07.26.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 27/7/2019: Linux 5.2.3, Tizen Studio 3.3

Posted in News Roundup at 11:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Elementary, my dear: How to revive an old PC with elementary OS

        One of the easiest ways to get more out of an old or underpowered system is to free it from Windows and install Linux software instead. An excellent alternative OS for business, Linux lets the computer run at full speed and, depending on the variant you choose, it can cost nothing.

        From Aurora to Zorin OS, there are dozens of Linux distributions to choose from. My current favorite is elementary OS. It’s a software shell that sits on top of the Ubuntu distribution. Looking a bit like macOS, elementary is meticulously designed and easy to use. You can pay whatever you want for it (including nothing), and it takes no more than 10 minutes to install.

        Elementary OS 5 Juno is the current release. It comes with the basics (email, web browsing, calendar, and more), and an online AppCenter lets you add programs for everything from to-do lists to presentations to file encryption. The underlying Ubuntu software lets you use a system’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM) if it has one.

        In this story I’ll demonstrate how to convert a budget laptop to elementary OS using a $250 Asus VivoBook W202N. With its 1.1GHz Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, the machine felt underpowered running Windows 10S, but I found it had more than enough juice for Juno.

      • Linux survival guide: These 21 applications let you move easily between Linux and Windows

        In this article, we’re spotlighting 20 applications that are functionally identical (or at least pretty similar) between Windows and Linux.

        While there aren’t absolute brand-for-brand equivalents for about 30 percent of the applications, there are workable substitute solutions.

        In the following slides, I’ll show you the applications that are either exact matches across platforms, or which work as solid substitute solutions when jumping between platforms and still needing to get the job done.

    • Server

      • Q&A: CircleCI CTO Explains Why DevOps Is a Growing Enterprise

        The CTO of DevOps platform vendor CircleCI shares insights on how the market has changed as his company raises new funds to power ahead.

      • Have you thanked a sysadmin today?

        Sysadmins are the heartbeat of many open source projects around the world. What would we do without them?

        So, once a year—or more if you’re working on a team with a great outlook on life and positive culture—we take time out of our busy lives to say thank you.

      • Happy SysAdmin Day!

        The Purism team enjoys celebrating across all time zones. So far this year we’ve posted in celebration of Women’s Day, Pi Day and Towel Day–and today we’re celebrating System Administrator Appreciation Day!

        Because behind every network, big or small, system administrators are working hard to make sure that servers are secure, updates are painless and metaphorical fires are quickly put out. They frequently go beyond their job description to provide additional support to individual users on the network.

        One big, well-kept secret is that most of the Internet runs on free software. The other big secret is that all of the Internet runs on SysAdmins.

        So today we’d like to thank our SysOps team for their tireless work, juggling the demands of company resources, our shop and various websites, as well as our Librem One services. Your laptop, services –and soon your phone–will make their way to you in large part thanks to the infrastructure they maintain.

      • Sysadmins need to know – how DO you pronounce “sudo”?

        Most of the year, sysadmins have to worry about things that are bugging YOU.

        They have to worry about the things that YOU need fixed right now, that YOU have decided are more important than everyone else’s problems put together, and that YOU shouldn’t have to put up with if only the world were fair, etc.

        No matter that the problem YOU are having is caused by a problem that YOU created.

        If your sysadmins were any good they’d have set things up so that YOU couldn’t have got it wrong in the first place.

        No matter that they did, indeed, set it up just like that but YOU complained about feeling stifled…

        …and YOU turned off the safety feature all by yourself, with the help of your neighbour’s friend’s cousin’s 9-year-old child, who’s just happens to be a computer whizzkid.

      • IBM

        • 5 principles for deploying your API from a CI/CD pipeline

          With companies generating more and more revenue through their APIs, these APIs also have become even more critical. Quality and reliability are key goals sought by companies looking for large scale use of their APIs, and those goals are usually supported through well-crafted DevOps processes. Figures from the tech giants make us dizzy: Amazon is deploying code to production every 11.7 seconds, Netflix deploys thousands of time per day, and Fidelity saved $2.3 million per year with their new release framework. So, if you have APIs, you might want to deploy your API from a CI/CD pipeline.

          Deploying your API from a CI/CD pipeline is a key activity of the “Full API Lifecycle Management.” Sitting between the “Implement” and “Secure” phases, the “Deploy” activity encompasses every process needed to bring the API from source code to the production environment. To be more specific, it covers Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.

        • DevNation Live: Subatomic reactive systems with Quarkus

          DevNation Live tech talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions and code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, Clement Escoffier, Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat, will dive into the reactive side of Quarkus.

          Quarkus provides a supersonic development experience and a subatomic execution environment thanks to its integration with GraalVM. But, that’s not all. Quarkus also unifies the imperative and reactive paradigm.

          This discussion is about the reactive side of Quarkus and how you can use it to implement reactive and data streaming applications. From WebSockets to Kafka integration and reactive streams, you will learn how to build a reactive system with Quarkus.

        • What does it mean to be a sysadmin hero?

          Sysadmins spend a lot of time preventing and fixing problems. There are certainly times when a sysadmin becomes a hero, whether to their team, department, company, or the general public, though the people they “saved” from trouble may never even know.

          Enjoy these two stories from the community on sysadmin heroics. What does it mean to you?

        • What’s The Future Of Red Hat At IBM

          IBM has a long history of working with the open source community. Way back in 1999, IBM announced a $1billion investment in Linux. IBM is also credited for creating one of the most innovative advertisements about Linux. But IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat raised some serious and genuine questions around IBM’s commitment to Open Source and the future of Red Hat at the big blue.

          Red Hat CTO, Chris Wright, took it upon himself to address some of these concerns and answer people’s questions in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. Wright has evolved from being a Linux kernel developer to becoming the CTO of the world’s largest open source company. He has his pulse on both the business and community sides of the open source world.

        • Financial industry leaders talk open source and modernization at Red Hat Summit 2019

          IT leaders at traditional financial institutions seem poised to become the disruptors rather than the disrupted in what has become a dynamic industry. And they’re taking advantage of enterprise open source technology to do it, building applications in exciting and innovative ways, and even adopting the principles and culture of startup technology companies themselves.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.2.3

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.3 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.2.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.2.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 5.1.20
      • Linux 4.19.61
      • New ADM 3.4. with Cersion 3.4 Comes with Fully Installed Linux Kernel 4.14

        ASUSTOR Inc. is thrilled to have released ADM 3.4. With version 3.4, ADM now comes with Linux Kernel 4.14 fully installed, which updates drivers, provides stability improvements and improves file system implementations. Btrfs in ADM 3.4 received a performance and stability improvement as well as increased speed, benefiting from kernel version 4.14. ADM 3.4 also brings efficiency and stability improvements on top of kernel updates. ADM 3.4 now allows the maximum number of snapshots to be modified to any number under 256 and includes searchlights, which enables searching for EZ Sync keywords and more languages are now supported in EZ Sync.

      • Apollo’s ARC | TechSNAP 408

        We take a look at the amazing abilities of the Apollo Guidance Computer and Jim breaks down everything you need to know about the ZFS ARC.

        Plus an update on ZoL SIMD acceleration, your feedback, and an interesting new neuromorphic system from Intel.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Binomial’s Basis Universal To Super-Compress glTF Assets, WebGL Gets New Extensions

          With SIGGRAPH 2019 happening next week in LA, The Khronos Group has already kicked off the news cycle by making several announcements from forming a 3D Commerce Initiative Working Group to releasing new WebGL extensions to making use of Binomical’s Basis Universal tech for better compression.

          On the WebGL front, they are adding parallel shader compilation support (KHR_parallel_shader_compile), multi-draw and instanced multi-draw extensions, RGTC and BPTC compressed texture support, WEBGL_video_texture support, and other new additions in offering more advanced graphics capabilities for the web.

        • Collabora Still Investing In “Zink” For OpenGL Over Vulkan, But Back To GL 2.1

          Zink is the year-old project implementing OpenGL over Vulkan using Mesa/Gallium3D infrastructure. While Zink had been making some good progress by developer Erik Faye-Lund of Collabora, he went back to rewriting some core pieces of Zink to address some design defects. In the process of this rewrite, Zink is currently back to OpenGL 2.1 era support over Vulkan.

        • NVIDIA Posts New OpenGL Extensions For Multi-GPU Rendering

          OpenGL is still evolving and days ahead of SIGGRAPH 2019, NVIDIA has published a set of new GL extensions for improving multi-GPU rendering.

          Three new extensions were posted this morning by NVIDIA engineers that are pending acceptance into the OpenGL registry: GL_NVX_gpu_multicast2, GL_NVX_progress_fence, and WGL_NV_multigpu_context. The latter is a Windows focused extension while the other two are tailored to multi-GPU rendering and not WGL-specific.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Mini PCs Linux Performance Comparison

        We’ve compared some Intel Gemini Lake & Broadwell mini PCs Linux performance with phoronix, sbc-bench.sh, and other benchmarks.

      • Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Performance On AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

        For those wondering how the performance compares of AMD’s new Zen 2 processors between Windows 10 and Linux, here are our initial benchmarks across dozens of benchmarks for the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X on Windows 10 Pro 1903 against Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS.

        This is the first of surely several Windows vs. Linux performance comparisons to come of these new AMD Zen 2 processors. In this article is just Windows 10 against Ubuntu 18.04 LTS since the ASUS has yet to ship the new BIOS for the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi to allow newer (non-patched) Linux distributions to boot without problems due to the systemd/RdRand issue. Once that BIOS update is available for this system to address that Linux boot issue, other Linux distributions will be added to the comparison.

    • Applications

      • Excellent Utilities: McFly – navigate through your shell history

        This is a new series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We’re covering a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.

        I spend an inordinate amount of time tapping away at the command line. My default shell is bash. Like other shells, bash keeps a history of all the commands I’ve typed. For bash, this history is stored in the ~/.bash_history file. While the up arrow traverses through your history, it’s often not an efficient way of locating commands. Step forward ctrl-r. Anything that reduces the number of keystrokes improves my efficiency.

        Press ctrl-r. The shell prompt changes to (reverse-i-search). Now start typing the command or a part of the command. In the example below, I’ve typed ss. There’s no need to remember long complicated commands.

      • Icinga 2.11 Release Candidate

        For months we have been working on one of the biggest and most important releases since the creation of Icinga 2. Icinga 2 version 2.11 includes improvements for performance, stability and scalability. After many changes of lines of code, additions and deletions we believe we’re finally there. But we want to have you on board, so we decided to go with a Release Candidate first. Today we’re happy to announce the general availability of this release!

        As you may know, Icinga’s core and network stack is written from scratch in C++, specifically the REST API and network event handling. They caused problems, and the attempts the past releases couldn’t reliably make them go away. We’ve therefore decided to do something unusual and resource intensive: Rewrite the whole network stack by using modern programming techniques and throw away the old implementation. This is a huge step forward and some may say, this would be Icinga 3.

        Coming late to the party, fixes for reload handling and unwanted notifications also turned into a long-awaited feature: Run Icinga 2 in foreground and let the new umbrella process handle restarts and reloads. Additionally to the issues we’re aiming to fix, this comes in very handy for (Docker) containers as well!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Extinction Protocol is a very stylish looking minimalist strategy game coming to Linux

        As a huge fan of strategy games, Extinction Protocol has caught my eye. Using a stylish and minimalist visual style, it gives off a very alluring atmosphere.

      • Pixel art survival horror “Lamentum” has been fully funded and it’s heading to Linux

        Lamentum is another crowdfunding success story, as the very freaky looking pixel art survival horror has hit the funding goal on Kickstarter. Linux support is fully confirmed for Lamentum, as stated on both the Kickstarter and Steam store pages.

        Against their goal of €15,000 they managed to only just scrape by with €60 over the target. I can’t imagine what a huge relief that would be for the developer, Obscure Tales, as it must have been quite dicey towards the end of the campaign.

      • SDL 2.0.10 released, testing a more regular release cycle

        If you’re a game developer, you’ve likely heard of SDL 2 [Official Site] and plenty of you are probably already using it. In fact, SDL 2 helps power a huge amount of Linux games and a new release is out now.

        Released yesterday, SDL 2.0.10 encompasses bug fixes and improvements from around nine months worth of development. Quite a while for those who were waiting in fixes and they’re aware of this. Speaking about it on Patreon, Ryan “Icculus” Gordon mentioned how they’re now going to attempt releases every three months. This is not set in stone though, they’re just seeing how it goes with trying out this new release cycle.

      • Sdl 2.0.10 released!

        Thanks to all the people who contributed code and feedback, SDL 2.0.10 is now available!

      • Stone Story, an RPG animated entirely in ASCII symbols is releasing in Early Access next month

        Stone Story is a name I’ve not heard for a while, after posting about it myself way back in 2017 it’s one I completely lost track of. This rather different RPG is animated entirely using ASCII symbols!

      • The streamlined fighting game “Fantasy Strike” has now officially released

        Featuring Linux support, Fantasy Strike is a fighting game that’s quite streamlined giving more people an opportunity to enjoy it while still being difficult to master.

        Developed by Sirlin Games, this includes David Sirlin who previously work on games such as Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix so they know their stuff. It shows too, Fantasy Strike is a fighting game that not only looks good, it feels pretty darn good too.

      • Zink, the OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan is still progressing

        After not hearing much about it, Faye-Lund has posted a Summer Update on the Collabora blog about all the work that’s gone into it. However, it’s had a bit of a setback as it’s been through a “pretty significant rewrite”. Some design mistakes were made, so they went back and attempted to improve it. For now, it’s only getting OpenGL 2.1 support with cleaning everything up and getting the code up-streamed taking precedence over OpenGL 3.0 support.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 179 Color Schemes For Your Gtk-Based Linux Terminal (Gnome Terminal, Tilix, Xfce Terminal, More)

        Gogh is a set of Bash scripts that makes it easy to change the terminal color scheme on Linux and macOS. It currently offers 179 terminal color schemes (even though its website only lists 168 with previews), and it supports Gtk-based terminals like Gnome Terminal, Xfce Terminal, Mate Terminal, Pantheon Terminal, Tilix and Guake on Linux, and iTerm2 on Mac.

        You can view most of the color schemes on the Gogh website.

        This article will show you how to install and apply new terminal color schemes using Gogh, with the particularities this involves for each terminal application supported by Gogh (including workarounds, which are required in some cases).

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • 3D – Interactions with Qt, KUESA and Qt Design Studio, Part 2

          In my last post, I went through a method of creating a simulated reflection with a simple scene. This time I’d like to take the technique and apply it to something a bit more realistic. I have a model of a car that I’d like to show off in KUESA™, and as we know, KUESA doesn’t render reflections.

        • Nürnberg Sprint and KDE Itinerary Browser Integration

          Getting everyone interested/involved in a specific area into a room for a few days with no distraction is a very effective way to get things done, that’s why we do sprints in KDE since many years. Another possible outcome however can be that we end up with some completely unexpected results as well. Here is one such example.

        • KDE First Contributions and first sprint

          I have been a KDE User for more than 10 years. I really love KDE community, Plasma and its apps. I have been reading eagerly Nate Graham’s blog He gave me the inspiration to start contributing.

          It has been a opportunity to learn some C++, Qt and some Qml.

    • Distributions

      • Which Linux distro is best for privacy?

        Linux Operating systems are better for privacy and security than their Mac and Windows counterparts. They are also open source, which means they are much less likely to be hiding backdoors for their developers, the NSA, or anybody else.

        It is for this reason that Linux distros are the Operating System of choice for security professionals and privacy advocates as well as for the majority of computer servers around the globe.

        There are plenty of Linux distros to choose from. And this can make it confusing for anybody wanting to move away from Windows in favor of something more secure. Even existing Linux users may be slightly unsure as to which Linux distro they ought to be using if they value privacy and security.

        In this article, we will walk you through two of the best Linux distros for protecting your data and staying clear of hackers. All Linux distros have specific peculiarities and advantages, meaning that they all do slightly different things. However, there are two Linux distros that stand out where privacy is concerned…

      • Reviews

        • Emmabuntüs Is a Hidden Linux Gem

          Emmabuntüs is a great find if you are looking for an all-around Linux operating system that keeps legacy computers out of the trash heap and is easy to use with no setup or regular Internet access required.

          This distro is not one whose name is readily recognizable. Hidden from popular view, it’s seldom spotted by product reviewers. Yet it has fulfilled a range of user needs for years.

          Its obscurity keeps it from reaching the potential it has to attract the attention of distro hoppers looking for a better OS. No doubt, most distro rummagers wrongfully assume that its odd name reflects an unworthy performance.

          Unless you take the time to browse its unassuming website descriptions, you miss its value. Emmabuntüs Linux is a worthy computing rose lying in wait among the weeds.

          Emmabuntüs is a desktop Linux distribution featuring the Xfce desktop. Initial versions of this distro were based on Ubuntu Linux, but developers switched to Debian along the way.

          In a crowded computing world with lots of Xfce-based distros, this one is particularly well done with a wide range of uses.

      • New Releases

        • LibreELEC 9.2 ALPHA Kodi-focused Linux distro now available for PC, Raspberry Pi 4, and more!

          If you are someone that uses LibreELEC to consume media, I have some really good news — 9.2 ALPHA is here! Yes, the Kodi-focused Linux distribution has a new pre-release version for PC (x86_x64) and ARM-based systems such as the all-new Raspberry Pi 4.

          Unfortunately, the Raspberry Pi 4 experience is still deficient, lagging behind other platforms. This is to be expected, as the hardware is so new — it should be perfected for the final release. With that said, it is usable on Pi 4 with some caveats.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • Mageia 7.1 Released to fix AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs Issue

          Mageia 7 stable version was released on 01-July-2019, which came with lots of new Features, Exciting Updates and Support Latest Hardware’s.

          But due to some reason, the AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs didn’t play well and prevented any type of installation when the system starting up.

          To fix this issue, they had released the emergency patch release of Mageia 7.1 to fix this issues on AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs, except for a net install.

          It doesn’t harm any system, which is running on Mageia 6. Also, you can upgrade from Mageia 6 to Mageia 7 without any issues.

      • Fedora Family

        • FPgM report: 2019-30

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. The mass rebuild is underway.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • BT turns to Canonical Ubuntu to enable next generation 5G Cloud Core

          On Friday BT announced they have selected Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack on Ubuntu as a key component of its next generation 5G Core. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, will provide the open source virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) as part of BT’s Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) program, and the transition to a cloud-based Core network.

          This open source cloud-based approach will ensure that BT can quickly deploy new services, and increase capacity to stay ahead of customer demand driven by 5G and FTTP. Canonical’s OpenStack architecture will also facilitate the delivery of BT’s full 5G Core network.

        • BT bets on Ubuntu OpenStack to deliver 5G pledge

          BT has announced a partnership with Canonical to develop and deploy its next-generation 5G core network.

          [...]

          Canonical operates its own distribution of OpenStack, a bundle of separate open source projects connected through APIs. When applied to BT’s own infrastructure, this will enable the separation of network hardware and software, turning core components into software applications so they can be updated faster and continuously integrated.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Development Continues With Latest GNOME Updates, ZFS, Optimizations

          Two months from today marks the beta and kernel freezes for the Ubuntu 19.10 release while in less than one month is already the feature freeze. Canonical developers and others within the Ubuntu community remain quite busy this summer working on this “Eoan Ermine” release and is of particular importance with next cycle being the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS swing.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Seven Concerns Open Source Should Worry About: Part 2

        Free and open source software (FOSS) development has for many years enjoyed an increasingly positive public image. Particularly in the last several years, it’s become recognized as the foundation upon which most of the modern computing world rests. FOSS proponents include many governments, too, including many in Europe and the European Commission itself.

        That’s all good and quite appropriate, but it’s worth keeping in mind that FOSS involves the conscious agreement of head to head competitors to work towards a common result – something that would otherwise normally be a red flag to antitrust regulators in the US, competition authorities in Europe, and to many of their peers throughout the world. To date, those regulators do not seem to have expressed any concerns over FOSS development generally. But that can change.

      • German state of Thuringia to prefer open source

        When procuring new IT solutions, the German Free State of Thuringia will now prefer open source software where that is technically possible and economic. The change in Thuringia’s procurement rules was accepted in a vote by the state parliament earlier this month and will be officially available some time in August.

      • Tech convergence set to drive automotive open source acceptance

        The convergence of technologies in autonomous vehicles is set to spur more acceptance of open source use across the automotive industry and drive car companies to adopt better freedom-to-operate processes, according to car manufacturers and their suppliers.

        Senior IP counsel at Volvo Cars, Lotus, u-Blox and elsewhere say car companies have traditionally stipulated in supplier agreements that components should be free from open source technologies, for fear that any third-party rights attached to those technologies could taint their products – among other things.

        They explain that it is a common and inaccurate assumption that open source software is always free to use. In reality, these technologies are governed by a spectrum of licences: from copyleft ones that require inventors to put modifications back into the open source pool, to permissive licences such as Apache 2.0 that allow modifications to be commercialised.

        [...]

        With the loosening of restrictions surrounding open source use to take advantage of the open source space, however, comes the need for new processes to mitigate the risk of unknowingly incorporating technologies that have been ‘borrowed’ or have restrictive licences attached.

        Not only do car companies need to check for third-party rights, they also need to ensure that any of the code used does not have a ‘back door’ built into it that would allow someone to hack into a product.

        Gisler at Volvo Cars points out that car companies should assess risk anyway to ensure that components do not taint end products, given the increasing popularity of open source technology, even if they are not yet relaxing their supplier contracts.

      • CMS

        • Best Joomla Extensions to Improve Your Site

          Joomla extensions are great for taking your new website to the next level. They offer solutions for almost everything, starting from content management to security issues. A lot of Joomla extensions are currently available and new ones are added almost every day!

          So how is one supposed to know which of the extensions are worth their time? Honestly, we all search for it on the web, so that we can benefit from the work of others. In fact, we were also struggling to find the best ones but couldn’t get through! But here’s a piece of good news for you! We have compiled all our efforts to find the best Joomla extension in this article!

          They are the ones tried and tested by us for you! So, now you do not have to go from one website to another! Just sit back and read on!

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

      • Legal

        • The Key to Safety Online Is User Empowerment, Not Censorship

          The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on “Protecting Digital Innocence.” The hearing covered a range of problems facing young people on the Internet today, with a focus on harmful content and privacy-invasive data practices by tech companies. While children do face problems online, some committee members seemed bent on using those problems as an excuse to censor the Internet and undermine the legal protections for free expression that we all rely on, including kids.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Alibaba Is Open-Sourcing Its Powerful New RISC-V Processor for 5G and AI

            Alibaba says the Xuantie 910 IP design will be fully open-sourced so global developers can freely download its FPGA code. Alibaba has also created a chip platform for domain specific SoC, providing hardware and software resources including CPU IP, SoC platform and algorithms, and various chip services for enterprises and developers for different AIoT scenarios.

      • Programming/Development

        • Episode #222: Interactive graphs with Bokeh and Python

          Do you have data you want to visualize and share? It’s easy enough to make a static graph of it. But what if you want to zoom in and highlight different sections? What if you need to rerun your ML model on selected data? Then you might want to consider working with Bokeh. It does this and much more. Join me on this episode where you’ll meet Bryan Van de Ven who heads up the Bokeh project.

        • Creating Python GUI Applications with wxPython

          In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to use wxPython library for developing Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) for desktop applications in Python. GUI is the part of your application which allows the user to interact with your application without having to type in commands, they can do pretty much everything with a click of the mouse.

          Some of the popular Python alternatives for developing a GUI include Tkinter, and pyqt. However, in this tutorial, we will learn about wxPython.

          Before we move further, there are a few prerequisites for this tutorial. You should have a basic understanding of Python’s syntax, and/or have done at least beginner level programming in some other language. Although you can follow it even if you do not meet these criterias, but you might find some parts to be a bit complex. If you do, feel free to ask for clarifications in the comments.

        • Faster XML stream processing in Python

          It’s been a while since I last wrote something about processing XML, specifically about finding something in XML. Recently, I read a blog post by Eli Bendersky about faster XML processing in Go, and he was comparing it to iterparse() in Python’s ElementTree and lxml. Basically, all he said about lxml is that it performs more or less like ElementTree, so he concentrated on the latter (and on C and Go). That’s not wrong to say, but it also doesn’t help much. lxml has much more fine-grained tools for processing XML, so here’s a reply.

          I didn’t have the exact same XML input file that Eli used, but I used the same (deterministic, IIUC) tool for generating one, running xmlgen -f2 -o bench.xml. That resulted in a 223MiB XML file of the same structure that Eli used, thus probably almost the same as his.

        • Intel releases RL Coach 1.0.0 with new algorithms and support for off-policy evaluation

          Back in 2017, Intel launched RL Coach, an open source framework for training and evaluating reinforcement learning agents.

          [...]

          RL Coach 1.0.0 adds a total of 27 reinforcement learning models, specifically — models driven by reward feedback loops that coax them toward specified goals — and APIs that support the use of Coach as a Python library. Also in tow is improved documentation and unspecified bug fixes, along with general performance enhancements.

        • Intel’s LLVM-Based SYCL Compiler Continues Taking Shape

          While a bit quiet over the summer months and their Data Parallel C++ announcement was recently made, Intel’s LLVM-based SYCL compiler continues maturing and picking up new features as the beta roll-out of oneAPI is expected in Q4.

          Intel’s code pushes to their currently-forked LLVM repository this month has yielded new attributes being worked on for the Intel FPGA device support, a new plug-in interface to help with porting SYCL to non-OpenCL APIs, new address space handling rules, a basic version of a hierarchical parallelism API, new built-in functions, the removal of their old scheduler, and other enhancements.

        • made some early design

          Python provides many built-in functions that are predefined and can be used by the end-user by just calling them. These functions not just ease the work of programmers but also create a standard coding environment. In this article, you will be learning about three such impressive functions namely map(), filter and reduce() in Python.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Chandrayaan-2: GSLV Mark III-M1 vehicle reduces number of orbit-raising exercises, saves fuel

        In its maiden operational flight, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle – Mark III-M1 (GSLV Mark III-M1) vehicle used for launching Chandrayaan-2 had successfully placed the satellite in the Earth Parking Orbit (EPO) with perigee (closest distance from the earth) of 170 km and an apogee (farthest distance from the earth) of 45,475 km. The apogee of the earth parking orbit is about 6,000 km more than originally envisaged.

        [...]

        In the first of the orbit-raising exercise that was carried out on July 24, the perigee was increased from 170 km to about 230 km, while the apogee was reduced from 45,475 km to 45,162 km. Explaining why the orbit raising was done mainly to increase the perigee and not the apogee, Mr. Sivan said to The Hindu: “At 169.7 km altitude at perigee, the satellite is still in the earth’s atmosphere and so is exposed to heat stress while travelling at very high velocity. So we had to raise the perigee.”

        The second orbit raising manoeuvre will be undertaken tonight (July 25) when the focus will be to increase the apogee in large measure, while there will be only a small increase in the perigee distance.

        “Totally there will be six earth-bound, orbit-raising manoeuvres before the trans-lunar insertion, including the one on July 24. If the satellite had not gained nearly 6,000 km while being placed in the earth parking orbit, then there would have totally been seven orbit-raising manoeuvres,” Mr. Sivan said.

        Currently, the ISRO website mentions only five orbit-raising manoeuvres and the perigee distance mentioned is 241.5 km after the first orbit raising exercise. “This will be soon revised,” he said.

    • Hardware

      • Apple will reportedly begin getting rid of the MacBook’s butterfly keyboard this year

        Rumors regarding the shift away from the butterfly keyboard have been circulating recently: Kuo reported earlier this month that the MacBook Air would get the new keyboard, followed by the 16-inch MacBook Pro next year. This latest report swaps those details, saying that the new MacBook Pro is now getting the scissor keyboard this year, and the other models will follow in 2020.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Juul Targeted Children at Schools and Online, U.S. House Panel Says

        Internal emails from Juul show employees discussing how these programs resembled tactics used by cigarette makers in the past. In one email, a Juul employee called them “eerily similar,” according to the report.

      • Drug Pricing and Patents – Part I

        My law school Dean, Lyrissa Lidsky recently published a new op-ed entitled Patent reform is needed to protect patients’ access to lifesaving drugs. Dean Lidsky is in the midst of breast cancer treatment that includes $150,000 for the biologic drug Herceptin. Genentech (Roche) has aggressively protected this multi-billion-dollar marketplace by asserting its patent rights against potential competitors.

        [...]

        The Bill would also limit the “retail list price” of U.S. drugs to “the lowest retail list price for the drug among Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, or Germany.” Sen. Hawley explains in his press release: “There is no reason why U.S. pharmaceutical companies sell drugs to people in foreign countries far cheaper than what they charge Americans.” As it stands, the Bill this provision could be easily skirted by manufacturers and retailers. Notably, the Bill does not (1) define “retail list price;” (2) offer any enforcement mechanism; or (3) indicate if any agency would have authority to enforce the pricing provision. Unless those elements are tightened-up, the provision will be mere lip service.

      • Patent reform is needed to protect patients’ access to lifesaving drugs

        I want every woman with Her2-positive breast cancer to be as fortunate as I have been. But the high cost of biologic drugs like Herceptin, which is made by Genentech (a unit of Roche), is a significant hurdle for many. Herceptin costs about $9,600 per vial, and patients like me take it every three weeks for a year — that’s more than $150,000. And that doesn’t even count the costs of the other drugs or treatments we require.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Is VLC media player Vulnerable to hackers? [Ed: The answer is "no", so why are such FUD pieces still being composed?]

        VLC Media Player,has been detected with a critical vulnerability that allows hackers to hijack your computers and see your files.

      • My take on OpenPGP best practices

        After having seen a few talks at DebConf on GnuPG and related things, I would like to document here how I currently manage my OpenPGP keys, in the hope they can be useful for other people or for discussion. This is not a tutorial, meaning that I do not give you the commands to do what I am saying, otherwise it would become way too long. If there is the need to better document how to implement these best practices, I will try to write another post.

        I actually do have two OpenPGP certificates, D9AB457E and E535FA6D. The first one is RSA 4096 and the second one is Curve25519. The reason for having two certificates is algorithm diversity: I don’t know which one between RSA and Curve25519 will be the first to be considered less secure or insecure, therefore I would like to be ready for both scenarios. Having two certificates already allows me to do signature hunting on both, in such a way that it is easy to transition from one to the other as soon as there is the need.

        The key I currently use is the RSA one, which is also the one available in the Debian keyring.

        (If you search on the keyservers you will find many other keys with my name; they are obsolete, meant for my internal usage or otherwise not in use; just ignore them!)

        Even if the two primary keys are different, their subkeys are the same (apart from some older cruft now revoked), meaning that they have the same key material. This is useful, because I can use the same hardware token for both keys (most hardware token only have three key slot, one for each subkey capability, so to have two primary keys ready for use you need two tokens, unless the two keys share their subkeys). I have one subkey for each subkey capability (sign, encrypt and authentication), wich are Curve25519 keys and are stored in a Nitrokey Start token. I also have, but tend to not use, one RSA subkey for each capability, which are stored on a OpenPGP card. Thanks to some date tweaking, both certificates are configured in such a way that Curve25519 subkeys are always preferred over RSA subkeys, but I also want to retain the RSA keys for corner cases where Curve25519 is not available.

      • Should you uninstall VLC or not? Here’s what you must really do

        VLC, the popular multimedia player, was pushed into a controversy after a report submitted by WinFuture stated that the player had security issues. WinFuture in its reports classified the app to be a High Risk (Level 4), hence recommending users to uninstall it from the PCs.

        As per the report, WinFuture claims that the vulnerability would allow hackers to alter the codes and breach the user data in the PC. The security agency described the issue to be ‘a remote’ that would allow hackers to use the flaw to execute arbitrary codes, create a denial of service state, disclose user information or even manipulate PC files. The vulnerability can also allow the scavengers to install, modify or run software applications without administrative authorisations.

        The report has further stated that the PCs running Windows, Linux, and UNIX operating systems are most vulnerable to the flaw. The security agency cleared that there were no reported cases of data theft through the flaw but considering the potential of the flaw, the users have to be very careful.

      • With ransomware on the rise, RCMP urging victims to ‘be patient with police’ [iophk: gross negligence in allowing use of Windows]

        But to get a real sense of the problem, Flynn said, you can multiply most online extortion stats by 20.

        “Numbers are hard to give because we also have a serious lack of reporting,” he said.

        “There is a significant underreporting of cybercrime. Some of that comes from embarrassment, fear of reputational harm.”

        Flynn said that major corporations don’t want to lose customers and risk the public backlash.

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (libssh2 and patch), Fedora (kernel and kernel-headers), Mageia (vlc), Red Hat (rh-redis32-redis), SUSE (libgcrypt, libsolv, libzypp, zypper, and rmt-server), and Ubuntu (exim4, firefox, libebml, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, and vlc).

      • Why you can’t backdoor cryptography

        Once again the topic of backdooring cryptography is in the news. The same people will fight the same fight. Again. So far sanity has prevailed every time we do this, but that doesn’t mean anyone should sit this one out. Make sure you tell everyone to pay attention and care. Trustworthy cryptography is too important.

        Given the language used it sounds a lot like what’s really being discussed is having the ability to view chat apps, view emails, and unlock phones. All things with a consumer focus. They’ve lost this fight more times than we can count now, no doubt this direction change is an attempt to spread confusion.

        I also want to look at this from a slightly different angle this time. Generally we talk about how the technology behind a backdoor doesn’t work. That’s still true, but let’s pretend the technology could work. Maybe some grad student is finishing up a paper and next month we’ll hear about a new form of cryptography that can be backdoored without any technical problems. It actually can’t because people are the problem. This is like insisting we build a rocketship out of cardboard to go to the moon. Just no. But in this post, we’re going to pretend we have a technical solution. Put on your cardboard space helmet, it’s time to get real.

      • Manage your passwords with Bitwarden and Podman

        You might have encountered a few advertisements the past year trying to sell you a password manager. Some examples are LastPass, 1Password, or Dashlane. A password manager removes the burden of remembering the passwords for all your websites. No longer do you need to re-use passwords or use easy-to-remember passwords. Instead, you only need to remember one single password that can unlock all your other passwords for you.

        This can make you more secure by having one strong password instead of many weak passwords. You can also sync your passwords across devices if you have a cloud-based password manager like LastPass, 1Password, or Dashlane. Unfortunately, none of these products are open source. Luckily there are open source alternatives available.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump vetoes restrictions on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia

        US President Donald Trump vetoed three Congress bills that would have blocked billions of dollars in US arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

        The Congressional effort, which also included representatives of the Republican party, comes as a response to the Trump administration’s decision to sideline the US lawmakers. When the $8.1 billion (€7.3 billion) sale was announced last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they would bypass the usual congressional review by declaring a national security emergency. Pompeo justified the emergency by pointing to the alleged threat of Iran. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are Iran’s main opponents in the Middle East.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • ‘Patient zero’ in cyberattack on UN aviation agency was senior official’s son, email reveals

        Almost five months after CBC News reported an attempt by four members of ICAO’s information technology team to cover up its mishandling of the cyberattack, Vincent Smith — ICAO’s director of the bureau of administration and services — is going public with accusations of misconduct against ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu and the agency’s council president, Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu.

        Smith has told CBC News he’s been warned he’s committing career suicide by coming forward, but he sees it as a duty.

      • Iraqi reporter’s home searched after he exposes corruption

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that a judge in Basra, in southern Iraq, ordered I News investigative reporter Hassan Sabah’s arrest this week on spurious grounds after he exposed a case of alleged corruption involving another Basra judge.

      • Mueller on Trump’s WikiLeaks embrace: ‘Problematic is an understatement’

        Trump mentioned WikiLeaks 145 times in the final month of the campaign alone, according to NBC News.

        In April of this year, however, Trump sought to distance himself from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange following his arrest.

    • Environment

      • Greenhouse-gas emissions are increasing the frequency of heatwaves

        If your hunch is that this kind of extreme weather is more common today than it was once-upon-a-time, you are correct. When, in 2003, tens of thousands of people in Europe died prematurely as a result of a two-week heatwave, it was deemed to be a once-in-1,000-years event. Twelve years later, a study led by Nikolaos Christidis of the Hadley Centre, the climate-research division of Britain’s Met Office, found that heatwaves of this severity had become once-in-100-years events, and would be commonplace by the 2040s.

      • The Crisis Lurking in Californians’ Taps: How 1,000 Water Systems May Be at Risk

        As many as 1,000 community water systems in California may be at high risk of failing to deliver potable water — one out of every three — according to a previously undisclosed estimate by senior officials at the California State Water Resources Control Board, which regulates drinking water. These troubled districts, which include Sativa, often operate in mostly poor areas on thin budgets. With little oversight, they face problems ranging from bankruptcy to sudden interruptions in water capacity, to harmful toxins being delivered through taps.

      • The Latest: Fan Fit for a Queen Gets Noticed in Heat Wave

        A Dutch government health institute is warning of high levels of smog due to ozone in the air in parts of the country as a heat wave bakes Europe.

        The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment issued a “smog alarm” Thursday for regions including the densely populated cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

        The institute says air quality in the some regions will be “extremely bad” because light winds mean that pollution is not being blown away and sunlight transforms it into ozone.

      • PNG roadbuilding spree threatens environment, communities and economy

        A huge roadbuilding scheme in Papua New Guinea could imperil some of the largest, biologically richest and culturally most diverse forests on the planet, says an international research team led by James Cook University in Australia.

        “This plan has big red flags all over it,” said JCU’s Professor Bill Laurance, the team leader.

        The PNG government plans to dramatically increase its national road network, from 8700 to 15,000 kilometres in length, over the next three years. New road segments will crisscross much of the country.

        “PNG isn’t even maintaining its current roads, and now the government wants to double its road network, often in wet, steep and remote terrain? The new roads will be tremendously expensive to build and maintain,” said Dr Laurance.

        “Many will cut through critical habitats of endangered wildlife, including that of rare tree-kangaroos and birds of paradise,” said Dr Mohammed Alamgir, lead author of the study. “Altogether, 54 critical biodiversity areas will be threatened and there will be a great deal of forest fragmentation.”

        “The new roads will create many deforestation hotspots for rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands, sharply increasing greenhouse-gas emissions,” said Dr Alamgir.

        The research team, from Australia, Papua New Guinea and Germany, published their findings this week in the PLOS ONE journal.

      • Papua New Guinea’s Road Expansion Plan Would Escalate Deforestation

        Papua New Guinea hopes to nearly double the length of its road network by 2022, posing grave threats to more than 50 parks and biodiversity-rich areas…

      • First Heat Wave of the Summer to Hit Nevada County This Weekend

        July 26, 2019 – Our relatively mild summer is heating up this weekend, with temperatures projected to hit 100 degrees in parts of Western Nevada County. During this heat wave, the Nevada County Public Health Department would like to remind everyone that higher temperatures can be dangerous for all persons but especially the very young, senior citizens, and those with chronic medical conditions.

      • Energy

        • 4 Automakers Strike Emissions Deal With California, Steering Clear From Trump’s Pro-Pollution Agenda

          Four automakers from three different continents have struck a deal with California and agreed to adhere to the state’s stricter emissions standards, undercutting one of the Trump administration’s environmental regulatory rollbacks, according to The New York Times.

          The agreement between the California Air Resources Board and Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW of North America followed weeks of secret negotiations. The four automakers agreed to a fleet average of 51 mpg for light-duty vehicles by the 2026 model year. That’s slightly lower and longer than the fuel economy standards of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 set by the Obama administration in 2012.

          The four major automakers’ agreement to legitimize California’s authority to set emissions standards runs counter to a White House plan to take that right from the states, as Reuters reported.

          Under the Trump administration’s plans to roll back the Obama-era regulations, emissions standards would top out at 37 miles per gallon. California and 13 other states stood in defiance and vowed to enforce the stricter standards, setting up an uncomfortable situation for automakers where the market would be split in two, according to The New York Times.

          The agreement is a win for the automakers. They will have slightly more time to deliver vehicles that will have to meet standards nearly as ambitious as the Obama administration set forth. And, it will put an end to conflicting state and federal standards.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Crop diversity keeps bees buzzing happily

          Tomorrow’s world could be a hungrier world. That is because as large-scale agribusiness gets busier crop diversity diminishes, and the pool of potential pollinators will become increasingly at risk.

          Those crops that rely on pollination by the animal world can only deliver the reward of nourishment to bees and other insects for a very short time. As developing nations switch increasingly to massive plantations of soy, canola and palm oil, the creatures farmers rely on to set seed and begin the process of setting fruit will have a problem finding a food supply for the rest of the year.

          [...]

          The researchers looked at data from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization on the cultivation of field crops between 1961 and 2016. They found that more and more land is being colonised for agriculture, and the area cultivated for crops that rely on pollinators has increased by 137%. But crop diversity has increased only by 20%. And 16 of the 20 fastest-growing crops require pollination by insects or other animals.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • McConnell blocks two election security bills

        “Mueller’s testimony was a clarion call for election security. Mueller’s testimony should be a wake-up call to every American, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, that the integrity of our elections is at stake. … This is all about the future of this country,” he added.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Hong Kong police made no arrests after mob assaulted commuters, protesters, journalists in Yuen Long

        Police have said that no arrests were made and no weapons were found when they checked a group of people in white accused of beating up residents, journalists and a lawmaker in Yuen Long. The incident took place on Sunday night, hours after an anti-extradition march ended on Hong Kong Island.

      • Twenty organisations call on the new President of the European Commission to make press freedom a priority

        In a joint-letter, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 19 other organisations urge incoming president of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen to ensure that media freedom, the protection of journalists, and EU citizens’ access to information are top political priorities during her term.

      • MSNBC’s Anti-Sanders Bias Makes It Forget How to Do Math

        The hostility is so entrenched, in fact, it seems to have corrupted MSNBC’s mathematical reasoning and created a new system of arithmetic. The cable news network has repeatedly made on-air and online mistakes about Sanders’ polling and other numbers—always to his detriment, and never with any official correction.

        Here are some new rules MSNBC seems to follow when it comes to math and Bernie Sanders.

      • Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Sues Google, Using All The Same Debunked Legal Theories Others Have Tried

        Well, here’s an odd one: the Presidential campaign for Tulsi Gabbard is now suing Google claiming, among other things, that the company has “violated her First Amendment rights” by temporarily shutting down her advertising account and also funneling some of her campaign emails to spam in Gmail. This lawsuit is a complete non-starter, and makes use of the same debunked legal theories that others have used against social media companies. First, it argues that closing her Google advertising account was obviously because people at Google didn’t want her message getting out after the first Democratic Presidential debates.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • City Of Orlando Kicks Amazon’s Facial Recognition Tech To The Curb

        For a few years now, the company behind online streaming and speedy, cheap shipping has been seeking to expand its offerings. Amazon Web Services pays the bills, providing data storage for multiple companies/governments. “We can remember it for you wholesale!” Amazon promises. But that’s the old thing.

        The next tech bet Amazon is willing to use as a loss leader to gain market share is facial recognition. Amazon has been handing this stuff out like bank teller lollipops to any law enforcement agency with money to spend and a desire to expand its surveillance net.

        Naturally, Amazon is high on its own supply. Everyone else, not so much. Congress demanded answers after a test drive of Amazon’s facial recognition tech (called “Rekognition” because misspellings mean the future is now) said 28 of its members were criminals.

        At that point, it was no longer an existential threat to people’s freedom. It was now a pile of computational garbage incapable of telling a Congressperson from a criminal. That those two groups sometimes have a significant overlap was lost on everyone involved. But the upshot was the US federal government had its eyes pinned on Rekognition, for better or worse.

      • The Newest Growth Market For License Plate Readers Is Those Assholes Running The Local Homeowners Association

        Everyone loves surveillance creep. Well, by everyone, I mean the government and the vendors that sell to them. Automatic license plate readers have made their way from police cruisers to malls, as has facial recognition tech that very often fails to actually recognize people.

        The “everyone” may now include the near-fascist organizations turning neighborhoods into glittering shrines of conformity. I’m talking about homeowners’ associations — the anal-retentive busybodies who want to make sure your grass is cut to the correct length and that no one’s offending passersby with creative mailboxes.

        The Denver Post reports the newest customers for surveillance tech is HOAs and gated communities.

      • Bill Proposes Requirement Of Russian Software On Tech Devices

        Russian lawmakers are proposing legislation that would require all smartphones, computers and smart TVs sold in Russia to come pre-installed with certain Russian software.

        Reuters reported that the draft bill aims to support domestic software producers, allowing authorities to create a list of mandatory, local software. If passed, it would go into effect in July 2020. Companies that do not comply would be fined anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 rubles ($790-3,170) starting in January 2021.

        The proposal needs to be backed by the lower house of parliament and then by the upper house and President Vladimir Putin in order to become a law.

      • Russian lawmakers propose making local software mandatory on smartphones

        Russian lawmakers want to make it a legal requirement for all smartphones, computers and smart TV sets sold in Russia to come pre-installed with certain Russian software in a bid to support domestic software producers, according to a draft bill.

        The bill, tabled at the lower house of parliament on Thursday, would allow authorities to draw up a list of mandatory, locally-made software. If passed, it would come into force in July 2020.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Why Corporations Want You to Shut Up and Meditate

        In the wrong hands, he argues, mindfulness can become an instrument for corporate compliance. Rather than organize to change the need for self-care and breathing exercises in the first place, he writes, corporate mindfulness, or McMindfulness, becomes a pacifier that teaches workers to be comfortable with insecurity. Emotions like stress and anger are purely subjective, arising not from precarious labor conditions but from within—all in your head.

      • Who Should the Police Answer To?

        But there were ambiguities: The first officer to arrive after the shooting didn’t see a handgun on the scene—Lippert said he’d put it in his pocket to secure the area—and a subsequent lab analysis of the weapon found no identifiable prints or DNA linked to Clemmons.

      • DNA put him behind bars for a 1997 rape. Then his old girlfriend saw a photo that set him free

        The case took 20 years to go to trial because after the 1997 attack, the teen’s untested rape kit languished at a police property storage facility, part of a group of 11,000 discovered in 2009. Eventually, it was tested.

      • In some northern Indian villages, girls are never born

        Over the past three months, not a single girl was born in 132 villages in the northern Indian state of Uttrakhand, according to local authorities. An investigation was launched over the weekend after official data revealed that of the 216 children born in 132 villages in the Uttarkashi district, not one was female, according to Asian News International (ANI). In 16 of the 132 villages, now marked as a “red zone”, no female births were recorded over the past six months.

      • Eric Garner’s Killer Got a Raise—and de Blasio Did Nothing

        Here are 11 times the de Blasio administration failed to act: [...]

      • The ‘Total Anarchy’ of Wet Cops

        The family of Eric Garner, the Staten Island father infamously choked to death by a New York City cop in 2014 (Extra!, 1–2/15), was told last week by the Justice Department that charges would not be brought against that officer. Family members and activists responded with fury, mostly aimed at Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose refusal to fire the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, allows his abusive run at the NYPD to continue.

        This week, however, an event deemed more outrageous and reprehensible by the press took the spotlight away from the Garner saga: Police officers were doused with water during a record heatwave.

        No one was hurt in the two separate water-throwing incidents, which involved squirt guns as well as buckets of water, but unlike copaganda coverage of NYPD officers engaging in a snowball fight with kids—framed as “heartwarming” by local media—this time a moral panic ensued, as media and police brass proclaimed that “disrespect” cannot be tolerated. In the barrage of hand-wringing and finger-wagging stories that ensued, we are given insight into the deep, ideological concern for cops that some media outlets harbor as they amplify voices that distort reality and shift victimhood onto the police force.

        Our journey begins in the pages of the New York Post (7/22/19), which broke the story of the watery carnage on Monday. The original headline, since changed, alluded to a total breakdown of civilized society: “‘Total Anarchy’: NYPD Cops Get Drenched by Buckets of Water.” The “total anarchy” remark was attributed to anonymous police sources, which are often the most-cited voices in the pages of the local tabloids; they added that “there’s lawlessness around here now.”

      • Ed Morales on Puerto Rico Protests

        This week on CounterSpin: Someone was asleep in the Tone Deafness Department at the New York Times, and allowed the paper to describe Puerto Rico as a place where “people enjoy the benefits of American citizenship but cling to their own Spanish-speaking culture.” Besides whatever the paper means by “clinging” to a culture, it’s weird to say Puerto Ricans do so despite the benefits of US citizenship they rather famously do not enjoy—like real representation in Congress. That tossed-off sentence is one hint that elite outlets are not the first place to look for a serious understanding of fast-moving but deeply rooted events in Puerto Rico, where massive popular protests have just led to the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rossello.

        We’ll talk about Puerto Rico with Ed Morales, he teaches at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race; he co-directed the documentary, Whose Barrio?, and he’s author of the forthcoming, Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico.

      • Small Towns In Alaska Are Staffing Their Police Departments With Convicted Criminals

        Hiring cops is hard work. That’s probably why we’re not exactly blessed with the best of the best. Over the past few years, police officer morale has been in a nosedive. As the public’s awareness of police misconduct has increased (along with third-party footage of said misconduct), cops have discovered the job is no longer quite as fun as it used to be. Lots of power and zero accountability is a hell of a drug, but even that wears off eventually.

        But cop shops still need cops, so hiring continues. Law enforcement agencies endlessly recycle fired officers, giving them unearned shots at redemption. Other agencies have just given up, hiring whoever walks through the door expressing interest in the position.

        When the openings exceed the hiring pool, you get the mess being inflicted on the residents of Stebbins, Alaska. This horrifying report by Kyle Hopkins for ProPublica demonstrates just how low the bar can be set for new hires if your agency is desperate enough.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T Loses 1 Million Video Users After Spending Billions On Mergers To Dominate Video

        This wasn’t how it was supposed to go for AT&T. In AT&T executives heads, the 2015, $67 billion acquisition of DirecTV and the 2018 $86 billion acquisition of Time Warner were supposed to be the cornerstones of the company’s efforts to dominate video and online video advertising. Instead, the megadeals made AT&T possibly one of the most heavily indebted companies in the world. To recoup that debt, AT&T has ramped up its efforts to nickel-and-dime users at every opportunity, from bogus new wireless fees to price hikes on both its streaming and traditional video services.

        Not too surprisingly, these price hikes are now driving subscribers to the exits.

      • This Summer, Take Some Time to Stand Up for Net Neutrality

        As we head into the August, Congress will be on recess and most of your senators and representatives will be heading back to their home states. That means it’ll be easier for you to reach out and talk to them or their staff and ask them to act on important legislation. Earlier this year, the Save the Internet Act—a bill which would restore the net neutrality protections of the 2015 Open Internet Order and make them the law of the land—passed the House of Representatives. The Senate needs to be pressured into following suit.

        To help you do that, we’re updating and relaunching our Net Neutrality Defense Guide. Last year, the Defense Guide was focused on using a vehicle called the Congressional Review Act (the CRA) to overturn the FCC’s repeal. Since the Senate voted for the CRA with a bipartisan majority vote, last year’s guide focused on getting the House of Representatives to vote.

        This year, we have the opposite situation. Since the House has voted for the Save the Internet Act and the Senate has not, and our guide has been updated to reflect the new bill, the new target, and the new arguments we’ve heard for and against the Save the Internet Act.

    • Monopolies

      • Facebook is facing another FTC antitrust probe

        Confirmation of the investigation came as part of its second-quarter financial results release, which showed Zuck’s company made a healthy $2.6bn in profit, even after it recorded $2bn in expenses relating to the FTC settlement. So Facebook still makes enormous profits despite being down some 48 per cent on the same quarter in 2018.

      • Businesses in Asia reveal trade secrets struggles

        In-house counsel face challenges in deciding between protecting inventions with patents or keeping them secret as regulations are still developing

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Qualcomm’s Petard: Apple Acquires Modem Business From Intel

          Yesterday, Apple officially announced its acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem unit. Apple will receive a variety of assets from Intel, including patents, as well as a significant portion of Intel’s employees dedicated to wireless modem technology. Intel retains the ability to develop 5G systems for non-smartphone applications like PCs, Internet of Things devices, and autonomous vehicles. The acquisition gives Apple a functional smartphone modem product—one they already use in their own products—and enhances Apple’s ability to further develop such products, an ability it had already been seeking out.

          But for Qualcomm, the deal represents a serious threat to its long-term prospects. The biggest issue looming in the background is the ongoing FTC v. Qualcomm case. Judge Koh’s order requires Qualcomm to renegotiate its licenses without the threat of chip supply disruption and to license its chipset competitors. If the FTC prevails on appeal, then Apple will be in a position to renegotiate its licenses with Qualcomm—and Qualcomm would be required to license Apple’s baseband chips, rather than their phones as a whole. What’s more, the license would need to be at a FRAND rate, rather than the supra-FRAND rates Qualcomm currently receives.

        • Macabre Qualcomm-internal presentation used tombstones to illustrate competitors’ exits from mobile chipset market

          In a medical context, “to exit” means “to die.” That particular meaning of the word appears to have served as inspiration for somebody at Qualcomm who made the macabre design choice to depict the exits of key competitors from the mobile chipset market (Freescale in 2008, ST Ericsson in 2010, Texas Instruments in 2011, Broadcom in 2012, and Nvidia in 2014) as a graveyard at the bottom of a chart with tombstones to the left and right (click on the image to enlarge; this post continues below the image):

          [...]

          A MediaTek executive was also a key witness earlier this year in the FTC v. Qualcomm antitrust trial in the Northern District of California. MediaTek, which competes with Qualcomm mostly in the lower-priced market segment, “sells more than 1.5 billion semiconductor chips per year powering cell phones, tablets, voice assistant devices, smart TVs, and media players.” Qualcomm’s lawyers and expert witnesses sometimes point to the fact that MediaTek succeeded in a certain part of the market in an effort to blame other companies’ problems just on their own decisions and execution.

          MediaTek’s brief focuses on Qualcomm’s obligation to extend an exhaustive SEP license on FRAND terms to rival chipset makers. MediaTek argues (and I agree) that it’s in the public interest for Qualcomm to begin meeting that obligation sooner rather than later.

          The law firm representing MediaTek here is Boies Schiller & Flexner, which also represented Apple against Qualcomm. Boise Schiller’s William Isaacson, the American Lawyer Litigator of the Year 2016, was spotted at the FTC v. Qualcomm trial in San Jose in January every single day.

        • Section 101 uncertainty not stopping patent filing: financial companies [Ed: Companies still pursue fake patents court would reject; as they hope to use these illegal patents outside the court, extrajudicially. Several blogs that existed purely to promote software patents and workarounds for those have died completely. This is very good news.]

          Section 101 uncertainty is not stopping financial services companies from filing patents at the USPTO, according to in-house counsel at yesterday’s Protecting Innovations in the Financial Services Industry conference in New York.

          Giving their personal views, patent lawyers at Wells Fargo, Capital One and the Clearing House Payments Company spoke about how the most important filing consideration is whether there is a clear business case for patent protection, despite the difficulties of getting patents for ‘abstract ideas’ under the post-Alice eligibility framework.

          Patent eligibility considerations, they added, have a bigger impact on the decision on how their businesses will go about filing a patent rather than whether they will apply for protection.

          “Uncertainty around 101 has changed our filing strategies, but we conduct patentability investigations and much of the time you can build a case on 101 grounds,” said David Easwaran, senior IP counsel at Wells Fargo in New York. “When making the determination on whether to file, we look at whether the business is interested in the technology and whether there is a clear space in the prior art to develop it.”

          He adds: “Section 101 influences what we are going to do with a patent application rather than if we are going to file for one.”

          [...]

          Sean Reilly, associate general counsel at the Clearing House Payments Company, a payment system infrastructure, said he has similarly found that putting more meat on the bones of a disclosure is important for fighting off 101 rejections. That need also puts more pressure on outside counsel to draft applications correctly, he added.

          Bludau at Capital One said he was becoming more concerned with the cost of prosecution because of the need for financial services companies to put more into their applications.

        • The Proper Role of the Federal Circuit [Ed: Kevin E. Noonan one among several loudmouthed patent maximalists who have lately been blasting courts that aren't stuffed/stacked with patent maximalists like themselves]]

          There has been much commentary, some of it incendiary, regarding whether the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is fulfilling its responsibilities under its enabling statute or failing to provide the proper pro-patent perspective in its response and implantation of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence regarding subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The problem is illustrated by the comments provided by two members of the Court, Judges Lourie and O’Malley, in their concurrence and dissent, respectively, with the Court’s per curiam denial of en banc review in Athena Diagnostics Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC.

        • Indivior Inc. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, S.A. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Last month, the Federal Circuit affirmed decisions from four separate trials in the District of Delaware involving seven different defendants regarding validity and infringement of patents directed to an opioid addiction treatment in Indivior Inc. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, S.A.

          [...]

          In four bench trials the District Court found the ’514, ’497, and ’150 patents were not invalid for obviousness and the ’514 patent was not invalid for indefiniteness.

          [...]

          Finally the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court’s determination that Watson had not established by clear and convincing evidence that the claims of the ’150 patent were obvious. This determination rested on whether the ’150 patent was entitled to the priority date of the earlier-filed U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/473,902, i.e., whether that application satisfied the disclosure requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 112 for the ’150 patent claims.

          [...]

          The Federal Circuit found no clear error in this determination by the District Court because “the application discloses that a polymer component with 60% L-PEO has desirable properties and that the remainder of the component may include H-PEO and HCP,” consistent with ’150 patent claims.

        • Exhaustion of rights? When is a purchaser’s implied licence not a licence?

          The case involved Seiko Epson Corporation’s (Seiko) “EPSON” branded printer cartridges that embodied the invention in two Australian Patents (Seiko Patents).

          After original consumers had purchased, used and discarded the original Epson cartridges, third parties including Ninestar Image (Malaysia) (Ninestar) would obtain the cartridges and modify them so that they could be refilled with ink and resold.

          [...]

          The parties appear to have agreed that the implied licence does not extend across the breadth of the patentee’s right to exploit the patented invention. It is difficult to reconcile this position with Justice Stephen’s statement that the licence attaches to the monopoly granted under the Patents Act and derives from that monopoly.

          As foreshadowed by the parties, perhaps it is time for the High Court to decide whether the exhaustion of rights doctrine is alive and kicking in Australia.

      • Trademarks

        • Vallenato and Raicilla, take me south

          Brazil- Once again, Crocs has obtained a favorable ruling in Latin America. The commercial success of these products in Latin America has attracted copycats (pun intended), which seek to reap where they have not sowed (the Kat already covered a similar action, in Colombia here). This time, Rio de Janeiro’s Second Instance Court decided against the trading shoes under the trademark “Coqui”, here, ruling that it is confusingly similar to “Crocs”. The trademark was applied for in 2010 by BLUE FLASH – COMÉRCIO DE IMPORTAÇÃO E EXPORTAÇÃO LTDA (here), but was denied in June 2015 under art. 124.XIX of the Lei 9.279/1996.

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright Troll Richard Liebowitz May Have Cost His Client A Ton Of Money, And Set An Expensive Precedent For Copyright Trolls

          In the last couple of years, lawyer Richard Liebowitz has really made a name for himself in copyright trolling circles. He’s quite aggressive, and even got a huge profile written about him at Slate, in which it notes that, unlike many trolls who focus purely on shakedown settlement letters, Liebowitz runs straight to court to leverage the power of an expensive court case to push for insane settlements. “Sue first and negotiate later.” The Hollywood Reporter has done its own profile on Liebowitz as well.

        • Why A ‘Clever Hack’ Against Nazis Shows How Upload Filters Have Made Copyright Law Even More Broken

          As Techdirt has pointed out many times, one of the biggest problems with the EU Copyright Directive’s upload filters is that they will necessarily be automated, which means they will inevitably be flawed. After all, it can take the EU’s top judges weeks to decide complex questions about whether something is copyright infringement or not. And yet Article 13/17 expects software to do the same in microseconds. This kind of collateral damage from clueless algorithms is already happening, albeit on a small scale. Boing Boing has an interesting new twist on this problem. Cory Doctorow writes about an idea that RJ Jones mentioned on Twitter:

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