11.02.17

Links 2/11/2017: Valve Survey, MariaDB Funding

Posted in News Roundup at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Switching From Windows To Linux

      Windows is there in our life from a long time. From our school’s computer labs to our PC at home where we had been playing games to every neighbor in the hood everyone is using windows since a long time. Switching is never easy especially when most of the thing you own is compatible with Windows only not Linux. But there are reasons why you want to switch that’s why you are here, to find out the problems, their solutions and most likely reasons why you want to make the switch.
      ​I will help you in the best way I can because I also made that decision, so I know what could be problems and their solutions.

    • 10 obscure (but useful) desktop Linux distros

      You’ve likely heard of Ubuntu, Red Hat and Fedora, but there are strange, lesser-known versions of Linux worth knowing about.

  • Server

    • 10 Best Linux Server Distributions of 2017

      Linux is free and open source, this has emanated into low total cost of ownership of a Linux system, compared to other operating systems. Although Linux operating systems (distributions) are not entirely doing well on desktop computers, they are commanding the stats when it comes to powering servers, mainframe computers as well as supercomputers in data centers around the world.

      There are several factors attributed to this: the first and most important that you might have thought of, is the general freedom associated with it, stability and security among others.

  • Kernel Space

    • WireGuard Could Soon Be On Its Way To The Linux Kernel

      Announced last summer by Jason Donenfeld was the “WireGuard” project as a next-generation secure network tunnel for the Linux kernel. It’s looking like this network addition could soon be reaching the mainline Linux kernel.

      Back in January they talked of their mainline kernel ambitions and while it might not be ready for merging in 2017 as it doesn’t look like it will make it for the 4.15 merge window, it’s sounding like it will be here soon enough.

    • SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again

      The seemingly endless legal battle between SCO and IBM battle over who owns UNIX, and perhaps bits of Linux, too has re-emerged. And this time SCO has had a win.

      As Groklaw records, this case kicked off in 2003. The dispute centres on “Project Monterey” a joint effort by SCO and IBM to build a unified UNIX capable of running on several different microprocessor architectures. SCO – at that time known as the Santa Cruz Organisation – sold versions of UNIX and tossed some of its source code into the Project Monterey mix, as did IBM. The parties signed a “joint development agreement” (JDA) to formalise the deal.

    • The foundation announced Acumos Project, initiated by AT&T and India-based Tech Mahindra.
    • AT&T partnership will bring ‘open source AI marketplace for businesses’
    • New Collaborative Platform to Spur Open Source AI Development

      The Linux Foundation this week announced an agreement with AT&T and Tech Mahindra to launch the Acumos Project, a new platform for open source development of artificial intelligence.

      The new platform is part of a broader effort to open up opportunities for AI collaboration in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors.

      The Linux Foundation has been working with AT&T and Tech Mahindra for months to put this deal together, in the hope of creating a framework for new development in a standardized environment.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMDKFD For Linux 4.15 Adding Usermode Events, Dropping Radeon DRM Support

        Building off an earlier update in DRM-Next of upstreaming more AMDKFD changes for Linux 4.15, a second batch of feature work was proposed today for merging into DRM-Next.

        Oded Gabbay has sent in a second batch of AMDKFD driver changes for Linux 4.15. AMDKFD, of course, being the HSA kernel driver. With this second batch of changes, it still is mostly focused on upstreaming APU work and not yet the discrete GPU bits needed.

      • GL_EXT_semaphore Being Prepped For Mesa, Used By SteamVR

        Andres Rodriguez of Valve has posted a set of 17 patches for implementing the OpenGL GL_EXT_semaphore extension within Mesa and wired through for RadeonSI.

        GL_EXT_semaphore is part of the OpenGL memory object support that was introduced as an extension this year for porting these semaphores / memory objects concepts from Vulkan back to OpenGL. Semaphores are synchronization primitives and the GL semaphores map to the semantics of Vulkan semaphores.

      • Etnaviv Gallium3D Driver Now Wiring Up ASTC Texture Compression

        The Etnaviv open-source driver stack providing reverse-engineered Vivante Linux graphics driver support continues on its feature streak.

        Some of the recent successes in the past several days for the Etnaviv driver have included Vivante GC7000 series patches for supporting this newer hardware, OpenGL 2.1 support, plans for eventually supporting OpenCL, and more.

      • Meson’ed Mesa Allows For 10 Second Build & Deploy Of Intel’s Vulkan Driver

        Among the projects recently adopting the Meson build system has been Mesa 3D. The build time benefits are quite encouraging for developers.

        The Mesa onboarding of Meson has been happening in their Git code the past several weeks. Similar to other projects, Meson with the Ninja back-end is allowing for much quicker build times than using GNU Autotools and alternatives.

  • Applications

    • scikit-survival 0.4 released and presented at PyCon UK 2017
    • Signal Introduces Standalone Desktop App for Windows, Mac, Linux

      Open Whisper Systems launched Signal desktop app through Chrome browser back in 2016. The company is finally bringing a standalone app for the private messaging service. “Signal Desktop is now available in a new, standalone form, and the Chrome App has been deprecated,” the company said in an announcement blog post.

      The new standalone desktop version of Signal means that it will run independently of the browser. “If you’re a Firefox or Safari user, you don’t need to install Chrome to send and receive Signal messages on your computer. If you’re a Chrome user, having your browser open will no longer be synonymous with having Signal Desktop open,” explains the company in a blog post. The standalone Signal desktop app has been launched with support for platforms including Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 as well as macOS 10.9 and above. The company has also released a standalone app for Linux distributions supporting APT like Ubuntu or Debian.

    • Standalone Signal Desktop

      Signal Desktop is now available in a new, standalone form, and the Chrome App has been deprecated.

      The new desktop version of Signal runs independently of your browser. If you’re a Firefox or Safari user, you don’t need to install Chrome to send and receive Signal messages on your computer. If you’re a Chrome user, having your browser open will no longer be synonymous with having Signal Desktop open.

    • Lucidor – A Lightweight & Cross-Platform Ebook Reader

      Lucidor is a cross-platform ebook reader and manager with support for catalogs in the OPDS format and the EPUB file format.

      As a XULRunner application, it resembles the look and feel of the famous Firefox web browser with its tabbed layout and configuration settings panel.

      As simple as it is, you can use it to convert web pages and web feeds into ebooks, update your library’s metadata from the internet, and even search for and download ebooks online.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Akademy 2018 site visit

        Last week I was part of the expedition by KDE (together with Kenny and Petra) to visit the local team that is helping us organize Akademy 2018 in Vienna.

  • Distributions

    • How Two Teenagers Created Zorin OS and Made it a Popular Linux Distribution

      Two teenagers created a Linux distribution 8 years back. Today it has become a prominent name in the Linux world. Artyom Zorin tells the inside story of Zorin OS and its future goals.

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux 2017.11.01 Is Now Available for Download with Linux Kernel 4.13.9

        Every month, the Arch Linux developers bake an up-to-date installation image (a.k.a. ISO) that includes all the security patches and package updates that they’ve pushed through the stable software repositories of the GNU/Linux distribution during the month that just ended.

        Arch Linux 2017.11.01 is the ISO snapshot for the month of November 2017, powered by the Linux 4.13.9 kernel and incorporating all the updates released during October 2017. Weighing around 523 MB in size, the Arch Linux 2017.11.01 installation image is supported only on 64-bit platforms as 32-bit installations aren’t possible anymore.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Review: A Little Slow While Booting (Compared to 17.04) But Quite Stable

            As mentioned earlier, I’ve been using Ubuntu 17.10 for more than a week now. Compared to Ubuntu 17.04 it is a bit slow while booting, yet slightly lightweight, very responsive (again, I had to manually tweak the I/O scheduler to make it responsive), power efficient, shuts down fast and is very stable. Even though there is no Unity desktop shell anymore, they’ve tweaked GNOME to look a lot alike as well. So all in all, I’m quite happy with this release.

            That said, I’ve been using KDE plasma desktop that came with Manjaro 17.02 for the past few months, and I’m beginning to love KDE more & more. One of the reasons why I was forced to look for an alternative was because of some of the limitations of the GNOME desktop (I’m not going to go into the details since I’ve mentioned some of the these reasons in my other reviews). Therefore, despite my judgement derived from this Ubuntu 17.10 review, I’ve decided to switch to KDE (well, for now at least).

            But I wanted to stay closer to the core Ubuntu platform, thus I’ve chosen the old girl, Debian, Debian 9 (‘Stretch’) KDE edition, to be precise. I’ve already downloaded it and going to give it a go. That said, if you’re an Ubuntu fan, and want to try out the 17.10 release, then why not, it looks good to me.

          • The Best GTK Themes for Ubuntu

            We roundup some of the best GTK themes for Ubuntu. Our list includes Arc, Adatpa, and Numix, and other GTK themes guaranteed to give your desktop a makeover.

          • System76 Galago Pro Review with Pop!_OS — Is Pop!_OS Just Another Distribuntu?

            But what really drew me in was the stunning iconography, which was particularly surprising. Despite Linux being synonymous with customization and there being too many icon sets to count, many of them, while attractive in their own right, fail to embody what we expect in a professional or commercial product. That’s not to say that their artwork itself is unprofessional, but many are intended to be playful or are created with a particular style in mind that is not typical of professional environments. System76 has created a stunning set of icons that don’t undermine the power of Linux and will hopefully attract professionals from all fields to try out Linux as a part of their productivity suite.

            The final release of Pop!_OS has been released, and since I encountered no bugs while playing with the alpha, I’d be hard-pressed to believe there are any show-stoppers in the final release, so I highly recommend you give it a try and show your non-Linux using friends how cost-free doesn’t necessarily mean aesthetic-free.

            Find the high-resolution Golago Pro pictures here on Google Drive.

            Did you find this System76 Golago Pro review interesting? Don’t forget to share your views with us.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • My suggestion for QEMU

    I have been involved in open source software since 1993. And in 1994, I believed so strongly in the ability for people to come together to write code that I created the FreeDOS Project, to replicate the functionality of MS-DOS. And twenty-three years later, I’m still using and developing FreeDOS.

    My desktop system is Linux, and I run FreeDOS using QEMU (Quick EMUlator). QEMU is very easy to use, and provides great flexbility to define your virtual machine. I run FreeDOS in QEMU when I want to play an old DOS game, or when I want to test some legacy software, or when I want to write code to update a FreeDOS program.

    But one problem pops up occasionally when using QEMU. A lot of old DOS software uses the function keys to do various things. The most extreme example is WordPerfect, which was arguably the most popular commercial word processor of the day. WordPerfect is notorious for using all of the function keys, in every combination, including use of Ctrl and Alt to access all the common features. I think WordPerfect probably used all of the expanded keys too, like Home and End.

  • Databases

    • Open source database startup MariaDB confirms $27M investment led by Alibaba

      Open source database startup MariaDB has announced a new $27 million round of funding led by Alibaba, confirming the news that TechCrunch reported in September.

      As we wrote then, Alibaba contributed the majority of the round, supplying €20 million of the total €22.9 million raised.

    • Alibaba leads $27m round in US-based open source database firm MariaDB

      US and Finland based MariaDB Corporation, which provides an open source database, has raised $27 million in a series C funding led by Alibaba Group.

      The investment will see the company expanding its reach globally as the open source database standard.

    • Alibaba Group leads $27M funding round for MariaDB

      The source of the investment is part of what MariaDB Chief Executive Michael Howard (pictured) called “a funding hat trick” with nearly equal parts of the company’s total cash hoard coming from U.S., European and Asian investors. That reflects a new, more global way of doing business.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Microsoft Engineer Installs Google Chrome During Presentation After Edge Freezes
    • Microsoft: 40 percent of VMs hosted on Azure are powered by Linux [Ed: This article, from a pro-Microsoft site, is filled with lies, including the feature image. Marketing.]

      Microsoft has increased its commitment to open-source technologies recently and has a wide variety of Linux virtual machines (VMs) available for Azure users to deploy. In September, the company revealed that it was working with Canonical for a custom Linux kernel for Ubuntu VMs on Azure.

    • Ubisoft has made its Sharpmake game dev tool open-source [Ed: Well, if you make something FOSS but it's about Microsoft's proprietary C# does that still count?]

      The tool itself could offer game developers an alternative to tools like CMake and Premake, specifically one that Ubisoft says generates 100 to 200 times faster and works well with both big C++ code bases and multiplatform projects.

    • VMware open sources VR overlay for vSphere [Ed: but vSphere is still proprietary; Microsoft style of openwashing]

      VMware has open-sourced a “VR Data Center Experience” that puts a virtual reality overlay over its vSphere product, to give you a virtual view of virtual machines.

      The company first demonstrated this code at VMworld Europe, after it was whipped up at an earlier hackfest.

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Making transparency work for Harvard’s Dataverse Project

      A culture of transparency permeates the Dataverse project, contributing to its adoption in dozens of research institutions around the world. Headquartered at Harvard University, the Dataverse development team has more than a decade of experience operating as an open source project within an organization that values transparency: the Institute of Quantitative Social Science (IQSS). Working transparently helps the Dataverse team communicate changes to current development efforts, provides opportunities for the community to support each other, and facilitates contribution to the project.

    • Chinese Startup Goes All Out Cloning Tesla Via Open-Source Patents

      Thanks to Tesla’s decision to open-source its patents, Chinese startup Xiaopeng Motors has already manufactured several Model X clones.

    • Open Source Machine Learning Helps the Fight Against Cancer

      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.

    • Georgia Tech researchers release open-source AI algorithm to predict effectiveness of cancer drugs

      A team of researchers from Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology introduced an open-source algorithm Oct. 26 that predicts a cancer drug’s effectiveness based on a patient’s genetic data.

      The researchers developed the machine learning algorithm using gene expression and drug response data from the National Cancer Institute’s panel of 60 human cancer cell lines. Their goal was to create an algorithm that predicts optimal drug therapies based on individual patient tumors.

      In a study of 273 cancer patients, researchers found the algorithm to be about 85 percent accurate in assessing the effectiveness of nine drugs. By releasing the algorithm on an open-source platform, they hope other researchers will participate in refining their work.

  • Programming/Development

    • Why Go is skyrocketing in popularity

      The Go programming language, sometimes referred to as Google’s golang, is making strong gains in popularity. While languages such as Java and C continue to dominate programming, new models have emerged that are better suited to modern computing, particularly in the cloud. Go’s increasing use is due, in part, to the fact that it is a lightweight, open source language suited for today’s microservices architectures. Container darling Docker and Google’s container orchestration product Kubernetes are built using Go. Go is also gaining ground in data science, with strengths that data scientists are looking for in overall performance and the ability to go from “the analyst’s laptop to full production.”

      As an engineered language (rather than something that evolved over time), Go benefits developers in multiple ways, including garbage collection, native concurrency, and many other native capabilities that reduce the need for developers to write code to handle memory leaks or networked apps. Go also provides many other features that fit well with microservices architectures and data science.

    • 15 Most Disliked Programming Languages That Developers Don’t Want To Work With

      It’s a well-known fact that your choice of a programming language decides the growth of your career as a developer. For example, if you’re an Android developer, you must start learning Kotlin programming and join the army of developers who are ready to walk with the changing trend. The same could be said for iOS developers who are learning Swift.

      But, what if you are a programming novice and looking for a new language? In this scenario, it’s advisable to start with easy-to-learn programming languages like Python or JavaScript. To help you out in this decision and give you a good idea of the languages which are disliked by the programmers, Stack Overflow has published a blog post.

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Death toll rises to 231 in Somalia truck bomb attack

      The militant group promotes strict sharia law, which includes amputating the hands of thieves. The group’s attacks have added to the difficulties faced by Farmajo, who was elected in February to lead the country of 14 million people that ranks among the poorest nations in the world.

    • Blowback and the Manhattan Terror Attack

      When I was British Ambassador in Uzbekistan I very explicitly warned that the support NATO countries were giving the appallingly repressive Uzbek regime – military, financial and political support – would cause hatred of the West among Uzbeks. I felt so strongly about this I was prepared to give up my career for it, and in Murder in Samarkand (Dirty Diplomacy in the USA) I published a 440 page account of how our policy was fundamentally wrong. It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to be vindicated in this way.

    • Defense Department: The War On Terror Has Cost $250 Million A Day For 16 Years

      The Department of Defense periodically releases a “cost of war” report. The newly released version, obtained by the Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog, covers the time from the September 11th terrorist attacks through mid-2017.

      The Afghanistan War from 2001 to 2014 and Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 account for the bulk of expenses: more than $1.3 trillion. The continuing presence in Afghanistan and aerial anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria since 2014 have cost a combined $120 billion.

      The report’s costs include only direct war-related expenses such as operating and maintaining bases, procuring equipment, and paying for and feeding troops. It most notably does not include the expense of veteran’s benefits for troops who serve in these wars or the intelligence community’s expenses related to Global War on Terror.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Hundreds lose jobs as Surakarta closes iconic Sriwedari park
    • Puerto Rico residents resort to tainted water at Dorado Superfund site

      Levels of industrial solvents in some of the wells at the Dorado Superfund site are too high for drinking water

    • Fossil Fuel Lobbying means EU Pushes for ‘False Solutions’ at Climate Talks — Report

      The European Union is being influenced by big polluters and corporate interests in a way that is “threatening” the realisation of the Paris Agreement, according to a new report.

      Published days before countries head to Bonn for the next round of international climate talks, it claims that big polluters have infiltrated the negotiations process and are pushing for “false solutions” and lobbying against tougher regulations.

      Despite media focus on the role of the US since Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the report — co-authored by NGOs Corporate Accountability and Corporate Europe Observatory — suggests that the EU is “perhaps worse” than America in “undermining climate policy”, despite often being hailed as “a climate hero”.

      Last month, the EU Parliament agreed to push to curb the access of fossil fuel lobbyists at the international climate negotiations. But Europe’s environment ministers later omitted any mention of stopping vested interests participating in negotiations in a formal statement outlining its priorities for the talks – reducing the chance of the progress on curbing conflicts of interest in Bonn.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Why Twitter Is the Best Social Media Platform for Disinformation

      So what should be happening? Twitter should own up to its values, acknowledge it’s a public news platform (in contrast to other social media networks), and stop editing the news. After all, Twitter designed its service in a way that gives every single regular post a publicly accessible and unique URL, no login required to view. Such openness has been a key ingredient in the company’s recipe for success. Tweets are on the public record, indeed some have become the public record.

    • Actually, No, Bob Corker and John McCain Are Doing Nothing to Hold Trump Accountable
    • Do Facebook and Twitter Have Control Over Their Products? It’s Complicated

      Even if that happened, it would likely be a partial picture. National security experts testified that they don’t believe these companies have found more than the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to Russian interference. Nor did they believe the likes of Facebook and Twitter, with their Earth-sized footprints, have the ability to figure out the true identities of their millions of advertisers.

    • Zuckerberg Is ‘Dead Serious’ About Russia, Open to Legislation
    • Political Twitter Is No Place For Moderates

      Our research surveyed 3,938 Twitter users1 who together generated 4.8 million tweets that we downloaded in August 2016. We then coded the most common 12,000 words based on whether they were political, either because they used an explicitly political term (say, “president”) or a proper noun that was likely to be political (“Romney,” “Maddow” or “CNN”). In all, we found just 293 of the 12,000 words to be political.

    • Sweden is ‘in the process of dismantling democracy’: ex-Social Democrat head

      “When he is old he won’t be living in a democracy but in a technocracy, or a dictatorship. It’s sad as hell. I am sorry to say it, but I am 100 percent sure. We are in the process of dismantling democracy.”

    • Planned Mosque on Historic Battlefield Invokes Debate on Sweden’s ‘Rootlessness’

      Earlier this year, the Halmstad municipality reportedly sold 7,000 square meters of land intended for a mosque. The decision was railroaded through despite the fact the mosque imam had previously made controversial statements on the internet, comparing homosexuality to a virus. Henrik Oretorp of Halmstad housing committee told the Swedish national broadcaster that it was impossible for the municipality to waver in such an important land sale agreement. According to SVT, the municipality receives SEK 1.4 million ($170,000 or roughly $25 per square meter) for the land sold to the Islamic Children and Culture Association.

    • Does This Trump Move Seem Familiar? Probably Because George Bush Did It First.
    • The Intellectual Dishonesty of the Guardian

      In an instance typical of the morally abhorrent neoliberal propaganda rag that the Guardian has become, it reports that the latest respectable opinion poll puts support for Catalan Independence at 48.7% – while failing to report that the same poll puts opposition to Catalan Independence at 43.6%. By excluding the don’t knows and failing to admit it has done so, the Guardian quite deliberately leads readers to presume that the 48.7% support for Independence means there is a majority against. In fact the true figures are roughly Yes 53%, No 47%, excluding don’t knows.

    • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

      It is difficult to understand the provenance of this “sex list” of Tory MPs. What was the standing of the junior Tory researchers who allegedly compiled it, and at whose behest? Assuming this copy is genuine, we know that at least some of it is accurate because individuals like Mark Garnier have admitted the detail of the allegation. But I publish it as a matter of intense public interest at the moment, and I publish it as evidence that this is what is alleged. This list is already extremely widely available online. I am not in any sense endorsing or promoting as true any of the specific individual allegations, which may be groundless nonsense. I understand that in some cases these allegations are strongly denied.

    • The Best Reporting on Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and, Of Course, George Papadopoulos

      Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, his protégé Rick Gates and the less well-known Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have all faced scrutiny before Monday. Here are our favorite stories on them.

    • Marcy Wheeler Says Indictments in Russia Probe Further Incriminate Attorney General Jeff Sessions

      President Donald Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI, after being indicted on charges that include money laundering, acting as unregistered agents of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government and conspiracy against the United States. The White House said the indictments have nothing to do with the president’s 2016 campaign. However, Trump stopped tweeting yesterday after his former campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. We speak with Marcy Wheeler, who in a new piece writes, “George Papadopoulos’s Indictment is Very, Very Bad News for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”

    • Georgia insists server deletion was “not undertaken to delete evidence”

      Georgia state officials said Monday that the recent reports of server deletion “were not undertaken to delete evidence.” The conclusion came as part of a two-page “investigation report” authored by Ryan Germany of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

      As Ars reported last week, a university server and its backups, believed to be key to a pending federal lawsuit filed against Georgia election officials, were deleted, according to e-mails recently released under a public records request.

      Also this week, the state’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) told plaintiffs that it would no longer be representing state election officials. The lawsuit will now be taken over by Barnes Law Group, headed by former Georgia Governor Ray Barnes.

    • Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

      Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.

      I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Privacy is constantly under threat; here are ways communities can help to protect it locally

      Stories about privacy have a depressing tendency to be about its loss, and the increasing threats to it in the future. Perhaps we need to spend more time thinking about how to protect it, to prevent the loss and head off the threats. That’s easier said than done, since the latter come from many quarters, and take many forms. But even if it is not possible to draw up a complete and definitive approach to defending privacy, it is worthwhile looking at what has worked in the past in order to bear it in mind for future battles.

      One episode in the annals of privacy has been taking place in Oakland, California. Back in 2013, Oakland residents discovered that the City of Oakland City Council was intending to approve a second phase of a port security monitoring system. This entailed extending Oakland’s Domain Awareness Center (DAC) into a city-wide surveillance apparatus that would have combined feeds from cameras, microphones, and other electronic monitoring assets throughout the city – see DAC Technical Requirements slide above for details.

    • Liberty Act Presents Another “Fake Fix” To Controversial NSA Spying Program

      Ever since Edward Snowden helped reveal the true extent of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive spying program, U.S. politicians have attempted to “fix” the program’s gross violations of the Fourth Amendment with legislation. While some legislative efforts were “fake fixes,” others were well-meaning but have fallen short, as legislators still lack key information regarding how the government interprets and uses Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and Section 215 of the Patriot Act to legally justify its dragnet collection of citizen phone records and other information.

      Indeed, over the past four years, Congress has been stonewalled by the NSA in its attempts to learn more about the program. The NSA has repeatedly refused even to estimate how many Americans are spied on by the agency’s most invasive programs and has even refused to reveal whether it spies on members of Congress or other elected officials in the United States.

    • Verizon Wants FCC to Ban States From Protecting Your Privacy | DSLReports, ISP Information
    • It’s not just online privacy, Verizon also wants FCC to ban states from protecting your net neutrality

      Verizon does not want states or localities to have the ability to enact their own net neutrality rules should the FCC vote to destroy net neutrality under the guise of “Restoring Internet Freedom” later this year. A recent Verizon whitepaper (pdf), which was mailed to the FCC last week, reveals the company’s incessant pushing. And the valid concern is that the FCC, currently chaired by a former Verizon employee – is actually listening.

    • Do Not Track Implementation Guide Launched

      Today we are releasing the implementation guide for EFF’s Do Not Track (DNT) policy. For years users have been able to set a Do Not Track signal in their browser, but there has been little guidance for websites as to how to honor that request. EFF’s DNT policy sets out a meaningful response for servers to follow, and this guide provides details about how to apply it in practice.

      At its core, DNT protects user privacy by excluding the use of unique identifiers for cross-site tracking, and by limiting the retention period of log data to ten days. This short retention period gives sites the time they need for debugging and security purposes, and to generate aggregate statistical data. From this baseline, the policy then allows exceptions when the user’s interactions with the site—e.g., to post comments, make a purchase, or click on an ad—necessitates collecting more information. The site is then free to retain any data necessary to complete the transaction. We believe this approach balances users’ privacy expectations with the ability of websites to deliver the functionality users want.

    • Centrica shuts down UK data centres in move to the cloud [sic] with Microsoft

      The UK and Ireland arm of energy giant Centrica has nearly finished migrating its enterprise systems and data from an on-premise data centre to Microsoft Azure, shifting to Office 365 and Dynamics 365 in the process.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • DRM

    • With Denuvo Broken, Ubisoft Doubles Up On DRM for Assasin’s Creed Origin, Tanking Everyone’s Computers

      There are really two themes when it comes to DRM, software supposedly created to stop video game piracy. The first and most notorious theme is what an utter failure DRM has been in accomplishing this core mission. Even once-vaunted DRM platforms like Denuvo have been reduced to code-bloat within the games they’re meant to protect. And that’s the DRM on the effective end of the spectrum, relatively speaking. But the other theme, one that is arguably far more important and impactful, is how absolutely great DRM software tends to be at annoying customers and prohibiting them from enjoying the games they legitimately purchased. This theme presents itself in multiple forms, from people being flatout unable to use the software they purchased at all, to performance hits due to the DRM software slowing down the customer’s computers, to opening up grand new security holes through which malicious actors happily dive into the lives of those very same customers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The User Rights Database: Measuring The Impact Of Copyright Balance

        (CC-BY) PIJIP’s Copyright User Rights Database tracks changes to copyright user rights (aka limitations and exceptions) over time in a sample of 21 countries of different development levels. The data assesses the degree to which other countries have adopted exceptions that are as open as the US fair use right – i.e. open to a use of any kind of work, by any kind of user and for any purpose. The instrument and results are available at infojustice.org/survey.

      • This Weekend: Celebrate the Life and Work of Aaron Swartz at the Internet Archive

        On November 4 and 5, the Internet Archive will host the Fifth Annual Aaron Swartz Day and Hackathon. Aaron would have turned 31 on November 8. The late activist, political organizer, programmer, and entrepreneur was a dear friend of EFF’s who made a lasting imprint on the Internet and the digital community. Aaron’s life was tragically cut short after overzealous prosecutors sought to make an example out of him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for using MIT’s computer network to download millions of academic articles from the online archive JSTOR. At EFF, we carry on Aaron’s legacy every day through our work on open access and CFAA reform. And this weekend, we’ll join our friends at the Internet Archive in celebrating Aaron’s life and work.

      • Trolls Want to Seize Alleged Movie Pirates’ Computers

        New legal cases filed on behalf of copyright trolls are requesting authority to seize alleged pirates’ computers after they failed to pay cash settlement offers. A Finnish law firm says there’s a risk of another ‘Chisugate’, the massive controversy that ensued when police raided a home and confiscated a child’s Winne the Pooh laptop in 2012.

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