02.17.18

Links 17/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.4, Wine 3.2, Go 1.10

Posted in News Roundup at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Better Know a Blogger: SJVN on Linux, Microsoft, space roadsters, and more

    I have known Steven for more than a decade. Not only is he a top technology journalist and a consummate professional, he is a role model of mine.

    Steven, well known by his initials SJVN, stands out — not just because he’s a good journalist. He stands out because he’s a great explainer. When I want to understand a networking, operating systems, or Linux-related topic, I often turn to Steven or his articles.

  • Desktop

    • Samsung Launch ‘Linux on Galaxy’ Survey

      Samsung has launched a survey to find out what users want and expect from the Linux on Galaxy idea.

      The ‘Linux on Galaxy’ project allows a regular desktop Linux distro to run on select Samsung smartphones by sharing the same Linux kernel used in Android.

      Users can then connect their smartphone to a Samsung DeX dock to convert their Samsung smartphone in to a normal desktop PC with an external monitor, bluetooth keyboard, mouse and so on.

    • Open Source Blockchain Computer Theano

      TigoCTM CEO Cindy Zimmerman says “we are excited to begin manufacturing our secure, private and open source desktops at our factory in the Panama Pacifico special economic zone. This is the first step towards a full line of secure, blockchain-powered hardware including desktops, servers, laptops, tablets, teller machines, and smartphones.”

      [...]

      Every component of each TigoCTM device is exhaustively researched and selected for its security profile based especially on open source hardware, firmware, and software. In addition, devices will run the GuldOS operating system, and open source applications like the Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash blockchains. This fully auditable stack is ideal for use in enterprise signing environments such as banks and investment funds.

  • Server

    • Enterprises identify 10 essential tools for DevOps [Ed: "Source code repository" and other old things co-opted to promote the stupid buzzword "devops"]

      Products branded with DevOps are everywhere, and the list of options grows every day, but the best DevOps tools are already well-known among enterprise IT pros.

    • The 4 Major Tenets of Kubernetes Security

      We look at security from the perspective of containers, Kubernetes deployment itself and network security. Such a holistic approach is needed to ensure that containers are deployed securely and that the attack surface is minimized. The best practices that arise from each of the above tenets apply to any Kubernetes deployment, whether you’re self-hosting a cluster or employing a managed service.

      We should note that there are related security controls outside of Kubernetes, such as the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (S-SDLC) or security monitoring, that can help reduce the likelihood of attacks and increase the defense posture. We strongly urge you to consider security across the entire application lifecycle rather than take a narrow focus on the deployment of containers with Kubernetes. However, for the sake of brevity, in this series, we will only cover security controls within the immediate Kubernetes environment.

    • GPUs on Google’s Kubernetes Engine are now available in open beta

      The Google Kubernetes Engine (previously known as the Google Container Engine and GKE) now allows all developers to attach Nvidia GPUs to their containers.

      GPUs on GKE (an acronym Google used to be quite fond of, but seems to be deemphasizing now) have been available in closed alpha for more than half a year. Now, however, this service is in beta and open to all developers who want to run machine learning applications or other workloads that could benefit from a GPU. As Google notes, the service offers access to both the Tesla P100 and K80 GPUs that are currently available on the Google Cloud Platform.

  • Kernel Space

    • The knitting printer and more art with open source

      For several years, linux.conf.au, a week-long conference (held this year from January 22-26), has held “miniconfs” offering space for tech community niche groups to share their inventions and ideas. In 2018, 12 miniconfs were held on the first two days of the conference, and the Art + Tech miniconf took the concept to the next level with an entire day of 11 talks about making art with tech, as well as an art exhibition head during the conference. This miniconf was organized by blue ribbon award-winning knitter Kris Howard.

      Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article contain mature content. As Kathy Reid, Linux Australia president, said: “Significant art is often contentious, because it challenges who we are and the notions we hold of ourselves. Our job here is to allow that art to be shown, while creating a safe environment for those who do—and do not—wish to view it.”

    • Linux Weather Forecast

      This page is an attempt to track ongoing developments in the Linux development community that have a good chance of appearing in a mainline kernel and/or major distributions sometime in the near future. Your “chief meteorologist” is Jonathan Corbet, Executive Editor at LWN.net. If you have suggestions on improving the forecast (and particularly if you have a project or patchset that you think should be tracked), please add your comments below.

    • diff -u: Automated Bug Reporting

      A variety of automated bug-hunters are roaming around reporting bugs. One of them is Syzbot, an open-source tool specifically designed to find bugs in Linux and report them. Dmitry Vyukov recently sent in a hand-crafted email asking for help from the community to make Syzbot even more effective.

      The main problems were how to track bugs after Syzbot had reported them and how to tell when a patch went into the kernel to address a given bug.

      It turned out that Andrey Ryabinin and Linus Torvalds got together to collaborate on an easy solution for Dmitry’s problem: Syzbot should include a unique identifier in its own email address. The idea is that anything after a “+” in an email address is completely ignored. So zbrown@gmail.com is exactly the same as zbrown+stoptrump@gmail.com. Andrey and Linus suggested that Syzbot use this technique to include a hash value associated with each bug report. Then, Linux developers would include that email address in the “Reported-By” portion of their patch submissions as part of the normal developer process.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Xen Project Contributor Spotlight: Kevin Tian

        The Xen Project is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and contributors that are committed to the growth and success of the Xen Project Hypervisor. The Xen Project Hypervisor is a staple technology for server and cloud vendors, and is gaining traction in the embedded, security and automotive space. This blog series highlights the companies contributing to the changes and growth being made to the Xen Project and how the Xen Project technology bolsters their business.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mir 0.30 Released With Improved Wayland Support

        Canonical’s Mir team has released Mir v0.30 as the latest version of this display server that for the past year has been retooling itself with Wayland protocol support.

        With today’s Mir 0.30 release, they have continued on their Wayland conquest and are offering better support for Wayland protocols. Some of the Wayland changes in Mir 0.30 include a client connection change to allow Wayland clients to work on Unity 8, a keyboard state change to fix switching between clients, multiple crash fixes, and experimental support for the XDG-Shell v6 protocol.

      • NVIDIA Preparing Upstream Linux Kernel Support For The Tegra Xavier SoC

        NVIDIA has begun work on sending out patches for upstreaming Tegra194 “Xavier” SoC support within the Linux kernel.

        Xavier is NVIDIA’s successor to the Tegra P1 and will begin sampling this quarter. Xavier makes use of a custom ARMv8 eight-core CPU, Volta-based graphics with 512 CUDA cores, integration of the DLA tensor processing unit, and is manufactured on a 12nm FinFET process. Xavier should be a mighty powerful SoC for their self-driving car systems and other “edge computing” use-cases.

      • AMD May Have Accidentally Outed Vulkan 1.1

        AMD on Wednesday released the Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition 18.Q1 for Linux driver. It really isn’t noticeable for its official changes, but does claim to advertise Vulkan 1.1 support.

      • mesa 17.3.4

        Mesa 17.3.4 is now available.

      • Mesa 17.3.4 Released With 90+ Changes

        While Mesa 18.0 should be released in the days ahead as the latest feature release to Mesa 3D, backporting of fixes/improvements to Mesa 17.3 isn’t letting up. For those using this stable series from last quarter, Mesa 17.3.4 is out today with nearly 100 changes.

      • Khronos Adds Draco Geometry Compression To glTF 2.0

        Khronos’ glTF transmission format for 3D scenes and models continues getting better. This 3D format has seen adoption by countless applications and engines and even usage within Microsoft products. Khronos’ latest advancement to glTF 2.0 is a compression extension.

      • Intel Open-Sources LLVM Graphics Compiler, Compute Runtime With OpenCL 2.1+

        Now it’s clear why Intel hasn’t been working on the Beignet code-base in months as they have been quietly working on a new and better OpenCL stack and run-time! On open-source Intel OpenCL you can now have OpenCL 2.1 while OpenCL 2.2 support is on the way.

        Intel by way of their Open-Source Technology Center quietly open-sourced a new compute runtime as well as an LLVM-based graphics compiler. Thanks to a sharp-eyed Phoronix reader for spotting and pointing out to us this new Intel OpenCL stack that hasn’t really received any attention at all yet.

      • DRI3 v1.1 Updated by Collabora For Modifiers & Multi-Plane Support

        As a sign that DRI3 v1.1 is hopefully ready to go, Louis-Francis Ratté-Boulianne of Collabora on Friday sent out his latest set of patches adding modifiers and multi-plane support to the Direct Rendering Infrastructure.

        DRI3 v1.1 has been a long, ongoing project for this first major addition to the DRI3 infrastructure. Namely there is support for explicit format modifiers and pixmaps backed by multi-planar buffers. Collabora has also already been working on some experimental DRI3 v1.2 patches for DMA fences, which originally was part of the v1.1 patches, but then pushed back to their own series.

      • Initial Intel Icelake Support Lands In Mesa OpenGL Driver, Vulkan Support Started

        A few days back I reported on Intel Icelake patches for the i965 Mesa driver in bringing up the OpenGL support now that several kernel patch series have been published for enabling these “Gen 11″ graphics within the Direct Rendering Manager driver. This Icelake support has been quick to materialize even with Cannonlake hardware not yet being available.

      • LunarG’s Vulkan Layer Factory Aims To Make Writing Vulkan Layers Easier

        Introduced as part of LunarG’s recent Vulkan SDK update is the VLF, the Vulkan Layer Factory.

        The Vulkan Layer Factory aims to creating Vulkan layers easier by taking care of a lot of the boilerplate code for dealing with the initialization, etc. This framework also provides for “interceptor objects” for overriding functions pre/post API calls for Vulkan entry points of interest.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Raven Ridge Graphics On Linux vs. Lower-End NVIDIA / AMD GPUs

        This week we have delivered the first Linux benchmarks of the OpenGL/Vulkan graphics capabilities of AMD’s new Raven Ridge desktop APUs with the Vega 8 on the Ryzen 3 2200G an the Vega 11 on Ryzen 5 2400G. Those tests have included comparisons to the integrated graphics capabilities of Intel processors as well as older AMD Kaveri APUs. For those interested in seeing how the Raven Ridge Vega graphics compare to lower-end Radeon and GeForce discrete graphics cards, here are those first Linux benchmarks.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma and Solus 4 Updates | The Roundup #4

        Welcome to The Roundup #4, your bytes of Solus news. In this roundup, we’re talking updates to Kernels, Plasma, various items for Solus 4, and more!

      • Solus 4 To Offer Experimental GNOME Wayland Session, MATE UI Refresh

        The Solus Linux distribution has offered up some new details this week on their upcoming Solus 4 release.

        First up, their integration of Snap package management (snapd) has been deferred so it’s no longer a release blocker. They will land the Snap support though still in the future when it’s ready.

      • KDE Amarok Music Player Receives Revived Port To Qt5 / KF5

        While Amarok was once KDE’s dominant music player, it hasn’t seen a new release now in about five years and has yet to see a release based on Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5. But there’s hope that might still happen.

        In the absence of a modern Amarok release there have been plenty of other KDE media players coming about like Elisa and Babe, but coming out today is an updated patch for bringing Amarok to a Qt5/KF5 world.

      • Plasma – The road to perfection is paved with bugs

        There you go. Now, before you say “But Windows or Gnome also …” Wait. Stop. The purpose of this list is not to seek solace in failures or incomplete/imperfect implementations of desktop environment solutions that may exist out there. The purpose is to express my view, as an individual user, of the big and little things that do not seem to work well in Plasma. After all, the desktop is there to allow people to enjoy themselves, to have fun, to be productive, and whatnot. And every little papercut or inconsistency is detrimental to the experience.

        It would be a nice exercise to actually do the same thing with … other desktop environments. I believe that Plasma probably has the fewest issues, as odd as it may sound after you’ve just consumed this long j’accuse list. But it is still not perfect, it’s still not good enough to everyday use, and there are many things that need to be improved. Then again, no one said creating a splendid desktop environment was going to be easy or boring, right. Take care, and perhaps in your comments, you will come up with a few more niggles that I missed. Let’s hear your thoughts. Spill them out.

      • Plasma 5 perfection: call for development

        Igor Ljubuncic of Dedoimedo is at it again, and has just published a list of high-profile KDE Plasma bugs and papercuts. As a Plasma fan, his intention is to call attention rather than criticize, and I’ve put together a response for every issue he raised. For the full list, scroll down.

      • SFXR Qt noise buffer

        I was working on adding sounds to Pixel Wheels rescue helicopter, so I started SFXR Qt and after a few experiments I came up with a decent sound. Unfortunately it did not sound that good in the game. It was much more dull than in the app. Listening again to the sound in SFXR Qt I realized there were subtle variations between each plays, which made the sound more interesting.

      • Qt in Visual Studio: Improving Performance

        In the last post, we discussed a new approach to design time and build time integration of external tools in Visual Studio using MSBuild rules and targets. This will be included in the upcoming release of version 2.2 of the Qt VS Tools. In this post, we will discuss the performance improvements that are also included in this new version.

      • Cutelyst on TechEmpower benchmarks round 15

        Since this round took a long time and was scheduled to be release many times last year I decided not to update Cutelyst to avoid not having the chance to fix any issues and have broken results. Cutelyst 1.9.0 and Qt 5.9 were used, both had some performance improvements compared to round 14, and thus you can see better results on this round compared to 14, most notably the JSON tests went from 480K request/second to 611K req/s, also due this old Cutelyst release jemalloc was again not used due a bug we had in CMake files that didn’t link against it.

      • Usability & Productivity highlight: Spectacle

        Over the past few weeks, we’ve done a lot of Usability & Productivity work for Spectacle, KDE’s screenshot tool. I’d like to share the progress! But first, a screenshot. Here’s how spectacle looks now:

      • This week in Discover (and Kirigami!), part 6

        This is going to be a double-header: today we’re discussing Discover as well as Kirigami–KDE’s UI framework that facilitates writing convergent apps that look and feel good on both the desktop and a mobile device.

        …At least that’s the idea. The truth is, KDE users have voiced a lot of criticism for how well this works out in practice. An especially common complaint is that the desktop user experience gets short shrift, and Kirigami apps feel like big phone apps.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Weekend Website Experiment

        As you may know if you read this blog via Planet GNOME, the GNOME project is busy switching to GitLab for its code hosting and bug tracking. I like GitLab! It’s a large step up from Bugzilla, which was what GNOME used for the last 20 years. Compared to GitHub, GitLab is about equal, with a few nicer things and a few less nice things.

        The one thing that I miss from Bugzilla is a dashboard showing the overall status of the bugs for your project. I thought it would not be too hard to use the GitLab API to do some simple queries and plop them on a web page. So, last weekend I gave it a try. The final result is here. Click the button to log into GitLab, and you’ll be redirected back to the page where you’ll get the results of the queries.

      • LVFS will block old versions of fwupd for some firmware

        Although fwupd 0.8.0 was released over a year ago it seems people are still downloading firmware with older fwupd versions. 98% of the downloads from the LVFS are initiated from gnome-software, and 2% of people using the fwupdmgr command line or downloading the .cab file from the LVFS using a browser manually.

      • SRT in GStreamer

        Transmitting low delay, high quality video over the Internet is hard. The trade-off is normally between video quality and transmission delay (or latency). Internet video has up to now been segregated into two segments: video streaming and video calls. On the first side, streaming video has taken over the world of the video distribution using segmented streaming technologies such as HLS and DASH, allowing services like Netflix to flourish. On the second side, you have VoIP systems, which are generally targeted a relatively low bitrate using low latency technologies such as RTP and WebRTC, and they don’t result in a broadcast grade result. SRT bridges that gap by allowing the transfer of broadcast grade video at low latencies.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • MX Linux Review of MX-17 – For The Record

        MX Linux Review of MX-17. MX-17 is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. It’s XFCE based, lightning fast, comes with both 32 and 64-bit CPU support…and the tools. Oh man, the tools available in this distro are both reminders of Mepis past and current tech found in modern distros.

    • New Releases

      • Q4OS Makes Linux Easy for Everyone

        Modern Linux distributions tend to target a variety of users. Some claim to offer a flavor of the open source platform that anyone can use. And, I’ve seen some such claims succeed with aplomb, while others fall flat. Q4OS is one of those odd distributions that doesn’t bother to make such a claim but pulls off the feat anyway.

        So, who is the primary market for Q4OS? According to its website, the distribution is a:

        “fast and powerful operating system based on the latest technologies while offering highly productive desktop environment. We focus on security, reliability, long-term stability and conservative integration of verified new features. System is distinguished by speed and very low hardware requirements, runs great on brand new machines as well as legacy computers. It is also very applicable for virtualization and cloud computing.”

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs’ vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

            “We want to be able to focus our engineering efforts on the things that matter most to our users, and in order to do that we need to get some more data about sort of setups our users have and which software they are running on it,” explained Will Cooke, the director of Ubuntu Desktop at Canonical.

            To gather that information Cooke proposed adding a checkbox to the Ubuntu installer that says something like “Send diagnostics information to help improve Ubuntu”. “This would be checked by default” Cooke wrote.

          • Ubuntu Gets in the User Data Collection Business

            Canonical announced plans to roll out a user data and diagnostics collection system with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). This new system will collect data on the user’s OS details, hardware setup, apps and OS settings.

            “We want to be able to focus our engineering efforts on the things that matter most to our users, and in order to do that we need to get some more data about sort of setups our users have and which software they are running on it,” said Will Cooke, Director of Ubuntu Desktop at Canonical.

          • Ubuntu Adds New “Minimal Installation” Option For Fewer Preinstalled Packages

            The development of the next Ubuntu LTS release, i.e., Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver, is going on in full swing. The desktop development team has decided to add a new option in the installation process that allows you to perform a lean installation of Ubuntu.

          • Unity 7.4.5 Released for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            The Unity 7.4.5 update isn’t big on new features but it is big on bug fixes and general all-round improvements.

          • Snapcraft through the eyes of it’s biggest community contributor

            If you’ve spent any time in the Snapcraft forum, it’s quite likely you’ve come across Dan Llewellyn – a keen community advocate or self-proclaimed Snapcrafter. Dan has always had a passion for computing and is completely self-taught. Outside of the community, Dan is a freelance WordPress developer. After getting into the open source world around 1998, he has switched between various Linux distros including Suse, RedHat, Gentoo before settling on Ubuntu from the 5.04 release onwards. A longtime participant in the UK Ubuntu chatroom – where he met Canonical’s Alan Pope – Dan admits he was never that active before Snapcraft came along.

            It was spending time in the UK chatroom around 2016 that he discovered snaps which piqued his interest. “I saw the movement of changing Clicks to snaps and thought it was an interesting idea. It’s more widely focused than a mobile app delivery system and I’ve always liked things that also worked on the server, IoT and elsewhere” Dan comments. With a previous desire to get into mobile app development and seeing the move away from Ubuntu Touch, Dan was eager to see Snapcraft succeed and felt like it was something he could contribute to.

          • Canonical wants Ubuntu to collect your personal data

            This has gone down like a bucket of cold sick with Linux users. After all, this is the sort of thing that Microsoft does and is precisely the sort of thing that they hate about Windows 10.

          • 10 Amazing Years of Ubuntu and Canonical

            10 years ago today, I joined Canonical, on the very earliest version of the Ubuntu Server Team!

            And in the decade since, I’ve had the tremendous privilege to work with so many amazing people, and the opportunity to contribute so much open source software to the Ubuntu ecosystem.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 Open Source Technology Trends for 2018

    Technology is evolving faster than the speed of light. Well, not quite, but you get the picture. Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, OpenStack, progressive web apps – they are all set to make an impact this year. You might be accustomed to navigating your forex trading platform or building a website in WordPress, but how familiar are you with the following?

  • Logstash 6.2.0 Release Improves Open Source Data Processing Pipeline

    The “L” in the ELK stack gets updated with new features including advanced security capabilities.

    Many modern enterprises have adopted the ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack to collect, process, search and visualize data.

    At the core of the ELK stack is the open-source Logstash project which defines itself as a server-side data processing pipeline – basically it helps to collect logs and then send them to a users’ “stash” for searching, which in many cases is Elasticsearch.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • The False Teeth of Chrome’s Ad Filter.

        Today Google launched a new version of its Chrome browser with what they call an “ad filter”—which means that it sometimes blocks ads but is not an “ad blocker.” EFF welcomes the elimination of the worst ad formats. But Google’s approach here is a band-aid response to the crisis of trust in advertising that leaves massive user privacy issues unaddressed.

        Last year, a new industry organization, the Coalition for Better Ads, published user research investigating ad formats responsible for “bad ad experiences.” The Coalition examined 55 ad formats, of which 12 were deemed unacceptable. These included various full page takeovers (prestitial, postitial, rollover), autoplay videos with sound, pop-ups of all types, and ad density of more than 35% on mobile. Google is supposed to check sites for the forbidden formats and give offenders 30 days to reform or have all their ads blocked in Chrome. Censured sites can purge the offending ads and request reexamination.

        [...]

        Some commentators have interpreted ad blocking as the “biggest boycott in history” against the abusive and intrusive nature of online advertising. Now the Coalition aims to slow the adoption of blockers by enacting minimal reforms. Pagefair, an adtech company that monitors adblocker use, estimates 600 million active users of blockers. Some see no ads at all, but most users of the two largest blockers, AdBlock and Adblock Plus, see ads “whitelisted” under the Acceptable Ads program. These companies leverage their position as gatekeepers to the user’s eyeballs, obliging Google to buy back access to the “blocked” part of their user base through payments under Acceptable Ads. This is expensive (a German newspaper claims a figure as high as 25 million euros) and is viewed with disapproval by many advertisers and publishers.

    • Mozilla

      • Going Home
      • David Humphrey: Edge Cases
      • Experiments in productivity: the shared bug queue

        Over the next six months, Mozilla is planning to switch code review tools from mozreview/splinter to phabricator. Phabricator has more modern built-in tools like Herald that would have made setting up this shared queue a little easier, and that’s why I paused…briefly

      • Improving the web with small, composable tools

        Firefox Screenshots is the first Test Pilot experiment to graduate into Firefox, and it’s been surprisingly successful. You won’t see many people talking about it: it does what you expect, and it doesn’t cover new ground. Mozilla should do more of this.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 6.0.1 Available To Install In Ubuntu/Linux Mint

      LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer: the word processor, Calc: the spreadsheet application, Impress: the presentation engine, Draw: our drawing and flowcharting application, Base: our database and database frontend, and Math: for editing mathematics.

    • LibreOffice 6.0 scored close to 1 million downloads in just 14 days

      The LibreOffice 6.0 release at the end of January was met by enthusiasm from tech bloggers and open-source enthusiasts alike.

      And that enthusiasm translated into some very healthy download numbers.

    • HiFive, LibreOffice, Meltdown and Spectre and more

      We would like to congratulate the hard working folks behind the LibreOffice 6.0 application suite. Officially released on January 31, the site has counted almost 1 million downloads. An amazing accomplishment.

  • CMS

    • Alfresco Software acquired by Private Equity Firm

      Enterprise apps company taken private in a deal that won’t see a change in corporate direction.

      Alfresco has been developing its suite of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) technology since the company was founded back in June of 2005.

      On Feb. 8, Alfresco announced that it was being acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Public Services/Government

    • Defense Department (Re)Launches Open Source Software Portal

      The Defense Department launched the Code.mil website on Tuesday, a new, streamlined portal for its similarly named Code.mil initiative, a collaborative approach to meeting the government’s open source policy.

      The new website was designed to give a more straightforward user experience. The site features a suite of new tools, including checklists that links to offer guidance, and represents “an evolution of the Code.mil project,” according to Ari Chivukula, policy wrangler for the Defense Digital Service.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • How to make sense of the Apache 2 patent license

      In essence, when a software developer contributes code to a project (i.e., the Work under the license), he or she becomes a Contributor. Under the above term, Contributors are granting permission to use any of their patents that may read on their contribution. This provides peace of mind to users since the Contributor would likely be prevented from pursuing patent royalties from any users of the software covering that contribution to the project.

      Complexities arise when the software developer contributes code that is not claimed by any of the Contributor’s patents by itself, but only when combined with the Apache 2.0 licensed open source program to which the contribution was made (i.e., the Work under the license). Thus, the Contributor owning such a patent could pursue patent royalties against a user of that revised Work. The authors of the Apache 2.0 license were forward thinking and account for this scenario. Section 3 states that the license applies to “patent claims licensable by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed… by a combination of their Contribution(s) with the Work to which such Contributions was submitted.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Go 1.10 is released

      Happy Friday, happy weekend! Today the Go team is happy to announce the release of Go 1.10. You can get it from the download page.

      See the Go 1.10 release notes for all the details.

    • Golang 1.10 Offers Many Smaller Changes, Restores NetBSD Support

      Not only is there a new Rust release this week but the Google developers have put out the Go 1.10 update.

      Go 1.10 ships with many minor feature additions and improvements with no big overhauls. Among the changes with Go 1.10 are automatic caching of build and test results, many other go tooling improvements, minor enhancements to the Gofmt formatting utility, and compiler toolchain updates.

    • PHP version 7.1.15RC1 and 7.2.3RC1
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we… oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

      It’s almost of historical interest only, but everywhere except the Philippines and Malaysia, the last MPEG-2 video encoder/decoder patents have expired.

      As *nixcraft noted, what it means is that there will never again be the risk of an MPEG-2 decoder being bombed in the libre operating system world.

      The company that had the patents wrapped up for licensing, MPEG LA, told the world the last US patent expired on 13 February here .

    • Race on to bring AV1 open source codec to market, as code freezes

      The long-heralded open source AV1 codec is now set for development of commercial product, with the code complete and ready to be frozen over the next few weeks. This has been confirmed by contributors to the standard such as Austrian transcoding software developer Bitmovin, which hopes to be among the first to bring out a product. That will happen once members of the Alliance for Open Media (AOM) that developed the codec sign off its performance.

Leftovers

  • How A Single Character “Text Bomb” Can Crash Your iPhone And Mac

    The most recent bug in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra allows one to send a specific character to crash the devices. Spotted by Italian publication Mobile World, this bug can crash iPhones and block your access to popular applications like WhatsApp, Gmail, Outlook, Messenger, etc.

  • Kudos To The Crock-Pot People For Handling The Online Fallout From ‘This Is Us’ So Well

    Corporate Twitter accounts typically range from the blandly uninspired to exhibiting unfortunate behavior. While you can occasionally get some good content out of these handles, they are far too often just…meh.

    And, yet, let’s see how the Crock-Pot brand of slow-cookers responded to a genuine freak-out on the internet that occurred after a recent episode of This Is Us. For those of you who watch the show, here’s your insipid little spoiler alert. A main character on the show died in a recent episode when a slow cooker malfunctioned and burned the house down. Cool. Well, apparently that’s when many viewers took to Twitter to announce that they were going to get these death machines out of their houses ASAP, with many mentioning Crock-Pots by name, even though there was no branding on the murderous slow-cooker in the show.

  • Apple’s Excellence in Design Leads to Employees Smacking Into Glass Walls

    And according to a new report from Bloomberg, the glass is so flawless and unobtrusive that employees keep walking into it.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Gilead Wins Sovaldi Domain Dispute Over Buyers’ Club Generic Sellers

      Pharmaceutical company Gilead has made headlines in recent years for offering an effective hepatitis C drug that has helped many patients. And for the fact that it came with an eye-popping price tag. Perhaps in a sign of the times, Gilead this month won an open-and-shut case against a squatter on the domain name “sovaldi.eu,” that was offering lower-priced generic versions of Sovaldi, including through links to “buyers’ clubs” organised to obtain medicines more affordably. The website was called, “SOVALDI. The life-saving cure for Hepatitis C which nobody can afford.” Was it a little act of rebellion, or just another internet opportunist?

    • WHO Finalises High-Profile Commission On Non-Communicable Diseases

      The World Health Organization today announced a new high-level commission of heads of state, ministers and other leaders in health and development to come up with “bold and innovative solutions” against non-communicable diseases such as heart and respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes. The chairs of the commission include the presidents of Uruguay, Sri Lanka, and Finland, the Russian health minister, and a former minister of Pakistan who was a candidate for director general of the WHO. They are joined by nearly two dozen others, including corporate public figures Michael Bloomberg and Jack Ma.

    • We’re Challenging Ohio Lawmakers’ Thinly Veiled Attempt to Push Abortion Out of Reach

      The Ohio law pretends to protect people with disabilities, but it’s really an attack on a woman’s reproductive rights.

      Ohio politicians have launched yet another attack on women’s health and reproductive rights, and to make matters worse, they are mounting their attack in the guise of a concern for individuals with disabilities.

      Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of Preterm Cleveland and a number of other abortion care providers to challenge an unconstitutional abortion ban. The law, signed by Gov. John Kasich, would prevent a woman from ending a pregnancy because of a Down syndrome diagnosis. It does so by criminalizing any doctor who knowingly performs an abortion sought on that basis. The law, unless it is stopped by a court, would go into effect next month.

    • Indian Pharma Industry Disputes US Industry IP Index

      The United States Chamber of Commerce industry group recently issued its annual global IP index, analysing intellectual property protection in 50 countries, as a prelude to the annual US government list of countries seen as not adequately protection US companies’ IP rights. Now an Indian industry group has issued a counter-statement to the Chamber index, calling it a “tirade” and “self-serving”.

  • Security

    • Cryptocurrency Mining Company Coinhive Shocked To Learn Its Product Is Being Abused

      So if you haven’t noticed, the entire cryptocurrency mining thing has become a bit of an absurd stage play over the last few months. From gamers being unable to buy graphics cards thanks to miners hoping to cash in on soaring valuations, to hackers using malware to covertly infect websites with cryptocurrency miners that use visitors’ CPU cycles without their knowledge or consent. As an additional layer of intrigue, some websites have also begun using such miners as an alternative to traditional advertising, though several have already done so without apparently deeming it necessary to inform visitors.

      At the heart of a lot of this drama is crypotcurreny mining software company Coinhive, whose software is popping up in both malware-based and above board efforts to cash in on the cryptocurrency mining craze. Coinhive specifically focuses on using site visitor CPU cycles to help mine Monero. The company’s website insists that their product can help websites craft “an ad-free experience, in-game currency or whatever incentives you can come up with.” The company says its project has already resulted in the mining of several million dollars worth of Monero (depending on what Monero’s worth any given day).

    • Fluid HPC: How Extreme-Scale Computing Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

      The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are proving difficult to fix, and initial experiments suggest security patches will cause significant performance penalties to HPC applications. Even as these patches are rolled out to current HPC platforms, it might be helpful to explore how future HPC systems could be better insulated from CPU or operating system security flaws that could cause massive disruptions. Surprisingly, most of the core concepts to build supercomputers that are resistant to a wide range of threats have already been invented and deployed in HPC systems over the past 20 years. Combining these technologies, concepts, and approaches not only would improve cybersecurity but also would have broader benefits for improving HPC performance, developing scientific software, adopting advanced hardware such as neuromorphic chips, and building easy-to-deploy data and analysis services. This new form of “Fluid HPC” would do more than solve current vulnerabilities. As an enabling technology, Fluid HPC would be transformative, dramatically improving extreme-scale code development in the same way that virtual machine and container technologies made cloud computing possible and built a new industry.

    • Raw sockets backdoor gives attackers complete control of some Linux servers [Ed: Here goes Dan Goodin again (sued for sensationalism), using the term "back door" in relation to Linux when actually referring to already-infected (compromised) machines]

      Once installed, Chaos allows malware operators anywhere in the world to gain complete control over the server via a reverse shell.

    • Meltdown-Spectre flaws: We’ve found new attack variants, say researchers

      Researchers have developed a tool to uncover new ways of attacking the Meltdown and Spectre CPU side-channel flaws, which may force chipmakers like Intel to re-examine already difficult hardware mitigations.

      The tool allowed the researchers to synthesize a software-attack based on a description of a CPU’s microarchitecture and an execution pattern that could be attacked.

    • Security updates for Friday
    • How ZeroFox Protects Enterprise Social Media From Cyber-Attackers

      Social media is widely used by individuals and enterprises today and is often also unfortunately widely used by cyber-attackers. How can organizations protect their social media assets? That’s a challenge that multiple vendors are now tackling, including ZeroFox.

    • Container security fundamentals: 5 things to know
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Christine Hong on North Korean Peace Threat, Lee Fang on Opioid Lobby

      This week on CounterSpin: What do you do with a press corps that pauses from raising alarms about North Korea’s warmongering to raise alarms about North Korea’s peacemongering? Signs of rapprochement between North and South Korea at the Pyongyang Olympics have led to media accounts warning Americans not to fall for peace-offensive “propaganda.” But: we are in favor of lowering tensions on the Korean peninsula, right? Right? We’ll talk about the prospects for war, and for peace, with North Korea with Christine Hong, associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz and an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute.

    • Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy

      New U.S. policy on nuclear retaliatory strikes for cyber-attacks is raising concerns, with Russia claiming that it’s already been blamed for a false-flag cyber-attack – namely the election hacking allegations of 2016, explain Ray McGovern and William Binney.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Borneo orangutans dying off as forests are lost: study

      The population of orangutans in Borneo has plummeted by more than half since 1999 — nearly 150,000 of the apes — largely due to chopping down forests for logging, paper, palm oil and mining, researchers said Thursday.

      Illegal hunting of the critically endangered apes is also a leading factor in their disappearance, said the study published in the journal Current Biology.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Congressman Calls For Investigation Of Conservative Think Tank

      U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether a series of financial deals improperly benefited the leaders of the Illinois Policy Institute — the latest call for authorities to examine the influential conservative think tank.

      In an open letter to the head of the IRS, Lipinski — a Democrat who represents parts of Chicago and the western suburbs — wrote that institute chairman and CEO John Tillman may have violated federal tax laws by channeling money from his nonprofits to for-profit companies Tillman owned or co-owned.

    • NYT’s ‘Really Weird’ Russiagate Story

      That’s the takeaway from a strange front-page article that ran in last weekend’s New York Times, “U.S. Spies, Seeking to Retrieve Cyberweapons, Paid Russian Peddling Trump Secrets.” That’s not all the article said, but the rest was so convoluted and implausible that it can be safely discounted.

      Even Matthew Rosenberg, the Times reporter who wrote the story, described it as “a really weird one” in an interview with Slate. More than merely weird, however, the piece offers valuable insight into the parallel universe that is Russiagate, one in which logic is absent, neo-McCarthyism is rampant, and evidence means whatever the corporate press wants it to mean.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Is centralised education a stealthy censorship tool?

      In centralised education systems around the world, students are examined on fact memorisation and regurgitation in exams. Textbooks provide a one-way ticket to exam success, but critical thinking and creativity are left firmly at the station.

      First, in extreme cases, textbooks are criticised for omitting topics to propagate political or religious ideologies, as was the case in Turkey last year. Even in more liberal education systems, such as the United Kingdom, textbooks are written by an elite group who do not represent the experiences of the majority. At the very least, this will produce students with little to contribute to society.

    • Foreign Film Friday: The ‘Padmaavat’ Controversy Represents a Larger Censorship Pattern in Bollywood

      Padmaavat (2018), the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed Bollywood epic, has recently been at the heart of an enormous controversy. Based on the story of the Rajput queen Padmaavati, the film attracted the attention of several right-wing extremist groups…

    • Brown Stares Down the Censors

      Before conservative Guy Benson spoke at Brown University Tuesday night, there were the usual hallmarks of a free-speech fiasco. Posters advertising the event were defaced, and students signed a public statement asserting that they wouldn’t tolerate a speech that was “explicitly dangerous to the well-being and continued thriving of people of color and other marginalized people.”

    • Brown students thought censoring Guy Benson would protect free speech

      Conservative commentator Guy Benson faced backlash ahead of his speech at Brown University this week, puzzling observers who wondered how someone as reasonable as Benson could possibly be deemed a threat worthy of censorship.

      The backlash ultimately fizzled, amounting to just a small walkout protest that Benson didn’t even notice during his remarks.

    • Censorship Act review a priority

      One of the key priorities for the National Censorship Office this year is to ensure the review of the Classification of Publication Act 1989 is completed.

      While most of the work on the Review has been furnished, the Act needs final touches in terms of specifying the legal implementation role.

      Deputy Chief Censor, Jim Abani, says the Act is out dated in the sense that it is not up to date with the current trend.

    • Russia Threatens to Block YouTube and Instagram, After Complaints From an Oligarch

      Russia has threatened to block YouTube and Instagram if they do not take down videos and photos relating to Oleg V. Deripaska, an oligarch who was once close to President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

      A billionaire aluminum and mining magnate, Mr. Deripaska was the subject of an investigation published last Thursday on YouTube by the anticorruption activist and opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny.

    • Russia blocks Navalny’s website, after his inquiry into an oligarch

      The Russian authorities blocked the website of a prominent opposition leader Thursday after he refused a court order to remove a posted video accusing a high-ranking official of accepting a bribe from a rich businessman.

      The order against the opposition leader, Alexei A. Navalny, extended to US service providers Instagram and YouTube, with Instagram coming under criticism from Navalny after the posted video was deleted from its accounts.

    • Instagram criticised as it gives in to Russian censorship demands

      Instagram has been criticised by a Russian opposition leader for giving in to pressure to block posts relating to corruption claims in the country.

    • Alexei Navalny attacks Instagram for complying with Russian censors
    • Instagram yields to Russian censorship demands
    • ‘Reclassification of ‘Inxeba’ an act of homophobic censorship’
    • Inxeba reclassification angers Right2Know
    • Analysis: The Wounded push back against the movie Inxeba
    • Students, free speech advocates outraged over WCSD policy that would censor yearbooks

      A proposed Washoe County School District regulation that would censor what students can publish in yearbooks likely violates a recently passed Nevada law that protects students’ First Amendment rights, says Washoe County student journalists and student free speech experts.

      The new regulation, which is wrapped in a larger policy regarding club sports in the district, would bar student-run yearbooks from publishing the photos of club athletes — students who might be involved in a high school lacrosse team that isn’t sanctioned by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, for example.

      [...]

      Ranson advocated for the passage of a law last legislative session, commonly referred to as the New Voices legislation, that explicitly prohibits school district “restrictions on the publication of any content in a pupil publication.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Samsung patents a new way for smartwatches to measure blood pressure

      Once upon a time, we were fascinated by the fact that our new smartwatch could measure our heart rate. Over time more and more tech devices have this capability and the novelty is wearing off. Now, Samsung has filed a patent for a watch that can actually measure your blood pressure!

    • The FBI, CIA and NSA say American citizens shouldn’t use these phones
    • FBI, CIA, NSA bosses warn: don’t use Huawei, ZTE smartphones
    • Here’s The Chinese Phone The FBI, CIA, and NSA Don’t Want You to Use
    • EFF and MuckRock Are Filing a Thousand Public Records Requests About ALPR Data Sharing

      EFF and MuckRock have a launched a new public records campaign to reveal how much data law enforcement agencies have collected using automated license plate readers (ALPRs) and are sharing with each other.

      Over the next few weeks, the two organizations are filing approximately 1,000 public records requests with agencies that have deals with Vigilant Solutions, one of the nation’s largest vendors of ALPR surveillance technology and software services. We’re seeking documentation showing who’s sharing ALPR data with whom. We are also requesting information on how many plates each agency scanned in 2016 and 2017 and how many of those plates were on predetermined “hot lists” of vehicles suspected of being connected to crimes.

      You can see the full list of agencies and track the progress of each request through the Street-Level Surveillance: ALPR Campaign page on MuckRock.

    • Mozilla’s Open Letter To Expert Committee Drafting India’s First Data Protection Law Slams Aadhaar Biometric Identity System

      Techdirt has been covering India’s monster biometric database, Aadhaar, since 2015. Media in India, naturally, have been on the story longer, and continue to provide detailed coverage of its roll-out and application. But wider knowledge of the trailblazing identity project remains limited. One international organization that has been working to raise awareness is Mozilla, home of the Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client.

      Last May, an opinion piece entitled “Aadhaar isn’t progress — it’s dystopian and dangerous”, by Mozilla Executive Chairwoman and Lizard Wrangler Mitchell Baker and Mozilla community member Ankit Gadgil, appeared in India’s Business Standard newspaper. In July 2017, Mozilla released a statement on the Indian Supreme Court hearings on Aadhaar. A blog post in November pointed out that the Aadhaar system is increasingly being used by private companies for their services, something Techdirt covered earlier. Similarly, after it was revealed that anybody’s Aadhaar details could be bought for around $8 each, Mozilla issued a statement saying “this latest, egregious breach should be a giant red flag to all companies as well as to the UIDAI [Unique Identification Authority of India] and the [Indian] Government.”

    • Customs and Border Protection’s Biometric Data Snooping Goes Too Far

      The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Privacy Office, and Office of Field Operations recently invited privacy stakeholders—including EFF and the ACLU of Northern California—to participate in a briefing and update on how the CBP is implementing its Biometric Entry/Exit Program.

      As we’ve written before, biometrics systems are designed to identify or verify the identity of people by using their intrinsic physical or behavioral characteristics. Because biometric identifiers are by definition unique to an individual person, government collection and storage of this data poses unique threats to privacy and security of individual travelers.

    • The Revolution and Slack

      Two things that EFF tends to recommend for digital organizing are 1) using encryption as extensively as possible, and 2) self-hosting, so that a governmental authority has to get a warrant for your premises in order to access your information. The central thing to understand about Slack (and many other online services) is that it fulfills neither of these things. This means that if you use Slack as a central organizing tool, Slack stores and is able to read all of your communications, as well as identifying information for everyone in your workspace.

    • FBI Director Still Won’t Say Which Encryption Experts Are Advising Him On His Bizarre Approach To Encryption

      For the past few months, we’ve talked about how FBI Director Chris Wray has more or less picked up where his predecessor, James Comey, left off when it came to the question of encryption and backdoors. Using a contextless, meaningless count of encrypted seized phones, Wray insists that not being able to get into any phone the FBI wants to get into is an “urgent public safety issue.”

      Of course, as basically every security expert has noted, the reverse is true. Weakening encryption in the manner that Wray is suggesting would create a much, much, much bigger safety issue in making us all less safe. Hell, even the FBI used to recommend strong encryption as a method to protect public safety.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Poles abroad told to flag anti-Polish comments: report

      Poles living abroad have been instructed to report comments made by compatriots that could be “harmful” to Poland’s reputation, according to a report by German public broadcaster NDR.

      The report, released Wednesday night, cites a letter by Polish Senate Speaker Stanisław Karczewski, asking Poles to “document all anti-Polish comments, representations and opinions that could hurt [the country]” and report “any defamation” that could harm Poland’s reputation to embassies or consulates.

    • Take it from an exoneree, the Dallas County DA election is a big deal

      A county election might seem unimportant compared to the daily drama of national politics, but I know better than most the awesome power district attorneys wield. I also know how much damage they can do when they exercise that power corruptly or irresponsibly. Or when they measure their success not by their commitment to truth, justice and community, but by the number of convictions they secure.

      Because of one such district attorney, I spent 18-and-a-half years behind bars, with 16 of those years in solitary confinement and 12 on death row, all for a crime that I did not commit.

    • US ‘Stumbled Into Torture,’ Says NYT Reporter

      Two clauses stand out for their confident attribution of benevolent motives to US foreign policy. First, there’s the idea that “America stumbled into torture,” rather than planned, plotted and spent over 15 years carrying out a policy of torture. This pretends that the US’s massive global torture regime—which involved drownings, beatings, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation, among other techniques, along with “extraordinary rendition” to allied countries for less refined torture methods–was something other than a deliberate policy initiative.

      As FAIR (6/22/17) noted last year, corporate media routinely assert that the US “stumbles,” “slips” or is “dragged into” war and other forms of organized violence, rather than planning deliberate acts of aggression. For reporters in foreign policy circles, the US only does immoral things on accident—unlike Official Bad Countries, which do them for calculated gain when they aren’t motivated by sheer malice.

    • Appeals Court Declares Third Muslim Ban Unconstitutional

      Trump’s ban, says court, “strikes at the basic notion that the government may not act based on religious animosity.”

      Once again, an appeals court ruled that President Trump’s Muslim ban — now in its third iteration — violates the Constitution’s most basic guarantee of religious freedom.

      Earlier today, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit stated that the ban’s purpose has always been and remains to “exclude Muslims from the United States.” The ruling comes at a crucial time, because the Supreme Court will issue its own decision on the ban this summer.

      Today’s decision confirms what has been clear since Trump first took office. Throughout his presidential campaign, he consistently promised to block Muslim immigration and even announced a specific plan for achieving that goal: a nationality-based travel ban against people from predominantly Muslim countries. As promised, one week into his presidency, without consulting any federal agencies, he issued an unprecedented ban against people from seven overwhelmingly Muslim countries.

    • Top ICE Lawyer Accused Of Identity Fraud Against Detained Immigrants

      For many, many years we’ve questioned the bizarre lawless nature of ICE — Immigration and Customs Enforcement — going back to the days when it was illegally seizing blogs, based on false claims of copyright infringement. We questioned what ICE had to do with censoring blogs in the first place. Of course, in the last year, ICE has been getting a lot more negative attention for something that is clearly under its purview: enforcement of immigration laws. Specifically, ICE has been almost gleefully demonstrating how they are thuggish bullies who are eager to deport as many people as possible. It’s disgusting and inhumane — and if you’re going to be one of those people who pop up in our comments to say something ignorant about how if someone is here illegally they have no rights and should be booted as quickly as possible, go somewhere else to spout your nonsense. Also, seriously: take stock of your own priorities and look deeply at why you are so focused on destroying the lives of people who are almost certainly less well off and less privileged than you are, and who are seeking a better way of life.

    • County Gov’t Tries To Dodge Liability In Jailhouse Deaths By Intimidating The Journalist Who Exposed Them

      To keep itself from being held liable for inmate deaths, San Diego County (CA) has decided to target the journalist who exposed them. Kelly Davis, along with the EFF’s Dave Maass, used public records requests and investigative journalism to detail 60 deaths in the county’s five jails, which occurred over the course of five years. The death rate in San Diego jails was consistently higher than those of comparably-sized systems. In fact, the death rate was higher than that of the 10 largest jail systems in the country. Documents showed almost a third of those were preventable.

      But when a lawsuit was filed by the wife of an inmate who died in a San Diego County jail, the county argued there was no negligence. The presiding judge disagreed, citing Davis and Maass’ journalism.

    • Where Does #MeToo Start?

      How sex stereotypes in schools perpetuate sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond.

      Reckoning with the prevalence of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the wake of #MeToo has prompted many to reexamine the conditions that have allowed harassment and violence to flourish. One place to start is our public schools, where young people develop critical understandings about gender starting at an early age.

      For over a decade, the ACLU has been raising alarms about teaching methods widely in use in public schools across the United States premised on the notion that there are fundamental, sex-based differences that determine how students learn and develop. Proponents of these methods frequently cast boys as active or dominant, and girls as passive or submissive — stereotypes that normalize the power dynamics that lead to abuse and harassment.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Boss Being Investigated By His Own Agency For Being Too Cozy With The Industry He Regulates

      If you watched FCC boss Ajit Pai’s rushed repeal of net neutrality there really shouldn’t be any question about where Pai’s loyalties lie, and it certainly isn’t with smaller companies, healthy competition, transparency, openness, innovation, or American consumers. The agency head repeatedly lied about the justifications for the repeal, casually using fabricated data to justify what may just be the least popular policy decision in this history of modern technology. Pai’s fealty to giant monopolies runs so deep, his agency now just directs reporters to lobbying talking points when they question the flimsy logic propping up the repeal.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Arrest of senior Indian patent office officials on bribery rap raises serious questions about system’s integrity

      The top official in the Indian Patent Office’s Chennai branch was detained along with one colleague earlier this month on charges of graft. While digital technologies and transparency initiatives have generally made India’s IP granting authorities more accountable in recent years, the arrests suggest that corruption has not been fully stamped out of the patent office.

      The main official implicated was S P Subramaniyan, a deputy controller of patents and designs in the patent office at Chennai. The corruption branch of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also booked T V Madhusudhan, another deputy controller, in connection with the case. Chennai is the site of the second largest patent office branch after Delhi by headcount: 115 examiners of patents and designs work there under 34 assistant controllers and seven deputy controllers. So the arrested pair are both quite senior. In addition, this page on the website of India’s Controller General of Patents Designs & Trademarks seems to indicate that Subramaniyan was the top man in Chennai.

    • Argentina’s rule changes for patents, trade marks and designs explained

      A decree has changed the rules for intellectual property in Argentina, quite drastically in some instances. Iris V Quadrio, Martín Bensadon and Iván A Poli analyse the most important modifications

    • Scholastic Wants To Help Young Creators Showcase Their Works By Stripping Them Of Their IP Rights

      Scholastic’s participation terms aren’t unusual. But that doesn’t make them right. There’s nothing about this sort of contest that demands full control of submitted works. A limited non-exclusive license would allow Scholastic to display creations and use them in promotional material without fear of a participant lawsuit. Or, for that matter, a Creatve Commons license could be applied with the terms set by particpants rather than Scholastic. But Scholastic obviously feels it’s the creators who should give up their rights. The whole thing is ridiculous — especially since it’s standard operating procedure for entities seeking submissions from creators. It only serves to show creators copyright is a handy tool for bigger, more powerful entities but of little use to the creators themselves.

    • Copyrights

      • Terrible Copyright Ruling Over An Embedded Tweet Undermines Key Concept Of How The Internet Works

        Just earlier this week we noted that a judge easily laughed Playboy’s silly lawsuit out of court because merely linking to infringing content is not infringing itself. But a judge in New York, Judge Katherine Forrest, has ruled on a different case in a manner that is quite concerning, which goes against many other court rulings, and basically puts some fundamental concepts of how the internet works at risk. It’s pretty bad. In short, she has ruled that merely embedding content from another site can be deemed infringing even if the new site is not hosting the content at all. This is wrong legally and technically, and hopefully this ruling will get overturned on appeal. But let’s dig into the details.

        The case involved a photographer, Justin Goldman, who took a photograph of quarterback Tom Brady on Snapchat. Somehow that image made its way from Snapchat to Reddit to Twitter. The photo went a bit viral, and a bunch of news organizations used Twitter’s embed feature to show the tweet and the image. Goldman sued basically all the news publications that embedded the tweet — including Breitbart, Vox, Yahoo, Gannett, the Boston Globe, Time and more. Now, multiple different courts around the country have said why this should not be seen as infringing by these publications. It’s generally referred to as “the server test” — in which to be direct infringement, you have to host the image yourself. This makes sense at both a technical and legal level because “embedding” an image is no different technically than linking to an image. It is literally the same thing — you put in a piece of code that points the end user’s computer to an image. The server at no point hosts or displays the image — it is only the end user’s computer. In the 9th Circuit, the various Perfect 10 cases have established the server test, and other courts have adopted it or similar concepts. In the 7th Circuit there was the famous Flavaworks case, where Judge Posner seemed almost annoyed that anyone could think that merely embedding infringing content could be deemed infringing.

      • Linking under US copyright law: green light to its inclusion in the scope of public display right comes from New York
      • Copyright For Libraries Around The World In 2018

        Copyright laws around the world are constantly changing in an attempt to adapt – or react – to the digital world. These changes can have a major impact on how libraries function and on the public service they provide. While some reforms offer new possibilities and legal certainty, others look backwards and seek to use the law to restrict the ability of libraries to guarantee meaningful information access to their users.

        IFLA therefore follows the evolution of copyright reforms around the world, as well as bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that impact copyright regimes.

      • Federal Judge Says Embedding a Tweet Can Be Copyright Infringement

        Rejecting years of settled precedent, a federal court in New York has ruled [PDF] that you could infringe copyright simply by embedding a tweet in a web page. Even worse, the logic of the ruling applies to all in-line linking, not just embedding tweets. If adopted by other courts, this legally and technically misguided decision would threaten millions of ordinary Internet users with infringement liability.

        This case began when Justin Goldman accused online publications, including Breitbart, Time, Yahoo, Vox Media, and the Boston Globe, of copyright infringement for publishing articles that linked to a photo of NFL star Tom Brady. Goldman took the photo, someone else tweeted it, and the news organizations embedded a link to the tweet in their coverage (the photo was newsworthy because it showed Brady in the Hamptons while the Celtics were trying to recruit Kevin Durant). Goldman said those stories infringe his copyright.

        Courts have long held that copyright liability rests with the entity that hosts the infringing content—not someone who simply links to it. The linker generally has no idea that it’s infringing, and isn’t ultimately in control of what content the server will provide when a browser contacts it. This “server test,” originally from a 2007 Ninth Circuit case called Perfect 10 v. Amazon, provides a clear and easy-to-administer rule. It has been a foundation of the modern Internet.

      • US Piracy Lawsuits Shoot Out Of The 2018 Gates As The Malibu Media ‘Coaching Tree’ Spreads Its Seeds

        For those of you not interested in professional sports, allow me to educate you on the concept of the “coaching tree.” This concept comes from the common decisions by losing teams to hire junior coaches out from under the head coaches of successful teams, hoping to siphon off some of the genius of more successful organizations. In football, for instance, you will often hear about the “Andy Reid coaching tree” as his assistants get head coaching jobs across the league after serving underneath him.

        Sadly, a much more sinister version of this appears to be occurring in the copyright trolling space, with Malibu Media serving as a launching point for legal minds joining other organizations and replicating what they’ve learned from their former employer. The result has been an explosion in copyright lawsuits for the early part of 2018, with most of them coming from the porn-trolling industry.

      • Court Shakes Off Dumb Copyright Lawsuit Against Taylor Swift

        For an industry that talks up how important copyright law is, it’s fairly astounding how frequently there are really dumb lawsuits filed between musicians. Lately, because of the ridiculous “Blurred Lines” verdict, there have been tons of lawsuits filed over “sounds like” songs, or even “inspired by” songs, as lawyers (and some musicians) see a chance to cash in on the actual success of others. But we’ve also seen a bunch of really dumb lawsuits filed over the use of similar phrases. A few years ago there was the case where Rick Ross sued LMFAO because they had the line “Everyday I’m shufflin’” in a song that he claimed was infringing his “Everyday I’m hustlin’.” The court was not impressed.

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    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, speaks about US politics being captured and dominated by large and multinational corporations in pursuit of just money and power



  7. Last Night's Talk by Richard Stallman About Software Freedom

    An inspiring new talk reminds many of us why loads of people continue to support the founder of the Free Software Movement



  8. Links 10/5/2021: Huawei's GNU/Linux Laptops and Kotlin 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  9. Richard Stallman on Writing rm, ls, and cp (Also Working on Bison)

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what programs he developed in the eighties



  10. Raise the Roof

    Out comes the taxpayers’ subsidy, assured; with military the sky is the limit (and bailout guaranteed)



  11. Richard Stallman Replatformed 10 Hours From Now

    Link to the talk (when it goes live)



  12. [Meme] Bill Says, Bill Saves

    Bill Gates seems more likely to be indicted than to win a presidential election/term



  13. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 09, 2021



  14. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates’s Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein Caused the Bill-Melinda Divorce (While the Media Deflected to Dr. Stallman, Using a Phony 'Scandal')

    It’s becoming rather obvious that there’s real substance to accusations that Mr. Gates was in some sense enabling Jeffrey Epstein; while Gates-funded media told us that he was saving us from climate change and a pandemic (PR stunts for empathy and sympathy) Melinda worked really hard to distance herself from him, the father of her kids



  15. [Meme] Bill, What's Your Opinion?

    While it's ludicrous to insinuate that Mr. Gates somehow "started" COVID-19 he certainly "rode the wave" for reputation laundering purposes, profit, and distraction from scandals that precede the epidemic in China (and caused his marriage to break down)



  16. Links 10/5/2021: SystemRescueCD 8.03, KeePass 2.48 Released

    Links for the day



  17. How We Process and Upload Videos Hosted in Techrights

    With ffmpeg as the Swiss army knife (and various other utilities/programs ‘in between’) it’s possible to automate much of the pipeline associated with video production and self-hosting



  18. Richard Stallman's Free Software Speech in 2020 (FSF Turning 35)

    We've re-encoded (as WebM) the likely sole/only speech Richard Stallman gave about his movement last year; today seems like a suitable time to republish it because tomorrow a British university/group will replatform him (to use their term)



  19. The Chaos Theory

    Making GNU/Linux less stable and less predictable isn't good for GNU/Linux users; but it certainly helps sell Red Hat support contracts and vexation inside the community weakens Red Hat's competitors



  20. Gemini and Techrights: Still Growing in Gemini Space and Always Supporting/Loving the Protocol

    As we continue to expand in Gemini space (where our very large site became a very large and likely the largest capsule) it's worth explaining some of the overlooked merits of the protocol; unlike the World Wide Web (WWW) it does not impose things on the user/visitor, who is more or less in charge



  21. Links 9/5/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.82.0 Release and Patents Related to COVID Subjected to Waivers

    Links for the day



  22. Act More 'Professional' to Appease Mobs

    We should all think alike, dress alike, and like everybody (especially the business overlords)



  23. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 08, 2021



  24. Some Background on the Free Speech Society at the University of Buckingham, Where Richard Stallman is Being 'Replatformed'

    A private British university, the University of Buckingham, will 'host' (virtually) the most-defamed person in the Free software world; the Free Speech Society is only two years old and rationality for its existence is explained by its co-founder James Oliver



  25. Web Sites or News Sites Perish When Their Arguments Are Weak and/or Invalid

    "Just be honest!" is a simple motto for any site; but some sites sell out in pursuit of money or grandiosity, unlike us (we turned 14.5 years old on Friday)



  26. GNU/Linux Turns 38 (in 4 Months From Now)

    Contrary to what the Linux Foundation wants you to think, the operating system turns 38 later this year



  27. Richard Stallman: Steve Jobs Did Some Very Bad Things

    Dr. Richard Stallman told me about Steve Jobs that he had helped digitally imprison computer users



  28. GNU/Linux Founder Richard Stallman to Give a Talk at the University of Buckingham Tomorrow (Live Stream)

    Tomorrow it will be possible to watch this new talk live using Free software



  29. Then We Take Berlin...

    Homage to EPO, based in Munich and Berlin (and defended by the government in Berlin)



  30. The Right to Assemble, Fundamental Rights of Ownership, and Many Other Rights Are Under Attack

    Techrights will be dealing a lot more with erosion of what people have come to assume were “rights” (real rights, such as human rights, labour rights, not copy “rights” or patent “rights”); when rights are reduced to rubble the long-term consequences are severe, shows history


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