04.21.16

Links 21/4/2016: Yvelines School on FOSS, Android N Developer Preview on Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • This open source tool from MIT Data Lab will change how you see big data

    In the early days of big data, “everyone scrambled to collect and store as much data as they could,” said Datawheel co-founder Dave Landry. “In most cases, they didn’t develop the tools needed to better understand that data. That’s the challenge we are trying to tackle.”

    The rise of the mobile web, IoT, and APIs and modern databases paved the way for big data innovations. Everything in the world can be quantified, and those who scraped and logged early often benefitted from first-mover advantage. By making information easier to access and visualize, Landry said, big data can help businesses make faster and more intelligent decisions.

  • Allura Joins Numerous Projects Advancing at Apache

    The Apache Software Foundation, which incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. The organization has recently elevated a number of incubated projects o Top-Level Status, which helps them get both advanced stewardship and certainly far more contributions.

  • DHS Claims Open Source Software Is Like Giving The Mafia A Copy Of FBI Code; Hastily Walks Back Statement

    Late last week, the DHS’s Chief Information Officer Luke McCormack (or someone from his office) posted comments to GitHub arguing against the proposed policy of making 20% of its code (whatever that means) open source in the interest of better sharing between agencies. The rationale is that shared code could save tax dollars by preventing paying developers to perform redundant work. The DHS felt strongly about this and said as much using an Excel-based parade of horrors.

  • Pieter Hintjens: A Living Obituary

    I first came across Pieter Hintjens 20 years ago, in 1996. He posted to a UseNet group I followed (comp.lang.perl.announce; later announcement), about a tool he had created — Libero — which could translate state machine descriptions into runnable code, in multiple languages.

    Libero caught my attention because I was in the middle of finishing a Computer Science degree with a focus on computational theory. So I built it for OS/2, which I was using at the time, and sent Pieter email. He responded by asking if I would be interested in porting SFL, the iMatix Standard Function Library, to OS/2. By the end of 1996 and the turn of 1997 we were exchanging emails about porting SFL to OS/2.

  • Forking impressive, devs go nuts for Hazelcast

    Operational in-memory computing company Hazelcast — known for its open source In-Memory Data Grid (IMDG) — has shared its community growth numbers from the Github repository.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromium Bug Tracker Now Open Source

        Chromium is Google’s open source browser, which shares much of its core browser code with Chrome, Google’s proprietary product. Now Monorail, the Chromium bug tracker, has been made open source.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • How to become an advanced contributor to OpenStack

      At the OpenStack Summit taking place this month in Austin, Texas, Ildikó aims to do just that. In her talk, How to Become an Advanced Contributor, she will guide attendees through the steps of navigating the community, including some of the principles, best practices and unwritten rules of contributing to OpenStack.

      We caught up with Ildikó before her talk to learn a little bit more about some of the barriers to becoming an effective contributor and how to overcome them.

  • Databases

  • Education

    • Yvelines school completes switch to free software

      The primary school in Saint Léger en Yvelines (France) has nearly completely switched to using free software, reports the village’s deputy mayor Olivier Guillard. “Do not underestimate the task”, he advises others on the forum of Etalab, France’s open government portal, “and most of all, persist.”

    • Free The Schools!

      They still keep a few machines with TOOS for compatibility and whiteboards. My advice? Stick with projectors and Gromit and the latest version of LibreOffice. I would use Debian rather than Mint. Further, to reduce the capital costs and maintenance, use ARMed thin clients and a GNU/Linux terminal server.

  • Healthcare

    • Flexibase, the platform behind Code4Health, goes open source

      Flexibase, the building blocks behind NHS’s Code4Health programme, is now publicly available under the Open Source license, it was announced on Thursday morning.

      It can be downloaded via Github, the public code repository, and will also soon be available on Docker hub.

  • Funding

    • Sysdig raises $15M for its open-source Docker monitoring tool

      Since Docker is still relatively new to the enterprise, adopters have fewer monitoring tools to choose from than an organization using traditional virtualization software. But the gap is closing rapidly thanks to providers like Sysdig Inc., which today announced the completion of a $15 million funding round led by Accel Partners and Bain Capital Ventures.

  • BSD

    • BSD at LinuxFest Northwest

      This weekend, the Grand Old Man (or Woman — take your pick) of Linux expos in North America takes place in the upper left corner of the United States.

      For over a decade and a half, LinuxFest Northwest has flown the flag literally in Microsoft’s backyard, an annual open source event held the last weekend in April in Bellingham, Wash. LFNW features presentations and exhibits on various free and open source topics, as well as Linux distributions and applications. It usually has something for everyone from the novice to the professional.

      It has a special place in my heart as well. While I think that SCALE is the best show on the continent for obvious reasons (the SCALE Publicity Team is solely responsible, he says in jest), LFNW is my favorite show to attend, not only because of the history but because of the community vibe the show gives off at an expo that has refused to give in to the creeping corporatism to which other shows have succumbed.

  • Public Services/Government

    • The US Government and Open-Source Software

      As part of the “Second Open Government National Action Plan”, the federal government is planning to share the source code behind many of its software projects.

      To begin with, the plans call for federal agencies to share code with each other. This will help reduce development costs when government departments each work on the same functionality independently. Solving the same problem twice (or more often) is expensive and a waste of taxpayer’s money.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • ‘Follow My Vote’ Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Revolutionizing Open-source Blockchain Voting Software
    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Acer Joins Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) Platform

        Back in January, gaming peripheral and PC company Razer made a splash by announcing the birth of the Open Source Virtual Reality initiative, OSVR for short, at CES. The initiative, set to include a virtual reality peripheral as the hardware development kit, will boast compatibility with most existing computer systems rather than making users meet the beefy requirements of the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. The framework is, of course, open-source and can be used by any developer. Partners that sign on early, however, will play a key part in shaping the platform and helping it find its place in the mainstream VR space in the near future. According to a press release from Razer regarding OSVR, the system currently has over 350 partners, of whom the newest is computer and smartphone manufacturer Acer.

      • Acer puts its bets on open-source VR, touts support for Razer’s OSVR in latest gaming PCs

        On Thursday morning, Acer held its 2016 Global Press Conference in New York City, revealing a number of new products that should get your mouth watering. One of the announcements made during the event is that Acer plans to use technology in devices and computers that support the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) platform. The latter solutions will actually be packed with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980 and Titan graphics processors, making them compatible with today’s VR products on the market.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • A civil military: the global future

    A new class of naval vessels customised for emergency aid could hold vital lessons for the world, starting with Britain.

  • Science

    • Almost Nothing About the ‘Apple Harvests Gold From iPhones’ Story Is True

      You may have seen a viral headline floating around over the last few days: Apple recycled $40 million worth of gold last year, which was extracted from iPhones. Almost none of what was reported is true.

      The story was everywhere, from major mainstream outlets like CNN, Fox News, and Huffington Post to tech-focused and normally very good sites such as MacRumors, Gizmodo, Quartz, and The Verge. I’ve never come across a story that has been so uniformly misreported—hundreds of outlets covered Apple’s “Environmental Responsibility Report,” and not one article I read came remotely close to getting the story right.

    • The Dark Ages Were Caused By Two Enormous Volcanic Eruptions

      In 536 CE, the Byzantine historian Procopius wrote of a thick fog that suffocated the sun and plunged all of the Mediterranean into a year of cold and darkness. The phenomenon would signal the start of one of the greatest disease pandemics in history: the Plague of Justinian. In a single year, the outbreak killed an estimated 25 million citizens of the empire. It would be another two centuries until the plague finally succumbed, but by then, 50 million people had died in its wake.

      “And it came about during this year that a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during this whole year, and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear nor such as it is accustomed to shed,” wrote Procopius. “And from the time when this thing happened men were free neither from war nor pestilence nor any other thing leading to death. And it was the time when Justinian was in the tenth year of his reign.”

    • A tool to help you find your next STEM role model

      STEMM Role Models is a website that helps connect event organizers with presenters from underrepresented groups. Diversity is important to me, so the project caught my eye.

      I reached out to project lead Kirstie Whitaker, a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Cambridge, to learn more. She graciously agreed to an interview, and what follows is a fascinating look at the STEMM Role Models project and its implications for open science, open source, and the future of humanity.

    • Trampling Science to Boost Nuclear Power

      When the Washington Post and New York Times are making the same corporate-friendly point, it’s safe to assume that some PR agency somewhere is earning its substantial fees.

      In this case, the subject is the need for nuclear power—and, for the Post editorial board (4/18/16), for fracking as well. Standing in the way of this in the Post’s version is favorite target Bernie Sanders, while the Times business columnist Eduardo Porter (4/19/16) blames the “scientific phobias and taboos” of “progressive environmentalists.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Thousands of Americans Are Hungry Because of Post-Prison Release Laws

      Food stamps are for hungry people, which we should not have in America. There are of course cheaters, just like there are wealthy people who cheat on their taxes. The tax cheats won’t starve to death, or see their children go hungry, but released drug felons in many states will.

      It used to be that when you served your time for a crime, your “debt to society” was considered paid, and you were ready to re-enter society. But for many released drug felons, the punishment continues long after they leave jail.

    • The Death Gap

      But here’s what we haven’t known: The life-expectancy gap between rich and poor in the United States is actually accelerating.

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • libressl – more vague promises

      There hasn’t been a lot of noise coming out of the LibreSSL camp recently. Mostly there’s not much to report, so any talks or presentations will recover a lot of the same material. But it’s an election year, and in that spirit, we can look back at some promises previously made and hopefully make a few new ones.

    • My OpenWrt Tor configuration

      In my previous article I shared my thoughts on running Tor on the router. I described an ideal Tor router configuration and argued that having Tor on the router benefits both security and usability.

      This article is about that ideal Tor router configuration. How did I configure my router, and why did I choose the configuration? The interesting part is that it really is “just configuration”. No programming involved. Even more interesting, it’s easy too!

  • Defence/Aggression

    • UK Killing Civilians for Oil Again in the King Salman Canal Project

      The UK government insists on continuing the massive supply – £2.8 billion since the start of the attack – of high tech weapons for Saudi Arabia to use against civilians in Yemen, despite opposition from the EU Parliament and every major human rights group. Furthermore UK special forces are operating inside Yemen in support of the onslaught. Thousands of civilians have died as a result, including many children.

      Given this is not exactly popular in the UK, and that after the law takes its tortuous course there will very probably be embarrassment for the government down the line, the prize which Cameron perceives must be great. Of course, western elite support for the appalling Saudi regime is a given, because Saudi cash pumps primarily into banking, armaments and high end property, the three areas most dear to the interests of the 1%.

    • Italian student’s killing pulls Egyptian family into web of deaths, dead ends

      It was still dark when Rasha Tarek saw her husband Salah for the last time.
      Salah woke up at dawn on March 24 to go to an affluent neighborhood of the Egyptian capital for a painting job, his wife told CNN.
      He was due to travel to Upper Egypt after that.
      But Tarek suspected that her husband was being unfaithful to her, so she sent her brother, father and a family friend to tag along.
      She spoke with her husband while he and the others were en route to their destination. But by 8 a.m. he stopped answering her calls. She tried the others but was unsuccessful in reaching them.

      It took almost an hour before someone answered her husband’s phone.

    • A New Anti-Assad Propaganda Offensive

      Now that Syria’s “cessation of hostilities” appears to be crumbling and rebel forces are gearing up for a fresh offensive, the mighty U.S. propaganda machine is once again up and running.

      A case in point is “The Assad Files,” an 11,000-word article in last week’s New Yorker that is as willfully misrepresentative as anything published about Syria in the last five years or so, which is saying a great deal.

    • Hillary Clinton Really Loves Military Intervention

      If anything worries me about Hillary Clinton, this is it. It’s not so much that she’s more hawkish than me, it’s the fact that events of the past 15 years don’t seem to have affected her views at all. How is that possible? And yet, our failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere apparently haven’t given her the slightest pause about the effectiveness of military force in the Middle East. Quite the opposite: the sense I get from Landler’s piece is that she continues to think all of these engagements would have turned out better if only we’d used more military power. I find it hard to understand how an intelligent, well-briefed person could continue to believe this, and that in turn makes me wonder just exactly what motivates Hillary’s worldview.

    • Clinton And Sanders Speak Differently On Palestine, Think Differently On Syria

      The same cannot be said, however, of the candidates’ policies on Syria. During the debate, Clinton spoke of her recommendation to the Obama administration to set up a safe zone in Syria. Sanders countered by recalling the ghosts of Iraq and Libya, where he said regime change has not improved conditions on the ground.

    • Hillary Clinton “goysplains” to Bernie Sanders in Passover article, accusing him of betraying his people by criticizing Israel

      With hawkish right-wing rhetoric, Clinton steadfastly defended the Israeli government. She conflated the Jewish religion with the state of Israel and condemned critics of the government as anti-Semitic.

    • Clinton Campaign Hints at Potential Woman Running Mate, Fueling Clinton/Warren Speculation

      A top official in the Hillary Clinton campaign has said that the shortlist of potential running mates for Clinton, should she secure the nomination, includes a woman, according to the Boston Globe. Naturally, this has fueled speculation about a possible Hillary Cinton/Elizabeth Warren ticket.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • What is Earth Day 2016? Everything you need to know about the environmental event

      With just two days to go until Earth Day 2016, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about the planet we live on – and how to save it.

      Every year, more than one billion people across the world mark the event by showing support for environmental protection.

      Festivals, rallies and outdoor events are held in nearly 200 countries – often, with the support of A-list celebrities and political leaders.

      But why do we celebrate Earth Day? And how is it observed by people globally?

    • EU dropped climate policies after BP threat of oil industry ‘exodus’

      The EU abandoned or weakened key proposals for new environmental protections after receiving a letter from a top BP executive which warned of an exodus of the oil industry from Europe if the proposals went ahead.

      In the 10-page letter, the company predicted in 2013 that a mass industry flight would result if laws to regulate tar sands, cut power plant pollution and accelerate the uptake of renewable energy were passed, because of the extra costs and red tape they allegedly entailed.

      The measures “threaten to drive energy-intensive industries, such as refining and petrochemicals, to relocate outside the EU with a correspondingly detrimental impact on security of supply, jobs [and] growth,” said the letter, which was obtained by the Guardian under access to documents laws.

    • Climate: Africa’s Human Existence Is at Severe Risk

      “Africa’s human existence and development is under threat from the adverse impacts of climate change – its population, ecosystems and unique biodiversity will all be the major victims of global climate change.”

      This is how clear the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is when it comes to assessing the negative impact of climate change on this continent of 54 countries with a combined population of over 1,200 billion [1.2 billion] inhabitants. “No continent will be struck as severely by the impacts of climate change as Africa.”

      Other international organisations are similarly trenchant. For instance, the World Bank, basing on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, confirms that Africa is becoming the most exposed region in the world to the impacts of climate change.

    • Volkswagen, U.S. Reach Deal in ‘Dieselgate’ Scandal

      CBS News adds that VW potentially avoids a trial thanks to this agreement, and that Breyer has set June 21 as the deadline for additional details to be worked out.

      But it may still be too early for environmental advocates to break out the champagne. “[I]t’s worth noting that further delay means that these polluting cars remain on the road—emitting up to 40 times the allowable level of pollution—for even longer,” said Mike Litt, consumer program advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, which launched a “Make VW Pay” campaign following the Dieselgate scandal.

  • Finance

    • Latest Version Of Anti-TPP, RCEP, Shows That Its Intellectual Property Provisions Are Even Worse

      Last summer, we wrote a bit about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade agreement that is being worked on by a bunch of Asian countries, and which is often described as an “anti-TPP” or, at the very least, a competitor to the TPP. It’s being driven by China and India — two countries who were not in the TPP process. Given how concerned we were with the TPP, we had hoped, at the very least, that RCEP would be better on things like intellectual property. Unfortunately, some early leaks suggested it was even worse. And while the TPP is still grinding through the ratification process in various countries, RCEP has continued to move forward, and the bad ideas have stuck around.

    • We Can’t Save the Economy Unless We Fix Our Debt Addiction

      Our economy has increasingly been financialized, and the result is a sluggish economy and stagnant wages. We need to decide whether to stop the cycle and save the economy at large, or to stay in thrall to our banks and bondholders by leaving the debt hangover from 2008 intact. Without a debt writedown the economy will continue to languish in debt deflation, and continue to polarize between creditors and debtors. This debt dynamic is in fact themajor explanation for why the U.S. and European economies are polarizing, not converging.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Enough with the Hillary cult: Her admirers ignore reality, dream of worshipping a queen

      What is it with the Hillary cult?

      As a lifelong Democrat who will be enthusiastically voting for Bernie Sanders in next week’s Pennsylvania primary, I have trouble understanding the fuzzy rosy filter through which Hillary fans see their champion. So much must be overlooked or discounted—from Hillary’s compulsive money-lust and her brazen indifference to normal rules to her conspiratorial use of shadowy surrogates and her sociopathic shape-shifting in policy positions for momentary expedience.

      Hillary’s breathtaking lack of concrete achievements or even minimal initiatives over her long public career doesn’t faze her admirers a whit. They have a religious conviction of her essential goodness and blame her blank track record on diabolical sexist obstructionists. When at last week’s debate Hillary crassly blamed President Obama for the disastrous Libyan incursion that she had pushed him into, her acolytes hardly noticed. They don’t give a damn about international affairs—all that matters is transgender bathrooms and instant access to abortion.

    • Female Hackers Still Face Harassment at Conferences

      Security and hacking conferences provide platforms for cutting edge research into computer vulnerabilities, exploitable systems, and new defensive measures. These often vast events also let researchers and hackers rub shoulders with their friends and peers, network, and blow off steam.

      But a lingering problem remains for some women at a number of conferences: harassment and prejudice.

      In a recent example, women were targeted at an after-party of internet and human rights conference Rightscon, which took place between March 30 and April 1 in San Francisco.

    • Why aren’t more women in the pot business?

      As thousands of people light up to celebrate 420 on Wednesday, entrepreneur Jazmin Hupp will celebrate something else — a business milestone.

      Three years ago, at a 420 celebration in Colorado, Hupp decided to leave the tech industry to follow her passion and become a cannabis entrepreneur. Hailing from Ashland, Ore., Hupp is the daughter of a jazz musician and an artist (“hippies,” she said) and grew up in a “cannabis-friendly” environment. To rebel, Hupp decided to move to New York and pursue business opportunities.

      “Because I wanted to reject what my parents wanted for me, I became an entrepreneur, I became business-focused, I wanted to get those six figures,” she said.

    • First non-Muslim lashed for breaking Sharia law in Indonesian province

      For her crime, violating the tenets of a faith she does not observe, the courts offered two punishments.

      Option one: time in a grim jailhouse. Option two: nearly 30 lashes with a cane wielded by a anonymous man, hooded and clad in black robes, as her neighbors watched.

      She chose the latter.

      Such was the fate of Remita Sinaga, 60, a rare Christian living in Aceh, one of the most stridently Islamic corners of Asia. Her crime: selling bottles of booze on the sly, an illicit act under Aceh’s increasingly hardline enforcement of Sharia, or Islamic law.

    • Of Course Congress Is Clueless About Tech—It Killed Its Tutor

      When the draft version of a federal encryption bill got leaked this month, the verdict in the tech community was unanimous. Critics called it ludicrous and technically illiterate—and these were the kinder assessments of the “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016,” proposed legislation authored by the offices of Senators Diane Feinstein and Richard Burr.

      The encryption issue is complex and the stakes are high, as evidenced by the recent battle between Apple and the FBI. Many other technology issues that the country is grappling with these days are just as complex, controversial, and critical—witness the debates over law enforcement’s use of stingrays to track mobile phones or the growing concerns around drones, self-driving cars, and 3-D printing. Yet decisions about these technical issues are being handled by luddite lawmakers who sometimes boast about not owning a cell phone or never having sent an email.

    • Bernie Sanders Is Not Going to Be President of the United States—He Should Keep Running Anyway
    • Do You Think the New York Election Controversy Was Intentional?

      One day before the New York presidential primary, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the state’s Board of Elections.

      Hundreds of New Yorkers signed onto the lawsuit, alleging that their party preferences were changed without their knowledge.

      Then on Tuesday, the day of the primary, numerous reports surfaced about “broken machines and belated polling” throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

    • These Guys Are Total F**k-Ups: More Proof That the Most Powerful Republicans in America Are Nothing but Hype

      The media has continued its bizarre insistence that the GOP primary has been settled after the completely expected Donald Trump rout in New York on Tuesday,and are seemingly convinced this non-existent reset had something to do with the Trump makeover that is likewise non-existent.

    • The Democracy Movement Is Here To Stay

      SuperPACs and billionaires are bankrolling our elections, and as a result, most Americans have virtually no influence in our political system—a damning state of affairs for the world’s oldest surviving democracy.

    • An Election Stuck in the Mud

      The decline in the level of discourse in this year’s election cycle has been a disgrace, with Democrats behaving better than Republicans — one egregious GOP candidate, of course, in particular. But even supporters of the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have stooped to disingenuous arguments, gratuitous sniping and ad hominem attacks. The trolls and zealots have been out in force with their name-calling and sometimes threats of physical violence and none of it’s helping anyone.

    • No Justice at Guantánamo

      In January 2002, President George W. Bush opened the Guantánamo Bay Detention facility. It was to hold, in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s phrase, the “worst of the worst” in the War on Terror. Over time, its population rose to nearly 800 prisoners from 44 countries, some captured in Afghanistan, some traded for bounty payments by vindictive neighbors or hostile tribesmen, and some seized by CIA operatives in countries far from Taliban territory. The prison then held more al-Qaeda and Taliban followers than leaders, but many prisoners were neither: they had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Recognizing this, within a few years the Bush administration sent more than 500 of the detainees back to their countries of origin or to other countries willing to accept them.

    • U.S. Denies Entry To Syrian Aid Worker Who Came To Receive Humanitarian Award

      One might think that need not apply, however, to Raed Saleh, the head of Syria’s Civil Defense Units, a USAID-funded project also known as the White Helmets. After flying from Istanbul to Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the 33-year-old Saleh was told his visa was canceled. He was scheduled to receive a humanitarian award from InterAction, a D.C.-based NGO.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • IP Should Serve More Actors In New Ways, Keynote Speaker At WIPO Says

      The much-advertised World Intellectual Property Organization conference on the digital content market kicked off this morning with a speaker calling for the broadening of intellectual property rights income as a way forward for a sustainable economic ecosystem and reducing inequalities. The WIPO director general meanwhile said digital technology has brought new possibilities and reduced prices but also carries its load of regulatory challenges.

    • Copyrights

      • Techdirt Reading List: Moral Panics And The Copyright Wars

        Congress appears to be gearing up to really look at copyright reform again, and so it probably shouldn’t be a huge surprise that we’re starting to see a ramp up of crazy hyperbole about how horrible infringing is, how it’s destroying millions of jobs and billions in revenue. These claims seem to get even more ridiculous whenever legislation is on the line. I may do a post about some of the more recent whining about all of this, but for this week’s reading list post, I thought it might be good to point people to Bill Patry’s excellent Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars. Patry has been involved in the copyright world for decades, working on copyright issues in Congress and with the Copyright Office — and also in private practice as a lawyer. He’s written a massive treatise on copyright law called Patry on Copyright as well as a treatise focusing just on fair use — both of which are frequently cited in legal decisions. He now works for Google — which causes some people to try to dismiss what he says as biased. But with his background, knowledge and experience, you’d be foolish to do so.

      • News Corp. Claims Google News Is An Antitrust Violation In Europe

        That News Corp hates Google is well known. The company’s CEO, Robert Thomson, has a history of barely comprehensible anti-Google rants, based on a confused (i.e. wrong) understanding of how the internet works. Thomson keeps claiming that Google is “stealing” News Corp content by linking people to it and sending the company traffic.

        [...]

        Of course, that’s because we know what the real complaint here is: News Corp wants Google to give it money. Whatever you might think of the EU’s antitrust case against Google in other areas, this argument seems particularly ridiculous and just seems like Thomson and Rupert Murdoch’s sour grapes over the fact that Google is a successful company.

      • Public Domain Citation Book, Baby Blue, Renamed To Indigo Book, Following Harvard Law Review Threats

        We’ve been covering the ridiculous saga of the Harvard Law Review Association and its pricey legal threats to Carl Malamud for daring to publish a public domain set of legal citations. As a bit of background, legal citations tend to follow a standard found in the Bluebook, which is put out by the Harvard Law Review Association (which, confusingly, is actually made up of four top law schools). Many have criticized the Bluebook heavily, including appeals court judge Richard Posner who has ripped into the Bluebook, and suggested a much simpler form of legal citations, leading (in part) to something called the Maroonbook, from the University of Chicago Law Review. And, yet, the Bluebook has still mostly remained atop the heap, generating a ton of money for the law schools that back it. A few years ago, the Bluebook ran into some intellectual property issues, when Professor Frank Bennett sought to build support for the Bluebook into his open source citation tool, Zotero, and the Harvard Law Review Association obnoxiously said no, claiming copyright over citations (which seems… questionable).

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    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft 'Loves' Linux So Much That It's Spreading FUD About It All Over the Media for 3 Days in a Row (So Far)

    The stubborn cult at Microsoft likes telling us all — especially officials and decision-makers — a bunch lies like, “we invest [some amount of money] in security” and “security is our goal”, but in reality the money is sunk into hiring (‘buying’) firms with “security” in their name, bribing publishers for mindless PR/platitudes that cast critics of Microsoft insecurity/ies as “fanatics”, “bashers”, “jealous”, “irrational” et cetera; finally, actual money goes into collaborations with the NSA on back doors, i.e. the exact opposite of security. The video above is a follow-up or sequel for something we meme-ified two days ago; we’ve since then included more examples (with editorial comments added to the links) in our News Roundups/Daily Links; Western media follows the same script we saw in Indian Web sites on Sunday and the objective is to paint Linux as “equally insecure” if not less secure than Windows. As already noted on Sunday, in a much longer video, the ‘Linux’ malware (it has nothing to do with Linux itself!) needs user intervention, neglect, or even sabotage to even get on the compromised systems in the first place. One can guess what situation or which incidents Microsoft is ever so eager to distract/deflect from…



  8. [Meme] EPO Asked to Comply With the Law and Correct Behaviour

    EPO staff wants reparations for monumental abuses, but the “Mafia” of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos will never allow that to happen (we saw the same regarding the unlawful composition of internal courts)



  9. The Unfunny Joke That Microsoft Cares for 'Developer Rights'

    Microsoft propaganda urging software developers to find comfort in a prison of Microsoft (proprietary software monopoly) is a symptom of dying media, or thinly-veiled PR looking for a buck



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 27, 2021



  11. Links 28/7/2021: PulseAudio 15.0 Released, World’s Slowest Raytracer

    Links for the day



  12. Links 27/7/2021: New Godot Engine Beta and a Call for Funding of GIMP

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO's 'News' Page Annotated

    From the above: Greenwashing; Offshoring; ViCo nonsense; Openwashing; Patents=space travel? Faking empathy; Patents as monopoly; ViCo whitewash; Constitutional hogwash; ViCo propaganda; Pinkwashing; Whitewashing GDPR violation; Self-praise; Exploiting pandemic for $; More openwashing; Protectionism; Outsourcing; Occupying the legal system; Grifting and PR; 'Legalising' EPC violations; More surveillance; Patents as sharing?; Patents as mere info? Lobbying by litigation firms; Proprietary/MS



  14. Playing With Fire: The Linux Foundation Associates the Linux Brand With Proprietary Software and GitHub (as Usual)

    Racist IBM is once again using or misusing the “Linux” brand (through the Linux Foundation) to promote racist Watson (which is also proprietary software); the ‘Linux’ Foundation is now revisionism as a service (not just in service of its own mythology, e.g. the operating system starting in 1991 rather than 1983)



  15. Links 27/7/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22.4, Libinput 1.19 to Include Hold Gestures

    Links for the day



  16. Recording Videos With Webcamoid on GNU/Linux

    A lot of people use OBS Studio or similarly high-profile Free software that's mostly designed for live streaming; but this video is a bit different as it takes a look at Webcamoid, which not many people even know about, explaining the current setup that's used to record pretty much every video we make



  17. Getting News and Updates Over Gemini (in General and for Techrights)

    Gemini (gemini://) is very well suited for 'consumption' of news; the hardest part is getting past the simple fact that not every article needs to have pictures in it and syndication (for updates) isn't done through social control media



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, July 26, 2021



  19. [Meme] Microsoft is Lecturing Us on Security!

    Dev Kundaliya and 'Hacker' News play along and go along with this laughable lie that Microsoft is some kind of security expert with moral authority/credibility on this subject



  20. [Meme] EPO 2025 (When Most of the Decent Patent Examiners Have Been Chased Away)

    Based on this week's reports (see batches of Daily Links), many recently-granted European Patents are being thrown out by courts, which means it's hardly surprising that demand for European Patents is in fact decreasing (while quality/validity/legal certainty nose-dives)



  21. Funding Sources Like Corporate Sponsors/Patrons/Masters Put at Risk the Freedom of Free Software

    Sources of funding or “sponsors” such as large corporations typically come with some barely-visible or temporarily-invisible strings attached (an expectation of commercial reciprocity, rendering the recipients subservient like ‘slaves’) and we need to understand how to preserve software freedom in the face of such trends



  22. Links 26/7/2021: Nanotale on GNU/Linux and IBM Promoting Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  23. Free Software Projects Should Quit Selling Keynote Speeches to the Highest Bidders (Corporations) and Choose Based on Merit/Relevance

    OSI, SFC, FSF and Linux Foundation are in effect selling time and space (even to Microsoft, except the FSF was never foolish enough to do this). As of today, LibreOffice does the same thing (which might remain benign; just be sure to reject rivals as "sponsors" because it dooms projects and events).



  24. Microsoft Windows Has Lost Another 2 Million Web Sites This Past Month Alone (IIS Floundering)

    The rapid decline of Microsoft, Windows and IIS in servers is undeniable; it's just a damn shame that corporate and so-called 'tech' media never writes about this subject



  25. Links 26/7/2021: Grml 2021.07 and DXVK 1.9.1

    Links for the day



  26. Increasing Focus on Advocacy for the Free Software Community (Putting Control Over Computing in the Hands of People, Not Large Corporations)

    After 31,000 blog posts it's time to add a new theme to our coverage, which prioritises science, computer developers, and technology users; an urgent matter and pressing issue is the passage of control (e.g. over code and policy) to non-practising entities



  27. Video: How to Follow All Our Channels (Interactively) From the Command Line

    We’ve been enhancing the access possibilities/options for #techrights and other IRC channels, partly because we want to encourage more people to wean themselves off the DRM-ready Web, the monoculture, the bloat, the surveillance, and centralisation in general (the Web favours centralisation, which is exacerbated by the bloat and other topological dynamics)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 25, 2021



  29. Links 26/7/2021: Third RC of Linux 5.14 and Beta 3 of Haiku Project

    Links for the day



  30. No, Microsoft Does Not Get to Lecture Us on GNU/Linux Security (or Security in General)

    The corporate media wants us to think (or feel) like Microsoft is some kind of security guru; the reality, however, is the exact opposite because at Microsoft sometimes if not always/by default insecurity is the actual objective (back doors)


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