Links 27/9/2019: Richard Stallman Head of GNU Project, /e/ Now Selling in Europe

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Lenovo admits ThinkPad CPU throttling problem when running Linux, fix in development

        CPU performance is tricky to test these days, as CPUs of the same type can deliver vastly different performance numbers depending on the cooling and other outside conditions.

        With recent ThinkPad laptops from Lenovo, it turns out that one of these outside conditions is the place where the laptop is used: The systems use the Intel “Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework” (DPTF) to regulate the CPU performance based on if the system is used on a desk or on the users lap. On the desk, the CPU can reach much higher clock-rates, which leads to higher outside temperatures. On the lap, the CPU is limited to its basic TDP, enabling lower temperatures.

        This sounds like a useful feature. The problem is that it only works correctly when Windows is installed, as DPTF requires several drivers to work. With an alternative operating system like any Linux based OS, it won’t function correctly. The system is unable to recognize in which mode it should run and the CPU is locked down to the lower “Lap mode” performance.

        That is why many ThinkPad & Linux users have been complaining about a lower than expected CPU performance in Lenovo’s own support forum. After more than a year of complaints, Lenovo has finally admitted to this issue and thankfully also presented the prospect of a solution: The Chinese manufacturer will develop a firmware update for recent ThinkPad laptops that will basically emulate the Intel DPTF function on systems like Linux.

      • The seriously powerful, six-core Dell XPS 13 goes on sale starting on October 1

        Dell also announced that the new Developer Edition of the XPS 13, which will come with Ubuntu 18.04 installed and have the option for the six-core Core i7.

      • Finally We See XFCE 4.14 and GNU/Linux Distros with It

        Now after Plasma 5.16 in June and a month before GNOME 3.34 in September, actually, in silent, the latest XFCE 4.14 released at 12 August 2019 after four years of development. Congratulations to XFCE Developers and especially Simon Steinbeiss and here’s my short overview of latest XFCE I was waiting since 2015. I’m also looking for right time to write my own review next time. Here we go!


        I’m writing this when I’m very busy with teaching in my online class and distributing USB pendrives. I’m very happy with them. And because we now have latest Plasma, latest GNOME, and latest XFCE, I surely am happy too and I hope I have more time to review XFCE 4.14 soon. It’s a great experience for me to manually search between distros (especially openSUSE) and make use of Repology.org to find latest XFCE on them. I hope this simple post helps out a lot for everybody.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • IBM brings blockchain to Red Hat OpenShift; adds ApacheDB for hybrid cloud customers

          IBM continued its Red Hat and open-source integration work this week by adding Red Hat OpenShift support to its blockchain platform and bringing a Kubernetes Operator for Apache CouchDB along side its hybrid-cloud services offering.

          The ability to deploy IBM Blockchain on Red Hat OpenShift, the company’s flagship enterprise Kubernetes platform, means IBM Blockchain developers will have the ability to deploy secure software, either on-premises, in public clouds or in hybrid cloud architectures.

        • Red Hat Elevates Enterprise Automation with New Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, an expansive, enterprise-grade solution for building and operating automation at scale. With Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, organizations can accelerate collaboration between teams for improved operational efficiencies, reduced risk and a consistent user experience across infrastructure and technology domains.

          Recently named a Leader by Forrester Research in the Forrester Wave™: Infrastructure Automation Platforms, Q3 2019, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform integrates Red Hat’s powerful automation suite consisting of Red Hat Ansible Tower, Red Hat Ansible Engine and Red Hat Network Automation along with new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based capabilities and features designed for organization-wide effectiveness. Regardless of whether an organization is just beginning its digital transformation journey through automation or is working to expand automation across more use-cases and domains, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform provides the tools needed to more quickly implement automation without starting from scratch.

        • Command Line Heroes season 3, episode 7: Talking to Machines: LISP and the Origins of AI
        • Red Hat’s CEO Jim Whitehurst: ‘We’re optimized for innovation, not efficiency’

          Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst isn’t about to change his management style anytime soon – even with a new boss in charge.

          At least, that was the impression he gave when he appeared as the keynote speaker at the Raleigh Chamber’s annual meeting on Friday.

          A little more than two months after the open source firm merged with IBM in a $34 billion deal, he hinted at an existing clash of culture between the two tech giants, albeit in jest.=

          “Not to pick on my new employer, but it’s funny. I’ll say we should start to do this in front of someone from IBM, and they’re off doing it. And then I’ll say it at Red Hat, and [they’ll say] he was just off his rocker that day,” he told the 700-strong crowd gathered in the main ballroom of the Raleigh Convention Center.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux 5.3, Oracle Autonomous Linux, AMD Breaks World Records, Microsoft – Destination Linux 140
      • 09/26/2019 | Linux Headlines

        Hacktoberfest is back with more prizes for open source developers, Amazon’s got new Echo devices and a new wireless protocol to boot, and the Python community has a new Code of Conduct.

        Plus the Free Software Awards have a new category, and Android 10 Go has arrived.

      • Watch: The First Privacy and Security-Focused Librem 5 Linux Phone in Action

        Purism has published today a video of the first ever privacy and security-focused Librem 5 Linux smartphone that roll of the assembly line.

        Purism has just kicked off the shipping process of its Librem 5 Linux smartphone on September 24th, which will be released in batches until Q4 2020, and now the hardware manufacturer known for its privacy and security-focused Linux-powered laptops has shared a video of the first-ever Librem 5 Linux smartphone.

        As you can see in the 37 second video attached at the end of the article, the Librem 5 Linux phone works pretty well and it kinda looks an Android smartphone. Purism has showcased web browsing, app switching, messages, contacts, and the PureOS software store from you can install more apps.

    • Applications

      • 4 great WhatsApp alternatives for Linux users

        Many people use WhatsApp every day to communicate with family and friends. Unfortunately, if you’re using Linux, you cannot take part in these conversations, as WhatsApp does not have an official app for the platform. Instead, you have to make do with its web interface which falls short in terms of features. Additionally, in some countries, Whatsapp is simply blocked or frequently subject to censure. In many cases, it’s just easier to use a different app. Here are 4 great WhatsApp alternatives for Linux users.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Steam Fixes Up Handling For Games With Vulkan Async Compute

        A Steam beta update out today is notable for Linux gamers to avoid possible GPU crashes and corruption of the Steam overlay.

        Valve engineers worked out recent GPU crashes and overlay corruption stemming from games making use of Vulkan asynchronous compute capabilities.

        One of the affected titles for this was DOOM (2016) running under Steam Play that makes use of async compute and causing problems for gamers.

      • OFF GRID, a game about stealth and hacking the planet is delayed into 2020

        OFF GRID from developer Semaeopus is a very promising game about sneaking around and hacking everything. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in November last year it’s progressing nicely.

        However, sometimes progress comes at a cost. They’ve decided to push the release back from December 2019 until sometime next year. There’s multiple reasons for that including a change in team members, picking a more suitable date to launch an indie game and so on. Something that also caught my eye is what they said about expanding the game, with “OFF GRID is intended to grow and become an ongoing universe post release, and for this to happen we want to make the biggest splash possible.”—so either it will gain some big expansions/updates or they’re hoping for followup titles if it has a good release.

      • What’s that? Another Steam Client Beta update? With a Linux platform filter? Yes it is

        Valve have released the fourth Beta update for the Steam Client since the new Library design dropped and it’s a good one.

        When the new Steam Library released in Beta for everyone to try on September 17th, it came with a lot of fun new features. However, it also got rid of a few that were necessary. For starters, the option to view games only on Linux or MacOS were removed but today they return…and in style too!

        For Linux, we now have this sweet little Tux icon to click and have all non-Linux games hidden. The position is a tiny bit off, but at least it exists again. However, if you’ve enabled Steam Play for all titles it does nothing, since you’re opting to show them all of course. You can get around that with option Valve added some time ago to force Proton/Steam Play on games if you do wish to have a list filtered for Linux games (steps on doing that in this article).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kim | KDE Plasma Graphics Service Menu

          There comes a time when I realize I want to be lazy about something and one of those things is converting images. Sure, I could be a super nerd and do a batch conversion of images in the terminal but today was not that day. I wanted Dolphin, the Plasma default file manager to do the work for me. I remembered in a kind of vague, dream like haziness remember Dolphin or Konqueror doing this long ago. So, it was time to do some Web-Search-Foo and figure things out. After a bit of time, I came upon something called Kim. It is described as, “A very useful images KDE service menu”. That was worded kind of funny… so I would describe it, “A very useful service menu for basic manipulation of images.”

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Leave GNOME alone: This patent troll is asking for trouble

          You might ask how is being able to import photos and organize them patentable? Or at least be patentable in a patent dating from 2008? I believe Xerox PARC’s Superpaint was importing images in 1973, and in the 35 years between those dates, there were just a few photo programs (Photoshop in 1988 comes to mind) that could import and sort images. If it’s the wirelessly transmitting images that’s the sticking point, it sure looks like Nikon was the first in 2005, with the Coolpix P1 and P2.

          But the ways of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are strange and wondrous to behold when it comes to researching prior art.

          Be that as it may, this is far from the first time Rothchild, in true patent troll fashion, has sued companies for misusing its eponymous patent. Indeed, according to a 2015 RPX Corp report, Leigh Rothchild, the patent’s creator, had filed the single largest number of lawsuits as non-practicing entities (NPEs) — companies that don’t produce products but profit purely from patent lawsuits — with lawsuits against 141 defendants.

        • Mythical Troll Attacks GNOME

          This week, RPIL filed a lawsuit against the GNOME Foundation, claiming the Shotwell photo manager infringes its patent. Here’s what Rothschild claims to have invented in 2008:

          4. A method performed by an image-capturing mobile device, comprising:

          receiving a plurality of photographic images;

          filtering the plurality of photographic images using a transfer criteria wherein the transfer criteria is a subject identification of a respective photographic image within the plurality of photographic images, wherein the subject identification is based on a topic, theme or individual shown in the respective photographic image; and

          transmitting, via a wireless transmitter and to a second image capturing device, the filtered plurality of photographic images.

          That’s right. Rothschild thinks he was the first to come up with receiving a bunch of photos on a phone, filtering them based on a topic or theme, and transmitting them wirelessly to someone else’s mobile device.

          That’s probably not patentable subject matter under the Alice § 101 test. It’s probably not even valid under § 102 or § 103—I was doing exactly this on my MacBook using Lightroom when it was released in 2007, more than a year before the filing of the RPIL patent. A MacBook is an image-capturing mobile device, but even if it isn’t, porting that kind of software from a laptop to a smartphone is obvious. This is a clear example of the kind of patent that never should have been granted that IPR was designed to deal with.


          Given GNOME’s limited revenues, RPIL probably doesn’t expect GNOME to fight the case, nor does it expect a large judgment if they do. Instead, RPIL is likely hoping for a nuisance-value settlement—a payment of $50,000 or $100,000 to make the case go away. (Of course, that would still be a third of GNOME’s yearly revenue, a significant burden on their educational mission.)

          And the situation could be even worse. If the STRONGER Patents Act were to pass—which seems less likely after the strong criticism of the bill at a recent hearing—then trolls like RPIL would be incentivized to go after small companies and foundations like GNOME. RPIL could try to get GNOME to file a relatively weaker IPR due to its limited resources—and then turn around and sue larger entities, using GNOME’s petition to block their patent from challenges by better funded litigants. The end result would be to increase bottom-feeder litigation like this and the cost of litigation for everyone in the patent system.

    • Distributions

      • Best Linux distro for developers

        Linux powers the backbone of the internet, mobile devices, and now cloud computing systems.

        Because of this it’s often essential for techies to be able to work directly in a Linux environment, especially for operating servers and for developing software that runs on them.

        While Linux has a reputation for being primarily for coders and programmers, over the past couple of decades there have been moves to provide versions of Linux that are more friendly to ordinary users, such as by providing more of a graphic user interface (GUI) and be less reliant on command line use.

        However, at its core Linux still remains important for development use, and there are specific distros available that care less for newbies from Windows and are configured specifically for various technical uses.

        Here we’ll look at the main Linux distros used by software developers, and feature the best of them.

      • Top tips for using the Kali Linux pen testing distribution

        Jim O’Gorman: Number one, regardless of what you’re doing, you’re going to want to have access to Unix and Linux-based tools. Otherwise, it’s like trying to do an assessment with one arm tied behind your back and your eyes closed — it’s going to be extremely difficult.

        If you take it as a given that you need access to these Unix, open source-based tools as part of your assessment, then the question is: What platform are you going to use? Kali is the de facto standard platform for assessment services, especially when you’re running Linux.

        With the heritage that we have, there’s been kind of an evolution of what was originally in a lot of these pen testing platforms, when we were focused on just a collection of tools. That was the whole point: Here, you have your tools and away you go. We’ve evolved long past that now. That’s a given: The tools are there, they’re updated and they’re there. That’s kind of like the price of entry.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Tiny USB stick SBC features dual crypto chips

        F-Secure’s security-focused, open-spec “USB armory Mk II” USB stick SBC runs Linux on an NXP i.MX6 ULZ with dual crypto chips, 16GB eMMC, dual USB Type-C ports, and Bluetooth 5.0.

        Since Inverse Path launched its security-oriented USB Armory USB-stick back in 2014, we have not seen anything quite like it until this week when a second generation version successful launched on Crowd Supply. The $149 USB armory Mk II SBC is now offered by security company F-Secure Foundry, which acquired Inverse Path in 2017.

      • Compact Arm/Linux IoT protocol conversion gateway has crypto chip

        Advantech has launched a rugged “WISE-710” IoT protocol gateway that runs Linux and its WISE-PaaS/EdgeLink stack on the i.MX6 DualLite and offers a crypto chip, 2x GbE, mini-PCIe, 3x serial/CAN, DIO, and optional analog and temperature interfaces.

        Advantech previewed its WISE-710 gateway back in May and has now announced its release on Design World. The 100 x 70 x 36mm “industrial protocol gateway” runs Ubuntu 16.04 or the optional Yocto 2.1 on the tried-and-true NXP i.MX6 DualLite, which has shipped on earlier Advantech embedded computers such as its UBC-220.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • /e/ is selling Google-free Android phones (in Europe)

          It’s hard to develop a new smartphone operating system from scratch. But forking one is another story.

          So when developer Gaël Duval wanted to create a smartphone operating system that emphasized privacy, he started with Android… and then stripped all the proprietary Google services he could.

          The result is a platform he calls /e/ which is a fork of a fork (it’s based on LineageOS and uses microG as an alternative to Google Mobile Services). While a public beta of the /e/ operating system has been available since last year, at the time you had to install it on a phone yourself.

        • Google Announces Android 10 (Go Edition) for Low-End, Entry-Level Smartphones

          Google has announced the general availability of the Go edition of its latest Android 10 mobile operating system for low-end, entry-level smartphones.
          Android Go is a special variant of the Linux-based Android mobile operating system optimized for low-end devices with 1 GB of RAM or less and a less powerful processor. The first version of Android Go launched two years ago as part of the Android Oreo (8.0) series, and now it’s in its third release.

          Android 10 Go edition comes packed with new and redesigned apps to offer the Android community the power of the latest Android 10 operating system on more affordable Android smartphones. It introduces smaller app sizes and twice as more local storage out of the box, along with the ability to control stored content.

          “With smaller app sizes, more storage space, and way more control over how your content is stored, it’s easy to see the ways Android 10 (Go edition) helps you save,” said Google. “Brand new apps designed for lighter updates and downloads help create more space while significantly improving performance. That’s what we call a win, win.”

          Moreover, Android 10 Go edition also improves the File management app to help you more easily and quickly clean up and free up space on your device with smart suggestions, find files much faster by using filters, as well as to share files offline at high speeds.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SVT-AV1 0.7 Released For Speedy AV1 Video Encoding With More AVX2/AVX512 Optimizations

        The engineers maintaining Intel’s open-source Scalable Video Technology (SVT) encoders today released SVT-AV1 0.7 as the newest feature update to their speedy AV1 video encoder.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • William Lachance: Metrics Graphics: Stepping back for a while

            Just a note that I’ve decided to step back from metrics graphics maintenance for the time being, which means that the project is essentially unowned. This has sort of been the case for a while, but I figured I should probably make it official.

            If you follow the link to the metrics graphics repository, you’ll note that the version has been bumped to “3.0-alpha3”. I was this close to making one last new release this afternoon but decided I didn’t want to potentially break existing users who were fine using the last “official” version (v3.0 bumps the version of d3 used to “5”, among other breaking changes). I’d encourage people who want to continue using the library to make a fork and publish a copy under their user or organization name on npm.

          • Firefox and Tactical Tech Bring The Glass Room to San Francisco

            From the tech boom to techlash, our favorite technologies have become intertwined with our daily lives. As technology is embedded in everything from dating to driving and from the environment to elections, our desire for convenience has given way to trade-offs for our privacy, security, and wellbeing.

            The Glass Room, curated by Tactical Tech and produced by Firefox, is a place to explore how technology and data are shaping our perceptions, experiences, and understanding of the world. The most connected generation in history is also the most exposed, as people’s privacy becomes the fuel for technology’s incredible growth. What’s gained and lost — and who decides — are explored at the Glass Room.

            The Glass Room is in a 28,000 square-foot former retail store, located at 838 Market Street, across from Westfield San Francisco Centre, in the heart of the Union Square Retail District. It will be open to the public from October 16th through November 3rd. The location is intentional, meant to entice shoppers into the store and help them leave better equipped to make informed choices about technology and how it impacts their personal data, privacy, and security.

      • CMS

        • Long-Needed Date/Time Improvements Land in Core

          After more than a year and several WordPress updates, an overhaul of the core Date/Time component concluded. WordPress 5.3 will ship with fixes for long-standing bugs and new API functions.

          Andrey “Rarst” Savchenko spearheaded this project and worked through most of the issues in his WP Date fork of WordPress. Much of his work toward addressing the problems with this core component goes back further with the initialization of his WPDateTime project.

      • BSD

        • TinyOS: An Operating System for Wireless Sensors

          TinyOS is an open-source, BSD-based operating system which uses the nesC programming language to control and manage wireless sensor networks (WSN). The sensor devices (called motes) in such networks are characterized by low power, limited memory and very small form factor.

          TinyOS was first written by Jason Hill at the University of Berkeley in 2000. It is a completely free and open-source software.


        • Richard Stallman To Continue As Head Of The GNU Project

          He hadn’t elaborated any further on his GNU plans moving forward besides that he intends on remaining at the front of the GNU Project. But perhaps with more time on his hands now with having resigned from the FSF and MIT, maybe we’ll be seeing more code contributions from Stallman to the likes of GNU Hurd.

        • FSF Blogs: GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 14 new GNU releases in September!

          For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.

        • FSF Blogs: Submit a session proposal for LibrePlanet 2020 conference: Free the Future by Nov. 20

          Over the last decade, LibrePlanet has blossomed from a small gathering of FSF members into a vibrant multi-day event that attracts a broad audience of anyone interested in the values of software freedom. LibrePlanet 2019 had almost a thousand people participate around the world, both online and in-person, for workshops and talks centered around the theme of “Trailblazing Free Software.” To stay up to date about everything LibrePlanet 2020, visit https://www.libreplanet.org/2020.

          Many picture the future of software bringing about a dystopian world because of the daily encroachments on user rights. Even in our own homes, we are not shielded from technology companies listening to every word we say through their proprietary “smart” personal assistants. The thirst for user data gleaned through nonfree software and unethical network services like Amazon and Facebook seems to be unquenchable, and they require strong resistance.

          Surveillance developments are becoming more and more unsettling because of the use of facial recognition by state and county agencies. The FBI is planning to actively monitor our social media activity in the name of “safety.” Can free software help defend our rights?

        • After Saying Sex with Minors Is Not Always Sexual Assault, MIT Scientist Resigns [Ed: Coverage bumped up again, seemingly with a new headline]
      • Programming/Development

        • Write Better Code With Our New Advanced Functions Python Course

          Writing better code isn’t always front-of-mind when it comes to learning data science — we’re often more concerned with just getting the code to work, and making sure the analysis is sound.

          But to work as part of an effective data science team, you’ve got to be able to write code that’s readable, maintainable, testable, and debuggable, not just code that’s functional.

          That’s why we’re happy to announce we’ve just launched a new course in our Python Data Scientist path called Functions: Advanced.

          It’s an in-depth Python functions course that’s designed to show you how to write better code using functional programming. If you’re working in data — or aspire to work in data — this course covers critical skills for making your code easier to read, maintain, test, and debug.

        • compile rust hello world for arm7
        • Haskell, Erlang, and Frank walk into a bar and begin new project to work in Unison

          At the Strange Loop conference in St. Louis, Missouri, earlier this month, Paul Chiusano, founder of Unison Computing, gave the audience a tour of Unison, an emerging programming language designed for building distributed systems.

          Created by Chiusano, Arya Irani and Rúnar Bjarnason, Unison was inspired by Haskell, Erlang, and Frank, a trio of functional programming languages. It’s an open source statically typed functional programming language and it’s currently in public alpha testing.

          Chiusano, in his presentation at the conference, said Unison is based on a core technical ideal. “In Unison, we’re going to identify definitions not by their name but by a hash of their content,” he explained.

          Programmers commonly define functions by giving them names like “foo” or “bar.” You can do that in Unison too, but the way the language keeps track of those names – which are just metadata in Unison – is by associating them with a 512-bit SHA3 content hash of the implementation of that function.

        • Webinar Recording: “10 Tools and Techniques Python Web Developers Should Explore” with Michael Kennedy

          Our friend Michael Kennedy joined us yesterday for a webinar on tips every Python web developer could benefit from. As is usual with his webinars, it was a lot of fun, very well-prepared, and packed a ton of useful information. The recording is now available as well as his repository of examples.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Top 20 Best Bug Bounty Programs on Internet in 2019

        A bug bounty program is a reward program that inspires to find and report bugs. The main goal of the program is to identify hidden problems in a particular software or web application. Reporters get paid for finding more bugs in order to improve the performance. There are several giant companies which run bug bounty programs for the betterment of the software and websites.

      • False Accusations Against Linux Security Continue

        For the past two years, ever since the release of dozens of NSA created Windows hacking tools in 2017, there have been an ever increasing wave of ransomware attacks against Windows computers. During this time, I have written several articles explaining in detail how hackers use hidden back doors in the Windows operating system to take over and lock up Windows computers. I ended each of these articles by urging folks to protect their data by replacing the poorly designed Windows operating system with the free and much more secure Linux operating system as this is really the only way to protect your computer, your data and your business from a ransomware attack.

        It is surprising that despite these ever increasing Windows Ransomware attacks, the value of Microsoft stock has continued to increase to the point where Microsoft is now a trillion dollar corporation. I understand that Microsoft spends billions of dollars on marketing and promoting itself. But one would think that eventually the truth would come out that Windows is not a secure operating system. However, instead of exposing the truth about Windows Security Flaws, the corporate media is engaged in a relentless campaign of making a series of false accusations against Linux claiming that Linux also suffers from security problems.


        Trend Micro is a Microsoft “Gold Partner.” None of the so-called news articles that repeated the Skidmap hoax note either of these facts. But I think it is relevant when it comes to assessing their credibility.

        Now for the actual allegations. The headline for all of these articles is some version of the following: “Skidmap Linux Malware Uses Rootkit Capabilities to Hide Cryptocurrency Mining”

        This sounds very high tech. The reader is likely to know that Cryptocurrency Mining is Bit Coin Mining. You likely have heard that hackers can and do take over Windows computers all the time and use them for Bitcoin mining. So if hackers can do this to Windows computers, it seems at least plausible that hackers could also take over Linux computers and use them for bitcoin mining. This only sounds plausible because most readers have no idea that there are huge differences between the security of Linux computers versus the lack of security of Windows computers.


        By default, there aren’t any crontab jobs on any Linux computer. In fact, you would need to authorize the addition of any tasks by entering your root user password.

        This is an example of the difference between Windows and Linux. Windows puts Microsoft in control of your updates through automatic updates remotely controlled by Microsoft (and whatever hackers also know about this backdoor and use it to remotely control your computer – while Linux puts you in control of your updates and all other changes on your computer. Hopefully, you can see now why the Trend Micro claim is complete and utter nonsense.


        These are not Russian hackers. They do have a Command and Control Center. But it is not located in Moscow. Instead, it is located in Virginia and is run by NSA hackers that are pretending to be Russian hackers.

        That’s right. This entire scam is being funded by literally billions of your hard earned tax payer dollars. This is how you can get a company with thousands of servers in 20 locations around the world without any need to make any kind of profit.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Boys in the Boots

        Pakistan’s generals should be happy men. They are the self-appointed guardians of the state with an iron grip on the country. Instead of a social welfare democracy seen by the founding fathers, Pakistan has become a national security state. Sixty years after the coup d’état that brought General Ayub Khan to power in 1958, the civilian leadership is also entirely servile to the military now. Ayub’s, first of many missteps, was his short-lived 1962 constitution, imposing a presidential dictatorship, which caused irreparable harm to the country.

      • Silencing Our Veterans: a Bridge Too Far

        It has now been four years since the “Hoffman Report” presented extensive evidence of secret collaboration between leaders of the American Psychological Association (APA) and psychologists working for the Department of Defense (DOD). According to that independent review, the goal of collaboration was to ensure that APA ethics policies would not prevent psychologists from participating in war-on-terror detention and interrogation operations at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere—operations that the International Committee of the Red Cross once described as “tantamount to torture.”

      • Are We Approaching the End of Super Imperialism?
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • This Lawyer Fought Housing Segregation. Now Wealthy Suburbanites Want to Fire His Firm.

        For much of the past 13 years, attorney Timothy Hollister has battled local elected officials here on behalf of a developer who wants to build more affordable housing in one of America’s wealthiest towns.

        The fight, he has said, is a microcosm of a statewide debate in Connecticut, where exclusionary zoning requirements have resulted in some of the most segregated neighborhoods in the nation. Private developers have been allowed to open just 65 affordable housing units in this posh village over the last three decades.


        On a single night in January 2018, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development collected nationwide data to determine there are now about 553,000 homeless people across the country—or nearly the same number as the entire the population of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

        While that is an improvement on the estimated 647,000 homeless Americans in 2007, it also reflects a lingering inability to solve a four-decade-old national crisis.

        What exactly caused the American homeless rate to reach and sustain such heights? Some have cited the shutting of mental hospitals in the 1970s. Others have pointed to the lack of safety nets for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

        Still others have called out urban housing prices and cuts in government subsidies for affordable housing. Blaming the homeless, too, is not uncommon—bad choices, substance abuse, or a preference for life on the street are all popular explanations.

        Two-thirds of all homeless are single adults, while families and unaccompanied youths make up the rest. Most “self-resolve,” or exit homelessness within a few days or weeks—in fact, only about 16% are chronically homeless. And while there are 190,000 visible homeless people each night on the street in the United States, many more live in shelters or are otherwise hidden from public view—sleeping in cars, for example.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Current Whistleblower Scandal Shows (Again) That The Official Channels Are Useless

        The official channels for whistleblowing are meant to deter whistleblowers. Just look at what has happened to the whistleblower currently at the center of accusations against President Trump. Despite raising concerns urgent enough the IC’s Inspector General felt compelled to notify Congress, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence decided the allegations were too sensitive to be shared with its oversight.

      • The Best People: White House Emailed Talking Points Meant For Surrogates To Dems, Tried To Recall Email Afterwards

        At the time of this writing, I’ll go ahead and assume that anyone reading this is now fully immersed in Ukraine-Call-Gate or whatever we’re calling this potentially impeachment-inducing scandal Donald Trump has managed to build for himself. What started as a murky story surrounding the administration flatly ignoring the law in handling a mysterious whistle-blower complaint has since been clarified in the extreme. What happened essentially is that the whistle-blower raised alarms over several occurrences, one of which was a call that occurred between Trump and the recently elected Ukrainian President in which Trump reportedly pushed his counterpart to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of his potential 2020 rival. Then, for reasons that are beyond me, Trump released an unredacted “rough” transcript of the call, which demonstrates that he did that very thing. You’re going to hear a great deal of obfuscation over the next days and weeks about what the transcript shows. Go read it for yourself. Trump asked Ukraine, while withholding aid money at the time, to investigate the Bidens.

      • Will Biden Be a Rerun of 2016 Tragedy?

        Joe Biden is a throwback to an earlier time. Much of it could be called “the Clintonite era”— when Democratic presidential contenders openly cozied up to the wealthy by appearing at one high-dollar fundraising event after another. A time when they served up (consultant-approved) language about “feeling the pain” of “working families” . . . without identifying any corporate villains or transformative policies to fix the rigged system.

      • The Bidens, Trump, Kiev and Impeachment

        The impeachment drive is quickly gathering steam, and who can have any sympathy for that man in the Oval Office?

      • Impeachment Isn’t the High-Stakes Gamble Pelosi Thought
      • Trump claims markets will crash if he is impeached [Ed: Corporate media as Trump megaphone. What journalism should be like: Trump makes incorrect assertion, based on these facts we’ve checked. Job requirements for so-called ‘journalists’ today: paste in tweets, add headline. Note that these tweets may also be false statements; one need not even correct them or fact-check.]

        President Trump claimed early Thursday morning that stock markets would crash if he were impeached.

        “If they actually did this the markets would crash,” the president tweeted, just hours before the acting director of national intelligence’s public testimony before Congress.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Jerks ‘Reporting’ Women Who Swipe Left On Them In Tinder, Once Again Highlighting How Content Moderation Gets Abused

        We keep trying to highlight (over and over and over again) how content moderation at scale is impossible to do well for a variety of reasons — and one big one is the fact that assholes and trolls will game whatever system you put in place — often in truly absurd ways. The latest example of this is that guys who are pissed off about women who reject them after meeting through Tinder are “reporting” the women in the app, trying to get their accounts shut down.

      • Lousiana’s Terrible Criminal Defamation Law Again Being Used To Unconstitutionally Target A Critic Of Law Enforcement

        Louisiana’s stupid, unconstitutional criminal defamation law remains on the books despite the state’s highest court reaching this conclusion nearly forty years ago…

      • France: Press for Rights in Libya Talks

        Global leaders should ensure that human rights concerns and accountability are integral to talks for a political settlement between warring factions in Libya, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

      • Hard Lessons in Cameroon

        Teachers in open societies around the world push their students to think critically about current events. But those in Cameroon might be thinking twice after one of them was arrested for doing just that.

      • Black comedy about Nazi Germany ‘Jojo Rabbit’ will not air in Russia

        Twentieth Century Fox’s branch for the Commonwealth of Independent States has reported to the Russian film news outlet Kinoreporter that the company does not plan to distribute Taika Waititi’s film Jojo Rabbit in Russia. Twentieth Century Fox did not explain the reasoning behind that decision.

      • Google removes news previews in France to avoid paying publishers

        Google has announced that it will not pay publishers in France for search results, and will instead show stripped back results for News. That will happen next month when France enforces new rules base on Europe’s controversial copyright law. “We will no longer display an overview of the content in France for European press publishers, unless the publisher tells us that it’s okay,” said Google in a blog. It added that publishers will get new webmaster settings that will allow them to specify how much information they want to preview in News results.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Normal Intrusions: Globalising AI Surveillance

        They all do it: corporations, regimes, authorities. They all have the same reasons: efficiency, serviceability, profitability, all under the umbrella term of “security”. Call it surveillance, or call it monitoring the global citizenry; it all comes down to the same thing. You are being watched for your own good, and such instances should be regarded as a norm.

      • WARP is not a VPN for privacy

        You may have heard earlier this year that Cloudflare was planning a mobile VPN called WARP. Today, 9/5/19, Cloudflare has officially opened its WARP “VPN” feature on its popular DNS encrypting app to the public – and it’s important to note that WARP is NOT private. What most people don’t notice is that the app passes along your IP address to the destination. Cloudflare first announced their WARP VPN on April 1st of 2019 when they also started a public waitlist. WARP was built on technology which Cloudflare first got its hands on when they acquired Neumob in 2017. More specifically, WARP is a Wireguard VPN. That doesn’t mean that the Wireguard technology, which is powerful and promising, can’t still be intentionally misconfigured to pass along the user’s IP address – or other “random” user-specific identifier – to the destination.

      • Carnegie Experts Should Know: Defending Encryption Isn’t an “Absolutist” Position

        In the digital world, strong encryption is how private conversations stay private. It’s also what keeps our devices secure. Encryption is under a new set of attacks by law enforcement, who continue to seek a magic bullet—a technological backdoor that could circumvent encryption, but somehow not endanger privacy and security more broadly. But that circle can’t be squared, and at this point, the FBI and DOJ know that. That’s why as the government has pushed forward with this narrative, it’s been increasingly backed by false claims. 

        Now, a group of prominent academics and policy makers has signed on to a deeply misguided report that attempts to re-frame the debate along the lines that law enforcement agencies have long urged. The paper is the work of a small group convened by the Carnegie Institute for Peace, which claims to seek a more “pragmatic and constructive” debate about the “challenges” of encryption. Unfortunately, the report begins with the premise that the “problem” to be solved is that law enforcement agencies sometimes can’t access encrypted devices, then suggests those who disagree with the premise hold “absolutist” positions. It goes on to endorse a version of the discredited “key escrow” scheme that, as we have explained before, just won’t work. 

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Books and Movies That Made Us Better Journalists

        Early last year, we asked ProPublica Illinois readers what they wanted to know about how we do our work. Thoughtful, challenging questions have been rolling in ever since, and we’ve been answering them in an occasional series of columns. In this column, reporting fellow Lakeidra Chavis writes about the books, articles and movies that have inspired the journalists in our newsroom.

        Would you recommend any specific books and/or other sources to an interested person who is not in a position to attend journalism school? —David Weinkrantz

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • From Extinguished to Distinguished

        In 1973, at age 46, my character was assassinated and I was forcibly retired by The United Methodist Church’s then Southern New England Conference after performing the marriage of two male members of Boston’s Old West Church, where I had been minister for eight years. On September 18, 2019, forty-six years later, at almost 93 years of age, Boston University School of Theology, a major institution in New England United Methodism, honored me as one of its three 2019 Distinguished Alumni/ae. Upon learning that I was being so honored, my wife, Eva, who was beside me all those years, said, “From extinguished to distinguished” – then added, “But you were never extinguished.”

      • The End of Asylum?

        It was unforgettable.


        This is the distorted result of Remain in Mexico — officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — in which the administration forces asylum seekers from Central America to stay in Mexico to await their court dates, rather than allowing them to stay with sponsors in the United States.

        In Mexico these migrants have nearly no access to family members, lawyers, or other support. Shelters and employment are woefully inadequate.

        This child, a U.S. citizen, faced the heart-wrenching choice of either staying in the United States motherless, or remaining in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, with his mother, who was seeking refuge in the United States after fleeing violence in Honduras.

      • Robin Vos Punches Wisconsin Students and Teachers in the Face. Asks, how they got a Black Eye?
      • Rep. Mark Takano Introduces Bill That Would Keep Companies From Blocking Defendants’ Access To Evidence

        When the government doesn’t want to talk about its law enforcement tech, it dismisses cases. The FBI has done this on several occasions. First, it told local law enforcement to dismiss cases rather than discuss Stingray use in court. Then it did the same thing with its homegrown malware in child porn cases.

      • Guinea: A Decade Later, No Justice for Massacre

        Families of victims of the September 2009 massacre by Guinea’s security forces are still awaiting justice 10 years later, six human rights groups said today. The groups released a video to mark the massacre’s tenth anniversary featuring victims pleading for the trial to go ahead.

      • Don’t Be Fooled by Venezuela’s Seeming Change of Heart

        The Venezuelan government is trying hard to convince the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) members that it is committed to working with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to improve human rights in Venezuela. Its astute political maneuvering should not be a substitute for genuine accountability for Venezuelan victims.  

      • Protests in Egypt Show Trump’s Wrong about al-Sisi

        At the United Nations General Assembly meetings this week, US President Donald Trump praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a “great leader” who has brought Egypt out of “turmoil.” His praize came days after widespread protests erupted in numerous Egyptian cities.

      • Chinese Authorities Call For Internet Companies To Add Bias To AI Algorithms — In Order To ‘Promote Mainstream Values’

        Techdirt has been tracking the worsening online surveillance and censorship situation in China for many years now. The latest move concerns the currently hot area of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s a sector that the Chinese government understands better than most Western governments, and which it has made one of its technology priorities. The authorities in China know that AI in the form of algorithms is increasingly deployed to optimize and customize Web sites. They have realized that this fact gives them an important new lever for controlling the online world. As South China Morning Post reports, the Cyberspace Administration of China has released its draft regulations on “managing the cyberspace ecosystem”, which include the following:

      • John Yoo Crushes The Testicles Of Logic

        There’s no pit of professional shame you won’t be able to dig yourself out of if you’re willing to sing the virtues of unbridled presidential authority, even in times like these. Especially in times like these.

        It worked for Alberto Gonzales. It worked for Ken Starr, who managed to retain his standing after not one but two professional embarrassments. It’s worked for Rudy Giuliani … well, more or less. And it’s working for John Yoo, who recently took to the pages of the New York Times to warn readers of the mortal danger to the institution of the presidency if the House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald Trump.

        The Berkeley Law professor is best known for his 2003 “Torture Memo,” written when he was the Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Yoo advised President George W. Bush that torture of enemy combatants held overseas was entirely permissible, and if not, then “necessity or self-defense could provide justifications for any criminal liability” that might attach to a soldier charged with doing bodily harm to a prisoner.

        He might have added that unflinching embrace of Federalist Society dogma is a pretty good defense, too. Because instead of being shunned from polite society, he is now blessing America with his views on impeachment. We’ve all been breathlessly awaiting the opinion of a guy who thinks the president has the inherent authority to “torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child,” right?

      • Xenophobia is un-African and a violation of the spirit of ubuntu

        “I owe my being to the Khoi and the San whose desolate souls haunt the great expanses of the beautiful Cape. I am formed of the migrants who left Europe to find a new home on our native land. Whatever their actions, they remain, still, part of me. In my veins course the blood of the Malay slaves who came from the East. I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom. I am the grandchild who sees in the mind’s eye and suffers the suffering of a simple peasant folk…

        “I come of those who were transported from India and China. Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that I am an African!”

        The words of then deputy president Thabo Mbeki addressing the UN University on 9 April 1998 were a call on Africans to realise their importance and become equipped for development shaped for equal economic activity and good living.

        Although Mbeki’s plea stopped short of suggesting practical ways to develop, his intentions were pure and must receive the respect they deserve. The right to development is a basic right contained in the fabric of international human rights. He had superior insight into the importance of brotherhood and neighbourliness. In congruence with the African Renaissance, he warned against intolerance towards outsiders.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Courts Shoot Down Yet Another FCC Proposal For Being Factually Sketchy

        As the net neutrality fracas made clear, Ajit Pai’s FCC has been widely criticized for playing a bit fast and loose with the facts (read: disregarding facts entirely) as it rushes to eliminate most meaningful oversight of media and telecom giants (and the arguably broken markets they inhabit). For example, the net neutrality repeal was based in large part on bogus data directly copied from telecom lobbyists with zero real effort to disguise that fact.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Nerf unveils “DRM for darts”

        Hasbro’s got a new foam dart gun, the $50 Nerf Ultra One blaster, and to make sure that owners of this toy arrange their affairs to the benefit of Hasbro’s shareholders, the company has engineered a digital rights management system that detects and refuses to fire third-party darts, which sell by the hundreds for just a few bucks (the official darts are $10 for 20), which means that party organizers running Nerf wars will have to scale back their ambitions or shell out like crazy.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Cert petition, amicus brief criticize Federal Circuit for vitiating damages apportionment requirement: Time Warner Cable v. Sprint

          Both the petition and the amicus brief place particular emphasis on a 135-year-old Supreme Court ruling: In Garretson v. Clark (1884), the top U.S. court stated that “the [prevailing] patentee [seeking damages] must in every case give evidence tending to separate or apportion the defendant’s profits and the patentee’s damages between the patented feature and the unpatented feature.” And the highest court in the land added that “such evidence must be reliable and tangible, and not conjectural or speculative.” In that case, the patent-in-suit read on an improved mop head, but not the cleaning device as a whole.

          Interestingly, it was also in the late 19th century when it became law that a prevailing design patent holder was entitled to an unapportioned disgorgement of infringer’s profits. A typical example of a design patent-infringing product at the time was a carpet. In the Apple-Samsung dispute, there was a strong policy argument that today’s highly multifunctional products had to be analyzed and treated differently from 19th-century products. But in the Garretson utility patent case, apportionment already came into play even though it was a no-tech (not even a low-tech) product by today’s standards. Undoubtedly, what was already warranted in the Garretson mop-head case is hugely more relevant in the smartphone era.

          There’s some indication that the Supreme Court may have felt last year that the question of apportionment at least potentially warranted another look: on April 4, 2018, the Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to express the views of the federal government on the cert petition in EVE-USA, Inc. v. Mentor Graphics Corp.–but before the DOJ responded to this CVSG, the petition was withdrawn as a result of a settlement.

        • Design Patent Obviousness: How to Pick a Primary Reference

          Gamon Plus’s two design patents at issue here are directed to particular aspect of a design for a gravity feed can dispenser. U.S. Design Pats. D612,646 and D621,645. Campbell’s filed IPR challenges after Gamon sued for infringement. After initiating the IPRs, the PTAB eventually concluded decided that the claimed design had not been proven obvious. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has vacated and remanded — holding that the Board had improperly excluded a prior art reference (Linz) as a “primary reference” for the obviousness analysis.


          Design patents are governed by the same obviousness statute – Section 103 – and follow the same Graham v. John Deere inquiry. The inquiry as restated by the Federal Circuit is whether it would have been obvious to PHOSITA to have “combined teachings of the prior art to create the same overall visual appearance as the claimed design.” Apple v. Samsung (Fed. Cir. 2012). In Apple, the court also provided a methodology of first beginning with a primary reference — a single reference whose “design characteristics … are basically the same as the claimed design” i.e., creates “basically the same visual impression.” See Durling v. Spectrum Furniture Co. (Fed. Cir. 1996); In re Rosen, 673 F.2d 388 (CCPA 1982)


          On remand, the Board will need to reconsider obviousness. In addition, the Federal Circuit ordered the Board to “also consider the non-instituted grounds for unpatentability consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in SAS.


          Another pending appeal has to do with a utility patent that is part of the same patent family. As part of the IPR, Gamon cancelled claims 1-16, and the PTAB agreed that the rest of the challenged claims were OK (not proven unpatentable). Campbell’s appeal is pending before the Federal Circuit.

      • Copyrights

        • .To Registry Must Identify Owner of Fmovies and Other ‘Pirate’ Domains

          Movie company Millennium Films is increasing the pressure on several ‘pirate’ sites. To protect the rights to its film “London Has Fallen,” Millennium obtained a subpoena requiring the .To registry to hand over information it has on the owners of streaming sites FMovies.to, Yesmovies.to and Cmovieshd.to, as well as torrent site iBit.to.

        • Alleged Mangamura Admin Arrested By Japan During Deportation Flight

          The alleged former operator of Mangamura, a now-defunct site blamed for causing billions of dollars in losses to the Japanese manga industry, has been arrested by Japanese police. Romi Hoshino was previously detained in the Philippines but was arrested Tuesday aboard a deportation flight to Japan.

        • The Differences Between Copyright And Possession: Gilda Radner Interview Copyright Lawsuit Dismissed For Lack Of Registration

          Over the years, we’ve written about a few legal disputes regarding the question of who (if anyone) holds the copyright on an interview. That question was potentially at issue in a dispute over some audio recordings of comedian Gilda Radner being interviewed by journalist Hillary Johnson. Johnson was apparently hired by publisher Simon & Schuster in 1987 to interview Radner (who was already dealing with the ovarian cancer that would eventually lead to her death), in order to help Radner write an autobiography. Radner’s brother, Michael, kept the tapes of the interview, and they were “found” recently, and used in a recent documentary about Radner. According to the film’s director, Lisa D’Apolito, Michael Radner had handed over boxes of Radner’s stuff to her to use for the film.

Openwashing and Microsoft Apologists’ Club

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’re ‘coming out’

SJVN and Swapnil

Summary: The ‘nonprofit’ PR agency whose biggest asset is the “Linux” trademark keeps misrepresenting Linux and misusing the name associated with GNU/Linux (and a lot of Free software that runs on top of it)

OVER the past few days we’ve posted a number of articles about the Linux Foundation, demonstrating just how corrupt it gradually became. It’s just an openwashing/PR operation that misuses the “Linux” trademark. Whose agenda is served by it?

Hours ago we saw this article referring in the headline to the Linux Foundation as just “Linux”. To quote: “Edge computing is one of the latest hypes in today’s tech world. As most cloud computing is managed by centralized big data centers that are owned by Amazon or IBM, the problem is that these data warehouses are located fare from the customer that uses them. Edge computing is touted as a solution to this problem by distributing computing power at the “edges” of the network, which would be physically much closer to the user.”

“They’re being assigned (and paid) to spread lies.”This is not about “Linux”; but the Linux Foundation was basically paid for PR services it offers to IOTA. It’s marketing.

Media has sadly taken a turn for the worse; in Twitter we saw people registering complaints, seeing that the Linux Foundation now literally sells tweets (which is in violation of the terms of service in Twitter). It’s important to identify and watch the misinformation agents of the Linux Foundation because not all of them work directly with the agency disguised as foundation. They’re being assigned (and paid) to spread lies.

Media as Propaganda Apparatus of Patent Offices Which Are Run for and by Lawyers and Law Firms

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Copying talking points is not journalism


Summary: Headlines such as “IP intensive industries contribute €6.6tn to EU’s GDP” remind us that some so-called ‘news’ sites are little more than propaganda for law firms

The latest 'study' from EPO/EUIPO is valuable; it has been valuable in the sense that it’s showing us which publications are simply megaphones of Campinos and Battistelli. It shows us the corrupt ‘news’ outlets that will print whatever comes out of the EPO, irrespective of underlying facts.

“It shows us the corrupt ‘news’ outlets that will print whatever comes out of the EPO, irrespective of underlying facts.”Of course World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) just had to join the latest propaganda campaign. Fact-checking not required; it’s against the WIPR business model.

The headline is totally ridiculous: “IP intensive industries contribute €6.6tn to EU’s GDP” (words like “trillions” in the headline!)

This is as laughable as it gets.

So using this EPO/EUIPO ‘logic’, businesses that have lavatories/sanitary facilities prove that having a loo at work adds $20,000,000,000,000 to the economy?

“So using this EPO/EUIPO ‘logic’, businesses that have lavatories/sanitary facilities prove that having a loo at work adds $20,000,000,000,000 to the economy?”This is sad. We still live in a world where being intentionally dumb (lying to oneself and others) pays the most money.

As of hours ago, the EPO still retweeted these puff pieces/tweets in French and said: “IP continues to contribute significantly to the EU economy.”

Hours earlier IP Kat rendered itself a voluntary propaganda outlet for UKIPO. It said: “The UK Intellectual Property Office resealed its Annual IP crime and enforcement report for 2018 to 2019 earlier this month and Jake Campbell, an in-house IP media and lawyer, provides his review of the report…”

“If the EPO grants load of Invalid Patents (IPs), is this whole thing just a Ponzi scheme?”Notice how they equate that with “crime”; the whole thing is pure propaganda, but this is the form of standards we’ve come to expect from IP Kat over the past year or two.

It’s frustrating to see the state of today’s media — almost as frustrating as seeing what happened to once-better patent offices. Yesterday the EPO wrote: “Customers inputs and IP landscaping can provide vital stimulus for future innovation.”

This is part of the “SME” googlebombing campaign. Remember that the EPO also calls its own applicants “customers” (yes, it’s absurd, but the USPTO does the same). Do they hope to make it a trillion-dollar industry? Where can we buy shares in EPO? If the EPO grants load of Invalid Patents (IPs), is this whole thing just a Ponzi scheme?

The European Patent Office’s Relationship With Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) Shows Whose Interests Today’s Management Really Serves

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Licensing Executives Society International (LESI)Summary: The top-level management of the European Patent Office (EPO) — António Campinos just like his predecessor — does not care about the advancement of science but the advancement of litigation agenda by all means available, even software patents in Europe

THE CURRENT Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) comes from the litigation industry, so it’s hardly surprising that he opposes 35 U.S.C. § 101. He’s supposed to follow the law, not decide on the law, but just like in the EPO what we’re seeing these days is a bunch of managers who spit on the law (disregarding if not attacking judges), ignore courts, and strive for nothing but patent maximalism. This is a crisis.

Yesterday the EPO wrote: “Do you know what the right IP strategy is for your business & for the industry you are active in?”

“We have sadly come to a point where the EPO is very blatantly and shamelessly on the side of parasites, not science. The EPO has sided with people who prey on scientists instead of the scientists themselves.”This is about the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI), or just LES, which is a front group of patent trolls. These are not scientists, so what kind of inspiration can they offer to real businesses as opposed to parasites with a patent or two?

We have sadly come to a point where the EPO is very blatantly and shamelessly on the side of parasites, not science. The EPO has sided with people who prey on scientists instead of the scientists themselves.

Look no further than the EPO’s stance on software patents. What proportion of programmers want such patents to exist? 1%? Less?

“Look no further than the EPO’s stance on software patents. What proportion of programmers want such patents to exist? 1%? Less?”Benjamin Henrion has just recalled Chirac’s stance on software patents [1, 2, 3], due to the news about Chirac’s death. It’s a reminder that he lasted 12 years in power and became an iconic personality in France (Henrion is a French-speaking Belgian). Henrion also recalled Chiraq’s betrayal. Initially, as a campaign promise, he sided with software developers.

Yesterday we saw this new article from Phillips & Leigh. It’s about an upcoming EPO case regarding software patents. The authors went ahead with an intentionally wrong question. They should have instead asked, “are software patents legal in Europe and can EPO grant them?” The answer is “NO!”

But here’s how they put it:

We have previously brought attention to a recent referral to the European Patent Office’s Enlarged Board of Appeal concerning the question of whether a computer-implemented simulation of a technical system or process could be patentable in and of itself, provided that the simulation could give rise to a technical effect above and beyond the simulation’s implementation on a computer.

The President of the European Patent Office has now submitted comments on the referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The comments represent an interesting set of arguments broadly in support of the notion that such a simulation could at least in principle be patentable. Rather than rehashing the full comments here, we consider it more broadly informative to take a close look at its summary.

First, it is evident both from the summary and the comments as a whole that the Office’s arguments are based on the idea that the statutory exclusions from patentability in the European Patent Convention should be interpreted narrowly, and that a “dynamic understanding” should be applied to the terms “technical” and “technology”.


The other major point made in the summary is that it shows the suitability of the EPO’s established problem-and-solution approach for assessing patentability (specifically, it is a method of assessing inventive step, one of the essential prerequisites of patentability) and argues that this provides a reasonable way to assess such inventions.

What is clear from the case law and the requirements of the European Patent Convention and Implementing Regulations is that to secure grant, two conditions must be met: the product or process to be protected must be defined in the claim by means of its technical features, and there must be a technical effect.

The essence of the case before the Enlarged Board of Appeal is whether that technical effect needs to be the direct consequence of the claimed invention, or can be “downstream”.

As we’ve explained here before (perhaps a dozen times), the Enlarged Board of Appeal is pretty powerless to decide against the wishes of the Office (management openly supports software patents) because it lacks independence. It’s not a ‘safe’ career choice to oppose software patents in such a panel. So we probably need the EU Parliament to intervene again (as it recently did regarding the question of patents on plants and seeds).

“As we’ve explained here before (perhaps a dozen times), the Enlarged Board of Appeal is pretty powerless to decide against the wishes of the Office (management openly supports software patents) because it lacks independence.”Henrion has taken note of this “new entry in the EUROPEAN SOFTWARE PATENTS knowledge base,” which demonstrates how certain software patents are not valid in Europe. So says the advice from the biggest boosters of software patents in Europe (a litigation firm; “They recruited one the EPO swpat booster,” Henrion told me, “who invented the technical blackhole.”).

We had a little debate about it in Twitter.

“Technical effects in patent law are a farce,” wrote André Rebentisch, who used to be hyper-active in FFII over a decade ago.

“Software patents have long been a good example where EPO management intentionally ignores the wishes of actual software practitioners, choosing instead the agenda of trolls and litigation firms that never wrote any software.”“It’s intentionally vague,” I replied, “like “4IR”, “IoT”, and “HEY HI” (AI), so we’re dealing with nonsensical semantics and buzzwords instead of solid science, code, automatons…”

“The recent AI discussion is ever more off,” he said, citing this page from the EU. “As an observer I would guess that the rlatest EBoA design simulation case aims to pave the way for ML patent applications…”

Software patents have long been a good example where EPO management intentionally ignores the wishes of actual software practitioners, choosing instead the agenda of trolls and litigation firms that never wrote any software.

Links 26/9/2019: Cutelyst 2.9.0, LibreOffice 6.3.2 and Rust 1.38.0

Posted in News Roundup at 11:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Containous releases Traefik 2.0 open source edge router

        With the movement toward cloud-native application deployment, there has been a corresponding need for cloud-native networking technology. One of the most successful efforts in the space comes from startup Containous, with its open source Traefik edge router technology.

        Traefik 2.0 became generally available on Sept. 17, providing users with new TCP routing support and an improved API to help direct traffic in cloud-native deployments, including the Kubernetes container orchestration platform. The new Traefik release builds on the experience the company has gained through its large user base. According to Containous, it has had over 1 billion downloads of Traefik from the Docker Hub repository for container applications.

      • IBM

        • CentOS Linux 8 and CentOS Streams Released

          CentOS project leader Karanbir Singh has announced the new release of CentOS Linux 8 and the new CentOS Stream on September 24, 2019.

          We expected CentOS 8 to be rebuilt over a period of 1 month, but it took around four months.

          See the article below for information on CentOS 8 built.

          But finally the long-awaited version of Centos 8 has just been released and ready to hit the road for racing.

          This is the first release for CentOS Linux 8 derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 source code.

          This version is marked as 8.0-1905.

        • CentOS 8 Released – Download DVD ISO Images

          CentOS is a free and open-source, community-driven Linux distribution based on the popular security-focused Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It was designed to be consistent rolling-release distro joined with Red Hat but still independent from RHEL as it has its autonomous governing board. Awesome stuff.

          The development team just announced its latest release in the form of CentOS Linux 8 and it packs a ton of major fixes, UI/UX improvements, and new features. Let’s take a quick look at the ones that stand out the most.

        • Boosting banks’ customer experience with operational efficiency

          The way banking is being conducted around the world is changing, especially with customers who are always connected through mobile phones and with 5G not far away in many places.

          Coupling that with the rising levels of wage growth entrepreneurship and government policies for financial inclusion, banking’s traditional customer journeys and distribution models won’t scale nor reach the average consumer, and will be significantly cost-prohibitive for the average bank to service. The idea that a consumer needs to visit a branch doesn’t even come into their equation.

          Moreover, the consumption of banking products from FinTechs, including unsecured lending, peer-to-peer payments, merchant payments, and business credit, is on the rise. Providers like Ascend Money and Rakuten are fast, simple and digital-first. Simply put, they engender customer satisfaction.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Nathan Wolf: Noodlings | MX Linux, openSUSE News

        I have installed MX Linux on several machines. December of 2018 was my first experience with it and I really enjoyed how it worked, quite literally everything about it. I was thinking a lot about WHY I like MX Linux and I think these are my top reasons:

        Simplicity of the desktop. Although my primary machine runs Plasma as my desktop of choice and it does what I want it to do, it feels snappy and is tuned to my preferences, Xfce accomplishes all of that but differently. It has the right look, it IS rather easy to customize although not quite to the same accessibly easy level and is most certainly quite snappy.

        The changes in MX 19 are not “earth shattering” and headline popping but they are all quite welcome. The High DPI support is of no benefit to me but for those with those fancy 4k monitors there is. A visual update to MX 19 that is partially related to Xfce 4.14 but is also due to general visual updates that MX has been given over time.

      • The Librem 5 smartphone. Now shipping.

        The Librem 5 smartphone — focused on security, privacy, and user freedom — has begun shipping! This is the very first video of the very first Librem 5 to roll off the assembly line!

      • Purism Shows Off The Librem 5 Linux Smartphone In Action

        Now that the first (beta-ish) batch of Librem 5 smartphones is shipping, Purism has published the first video showing the phone in its current state in action.

        The 30 second video simply shows the phone being unlocked and some basic interactions with their GTK/Wayland-based shell, briefling launching their web browser, opening GNOME Software, and opening their messaging/contacts program. It’s a very brief video given the software stack is still a work-in-progress on performance and features. Likewise with their graphics driver supporting GL2 right now, don’t expect any games or really fancy graphics running.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 827
      • Bots Building Jails | BSD Now 317

        Setting up buildbot in FreeBSD jails, Set up a mail server with OpenSMTPD, Dovecot and Rspamd, OpenBSD amateur packet radio with HamBSD, DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER2 gets fsck, return of startx for users.

      • Why Self-Host? | Self-Hosted 2

        We visit Wendell Wilson of Level1Techs and get a tour of his self-hosted setup, what he does and does not trust in the cloud, and we reminisce about the early days of computing and the internet.

        Plus we discuss craftmanship in the Linux Kernel, and adress the fundamental question of “why self-host.”

    • Kernel Space

      • VirtIO-FS Sent In For Linux 5.4 With Better Performance Over VirtIO-9P

        VirtIO-FS as a better approach for sharing folders/files with guest VMs is set to debut in Linux 5.4.

        VirtIO-FS makes use of FUSE and is much faster than virtio-8p that serves a similar purpose for sharing folders/files between the host and guest virtual machines. Directories can be exported from the host and mounted by the guest with VirtIO-FS and is effectively the “glue” between FUSE and VirtIO.

      • Intel

        • UDOO X86 II SBC Combines Intel Braswell SoC with Microchip ATMega32U4 “Arduino” MCU

          UDOO X86 development board was first introduced in a crowdfunding campaign in 2016 with a quad-core Intel Braswell processor coupled with an Arduino 101 compatible Intel Curie module for real-time I/O processing.

          Early July of next year (2019) the Intel processor and module seems to be going so well and have a bright future together with UDOO X86 board and accessories becoming broadly available. But life can be cruel at times, and Intel announced their plan to discontinue Intel Curie and other IoT projects just a few weeks later with the last shipment scheduled for July 2018.

        • Intel’s Mesa Drivers Point To Even More Comet Lake Parts

          There were already 18 new PCI IDs for Intel’s open-source OpenGL/Vulkan Linux graphics drivers for forthcoming Comet Lake processors with UHD Graphics, but now it appears there are even more models en route.

          As of Wednesday, three more PCI IDs were added for Comet Lake, making more than 20 different PCI IDs for graphics on Comet Lake processors. Granted, some of the PCI IDs are reserved for pre-production models / engineering samples or otherwise reserved for possible future revisions that aren’t necessarily planned for market at this time, but either way it’s a lot.

    • Benchmarks

      • NVIDIA RTX 2060 / 2070 / 2080 SUPER Linux Gaming Performance – 26 GPUs Benchmarked

        We finally have our hands on NVIDIA’s current RTX 20 SUPER graphics card line-up and have been putting the RTX 2060/2070/2080 SUPER cards through their paces under Linux. For the first of our long awaited NVIDIA RTX SUPER Linux benchmarks, first up is a look at the Linux gaming performance under a variety of native OpenGL/Vulkan games as well as Steam Play (DXVK+Proton) titles while testing a total of 26 graphics cards this round on the very latest AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce drivers.

        Back in July NVIDIA announced the first three RTX SUPER graphics cards as refreshed Turing parts for better positioning against AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 Navi line-up. The SUPER variants offer double digit percentage improvements over the earlier Turing cards, the RTX 2060 SUPER has an extra 2GB of GDDR6 video memory (8GB total), and more competitive pricing.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Monster Sanctuary’s first content update is up with a female character option, mounting mobs and more

        Monster Sanctuary from Moi Rai Games and Team17 Digital hasn’t been in Early Access for long but they’re already putting out a big update to expand this creature catching metroidvania. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        I’ve waited a long time for something resembling the gameplay of catching and battling with monsters that Pokemon made popular on Linux. While Monster Sanctuary isn’t exactly the same since it’s a side-scrolling Metroidvania-like world, it has so far been an absolute joy to play.

      • Quirky looking 3D indie action-RPG ‘Insignificant’ planned to release for Linux next month

        An action RPG where you’re three inches tall, surviving in a world made for Humans? That’s what’s going on in Insignificant, launching on October 8 with Linux support. Speaking to the developer on Steam, they confirmed Linux will be supported and launch alongside Windows and Mac.

      • Some Sites that Linux Gamers Need to Know Besides Steam!

        Games are one of the features that are on the computer. People play games as a medium of entertainment, but there are some people who become professional gamers. Lots of cool games available on PC devices.

      • Dynamic physics 3D platformer ‘Crumble’ has a fresh demo available with very varied levels

        Roll around as a ball with a loose tongue you use as a swing in Crumble, now with a much updated demo available to try.

        A game I tried out and did a little video for back in April, it’s actually really good. I can’t help but laugh at the goofy little face on the blue ball you control as their tongue flaps around.

        Talking about what’s new the developer said it has “new contents, new levels, improved mechanics and visuals!”. Seems like a lot of work went into it too, it looks and feels a lot better than the first demo. There’s a little intro now and the second level makes great use of the tongue swinging system and it’s quite a challenge.

      • Astro Golf, a simple and relaxing game about shooting some balls in space

        After spending tons of time with Factorio recently, I needed something that used a little less brainpower to relax with and Astro Golf is a game that fits perfectly. It’s about interplanetary golf, launching a ball across planets and getting it to touch their gravity and slide into a hole.

        Simple stuff, incredibly relaxing and it was made on Linux too with Unity.

      • Fantasy turn-based tactics game with dynamic environments ‘Fort Triumph’ has a massive upgrade

        In my book, the more games that attempt XCOM-styled combat the better. Fort Triumph is one that does it, only it’s pushing things even further with the dynamic environments and the fantasy setting.

        The fun in Fort Triumph really is in how you use the environment to your advantage. Drop trees on top of people, kick a box into them, set fire to everything around them and more there’s tons you can do with it. Are they by some water? Run over and kick them into it. There’s even a character class that can use a grappling hook to pull enemies into things, which can sometimes be truly hilarious when you manage to set off a physics chain-reaction by doing so.

      • Easy Linux Game Streaming with OBS

        For many, watching other people play games has long taken over from TV as the favoured source of entertainment content. As a creator, whether you stream via YouTube, Twitch.tv or Mixter, Open Broadcast Software (OBS) Studio is the swiss-army knife to do it. The OBS snap makes this a breeze, whichever Linux distro you’re playing on, and simplifies hardware-accelerated video encoding. Let’s take a look at the setup.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Cutelyst 2.9.0 and simple-mail-qt 1.4.0 released!

          Today I’m rolling out two releases, Cutelyst, which is a Qt Web Framework and SimpleMailQt which is a SMTP client library.

          Cutelyst has got many bug fixes, a few API additions, some docs fixes, and most importantly it fixed a memory leak introduced in 2.8.0 that makes applications using chained actions leak.

          I was planning for a v3 due some changes I was planning but changed my mind and I think the current version can be kept for a little longer, my current plan is to add SNI support for the WSGI module so that a sort of Virtual Hosts is possiblem.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Fairytale for 2019: GNOME to battle a patent troll in court

          The GNOME Foundation, maker of the eponymous Linux desktop, has been hit with a sueball over how its Shotwell photo manager, er, manages photos.

          The plaintiff, Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC, has alleged in a complaint filed at the United States District Court Northern California that defendant, GNOME Foundation, has infringed its patent for a “Wireless image distribution system and method”.

          The patent, 9,936,086, filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office on 2 June 2017, is dated 3 April 2018 and, in a nutshell, is concerned with flinging digital photos from one device to another wirelessly.

          Rothschild, which has a virtual office in Texas, has been busy with its new toy and has also slapped Magix with a complaint regarding the same patent. In Magix’s case, it is the company’s Photo Manager that has attracted the ire of Rothschild’s lawyers.

        • GNOME faces ‘baseless’ patent lawsuit for organising images

          GNOME Foundation has been issued with a lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) for allegedly infringing a patent regarding the wireless distribution of images.

          According to the legal complaint, GNOME’s Shotwell platform allegedly infringes the patent in question as it used an image capturing device to perform various functions.

          Shotwell is a free, open source, image organiser designed to provide personal photo management for the GNOME desktop environment.

          “The product imports and filters photographic images from cameras, allowing users to organise the photos and share them on social media,” is one example of the alleged infringement, according to the complaint.

    • Distributions

      • Tumbleweed Snapshots Trending High with Bash, PulseAudio, Curl Updates

        Three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots released this week brought about two dozen new versions of software.

        The snapshots brought one new major version update for pulseaudio and an updated version of bash.

        The major version update to pulseaudio 13.0 came in Snapshot 20190921. The sound server program improved the initial card profile selection for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) cards and improved the play 5.1 surround audio that now treats both “side” or “rear” channels identically when the user has a 5.1 speaker setup; the 7.1 setup still has a difference which channel pair gets used. The libreoffice package had some stability tweaks and addressed two Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE), which one had an unsafe URL assembly flaw. The cabextract program that un-archives files in the Microsoft cabinet file format modernized the spec file in its 1.9.1 version. Another package updated in the snapshot was osinfo-db, which is a package that provides a database of information about operating systems for virtualization provisioning tools. The snapshot is trending at a stable rating of 95, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 85

        A few weeks ago we submitted the first round of changes to the network module to Tumbleweed. At that point, it was still using the old data model for most operations (except routing and DNS handling) and a lot of work remained to be done.

        We have been working hard on improving the overall quality of this module and we will submit an updated (and much improved) version in the upcoming days

      • Zorin OS 15 More Beautiful & Useful Than Ever

        Among hundreds of Linux distributions there are few who dare to make Linux looks like Windows, and among those is Zorin OS. But its look is not the only feature, it comes with the cutting-edge tools, always respects privacy, and improved security to name a few.

        Back in June, Zorin OS 15 was released with a lot of new features and improvements.

        So in this article, we’ll take a look at Zorin OS 15 features and what it has improved since its previous release.

      • Fedora Family

        • PHP version 7.2.23 and 7.3.10

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.10 are available in remi repository for Fedora 30-31 and in remi-php73 repository for Fedora 29 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPM of PHP version 7.2.23 are available in remi repository for Fedora 29 and in remi-php72 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Fedora 31 Modularity Test Day 2019-09-27

          Friday, 2019-09-27 is the Fedora 31 Modularity Test Day!
          We need your help to test if everything runs smoothly.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • ActivityWatch is an open source personal activity tracker for Windows, Linux and macOS

        ActivityWatch is an open source personal time-tracking application; its goal is to log “your usage” for “your analysis”. It is in my opinion a tool that can help improve your productivity. The program stores the data on your computer which ensures that privacy is not an issue when it comes to using the program on your devices.

        You may use the application to log your activity, e.g. if you are worried that you spend too much time on Facebook or Twitter or some other website or application or game, you can use your ActivityWatch logs to determine how much time you actually spend on these sites.

        Once installed, the program sits in the system tray and works in the background. You can right-click on the icon to exit the application, access the dashboard, log folders, and disable watcher modules. The application’s is controlled through a dashboard that can be accessed from the following URL: localhost:5600 or in your browser, just like how you would access a router page.

      • 3 open source social platforms to consider

        It is no mystery why modern social media platforms were designed to be addictive: the more we consult them, the more data they have to fuel them—which enables them to grow smarter and bigger and more powerful.

        The massive, global interest in these platforms has created the attention economy, and people’s focused mental engagement is the new gold in the age of information abundance. As economist, political scientist, and cognitive psychologist Herbert A. Simon said in Designing organizations for an information-rich world, “the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes.” And information consumes our attention, a resource we only have so much of it.

      • Let’s build an education system for an open future

        We live in unprecedented times—where the only certainty is change the likes of which the world has never seen, where people have greater access to information than they have at any time in history, and where disruptive technologies change our lives on a near-daily basis.

        Acquiring knowledge is no longer something people do exclusively in traditional, established institutions, and anyone with a smartphone is now more networked and has more access to information than all their ancestors combined.

        So why have our education systems remained essentially frozen in time for more than 100 years?

        Why do too many students see “doing school” as a passive exercise, irrelevant to their interests and ambitions? Why do too many educators, who enter the profession to make a difference in students’ lives, become disillusioned with the institutional inertia of the status quo? And why do too many students either drop out of traditional educational programs or finish their formal educational career with lots of debt and still no clear idea of what they want to do in life?

      • EuroBSDCon 2019

        The conference started with an excellent Keynote from Patricia Aas (ex. Opera/Cisco/Vivaldi, cur Turtlesec), about the Ethics in the IT industry. As a person who is familiar with the issues with the privacy and many different threads of abusing user data by the company, I have to say that this talk started the avalanche of different thoughts and reflections in my mind. To my surprise, I was not the only one to have such thoughts. This topic arose quite often during the rest of the conference through many conversations between different people. For those of you who didn’t see it yet, I highly recommend that you do. The key takeaway is that we, the people who are building today’s digital world, need to think about the implications of our work and decisions upon the users of our services. This topic is getting more complicated even as we think about it. However, Patricia come here with the strategy “Annoying as a Service” that can be simply used in every situation to at least not makes things worse…

      • Why Is Open-Source So Important? Part One: Principles And Parity

        Open-source software does what it says on the tin—the source code of a piece of software is kept open and free to download, modify and incorporate into third party projects, which helps to improve the software itself over time. Richard Stallman, the creator of open-source operating system GNU and founder and ex-president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), arguably brought the concept of open-source to the masses, stating that: “‘Free software’ is a matter of liberty, not price. You should think of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech,’ not as in ‘free beer.’”

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Charting a new course for tech competition

            Today, Mozilla released a working paper discussing the unique characteristics of digital platforms in the context of competition and offer a new framework to approach future-proof competition policy for the internet. Charting a course focused on a set of proposals distinct from both the status quo and pure structural reform, this paper proposes stronger single-firm conduct enforcement to capture a modern set of harmful gatekeeping behaviors by powerful firms; tougher merger review, particularly for vertical mergers, to weigh the full spectrum of potential competitive harm; and faster agency processes that can be responsive within the rapid market cycles of tech. And across all competition policy making and enforcement, this paper proposes that standards and interoperability be at the center.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.3.2

          The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.3.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 6.3 family, with many bug and regression fixes. LibreOffice 6.3.2 “fresh” is targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, who are suggested to update their current version.

          LibreOffice’s individual users are helped by a global community of volunteers: https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/community-support/. On the website and the wiki there are guides, manuals, tutorials and HowTos. Donations help us to make all of these resources available.

        • LibreOffice 6.3.2 Open-Source Office Suite Released with 49 Bug Fixes

          The Document Foundation has announced the general availability of the second maintenance update to the latest LibreOffice 6.3 open-source and cross-platform office suite series.

          Coming three weeks after the first point release, LibreOffice 6.3.2 is here to address a total of 49 bugs and regressions across various of its core components, including Writer, Draw, Math, Calc, and Impress. The goal is to make the LibreOffice 6.3 office suite series more stable and reliable until it is ready for enterprise deployments, which is supported until May 29, 2020.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • Are ground systems about to have an open source moment?

          Bogdan compared the open architecture configuration to an iPhone. While the iPhone software is designed by Apple, it’s built so that non-Apple companies can build hundreds of apps that users can pick and choose from to install onto the platform. Similarly, DoD’s ground systems need to be built with a common framework that multiple vendors can design applications for.


        • The Free Software Foundation Endorses First Router In 3 Years – But It’s 10/100 + 802.11n WiFi

          If looking for a new WiFi router to go with the RYF-pending, 802.11n-based Purism Librem 5 or just want a wireless network as libre as possible, the Free Software Foundation has announced an 802.11n WiFi router now available that respects the user’s freedoms.

          The Free Software Foundation announced on Wednesday that the ThinkPenguin Wireless-N Mini Router v2 (TPE-R1200) is the newest product they have endorsed as part of the “Respect Your Freedom” program. This is the first router since 2016 that has received RYF certification, with the earlier router being the TPE-R1100 model while the TPE-R1200 features updated hardware specs and dual external antennas. But this “new” router is still living in an 802.11n era.

        • The Week in Tech: An Emerging Twist on Antitrust

          The M.I.T. Media Lab meltdown continues, with a prominent Harvard professor arguing that taking money from disgraced donors like Jeffrey Epstein might, in some circumstances, be the right move. And the free software pioneer Richard Stallman has stepped down from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after making comments defending an associate of Mr. Epstein’s.

      • Programming/Development

        • 7 Excellent Free Books to Learn Scheme

          Scheme is a general-purpose, functional, programming language descended from Lisp and Algol. It is a statically scoped and properly tail-recursive dialect of Lisp.

          Scheme is a very simple language with a very simple syntax based on s-expressions. Its simplicity is fundamental in making it a popular introductory language. It follows a minimalist design philosophy specifying a small standard core with powerful tools for language extension. This philosophy helps make Scheme a programming language that can be learned over a weekend. Nevertheless, Scheme is a very versatile language being used to write a diverse range of applications such as financial analysis tools, compilers, virtual reality systems, as well as more mundane software.

          Scheme is used in computing education and research as well as a wide range of industrial applications.

          None of the books featured below are released under an open source license.

        • How I built a Python script to read e-mails from an Exchange Server

          My goal was to access an Exchange server and read e-mails from it. I found some scripts for reading e-mails through Outlook. However, I believe using Outlook makes the code depend on an e-mail client, and I wanted to avoid that. If you are on a business setting, getting your info from the server, in this case, getting the e-mails from Microsoft Exchange is the best approach

        • Mutation testing by example: Evolving from fragile TDD [Ed: For the fourth day in a row Red Hat promotes Microsoft .NET]
        • Automatically annotating a boxplot in matplotlib

          You can probably tell from the sudden influx of matplotlib posts that I’ve been doing a lot of work plotting graphs recently…

          I have produced a number of boxplots to compare different sets of data. Some of these graphs are for a non-technical audience, and my client agreed that a boxplot was the best way to visualise the data, but wanted the various elements of the boxplot to be labelled so the audience could work out how to interpret it.

          I started doing this manually using the plt.annotate function, but quickly got fed up with manually positioning everything – so I wrote a quick function to do it for me.

        • Parallelizing GCC’s Internals Continues To Be Worked On & Showing Promising Potential

          One of the most interesting Google Summer of Code projects this year was the student effort to work on better parallelizing GCC’s internals to deal with better performance particularly when dealing with very large source files. Fortunately — given today’s desktop CPUs even ramping up their core counts — this parallel GCC effort is being continued.

          Student developer Giuliano Belinassi did a good job on the project this summer and is continuing to be involved in the effort. Giuliano presented at this month’s GNU Tools Cauldron 2019 conference on the work done so far, how the performance is looking, and what else is left to be accomplished.

        • DevNation Live Bengaluru: Dreaming of streaming with reactive programming

          Our first DevNation Live regional event was held in Bengaluru, India in July. This free technology event focused on open source innovations, with sessions presented by elite Red Hat technologists.

          In this tutorial, presented by Edson Yanaga, you’ll learn about reactive programming and why it matters in this new cloud-native era. We’ll use live coding demos to explain how to be reactive and benefit from this brave new streaming world.

        • How to contribute to GitLab

          I think many people are familiar with GitLab—the company or the software. What many may not realize is that GitLab is also an open source community that started with this first commit from our co-founder Dmitriy Zaporozhet in 2011. As a matter of fact, we have more than 2,000 contributors from the wider community who have contributed to GitLab.

          The wider community contributions span code, documentation, translations, user experience design, etc. If you are interested in open source and in contributing to a complete DevOps platform, I’d like you to consider joining the GitLab community.

          You can find things that you can start contributing to by looking at issues with the “Accepting merge requests” label sorted by weight. Low-weight issues will be easier to accomplish. If you find an issue that you’re interested in working on, be sure to add a comment on the issue saying that you’d like to work on this, and verify that no one is already working on it. If you cannot find an issue that you are interested in but have an idea for a contribution (e.g., bug fixes, documentation update, new features, etc.), we encourage you to open a new issue or even open a merge request (MR) to start working with reviewers or other community members.

          If you are interested, here are the different areas at GitLab where you can contribute and how you can get started.

        • Announcing Rust 1.38.0

          The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.38.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

        • Rust 1.38 Supports Pipelined Compilation For Building Dependent Crates Sooner

          Today marks the release of Rust 1.38 as the latest stable update for this increasingly popular, memory-safe programming language.

          On the performance front, Rust 1.38 supports the notion of pipelined compilation whereby Cargo will begin building dependent crates as soon as the meta-data is ready. For builds involving multiple crates, this can lead to around 10~20% faster compilation speeds for clean and optimized builds.

        • 12 Pythons for every programming need

          When you choose Python for software development, you choose a large language ecosystem with a wealth of packages covering all manner of programming needs. But in addition to libraries for everything from GUI development to machine learning, you can also choose from a number of Python runtimes—and some of these runtimes may be better suited to the use case you have at hand than others.

          Here is a brief tour of Python distributions, from the standard implementation (CPython) to versions optimized for speed (PyPy), for special use cases (Anaconda, ActivePython), for different language runtimes (Jython, IronPython), and even for cutting-edge experimentation (PyCopy, MesaPy).

        • PyCharm: 2019.3 EAP 3

          A new version of the Early Access Program (EAP) for PyCharm 2019.3 is available now!

        • ML with Python: Part-2

          In this Post, we will cover in detail what we do in various steps involved in creating a machine learning (ML) model. I was looking around some ML project which is not very complex but covers all the concepts in creating ML model. I found one good project in kaggle which I am using here as an example and the complete project can be found here. Jupyter Notebook file and training/test files can also be downloaded from my git repository.

          Let’s start with Problem statement:

          RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of 15 April 1912, after it collided with an iceberg during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. There were an estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard the ship, and more than 1,500 died, making it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history.

          We are createing a Model which provides information on the fate of passengers on the Titanic would have been survived or not, according to economic status (class), sex, age etc. Here, we can guess this belongs to Classification Supervised Learning as traning data is labeled with the result and we need to categorized to “survied” or “not survived”.

        • Python Software Foundation: Felipe de Morais: 2019 Q2 Community Service Award Winner

          Pythonistas everywhere benefit when our community reflects the many backgrounds and experiences of Python’s users. However it can be challenging to participate in the community when there are no local user groups or harder yet if groups do exist but you do not feel represented in them. After learning that a friend was experiencing gender descrimination at work, Felipe de Morais of Porto Alegre, Brazil, decided to start Django Girls Porto Alegre. By starting this group, women like his friend who were facing similar challenges could have a community to call their own.

          Since Django Girls Porto Alegre took off in 2015, it has become one of the most active Django Girls groups in the world. Inspired by Django Girls and PyLadies, Felipe also started AfroPython, an initiative to empower Black people through technology. Additionally, Felipe contributes to Operação Serenata de Amor, an open source project that monitors public spending by politicians.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Semantic markup improves the quality of machine-translated technical texts

          The leading web browser, Google Chrome, and leading search engines — including Bing, Yandex, Google, and Baidu — can machine-translate any webpage in seconds. This enables anyone who understands a supported language to access documents written in any other supported language.

          I noticed, completely by accident, that some of my most read articles on this blog didn’t translate well in Microsoft Translate. Many of the technical details, such as file paths/extensions and function names, got mangled in with the rest of the text and caused it to lose all meaning. This isn’t really strange considering that the classic UNIX programs are called things like find and at, and program functions are just run-together English phrases. This got me thinking about how you can optimize texts for machine-translation.

          An understandable high-quality machine-translation requires rock-solid grammar and spelling in the source material. I found that it can also benefit from rich semantic data about the text.

          I’ve marked up some of my writing with text-level semantic HTML elements like abbr (for abbreviations), code (for computer-instructions including file names and program functions), kbd (user input), samp (program output), and var (a variable). However, I’ve not been consistent and I’ve not even been using these elements properly — especially mixing up code, kbd, and samp.

        • Centralised DoH is bad for privacy, in 2019 and beyond

          In this post I argue that in September 2019, centralised DoH “by default” is a net-negative for privacy for everyone and that even in later years it will not improve privacy outside of the most privacy hostile environments – where no one should rely on partial measures like DoH to stay secure.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • We’ve Been Fighting The Vaping Crisis Since 1937

        But this isn’t just about a contaminated black market. Even the e-liquids with the most professional pedigrees haven’t been subject to stringent safety regulations, said Desmond Jensen, an attorney with the Public Health Law Center at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. In 1937, Blum said, pro-regulation advocates had already been warning people for years that there were too many loopholes in FDA rules. And the same is true in this case. There were no FDA regulations at all on e-cigarettes until 2016, and the regulations that exist now are more like swiss cheese than solid cheddar, Jensen said.

        “When you say a product is regulated, the average person thinks about pesticides, food or drugs,” he told me. “There’s someone making sure it’s not tainted, or making sure it won’t make us sick. That’s not what it means here.” Instead, the FDA requires sellers and manufacturers of e-cigarettes and e-liquids to register with and disclose ingredients to the agency. But that isn’t the same as quality or safety testing, Jensen said. And a lot of companies haven’t registered in the two years those regulations have been in effect. Safety testing regulations do exist — but their implementation keeps getting scooched back under pressure from vaping companies. Currently, products that were on the market before 2016 won’t have to be reviewed for safety until May of 2020. Manufacturers who don’t sell directly to consumers haven’t had to register or disclose ingredients at all.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Shareholders allege FedEx covered up damages caused by NotPetya attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

        In this case, the suit alleges FedEx failed to inform its shareholders that TNT Express customers were abandoning the company in favor of other logistics providers as a result of NotPetya. The company later said the cyberattack would cost $400 million, though that figure failed to account for the full cost of remediation, lost business and reputational damages, the suit alleged.

      • A Mysterious Computer Issue Is Affecting Hollywood Movie and TV Editors

        “Avid is aware of the reboot issue affecting Apple Mac Pro devices running some Avid products,

        which arose late yesterday,” it said in a press release that spokespeople sent to VICE. “This issue is top priority for our engineering and support teams, who have been working diligently to determine and resolve the root cause.”

        Apple declined to comment and referred VICE to Avid.

      • Google says its update software is crashing some Macs, here’s how to fix

        Version of Google Keystone (Google Software Update) recently shipped with a bug that damages the macOS file system on computers where System Integrity Protection is disabled. Also known as SIP, the OS security feature helps “prevent potentially malicious software from modifying protected files and folders on your Mac.” This issue also affects Macs that do not support SIP (pre-OS X El Capitan).

      • Cybersecurity Roundup: September 24, 2019 [iophk: so he blocked 350M]

        In a surprise turnaround late last week, Mitch McConnell took a break from White House bootlicking to reverse his position on securing US elections, saying he’d approve a little bit of election security money. He immediately took credit for pretty much the whole thing and pretended it was what he had planned all along while he was busy smothering all earlier security legislation to death in its crib.

        The House had actually passed giving $600 million to states, a fact that prompted every idiot in the world to say 250 was better than nothing. NPR reported that Chris Krebs, director of the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said the work in the Senate was a “good start.”

        The reality, that McConnell set it up to do as much nothing as possible, set in over the weekend. Senator Ron Wyden called the whole thing a “sham” in a blistering tweet Friday. “This money can be used for anything relating to elections. Including giving states taxpayer dollars to buy insecure voting machines. This isn’t election security, it’s a sham.”

      • Exploiting Routers With Routersploit

        If you have Wi-Fi at home, then you have a router, this is how you get your internet access. Today we will be looking a piece of software that allows us to easily take over a router.

        Welcome back to LSB fellow hackers. Please like, subscribe or comment and be sure to come back often for more exploits. Let’s get started.

        Recently the FBI issued a statement letting us know that a piece of malware was attacking routers and that we needed to reset and update our firmware with the patched software. This attack highlighted how easy it is to attack a router.

        So, today we will be using a piece of software called Routersploit to see how you can hack routers.

      • Avid Blames Google for Mac Pro Crashes
      • Chrome Bug, Not Avid Software, Causes Damage to MacOS File Systems

        Researchers have tracked a problem that caused corruption to the file systems of macOS users to a bug in a Google Chrome update after users originally feared it was a problem with Avid Media Composer.

        People using the Avid software for video editing on macOS platforms posted warnings Tuesday on Facebook and other social media to fellow users not to shut down their computers because of file-system corruption and the inability to recover some files after shutdown.

        “Apparently something is corrupting one of the UNIX root level folders,” Avid users MarcusPun Tweeted, reposting a warning from a Facebook group called Avid Editors of Facebook. “Back up everything, not just on the servers [if] you are in a connected environment.”

      • Wladimir Palant: PfP: Pain-free Passwords security review

        I reviewed the code of the Pain-free Passwords extension. It’s a stateless password manager that generates new passwords based on your master password, meaning that you don’t have to back your password database up (although, you also can import your old passwords, which do need backing up). For this kind of password managers, the most sensitive part is the password generation algorithm. Other possibly vulnerable components include those common for all password managers: autofill, storage and cloud sync.


        The resulting password is completely random for a person who doesn’t know your master password, so they cannot predict what passwords you will use for other websites. Your master password cannot be computed either, as scrypt is a one-way hash function.

        scrypt parameters (here we’re talking about N=32768, r=8, p=1) are explained well in this article. It is recommended to use such parameters that key derivation time on the author’s computer will be around 100ms (for cases where the key is used immediately, like in PfP). I run the test on my computer and found out that my computer derives a key in 158ms (average) with the parameters PfP uses, which means it is secure enough.

        With this setup, the only attack possible would be brute-forcing the master password, i. e. trying to reverse the one-way hash function, which is prohibitively expensive and time-consuming (we’re talking about tens of years running very expensive computers here). So it’s highly unlikely someone would even try, a much more efficient method would be to install a keylogger on the victim’s computer.

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dovecot), Debian (lemonldap-ng, openssl, and ruby-nokogiri), openSUSE (fish3, ibus, nmap, and openssl-1_1), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (mariadb, python-numpy, and SDL2), and Ubuntu (firefox).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Autonomous killer drones set to be used by Turkey in Syria [paywall]
      • [Attackers] Tried to Compromise Phones of Tibetans Working for Dalai Lama

        The hackers used exploits and spyware developed for the iOS and Android operating systems, and attempted to deliver them through carefully crafted phishing messages sent via WhatsApp, from people who pretended to be journalists, staffers of NGOs, and volunteers to Tibetan human rights groups, according to the report, published by the digital rights group Citizen Lab on Tuesday.

      • [Older] What is the story behind Pakistan occupied Kashmir? Interesting facts on the history of PoK

        Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is that part of the Jammu and Kashmir (India) which was invaded by Pakistan in 1947. The region is referred by the United Nations and other international organizations, as ‘Pakistani-controlled Kashmir’ (or Pakistan Administered Kashmir) and it was re-named as ‘Pakistan occupied Jammu-Kashmir’ by the Modi government.

      • [Older] India Is Changing The Game For China And Pakistan In Kashmir

        Pakistan and China desperately need CPEC. For Pakistan, CPEC is the express ticket to building its infrastructure, and sustain economic growth. For China, CPEC is the express link between Western China, the Middle East, and Africa, where China has growing interests.

        That can explain why Beijing has committed $46 billion to the project.

        The problem is that CPEC passes through Pakistani regions claimed by India. That makes it a bumpy road, to say the least — Pakistan and India continue to fight for control of these regions.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Daniel Ellsberg: Whistleblowers Preserve American Democracy

        What follows is a conversation between famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and Marc Steiner of The Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or watch the video at the bottom of the post.

      • Ukraine Call
      • Whistleblowing: A Primer

        “The question of whether a whistleblower will be protected or pilloried depends on the interests of those in power,” Boyne writes. Leaks to the media from officials for political advantage are standard operating procedure. But those outside this inner circle don’t fare as well: Snowden is in exile and Manning is in jail. Boyne notes that three NSA employees who did do what critics said Snowden and Manning should have done, that is, go through the system and use the proper channels to report government abuse, “found their lives destroyed and reputations tarnished.”

        Retaliation against whistleblowers hit some of the pioneers, too, Boyne notes. Ernest Fitzgerald, who revealed billions in cost-overruns in a military transport program in 1968, was demoted after President Richard Nixon told his supervisors to “get rid of the son of a bitch.”

        That same president ordered a break-in to Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in 1971, in hopes of finding dirt on Ellsberg. [...]

    • Environment

      • Fires Rage in Indonesia, Turning the Sky Red

        This year’s fires are the worst in Indonesia since 2015. Officials estimate that the fires have burned more than 800,000 acres.

      • World’s oceans and mountains are in big trouble from climate change, UN report says

        The “Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere” offers a bleak picture. It warns that the world’s oceans have reached or are nearing critical tipping points: Oceans have gotten warmer, more acidic and are losing oxygen, resulting in a cascade of negative effects that are wreaking havoc on coral and other marine ecosystems, threatening the collapse of the world’s fisheries and turbocharging deadly hurricanes and tropical storms.

      • World’s oceans at a tipping point, indicates UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report

        Tonight, the IPCC released its Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere (or frozen areas) in a Changing Climate, finding that since the 1970s, these vast blue expanses have absorbed 90 per cent of excess heat in the climate.

        Recently, the world’s oceans have also had to work overtime to suck up excess pollution caused by humans and it’s taking its toll.

        Oceans are warming faster than before, causing ice sheets, permafrost and glaciers to rapidly melt.

        As they do, they risk releasing toxins and harmful gasses, which would further heat the planet.

      • Evacuations ordered as Mont Blanc glacier on brink of collapse

        A piece of the Planpincieux glacier containing 250,000 cubic metres of ice could fall down the mountain, the mayor of nearby town Courmayeur, Stefano Miserocchi said, after experts found the sheet of ice was moving much faster than normal.

        Mr Miserocchi has ordered the closing of two roads and the evacuation of huts on the mountain, which is 4,810 metres (15,780 feet) high, after experts said the glacier was threatening part of the Ferret Valley.

      • UN Report: Marine Heatwaves To Become One-In-Four-Day Event By 2031

        Cascading impacts and tipping points for the Earth’s oceans and cryosphere are outlined in a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body of the United Nations.

        The report comes a little over a month after a prior IPCC report on climate change and its effects on land (desertification, food security, greenhouse gas fluctuations in ecosystems, etc). It also comes days after a global climate strike organized by activists throughout the world.

      • The Pangolin Reports: CC Journalism About the World’s Most Trafficked Mammal

        We were excited when Patrick circled back recently to tell us about his latest project, The Pangolin Reports, which launches today in newspapers and online media in several countries. The result of a nine-month investigation by more than 30 journalists around the world, The Pangolin Reports is a series of investigative reports that document the poaching and smuggling of pangolins, the scaly anteaters that are known to be the most illegally traded mammals in the world.

      • Fighting in the Heart of Texas for a Green New Deal

        My friend, Harvey Hayek, is a vintage Texan. A third-generation pecan farmer in Fayette County, he owns a gun club, hundreds of prime agricultural acres on the Colorado River and a bottomless store of homespun stories. Unfortunately, the most compelling of these relates to a coal plant that opened next door, 40 years ago, and destroyed Harvey’s livelihood—and nearly his life.

      • U.N. Report Paints a Harrowing Portrait of the Planet’s Future

        A landmark United Nations climate report published Wednesday details the observed and anticipated future impacts of planet-heating emissions from human activity on the world’s oceans and frozen zones—and warns of the emerging consequences for humanity, marine ecosystems, and the global environment.

      • Energy

        • Gas: how Australia privatised the profits and socialised the losses

          In contrast, Norway made better use of the oil and gas in its continental shelf. The Norwegian government owns two-thirds of the shares in Equinor, formerly known as the Norwegian State Oil Company. Equinor’s workers elect three of the 11 directors.

          The Norwegian government created the Government Pension Fund Global in 1990 to invest Norway’s oil revenue. The Ministry of Finance owns the fund on behalf of the Norwegian people, and determines its investment strategy. The Fund had more than 9 billion kroner (almost $1.5 trillion Australian dollars) in 2019. This was a handsome investment for a country with less than six million people.

    • Finance

      • The Disaster of Negative Interest Rates

        The dollar strengthened against the euro in August, merely in anticipation of the European Central Bank slashing its key interest rate further into negative territory. Investors were fleeing into the dollar, prompting President Trump to tweet on Aug. 30:

      • Open Offices Are a Capitalist Dead End

        What was We thinking? That’s the only question worth asking now about the clowncar start-up known as The We Company, the money-burning, co-working behemoth whose best-known brand is WeWork.

        What’s a WeWork? What WeWork works on is work. The We Company takes out long-term leases on in-demand office buildings in more than 100 cities across the globe (lately, it’s even been buying its own buildings). Then We redesigns, furnishes and variously modularizes the digs, aiming to profitably sublease small and large chunks of office space to start-ups and even big companies. Well, profitable in theory: The We Company lost $1.7 billion last year.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Half of Moscow mayor’s Instagram followers are bots, new report finds

        A report by the Center for Current Policy has found that, on average, 30 percent of the accounts that follow any given Russian regional governor on Instagram are bots.

      • Trump Pushed Ukraine Leader on Biden Probe, Memo Shows

        The Latest on President Donald Trump and the House impeachment inquiry (all times local):

      • The Case for Impeachment Goes Way Beyond Ukraine

        “Has Trump finally gone too far?” There’s a headline you’ve seen a thousand times.

      • Johnson Enters Neo-Con Heaven

        There has been remarkably little media commentary on the effect of the UK leaving the EU Common Foreign Policy, even though this is a major aim of Johnson, Gove and the Tory Brexiteers. The media appear not to have noticed the existence of the Common Foreign Policy. We saw perhaps the first public glimpse of the UK’s new foreign policy yesterday when Boris Johnson breached the EU Common Foreign Policy to join Donald Trump in denouncing the Iran nuclear treaty. As the UK has not actually left the EU yet, that was bad faith and an illegal act against an EU treaty obligation, but following the law is evidently of no concern whatsoever to Johnson.

      • Man who walked into Tretyakov Gallery and calmly stole painting in plain sight gets three years in high-security prison

        Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky Court has sentenced Denis Chuprikov to three years in a high-security prison camp. In January of 2019, Chuprikov walked into the Tretyakov Gallery during visiting hours and removed a painting by Arkhip Kuindzhi from the gallery’s walls in full view of other visitors and staff. He grasped the painting in one hand and walked out of the building without interference from security personnel.

      • Democrats Are Blowing A Huge Opportunity on Venezuela

        Days after the Democratic presidential candidates missed yet another opportunity to challenge President Donald Trump’s failed Venezuela policy on the debate stage on September 12, President Nicolás Maduro signed an important agreement with four opposition parties. These events offer insight into the differing perspectives on the economic, social and political crises in Venezuela—one perspective from the Washington political establishment, the other from Venezuelans.

      • If This Is Trump’s Best Case, The Ukraine Scandal Is Looking Really Bad For Him

        You might object that the public won’t care so much about the technical details here. But that potentially cuts both ways. The public could view the quid pro quo part to be a technicality and see Trump’s “favors”/demands/requests of Zelensky to be the nut of the story.

      • Why impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump became inevitable

        Punters on PredictIt, an online betting market, reckon that the chance Mr Trump will be impeached in his first term is 50%, up from 25% a week ago. But the chances he will be leaving the White House before 2021 are slim. The implied probability that Mr Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2020 has not changed. Nor have the GOP’s chances of winning the presidential election.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • France Welcomes the Saudis, Condemns Critics of Islam

        It seems that French authorities never learn from their mistakes. Right after the massacre at the weekly Charlie Hebdo, then-French President François Hollande invited the Saudis to join the march of solidarity in Paris. When the Saudis returned home, they started flogging Badawi. The Saudis play it smart: they are both “the arsonists and the firefighters”. The day before the inauguration of the institute in Lyon, the Saudis were in Paris to attend the “International Conference for Peace and Solidarity”, where they were greeted by placards from Badawi’s wife and friends. French president Emmanuel Macron first accepted then declined an invitation to join the Saudis at their conference in Paris.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Jeff Bezos says Amazon is writing its own facial recognition laws to pitch to lawmakers

        In February, the company, which has faced escalating scrutiny over its controversial facial recognition tech, called Amazon Rekognition, published guidelines it said it hoped lawmakers would consider enacting. Now Amazon is taking another step, Bezos told reporters in a surprise appearance following Amazon’s annual Alexa gadget event in Seattle on Wednesday.

        “Our public policy team is actually working on facial recognition regulations; it makes a lot of sense to regulate that,” Bezos said in response to a reporter’s question.

        The idea is that Amazon will write its own draft of what it thinks federal legislation should look like, and it will then pitch lawmakers to adopt as much of it as possible.

      • Amazon Won’t Stop Until Alexa’s Always With You

        Alexa earbuds, Alexa glasses, an Alexa ring: Amazon announced them all at its annual hardware showcase on Wednesday. What these devices have in common, aside from a naming convention—Echo Buds, Echo Frames, Echo Loop—is a singular focus on pushing Alexa outside of the home, and inserting it into the rest of your life.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalists Association blasts attack on reporter

        Yeung said the attack was not an isolated incident and there has been a worsening in the reporting environment for journalists in Hong Kong in recent months, with threats from various fronts, including the police.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • White Supremacist Violence Is On the Rise. Expanding the FBI’s Powers Isn’t the Answer.

        In response to the increase in white supremacist violence, Congress has been holding hearings — including one today — on the urgent need to address it. But, rather than getting to the bottom of why our law enforcement agencies have failed to address white supremacist violence, some lawmakers are rushing to give law enforcement agencies harmful additional powers and creating new crimes. That approach ignores the way power, racism, and national security laws work in America. It will harm the communities of color that white supremacist violence targets — and undermine the constitutional rights that protect all of us.

      • Trump admin broke law with visa delays for Afghans, Iraqis who worked for U.S., judge rules

        U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan of Washington, D.C., said the government offered no convincing explanation why it has failed to abide by 2013 legislation requiring authorities to deliver a decision on visa applications for Afghans and Iraqis within nine months. Instead, many applicants — who risked their lives working for U.S. troops or other government agencies — have had to wait for several years to get an answer on their visa requests, the court said in the ruling handed down on Friday.

      • Saudi ‘Youth Forum’ at New York public library canceled after activists’ outcry

        With only a few days to go, the New York Public Library announced last Wednesday that it would be pulling the plug on the event. It cited “concerns about possible disruption to Library operations as well as the safety of our patrons” as the reason behind its decision.

        Some of the scheduled speakers dropped out of the event too.

      • Burnt, Stabbed, Beaten: Indonesian Police Detail Papua Deaths [iophk: transmigration]

        Papua, on the western half of New Guinea island, has seen weeks of protests fuelled by anger over racism against indigenous Papuans by people who have migrated from other parts of Indonesia, as well as fresh calls for self-rule in the impoverished region.

      • Opinion: Why won’t Sweden help us find out what happened to Raoul Wallenberg?

        However, that same year, after the end of the official, ten-year long investigation conducted by the bilateral Swedish-Russian Working Group, the Swedish government decided that the question of Raoul Wallenberg’s fate was now a ‘historical matter’ and quietly transferred the task of solving the case back to private citizens – that is, to Raoul Wallenberg’s immediate family and to researchers.

        Swedish officials continue to insist on this approach even when it is very evident that without determined official support it constitutes a nearly impossible task.

        As a result, we find ourselves at a serious impasse: It is clear that Russia possesses highly relevant information in the Wallenberg case, yet the Swedish government will not push Russian authorities to provide the access needed to conduct an independent review of the documentation.

      • Robert Reich: GM Is Betraying the American Worker. And Trump Is Hanging Them Out to Dry

        The corporation came roaring back. Over the past three years, it’s made $35 billion in North America.

        But its workers are still getting measly pay packages, and GM is still outsourcing like mad.

        Last year, it assigned its new Chevrolet Blazer, a sport utility vehicle that had been made in the United States, to a Mexican plant, while announcing it would lay off 18,000 American workers.

        Earlier this year, it shut its giant plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which President Donald Trump had vowed to save. “Don’t move. Don’t sell your house,” he said in 2017 at a rally about 15 miles away in Youngstown.

        GM is still getting corporate welfare—since Trump took office, some $600 million in federal contracts and $700 million in tax breaks (including the president’s giant corporate tax cut).

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Increase in Illegal Boosters Threatens Mobile Signals in Rural Areas

        Out of desperation, some people living in rural areas are adding illegal rooftop aerials, mobile boosters, and other illegal equipment, Ireland’s Telecoms regulator ComReg reported a 66 percent rise in this equipment.

        It can be worse than the mobile signal becoming weaker, as the illegal boosters can even threaten the success of emergency services. Certainly, it’s not what people are intending when they add an illegal booster.

        Air traffic control, gardaí, and the Dublin Fire Brigade faced interference of two-way radio and telemetry systems leading to seven complaints in the last 12 months.

        In figures released by ComReg, unlicensed mobile boosters, that are often an aerial perched on a rooftop, have threatened rural mobile networks and add to blackspots.

        “Over 60pc of interference to mobile networks in the State is caused by these devices,” said ComReg. “Typically, there is greater use of these amplifiers in rural areas, and locating them often requires many hours of direction finding and travel to locate and remove them.”

    • Monopolies

      • China steals US designs for new weapons, and it’s getting away with ‘the greatest intellectual property [sic] theft [sic] in human history’

        “Sometimes superficially the designs do look similar — it could be, in part, from some of the attempts China’s made to acquire good technology, but I would just caution that at the end of the day, it’s hard to know how similar it is or not,” he told Insider.

        While there’s no concrete evidence that the Chinese design is the result of espionage or theft, the visual similarities are unmistakable — nose-mounted cameras on the CH-4B, as well as locations for external munitions are just like those on the Reaper, Popular Mechanics reported in 2016, calling the two aircraft “identical.”

      • She alleges she was raped by a Lyft driver. Then the company ghosted her

        Salon’s Amanda Marcotte spoke with Turkos about her allegations and the lawsuit against Lyft. (Full disclosure: Turkos is a friend, who has cat-sat for Marcotte in the past.)

        This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. v. Bentley Motors Ltd. (E.D. Va. 2019)

          Motors, Inc. launched their first SUV, the Bentayga, which is a direct competitor to Jaguar Land Rover Ltd.’s (JLR) Range Rover model. JLR’s patented Terrain Response technology is included on certain vehicles, and the Bentayga has a Drive Dynamics system, which can be equipped with an “All Terrain Specification” that provides four off-road settings: Snow, Ice & Wet Grass, Dirt & Gravel, Mud & Trail, and Sand.

          JLR filed a complaint, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that Bentley knowingly copied the Terrain Response system installed on JLR’s Range Rover, and which is covered by U.S. Patent No. 7,349,776 that was later reissued as U.S. Patent No. RE46,828. Specifically, JLR asserted that Bentley infringed at least claims 21, 41, and 46 of the ’828 patent.

          Defendants Bentley Motors Ltd. and Bentley Motors, Inc. filed a Motion to Dismiss. The Court denied Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, instead finding that the technology embodied in the ’828 patent claims improves computer functionality and is directed to “a particular way of performing that function,” rather than merely being directed to performing a function in a computerized manner.


          Finally, the Court noted that it is not clear that people could do what the ’828 patent claims to do. Although Defendants provided the example of driving slower downhill or applying the brakes in a different manner, drivers are generally not able to change the wheel spin of their vehicles or change the suspension while the vehicle is moving. Therefore, unlike tabulating a vote or performing basic economic principles, the technology here is more than mere computerization of functions that people can already do.

          Because the claims of the patent are directed at both improvements in computer functionality and providing concrete, physical means of implementing the functionality, the Court concluded that the ’828 patent is not directed at an abstract idea.

          Thus, for these reasons, the Court denied Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.

        • Here’s a Quarter … : Continued Tricks in Defining what as a Covered Business Method Patent

          In its final written decision, the PTAB sided with the patent challenger Emerson Electric — finding claims of SIPCO’s U.S. Patent 8,908,842 invalid as lacking eligibility and as obvious. Claims 1, 7, 9, 16, and 17.

          The patent at issue requires a “low-power transceiver” connected to the internet and wirelessly connected to a remote device. The patent included dependent claims 3 and 4 that defined the remote device as a “vending machine” and “ATM” respectively. However, those claims were disclaimed during prosecution — and part of appeal argument is the role of disclaimed claims in construction of the remaining claims.

        • OpEd: “Blocking Patent” Doctrine Denies Valuable Innovation [Ed: The patent maximalists are up in arms when the law is not on their side]

          “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Sir Isaac Newton’s observation has never been more true than in the development of medicines.

          Scientific advances have brought us to the verge of a golden age of medicine. In the years ahead we have the opportunity to alleviate enormous human suffering: more and more cancers will be cured; gene therapies and precision medicines will turn fatal genetic diseases in children into diseases that kill no more; seniors and the families who care for them will no longer be afflicted by Alzheimer’s. To help ensure that we will benefit from such advances, our policies and laws must be aligned with the interests of patients.

          A patent issue pending before the United States Supreme Court, if left unaddressed, could have serious consequences for us all: slowing medical innovation by deterring researchers from improving upon existing medicines. This should alarm every patient who needs a new medicine today and every person who may need one tomorrow.


          The U.S. Supreme Court will decide next month whether to hear the case. We are deeply concerned that leaving the lower court’s ruling intact will deter investment in science and medicine needed to improve upon existing treatments. In so doing, it would deprive patients of cutting-edge medicines that can dramatically enhance the quality and length of their lives.

      • Copyrights

        • The MIT License, Line by Line

          If you’re involved in open-source software and haven’t taken the time to read the license from top to bottom—it’s only 171 words—you need to do so now. Especially if licenses aren’t your day-to-day. Make a mental note of anything that seems off or unclear, and keep trucking. I’ll repeat every word again, in chunks and in order, with context and commentary. But it’s important to have the whole in mind.

        • Canadians will soon have even more options in streaming — but can they afford them all?

          “A typical household if they have cable or satellite or an ITV subscription, they might be spending $70 to $90 a month on that,” he says. “So as new companies, new services come in, the consumer will have to look across the board at what they are spending, and make some tough decisions. I think this is a big concern to cable companies.”

EPO Logic: Businesses That Have Trademarks and/or Patents Have Only Succeeded Because of Trademarks and/or Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Logic homework

Summary: The shallow propaganda that began under Battistelli is still being spread several years down the line and media in the EPO’s pocket is happy to uncritically relay this propaganda

THE European Patent Office (EPO) and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have a ‘cross-pollination’ problem. This means that EPO corruption has already spread to the latter. We covered examples.

As usual we ask, where's corporate media now? Why has nobody other than us covered these scandals? They’re not based on conjecture; the evidence is right there. We have to simply assume that the media giants have their own agenda, which includes tolerating software patents in Europe and speaking of 35 U.S.C. § 101 as if it’s about “trolls” rather than software patents.

“Why has nobody other than us covered these scandals?”As we noted in the previous post, media has been busy repeating the official EPO propaganda, dressed up as a ‘study’. We wrote about these latest lies earlier this week and we’re hardly surprised to find World Trademark Review (same company as IAM) acting as nothing more than propaganda outlet of these liars (EPO and EUIPO management). “The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and European Patent Office (EPO) have launched the third edition of a study that” started with Battistelli and continues with António Campinos. On they go parroting the usual talking points…

State propaganda in China (the Communist Party’s own ‘news’ site) also repeated these lies and cross-posted these in Xinhua (“Patent heavy industries generate almost half of Europe’s GDP”); that seems fitting as both the EPO and CCP/CPC rely on lies to maintain their power. “The importance of IPR-intensive industries reflects the strength of the knowledge-based economy in Europe,” said EPO President Antonio Campinos.

“It’s not a “right” and not “property”; parroting this propaganda merely shows lack of understanding.”Actually, those industries are production-intensive, not [propaganda term]-intensive (at least two letters in the acronym “IPR” are lies).

Then came English flavour of that pure propaganda (blindly repeated by Becky Bellamy of IPPro Magazine who should know better). “IP rights,” she asserted, “strongly benefit UK economy”…

It’s not a “right” and not “property”; parroting this propaganda merely shows lack of understanding. From the article: “Intellectual property rights-intensive industries in the UK account for nearly one in three jobs, and over 40 percent of GDP…”

That’s a meaningless statement echoed by this EPO tweet: “Industries that make intensive use of IP rights generated 29% of all jobs in the EU in the period 2014-16.”

EPO logic: “Industries that make intensive use of toilets generated 100% of all jobs in the EU in the period 2014-16.”

“Honest media seems more dead than ever. Publications just publish what they’re paid to publish. They’re up for sale.”We’re supposed to think that because a company uses something its success is very much dependent on that something or would not be possible without it. The so-called ‘research’ was funded by the propaganda source, so it is not real research but corrupt research. We previously explained how the EPO had bribed scholars and even repeatedly bragged about it. Similarly, the EPO bribes European media. And retweeted by the EPO yesterday were these couple of tweets [1, 2] in German because there’s similar propaganda spread to German media (which EPO management bribes). So here and also here we see German media as nothing but a PR instrument of these European institutions. Honest media seems more dead than ever. Publications just publish what they’re paid to publish. They’re up for sale.

Corporate Media Covering (Amplifying) EPO Lies But Not EPO Abuses

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’d rather ignore these abuses as if those are just “conspiracy theories” or “not newsworthy”


Summary: European Patent Office (EPO) abuses are of no interest to the mainstream media, which claims that its goal is to inform the public; the EPO relies on such convenient complicity and it keeps breaking the law at a far greater scale than FIFA ever did

HALF a decade ago when we started covering EPO abuses Battistelli had already been at the helm for a number of years, causing huge damage little by little (all this damaged has merely been cemented or ‘normalised’ by António Campinos).

“The EPO is co-hosting an event with a front group of patent trolls (no sarcasm, no kidding). Has the media said anything about it? Not a word.”Suffice to say, the media no longer explains what’s wrong with software patents in Europe; it never touches the subject and if/when it does, which is very rare, it speaks to no actual software professionals*. When it speaks about 35 U.S.C. § 101 it focuses on aspects such as patent trolls instead of the patents these troll tend to rely on.

Watch what the EPO wrote yesterday: “How can you use alliances, licences, spin-offs, acquisitions and divestments to make the most of your technology?”

This is about an event in Dublin (Ireland). The EPO is co-hosting an event with a front group of patent trolls (no sarcasm, no kidding). Has the media said anything about it? Not a word. Too busy covering celebrities and football…

“When the case proceeded the EPO bombarded the media with puff pieces about love and solidarity (behind the scenes it attacked justice itself).”Meanwhile, under everybody’s nose, a whole branch of the legal system is under attack. Recall G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal) and how it had been ‘fixed’ to the point where the ‘Haar question’ wasn’t even touched. The very legality of this system is a taboo subject nobody — not even a panel of judges — can touch. What is this farce? What has Campinos said about it? When the case proceeded the EPO bombarded the media with puff pieces about love and solidarity (behind the scenes it attacked justice itself). It’s gross. It’s just obscene.

Yesterday Bart van Wezenbeek wrote about something called “Recordati Ireland Limited” (apparently big pharma) and this EPO case:

A claim defining a compound as having a certain purity would lack novelty over a prior art disclosure describing the same compound only if the prior art disclosed the claimed purity at least implicitly, for example by way of a method for preparing said compound, the method inevitably resulting in the claimed purity. Such a claim, however, would not lack novelty if the disclosure of the prior art needs to be supplemented, for example by suitable (further) purification methods allowing the skilled person to arrive at the claimed purity.

Well, van Wezenbeek might as well mention that the European Patent Office’s (EPO) Board of Appeal has no juridical independence, even according to itself. It’s a theatre, it’s not real justice.

And where's the corporate media now?

Has corporate media become synonym of corrupt media?

“Some of the media did cover some of these issues several years ago, but then came EPO management with bribes and threats. They nowadays control the media.”It’s very busy repeating the official EPO propaganda, dressed up as a ‘study’, as we shall explain in our next post.

Why has the mainstream media not explained to the general public that the EPO is illegally granting patents on life and nature? Or that it became a tool of Monsanto/Bayer after heavy lobbying and entryism?

Where are you, so-called ‘journalists’? Why do you ignore EPO staff that begs you to write about it?

The EU Parliament’s own site has just mentioned it as follows:

On 19 September, MEPs voted in favour of a resolution stating that plants obtained through conventional breeding processes, such as crossing and selection, must not become patentable.

They fear that allowing natural plant varieties to be patented would concentrate plant breeding material in the hands of a few powerful multinational companies. The resulting loss of genetic variety could in turn endanger food security and raise food prices.


The aim of plant breeding is to create new, more resistant, more productive and better quality varieties of plants. Innovation in the field is essential to guarantee sufficient food production at reasonable prices, especially with the changing environmental conditions caused by climate change.

Traditionally breeders have been able to protect their plant varieties through plant variety rights (PVR). The main difference with patenting is that PVR would not stop other farmers from using protected varieties for further breeding and developing new varieties.

We’re still waiting for even a single mainstream media outlet to write about it (not EU sites and small blogs). But we don’t hold our breath. Some of the media did cover some of these issues several years ago, but then came EPO management with bribes and threats. They nowadays control the media. From this chain of control come great abuses. It’s assured.
* I’ve yet to meet a software developer who supports such patents. I hear that some exist, but I never met one. Those that exist no longer develop anything. The litigation industry does not represent programmers.

Linux is Not Free Software and It’s Getting Harder to Fix It

Posted in DRM, FSF, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AMD (now the owner of ATI) puts DRM in Linux through graphics drivers

Protest against ATI
Source: Protest against ATI nearly led to the arrest of RMS (2006)

Summary: The battle for digital freedom has long been lost in kernel space; earlier this year Techrights analysed the complete source code of Linux to find DRM already well entrenched inside the kernel and it keeps spreading further (Linux is becoming the very thing the FSF objected to in Windows Vista; it is “Open Source Proprietary Software”)

THE technical limits of removal of blobs from Linux had been reached long before DRM landed inside Linux. For instance, linux-libre issues were already mentioned the other day; blobs are "bugs". What does that mean? In simple terms it means that ‘fixing’ Linux by removing bad stuff from it (not the same as a fork) would produce an unsatisfactory outcome. Moreover, it gets worse over time. It’s not only “subpar” or “not ideal”; it can be very messy. Ask people who use linux-libre in their distro.

“In simple terms it means that ‘fixing’ Linux by removing bad stuff from it (not the same as a fork) would produce an unsatisfactory outcome.”Some months ago Phoronix mentioned in passing that AMD was putting DRM in Linux (the evil DRM, not Direct Rendering). So did Intel along with Google. Yesterday Phoronix posted this update to say: “The recent work over the past few months on HDCP support for Raven Ridge and newer. Granted, many open-source fans won’t be happy to hear about High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support coming to the AMD Linux driver but it’s already been supported by the open-source Intel driver and NVIDIA’s proprietary driver. The HDCP support is actually good news in one respect as it’s likely at the behest of Google with AMD APUs now appearing in Chromebooks, similar to Google having pushed along Intel’s Linux HDCP support. This HDCP support could lead to enabling AMD to compete with other design wins for other Linux-powered devices. If you don’t want AMD HDCP support, at least for now they have it exposed as a Kconfig option so you can disable building the support via DRM_AMD_DC_HDCP.”

“What happened to “Bad Vista” and “Defective by Design”? We don’t suppose that a Stallman-less FSF would do any better against such threats to our freedom.”What’s most curious here isn’t that AMD follows Intel’s footsteps (that’s typical) but the lack of statement or complete silence from the EFF, the FSF, the FSFE…

All those who claim to have opposed DRM didn’t keep their eyes on this ball. Had they done so, maybe AMD would at least have second thoughts about it. But no… and so Linux gradually gets ruined in the same way the WWW was ruined, owing to inaction on EME (DRM inside the ‘standards’). The FSF did speak about it and organised against it. Why not HDCP? What happened to “Bad Vista” and “Defective by Design”? We don’t suppose that a Stallman-less FSF would do any better against such threats to our freedom.

As a side note, Phoronix tries to remain neutral; the above oughtn’t be interpreted as Michael Larabel’s endorsement of DRM. Larabel has thankfully highlight many of these things over the years and for that he deserves our gratitude and support.

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