Links 1/7/2017: Kubernetes 1.7 and Mesa 17.1.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • [Video] Linux Powered iMac Pro Killer // VLOG 46
    • New operating system launches with creators in mind

      A new Linux operating system designed specifically for people who use their computers to create has landed. System76 has developed Pop!_OS for people working on “complicated, professional-grade software and products, sophisticated 3D models… or makers working on their latest invention”, among others, it says – good news for 3D artists and other creatives looking for an alternative to Windows or macOS.

    • Linux PC company System76 introduces Pop!_OS Linux distribution

      System76 has been assembling and selling computers with Ubuntu Linux for years… but starting this fall the company will shift to a new customized Linux distribution called Pop!_OS.

      The new operating system is basically a lightly modified version of Ubuntu with a customized version of the GNOME Shell user interface.

  • Server

    • Docker 17.06 CE Debuts with Multi-Stage Container Builds

      At DockerCon 17 in April, Docker Inc made a series of large announcements, including a shift to a new model with the Moby Project to build the Docker Engine. Now in June, the first major release of Docker built with the Moby Project is available in the form of the Docker 17.06 Community Edition release.

      The Moby Project is a refactoring of how Docker as a container platform is built, by breaking it down into aDocker series of community-focused efforts that includes LinuxKit and containerd among others.

    • Kubernetes 1.7 released

      If you’re using containers in production, you know you need a DevOps tool to manage them. For many companies, Kubernetes is that program. The fast-developing, open-source, container-orchestration package has just released its newest version, Kubernetes 1.7, just over three months since the developers released Kubernetes 1.6.

      Haven’t heard of Kubernetes? You will. Natasha Woods, a Linux Foundation senior PR manager, asked, “What do Wink, Ancestry.com, Box, Buffer, GolfNow, and Ticketmaster have in common? The way they run their infrastructure. Taking a page from giants like Google, these companies are tapping into container orchestration technology Kubernetes.”

    • Kubernetes 1.7 Improves Container Security and API Aggregation

      The open-source Kubernetes 1.7 release is now available, providing users with new features to help manage and secure container infrastructure.

      Kubernetes 1.7 is the second major release of the open-source container orchestration platform so far in 2017 and follows the Kubernetes 1.6 release that debuted in March at the CloudNative Con/Kubecon event in Berlin, Germany. The Kubernetes project was first developed by Google and has been an open-source project run by the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) since July 2015.

    • Introduction to Kubernetes with Fedora

      The information technology world changes daily, and the demands of building scalable infrastructure become more important. Containers aren’t anything new these days, and have various uses and implementations. But what about building scalable, containerized applications? By itself, Docker and other tools don’t quite cut it, as far as building the infrastructure to support containers. How do you deploy, scale, and manage containerized applications in your infrastructure? This is where tools such as Kubernetes comes in. Kubernetes is an open source system that automates deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally developed by Google before being donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a project of the Linux Foundation. This article gives a quick precursor to what Kubernetes is and what some of the buzzwords really mean.

    • Kubernetes 1.7 Debuts With Enhanced Security And Extensibility
    • Kubernetes: Why does it matter?

      Developing and deploying cloud-native applications has become very popular—for very good reasons. There are clear advantages to a process that allows rapid deployment and continuous delivery of bug fixes and new features, but there’s a chicken-and-egg problem no one talks about: How do you get there from here? Building the infrastructure and developing processes to develop and maintain cloud-native applications—all from scratch—are non-trivial, time-intensive tasks.

      Kubernetes, a relatively new platform for running containerized workloads, addresses these problems. Originally an internal project within Google, Kubernetes was donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in 2015 and has attracted developers from the open source community around the world. Kubernetes’ design is based on 15 years of experience in running both production and development workloads. Since it is open source, anyone can download and use it and realize its benefits.

      So why is such a big fuss being made over Kubernetes? I believe that it hits a sweet spot between an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution, like OpenStack, and a full Platform as a Service (PaaS) resource where the lower-level runtime implementation is completely controlled by a vendor. Kubernetes provides the benefits of both worlds: abstractions to manage infrastructure, as well as tools and features to drill down to bare metal for troubleshooting.

    • Why Portability is Not the Same Thing as Compatibility

      The Container Host *is* the Container Engine, and Container Image Compatibility Matters

      Have you ever wondered, how are containers are so portable? How it’s possible to run Ubuntu containers on CentOS, or Fedora containers on CoreOS? How is it that all of this just magically works? As long as I run the docker daemon on all of my hosts, everything will just work right? The answer is….no. I am here to break it to you – it’s not magic. I have said it before, and I will say it again, containers are just fancy Linux processes. There is not even a container object in the Linux kernel, there never has been. So, what does all of this mean?

    • LinchPin: A simplified cloud orchestration tool using Ansible

      Late last year, my team announced LinchPin, a hybrid cloud orchestration tool using Ansible. Provisioning cloud resources has never been easier or faster. With the power of Ansible behind LinchPin, and a focus on simplicity, many cloud resources are available at users’ fingertips. In this article, I’ll introduce LinchPin and look at how the project has matured in the past 10 months.

      Back when LinchPin was introduced, using the ansible-playbook command to run LinchPin was complex. Although that can still be accomplished, LinchPin now has a new front-end command-line user interface (CLI), which is written in Click and makes LinchPin even simpler than it was before.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • S10E17 – Live Mycroft Biscuits

      In our second live show at FOSS Talk Live, we have a competition to see who can write the best program in 19 lines, and discuss bugs through the ages. There is a video of this episode available on YouTube.

  • Kernel Space

    • Video: Linus Torvalds Explains How Linux Still Surprises and Motivates Him

      Linus Torvalds took to the stage in China for the first time Monday at LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China in Beijing. In front of a crowd of nearly 2,000, Torvalds spoke with VMware Head of Open Source Dirk Hohndel in one of their famous “fireside chats” about what motivates and surprises him and how aspiring open source developers can get started. Here are some highlights of their talk.

    • What Excites Me The Most About The Linux 4.12 Kernel

      If all goes according to plan, the Linux 4.12 kernel will be officially released before the weekend is through. Here’s a recap of some of the most exciting changes for this imminent kernel update.

    • The Linux Foundation Announces 18 New Silver Members

      With the support of its members, The Linux Foundation hosts open source projects across technologies including networking, security, cloud, blockchain and more. This collaborative development model is helping technology advance at a rapid pace in a way that benefits individuals and organizations around the world.

    • Diversity Empowerment Summit Facilitates Inclusion and Culture Change

      Check out the session highlights for the new Diversity Empowerment Summit (DES), which will take place Sept. 14, 2017, in Los Angeles as part of Open Source Summit North America.

    • [Video] Does Linux have better driver support for a Macbook Air than OSX?
    • Specifying the kernel ABI
    • Graphics Stack

      • ROCm 1.6 Radeon Open Compute Released

        Just as scheduled, last night marked the release of Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) v1.6 being released.

      • AMD Silently Updates AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 Linux Driver

        AMD has silently pushed out an updated AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 driver but the changes are unknown.

      • The First Radeon Vega Frontier Linux Benchmark Doesn’t Tell Much

        We have some OpenGL numbers for Radeon Vega Frontier Edition on AMDGPU-PRO under Linux.

        Unfortunately it looks very unlikely to receive a review sample of the newly-launched Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, but when searching OpenBenchmarking.org, I was pleased to find someone last week had uploaded some initial Radeon Vega Frontier Edition numbers… Though sadly, it’s just for Xonotic with OpenGL. Unfortunately not any more demanding OpenGL/OpenCL/Vulkan results, but I’ll keep monitoring to see for more Vega result uploads as more get their hands on the hardware.

        I have been able to verify that it’s an authentic upload, the IP address makes sense for who it likely is, etc. The driver version is 4.5.13489. The AMDGPU-PRO 17.20 Frontier Edition driver publicly released this week is 4.5.13486, so it’s slightly different from the launch-day driver.

      • Valve Begins Working On OpenGL External Objects Support For Mesa

        Andres Rodriguez of Valve has published initial support for the OpenGL EXT_external_objects within Mesa, the new GL extensions likely to be part of OpenGL 4.6.

      • Mesa 17.1.4 Released

        Mesa 17.1.4 is now available as the newest stable point release for the Mesa 17.1 series.

      • Mesa 17.1.4 Brings More Intel Skylake and AMD Radeon Performance Improvements

        Mesa developer Andres Gomez is pleased to inform the Linux community about the immediate availability of the fourth maintenance update to the Mesa 17.1 3D Graphics Library for GNU/Linux distributions.

        Yes, that’s right, Mesa 17.1.4 is now available and it brings a bunch of performance improvements for Intel and AMD Radeon users. This seems to be the biggest update of the series so far, and includes a large number of patches for the Intel i965 OpenGL graphics driver.

      • Radeon ProRender for Blender and SOLIDWORKS Now Available

        Radeon™ ProRender is a powerful physically-based rendering engine that enables creative professionals to produce stunningly photorealistic images. Built on highly efficient, high-performance Radeon™ Rays technology, Radeon™ ProRender’s complete, scalable ray tracing engine uses open industry standards to harness GPU and CPU performance for swift, impressive results.

      • Mir: the new order

        The Mir project has always been about how best to develop a shell for the modern desktop. It was about addressing concerns like a security model for desktop environments; convergence (which has implications for app lifecycles); and, making efficient use of modern hardware. It has never been only about Unity8, that was just the first of (hopefully) many shells written using Mir. To that end, the Mir developers have tried to ensure that the code wasn’t too tightly coupled to Unity8 (e.g. by developing demo servers with alternative behaviors).

      • Understanding Xwayland – Part 2 of 2

        Last week in part one of this two part series about the fundamentals of Xwayland, we treated Xwayland like a black box. We stated what its purpose is and gave a rough overview on how it connects to its environment, notably its clients and the Wayland compositor. In a sense this was only a teaser, since we didn’t yet look at Xwayland’s inner workings. So welcome to part two, where we do a deep dive into its code base!

      • NVidia GPUs Linux Gamers Use: 2017 vs 2016
      • Experimental NIR backend for radeonsi
      • ARB_gl_spirv, NIR linking, and a NIR backend for radeonsi

        SPIR-V is the binary shader code representation used by Vulkan, and GL_ARB_gl_spirv is a recent extension that allows it to be used for OpenGL as well. Over the last weeks, I’ve been exploring how to add support for it in radeonsi.

        As a bit of background, here’s an overview of the various relevant shader representations that Mesa knows about. There are some others for really old legacy OpenGL features, but we don’t care about those. On the left, you see the SPIR-V to LLVM IR path used by radv for Vulkan. On the right is the path from GLSL to LLVM IR, plus a mention of the conversion from GLSL IR to NIR that some other drivers are using (i965, freedreno, and vc4).

      • Keith Packard Continues Working On DRM Leases For Vulkan / Linux VR

        Keith Packard has published another update on his work around DRM leases and his objective of improving the open-source driver stack for SteamVR / Linux VR.

        The main area he’s been working on is DRM leases for VR HMDs. His latest blog post concerns work on Vulkan’s EXT_display_control, DRM integration, etc.

      • NVIDIA Pops Out Another Vulkan Beta With More Performance Work

        A few days back NVIDIA released the Vulkan 381.10.10 Linux beta that featured performance improvements as well as new Vulkan/OpenGL interoperability extensions. That beta driver has already been succeeded by a new driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • 8 Best Linux Distros For Programming And Developers (2017 Edition)

      Linux-based operating systems are often used by developers to get their work done and create something new. Their major concerns while choosing a Linux distro for programming are compatibility, power, stability, and flexibility. Distros like Ubuntu and Debian have managed to establish themselves as the top picks. Some of the other great choices are openSUSE, Arch Linux, etc.

    • First Calamares 3.1 Point Release Is Out to Improve Salting for User Passwords

      After a long wait, the Calamares 3.1 stable branch of the universal Linux installer received its first point release, an incremental bugfix update that adds various improvements, and fixes some of the latest issues or crashes that have been reported lately by users.

      Calamares 3.1.1 is now available for download for OS integrators who want to ship it on their upcoming ISO snapshots for their GNU/Linux distributions, and it looks like it includes salting improvements for user passwords, better support for very small screens with 800×600 resolutions, and adds the Crashreporter debugging facility for the first time in the release tarball.

    • Reviews

    • New Releases

      • Latest Clonezilla Live Stable Update Includes a Lite Server, Linux Kernel 4.11.6

        Clonezilla Live and GParted Live developer Steven Shiau is pleased to announce the release and immediate availability for download of a new stable version of his widely-used Clonezilla Live project.

      • Calculate Linux 17.6 released

        We are happy to announce the release of Calculate Linux 17.6, marking the 10th anniversary of the project.

        This new version features installation in LXC/LXD containers, theme customization, more stability with automagic dependencies support, better security as editing the kernel params now requires a password and system update can be only performed by users authorized to do so. You will find the details below.

        Calculate Linux Desktop featuring KDE (CLD), Cinnamon (CLDC), Mate (CLDM), or Xfce (CLDX) environments, Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Scratch Server (CSS), Timeless and Calculate Linux Container (CLC) are available for download.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Arch Family

      • Antergos: User-Friendly Desktop, Fueled by the Power of Arch

        Over the years, Arch Linux has had the misfortune of being maligned as one of the more challenging modern Linux distributions. That’s a shame, because Arch Linux is one of the most solid distributions you’ll find. Nonetheless, new users finding their way over to the official Arch Linux installation guide may choose to return to the likes of Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Now, however, there are other options, due to the release of some very user-friendly takes on the Arch Linux distribution, including Antergos.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Tumbleweed Review of the week 2017/26

        This week I can only offer you 3 snapshots (0625, 0626 and 0628); Due to issues with openQA during the last weekend, the two snapshots 0623 and 0624 were discarded (even though they would have been good). 0627 was held back because we would have shipped a non-working bind in there (after OpenSSL changed the location of the engines again). But as usual, of course, a discarded snapshot just means the updates reach you one snapshot later.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Why You Should Reconsider Debian

        Debian has a reputation for being an expert’s Linux distribution. System administrators and users who remember when Linux’s main interface was the command line, but for the ordinary user, it is a distribution to be feared. It took a comprehensive revamp, the story goes, to make Debian suitable for users in the form of derivative distributions like Linux Mint and Ubuntu that focus on user-friendliness. However, the truth is, far from being intimidating, Debian has plenty to offer any level of user.

        Sure, two decades ago, Debian was intimidating. In 1999, I took three tries to install it for the first time myself. But way back then, every distribution was hard to install.

        Times have changed since then, and Debian has changed with it. These days, Debian has nothing on the truly challenging distributions, like Arch, Gentoo, or Linux From Scratch. It is simply more comprehensive.

      • Back to the Hurd

        Last year I looked at Debian GNU/Hurd, using the network installer to set up a working environment in kvm. Since them I haven’t really looked at it very much, so when I saw the announcement of the latest release I decided to check it out and see what has changed over the last few months. I also thought it might be interesting to try and run some of my own software on the system to see if there are any compatibility issues I need to be aware of. This resulted in a detour to port some code to Python 3 and a few surprises when code written on a 64-bit system found itself running on a 32-bit system.

      • Free software activities in June 2017
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Macbuntu – Spice up your desktop

            Macbuntu is no stranger to Dedoimedo. We first used this lovely project slash transformation pack in Gnome 2 many years ago and then again about three winters counter clockwise with a Salamander edition of Ubuntu. Now we shall attempt this lovely work again on top of Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak. I’ve written this just before the Zesty release, but the idea is 100% identical and valid.

            Before we continue, you may ask, why you do dis, I feel no pain. Wait, I got confused. That’s a Zohan line. What I meant is, why touch the default Ubuntu setup? Well, we’ve already done some work in my essential tweaking guide, so we’re notching up to the next level. This will give you some serious street credit in your local coffee shop. Probably not, but worth a try.

          • Codecs and PackageKit in GNOME Software on Ubuntu Artful

            PackageKit is a distribution-agnostic API for managing installed software packages on a system. For irritating reasons, Ubuntu was stuck for a long time on an old version of PackageKit, but we recently managed to remove the blockers and update to a modern version.

          • Full Circle Magazine #122
          • Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update: June 30, 2017
          • Ubuntu Insights: Ubuntu Server Development Summary – 30 Jun 2017
          • Artful Aardvark Alpha 1 Released

            The first alpha of the Artful Aardvark (to become 17.10) has now been released!

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • FreeDOS is 23 years old

    I have been involved in open source software for a long time, since before anyone coined the term “open source.” My first introduction to Free software was GNU Emacs on our campus Unix system, when I was an undergraduate. Then I discovered other Free software tools. Through that exposure, I decided to installed Linux on my home computer in 1993. But as great as LInux was at the time, with few applications like word processors and spreadsheets, Linux was still limited—great for writing programs and analysis tools for my physics labs, but not (yet) for writing class papers or playing games.

    So my primary system at the time was still MS-DOS. I loved DOS, and had since the 1980s. While the MS-DOS command line was under-powered compared to Unix, I found it very flexible. I wrote my own utilities and tools to expand the MS-DOS command line experience. And of course, I had a bunch of DOS applications and games. I was a DOS “power user.” For me, DOS was a great mix of function and features, so that’s what I used most of the time.

  • FreeDOS Is 23 Years Old, and Counting

    The FreeDOS Project has just reached its 23rd birthday! This is a major milestone for any free software or open-source software project.

    If you don’t know about FreeDOS, it’s a small project that replaces MS-DOS, which was the mainstay operating system for most personal computers in the 1980s and 1990s. During that era, I was a huge MS-DOS fan. I used DOS for everything and considered myself a DOS “power-user”. I even wrote my own utilities and tools to expand the MS-DOS command-line environment and make DOS more useful.

    I was aware of other operating systems, of course. In the early 1990s, my university installed Windows in the PC computer labs. But if you remember Windows 3.1 at the time, it was a pretty rough environment. I didn’t like that you could interact with Windows only via a mouse; there was no command line. I preferred working at the command line.

  • Building Puppet’s unofficial forge community

    A Puppet module might only be some 500 lines of code and a bunch of tests, but that doesn’t mean it’s effortless to maintain. Puppet modules should run on a range of operating systems and support a range of Puppet versions (and hence, Ruby versions)—and that in and of itself makes it quite challenging.

    So while a single person could easily write a Puppet module, what happens when that person gets sick? Changes jobs? Or simply loses interest?

  • GitHub Open Source Friday, TypeScript 2.4 and Datameer’s SmartAI — SD Times news digest: June 28, 2017
  • Open Source Friday: GitHub Declares Friday As “Open Source Day”
  • GitHub Invites Developers to Open Source Friday
  • Open source is truly open for business

    NodeSource, the Node.js company, has announced the results of a new survey fielded among enterprise software developers ranking open source projects across a variety factors, including hiring, entrepreneurism and the likelihood of IPOs in the near future.

    The survey, which was aimed at gauging the momentum of Node.js within the open source software ecosystem, revealed that fully 91 percent of enterprise software developers believe new companies will be created from open source projects. While Node.js was the most-chosen option, with 74% of respondents expecting new Node companies to appear in the market, Docker came in closely behind at 51 percent, and 22 percent believe it will be MongoDB.

  • How to be smart about open source

    Open source is everywhere in government, but many agencies still struggle with the specifics of choosing, contracting for and contributing to open-source software projects. GCN spoke with open-source advocates in government and industry, and came away with five fundamental lessons.


    More broadly, Jones said, one of the biggest myths about open source is “that it’s a purely charitable activity where it’s going to cost you to do it.”

    “Most of the costs that people mention are costs they’re already incurring,” he said, even if agency leaders don’t recognize it. “The IT folks are already bringing free software into your shop. Your IT staff is already writing software — even if they’re not software developers — that is useful not just for them but for other people.”

  • Are network operators going to embrace open source in time for 5G?

    Network operators like AT&T are making their networks virtual to support increasing demand and new services and open source and virtualisation go hand-in-hand, but operator resistance could impact their move toward 5G-ready networks.

    Telecom networks are under tremendous pressure to perform.

  • Events

    • A FOSScamp by the beach

      I recently wrote about the great experience many of us had visiting OSCAL in Tirana. Open Labs is doing a great job promoting free, open source software there.

      They are now involved in organizing another event at the end of the summer, FOSScamp in Syros, Greece.

    • Event report and personal experience – June 1 – 5, “X International IT Olympics IT-Planet 2016/17” international contest in Sochi, Russia

      On Monday, 5th of June, a massive event in Russian IT industry ended. The X International IT-Olympics “IT-Planet” for students and young specialists took place in the city of Sochi, Russia, which hosted 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Finals for the contest and the accompanying conference took place over four days. The days were filled with the contest itself, lesson, and master-classes from major player in the local and worldwide IT industry, recreational activities. Among the sponsors, there were companies like Cisco, Oracle, Huawei, Intel, InterSystems, AT Consulting, 1C, GNU/Linuxcenter. Of the 17000 participants, only little more than 300 took part in the final tier of the contest. The finals were preceded with two tiers of contests, held over the previous year, that decided if the candidate was of sufficiently knowledgable to take part in such a big event.

    • Containers microconference accepted into Linux Plumbers Conference

      A microconference on containers will be featured at this year’s Linux Plumbers Conference, which will be held in Los Angeles, CA, US on 13-15 September in conjunction with The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit.

  • Web Browsers

    • The Brave web browser

      The Brave web browser is a project from a new company called Brave Software. It was founded by Brendan Eich, who is the inventor of JavaScript and former developer and CTO at Mozilla; he hopes to dramatically re-invent the advertising model of the web while strengthening user anonymity and security. Brave’s value proposition is that instead of being served advertisements from web sites that use the revenue to pay their bills, users can opt to directly pay the content providers of their choosing with cryptocurrency. Also, there is a recognition of the utility of targeted advertising, so users have an option of saving a local, protected profile that can be used anonymously to obtain targeted advertisements instead of having their online behavior tracked and sold by a third party.

      Brave is an open-source browser derived from Chromium, and as such it is based on the Blink web engine. Advertisements and user tracking are blocked by default as a built-in feature in Brave, as opposed to other browsers that offer that functionality via plugins. In 2016, Brave announced that, on top of blocking advertisements, it would let users choose to replace them with other advertisements that are sourced from a curated list of partners. Revenue from these ads would go to Brave Software as well as being shared with the publishers and others.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)


    • GNU GPLv3 turns 10

      Ten years ago today heralded the release of the GNU General Public License version 3. Through several iterations over two years, public drafts enabled the community to develop a license that better addressed the changing software freedom landscape. From Tivoization, to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to the rise of software patents, many threats to software freedom had arisen since the creation of GPLv2. These threats still exist today, but hackers have for the past ten years had the right tool in their tool kit to fight back, with the GPLv3 being one of the most widely used free software licenses in the world.

    • GPLv3 Turns 10, FreeDOS Turns 23

      There are some additional milestones to celebrate at the end of June.

      The Free Software Foundation is celebrating that the GPLv3 license has turned ten years old. Crazy to think it’s already ten years old when recalling the early drafts, it feels just like a few years ago.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA’s systems for sharing code

      NASA has been creating code for decades and boasts more than 300 public open-source projects. The agency’s challenge is not getting buy-in for open source so much as it is managing the enthusiasm for it.

    • Oversight of use of open source code crucial as GDPR approaches, says industry expert

      Organisations should take steps to improve their oversight of the use of open source code in software deployed within their business before new EU data protection laws begin to apply, an industry expert has said.

    • 2017 OSEHRA Leadership Award Recipients Announced

      The Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) is pleased to announce this year’s OSEHRA Leadership Award winners. Numerous individuals were nominated this year and three were chosen through a vote by the OSEHRA community based on their outstanding achievements in health information technology and innovative health care. They were honored in a special ceremony during the 6th Annual OSEHRA Open Source Summit June 13-15, 2017 in Bethesda, MD.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Warning: Grsecurity: Potential contributory infringement risk for customers

      It’s my strong opinion that your company should avoid the Grsecurity product sold at grsecurity.net because it presents a contributory infringement risk.

      Grsecurity is a patch for the Linux kernel which, it is claimed, improves its security. It is a derivative work of the Linux kernel which touches the kernel internals in many different places. It is inseparable from Linux and can not work without it. it would fail a fair-use test (obviously, ask offline if you don’t understand). Because of its strongly derivative nature of the kernel, it must be under the GPL version 2 license, or a license compatible with the GPL and with terms no more restrictive than the GPL. Earlier versions were distributed under GPL version 2.

      Currently, Grsecurity is a commercial product and is distributed only to paying customers. My understanding from several reliable sources is that customers are verbally or otherwise warned that if they redistribute the Grsecurity patch, as would be their right under the GPL, that they will be assessed a penalty: they will no longer be allowed to be customers, and will not be granted access to any further versions of Grsecurity. GPL version 2 section 6 explicitly prohibits the addition of terms such as this redistribution prohibition.

    • Linus Torvalds slams ‘pure garbage’ from ‘clowns’ at grsecurity

      Linux lord Linus Torvalds thinks he’ll be able to give the world version 4.12 of the Linux kernel next week.

      In his post to mark the release of 4.12 release candidate seven, Torvalds wrote “It’s fairly small, and there were no huge surprises, so if nothing untoward happens this upcoming week, this will be the final rc.”

      “But as usual, I reserve the right to just drag things out if I end up feeling uncomfortable about things for any reason including just random gut feelings, so we’ll see.”

    • TIL the JSON licence is not free, because you may not use it for Evil
  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Bio-on presents “The Matter”. Bioplastic technology now open source for researchers around the world

      Bio-on is challenging the research world and announcing its new programme entitled ” The Matter, is how we change our world ” with which the company that created Minerv PHAs, the revolutionary natural and 100% biodegradable bioplastic , wants to involve researchers, inventors and scientists from public or private institutions to discover new applications for the bioplastic. To change the world and help safeguard the planet.


      “We believe this sends an important signal to both the scientific community and the market because our technology has obtained over 60 patents to date and has proven it can be applied in a number of sectors. We are now making it available in open source”.

    • Neuroon Open Open Source Sleep And Dream Headset (video)

      If you would like to be able to measure your sleep patterns more accurately as well as improve your sleep, nightly dream function or meditation you may be interested in a new open source device called the Neuroon Open which has been designed by a team of developers based in San Francisco California.

    • Open Data

      • New Open-Source Platform Maps the Provenances of Artworks

        Cranston created the platform because she hadn’t seen anything similar available to art historians, her target user base. It emerged from her first project, Mapping Titian, which focused only on the Italian painter’s works. One particularly neat feature of Mapping Paintings is that it lets you filter through its database and overlay the paths of selected artworks on one map. So you can compare how different pieces by the same artist have traveled or where artworks currently owned by the same museum came from.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Web comic adapted to animation thanks to open license

        Marking a major milestone for the sustainability of free-culture production, David Revoy’s popular free-culture fantasy web comic, Pepper & Carrot, about a young witch (Pepper) and her cat (Carrot), has been adapted into a motion-comic style animation by Nikolai Mamashev, produced by Konstantin Dmitriev’s Morevna Project.

  • Programming/Development

    • Memory use in CPython and MicroPython

      At PyCon 2017, Kavya Joshi looked at some of the differences between the Python reference implementation (known as “CPython”) and that of MicroPython. In particular, she described the differences in memory use and handling between the two. Those differences are part of what allows MicroPython to run on the severely memory-constrained microcontrollers it targets—an environment that could never support CPython.

      CPython is the standard and default implementation that everyone loves and uses, she said. But it has a bad reputation when it comes to memory use. That has led to some alternate implementations, including MicroPython.

    • Meet our new Collaborans!

      Our worldwide team of engineers and developers continues to grow with new additions in Core, Graphics & Web! Welcome Denis Pynkin, Alexandros Frantzis and Santosh Mahto!

      Since our founding in 2005, Collabora has been at the forefront of Open Source technology, developing solutions that power today’s leading products across a number of industry segments, included in millions of devices worldwide. Our team of highly skilled engineers and developers – nearly 100 strong – are among the most motivated and active Open Source contributors and maintainers around the world. They have a passion for technology and Open Source, and these new Collaborans are no different!


  • Science

  • Hardware

    • The complete history of the IBM PC, part one: The deal of the century

      This is where the story gets famously unclear. Both Sams and Kildall were asked many times in later years about the events of August 22, 1980. Their stories are so factually disparate that it seems impossible to attribute their differences to mere shading or interpretation. Someone (or perhaps both), it seems, was simply not telling the truth.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • All the “wellness” products Americans love to buy are sold on both Infowars and Goop

      Near the end of a profile of Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of the “wellness” brand Moon Juice, the New York Times Magazine noted that many of the alternative-medicine ingredients in her products are sold—with very different branding—on the Infowars store. That’s the site run by Alex Jones, the radio show host and conspiracy theorist who has said that both the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Boston Marathon bombing were staged. Moon Juice is frequently recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness blog, Goop; it’s a favorite of Hollywood celebrities and others who can afford things like $25 “activated cashews.” Infowars, on the other hand, is a dark corner of the American right, heavy on guns, light on government intervention, and still very mad at Obama.

    • Genital cutting victims get backlash from Indian Muslim sect for condemning taboo ritual [iophk: “just like in Twitter and FB”

      In the wake of the federal government’s historic female genital mutilation investigation in metro Detroit involving the Dawoodi Bohra, a small Indian Muslim sect, advocates seeking to end genital cutting say they are getting backlash like never before from fellow members of their sect for speaking out against the practice.


      For example, according to activists, the Bohra group is telling its followers to put a thumb down on certain YouTube videos that feature genital mutilation survivors talking about their ordeals and condemning the practice. The goal, activists say, is to get so many negative reviews of the video that YouTube will take the videos down.

    • After ACA arrived in an Oregon county, there was a 17% drop in cardiac arrest

      In the years after health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act unfurled in Multnomah County, Oregon, cardiac arrests among those newly covered fell 17 percent, researchers report this week in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

      The pilot study, led by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and the Heart Institute of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, is just an observational study—it can’t determine causation—and it only looked at the one county. But, the authors argue, the data begs for follow-up.

      “Despite general agreement that expanded insurance coverage leads to positive health effects, the mechanism of this benefit and effect on health outcomes remains poorly understood,” they note. In past small studies, findings have been murky on whether health insurance significantly alters major health events—such as cardiac arrests.

      For the new study, the researchers pulled census data of Multnomah’s population (around Portland) of about 636,000, as well as EMS reports of cardiac arrests. They looked at reports of those deadly events from 2011 to 2012, which was pre-ACA insurance expansion, and from 2014 to 2015, which was post-ACA expansion. They considered 2013 a transition period.

    • CDC warns against eating placenta—in case you needed another reason

      Some eat it raw, others cook it. Some make it into jerky, and others grind the cooked, dried remains into a brown powder and fill capsules.

      However it’s done, eating the placenta after childbirth is thought to ward off postpartum depression and boost milk production, among other things. There is no solid scientific evidence backing these benefits, though, and cooking it reduces the nutritional content. Nevertheless, the practice of eating the fetus-nourishing organ has strayed from the fringe in recent years, with celebrities such as January Jones and Kim Kardashian joining in. In a December 2015 blog post, Kardashian went through her thought process, noting anecdotes of other women who had good experiences. “So,” she wrote, “I thought, why not try it? What do I have to lose?”

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Trump talks increasing fossil fuel exports, relaxing offshore drilling rules

      The initiatives Trump talked about today were a hodgepodge of new announcements and old policy, focusing on nuclear energy and fossil fuel exports. Despite calling for energy independence, Trump’s speech steered clear of renewable energy like wind or solar. Trump has falsely stated that climate change is a “hoax” and has appointed officials with close ties to the fossil fuel industry to top energy posts.

    • EPA intends to form “red team” to debate climate science

      US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry have been making some headlines for publicly rejecting the conclusions of climate science. But in between wrongly claiming that climate scientists just don’t know how much of a contribution humans make to recent global warming (answer: roughly 100 percent), they have also been parroting a new line—that climate science needs a “red team” to take on the scientific consensus.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jeremy Corbyn gets ready for new Battle of Hastings as he announces election-style rally in seaside town

      Jeremy Corbyn swoops into Home Secretary’s Amber Rudd constituency tomorrow as Labour bids to pile pressure on marginal seats.

      The party is on a permanent election footing and Mr Corbyn hopes to capitalise on the momentum of his surprise ballot box performance to boost support in key battlegrounds.

      He begins by holding a rally in the East Sussex town that gave its name to Britain’s most famous battle – Hastings.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Bob, where’s your Facebook gone?!

      For a long time I’ve been struggling to find a useful purpose for Facebook, because most of the things I care to use social media for can usually be done more effectively elsewhere.

      Sharing common interests and starting conversations with people can be done more easily on microblogging services like Twitter and Mastodon where thoughts are distilled in smaller chunks and there’s no social obligation on you to follow me in the first place.

      I get my news from Twitter, the BBC and numerous newspaper websites, not Facebook. Similarly, everyone I communicate with on a regular basis via instant messaging uses WhatsApp, Signal or Skype.

    • National Security Work Leaves Plenty Of Time For Games, Outside Employment, And Sexual Misconduct

      FOIA terrorist Jason Leopold has scored another win, securing a copy of an Intelligence Community Inspector General’s investigation from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It’s the sort of thing that’s rarely released, most likely because it comes from the inner sanctum’s inner sanctum. Maybe this one just seemed too damning to keep secret — not for the ODNI or the Intelligence Community, but for the unnamed (well… redacted) ODNI employee who was caught abusing all sorts of policies, procedures, and laws while on the clock.

    • DOJ Asks The Supreme Court To Give It Permission To Search Data Centers Anywhere In The World

      Having been told “no” twice by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the DOJ is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the decision finding Microsoft did not need to hand over communications stored in foreign data centers in response to a US warrant.

      The Appeals Court told the DOJ that statutory language simply didn’t agree with the premise pushed by the government: that US-issued warrants should allow the law enforcement to dig through “file cabinets” not actually located at the premises (United States) searched. The court noted jurisdictional limitations have always been part of the warrant process (although recent Rule 41 changes somewhat undercut this). That the information sought is digital rather than physical doesn’t change this. The court suggested the DOJ take it up with Congress if it doesn’t like the status quo. The DOJ has proposed legislation but likely feels a Supreme Court decision in its favor would be a swifter resolution.

    • [Older] Product design decisions for secure messengers

      The messaging world has moved from desktop to mobile, to secure mobile messengers for consumer, and to less secure messengers that work on multiple platforms for business.

      The future requires a model that combines security for multi-device communication on all platforms — desktop, mobile, tablet, smart devices and wearables. Phone number-based identity is not a good foundation for this future.

    • Utah judge orders NSA to provide documents and data on 2002 Olympic spying allegations

      A federal judge in Utah has ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) to provide documents and data to a group suing the government alleging “blanket” warrantless surveillance of Salt Lake-area residents during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

      Rocky Anderson — the Salt Lake City mayor at the time of the 2002 Olympics — represents plaintiffs Mary Josephine Valdez, Howard Stephenson, Deeda Seed, Will Bagley and Thomas Nelson Huckin, who filed suit in 2015 in U.S. District Court for Utah in Salt Lake City.

    • Five Eyes Unlimited: What A Global Anti-Encryption Regime Could Look Like

      This week, the political heads of the intelligence services of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (the “Five Eyes” alliance) met in Ottawa. The Australian delegation entered the meeting saying publicly that they intended to “thwart the encryption of terrorist messaging.” The final communiqué states more diplomatically that “Ministers and Attorneys General [...] noted that encryption can severely undermine public safety efforts by impeding lawful access to the content of communications during investigations into serious crimes, including terrorism. To address these issues, we committed to develop our engagement with communications and technology companies to explore shared solutions.”

    • Rights groups want the ‘Five Eyes’ countries to blink off with their anti-encryption plans

      UK privacy warrior the Open Rights Group (ORG) has aligned itself with 83 organisations and people from the so-called Five Eyes group of countries to oppose the sort of encryption-eroding shite that their leaders are purporting.

    • Snoopers’ Charter: Liberty receives High Court permission to challenge ‘authoritarian’ IP Act

      “It’s become clearer than ever in recent months that this law is not fit for purpose. The government doesn’t need to spy on the entire population to fight terrorism. All that does is undermine the very rights, freedoms and democracy terrorists seek to destroy.

    • Ontario City Cancels Video Recording and Microsoft Analysis

      The City announced in early June that it would begin transferring video to Microsoft for analysis.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • 40 ISPs, VoIP And VPN Providers Tell FCC They Like Having Net Neutrality Rules

      Opponents of net neutrality often claim the rules placed “onerous burdens” on small and large ISPs alike. But when push comes to shove, you’ll rarely see any of these folks provide hard evidence of such “burdens.” Usually, opposition is driven by a fundamental misunderstanding of what the rules do, and by a conflation of the rules with nebulous partisan worries that net neutrality somehow represents “government run amok.” That confusion is, quite often, courtesy of “insight” on the subject from the likes of Ted Cruz, who has repeatedly tried to insist that killing the popular consumer protections somehow “restores freedom” (citation needed).

    • Thankfully, Marketing Industry Plan For ‘Ringless Voicemail’ Dies a Quiet Death…For Now

      So we’ve been talking the past month about a push by the marketing industry (a company by the name of “All About The Message,” specifically) to exempt “ringless voicemail” from existing robocalling and privacy rules. Ringless voicemail lets a company leave a marketing or political message in your inbox without your phone ringing. But such technology is currently prohibited by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) , which prohibits such marketing efforts without the “prior express consent of the called party.”

    • Trump picks Republican to fill empty commissioner seat at FCC

      The Federal Communications Commission’s empty slots are about to be filled. President Donald Trump will nominate Republican Brendan Carr to the FCC’s fifth and final commissioner position, the White House announced last night.

      Carr served as FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s Wireless, Public Safety, and International Legal Advisor for three years. After Trump elevated Pai to the chairmanship in January, Pai appointed Carr to become the FCC’s general counsel.

    • ISPs Are No Longer Even Bothering To Provide Bogus Excuses For Their Expanding Use Of Bullshit Usage Caps

      A few years ago, large ISPs began taking advantage of a lack of competition in the broadband market by imposing arbitrary, unnecessary and confusing usage caps and overage fees. Initially, these companies tried to claim that this was necessary to manage congestion on their networks. As data emerged indicating that this claim was bullshit, large ISPs were ultimately forced to acknowledge as much and back away from the claim.

    • Verizon Wireless disconnects some heavy data users in rural areas

      Verizon Wireless said it is disconnecting a small group of customers who use vast amounts of data in rural areas where Verizon relies on roaming agreements with smaller network operators.

      “Earlier this month we notified a small group of customers who are out of contract and primarily use mobile data on other wireless companies’ networks that we won’t be their service provider after July 30, 2017,” a Verizon spokesperson told Ars today. “This only affects a few people who primarily roam on other networks and does not affect customers who primarily use Verizon’s own network.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Innovator Industries Claim Win In Canadian High Court Patent Ruling [Ed: Canada rules against generic drugs to protect monopolies (and cause death of poor people)]

      The Canadian Supreme Court today upheld a pharmaceutical industry appeal against a tool used in certain cases to overturn patents on products that could be seen as not meriting a patent monopoly. The ruling could effectively block a generic version of a patented drug from being on the market.

    • Supreme Court of Canada rejects “unsound” promise doctrine

      In the eagerly-awaited AstraZeneca Canada v Apotex ruling, Canada’s Supreme Court has struck down the “promise doctrine” and clarified the requirement for patent utility

      The Supreme Court of Canada has released its eagerly-awaited ruling in AstraZeneca Canada v Apotex, striking down the so-called “promise doctrine” and clarifying the requirement for patent utility.

    • Copyrights

      • First And Only Snippet Tax Deal In Spain Is With Big Supporter Of Snippet Tax In Germany

        Two years ago, Techdirt wrote about an industry study of Spain’s “Google tax”, which requires a Web site to pay for sending traffic to publishers when it quotes snippets of their texts. Just as everyone who actually understands the Internet predicted, Spain’s new law had a disastrous effect on the publishing industry there, especially on smaller companies. Despite that unequivocal evidence, the law is still in place, and it’s a further sign of how pointless it is that only now has the Spanish Center for Reprographic Rights (Cedro) finally managed to sign up its first deal with a news aggregator, called Upday (original in Spanish). Cedro is claiming that this “pioneering” move possesses a “strategic importance” because it recognizes the rights of those whose publications appear elsewhere as snippets.

The Future of the EPO Does Not Look Encouraging as Injustice and Abuse Carry On While the Press Looks the Other Way

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Media blackout
Media blackout

Summary: In the absence of justice and lack of people who truly care about justice inside and outside (e.g. ILO) the EPO, combined with lack of press coverage and zero accountability from politicians (facing a barrier of immunity), the EPO continues its downward trajectory

THE EPO has shown no signs of recovery. The latest meeting of the Administrative Council, preceding a very major strike, gave no reasons for optimism. The decisions from ILO, which almost coincided with the meeting, will be analysed by us shortly as our focus will shift somewhat to ILO injustice (tomorrow the USPTO will be our focus).

“Their method for getting rid of this allegedly whistleblowing judge is let his contract expire and not renew his position, having already halved his salary last year.”As mentioned in several past articles, it looks as though the suspended judge, whom Battistelli put on “house ban” at the end of 2014 (before all hell broke loose), will be jobless soon. Their method for getting rid of this allegedly whistleblowing judge is let his contract expire and not renew his position, having already halved his salary last year.

Showing concern for this judge, whose fate may help indicate what will happen to other staff after Kongstad and Minnoye are gone, one person asked: “Are there any news of the suspended member of the BoA?”

There was only one detailed response to it (which IP Kat approved):

The fate of the suspended BoA member is only indirectly known. He’s still suspended. His contract has not been renewed, like his colleagues contracts.
He’s on a disciplinary measure, without disciplinary procedure.
Guess how ATILO will find that?
But the contract has ended, and ATILO will be okay with the job loss.

I sincerely hope his mental health survives, because how the AC treats _their_ employee is mind-bogging.

Mr. Ernst is a lawyer, he should know better how to treat employees with a contract, even difficult employees.
I hope once he’s officially in charge, he’ll have a good look at the case, and find a way out. This case is extremely disgraceful for all concerned, especially EPO management and the AC.
But, seeing how the new Codexchanges were waved through (“to get it off the table”), and DE voting in favour (only four abstentions: NL, IT, IE, LI), I fear the constitutional court in Germany will finally say a word about a lack of independence and power abuse inside the EPO, and a lack of supervision…

This whole situation is like a fight: too many people are watching and waiting for someone else to step in.

The one advantage with FR and DE voting in favour is, that if their nationals get fired, tehy might have a chance with national courts and get a job in the national administration due to gross violation of their countries’ law by the delegate, and the duty of care springing forth from this case. And if someone wins against their state, guess how the delegates will react next AC meeting?

An anonymous person, potentially an insider, said about the above: “There is no contract. And no loophole. [] Appointment to an office for a term of years is not a contract. I think. [] epo has to behave in ways that make the boards of appeals independence clear. Not doing it is illegal?”

It went on for a bit, but it’s inconclusive.

The next comment spoke about Jesper Kongstad, whose role in this affair has been thoroughly documented throughout (he acted as Battistelli’s courier, not boss):

This case is extremely disgraceful for all concerned, especially EPO management and the AC.

Would you care for another petit four or a pain au chocolat … ?
Time to crack open the champagne for Jesper’s farewell party …
What is that rumbling I hear in the background … must be another summer thunderstorm on the way …

Willy Minnoye, whose last day at work was yesterday, was then mentioned in relation to the strike that took place yesterday:

…and Willy’s… leaving party on a Friday night at an international organisation? In summer? (On a strike day??) How many people are even around. I’ll let you know…

Incredible, but not too shockingly (to us), no publications wrote about the strike other than IP Watch and then WIPR, which yesterday published the article “EPO staff strike again” and said:

Staff members at the European Patent Office (EPO) are holding another demonstration today and Monday, July 3.

According to a document seen by WIPR, the Central Staff Committee (CSC) and local staff committees across the EPO’s sites informed EPO president Benoît Battistelli of the strike on May 22.

The strike will take place at the EPO’s offices in Munich, The Hague, Berlin and Vienna.

A spokesperson for the EPO said: “The EPO fully respects the right of its staff to strike.”

The media silence has been appalling. Someone called “IAMgettingsick” (clearly someone who is not happy with IAM ‘magazine’ facilitating Battistelli’s regime in all sorts of ways) wrote about the latest suicide: “an examiner known to have experienced a burn out followed by depression, all this to end under the wheels of an S-Bahn. Meanwhile AC members enjoying their petits fours and nodding greedily, BB cozily hiding behind his bodyguards and devising yet more sadistic unilateral rule changes, attorneys and blogs looking somewhere else (but never missing an opportunity to take part in EPO staff bashing), hum, what, quality drop? haven’t noticed anything, please do not cancel my authorization to represent…”

“The media silence has been appalling.”SUEPO has meanwhile mentioned the latest article from Stefan Krempl (maybe a translation will come soon), covering a story which Techrights broke. It’s about Mr. Ernst, who some claim showed no concerns at all for staff. Not those who commit suicide and certainly not the judge who was mishandled by Team Battistelli.

Thankfully, the UPC is stuck in Germany. As Benjamin Henrion from FFII put it: “We should have 28 constitutional complaints against UPC, but one in Germany will be enough to kill the monster…”

Mr. Ernst is in fact expected to push for the UPC (considering his other professional roles).

“We should have 28 constitutional complaints against UPC, but one in Germany will be enough to kill the monster…”
      –Benjamin Henrion
Kingsley Egbuonu, writing for a pro-UPC and Battistelli-friendly publication, has just published this “progress [sic] report” about the UPC, stating that “many feared the Brexit vote would scupper the UPC.”

By “many” he means Team UPC, i.e. very few greedy people from London (where Egbuonu is based). He wrote about Germany at the very start as follows:

Legal challenge delays Germany’s UPC Agreement ratification progress…

Delays? It may actually kill it. But boosters of the UPC keep saying “delay” as if this thing is inevitable and everyone who dares suggest otherwise is a laughable fringe.

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