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Links 30/9/2019: Improvements for Linux 5.4 and Plasma 5.18

  • GNU/Linux

    • Huawei to build a global open-source software ecosystem without US tech

      Chinese technology giant Huawei unveiled its own open-source software ecosystem on Friday (Sept 20) with the goal of attracting global developers and players to use its system.

      Huawei will invest US$1.5 billion in the next five years in an upgraded version of its existing developer programme.

      It will provide funding to universities, individuals, start-ups and enterprises to support them in learning, product development and marketing.

    • Desktop

      • Chrome OS 77 Brings Google Assistant to More Chromebooks, Updated Files App

        Google has begin the rollout of the latest Chrome OS 77 operating system for Chromebooks, a release that brings the Google Assistant to more devices and several other updates. Google's Linux-based operating system for Chrome devices, Chrome OS, has been promoted to version 77, based on the recently released Google Chrome 77 web browser. Chrome OS 77 is here to bring the Google Assistant intelligent voice assistant to more Chromebooks, making it easier for users to do things on their devices and be more productive.

        "The Assistant on Chromebook helps you stay productive, control your smart devices, and have a little fun along the way. To get started, enable the Assistant in your Chromebook's settings and then try asking or typing some of these queries," said Alexander Kuscher, Director of Chrome OS. "It’s starting to roll out now to more non-managed, consumer devices."

        Google Assistant will help you quickly create new documents, sheets or slides in your Google Drive account, check your schedule or add a new event to your calendar, set reminders, play music through supported speakers, control smart devices in your home, as well as thousands other actions.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • systemd is really well designed

          One of the things I think has generally worked well about “Linux” and the ecosystem on top of it has been the variety of userspace. There’s obviously some pointless things, but also some genuine innovation. It works well when upstream projects are structured in a way that they can be mixed and matched.

          For Fedora CoreOS we are combining two technologies; Ignition and rpm-ostree. Previously they were used independently (Ignition with a ChomeOS style A/B updater) and rpm-ostree with the traditional Fedora-and-derivatives setup of Kickstart for bare metal, and cloud-init for clouds.

          Putting the two together has been working well so far, but I’ve recently been working on support for root filesystem reprovisioning which is where the two projects intersect strongly. This has meant a lot of time writing code in the initramfs.

        • Top Gun 51 Profile: Red Hat's Scott Musson on IBM, Channel Strategy, More
        • Write a Letter to Redhat About systemd

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) incorporated systemd as their default and only init system in 2014. Soon after, perhaps with some persuasion from Red Hat and its allies, Debian adopted systemd as its default init system, and many Debian Derived distros, including all the Ubuntus, followed suit. Starting in 2014, this caused extensive protest from many in the Linux community, for reasons such as: [...]

          I'll be glad to serve as a central information point for this letter writing campaign. If you find other contacts, please feel free to write to them and please email me with those contacts and contact information.

        • Crunchy High Availability PostgreSQL Certified as a Database Backend Solution for Red Hat Ansible Tower
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Action News 125

        CentOS Stream and 8 have quite a bit for us to talk about, Docker’s struggles go public, and the GNOME Foundation is facing a patent fight.

        Plus the best bit of Android 10 Go, Microsoft gives serious thought to bringing Edge to Linux, and Stallman’s role at GNU comes into question.

      • GNU World Order 13x40

        Is an open source operating system important?

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 163 - Death to python 2

        Josh and Kurt about the upcoming Python 2 EOL. What does it mean, why does it matter, and what you can you do?

    • Kernel Space

      • KVM Changes For Linux 5.4 Fix Performance Regression, Add UMWAIT Support

        A second batch of Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) changes for the Linux 5.4 kernel have landed.

        The first pull of KVM changes for Linux 5.4 last week weren't too exciting. That original pull brought support on ARM for up to 512 virtual CPUs, an ARM ITS translation cache, IPI x86 optimizations, and a wide variety of x86 bug fixes.

      • The Linux Kernel Firms Up The Process For Dealing With Nasty Hardware Vulnerabilities

        With all of the CPU security bugs over the past two years and heightened concerns about hardware vulnerabilities in general, the upstream Linux kernel has been working to create a formal process for dealing with the disclosure process and addressing said issues within the kernel code.

        Added originally back to Linux 5.3-rc7 and further improved now for Linux 5.4 is the formal public documentation for the kernel's approach for going about the disclosure process and mitigating the kernel for new vulnerabilities.

      • Linux 5.4 Should Improve NUMA Hugepage Allocation Performance

        It turns out Linux 5.3 shipped with potentially subpar performance for the allocation of hugepages but that should be rectified in the now open Linux 5.4 cycle for trying to provide a sane default allocation strategy on NUMA boxes.

        With Linux 5.4, the kernel will now avoid the reclaim operation when compaction isn't likely to succeed. It will also allow hugepages to fallback to remote nodes when seeking hugepages via madvise but the node-local hugepage allocation failed. Additionally, Linux 5.4 reverts two patches from Linux 5.3 that ended up regressing other workloads unintentionally.

      • Linux Plumbers Conference 2019, part 3

        Connections are point-to-point between "components". Switch components provide fan-out.

        Components can be subdivided into "resources" and also have "interfaces".

        No requirement for a single root (like typical PCIe) and there can be redundant connections forming a messh.

        Fabric can span multiple logical computers (OS instances). Fabric manager assigns components and resources to them, and configures routing.

        Protocol is reliable; all writes are acknowleged (by default). However it is not ordered by default.

        Components have single control space (like config space?) and single data space (up to 2⁶⁴ bytes). Control space has a fixed header and then additional structures for optional and per-interface registers.

      • Linux 5.4 Features Are Huge From exFAT To New GPUs To Enabling Lots Of New Hardware

        The Linux 5.4 merge window is set to end today with the release of Linux 5.4-rc1. With the major pull requests in, here is a look at the prominent changes and new features coming with Linux 5.4. As is standard practice, there will be about eight weekly release candidates of Linux 5.4 prior to officially releasing this kernel as stable in late November or potentially early December depending upon how the cycle plays out. Among the major highlights for Linux 5.4 is the initial Microsoft exFAT file-system support, integration of the LOCKDOWN LSM, DM-Clone as a new means of remotely replicating block devices, case-insensitive F2FS support, support for several new AMD Radeon GPU targets, initial support for Intel Tigerlake with Gen12/Xe Graphics (still very much a work-in-progress), beginning to see various consumer Arm laptops working off the mainline kernel, a kernel fix around UMIP to help various Windows games in Wine, and a lot of other new hardware support.

      • Linux to get kernel 'lockdown' feature
      • Linux Foundation

        • Harbor Container Registry Project Advances

          An initiative focused on developing an open source registry that makes it easier to manage containers at scale has been updated.

          Harbor, developed by VMware, is now a incubation project being developed under the auspices for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). The 1.9 release of Harbor adds a range of capabilities, including a Webhook notification that can be employed to integrate the registry more easily with continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools.

          Other capabilities available in this latest release include the ability to replicate projects between the registry services of major cloud service providers, tag retention and project quotas that strengthen image lifecycle management and security, syslog integration and the ability to apply exceptions that would allow developers to continue to employ a container with a known bug.

        • Alibaba, Global Tech Giants Form Foundation for Open-Source Database Tool

          Chinese internet giant Alibaba has joined forces with Facebook, Twitter, and Uber to set up a foundation for the Facebook-developed database search engine and processing tool Presto, according to a Monday announcement by U.S.-based nonprofit the Linux Foundation.

          The Presto Foundation aims to make the engine — which can scour multiple different data sources and formats and help analyze them — the “fastest and most reliable” of its kind. Presto will have its own project within the Linux Foundation, the announcement said.

          Presto was developed in 2012 for large-scale data processing by Facebook, which opened the source code up to developers the following year in the hope companies that rely on the technology would help to hone it.

        • Facebook, Uber, Twitter and Alibaba form Presto Foundation to Tackle Distributed Data Processing at Scale
        • IOTA unleashes Fast Probabilistic Consensus Simulator; the Linux deal will greatly aid MIOTA in the long run

          IOTA is ranked at #16 to the south of Huobi Token and TRON in the market. This virtual currency was in the green zone a few hours ago but has since declined at a rate of 0.55% which led to MIOTA dropping to reach $0.262404 where it presently rests. The trading volume recorded stands at roughly $3.629 million, whereas the supply has approximately 2.779 billion MIOTA tokens in play for now. The total market cap of IOTA is $729.358 million as of this very moment.

        • Linux Foundation Gets Ready for the Rise of Edge Computing
        • Linux Foundation exec believes edge computing will be more important than cloud computing
        • LF Edge Continues Rapid Growth as New Projects, Members Collaborate at Open Source Edge

          LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation, announced continued project momentum with the addition of two new projects and four new members.

        • Common NFVI Telco Taskforce (CNTT) Boasts Reference Milestone

          LF Networking (LFN) and the GSMA today announced that the Common NFVI Telco Taskforce (CNTT) has reached its first major milestone with the publication of its initial common Reference Model and first Reference Architecture. Jointly hosted by the GSMA and the Linux Foundation, CNTT operates as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting an industry-aligned Common NFVI Framework.

        • Open Source Networking Industry Rapidly (In Some Cases) Moves To The Edge

          At its annual European knees up, the Linux Foundation’s Open Networking Summit set out its stall as to how it will address the needs of next generation connectivity, AI and rapidly advancing edge deployments.

          Illustrating the priority of moving to the edge in open source networking thinking, is the announcement at the annual Open Networking Summit (ONS) Europe that the event will be called the Open Networking and Edge Summit from 2020.

          At his keynote at this week’s summit in Antwerp, Begium, Arpit Joshipura, general manager for networking at The Linux Foundation, outlined the importance of collaboration across the edge ecosystem as open source network developers scaled up their projects to cover everything from the enterprise to the cloud and the edge, whether that was for 5G, IoT, AI analytics or the evolution of driverless cars.

          He even suggested that those traditionally slow moving beasts, the telcos, were starting to catch up with the cloud hyperscalers when it came to extending their coverage in supporting connectivity to the above leading edge applications.

        • Open standards model for VNFs is a boon to open source networking

          The model will drastically streamline the compliance and verification process of bringing virtual network functions to market Linux Foundation Networking, together with the GSMA, has created the first standardised compliance and verification model to help network operators and equipment vendors approve networking apps and increase time-to-revenue.

          The model created by the Common NFVI Telco Taskforce (CNTT) replaces the pre-existing method whereby vendors bring virtual network functions (VNFs) to network operators, which then need to be tested before they can be deployed. As the type of tests required varies by operator, this could be a very lengthy process, whereas the new open model provides a single top-line test to be applied across the whole industry.

          The new model will allow operators and vendors to profit more quickly from their VNFs and then re-invest that profit back into the open source life cycle, ultimately fuelling more rapid industry growth.

          "The speed with which this group has been established and produced its first tangible results are a testament to the close cooperation and collaboration of its industry members," said Alex Sinclair, CTO of GSMA. "A common framework and approach will accelerate adoption and deployment in the 5G era and we look forward to aligning further with our partners on this important project."

        • Operator-Led Effort Hosted by Linux Foundation and GSMA publishes Initial Specifications for Common NFV Infrastructure, Empowered by LFN's OVP Framework
      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel's SNA 2D Acceleration Code Sees Rare Activity

          Intel's SNA "Sandybridge New Acceleration" for 2D acceleration via their deprecated xf86-video-intel X.Org driver has seen some improvements, which is rare these days considering the for this driver that has been in perpetual version 3.0 development for the past six years.

          It looks like the xf86-video-intel 3.0 release will never officially be released given there hasn't even been a new development release of it in five years. The 3.0 milestone was their release to officially default to the SNA accelerated support in place of their EXA-derived UXA acceleration architecture. The 3.0 release has been so long in development that it was going to be the version that added XMir support prior to that being canned years ago already.

    • Applications

      • Ulauncher: Use An Alternative App Launcher In Your Ubuntu/Linux Mint

        You might have used several type of launchers or maybe currently using your desktop's default laucher/menu to launch application. If you want to try something new and different on your Linux then we present you ULauncher. It is simple and fast application launcher designed to use on Linux desktop written in Python programming language. Ulauncher consumes very few system resources and has ability to run on almost every desktop environment such as: Gnome Shell, Gnome classic, Mate, Xfce, Lxde, Cinnamon, Openbox and so on. Using Ulauncher you can search for applications on your system and you can also send search queries to Google, Wikipedia and Stack Overflow. Moreover, there are plenty of extensions available for Ulauncher which can be found on official website.

      • Free Software Planetarium Stellarium 0.19.2 Released (Ubuntu PPA)

        The second bugfix release for the free open-source planetarium Stellarium 0.19 series was released today. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and higher.

      • MUA++ (or on to neomutt)

        About 18 months ago or so, I posted about switching my Mail User Agent / mail client from claws-mail to thunderbird: last week, I moved on to a new setup.

        First let em talk a bit about why I am moving on from thunderbird. Since moving to it thunderbird seems to have gotten slower and slower (no matter how much I compacted mail folders). They made some, IMHO, anoying changes (like in thunderbird 52: “”When replying to a mailing list, reply will be sent to address in From header ignoring Reply-to header”, which is just dead WRONG). Recent thunderbird versions had taken to pausing randomly and just not doing anything at all for like 20-30seconds. I had become annoyed more than once because thunderbird handled all my filtering, so if I was offline for a while and reconnected, it would take a long time for thunderbird to filter my emails and during that time I couldn’t really do anything else. The final straw was thunderbird 68’s changes to add-ons. Since they were moving to the newer engine, all add-ons have to be reworked to be “webextensions”. Firefox went through this last year. However, thunderbird seems to have not handled it well. I didn’t see any press or announcement, just updated and suddenly all my add-ons were gone. Additionally, going to the thunderbird addons site, there’s a filter for version, but at the time, it didn’t even have 68 listed! Pretty much non of my addons were ready for this change.

        So, finally I decided I would look at mutt. I had avoided it in the past for a few reasons: I wanted to be able to see html emails easily in the same application I was using to read the rest of my emails, and I just liked the idea of a application that didn’t depend on a terminal. With no real GUI MUA’s left, I decided to get over those and look at mutt.

        Doing some reading and pondering, I ran into a number of places talking about patches to mutt (“If you want to use this, you need patch X…”) which lead me to neomutt. I don’t know the details, but my understanding is that mutt development slowed way down for a number of years, and a lot of patches piled up. neomutt is a fork of mutt with all those patchsets applied, with the goal of cleaning them up and getting them into the mainstream mutt package. They already got the sidebar patches in, and hopefully they will get others in over time. Since I like living on the edge, I went with neomutt, which has a handy copr made by the main developer.

      • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • D9VK 0.22 Released To Workaround Direct3D 9 Game Bugs

        Joining DXVK 1.4.1 with a new release this weekend is D9VK 0.22 as the similar project achieving faster Direct3D 9 performance over Wine/Proton via translating the API calls to Vulkan.

        With D9VK 0.21 having been released less than one week ago, this isn't the biggest release in recent times, but in fact quite small. There is support for GetSoftwareVertexProcessing / SetSoftwareVertexProcessing for software-based vertex processing with D3D9 but the rest of the D9VK 0.22 changes amount to fixes.

      • Wine-Nine-Standalone 0.5 Released To Improve Wine Integration With Gallium Nine

        Wine-Nine-Standalone is the project making it easier to make use of Gallium3D's Direct3D 9 state tracker within Wine. Wine-Nine-Standalone 0.5 is out as the first new release since March for this project making it easier to use the Direct3D 9 Gallium state tracker within Wine.

        While D9VK is getting into increasingly great shape for accelerating D3D9 over Vulkan, for the Nouveau drivers that lack Vulkan support and other cases, the Gallium3D D3D9 state tracker is still relevant. With Wine-Nine-Standalone it's easy to make use of this state tracker regardless of Wine version/configuration. Wine-Nine-Standalone supplies the Wine parts of Gallium Nine decoupled from the Mesa source tree. This provides the Direct3D 9 "Nine" DLL as well as a ninewinecfg configuration GUI for toggling the Gallium Nine state.

      • Blade & Sorcery | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

        Blade & Sorcery running through Steam play.

    • Games

      • The Linux and gaming Sunday round-up paper

        Another week has passed already? There's simply not enough time in the week! Since we slow right down during the weekend to get a little downtime ready to be fresh for another week, here's some interesting bits for Sunday reading.

      • Linux Users Finally Have a PlayStation Remote Play Client

        After years of waiting, unsure of what would come from it, Linux users can finally access their PlayStations from anywhere in their home. The Chiaki PlayStation Remote Play Client for Linux isn’t official, but those who have used it report it doesn’t require you to jailbreak your PS4 or hack it in any way.

        Chiaki is also available on Windows and Mac, and it has a few clear advantages to the PlayStation official client. First of all, Chiaki allows you to use your keyboard as a controller, while the official client requires you to use either a DualShock 4 Controller or something that mimics it. There are also plans to try and port it to other platforms, which connect to its largest advantage: Open Source. As a completely free and open source project, Chiaki has the potential to grow far beyond a simple replacement to the official PlayStation Remote Play client.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Developers Begin Pushing Improvements For Plasma 5.18

          With Plasma 5.17 releasing soon, developers have begun pushing changes targeted for Plasma 5.18. The KDE Plasma 5.18 release isn't set to arrive until next February but if any of the recent releases are an indication, it should be another exciting and solid release.

        • KDE Connect Sprint 2019 in Nuremberg

          There we discussed and hacked on many things, and probably Simon’s series of blogposts cover that better than I could do. However, if I can pick a single thing to highlight from the sprint, it is that I had the chance to meet in person with my Google Summer of Code mentee, Inoki.

          KDE Connect itself began as a GSoC project the year 2013, and since then it accumulates the work of 5 different GSoC students, among many other developers, translators, designers… However, this was the first time I met a student I was mentoring in person!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Open-source GNOME Foundation slapped with patent infringement lawsuit

          The open-source GNOME Foundation has been slapped with a patent infringement lawsuit over its Shotwell personal photo manager.

        • Tracker developer experience improvements

          There have been lots of blog posts since I suggested we write more blog posts. Great! I’m going to write about what I’ve done this month.

          I’m excited that work started on Tracker 3.0, after we talked about it at GUADEC 2019. We merged Carlos’ enourmous branch to modernize the Tracker store database. This has broken some tests in tracker-miners, and the next step will be to track down and fix these regressions.

          I’ve continued looking at the developer experience of Tracker. Recently we modernized the file (as several GNOME projects have done recently). I want the README to document a simple “build and test Tracker from git” workflow, and that led into work making it simpler to run Tracker from the build tree, and also a bunch of improvements to the test suite.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Acer AspireOne D255 with openSUSE Tumbleweed Xfce

          Anytime someone wants to give me a piece of hardware, it’s hard for me to say, “no.” I received this Acer AspireOne D255 as payment for installing openSUSE Leap on an HP Laptop. This little netbook was a bit slower than my other Acer AspireOne and with only 1 GiB of RAM and a dead battery. I tried to see if I could install anything but the hard drive was at it’s end of life. So, thing sat in a drawer for about a year or so. I found that there are some education open source programs that are quite educational and since I would rather my kids not play games on phones and tablets, now was the time for me to act.

          I purchased a new battery and a charger for this computer which cost me all of $21. I ordered a 2 GiB stick of DDR3 memory so that whenever it did arrive, I could upgrade that as well.

          Taking apart the AspireOne is not that difficult, at all, you just have to know how to get to the screws to drop the back panel. Annoyingly, you have to remove the keyboard by essentially pushing back little detents to pop the thing out. It isn’t exactly work made for large hands.

        • Review: FreedomBox 2019-07-10 "Buster"

          FreedomBox is the most recent distribution to be added to the DistroWatch database. What is FreedomBox? According to the project's website: FreedomBox is designed to be your own inexpensive server at home. It runs free software and offers an increasing number of services ranging from a calendar or Jabber server to a wiki or VPN. Our web interface allows you to easily install and configure your apps. On the technical side, FreedomBox is based on Debian. The latest version is based on Debian 10 "Buster". Unlike some Debian projects, FreedomBox is a "pure blend" which means all the packages it uses, or develops, can be found in the Debian repositories. This keeps FreedomBox close to upstream and completely compatible with Debian.

          FreedomBox can be purchased bundled with hardware running an ARM CPU or downloaded as a compressed disk image to be installed on existing hardware. The distribution has disk images that run on 32-bit (x86), 64-bit (x86_64) and several flavours of ARM-powered boards. These flavours are available in Stable, Testing and Daily branches, depending if we want a fixed or rolling release operating system. I decided to try the Stable version for 64-bit machines.

          The 64-bit image file is a 386MB download which unpacks to 3.8GB when uncompressed. This image file can be written to an SD card or USB thumb drive. By default, FreedomBox runs from the thumb drive or SD card rather than having a typical install process where packages are written to a hard drive. People who wish to perform a customized hard drive install can install Debian first and then add the FreedomBox software on top with a few commands.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The Ubuntu MATE 19.10 ‘Paper Cut Release’ Is A Great Lesson In Developer Transparency And Community Impact

          I’ve always praised the elementary OS team for its extensive and accessible release notes and overall transparency throughout the entire development process. Now it’s time to direct that same praise at Martin Wimpress, the Project Lead for Linux desktop distribution Ubuntu MATE.

          Wimpress begins his release notes for the upcoming Ubuntu MATE 19.10 by saying “I have not been completely happy with the quality of recent Ubuntu MATE releases.”

          You don’t hear that kind of honesty every day.

          Wimpress calls out several minor issues in existing releases of Ubuntu MATE that “by themselves are not deal breakers, but in aggregate are frustrating and spoil the experience.” He goes so far as to designate version 19.10 a “Paper-Cut Release.”

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine Beta available for download

          Today, Canonical officially released the Beta version of Ubuntu 19.10, codenamed “Eoan Ermine.”

          FOSS Linux first brought you news of Eoan Ermine back in May of this year. Earlier this month, we reported on the Canonical Team’s decision to use LZ4 compression in Ubuntu 19.10 as it was the most effective compromise between best compression and decompression.

          It’s no secret that Ubuntu’s code naming scheme are tautograms containing an animal’s name or mythic creature’s name. The word eoan is of Ancient Greek origin and means relating to the dawn. While an ermine is a stoat, also known as a short-tailed weasel. The ermine moniker is particularly famous when the stout’s winter coat is white.

        • A List of All Default Ubuntu Official Wallpapers [Gallery]

          Ubuntu- the most popular Linux Operating System in used today, have always gives importance to the default wallpaper and how it looks. The default wallpaper is the first thing that user notices after a brand new Ubuntu installation. So, lots of thought goes into designing the Ubuntu default wallpaper.

          Here’s a list of all Ubuntu default wallpapers that has been released for last 10+ years with download links for your treat.

        • Phew, Ubuntu’s New Light Theme Won’t Be Default After All

          Ubuntu devs have reversed their impromptu decision to swap Ubuntu’s distinctively dark “Yaru” theme for a lighter more closely attuned to the GNOME Adwaita GTK theme.

          But though Ubuntu devs have decided NOT to make the “new” Yaru light theme — aka “are you sure that isn’t just Adwaita?” — the default in 19.10 it will still be included as an option, but you’ll need to install the GNOME Tweaks app to access it.

          Personally speaking I wasn’t thrilled by the “Yaru light theme” change for a couple of reasons — the most pressing of which was the life-sucking effect it had on Ubuntu’s identity and branding.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • ReactOS 0.4.12 features improved network functionality and new themes

        The latest 0.4 iteration saw significant kernel improvements, according to the blog post. While the OS can't yet run Microsoft's own FS drivers, substantial improvements were made, specifically in regards to the common cache. Considerable improvements were also made toward proper device power management, referring to the action of setting a device to sleep mode and waking it up in a working state.

        Developers also worked on mending support for PXE booting with ReactOS, expanding the network functionality of the system.

        Security is integral to successful operating systems, with most having locks that prevent applications from altering images loaded and launched in the kernel space. ReactOS previously struggled with this, but 0.4.12 fixed this issue, according to the announcement.

        Other improvements included window snapping—which aligns windows side-by-side or allows users to minimize or maximize windows by dragging them in particular directions—font improvements, and new themes.

        The new themes include Lunar and Mizu, the first being reminiscent of Windows XP, and the second being a more modern design. While these aren't ReactOS's first themes, the system previously only had one other non-default theme, and the addition of these racks the total up to four, said Alexander Rechitskiy, community and media relations manager for ReactOS.

      • Elastic’s Core Search Technology Powers Multiple Growth Levers

        With its roots in open source, Elastic created Elastic Stack as its monetization vehicle. Comprised of proprietary software products that address numerous use cases, Elastic Stack drove the company’s fiscal 2019 (ended April) revenue growth of 70%.

      • UIC to promote open source projects

        The International Union of Railways has launched OpenRail as a brand to gather and promote open source projects in the rail sector, and to foster proofs of concept and software development.

        Announcing OpenRail on September 20, UIC said the programme would facilitate the identification of open source licences to ensure interoperability and project compatibility.

        According to the association’s Chief Digital Officer Francis Bédel, the programme would enable the rail industry to ‘draw upon the many advantages of open source in order to disseminate and enhance development in digital technologies’. It would also enable the consolidation of open source projects to better identify possible synergies.

      • Open Source technology is not secure is untrue and a myth: Manish Gupta of Liferay

        The era when open source technologies were considered as snowflakes is fading out. Just about 5 years ago there was a sense of scepticism from both businesses and investors end in investing time and money on open-source models. These models have now proved and earned their right place against the Proprietary technologies/businesses. The community developers understood and believed that they can collaborate and bring in (or disrupt) software which can be accessed, improved and enhanced as time moves on. This leads us to the era of open source technology which is now a collaborative space.

        Thanks to the first generation of open source software companies like Windows, Linux, Red hat who started the revolution by building the software with the help of collaborative developer’s community. To overcome the challenges faced by the first generation (low revenue generation and asynchronous collaboration), the second generation was started back by companies like Yahoo, Cloudera, Hortonworks to name a few. They followed the in-house development (instead of a collaborative community of developers) of the software and also they made some part of the software chargeable under a commercial license to combat the low-profit generation from software support services. This generation faced downsides in terms of high competition. The USP game became the most important factor in winning or losing clientele and business.

        Now, we are in the third generation of open source technologies where we have worked on the challenges faced by the later generations. Now the in-house developers build 80-90 percent of the software leaving the rest to the clients who can shape and reshape as per their needs and requirements over the platform. Most importantly businesses are tapping into software as a cloud service model.

        Open source technology can be rightly termed as a disruptive innovation. There is a shift of cost centre from operating cost (licensing) to capital expenditure (expense for customisation and in-house implementation). Most importantly and going by the data, open-source software has proved to produce better quality implementations than proprietary counterparts. We are following the best practices like Agile and Scrum, which improves the workflow and brings in rapid and more frequent development and release cycles without sacrificing time and quality.

      • Why are enterprises adopting open source?

        In a business climate of rapid iteration, the companies best positioned for success are those that can adapt quickly and easily, free of legacy infrastructure. Digital transformation is more than just a buzzword; it’s become an imperative. So, how do organizations achieve the agility they need?

      • Cloudera debuts all-open-source integrated cloud data platform

        Two months after adopting an all-open-source strategy, Cloudera Inc. today is announcing an integrated data platform made up entirely of open-source elements.

        Cloudera Data Platform is being positioned as one-stop-shopping cloud service for organizations that want to perform analytics across hybrid and multicloud environments with enterprise-grade security and governance.

      • The open-source answer to the IT skills challenge

        Why IT companies are turning to open source to address the shortage of graduates, an ageing workforce and the changing working habits

      • Top 8 Open Source Data Visualization Tools

        These all can be done only when you have the right data visualization tool. And open-source has started to gain significant traction when it comes to data visualization tools. Also, people tend to confuse free with open-source. Open-source is about having access to the source code, it has absolutely nothing to do to free tools.

      • 5 Reasons Why Contributing To Open Source Projects Helps In Landing A Job

        With time the way companies recruit people is changing significantly. More than your qualifications, your skills and expertise are gaining more importance in the employer’s eyes. There are even articles on platforms like Glassdoor that lists companies who no longer ask candidates for college degrees but look for skills and expertise.

      • 10 Benefits of Open Source Software for Enterprises

        Selecting technologies means committing to solutions that will support an active, growing business over the long term, so it requires careful consideration and foresight. When enterprise bets on the wrong horse, the result is often significantly higher development costs and reduced flexibility, both of which can stick around for the long haul.

        In the past decade, adoption of open-source software at the enterprise level has flourished, as more businesses discover the considerable advantages open source solutions hold over their proprietary counterparts, and as the enterprise mentality around open source continues to shift.

        Enterprises looking to make smart use of open source software will find plenty of great reasons to do so. Here are just some of them.

      • Insight Engines, Powered By Apache

        It wasn't too long ago when open source software had a bad rep among Fortune 500 companies — which trickled down to smaller “Fortune 5000” companies and even smaller firms. They were not willing to risk betting the company on technology the big guys wouldn’t touch.

        Times have changed. Now, I’d wager virtually every Fortune 500 and Fortune 5000 firm have open source technologies in active use. Open source, and companies based on open source technologies, are enjoying the trend. I thought I’d walk you through the technologies we see in our search practice, but first I have to mention a trend we’ve seen.

      • Introducing ESPRESSO, an open-source, PyTorch based, end-to-end neural automatic speech recognition (ASR) toolkit for distributed training across GPUs

        Last week, researchers from USA and China released a paper titled ESPRESSO: A fast end-to-end neural speech recognition toolkit. In the paper, the researchers have introduced ESPRESSO, an open-source, modular, end-to-end neural automatic speech recognition (ASR) toolkit. This toolkit is based on PyTorch library and FAIRSEQ, the neural machine translation toolkit.

        This toolkit supports distributed training across GPUs and computing nodes and decoding approaches that are commonly employed in ASR such as look-ahead word-based language model fusion.

        ESPRESSO is 4 to 11 times faster for decoding than similar systems like ESPNET and it achieves state-of-the-art ASR performance on data sets such as LibriSpeech, WSJ, and Switchboard.

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

        The SD Times Open Source Project of this week is Spacemesh, a decentralized cryptocurrency that people can buy without using local currency. It is designed to be fairly distributed and run by home desktop PC owners from around the world.

        “We believe that current methods for coin distribution, such as ICOs, airdrops, participation in mining pools and IEOs all have serious deficiencies and that the problem remains as yet unsolved,” the creators of Spacemesh wrote on their website. “We aim to create a cryptocurrency that is highly usable as means of payment between any two people in the world without any possibility of censorship.”

      • Open Source Gains Ground in the Enterprise
      • What’s behind the world’s largest crowd-sourced microbiome project?

        In 2012, two scientists co-founded what went on to become the world’s largest crowd-sourced, citizen science microbiome research project: the American Gut Project.

        Co-founder Dr. Rob Knight’s lab at the University of California, San Diego, processes over 100,000 samples per year as a part of several microbiome projects. Today we speak with experienced members of the Knight lab, scientific director and American Gut Project manager Dr. Daniel McDonald, and wet lab research supervisor, Greg Humphrey, to get a sneak-peek into what goes on inside one of the busiest microbiome labs in the world. We uncover the technologies enabling this high-throughput research, and finally, what happens to all the data collected from participating citizens.

      • Developer ICEs open source software

        A software engineer pulled a personal project down after he found out that one of the companies using it had recently signed a contract with the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

        The engineer, Seth Vargo, cited the ICE's "inhumane treatment, denial of basic human rights, and detaining children in cages" as the reason for taking down his library. The project was called Chef Sugar, a Ruby library for simplifying work with Chef, a platform for configuration management. Varga developed and open-sourced the library while he worked at Chef, and the library was later integrated into Chef's source code.

        Earlier this week, a Twitter user discovered that Chef was selling $95,000-worth of licenses through a government contractor to the ICE.

      • Should open source licenses fight evil?
      • Can a modified MIT ‘Hippocratic License’ to restrict misuse of open source software prompt a wave of ethical innovation in tech?
      • Programmer who took down open-source pieces over Chef ICE contract responds
      • After protest, open source software company Chef will let ICE contract expire
      • IT automation startup Chef says it will not renew its contract with ICE, days after an open source programmer brought the service to a temporary halt in protest
      • Can open-source Camunda disrupt the BPMS market?

        When I heard what Camunda, the scrappy open-source vendor of business process management software (BPMS), was up to, I had to head to its hometown of Berlin to see for myself.

        On the surface, Camunda appears to be bucking all the major trends in today’s BPMS world. Instead of recasting its platform as low-code, Camunda unabashedly serves Java developers, requiring hands-on Java skills to use its platform effectively.

        Camunda also supports and leverages the now-aging Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) standard—a standard that I have recently taken issue with for being overly verbose and waterfall-centric.

      • Sourcehut: Open Source Software Development Platform

        This is where sourcehut—heretofore known by its abridged moniker —shines.

        It provides all of what you'd expect—git repository hosting, bug tracking, wikis, the usual suspects—and so much more. It offers powerful continuous integration through a variety of virtualised builds including OpenBSD, which is super cool. Through YAML-based build manifests, a new environment can be deployed in seconds, with test automation running for every commit in your continuous integration workflow. But it's the impetus driving the entire ecosystem that makes sourcehut an attractive home for free and open source software developers. Particularly those with an affinity for correctness and security, which is why I feel it's perfectly suited for OpenBSD users.

      • Events

      • Databases

      • CMS

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Funding

        • Netdata, a monitoring startup with 50-year-old founder, announces $17M Series A

          Nearly everything about Netdata, makers of an open-source monitoring tool, defies standard thinking about startups. Consider that the founder is a polished, experienced 50-year-old executive who started his company several years ago when he became frustrated by what he was seeing in the monitoring tools space. Like any good founder, he decided to build his own, and today the company announced a $17 million Series A led by Bain Capital.

        • Sentry, a startup co-founded by a former Dropbox engineer that helps developers run more reliable code, just raised $40 million

          Cramer tells Business Insider that in Sentry's earliest days, not all investors understood why open source software was important.

        • P’unk Ave is spinning out open-source product Apostrophe into its own company

          After about a decade of work on an open-source project Apostrophe, South Philly web developer firm P’unk Avenue is spinning the product out as its own company.

        • Gatsby raises $15 million for website and web app development tools

          Gatsby builds upon two open source JavaScript projects for website and web app development. One is React, a library for designing UIs that’s maintained by Facebook and a community of developers, and the other is Webpack, a module bundler that transforms assets like HTML, CSS, and images. Gatsby generates sites as static files that prefetch resources to cut down on page load times, and it integrates with more than 120 backends and over 1,200 plugins across 15 of the top content management systems (CMSs).

        • Gatsby raises $15M Series A for its modern web development platform

          Gatsby also does away with a monolithic CMS system and instead brings together a variety of tools that still allow content creators to use platforms like WordPress or Drupal to create what’s essentially a headless CMS system. In that case, Gatsby simply becomes the presentation layer for the CMS.


          Like similar open-source projects, Gatsby monetizes its tools by offering a hosted service that helps teams of developers stand up a new site quickly, with prices starting at $50/month for one site.

        • Docker, once worth over $1 billion, tells employees it's trying to raise cash amid 'significant challenges'

          Docker, a one-time highflier in business software that reached a $1 billion valuation in 2015, is struggling mightily these days as it tries to raise some much-needed capital.

          Rob Bearden, who was named CEO in May, wrote an email to employees this week thanking them for "persevering in spite of the lack of clarity we've had these past few weeks." In the note, which was viewed by CNBC, he told his staff that more cash is hopefully on the way.

          "As shared at the last All Hands, we have been engaging with investors to secure more financing to continue to execute on our strategy," wrote Bearden, who was previously CEO of Hortonworks before the company merged with rival Cloudera last year. "I wanted to share a quick update on where we stand. We are currently in active negotiations with two investors and are working through final terms. We should be able to provide you a more complete update within the next couple of weeks."

        • FOSSA: Open Source Management Company Raises $8.5 Million In Funding

          FOSSA — an open-source management company — announced it closed $8.5 million in Series A funding led by Bain Capital Ventures and Costanoa Ventures with participation from Norwest Venture Partners. Including this funding round, FOSSA has raised a total of $11 million. And the investment will be used to accelerate product development, expand enterprise features, and drive overall corporate growth.

          FOSSA focuses on automating the workflow of open source management both within and outside of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). And this enables enterprises to quickly identify and mitigate risks, improve engineering efficiency, and accelerate time to market.


        • Open letter to the Free Software movement

          This is an open letter to all the people who, in their good faith, are concerned about the recent events which have shaken the long-standing leadership of the Free Software Movement. Dear hackers, first and foremost let us say that, as a collective and in the true uncompromising spirit of the teachings of Free/Libre Software/Society, we are capable of doing much better than what has just happened. Many of us work everyday towards ensuring that everyone, regardless of their ethniticy, religion, gender, or neurotypicality, can participate, learn and share in our communities. We do not claim we are perfect, we sometimes make mistakes, some of them guided by systemic patterns and structures of power still entangling us, and some of them just due to our human nature . But we claim our right to learn every day how to become better at including all contributions and opinions, and this implies the ability of making mistakes without being destroyed by them. In the past years it has become clear that our movement and our ethos has transformed the world as we know it, with all the courage and all the mistakes considered; some of us rose to fame, while some others wore masks, both as a message and as a protection from the regime of global espionage. In any case, many of us have sacrificed a great deal of comfort in life to change what needed to be changed. Let us not be mistaken about the cause that brought us here and let us not forget where the injustice comes from.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Use Ghanaian developed Open Source Software - ISOC

          Mr Marcus Adomey, the President, Internet Society (ISOC) Ghana Chapter, has advocated the use of Ghanaian developed Open Source Software (OSS) to help build better internet programmes.

          OSS is a type of computer software where source code is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose.

          He said there was the need to develop an innovative software that focused on addressing issues in specific areas in the Ghanaian economies.

          Mr Adomey said this during the opening of the 2019 Software Freedom Day (SFD) in Accra aimed at increasing awareness of Free Software and its virtues, and encouraging its use.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • AI and open sourcing: a new frontier for prosthetic leg design

            Open-source projects allow clinicians to piggyback off of each other’s research and create the best artificial limbs possible. Scientists from the University of Michigan have now unveiled an artificially intelligent prosthetic leg that fellow researchers can access through open-sourcing, a development which has the potential to revolutionise the prosthetic leg industry.


            Through this website, researchers are able to access the specific materials used to construct the OSL, alongside the vendors they can access these materials through. The leg has been designed using motor technology developed for the drone industry, with flat pancake-style motors inside which trade speed for torque. This allows the user to have more efficient control over their prosthetic and lets them walk more naturally.

            Once the leg is constructed, researchers using the OSL can download the AI software, which tells the leg how to move. The resulting algorithmic data from different users of the OSL is also designed to be open-source. The common platform enables direct comparisons of different uses of the software, which researchers can then merge and build upon.

            The full bionic leg, made according to the website’s specifications, will cost each manufacturer $28,500.

            As well as being robust and fairly inexpensive – the full bionic leg, made according to the website’s specifications, will cost each manufacturer $28,500 – the system is designed to be straightforward and easy to manufacture. Videos online detail each step of the building process.

          • OpenLeg, a new open source project for building robot legs

            Navigating multi-level environments, including stairs and unstructured environments such as a floor with debris or uneven terrain, is difficult for wheeled robots. Legged robots such as quadrupeds are able to excel in these environments. However, it’s far easier to give robot a wheel than to give a robot leg or wings. How about doing so with an open-source leg?

            This can be possible, thanks to the OpenLeg, a new open source project for building robot legs. The idea behind the project – created by Joey Byrnes and the team at the University of Illinois – is to create a robot leg that others can use to build four-legged robots that is compatible with the surrounding environment.

      • Programming/Development

        • How to use iloc and loc for Indexing and Slicing Pandas Dataframes

          In this post, we are going to work with Pandas iloc, and loc. More specifically, we are going to learn slicing and indexing by iloc and loc examples.

          Once we have a dataset loaded as a Pandas dataframe, we often want to start accessing specific parts of the data based on some criteria. For instance, if our dataset contains the result of an experiment comparing different experimental groups, we may want to calculate descriptive statistics for each experimental group separately.

  • Leftovers

    • 'Estonia' Ferry Disaster: Call For New Inquiry, 25 Years On

      Relatives of Swedish victims have petitioned an Estonian court, pressing for a more thorough investigation. It is due to decide late October whether or not to reopen an international inquest.

    • the trial of a terrible shipwreck

      After more than twenty years of procedure, it is in France that opens the file, because it is a French company, Bureau Veritas, which is attacked today by a thousand relatives of victims. The plaintiffs are also questioning the German builder of the ferry. For his lawyer, the victims have already been compensated during a transaction with the shipping company. This exceptional trial, planned over two days, should make it possible to establish the responsibility of the French verification office, just like that of the German manufacturer of the ship.

    • What do executives do, anyway?

      An executive with 8,000 indirect reports and 2000 hours of work in a year can afford to spend, at most, 15 minutes per year per person in their reporting hierarchy... even if they work on nothing else. That job seems impossible. How can anyone make any important decision in a company that large? They will always be the least informed person in the room, no matter what the topic.

      If you know me, you know I've been asking myself this question for a long time.

      Luckily, someone sent me a link to a really great book, High Output Management, by Andy Grove (of Intel fame). Among many other things, it answers this key question! And insultingly, just to rub it in, it answered this question back in the 1980s.

      To paraphrase the book, the job of an executive is: to define and enforce culture and values for their whole organization, and to ratify good decisions.

      That's all.

    • Science

      • These YouTubers Have Hacked College Admissions

        Officials at YouTube say they’ve noticed the demonstrated interest in college admissions content. Each August, for example, the company sees an uptick in freshman advice videos. YouTube also recently partnered with Michelle Obama and the Princeton Review for two separate original series on higher education, according to a spokesperson. Katie Kurtz, director of learning content and partnerships at YouTube, told Teen Vogue that high school and college students are turning to the platform for a number of reasons.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • India doesn’t need women or doctors

        India doesn’t seem to be a country for doctors as well. In 2017, in BRD Hospital at Gorakpur 63 children died due to oxygen supply issues. For this, four doctors and couple of staff were held responsible for their deaths.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Tethered jailbreaks are back

        checkm8 exploits the Boot ROM to allow anyone with physical control of a phone to run arbitrary code. The Boot ROM, also called the Secure ROM, is the first code that executes when an iPhone is powered on and cannot be changed, because it’s “burned in” to the iPhone’s hardware. The Boot ROM initializes the system and eventually passes control to the kernel. It’s the root of trust for the trusted boot chain of iOS and verifies the integrity of the next stage of the boot process before passing execution control.

      • Open source tool for bug hunters searches for leaked secrets in GitHub commits

        Bug hunters and security researchers have been offered a new tool to search for sensitive material that’s inadvertently been published on code repository GitHub.

        Launched earlier this month, Shhgit finds secrets and sensitive files across the GitHub code base by listening to the GitHub Events API.

        Secrets such as passwords and connections strings end up being published on GitHub because users fail to sanitize app setting and config files within their code, among other security oversights.

        Finding secrets in GitHub is nothing new. Tools such as Gitrob, for example, allow red teamers to dig into commit history to find secret tokens from specific repositories, users, or organisations.

      • Sonatype builds automated malware prevention for open-source libraries
      • Sonatype Delivers First-of-Its-Kind Automated Malware Prevention For Open Source Libraries
      • The Dot Zero Conundrum and the New Frontier of Securing Open Source

        Over the past two years, I’ve spoken about more than 20 instances of adversaries intentionally publishing malicious components into public open source and container repositories. Adversaries used these attacks to mine cryptocurrency, steal private ssh keys, insert backdoors, and even deliver targeted patches to alter proprietary code. Open source projects impacted by the malicious injections have been difficult to detect because, on the surface, they look no different than other open source contributions. These bad actors leveraged the communal nature of open source to their advantage with devastating effect in some instances.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Syria Demands Withdrawal of All U.S., Turkish Forces

        Syria’s top diplomat on Saturday demanded the immediate withdrawal of American and Turkish forces from the country and said his government reserves the right to defend its territory in any way necessary if they remain.

      • A coalition of investigative journalists says ‘The New York Times’ is wrong about a Berlin murder, but the killer is still likely a Russian state assassin

        On September 26, The New York Times cited an anonymous email in a report claiming that former Chechen separatist commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili’s killer is likely an ex-cop from St. Petersburg named Vladimir Stepanov, a convicted murderer who was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Several Russian news outlets — The Insider, Fontanka, Interfax, and — as well as Bellingcat, have now challenged the allegations by The New York Times, stating that Stepanov is still incarcerated, and the man arrested in Berlin for killing Khangoshvili is someone else. The Insider and its partners have also published new information about the killer’s fake identity.

      • American History for Truthdiggers: A Once, Always and Future Empire

        Editor’s note: The past is prologue. The stories we tell about ourselves and our forebears inform the sort of country we think we are and help determine public policy. As our current president promises to “make America great again,” this moment is an appropriate time to reconsider our past, look back at various eras of United States history and re-evaluate America’s origins. When, exactly, were we “great”?

      • Judge accuses Catalan separatists of belonging to new terrorist group
      • The Yemen Project: Open Source Investigations and the Law of War

        Short of a public confession by a state to unlawful conduct, what does it take to prove a violation of the international law governing aerial bombardment? The Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen is now the subject of a major Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) investigation by Bellingcat, an investigative journalism organisation. The fruits of this investigation, released in a dedicated website, provide insight into bombing patterns. These bombings, alongside the blockade on the ports of Aden and Al-Hudaydah and ground operations, have often caused grave harm to civilians, including the destruction of essential civilian infrastructure and specially protected objects. They also raise serious questions about compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL), as recently highlighted in the September 3 Report of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen (Group of Experts), released by the UN Human Rights Council, which found an array of violations by all parties to the conflict in Yemen.

    • Environment

      • Greta Thunberg leads 500,000 people at Montreal climate rally

        Thunberg said: "My message to all the politicians around the world is the same. Just listen and act on the current best available science."

      • Air pollution linked to increased risk of infant death & reduced lung function in children

        The study shows that three air pollutants - particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) - separately and together are associated with a 20-50% increased risk of death for babies born in the most polluted areas when compared with those born in the least polluted areas.

      • Air pollution linked to an increased risk of death in babies

        Professor Jørgen Vestbo, chair of the European Respiratory Society’s Advocacy Council and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Manchester, UK, said: ‘Air pollution affects 100% of the population as it cannot be avoided, and these studies highlight the harmful effects that are linked to being exposed to dirty air from the very beginning of our lives.’

      • Greta Thunberg's Digital Rise Calls Back to a Pre-Digital Era

        To youth activism experts, 2019 looks a lot like the 1960s: young people trying to get the government to pay attention to issues they'd rather ignore, whether it's the Jim Crow culture of violence or rapidly rising sea levels. "What's interesting about now, and the '60s, is that they're coming with policy goals and engaging with elected officials," says Ellen Middaugh, who researches digital media and youth civic engagement at UC Riverside's Civic Engagement Research Group. "In the '90s, it was always about opting out of electoral politics, and participating in high-profile boycotts of Nike or the World Trade Organization." Not so coincidentally, the 1960s and now are united by a sudden, widespread access to information. Activism in the 1960s, some argue, was defined by the photograph, like John Paul Filo's image from the Kent State Shootings. The unit of activism today is probably the tweet.

      • Plastic tea bags shed billions of microplastic particles into the cup

        Tufenkji’s team bought four different tea bags from shops and cafés in Montreal, cut them open and washed them, steeped them in 95€°C water and analysed the water with electron microscopes and spectroscopy. A control of uncut tea bags was used to check it wasn’t the cutting that was causing the leaching of microplastics.

      • Could Climate Change Fuel the Rise of Right-wing Nationalism?

        One has been the escalating effects of climate change, which were the focus of the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit. Forest fires, floods and hurricanes are all rising in their frequency and severity. Eight of the last 10 years have been the warmest on record. Marine biologists warned that coral reefs in the U.S. could disappear entirely by the 2040s.

    • Finance

      • The Hedge Fund Billionaire’s Guide to Buying Your Kids a Better Shot at Not Just One Elite College, but Lots of Them

        The unhappy heroine of “The Mistakes Madeline Made,” which premiered Off Broadway in 2006, hates working as one of 15 personal assistants to a financier and his family. The patriarch, she observes, “runs his home the way he runs his hedge fund — using a model to protect his family against the possibility of loss or waste or even just the unexpected.” His “Household System” demands perfection: Even the hunt for a duplicate pair of New Balance sneakers is to be executed with the logistical finesse of a Navy SEAL strike.

        The play was written by Elizabeth Meriwether, who would go on to create the sitcom “New Girl” for Fox. Her fictionalized account of her brief stint working for the Wall Street billionaire David E. Shaw never reached a wide audience, but the script became samizdat among the harried members of Shaw staff — as the family’s highly compensated, Ivy-educated, hierarchical cadre is known. Her disgruntled protagonist’s job making sure “nothing bad can ever happen to this family” has felt familiar to some of Meriwether’s successors.

      • Vitalik Buterin Highlights Grants for Open Source Projects

        Thanks to the initiative, almost 90 projects, focusing on blockchain aspects as diverse as scalability, security, UI/UX, DeFi, and education are inline for a financial injection.

        Having distributed over half a million dollars to date, Gitcoin Grants with support from Ethereum and ConsenSys in correlation with individual donations, are now using a quadratic funding mechanism to distribute funds of $100,000 to coders with a community-valued open source repository.

      • Zurich-Based Shift Cryptosecurity Launches Second Generation Swiss Made Open Source BitBox02 Hardware Wallets

        Shift Cryptosecurity equip their customers to secure their cryptocurrencies by combining the authentication capabilities of applied cryptography with the physical security of offline hardware devices. Today, they announce the launch of their fully redesigned hardware wallets, the BitBox02 and the BitBox02 Bitcoin only edition.

        Manufactured in Switzerland, the BitBox02 enables users to independently generate and securely store their private keys to access and transact their crypto assets. BitBox02 natively supports Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens. It can also be used as a second factor authenticator (FIDO compliant U2F) to secure accounts on a wide range of websites. The Bitcoin only edition has Bitcoin dedicated firmware and update mechanism to further reduce its attack surface.

      • Best Cryptocurrency To Invest In: 20 Top Cryptocurrency List for You

        Cryptocurrency refers to the digital currency that belongs to an ever-expanding industry. The word crypto in cryptocurrency indicates the sophisticated techniques of cryptology. Cryptography ensures the security of online transactions and generates tokens or coins for taking crypto industry one step further. Although cryptocurrency started its journey with the arrival of bitcoin, now there are many coins available out there. But all the crypto share a prevailing ideology that is to decentralize the distribution network while maintaining high-security protocol regulated by the cutting edge technologies remains the top priority.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Impeachment Firestorm Scorches William Barr

        As Washington plunges into impeachment, Attorney General William Barr finds himself engulfed in the political firestorm, facing questions about his role in President Donald Trump’s outreach to Ukraine and the administration’s attempts to keep a whistleblower complaint from Congress.

      • Revenge of the Intelligence Nerds

        The key was its simplicity: By channeling the details of Trump’s misconduct into a formal complaint and then feeding it into the intelligence community’s system, the whistle-blower has thrown a wrench into Trump’s heretofore insurmountable deflect-by-chaos machine. As the scandal escalates, Trump and his White House seem to be in increasing disarray. He released a damaging reconstructed transcript of his July 25 call with Ukraine’s president, which left even some of his Republican allies scratching their heads. He threatened the whistle-blower’s sources in front of a room full of U.S. diplomatic staff. His communications team mistakenly emailed a strategy memo to Democratic lawmakers, then tried to recall the message. His personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is also implicated in the scandal, has tried to drag the State Department down with him, while also embarking on confusing rants in conversations with reporters.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Facebook, WhatsApp Will Have to Share Messages With U.K. Police

        The accord, which is set to be signed by next month, will compel social media firms to share information to support investigations into individuals suspected of serious criminal offenses including terrorism and pedophilia, the person said.

      • No, Alexa won't stop recording you

        Either way, the recordings will continue. "There will be a point in the future, I'm sure of..." says Limp, "we don't have to annotate the data, that we'll need less. And when that time comes, we will keep less. And give customers more options, I think, even than we do today."

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘My guard was down’: Hong Kong pro-independence leader Andy Chan attacked in street by masked men

        Hong Kong activist Andy Chan said he was attacked by three or four men on Friday when he was walking to a court hearing.

        Chan, the co-founder of the banned pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, was charged with unlawful assembly and assaulting a police officer at a protest in Sheung Shui on July 13. A hearing for his case was scheduled on Friday afternoon at the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts.

      • Mississippi City Argued Cops Who Shot Undocumented Immigrant Couldn’t Have Violated Constitution

        Southhaven filed a brief in support of its motion to dismiss the case against it, arguing that Ismael Lopez had no constitutional rights on which to base the lawsuit. While an American citizen might have had a legal right not to be killed by police, Ismael Lopez –an immigrant here unlawfully– simply didn’t.

        Yes, the city actually said this. Here’s an excerpt from the brief: [...]

      • Southaven argues Constitution doesn't protect immigrant killed by police

        Ismael Lopez was shot and killed by Southaven police officers one night in the summer of 2017 at his own home, and an investigation later showed that during a search for a suspect, officers had gone to the wrong home.

      • Nigeria frees more than 300 ‘abused’ students from Islamic School

        Police in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna have rescued more than 300 male students, most of them children and some of them in chains, from an Islamic school where many had been tortured and sexually abused, a police spokesman said Friday.

      • Nigeria: Police free chained, abused children from Islamic school

        Police had been alerted by complaints from local residents. Sabo said seven people had been arrested, including the school's proprietor and six teachers.

        He also said officials had found a "torture chamber" where children had been chained, hung and beaten.

        Nigerian media quoted one of the students, Bello Hamza, who said he had spent three months in the school with "chains on my legs."

    • Monopolies

      • Pope Francis warns against deepfakes and tech ‘barbarism’

        Pope Francis urged Silicon Valley giants on Friday to make sure technological advances such as artificial intelligence do not lead to a new “form of barbarism” where the law of the strongest prevails over the common good.

      • Digital barbarism? Vatican summit highlights dangers in tech revolution

        "If mankind's so-called technological progress were to become an enemy of the common good, this would lead to an unfortunate regression, to a form of barbarism dictated by the law of the strongest," the pope said Sept. 27 at a meeting with participants at the Vatican-sponsored conference, "The Common Good in the Digital Age."

        The pope urged the assembly -- comprised of Silicon Valley CEOs, a Facebook lawyer and specialists in robotics, cybersecurity and cyberwarfare, as well as moral theologians -- to find a unifying ethical framework to guide tech entrepreneurs, inventors and venture capitalists in an increasingly diverse, globalized world.

      • Vatican summit highlights dangers in tech revolution [iophk: the solution is to redecentralize, but that goal is hard to reach given the political disincentives against it]

        With the [Internet], "it is possible, as never before, to circulate tendentious opinions and false data that could poison public debates" to the point of "endangering the very institutions that guarantee peaceful coexistence," the pope warned.

        Cautionary notes also were struck by conference speakers Sept. 26 at the inaugural session of the three-day seminar.

        "Many of us would have hoped that digitalization, easing communication and shortening the distance between people would have created an easier environment for discussion and for dialogue," Bishop Paul Tighe, adjunct secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, told the gathering.

        Instead, Bishop Tighe said, advances in digital communication technologies have increased social and economic inequalities, polarized politics and altered human culture in profound ways.

        But one positive trend is that the business leaders and scientists at the vanguard of the digital revolution are beginning to recognize the ethical implications of their work, Bishop Tighe said.

      • U.S. Justice Department to open Facebook antitrust investigation: source

        The U.S. Justice Department will open an antitrust investigation of Facebook Inc (FB.O), a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, marking the fourth recent antitrust probe of the social media company.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Qualcomm makes "more equal than others"-like argument in Ninth Circuit appeal of Judge Koh's summary judgment on chipset licensing of SEPs

          Qualcomm's procedural objective is for the November 2018 summary judgment to be vacated. In that case, the district court would have to consider all sorts of evidence Qualcomm would like to present. I'm sure that in the hypothetical event of a remand for this purpose, Qualcomm would again appeal any finding in the FTC's favor, but for now, Qualcomm firstly wants a second bite at the apple--possibly also hoping to just settle the case with the FTC in that scenario.

          I don't recall whether this was Qualcomm or one of its allies, but someone had even made a jurisdiction-related argument in recent months, according to which the FTC's summary judgment motion on a matter of contract interpretation was out of place in an antitrust case. Qualcomm's Ninth Circuit opening brief doesn't say that, however.

          Qualcomm does not--as it could not--argue that the language of those ATIS and TIA FRAND declarations unambiguously rules out chipset-level licensing. Instead, the common denominator of Qualcomm's attack vectors against the summary judgment decision is that there was extrinsic evidence that the district court allegedly failed to consider. Such evidence would be partly technical (related to whether or not a baseband chip practices and implements a cellular standard), partly related to other SEP policies (ETSI--which would raise questions under French law--and ANSI) that Qualcomm says the ATIS and TIA FRAND declarations must be compatible with, and partly about industry practice and, closely related to that one, the industry's understanding of SEP licensing obligations.

          Qualcomm engages in hair-splitting when it says, after conceding "that some modem chips infringe some Qualcomm SEPs," that "infringement of a patent does not determine what 'implements' or 'practices' an ATIS or TIA standard," which Qualcomm argues are two "legally and factually distinct" questions. However, the definition of a SEP is that it's inevitably infringed by implementing the relevant standard. Theoretically, one can also infringe a SEP without practicing or implementing any standard it's been declared essential to--but the reason those modem chips do infringe is because they do just that.

        • Irreparable harm discussion awakens from its slumber in Switzerland

          In most legal systems, preliminary injunctions in patent matters require the applicant to show that he would suffer an irreparable disadvantage without the approval of the requested preliminary injunction.

          In the different legal systems, there are different standards and requirements for the proof of irreparable harm.

          While some jurisdictions require a completely irreparable disadvantage, others content themselves with a disadvantage that cannot easily be rectified even in the case of a verdict that backs the defendant’s position in ordinary proceedings on the merits or in appeal proceedings.

          Furthermore, in some jurisdictions, irreparable harm must only be proven if an injunction is to be issued without hearing the other party (ex-parte measures), but not in adversarial inter partes proceedings.

          Some jurisdictions examine the irreparable harm in the framework of the balance of (in-)convenience test.

      • Trademarks

        • Beijing IP Court: Moutai is excellent, but not exclusively so

          Kweichow Moutai (or Guizhou Maotai) is probably the most famous liquor in China. As early as 1915, it was awarded a silver medal in the Panama Expo, and it is frequently served at diplomatic and other important national occasions. Many consider Kweichow Moutai the national liquor of China. So does Kweichow Moutai itself.


          In 2001, KMCL began filing trade mark applications for ‘national liquor Moutai’ in class 33 for products of alcoholic beverages. However, most of those did not survive preliminary examination. In 2012, four applications for ‘national liquor Moutai’ (in Chinese, application numbers 8377491, 8377533, 8377511 and 8377467) did successfully pass the initial stage but faced 95 oppositions, the majority of which filed by the company’s own competitors.

          These four temporary victories came as a surprise: according to ‘The Examination and Trial Standards for the Trade Marks containing “China” or starting with “National”’ (full text available here, in Chinese, Google translatable) issued in 2010 by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (now the State Administration for Market Regulation), applications containing these words would be rejected due to deceptive and exaggerated advertising, lack of distinctiveness, or adverse effects.

          In December 2016, the Trade Mark Office rejected the four applications, and no further details were made available. Eventually, on 13 August 2018, a statement appeared on KMLC’s official website stating it ‘sincerely apologise[s] to the Trade Mark Office and all relevant stakeholders’. The company also stopped using ‘the national liquor Moutai’.

      • Copyrights

        • U.S. Navy Fights Off Mass Software Piracy Lawsuit

          The United States has successfully defended itself against a mass copyright infringement lawsuit filed by German software company Bitmanagement. After more than three years, the US Court of Federal Claims has concluded that the US Navy indeed copied Bitmanagement's software on hundreds-of-thousands of computers, but that it was authorized to do so.

        • Travis McCrea's Answer to Piracy Lawsuit Cites DMCA & Religious Defenses

          In an answer to the copyright complaint filed in March by author John Van Stry, operator Travis McCrea stands by his earlier claim that he's protected by the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. However, the former Pirate Party leader also states that any failure to address infringement on the site, to the extent any existed, occurred when he tried to balance "religious beliefs" against "societal laws".

        • Access to Information Is Not Universal: Here’s Why That Matters

          You may be wondering why this day is necessary—particularly in 2019, when the average person is inundated with an estimated 34 gigabytes of information every day, from emails and text messages to Youtube videos and news programs. In fact, it’s easy to take information for granted. However, access to public information, in particular, is not universal.

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