10.28.17

Links 28/10/2017: Elive 2.9.12 Beta, Chrome 63 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • System76 and ZaReason both sell Linux laptops with Kaby Lake Refresh chips

      A few months after Intel launched its 8th-gen Core processors for laptops, there are still only a handful of Windows PCs shipping with the new quad-core processors.

      But what about non-Windows PCs? It turns out Linux laptop makers are already starting offer Kaby Lake Refresh CPU options.

      Both System76 and ZaReason are now selling some notebooks with the new chips.

    • Linux Will Soon Have Native Notifications On Chrome

      Notifications, whether on desktop or mobile, may seem like the minutiae of an application but that’s because most of us are accustomed to our platform choice have a uniform look and feel that seemlessly pulls everything together.

  • Server

    • OPNFV Supports Containerized OpenStack and Kubernetes

      The OPNFV Project today announced availability of its fifth platform release — Euphrates. It’s the first release that delivers container integration and Kubernetes support. It gives the ability to deploy containerized OpenStack via Kolla, which provides production-ready containers and deployment tools for operating OpenStack clouds.

      SDxCentral caught up with Heather Kirksey, director of the Linux Foundation’s OPNFV, to talk about Euphrates and the open source project’s latest activity. The group is demonstrating an alternative CORD-type project. And OPNFV executives have been traveling around the world meeting in key locations with OPNFV community members and operators. The below Q&A is lightly edited for clarity.

    • Why Docker Swarm Remains, Even as Kubernetes Adoption Grows

      The big news at the DockerCon EU 17 conference that ran from Oct. 16-19 was the surprise announcement that Docker Inc would be supporting the Kubernetes container orchestration platform in a future release.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.13.10

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.13.10 kernel.

      All users of the 4.13 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.13.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.13.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

      http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st…

    • Linux 4.9.59
    • Linux 4.4.95
    • Linux 3.18.78
    • Linux Foundation Reports Quickening Pace For Linux Development
    • unsafe_put_user() turns out to be unsafe
    • Graphics Stack

      • New AMDGPU DC Patches Published, More Work Towards FreeSync
      • AMD/Ryzen NPT Fix Discovered For Better Pass-Through Graphics Performance

        One area where AMD Ryzen users have encountered Linux issues with virtualization is when trying to setup pass-through support for a graphics card to allow the virtual machine direct access to the GPU. When NPT (Nested Page Tables) are enabled, performance can become severely degraded.

        GPU/PCI pass-through problems have affected the small number of Ryzen Linux users trying to setup such a configuration, mostly for gaming, when NPT is enabled. Some have thought it was a hardware bug, etc, but the good news is a fix is in the works.

      • Intel Sends In Their Final Batch Of DRM Updates For Linux 4.15

        Intel’s open-source developers working on their i915 Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver have had a very busy cycle preparing a lot of new code for the upcoming Linux 4.15.

      • Achieving DisplayPort compliance

        At the X.Org Developers Conference, hosted by Google in Mountain View, CA September 20-22, Manasi Navare gave a talk about her journey learning about kernel graphics on the way to achieving DisplayPort (DP) compliance for Intel graphics devices. Making that work involved learning about DP, the kernel graphics subsystem, and how to do kernel development, as well. There were plenty of details to absorb, including the relatively new atomic mode setting support, the design of which was described in a two-part LWN article.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ethereum + OpenCL Benchmarks With The Latest AMDGPU-PRO Mining & NVIDIA Linux Drivers

        Last week AMD released a new AMDGPU-PRO driver aimed for cryptocurrency mining that is their first release in the new v17.40 series. This new driver also allows adjusting the fragment size for increased performance and at least for mining yields a big performance boost. Here are some fresh benchmarks on multiple Radeon graphics cards using 17.40 with the amdgpu vm_fragment_size set for 2MB compared to the latest NVIDIA 387 Linux graphics driver on various GeForce GPUs.

      • CompuLab IPC3, Testing 10 Mini PCs / Small Form Factor Linux PCs

        The IPC3 is CompuLab’s latest-generation Intense-PC. It may look similar to past IPC models, but is now equipped with the latest generation Intel Core CPUs while remaining fan-less and within an all-metal housing that’s extremely durable.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • 10 Best Lightweight Linux Distributions For Older Computers In 2017

      What do you do with your old computers? The one which once had good hardware configuration but now those are considered outdated. Why not revive your old computer with Linux? I am going to list best lightweight Linux distributions that you can use on your older PC.

      While our focus is on older computers, you can also use most of these lightweight Linux on relatively new hardware. This will give you a better performance if you use your computer for resource-heavy usage such as video editing on Linux.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Server Decoration Protocol Proposed For Wayland-Protocols

        Yesterday the GTK tool-kit added support for KDE’s server-side decorations on Wayland to be used when client-side decorations are not active. Now it’s been proposed adding the KDE Server Decoration Protocol to the upstream Wayland-Protocols repository.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GitLab initiative – Short summary

        Georges told me some people outside of our community asked about our GitLab initiative and that there is some confusion what the status is and that contrary to my belief, there is actual interest outside of GNOME. Since I guess people outside of our community didn’t follow our regular conversations, discussions and update reports in our GNOME mailing list for general desktop discussion, I’ll do a short summarize.

        Almost a year ago we started looking into alternatives to Bugzilla and cgit, and it became a long research, discussion and meeting with several parties and a few of us, Alberto, Allan and me, which then expanded to more people in order to give a different point of vision, like Emmanuele, Daniel, etc. All the research, work and reasoning we did and our eventual decision for a recommendation is written in our wiki page.

  • Distributions

    • Void Linux: A Salute to Old-School Linux

      I’ve been using Linux for a very long time. Most days I’m incredibly pleased with where Linux is now, but every so often I wish to step into a time machine and remind myself where the open source platform came from. Of late, I’ve experimented with a few such distributions, but none have come as close as to what Linux once was than Void Linux.

      Void Linux (created in 2008) is a rolling release, general purpose Linux distribution, available for Intel, ARM, and MIPS architectures. Void offers a few perks that will appeal to Linux purists…

    • New Releases

      • antiX 17 “Heather Heyer” Offers a Systemd-Free OS Based on Debian GNU/Linux 9.2

        antiX 17 follows the trend of previous versions to offer users an operating system that does not include the widely used systemd init system. With this release, Gentoo’s eudev device file manager for the Linux kernel is used by default instead of udev.

        Designed to be fast, flexible, and light on resources, antiX 17 features a new option that lets users run a bleeding-edge Debian Testing (Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster”) or Debian Sid platform. Also, it’s now possible to set up and run a live encrypted system with persistence.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Beta 1 open source operating system available for download

        Linux powers the most popular mobile operating system, Android. It is also what many of the world’s servers run. Despite this, people still think Linux is merely a hobby or niche project — sorry, folks, it isn’t. Even Microsoft has seen the light regarding Linux — Bill Gates runs Android and the Windows Store hosts popular Linux distributions.

        True, Linux does not have significant market share on consumer desktops, but it is extremely important to the enterprise — arguably more important. This is why Red Hat Inc is so successful with its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. RHEL isn’t the only game in town, however; SUSE Linux Enterprise is a viable alternative for servers, workstations, and more. Today, version 15 of the operating system gets its first beta, and you can begin testing it immediately.

      • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP applications comes to IBM Cloud [Ed: Once again an article that's actually the press release 'dressed' up as original]
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • How Can Debian Turn Disagreement into Something that Makes us Stronger

        Recently, when asked to engage with the Debian Technical Committee, a maintainer chose to orphan their package rather than discuss the issue brought before the committee. In another decision earlier this year, a maintainer orphaned their package indicating a lack of respect for the approach being taken and the process. Unfortunately, this joins an ever longer set of issues where people walk away from the TC process disheartened and upset.

        For me personally the situations where maintainers walked away from the process were hard. People I respect and admire were telling me that they were unwilling to participate in our dispute resolution process. In one case the maintainer explicitly did not respect a process I had been heavily involved in. As someone who values understanding and build a team, I feel disappointed and hurt thinking about this.

      • Derivatives

        • DebEX KDE Plasma Is a Pure Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” Distro with Linux 4.13

          GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton recently released a new build of his Debian-based DebEX KDE Plasma distribution, which is the first release based on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” OS.

          DebEX KDE Plasma Build 171023 is here to replace last year’s Build 161001, bringing components from both the Debian Sid and Debian Testing repositories, which means that it doesn’t contain any packages from Ubuntu, nor Kubuntu operating systems, thus making it a bleeding-edge GNU/Linux distribution.

        • There’s a DebEX Version with GNOME 3.26, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster”

          DebEX GNOME is a variant of the Debian-based DebEX operating system built around the GNOME desktop environment. The new release, DebEX GNOME Build 171026 is shipping with the latest GNOME 3.26 desktop environment by default, which is accompanied by the lightweight, GNOME 2-based, MATE 1.18 desktop environment.

          Just like DebEX KDE Plasma, the DebEX GNOME Edition is based on the Debian Testing and Sid repositories, while the DebEX Barebone Edition remains based on Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” and Debian Unstable/Sid. The system is powered by Arne Exton’s special kernel based on the Linux 4.13.4 kernel.

        • Elive 2.9.12 beta released

          The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the beta version 2.9.12

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.04 Codename Announced | Bionic Beaver

            After Aardvark, one of the most favorite releases of Ubuntu, the new version Ubuntu 18.04 has started taking shape under its new name “Bionic Beaver”. Mark Shuttleworth announced the codename on 24th October on his blog. Let’s see what it means and how it defines the new LTS.

          • GNU/Linux Review: Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark”

            This is a review for Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark” that was released at 19 October 2017 which features the new GNOME Desktop, new user interface, with GNOME 3.26 applications, and new wallpapers. The freshly installed system runs at ±1GiB of RAM and is slower on old machine. This review contains links for more information such as Artful download links, installation guide, and also newbie’s guide. I hope you find this review helpful!

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver — Release Date And Expected Features

            Following the release of Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu 18.04, which would be an LTS release, is going to be called “Bionic Beaver.” While Beaver refers to a large, amphibious rodent with smooth fur and sharp teeth, Bionic is an ode to the robotics and artificial body parts.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Is Now Officially Open for Development

            In a mailing list announcement published on Friday, Canonical’s Matthias Klose announced that the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system is now officially open for development.

            Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is the next long-term supported release of Ubuntu, which Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth dubbed as the “Bionic Beaver.” According to the release schedule, the toolchain was uploaded on October 26, 2017, and development kicks off today, October 27, with APT, DPKG, and Debhelper merges.

          • Bionic Beaver now open for development
          • Longtime friends

            You may not know him, but he’s amongst other things the creator of something that could be seen as a precursor to a GNOME OS. Foresight was a distribution based on conary and aimed at providing an easy to use desktop with the latest technologies. It had rolling releases and always shipped the newest upstream bits, without any downstream patches whatsoever. It was also the first distribution to use PackageKit as the official user facing application installation interface. Back then, we used it as the base for an official live image of GNOME available on the GNOME website which was actually just Foresight without the wallpaper or any mention of the distribution.

          • Mir To Next Focus On Improving Wayland Testing

            With Mir now having basic Wayland support, next on their agenda is to improve the acceptance/conformance tests around Wayland in general that will help in vetting Mir’s Wayland support code.

          • Canonical to Focus Mostly on Stability and Reliability for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

            Ubuntu Desktop Director Will Cooke shares some information about what Canonical’s plans are for the next LTS (Long Term Support) release of Ubuntu, which is scheduled for release on April 26, 2018. As expected, they’ll focus mostly on stability and reliability, but it looks like there will be some new features added as well during the development cycle of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

            “At this early stage in the development cycle we’re spending a week or so tidying up the loose ends from 17.10, SRUing the important fixes that we’ve found, getting ready to sync new packages from Debian,” said Will Cooke in his latest weekly report. “As you know, 18.04 will be an LTS release and so we will be focusing on stability and reliability this cycle, as well as a few new features.”

          • Full Circle Magazine #126
          • Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update: GNOME Fixes & New Snaps

            I’ll be starting the weekly round-up posts again now that the release is out and 18.04 is getting under way. At this early stage in the development cycle we’re spending a week or so tidying up the loose ends from 17.10, SRUing the important fixes that we’ve found, getting ready to sync new packages from Debian, and generally doing the groundwork to give us a clear run at 18.04. As you know, 18.04 will be an LTS release and so we will be focusing on stability and reliability this cycle, as well as a few new features. I’ll give a more detailed view into 18.04 in the coming weeks.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu-Based CAINE 9.0 “Quantum” GNU/Linux Operating System Lands with New Tools

              The developers of the Ubuntu-based CAINE (Computer Aided INvestigative Environment) GNU/Linux distribution announced the availability of a new major release, CAINE 9.0 “Quantum.”

              Coming almost a year after the CAINE 8.0 “Blazar” release, CAINE 9.0 “Quantum” introduces numerous new programs, scripts, and tools, among which we can mention VolDiff, The Harvester, NBTempoX, SafeCopy, RegRipper, PFF tools, pListUtil, Mouseemu, Tinfoleak, regfmount, Infoga, OSINT, WinAudit, and MWSnap.

            • What’s New in Ubuntu MATE 17.10

              Ubuntu MATE 17.10 the official flavor of Ubuntu 17.10 with MATE desktop has been released and announced by the Ubuntu MATE Developer. This release ships with the latest MATE Desktop 1.18 as default desktop environment include the MATE apps 1.18 and powered the latest Linux kernel 4.13 series.

              The most important features that added in Ubuntu MATE 17.10, support for global menus and the Heads-Up Display (HUD) feature that was available in the mutiny, cupertino and Contemporary layouts user interface. The login screen has been changed to Slick Greeter, powered by LightDM, and you can now use the Super key to active menu launchers.

            • Ubuntu Mate 17.10 Review

              Looking for a Linux distribution that is both easy to use and extremely customizable? Look no further than Ubuntu Mate! Ubuntu Mate has proven to be a very popular distribution ever since its release. The latest release, 17.10, should prove just as popular, as there are a whole host of improvements.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • My first open source experience: 4 takeaways

    A month ago, the term open source meant little to me. Then I enrolled in a class called “Foundations of an Open Source World,” and now open source principles are integral to my way of thinking, and the community constantly amazes me.

    As a complete open source rookie, I often wished for an instruction manual to help ease my transition into the community. Following are four takeaways from my journey, in hopes that they will help other newcomers.

  • US Logistics Agency Launches Blockchain Sector Mapping Tool

    The U.S. government agency in charge of logistics is taking the next step in its effort to better understand blockchain.

    Through its Emerging Citizen Technology (ECT) program, a blockchain analysis effort first announced in September, the General Services Administration (GSA) this week opened to contributions from industry members, according to a post on its website.

    These contributions will now be compiled into an open-source tool called Atlas, which will include “programs, use cases and resources” created by the private sector and researchers working within government agencies.

  • Baidu Aims For ‘Android’ Of Robocar Tech With Open-Source Apollo Platform
  • Open source Apollo speeds up Baidu’s self-driving software development

    In July, Chinese technology company Baidu made its Apollo 1.0 self-driving car software available as open source on Github, using the Apache/BSD license. By Day 4 of the release, it was the most downloaded C++ software on the site.

    At an Apollo meetup hosted by Baidu at its Sunnyvale, California, offices, company president Ya-Qin Zhang announced Apollo 1.5, a major iteration of the software, just three months after the initial release.

  • This Engineering student is studying how open-source software projects can increase diversity within computer science

    Engineering senior Judy Weng has been working alongside Penn professor Chris Murphy to better understand the lack of diversity in the field of computer science despite its rapidly increasing popularity across majors.

    Weng became interested in the subject when she took CIS 399, an open software development class Murphy taught earlier this year. Upon realizing that open source coding can serve as a resource to underrepresented minorities because of its collaborative structure, she began to work with Murphy to look deeper into the issue.

  • AT&T creates Open Source Lab at T-REX

    AT&T is reaching out to St. Louis’ tech startup community with a new Open Source Lab.

  • ZGC large-heap Java garbage collector may go open source

    An Oracle-developed, low-latency Java garbage collector geared to large heaps could move to the open source community, if a proposal to do so gets community approval. Votes are due by November 8.

    Called the Z Garbage Collector (ZGC), the project is designed to support multiterabyte heaps, have pause times not exceeding 10 milliseconds, and offer no more than a 15 percent application reduction throughput compared to the G1 garbage collector.

  • Mapbox weighs in on location platforms, augmented reality, and the open source enterprise

    With all the happy talk about AI and blockchain we’ve been hearing lately, we can lose track of where the traction really is. The open sourcing of the enterprise immediately comes to mind.

    At Constellation Research‘s Connected Enterprise 2017, I tracked down Alex Barth of Mapbox to talk about their location-platform and the how open source has driven their growth.

  • Catalonia Rejoices As Another Advocate Of Open Source Becomes Moodle Partner

    Founded in 2004, 3ipunt (read “tresipunt”) provides Moodle and open source solutions from an explicit place of support for open source technologies, communities, and thinking. As a member of CatPL, the largest network of Catalan language organizations supporting open source, 3ipunt commits to advocating for open source opportunities through a program that seeks higher recognition, from government to enterprise, and funding for open source initiatives. This is why the Moodle Partner status, through which 3ipunt now commits 10% of its revenue to Moodle HQ, enjoys complete philosophical alignment.

  • Kodi: set-top streaming boxes that take the complexity out of building your own media server

    Kodi boxes are commercial video-streaming gadgets that implement XBMC, a longstanding media-server free/open source project, in pre-packaged form, ready to accept third party plugins, including ones that access infringing streaming services, giving users access to practically every video, commercial and noncommercial, for free, with an easy search-interface.

    Though XBMC has been around for a long time, it is a real chore to set up your own standalone XBMC server, requiring that you buy a mini-ATX all-in-one PC, install a GNU/Linux OS on it, set up and configure XBMC, and so on. The Kodi boxes take all that complexity out of the picture, prepackaging the system in boxes purpose-built to sit unobtrusively on your media totem. They’re a really interesting contrast to the set-top boxes the average American family is forced to spend $200/year renting from their cable-operators, whose power-hungry, trailing-edge architecture have been the subject of a Congressional “Unlock-the-Box” rule for decades, with no motion in sight.

  • The Little Black Box That Took Over Piracy [Ed: Conde Nast (Wall Street) is attacking Kodi. Dubbing it "Piracy" and "Black Box" even though it's FOSS]
  • Hitachi Vantara launches Pentaho 8.0 into global datasphere

    The Pentaho brand is now a fully signed up card-carrying element of Hitachi Vantara.

    But making good on its promise to invest in what was a company and is now a brand/product, the PentahoWorld 2017 user conference saw Hitachi Vantara launch the the Pentaho 8.0 version release.

  • Web Browsers

  • BSD

    • World’s Most Trusted Open-Source Firewall, pfSense, Patched Against WPA2 KRACK

      Released two weeks ago, pfSense 2.4 is a major update to the BSD-based firewall software that introduces an all-new installer based on bsdinstall with built-in ZFS support, revamped Captive Portal to work without multiple instances of the IPFW stateful firewall, support for UEFI machines, as well as support for multiple types of partition layouts like GPT and BIOS.

      pfSense 2.4 also introduces support for Netgate ARM devices, such as SG-1000, support for OpenVPN 2.4, Negotiable Crypto Parameters (NCP), dual stack/multihome, and numerous other improvements. Now, the first point release, pfSense 2.4.1, is already out to patch the system against the infamous WPA2 KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) security vulnerability.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Point releases for the GNU C Library

      The GNU C Library (glibc) project produces regular releases on an approximately six-month cadence. The current release is 2.26 from early August; the 2.27 release is expected at the beginning of February 2018. Unlike many other projects, though, glibc does not normally create point releases for important fixes between the major releases. The last point release from glibc was 2.14.1, which came out in 2011. A discussion on the need for a 2.26 point release led to questions about whether such releases have a useful place in the current software-development environment.

      The glibc 2.26 release is generally only found in relatively fast-moving distributions at this point. For most users, 2.26 has been without problems, but that is not true for everybody. There have been a few significant regressions in this release that have required fixes; one of those was seen as important enough that the question of creating a 2.26.1 point release was raised. Romain Naour subsequently brought that discussion to the libc-alpha mailing list. Having a point release containing important fixes would be helpful to downstream distributors that want to incorporate those fixes, he said.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Source Music Festival to Launch Next Month at Abrons Arts Center

      “Open Source is based on the simple idea that we share our creative work, and allow others to build upon it freely. We’ve built our whole music festival around this powerful concept.” says Joel Fan explaining his inspiration for the Festival, “The open source movement is changing the world, and affects every part of our lives. As a pianist, I’ve always been fascinated by the way music is created – how musical ideas are remixed and new musical trends emerge. The Internet and the open source movement have radically changed the way we communicate, collaborate, and powers much of our creativity today. New innovations such as the blockchain will alter how we power our creativity in the near future. The artists and composers featured at the Festival have won “Genius” Grants, Grammys, Pulitzers, and have earned recognition throughout the world.”

    • Rousing Masses to Fight Cancer with Open Source Machine Learning

      Here’s an open invitation to steal. It goes out to cancer fighters and tempts them with a new program that predicts cancer drug effectiveness via machine learning and raw genetic data.

      The researchers who built the program at the Georgia Institute of Technology would like cancer fighters to take it for free, or even just swipe parts of their programming code, so they’ve made it open source. They hope to attract a crowd of researchers who will also share their own cancer and computer expertise and data to improve upon the program and save more lives together.

    • Samsung’s new Linux smartphones, Raspberry Pi laptops, and more open source news
    • Open Access/Content

      • A Look Back: Challenges Of Open Access In 2017 (An Industry Perspective)

        Over the course of the year, three issues repeatedly reared their heads as barriers to the successful implementation of Open Access: the burden of expected author OA expertise; the underutilization of metadata in the publication lifecycle, and the challenges posed to authors and institutions by one-off solutions. As the tenth Open Access Week draws to a close, with its focus on the concrete benefits of making scholarly research openly available, where have we gotten to in solving these problems and realizing the potential of OA?

  • Programming/Development

    • Mauritian code-cutters to help deliver TLS 1.3

      When IETF 100′s hackathon kicks off in Singapore, one of the groups hoping to make waves will come from Mauritius.

      Their aim, Logan Velvindron of hackers.mu told Vulture South, is twofold: to make serious contributions to the development of the as-yet-immature TLS 1.3, and along the way, break Mauritius out of its public image as a tourist destination with nothing to contribute to today’s IT.

    • Scout out code problems with SonarQube

      More and more organizations are implementing DevOps to make it faster to get quality code into the production environment after passing through the intermediate development and testing environments. Although things such as version control, continuous integration and deployment, and automated testing all fall under the scope of DevOps, one critical question remains: How can an organization quantify code quality, not just deployment speed?

    • Systers: Helping women find their potential in code

      Systers is the world’s largest email community of women in technical computing roles, with more than 7,500 members from more than 65 countries. Systers was founded in 1987 by Anita Borg as the first online community for women in computing, and it hosts 23 different affinity groups where women technologists can connect with and offer support to members of their self-identified cultures.

    • RockScript: An Open Source Scripting Language and Engine for Microservice Orchestration

      Tom Baeyens has released a preview of RockScript, an open source scripting language and engine for integrating and orchestrating microservices in the style of Event-Driven Architecture (EDA). RockScript uses a language that looks much like JavaScript, which when executed by the accompanying engine allows the coordination of transactional activities within microservice systems in a similar fashion to Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and Business Process Modelling (BPM).

    • London Perl Workshop

      WHEN: 25th November 2017 at 9:00AM
      WHERE: 115 New Cavendish Street London W1W 6UW (map)

    • How to rethink project management for DevOps
    • Android 8.1 Developer Preview hands-on: Everything new in Google’s latest update

      Google gave us 64 days to get used to Android 8.0 Oreo being the latest version of Android. While only one third-party phone has upgraded to the latest version, Google is already dropping a developer preview for the next version of Android on the world. Two days ago it released the Android 8.1 Developer Preview, and after a solid day of trying to flash it, totally bricking a Pixel 2, and later having Google pull the update files because they didn’t work, we’re here to report what Android 8.1 is actually like.

      Like most of the .1 releases these days, it’s full of some minor, but important, updates that probably just weren’t ready in time for Android 8.0.

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • DOJ: Billionaire pharma owner fueled the opioid epidemic with bribery scheme

      The billionaire founder and majority owner of Insys Therapeutics was arrested Thursday on racketeering and fraud charges for an alleged nationwide scheme to push an extremely potent opioid drug containing fentanyl onto patients.

      According to the Department of Justice, John Kapoor, 74, of Phoenix, Arizona, used bribes, kickbacks, and other fraudulent practices to get doctors to overprescribe the fentanyl drug, called Subsys. Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. As such, Subsys is only intended to treat severe pain in cancer patients. But according to the DOJ, many patients receiving Subsys didn’t have cancer.

      The DOJ alleges that Kapoor, along with six former executives at Insys, paid doctors and pain clinics in various states to write “large numbers of prescriptions.” The department also alleges that Insys used fraudulent means to get health insurance providers to cover the harmful prescriptions.

  • Security

    • Google Even Fear Intel ME, Reduce Their Attack Vector With NERF

      Even Google is concerned about attack vectors with UEFI and Intel’s Management Engine that their NERF project seeks to alleviate some of these concerns and is used by their servers.

      NERF is short for the Non-Extensible Reduced Firmware and is their effort to replace most of the UEFI firmware with a small Linux kernel and initramfs while their custom portions of the code are written in the Go programming language.

    • Bad Rabbit ransomware spread using leaked NSA EternalRomance exploit, researchers confirm

      When the ransomware first infected organisations in Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday, it was initially suggested that it was using EternalBlue — the leaked exploit which helped the spread of WannaCry — but this was quickly found to be not the case.

      However, researchers at Cisco Talos have now identified that Bad Rabbit did indeed use an SMB vulnerability to propagate through networks — known as EternalRomance. Researchers at other security firms including Symantec and Kaspersky Lab have also confirmed the use of EternalRomance.

    • Threat Spotlight: Follow the Bad Rabbit
    • Bad Rabbit malware used leaked alleged NSA tool
    • Don’t Forget to Thank NSA for Powering Yet Another Ransomware Outbreak
    • Bad Rabbit Ransomware Outbreak Also Used NSA Exploit

      Two days after the Bad Rabbit ransomware outbreak has wreaked havoc in Russia and Ukraine, security researchers are still unearthing details regarding the malware’s modus operandi.

      While initially it was believed that the ransomware spread from the initial victim to nearby computers using a custom scanning mechanism that relied on the SMB protocol, new research published today by Cisco Talos and F-Secure reveals the Bad Rabbit ransomware also used a modified version of an NSA exploit to bolster the spreading process.

    • Was Russia behind BadRabbit? Mystery surrounds cyberattack powered by NSA tool
    • Security updates for Friday
    • Assessing the threat the Reaper botnet poses to the Internet—what we know now
    • KRACK, ROCA, and device insecurity

      It is a fairly bleak picture from a number of different viewpoints. One almost amusing outcome of this mess is contained near the end of Vanhoef’s KRACK web page. He notified OpenBSD of the flaw in mid-July with an embargo (at the time) until the end of August. OpenBSD leader Theo de Raadt complained about the length of the embargo, so Vanhoef allowed OpenBSD to silently patch the flaw. “In hindsight this was a bad decision, since others might rediscover the vulnerability by inspecting their silent patch. To avoid this problem in the future, OpenBSD will now receive vulnerability notifications closer to the end of an embargo.” That might not quite be the outcome De Raadt was hoping for with his (quite reasonable) complaint, especially given that Vanhoef strongly hints that there are other WiFi vulnerabilities in the pipeline.

    • A comparison of cryptographic keycards

      An earlier LWN article showed that private key storage is an important problem to solve in any cryptographic system and established keycards as a good way to store private key material offline. But which keycard should we use? This article examines the form factor, openness, and performance of four keycards to try to help readers choose the one that will fit their needs.

      I have personally been using a YubiKey NEO, since a 2015 announcement on GitHub promoting two-factor authentication. I was also able to hook up my SSH authentication key into the YubiKey’s 2048 bit RSA slot. It seemed natural to move the other subkeys onto the keycard, provided that performance was sufficient. The mail client that I use, (Notmuch), blocks when decrypting messages, which could be a serious problems on large email threads from encrypted mailing lists.

      So I built a test harness and got access to some more keycards: I bought a FST-01 from its creator, Yutaka Niibe, at the last DebConf and Nitrokey donated a Nitrokey Pro. I also bought a YubiKey 4 when I got the NEO. There are of course other keycards out there, but those are the ones I could get my hands on. You’ll notice none of those keycards have a physical keypad to enter passwords, so they are all vulnerable to keyloggers that could extract the key’s PIN. Keep in mind, however, that even with the PIN, an attacker could only ask the keycard to decrypt or sign material but not extract the key that is protected by the card’s firmware.

    • Study Examines Open Source Risks in Enterprise Software [Ed: Microsoft network promotes anti FOSS 'study' (marketing by Flexera)]
    • Google Play Protect is ‘dead last’ at fingering malware on Android

      Last month, German software testing laboratory AV-Test threw malware at 20 Android antivirus systems – and now the results aren’t particularly great for Google.

      Its Play Protect system, which is supposed block malicious apps from running on your handheld, was beaten by every other anti-malware vendor.

    • NSA hacking tool EternalRomance found in BadRabbit
  • Defence/Aggression

    • CIA Considered Bombing Miami and Killing Refugees to Blame Castro

      Still, the 2,800 papers included in the new document dump confirm some salacious details of America’s decades-long quest to kill or depose Fidel Castro — including a fairly shocking plan by the CIA to sow terror in Miami.

      After Castro’s revolution succeeded and thousands of Cubans fled to South Florida, the agency actually considered murdering a boatload of refugees, assassinating exile leaders, and planting bombs in Miami — all so Castro could be blamed for the chaos.

      The basic idea was to turn world opinion against Castro and possibly justify a U.S. military invasion by pinning the atrocities on him. The details of the sinister plot are included in a summary about Operation Mongoose, a 1960 covert op hatched by the CIA under President Dwight Eisenhower with the aim of toppling Communist Cuba.

    • The Intercept Withheld NSA Doc That May Have Altered Course Of Syrian War

      On Tuesday, the Intercept published a hitherto unknown document from the trove of National Security Administration (NSA) documents leaked by Edward Snowden over three years ago. The document was notable as it shed light on the early days of the Syrian conflict and the fact that, for the past six years, so-called “revolutionary” groups aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have largely acted as proxies for foreign governments pushing regime change.

      The document explicitly reveals that an attack led by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was intended to mark the anniversary of the 2011 “uprising” that sparked the Syrian conflict, was directed by a Saudi prince. The document proves, in essence, that the armed opposition in Syria – from the earlier years of the conflict – was under the direct command of foreign governments pushing for regime change.

    • Trump Instructed DOJ to Lift Gag Order on FBI Source in Russian Uranium Sale

      President Trump reportedly intervened to instruct the Justice Department to lift a gag order on an undercover FBI informant who investigated the sale of a uranium mining company to Russia’s atomic energy agency, Rosatom, when Obama was president. This sale is now facing increasing scrutiny, after it surfaced recently that the FBI was investigating a U.S. subsidiary of Rosatom for racketeering and extortion at the time the Obama administration approved the sale.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Puerto Rico Is Burning Its Dead, And We May Never Know How Many People The Hurricane Really Killed

      Funeral directors and crematoriums are being permitted by the Puerto Rican government to burn the bodies of people who died as a result of Hurricane Maria — without those people being counted in the official death toll.

      The result is a massive loophole likely suppressing the official death count, which has become a major indicator of how the federal government’s relief efforts are going because President Trump himself made it one.

      During Trump’s photo-op visit to the US territory — whose residents are US citizens — three weeks ago, he boasted that the death toll was just 16. It doubled by the time he returned to Washington that same day. The death toll is now at 51, a figure widely contradicted by what funeral homes, crematoriums, and hospitals on the ground tell BuzzFeed News.

  • Finance

    • In “Wet Kiss” for Wall Street, Congress Overturns Rules Allowing People to Sue Banks for Misconduct

      After nine months of struggling to deliver on their legislative priorities, Senate Republicans found unity Tuesday when they overturned a rule that makes it easier for Americans to sue banks and credit card companies. The rule was developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and would have allowed people to file class action lawsuits that could have cost the banks billions of dollars. We get an update from Public Citizen’s Amanda Werner, who recently dressed as Rich Uncle Pennybags, with a top hat and monocle, and sat directly behind former Equifax CEO Richard Smith when he testified about a security breach that left sensitive personal information for 143 million Americans exposed to hackers.

    • World’s witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn

      The world’s super-rich hold the greatest concentration of wealth since the US Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century, when families like the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts controlled vast fortunes.

      Billionaires increased their combined global wealth by almost a fifth last year to a record $6tn (£4.5tn) – more than twice the GDP of the UK. There are now 1,542 dollar billionaires across the world, after 145 multi-millionaires saw their wealth tick over into nine-zero fortunes last year, according to the UBS / PwC Billionaires report.

      Josef Stadler, the lead author of the report and UBS’s head of global ultra high net worth, said his billionaire clients were concerned that growing inequality between rich and poor could lead to a “strike back”.

      “We’re at an inflection point,” Stadler said. “Wealth concentration is as high as in 1905, this is something billionaires are concerned about. The problem is the power of interest on interest – that makes big money bigger and, the question is to what extent is that sustainable and at what point will society intervene and strike back?”

      Stadler added: “We are now two years into the peak of the second Gilded Age.”

      He said the “$1bn question” was how society would react to the concentration of so much money in the hands of so few.

      Anger at so-called robber barron families who built up vast fortunes from monopolies in US rail, oil, steel and banking in the late 19th century, an era of rapid industrialisation and growing inequality in America that became known as the Gilded Age, led to President Roosevelt breaking up companies and trusts and increasing taxes on the wealthy in the early 1900s.

    • Catalonia looks to Estonia’s e-residency and considers cryptocurrency option

      Technology experts from the Generalitat de Catalunya have visited Estonia several times to gather tips on how to implement an e-residency programme.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Someone wiped a key server in Georgia right after voters filed a lawsuit over insecure voting-machines

      Right after the suit was filed, parties unknown ordered technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University (who provides oversight for state elections) to securely wipe all the data from a statewide server used to stage election-related data, believed to contain evidence that would be cited in the suit.

    • APNewsBreak: Georgia election server wiped after suit filed

      The server’s data was destroyed July 7 by technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which runs the state’s election system. The data wipe was revealed in an email sent last week from an assistant state attorney general to plaintiffs in the case that was later obtained by the AP. More emails obtained in a public records request confirmed the wipe.

      [...]

      It’s not clear who ordered the server’s data irretrievably erased.

    • Trump Campaign Tries To Defend Itself With Section 230, Manages To Potentially Make Things Worse For Itself

      This is the case brought against the campaign for allegedly colluding with Wikileaks and the Russians to disclose the plaintiffs’ private information as part of the DNC email trove that ended up on Wikileaks. Like Eric Goldman, who has an excellent post on the subject, I’m not going to go into the relative merits of the lawsuit itself, but I would note that it is worth consideration. Even if it’s true that the Trump campaign and Wikileaks were somehow in cahoots to hack the DNC and publish the data taken from it, whether and how the consequences of that disclosure can be recognized by law is a serious issue, as is whether this particular lawsuit by these particular plaintiffs with these particular claims is one that the law can permit to go forward without causing collateral effects to other expressive endeavors, including whistleblower journalism generally. On these points there may or may not be issues with the campaign’s motion to dismiss overall. But the shoehorning of a Section 230 argument into its defensive strategy seems sufficiently weird and counterproductive to be worth commenting on in and of itself.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Australian Lawmakers Propose Outlawing Parody, Having A Sense Of Humor

      There is nothing more dangerous than a government without a sense of humor. This is true for a myriad of reasons, but chief among them must be that a government unable to incorporate humor into its ethos is all the more likely to attempt to outlaw forms of humor held dear by the general public. To see an example of this in action, we can look to Australia and its strange battle against Juice Media, makers of the series Honest Government Adverts, such as the one they did on Australia.

    • NY Times Uncritically Says Fake News Debate Supports Chinese Style Censorship

      It used to be a laughable claim: that the US should emulate the Great Firewall of China and support much greater internet censorship. Sure, you’d have people like the MPAA’s Chris Dodd or U2 frontman Bono cheer on Chinese censorship as a good example of how to censor the internet (in their cases, to block infringing content), but most people still remained rightly horrified by the idea that the answer to “bad” content online is a massive censorship regime. But, apparently, that may be changing.

    • Who Are the Real Censors? Republicans Lean Toward Banning LGBTQ Characters in Books

      | When it comes to the books found in elementary school libraries, 55 percent of Republicans believe books with LGBTQ characters don’t belong there, YouGov reported on Monday.

      The American Library Association’s list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books has not yet been released for 2017, but last year’s list included five books that were contested for including LGBTQ characters. These books included David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing, whose cover art and contents matched its title, and I Am Jazz, a book by transgender teen and LGBTQ advocate Jazz Jennings who currently has a show on TLC. Both books also made it onto the list in 2015.

    • Chronicle of an Act of Censorship Not Foretold

      Earlier this month, The Wire reported the resignation of the editors of scholarly journal Samajik Vimarsh in the face of attempts by the administration of the Council for Social Development (CSD) to interfere in the working of the editorial team and usurp its powers.

      In separate letters to Muchkund Dubey, the president of the CSD, academics Apoorvanand and Dhruva Narayan detailed several attempts by Dubey as well as CSD director Ashok Pankaj to stall the launch of the journal – which was due to be launched this January – and to deliberately undermine their authority as editors.

    • Elizabeth Warren Says Campus Free Speech Means No Censorship or Violence

      The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions convened the hearing amid a national debate on how to protect free speech on campuses, including by protecting the rights of those who may harbor hateful views. Chaos ensued at the University of Florida last week when white nationalist Richard Spencer spoke on campus, and protests against former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopolous at the University of California, Berkeley earlier this year turned violent. In August, activist Heather Heyer was killed at a march protesting a white supremacist rally at the University of Virginia.

    • Medieval Censorship, Nudity And The Revealing History Of The Fig Leaf

      On her academic blog, Alberti’s Window, art historian Monica Bowen has recounted the history of using fig leaves to censor genitals in the early modern period.

    • UZBEKISTAN: Book banning, censorship, illegal fines, reprisals

      Muslim Hairdresser Abduboki Yunusov and regular customer Gayrat Ziyakhojayev is being investigated by Uzbekistan’s Anti-Terrorism Police for sharing a Muslim book electronically. The two Muslims and their families have been illegally searched and intensively questions since April to this month (October) (see below).

      Liliya Sitdikova and her son Vildan Sitdikov, both members of Tashkent’s officially registered Seventh-day Adventist Church, have been fined for keeping their own Christian material in their own home (see below).

    • Abki baar, censorship sarkar: Surjewala’s dig at Modi government
    • By Censoring Shyam Rangeela’s Parody Of Modi, Star Has Dented The Media’s Confidence
    • Dennis Prager Sues YouTube For Filtering His Videos In A Way He Doesn’t Like
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Loss of NSA software a cybersecurity disaster

      The loss of NSA software downloaded by a Moscow cybersecurity organization is a national-security disaster for the United States, and the response to the theft has been far from satisfactory. Here’s the background.

      Kaspersky Lab is a security company that develops and sells anti-virus software. It is based in Moscow; it has offices in the United States and elsewhere. The US government was, until very recently, a big customer for Kaspersky software and installed it on computers even in such sensitive places as the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency.

    • The trouble with text-only email

      The problem, of course, is that this tracking requires the “feedback loops” mentioned in Warther’s message. These loops tend to take the form of tracking images that are fetched from a server belonging to the sender. The privacy implications of this kind of tracking are obvious: not everybody wants email senders to know when their mail was read and where the reader was at the time. Requiring this sort of disclosure would seem to run afoul of Mozilla Manifesto #4: “Individuals’ security and privacy on the Internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional.” But the alternative, Warther said, is an ongoing series of delivery problems for Mozilla’s email in general.

      There are other problems with tracking images and related mechanisms, starting with the fact that people who are paying attention tend to disable the loading of such images. Your editor recently received a complaint from a financial company that its emails were not being read; those emails were indeed read, they just weren’t allowed to phone home and report that fact. Chances are good that this kind of blocking will increase in the future; not everybody wants to be a part of an unrequested “feedback loop”.

    • Ex-NSA Official: Nobody Knows What’s Going On at US Intelligence Agencies

      When it comes to the US intelligence community’s ability to collect, store and analyze data on any person at any time, there’s virtually nothing that can stop them. Keeping track of who’s doing what within that community, however, is a different animal.

      Congressional intelligence committees, FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) courts, “and even the administration have no real control of what happens inside these intelligence agencies. They don’t have any way of verifying what they’re doing, that’s the real problem — even the managers of those agencies don’t necessarily know what’s going on in their agency,” former NSA officer Bill Binney told Loud & Clear on Radio Sputnik Thursday.

    • As Congress mulls surveillance reforms, here are the good, bad, and ugly options

      With three surveillance bills and just two months to pass one of them, Congress is scrambling to try to keep the bulk of the US government’s foreign surveillance powers alive past the new year.

      It’s the first opportunity for lawmakers to reform some of the government’s foreign surveillance laws since the Edward Snowden revelations more than five years ago. These are the same laws that authorize the controversial PRISM program, which collects data from servers of internet giants, the massive bulk collection of internet traffic, and the government’s computer and network hacking powers.

    • The New York Times is Now Available as a Tor Onion Service

      Today we are announcing an experiment in secure communication, and launching an alternative way for people to access our site: we are making the nytimes.com website available as a Tor Onion Service.
      The New York Times reports on stories all over the world, and our reporting is read by people around the world. Some readers choose to use Tor to access our journalism because they’re technically blocked from accessing our website; or because they worry about local network monitoring; or because they care about online privacy; or simply because that is the method that they prefer.

    • New York Times launches Tor Onion Service to overcome censorship and ensure privacy

      The New York Times has announced that it is launching a Tor Onion Service version of its website. The new, more secure way to access the site will open it up to people around the world whose internet connections are blocked or monitored.

      It also caters to a growing breed of people who are concerned about what their web browsing habit might reveal and who have turned to Tor to protect their privacy.

    • The New York Times is now a Tor onion service

      The New York Times is now available as an “Onion Service” on the Tor network, at the address https://www.nytimes3xbfgragh.onion/ — meaning that anyone with Tor access can securely and privately access the Times without giving away any information about what they’re looking at, even to state-level actors who control the ISPs.

      Runa Sandvik, formerly of the Tor project and now serving as Director of Information Security for the Times, made the announcement today, and said that this was experimental, and committed the Times to sharing “the lessons that we have learned — and will learn — about scaling and running an Onion Service.”

    • Amazon Key is Silicon Valley at its most out-of-touch

      Amazon wants to let strangers into your house and train a surveillance camera on your front door. Oh, and they’d like you to pay them $250 for the privilege.

    • China: Voice Biometric Collection Threatens Privacy

      The collection of voice biometrics is part of the Chinese government’s drive to form a “multi-modal” biometric portrait of individuals and to gather ever more data about citizens. This voice biometric data is linked in police databases to the person’s identification number, which in turn can then be linked to a person’s other biometric and personal information on file, including their ethnicity, home address, and even their hotel records.

    • China is quietly building a national voiceprint database to allow automated speaker recognition

      The Chinese voiceprint project has been underway for some years, and the HRW post pulls together the scant evidence of what has been happening. For example, in 2012, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that the construction of national voice pattern database had begun, and designated Anhui province, located in the eastern region of the country, as one of the areas where pilot schemes would be run. Anhui’s leading role in the project is confirmed by subsequent orders issued by the provincial police bureau to accelerate the database construction, and tender documents from other police stations across the region seeking bids to install voice pattern collection systems locally.

    • Back Down The Rabbit Hole About Encryption On Smartphones

      Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote the disapproving memo that President Trump used as a pretext to fire FBI Director James Comey in May. But on at least one area of law-enforcement policy, Rosenstein and Comey remain on the same page—the Deputy AG set out earlier this month to revive the outgoing FBI director’s efforts to limit encryption and other digital security technologies. In doing so, Rosenstein has drawn upon nearly a quarter century of the FBI’s anti-encryption tradition. But it’s a bad tradition.

      Like many career prosecutors, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is pretty sure he’s more committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law than most of the rest of us are. This was the thrust of Rosenstein’s recent October 10 remarks on encryption, delivered to an audience of midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Charter CEO Tries To Blame Netflix Password ‘Piracy’ For Company’s Failure To Adapt To Cord Cutting

      Like most pay TV providers, Charter Communications (Spectrum) continues to bleed pay TV subscribers tired of paying an arm and a leg for giant, bloated channel bundles. Also like most pay TV providers, the company isn’t willing to really own the fact that their only real “solution” to this problem has been to double down on the same, bad ideas. Charter just got done gobbling up Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers in a $79 billion deal that resulted in rate hikes as high as 40% and somehow even worse customer service than the historically-awful customer service the sector is known for.

    • Trump’s FCC Chair Moves to Undermine Journalism and Democracy
    • Divided FCC Eliminates Main Studio Rule

      A politically divided FCC has voted to eliminate the main studio rule. The vote was 3-2 with the two Democrats strongly dissenting.

      That was the almost eight-decade old requirement that broadcasters, radio and TV, maintain a main studio in or near their community of license.

    • Verizon Will Graciously Now Let You Avoid Video Throttling For An Additional $10 Per Month

      Back in February you might recall that a little something called competition forced Verizon Wireless to bring back unlimited data plans it had spent the last few years insisting nobody really wanted. But the plans nobody wanted or needed wound up being so immensely popular, they caused some very modest slowdowns on the Verizon network. As a result, Verizon announced last August that it was getting rid of its truly unlimited plan, and replacing it with a series of even worse “unlimited” plans that throttled every video touching the Verizon network. For good measure, Verizon proceeded to ban 4K video streaming entirely.

  • DRM

    • How Microsoft Delayed A Wildly Popular Xbox Feature To Clean Up Its Wildly Unpopular Always Online Plans

      The Xbox One has been back in the news recently as Microsoft has rolled out an update that makes the system backwards compatible with some original Xbox games. Much as with the backwards compatibility roll out for Xbox 360 games that Microsoft performed in 2015, fans of the system have been cheering this on. It’s something a no-brainer, with this functionality making the system all the more appealing and increasing brand loyalty for the console as gamers will be conditioned to expect that the investments they’ve made in gaming titles won’t go to waste once the shelf-life of a particular generation of systems runs its course.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Zealand political party infringed Eminem copyright, must pay $412k

        A company that owns some of rapper Eminem’s early work has won a copyright case against an unusual defendant: a New Zealand political party.

        New Zealand’s National Party has been ordered to pay NZ$600,000, plus interest, for using music from Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” in a 2014 election ad. That’s around US$412,000 that must be paid to the plaintiff in the case, Eight Mile Style, a music publisher that owns some of Eminem’s early catalog.

      • The DMCA as Ransomware

        I’ll betcha never figured that one of the things you could do with a DMCA take down notice was use it as ransomware. In a case that proves that if you write bad law it’ll be exploited in more ways than you can imagine, that’s now been done. Forget the record and movie industries moves to take down innocent YouTube posts by misidentifying content as infringing — or misunderstanding fair use.

        Here’s a case that proves that a script kiddie doesn’t need to go traveling the dark web to spend tiny pieces of a bitcoin for ransomware software. He or she can launch a ransomware attack with no software at all.

      • Leaked: These 3 EU governments want to give record labels control over what we can and can’t post online

        Documents leaked today by Statewatch expose: The governments of France, Spain and Portugal are pushing to redesign the web away from openness and towards the tight control of cable TV, where a few big companies get to say what goes on the air.

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