former patient.

    • New Jersey to Suspend Prominent Psychologist for Failing…

      A prominent New Jersey psychologist is facing the suspension of his license after state officials concluded that he failed to keep details of mental health diagnoses and treatments confidential when he sued his patients over unpaid bills.

      The state Board of Psychological Examiners this week upheld a decision by an administrative law judge that the psychologist, Barry Helfmann, “did not take reasonable measures to protect the confidentiality of his patients’ protected health information,” Lisa Coryell, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general’s office, said in an email.

      The administrative law judge recommended that Helfmann pay a fine and a share of the investigative costs. The board went further, ordering that Helfmann’s license be suspended for two years, Coryell wrote. During the first year, he will not be able to practice; during the second, he can practice, but only under supervision. Helfmann also will have to pay a $10,000 civil penalty, take an ethics course and reimburse the state for some of its investigative costs. The suspension is scheduled to begin in September.

    • Status of U.S. Biosimilar Approvals and Pending Applications*
      The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act (colloquially called "Obamacare," Public Law 111-148) (see "House Passes Health Care Reform Bill -- Biosimilar Regulatory Pathway Makes Cut, Pay-for-Delay Ban Does Not"). It gave the U.S. for the first time a pathway for FDA approval of alternatives to biologic drugs (termed "biosimilars" because the complexity of these molecules precludes the atom-for-atom identity of small molecule generic drugs), codified at 42 U.S.C. ۤ 262(k), as well as provisions for resolving patent disputes between innovator biologic drug companies (termed "reference product sponsors" in the Act) and biosimilar applicants (codified at 42 U.S.C. ۤ 262(l)).

    • Guest Post by Prof. Contreras: Rambus Redux? – Standards, Patents and Non-Disclosure in the Pharmaceutical Sector (Momenta v. Amphastar)

      During the dozen years demarcated by the FTC’s 1996 consent decree with Dell Computer (121 FTC 616 (1996)) and the DC Circuit’s 2008 decision in Rambus, Inc. v. FTC (522 F.3d 456 (D.C. Cir. 2008)), the U.S. saw a spate of cases in which participants in voluntary standards-development organizations (SDOs) were alleged to have violated an SDO’s rules by failing to disclose patents essential to the SDO’s standards. In addition to Dell and Rambus, highly-publicized deception cases such as Broadcom v. Qualcomm (548 F.3d 1004 (Fed. Cir. 2008)) explored what SDO policies actually required of their participants and what penalties could be imposed for their breach, whether under contract, equity, patent or antitrust law. These questions, and the large sums at stake, generated a cottage industry of legal and economics scholarship around the law and lore of standardization. But by the early 2010s, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector seems to have learned the lessons of Dell, Rambus and Qualcomm: SDOs improved the clarity of their internal processes, SDO participants adopted a policy of “disclose, disclose, disclose” (on the theory that it can never hurt to disclose too many patents), and the cases turned to other pressing questions like the meaning of SDO commitments to license patents on terms that are “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory” (FRAND), which continues to bedevil courts today. I was thus intrigued to see a case that harkens back to the heyday of the old SDO deception cases in a pair of recent decisions in Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (D. Mass., No. 11-cv-11681, Feb. 7, 2018 and No. 16-10112-NMG, Mar, 19, 2018). Surprisingly, this non-ICT case may give courts an unexpected opportunity to revisit the DC Circuit’s controversial decision in Rambus v. FTC, which found no antitrust liability for an allegedly deceptive failure to disclose patents to an SDO.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Mike Pence raises Julian Assange case with Ecuadorean president, White House confirms
      Vice President Mike Pence discussed the situation surrounding WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange during a meeting Thursday with Ecuadorean President Lenín Moreno in Quito, a White House official said afterwards — heeding calls from Democrats wary of Mr. Assange staying shielded more than six years since seeking refuge inside Ecuador’s London embassy.

      “The vice president raised the issue of Mr. Assange. It was a constructive conversation. They agreed to remain in close coordination on potential next steps going forward,” a White House official said in a statement issued following Thursday’s meeting with Mr. Moreno, The Washington Examiner first reported.

    • UK Pressures US on Assange

  • Finance

    • Amazon buying online pharmacy with nationwide reach; drug store stocks dive

      The Boston-based startup PillPack primarily caters to customers who take multiple medications. PillPack streamlines delivery of prescription and over-the-counter medications by pre-sorting them into handy dose packets sent directly to customers’ doors nationwide in monthly supplies. The company boasts that it works with doctors and insurance companies to manage refills and cost coverage on customer's behalf. To do so, it holds pharmacy licenses in all 50 states, developed proprietary pharmaceutical software, and is an in-network pharmacy with most pharmacy benefit managers, including Medicare Part D plans—features that were likely eye-catchers for Amazon.

    • Can Netflix please investors and still avoid the techlash?

      There are plenty of reasons to doubt. The company has amassed $8.5bn of debt. Reed Hastings, its chief executive, has said it will continue borrowing billions “for many years”; free cashflow is expected to remain negative for some time. That strategy will pay off if Netflix can raise prices while continuing to add subscribers—26m in the 12 months to March 31st. But competition is becoming more intense. And in countries without “net neutrality” protections, owners of wireless or broadband infrastructure that also control content-makers may use their distribution clout to favour their own material.

    • Indian rupee hits all-time low against US dollar
      The rupee, Asia's worst performing currency according to Bloomberg News, fell to 69.10 against the greenback.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Democratic Elite Scrambles to Respond to Ocasio-Cortez
      Conventional wisdom said that powerful Congressman Joseph Crowley couldn’t be beat. But his 20-year career in the House of Representatives will end in January, with the socialist organizer who beat him in the Democratic primary in the deep-blue district of the Bronx and Queens poised to become Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      In a symbolic twist of fate, the stunning defeat of Crowley came a day before the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic Party voted on what to do about “superdelegates,” those unelected Democratic Party elite who’ve had an undemocratic and automatic vote in presidential nominations since 1984 to prevent just such a candidate as Ocasio-Cortez from stirring up people to challenge the interests of the party’s establishment.

      Crowley’s defeat shows how grass-roots movements can prevail against corporate power and its pile of cash. The Crowley campaign spent upward of $3 million in the Democratic Party primary. The Ocasio-Cortez campaign spent one-tenth of that. He wielded the money. She inspired the people.

      As the 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez was quick to say after her Tuesday night victory, her triumph belongs to everyone who wants social, economic and racial justice. She ran on a platform in harmony with her activism as a member of Democratic Socialists of America and an organizer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

      Conventional wisdom said superdelegates—who exerted undemocratic power over the selection of the party’s presidential nominee in 2016—couldn’t be stopped from once again putting the establishment’s thumbs on the scale.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Twitter to fight spams, trolls, hate speech
      “Inauthentic accounts, spam, and malicious automation disrupt everyones experience on Twitter, and we will never be done with our efforts to identify and prevent attempts to manipulate conversations on our platform,” Twitter India said in its blogpost.
    • EFF Launches Lawsuit To Stop FOSTA/SESTA
      This was predicted long before FOSTA/SESTA became law, but there were going to be constitutional challenges to the law -- and it appears that EFF has filed the first such lawsuit, representing the Internet Archive, Human Rights Watch, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Eric Koszyk, and Alex Andrews seeking to have the law declared unconstitutional and getting an injunction against it being enforced.
    • The Supreme Court Applies the First Amendment to Some, but Not to Others
      The Constitution protects the fundamental freedoms of speech and association. It protects all speakers equally. Until it doesn’t — as the Supreme Court made clear on the last day of the term, in its highly anticipated decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The case pitted the First Amendment claims of anti-union public-sector employees against the interests of pro-union employees and employers. And instead of reaching a careful balance, the court sided entirely with the rights of some over the rights of others.

      For nearly half a century, the court had embraced a compromise that balanced the First Amendment rights of employees who oppose a union, on the one hand, and employees who support that union on the other. In Janus, a 5-4 majority composed of the court’s conservative justices chose to protect only the speech of employees who oppose unions. It protected, in short, only the speech it liked.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facial Recognition Company Says It Won't Sell To Law Enforcement, Knowing It'll Be Abused
      We just recently wrote about employees at Amazon speaking out inside the company to complain about the company selling its face recognition tools (called: "Rekognition") to law enforcement. That resulted in the CEO of a maker of facial recognition software, Brian Brackeen, to publicly state that his company, Kairos, will not sell to law enforcement.

    • NSA Extends Its Streak Of Surveillance Violations To Fourteen Years With Its Latest Announcement
      Thanks, Marcy Wheeler, for clearing that up. This is just a continuance of the NSA's inability to run its programs in a technically-capable manner, much less with an eye on the Constitution. Muted applause for taking this oversight before the few members who give a shit start asking questions, but why aren't we (and by "we," I mean the people who could actually do something about it) expecting more from an well-funded agency with vast technical knowledge? Sure, an apology is better than a plausible denial, but it's been 14 years of failure after failure. Where's the improvement? Or is national security just one of those things that's too important to be done properly? We just need to have it done, no matter how many violations occur in the process? I fear that's how most of the NSA's oversight actually feels: the ends justify the badly-broken means.
    • The NSA Is Using Secrecy to Avoid a Courtroom Reckoning on Its Global Surveillance Dragnet
      President Trump holds the keys to some of the most powerful spying programs in the world — surveillance that gives the government warrantless access to a sea of digital data moving around the planet.

      Emails, web browsing activities, and chats that you thought were private instead end up under the government’s digital microscope, and the National Security Agency saves those of interest in searchable databases for years to come. That includes countless communications of Americans and foreigners alike.

      No president should wield these powers, and certainly not one who has called for expanded spying on minorities and hacking the emails of his political rival. That’s why, well before President Trump took office, the ACLU filed a challenge to expansive and unlawful surveillance on behalf of our client, the Wikimedia Foundation.

    • Facebook, Google, and Microsoft Use Design to Trick You Into Handing Over Your Data, New Report Warns
      A study from the Norwegian Consumer Council dug into the underhanded tactics used by Microsoft, Facebook, and Google to collect user data. The study comes in the wake of the European Union’s newly-enacted GDPR laws designed to protect users from predatory data collection and Facebook’s own controversy involving the sharing of users’ personal data.

    • Congress Grills Cambridge Analytica Alum on New Firm’s Data Use

      In addition to their questions about Kogan and Cambridge Analytica, the lawmakers are asking Oczkowski to share details about whether Data Propria obtained any data about Facebook users through third-party apps or from Facebook directly; whether it's received data from any data brokers, and if so, which ones; whether it's using that data for political consulting; and whether the company is giving consumers notice about how it uses and shares their information. The committee asks for answers by July 19. Oczkowski didn't respond to WIRED's request for comment.

    • California Unanimously Passes Historic Privacy Bill

      The so-called California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375) was introduced late last week by state assemblymember Ed Chau and state senator Robert Hertzberg, in a rush to defeat a stricter privacy-focused ballot initiative that had garnered more than 600,000 signatures from Californians. The group behind that initiative, Californians for Consumer Privacy, said it would withdraw it if the bill passed. The deadline to withdraw was Thursday, forcing the state legislature to fast-track the bill through the State Senate and Assembly and get it to Governor Jerry Brown's desk by the end of the day. The law takes effect in 2020, but in some ways, Thursday's vote is only the beginning, as business interest groups work to tinker with the legislation's details before then.

    • California just passed one of the toughest data privacy laws in the country

      The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is set to dramatically change how businesses handle data in the most populous state. Companies that store personal information — from major players like Google and Facebook, down to small businesses — will be required to disclose the types of data they collect, as well as allow consumers to opt out of having their data sold. The bill, which passed both chambers unanimously, was signed later in the day by Gov. Jerry Brown.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • I Went in Search of Abandoned African-American Cemeteries

      It’s impossible to see from the street, so you would never know it’s there.

      To get to St. George Cemetery, especially its oldest section, you have to make your way past branches and thorns, across the weathered hills and over downed trees. Eventually, dozens of scattered headstones, some of them knocked over, come into view. And there, sitting upright, is the gravestone of William Chapman, an African-American veteran of the Civil War who died March 21, 1904.


      African-American cemeteries across the country have largely been neglected, their powerful histories obscured by weeds, debris and, as much as anything, the passage of time. Few people know their locations. Fewer still know the stories of the people buried there.

    • Blair and Brown Governments Gory with Torture
      Even I was taken aback by the sheer scale of British active involvement in extraordinary rendition revealed by yesterday’s report of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. Dominic Grieve and the committee deserve congratulations for their honesty, integrity and above all persistence. It is plain from the report that 10 Downing Street did everything possible to handicap the work of the committee. Most crucially they were allowed only to interview extremely senior civil servants and not allowed to interview those actively engaged in the torture and rendition programme.

      Theresa May specifically and deliberately ruled out the Committee from questioning any official who might be placed at risk of criminal proceedings – see para 11 of the report. The determination of the government to protect those who were complicit in torture tells us much more about their future intentions than any fake apology.

    • In Brownsville, Converting Pain and Anger Into Action
      More than 1,000 people march in Brownsville to the protest the Trump administration's brutal border policies.

      BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – Over a thousand people marched to a federal courthouse in Brownsville, Texas on Thursday, after a rally organized by the ACLU, its Texas affiliate, and other partner organizations to protest the Trump administration’s policy of criminally prosecuting anyone who crosses the border without authorization. Demonstrators from across Texas converged on the courthouse early Thursday afternoon, yelling “shut it down” and demanding access to hearings being held inside. Brownsville lies directly along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in recent months the courthouse has been the site of hearings for immigrants whose children were forcibly taken away from them by Border Patrol agents.

      Under the blazing 90-degree South Texas sun, rally attendees listened as immigrant rights advocates and grassroots volunteers described the human cost of the Trump administration’s policies, urging sustained resistance and civil disobedience to counter them. At one point a group of young children sat on stage, wrapped in space blankets similar to those that immigrant children have been photographed sleeping under in nearby detention facilities, as speakers read accounts of families being separated by immigration authorities.

      “Somebody asked me this morning why we were here today, and I told them there were two big reasons,” said Lupita Sanchez of Proyecto Juan Diego, a Brownsville-based community empowerment group. “We wanted to show support to all these families being separated, and second, we want to catch political attention. We want to let them know that we’re here, and that each and every one of you are potential voters. Remember this in November when you go out and vote!”

    • Judge Rejects CIA’s Absurd Secrecy Claim on Botched Yemen Raid
      In a win for government transparency about its lethal actions overseas, a federal judge has told the CIA that it can’t refuse to “confirm or deny” whether it knows anything about a military operation when the agency’s director was present at the White House dinner where the action was approved.

      The judge rejected the Trump administration’s extreme secrecy claim in a ruling Wednesday in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records on the January 2017 raid in Yemen that killed as many as 25 Yemeni civilians and one Navy SEAL.

      Days after President Trump took office, he approved the dead-of-night raid in al Ghayil, Yemen. Although he called the raid “successful,” the strike had actually gone awry. Soon after, the ACLU filed a FOIA request demanding to know who in the government planned and approved the raid, what the legal basis for it was, and who the U.S. government killed.

    • Pennsylvania Cops Abusing A Bad Law To Arrest People For Saying Angry Things To Them

      If you ever need a bad law abused, just look for a police officer. The police like to steer clear of knowledge whenever possible because it helps them out when legal liability is on the line. Qualified immunity rewards cops who work hard to make sure they don't know the laws they're enforcing. But when it comes to laws officers can use to punish those who fail to show them the respect they think they're owed, officers know those inside and out.

      Legislators have made things worse by passing "Blue Lives Matter" laws that grant extra legal protections to a class of Americans no one but cops think is a class routinely subject to oppression or bias. While a "Blue Lives Matter" law makes it easier to intimidate the general public, it's not a necessity. Officers have used bad laws -- like criminal defamation -- to hassle and silence critics.

    • Thrown Chairs, Resignations, And An Envelope Full Of Cash Follow Exposure Of 2-Man PD's Acquisition Of $1 Million In Military Equipment

      A lot has happened in the small community of Thetford since we last covered the two-person police department's acquisition of $1 million in military gear through the 1033 program. It's not all MRAPs and weapons, though. Apparently Police Chief Bob Kenny was grabbing anything that wasn't nailed down, including a tractor, two Humvees, ATVs, a forklift, and any other supplies the federal government was agreeable to parting with.

      The PD ran out of room to park/store everything, so it began dumping equipment "off-site:" on the private property of agreeable landowners. Things began to unravel when the town supervisor started wondering why the police chief had decided to turn the town into an episode of "Hoarders."

      The Genesee County Sheriff's Department was called in to perform an audit but soon found it couldn't do anything because there was apparently no paper trail. That appears to have been a case of the Thetford PD playing keepaway with documents, because the Sheriff's Department decided to step things up in late April.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Begins Testing Its Power In The Wake Of Merger Mania & The Death Of Net Neutrality
      So as we've long noted, the death of net neutrality and the latest round of M&A mania isn't going to result in an immediate internet apocalypse. ISPs are nervous about looming court challenges which, thanks to all manner of ridiculous behavior at the FCC, have a good chance of succeeding. They also know that unless they can get a phony, pre-emptive law on the books, the next FCC or future, less-cash-compromised Congress could just come in and restore the rules. As such, they're going to be testing their newfound freedoms very slowly, much like the boiling frog metaphor (you are the frog in this equation).

      Case in point: on the heels of the company's $86 billion merger with Time Warner, AT&T introduced a new $15 per month streaming video service dubbed "AT&T Watch." Watch is a bare-bones skinny bundle that competes with services like Philo, a $16 per month offering from several major broadcasters. But AT&T's ownership of the pipes this content flows over gives the telecom giant a very notable advantage.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trump, WTO, and International Patent Rights
      With reference to my earlier post on international patent rights as a chip in international trade negotiations, consider recent discussion of Trump stepping back from the World Trade Organization (WTO) – the administrator of TRIPS and GATT.

    • Scoop: Trump's private threat to upend global trade
      President Trump has repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization, a move that would throw global trade into wild disarray, people involved in the talks tell Axios.

    • Motorola Granted Patent for Flexible OLED Display with Heating Hinge

    • United Kingdom: Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd, Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, [2013] UKSC 46, 03 July 2013
      The Supreme Court held that where judgment is given in an English court that a patent (English or European) is valid and infringed, and the patent is subsequently retrospectively revoked or amended (whether in England or at the EPO), the defendant is entitled to rely on the revocation or amendment on the enquiry as to damages.

    • Lack of Integrity? Rebutting the Myth that U.S. Commercial Sports Leagues Have an Intellectual Property Right to Sports Gambling Proceeds
      On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”) violated the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and thus the U.S. government may not use PASPA to prevent states from legalizing commercial sports gambling. In anticipation of this ruling, four U.S. states have already passed new laws to legalize and regulate sports gambling. Meanwhile, fifteen states currently have sports gambling bills that are pending before their state legislatures.

    • Does Intellectual Property Need Human Rights?
      The impassioned contest over the nature, scope, and implications of the intellectual property and human rights interface has important consequences for the way nations understand and comply with their obligations in each field. It significantly affects the methods and substance of international assistance offered to developing countries by international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the extensive network of private experts deployed to facilitate competing outcomes in domestic legislation. The result has been a highly politicized environment for intellectual property norm-setting at all levels of global, regional, and national governance, resulting in a persistent state of norm conflict that weighs heavily on the already complex relations among domestic and international actors involved with intellectual property policymaking.

    • Trademarks

      • Federal Circuit Vacates TTAB’s Findings That ZERO Is Not Generic And Acquired Distinctiveness
        Royal Crown Co. v. Coca-Cola Co., No. 2016-2375, 2018 U(Fed. Cir. June 20, 2018) (Before Newman, O’Malley, and Taranto, J.) (Opinion for the court, O’Malley, J.)

        The USPTO approved The Coca-Cola Company’s combination marks including the term ZERO, to be used on a variety of beverages, without requiring a disclaimer of the term ZERO. The Royal Crown Company, Inc. and Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. filed oppositions to the “ZERO” marks. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismissed the oppositions, holding that ZERO was not generic for the relevant goods and had acquired distinctiveness. Royal Crown appealed. The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded for further proceedings.

      • UK government responds to Trade Mark Directive consultation
        The response document noted that there was disagreement on how to interpret some terms and over licensing provisions

        The UK government published its response to a technical consultation on the implementation of the EU Trade Mark Directive today.

      • Inc. v OHIM: trade protection extended to the concept and sound of ‘France’ [Ed: Remember that head of OHIM or EUIPO is French and close to corrupt Battistelli]
        It was less than a year ago that the US-based company Inc. lost its registered rights in France to the domain name and trade mark ‘’ in favour of the rights held by the Republic of France (hereand here). This week, the American company lost another legal battle, this time before the CJEU, as the court upheld the opposition to the EU registration of the mark filed by the French Republic (here). The Court found that the [now] EUIPO application for the trade mark ‘’ is phonetically too similar and “conceptually identical” to an earlier mark held by the French government featuring the Eiffel tower with the word ‘france’ (see below).

    • Copyrights

      • Twitter Retweet function caused moral rights infringement in Japan
        On April 25 2018, the Japan Intellectual Property High Court gave a decision that made Twitter users uneasy.

        In this case, a photographer who has the copyright of a photo demanded Twitter, Inc. and Twitter Japan disclose the information on the user who had posted the photo on Twitter without permission from the photographer as well as the information on the users who had retweeted that Tweet using the Twitter Retweet function.

        For the user who tweeted the photo, the court ruled that Tweet represents copyright infringement and ordered Twitter, Inc. to disclose the user information (i.e. email address) to the photographer. On the other hand, for the users who retweeted the copyright infringing Tweet, the court denied copyright infringement. The above is the same result as the lower-court ruling. However, the IP High Court judges ruled that Retweet represents moral rights infringement and made an order for disclosure of the user information.


        In order to prevent innocent users from getting involved in such copyright disputes, I expect Twitter to review the process of the Retweet function on the contents.

        By the way, the court rejected the photographer’s claim against Twitter Japan, considering the luck of authority to disclose such user information.

      • WIPO Marrakesh Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For Blind Readers Clears US Senate
        The World Intellectual Property Organization Marrakesh Treaty on copyright exceptions enabling international access to published works by blind and print-disabled readers was ratified this week by the United States Senate, putting it one step closer to final ratification in the country.

        The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print-Disabled was agreed in 2013.

        On 28 June, the full US Senate ratified treaty and passed implementing legislation to amend Title 17 accordingly, the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559).

        The implementing legislation now goes to the US House of Representatives, and then on to the President, according to the bill summary. The US will then have to prepare and deposit its instrument of ratification to WIPO.
      • From Importation to Digital Exhaustion: A Canadian Copyright Perspective
        The doctrine of exhaustion is complex. The issue remains largely overlooked in Canada, and policy makers have until now failed to assess the impact of intellectual property on importation and its repercussions on the Canadian market and consumers.
      • EU Copyright Proposal That Would Destroy Internet Memes Being Protested With Internet Memes
        The EU is no stranger to bad laws, but its desire to "protect" copyright holders from the Wild West Internetâ„¢ is one of its worst. A proposed change -- known as Article 13 -- would force social media platforms and other service providers to preemptively block copyrighted content during uploads unless permission has been specifically granted by the rightsholder.
      • The Crucial Next Few Days In the EU's Copyright Filter and Link Tax Battle
        As we reported last week, JURI, the key European Parliamentary committee working on copyright reform, voted on June 20th to support compulsory copyright filters for media platforms (Article 13), and to create a new requirement on websites to obtain a license before linking to news stories (Article 11).

        That vote marked the last chance for the democratically-elected members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to submit fixes to the directive — under the usual procedures. But this is not an ordinary regulation, and there still remains a couple of unusual procedures that would let them throw out these disastrous two articles.

        The first of these happens next week. Generally, the text agreed by the JURI committee would immediately become the basis of a "Trilogue" negotiation between the Parliament, the European Commission (the EU's executive) and the European Council (representatives of its member states). What comes out of that negotiation becomes EU law — and with the JURI vote, all three groups have agreed to include copyright filters and link taxes in the final directive.
      • We Hardly Knew Ye: PUBG Drops Lawsuit Against Epic Over Fortnite Similarities
        About a month ago we learned that PUBG Corp., the company behind the game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, had sued Epic Games, makers of Fortnite, earlier this year in South Korea. This whole dust up between the two game developers has been monumentally frustrating, specifically due to the folks at PUBG being confused as to whether video games get any IP protection (they do!) and, then, whether fairly generic game modes and game genres are afforded copyright protection (they're not!).

        The problem for PUBG in all of this is that its game mode of a battle royale pitting a hundred players against each other is simply not something that fits into copyright law's protection. As we've explained, there is an idea/expression dichotomy in many country's copyright laws, in which the specific expression is afforded copyright but mere ideas are not. For example, the art assets for PUBG absolutely are copyrightable, while the concept of a battle royale is not. Due to that, PUBG's lawsuit was always going to face a steep uphill climb to come out in its favor.

      • The time I interviewed Harlan Ellison about his lawsuit against a fan who posted his stories to Usenet

        In 2001 I wrote an article for The Industry Standard about the Harlan Ellison's one man war against people uploading his short stories to Usenet. I interviewed him on the phone for the piece and the first thing he told me was, "I can't talk to you. I'm very busy. I've got a deadline." He then launched into a 30-minute rant about everything wrong with the world (example: "You just look around and say, 'Mother of God, the gene pool is just polluted and we really ought to turn it over to the cockroaches if we can't do any better than this!'") Here's the article.

      • Meet the people who went to the US Copyright Office to demand your right to repair, remix and preserve!

        It's a strange-but-true feature of American life. Blame Congress. When they enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, they included Section 1201, a rule that bans people from tampering with copyright controls on their devices. That means that manufacturers can use copyright controls to stop you from doing legitimate things, like taking your phone to an independent service depot; or modifying your computer so that you can save videos to use in remixes or to preserve old games. If doing these legal things requires that you first disable or remove a copyright control system, they can become illegal, even when you're using your own property in the privacy of your own home.

        But every three years, the American people may go before the Copyright Office and ask for the right to do otherwise legal things with their own property, while lawyers from multinational corporations argue that this should not happen.

      • This Year’s ‘Anti-Piracy Award’ Goes to Spanish Police

        The Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance has announced the winner of the first "Anti-Piracy Award." At this year’s Europol Intellectual Property Crime conference the honors went to the anti-piracy division of the Spanish Police, which has been instrumental in bringing down several "illegal streaming" operations.

      • The continuing saga of Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls

      • Shambolic JURI Committee vote on Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive - Good, Bad and Ugly

        The adoption of the JURI Report on 20 June was accompanied by a mandate to Rapporteur MEP Axel Voss to start trilogue negotiations on the draft Directive with the Council and Commission. This is subject to approval by the European Parliament in Plenary on 4 July, but is now likely to be challenged by a number of MEPs seeking to repeal the mandate. If that happens, the whole Parliament will have the opportunity to further amend the Report.

        We ask that you vigorously lobby your MEPs ahead of the vote in Plenary to halt the commencement of trilogue negotiations at this stage as there is so much wanting from this legislation as well as some dangerous provisions.

      • Act now to stop the EU’s plan to censor the web

        Send your representatives an email, tweet, or phone call before June 20 and tell them you need copyright laws that protect an Internet where you can share news and culture with your friends and family, where you can expect to be treated fairly, and where your rights as EU citizens are protected. Tell them to delete Article 13.

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