History of FSF and Free Software Matters

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 3:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

History of Greece

Summary: Remarks on Richard Stallman, whose signature now emphasises that he founded the FSF and probably belongs back in its board

List of important Pro-Stallman, Pro-Free Software points to maintain at this time:

1. Everything that has happened up to this point is history — in the sense that history should be preserved and retold, that it contains invaluable lessons for the present and future. We can’t let history be rewritten — and we should learn and teach more about the history of Free software.

(Note, I find it disgusting the way Open Source has year after year tried to paint his contributions as something relevant to the past only — as a way of shoving him out of a metaphorical door, and advocate doing precisely the opposite.)

2. Stallman built all of this. Sure he had lots of help — Every large endeavour is about more than one person. Physics is about more than Einstein. But Einstein changed physics with the theory of relativity and Stallman changed computing with Free software. Apart from simply having integrity, the importance of recognising this as well as point 1, is that it preserves very important lessons about Software Freedom. You can’t preserve history and let credit-stealers speak over the people who deserve the real thanks. Because they will only mislead people.

3. Calling the operating system GNU — I tell people (whether they are unsympathic or not) that when people call it GNU, this is a good sign they care about your freedom. When they call the OS “Linux” this is not a good sign — I’ve personally found this holds true as often as not, it’s a good rule.

4. Supporting the FSF is important for several reasons, including holding them to the mission of Free software, keeping up the ratio of Stallman supporters involved, maintaining the Free Software Directory and other valuable infrastructure, as well as their legal team and maintenance of Free software licenses. Some people think it would be better to replace the FSF outright; these are some of the reasons that it would be better to keep the FSF going.

5. RYF is a valuable programme that should continue as well.

6. Copyleft is the reason that many important Free software projects succeed. Open Source aggressively pushes permissive licensing, even for projects that are important which will suffer from such licensing. The FSF recommends a copyleft license such as the GPL (generally speaking, the GPL) for any source over 300 lines.

7. We should defend Free software advocates, particularly Stallman, from any untrue and unfair statements to smear him.

8. Although it is important to preserve Stallman’s legacy, he still has contributions to make and we should make certain he has a vehicle (a metaphorical home, online and in terms of an organisation) for those contributions at all times. A real, literal home is also important of course, but a home in the sense that the FSF was a home is something we should continue to provide. Whatever community standards we keep, they should not exclude RMS.

9. It may take time, but Bruce Perens was able to return to the OSI board after leaving, and we should be certain to get Stallman reinstated to the FSF board at an ideal time in the not-too-distant future. It is one thing to step down as President — the board is greatly diminished without him and he should have never left the board without great protest and great effort to retain his seat regardless of circumstances. His resignation from the board should not have even been accepted. (I’m not the only person to say this.)

10. There are other points that will prove equally important, but this is a good place to start. Although the importance of Stallman’s work deserves acknowledgement and many of us admire him greatly, none of this is solely about paying tribute, or solely about admiration or respect. In addition to being about respect, these are importantly all points relevant and key to future strategies regarding Free software. We need to build the future on a solid foundation, and Stallman’s work and advocacy is the most solid foundation we could build the future on. So it is not just important to Stallman and to fairness — it is equally important to everything we do regarding Free software.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Links 3/10/2019: PostgreSQL 12, Blender 2.81 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Best Penguin Linux Wallpapers

      Based in Southern Hemisphere, Penguins are well known for spending half of their life on the land and other half in the sea. Well these are the birds who can’t fly. But their highly adaptiveness to survive in extreme conditions is quite motivating.

      So today I’m going to share with you 50 amazing Penguin wallpapers that you can use as your Linux desktop background.

    • Kubernetes: 2019 Steering Committee Election Results

      The 2019 Steering Committee Election is a landmark milestone for the Kubernetes project. The initial bootstrap committee is graduating to emeritus and the committee has now shrunk to its final allocation of seven seats. All members of the Steering Committee are now fully elected by the Kubernetes Community.

    • SUSE

      • Paving the Road to Eirini

        At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Lucas Bickel of Adfinis SyGroup and Peter Andersson of SUSE presented insight about their Cloud Foundry deployment using SUSE Cloud Application Platform for a large Swiss government office. They explained the challenges faced, the lessons learned and why SUSE Cloud Application Platform is the perfect fit to solve the customer requirements in a highly complex and demanding environment. Warning: this talk contains buzzwords such as DevOps, Cloud Native, Kubernetes, CI/CD pipeline, and other fancy stuff.

      • Stratos Project Update: The Future of the Stratos Management UI

        At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Neil MacDougall and Richard Cox of SUSE presented a talk that reviewed the development of the Stratos Web-based Management UI for Cloud Foundry. They also summarized and demonstrated the new features and improvements that have been added recently. Next, they looked forward to the year ahead and discussed where we we are heading with new work on Extensions and the new features that are planned.

      • Lightning Talk: The Latest on How SUSE is Bringing Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes Together

        At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Ignacio Gomez of SUSE presented a brief lightning talk explaining how SUSE continues to combine the best of the two leading open source application platforms in the industry — Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. Through projects like Quarks, Eirini, and Stratos, SUSE is fusing the mature development model of Cloud Foundry with the advanced container scheduling capabilities of Kubernetes.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • DevNation Live Bengaluru: Apache Kafka Streams and event-driven architecture

          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.

          This tutorial, presented by Edson Yanaga, dives into events, message-oriented middleware, Apache Kafka, data streaming, and analytics to explain the fundamentals for creating a distributed, resilient, and scalable application.

          Once you understand events, messaging becomes an essential asset in your toolbox. Using an event-driven architecture on top of a message-driven architecture helps you unleash the benefits of distributed computing.

        • Deploy Red Hat AMQ Streams and Fuse on OpenShift Container Platform 4

          In the following video, I demonstrate how to deploy Red Hat AMQ Streams (based on upstream Apache Kafka) on OpenShift 4.

          I will also demonstrate how to use AMQ Streams in a basic way using Red Hat Fuse. There is a Camel route exposing a REST endpoint at /goodbye, which—when hit—sends a “Goodbye World” message to the topic. There is also a timer sending “Hello World” messages periodically to the topic. A separate Camel route consumes from the topic and logs the messages for our visibility.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E26 – Interstate ’76

        This week we’ve been tourists in our home town, we review the Dell Precision 3540 Developer Edition laptop, bring you some command line love and go over all your wonderful feedback.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 26 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Meet Alyssa Rosenzweig and Panfrost

          Panfrost is a free, open-source graphics stack for Arm Mali GPUs, focused on the popular Midgard series. While these chips are popular among Android devices, they have been historical thorns in Linux’s side, due to the closed nature of the official drivers. Panfrost aims to change that, bringing the benefits of open-source to the Mali world.

          What started out as a small community reverse-engineering effort has now matured into a reliable OpenGL ES 2.0 driver. Since May, I’ve been using Panfrost as my daily driver to program Panfrost. And yes, I’m answering these questions from a machine with Panfrost!

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 vs. Eight Linux Distributions In Various “Creator” Workloads On An Intel Core i9

        For those wondering about the current performance of desktop Linux distributions against Microsoft Windows 10 with the latest updates as we embark upon fall update season, here is a look at the performance of eight different Linux distributions compared to Windows 10. While a larger set of cross-platform tests are currently being worked on, for this article we are focusing on different “creator” workloads from video/audio encoding, render workloads, and related software prior to the larger comparison in the next week or two.

        Besides looking at creator-focused workloads for this article, some of the tests being done are the first time we are running them in a Windows vs. Linux comparison. In particular, some new OpenBenchmarking.org / Phoronix Test Suite test profiles around Intel oneAPI rendering toolkit components like Embree and Open Image Denoise.

    • Applications

      • Newsboat is a command line based RSS feed reader for Linux

        Once upon a time, there used to be a Command line based RSS feed reader called Newsbeuter, but, like many a good program it too was abandoned.

        Fortunately, another developer forked the source code and Newsboat was born. The program is quite user friendly and offers a great deal of customization options. I’m going to point out the basics to get you started with the program.

      • Blender 2.81 Release Notes

        Blender 2.81 is the next release under development.

      • Blender 2.81 In Next Phase Of Development With NVIDIA RTX Optix, Intel Open Image Denoise

        The Blender 2.81 release cycle has entered its “bcon2″ development phase of development with the focus shifting to bug fixing and stabilizing new features with now being past the initial window of merging in the big ticket items.

        This phase of development for the initial bug fixing will last about one month followed by “bcon3″ where the release branch happens and the next (Blender 2.82) release cycle kicks off for feature merging.

      • Proprietary

        • BlueMail Expands to Millions of Consumers and Businesses with Support for Linux

          Blix Inc., a leading provider of messaging solutions to consumers and businesses, today announced Linux support for its most popular product, BlueMail.

        • Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine selects MontaVista Linux for Next Generation Marine Radar

          MontaVista® Software, LLC, a leader in commercial Embedded Linux® products and services, today announced that Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine has entered into a long-term agreement with MontaVista for their Marine Radar VisionMaster Net platform.

          MontaVista will provide Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine with CGX – Carrier Grade eXpress Linux as the long-term supported operating system on the processors present in VisionMaster Net, providing network infrastructure control and services such as web interface, SNMP and device interfaces to Sperry Marine written application software. The agreement also covers joint development of software on top of the operating system.

        • 10 Things Larry Ellison Wants You to Know about Oracle Autonomous Linux

          Linux is taking on a higher-profile role in the enterprise-cloud market. Following revitalized strategies from IBM Red Hat and SUSE, Oracle chairman Larry Ellison figured it was high time to explain just how wonderful his own new version of Linux is.

          During a keynote at Oracle’s recent OpenWorld event, Ellison described in great detail the company’s new Autonomous Database and its “next-gen” cloud infrastructure. Ellison emphasized his intention to ultimately deliver a completely autonomous cloud.

          In that context, Ellison introduced Autonomous Linux. He also offered his perspectives on why this new Oracle version offers unique value to business customers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Some thoughts on Police Stories, the recently released slower tactical top-down shooter

        Released earlier this month, Police Stories attempts to slow down the top-down shooter genre with a more tactical approach and most of the time it works quite well.

        The story here revolves around two cops, John Rimes and Rick Jones. Two old friends joined together as partners when you move to the city. Starting off from a simple call to action while on duty, things quickly spiral as you uncover links leading to something much bigger than expected.

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Hunter & The Beast is now on Linux, plus The Empire Undivided update

        Feral Interactive have updated their port of Total War: WARHAMMER II for Linux to bring The Empire Undivided update and The Hunter & The Beast DLC is now supported.

        The Empire Undivided free content update is huge, so big it has a long dedicated post to it on the Total War blog. There’s masses of bug fixes and overall balance improvements but also some huge feature adjustments too. The biggest changes looks like it happened for the Mortal Empires Campaign, which is what you get free if you own both Total War: WARHAMMER and Total War: WARHAMMER II. A big territory rework with 12 new regions, huge forts to battle through and empire factions now have access to the reworked Empire tech tree. The Empire Offices system was thrown out too, replaced with a new authority system. There’s a huge amount more to it, so do take a read if you’re interested in the full details.

      • DUSK with an exclusive map and Chasm come to GOG during their big 11th anniversary celebration

        GOG has been going for just about 11 years now, so they’re having a big sale to celebrate. On top of that the retro FPS DUSK is now on GOG with an exclusive GOGATORIUM map for the endless mode and also CHASM is now on GOG too.

      • Comedy point and click adventure Angelo and Deemon: One Hell of a Quest is out

        From developer Specialbit Studio, the quirky comedy point and click adventure Angelo and Deemon: One Hell of a Quest is officially out now with Linux support.

        A case of mistaken identity results in a blogger taking an unexpected holiday to Hell, so Angelo decides to record his journey in an attempt to become a little bit more famous and get some extra clicks and likes. Something like that anyway. The Ukrainian developer doesn’t really give it a description that sells it too well.

      • Build and battle game From the Depths is officially launching this November

        Game developer Brilliant Skies sent word that their game From the Depths is getting ready to finally leave Early Access on November 7th. It’s been in Early Access since August 2014, with a Linux version arriving a bit later.

        Much like Robocraft, the design and building in From the Depths is done block by block and you can create all sorts of incredibly weird and wonderful tools of destruction. Unlike Robocraft though, From the Depths seems to have a huge amount more depth to the building and the available game modes with much bigger battles too.

      • Drawn Down Abyss mixes an action-platformer with card abilities and it’s out now

        A thoroughly odd experience this. Drawn Down Abyss from developer DaFluffyPotato looks like an ordinary pixel-art action-platform except it’s also thoroughly different due to the card-based abilities.

    • Distributions

      • Solus 4 Users Are Among the First to Use the GNOME 3.34 Desktop Environment

        The Solus Project announced today that the latest GNOME 3.34 desktop environment is now available for all users of the independently developed Linux-based computer operating system, along with many other updates and bug fixes.

        Launched in mid-September, the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment has only been available for a few GNU/Linux distributions as upgrading from a previous release looks to be a rigorous and hard process for OS vendors. Solus 4 users are now among the first to use GNOME 3.34 on their personal computers.

        “This stack upgrade has been rigorously tested by a wide range of users via our unstable repository, all of whom provided valuable feedback and reports over on our development tracker. This upgrade has also fortunately been smoother compared to previous stack upgrades,” said lead developer Joshua Strobl in the latest news roundup.

      • Fedora Family

        • Some Flatpak updates

          In 1.4.2, Flatpak gained the ability to use extra-data for extensions. This mechanism has been around for applications for a long time, but it is a new feature for extensions.

          The 19.08 version of the freedesktop runtime uses it for its new org.freedesktop.Platform.openh264 extension, which uses the Cisco openh264 builds.

          Since we are taking the ‘run everywhere’ aspect of Flatpak seriously, we’ve backported this feature from the 1.4 branch to older stable branches and released 1.2.4 and 1.0.9, so even users on very stable distributions can enjoy this new feature.

        • Calling Mentors for Google Code-in 2019

          Google Code-in (GCI) is an annual programming competition hosted by Google Inc. that allows pre-university students to complete tasks specified by various, partnering open source organizations. The contest was originally the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, but in 2010, the format was modified into its current state. Students that complete tasks win certificates and T-shirts. Each organization also selects two grand prize award winners who will earn a trip to Google’s Headquarters located in Mountain View, California.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Watch: Ubuntu Touch Running on the PinePhone Open Source Linux Smartphone

          While everyone is waiting for UBports to release the Ubuntu Touch OS for Purism’s Librem 5 Linux phone, which just stated shipping to backers last week, Marius Gripsgard and his team of skilful developers managed to port the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system to PINE64′s PinePhone.

          As you can see in the video and screenshots attached below, Ubuntu Touch runs quite smoothly on the PinePhone, an open-source Linux smartphone build by the PINE64 company, which is known for developing the PINE64 single-board computers (SBCs) and Pinebook computers.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • ROSCon Japan 2019!

          ROSCon Japan 2019 was a resounding success. We took in the keynote speech from Ryan Gariepy, Co-founder and CTO of Clearpath Robotics. We demoed the first iteration of a Robotics arm from Niryo. Our own Ted Kern gave a lightning talk on type-checked Python in ROS2, and we spoke to lots of individuals in the Japanese robotics community. Let’s talk about it.


          Beyond all of these things, we were there to talk to the community. We wanted to know about their projects and what they are working on with ROS. We’re very thankful that our colleges in Japan were there to help with interpretation because it meant we got to speak to almost everyone at the conference. Most were already users of Ubuntu and ROS/ROS 2 and were more interested in our roadmaps and plans for ROS 2 development. But there were a surprising number of users who didn’t know about our blog, twitter or website content. Which can be found in Japanese now by the way. We told them to take a look. Each platform talks about our role in ROS development and maintaining the best Robotics security out there.

          If you’ve read this far and you’re interested in what’s going on, but you don’t know what ROSCon Japan is, let me tell you. ROSCon JP, the ROS Convention in Japan is what they call a “developer meeting” for people in the ROS community. It was a great opportunity for ROS developers across the country, from beginners to experts, to learn the latest topics and network with the broader ROS community. You can read more about the whole event on their website, ROSCon JP. This event was in Tokyo but coming up soon is the international ROS Developer Conference, ROSCon 2019. This one will be in Macau from October 31 to November 1.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 69.0.2 Released to Fix YouTube Crash on Linux, Other Issues

            Mozilla Firefox 69.0.2 is a very small maintenance update that addresses three bugs, including a crash that would occur when changing the playback speed while watching a YouTube video, which affects only Linux systems, as well as a crash that may occur when editing files on Office 365 websites.

            Additionally, Firefox 69.0.2 addresses an issue that could prevent the detection of the Windows 10 Parental Controls feature when it’s enabled. Of course, this issue only affects Windows 10 users. However, we recommend all users to update to Firefox 69.0.2 as soon as possible.

          • Introducing ECSY: an Entity Component System framework for the Web

            Today we are introducing ECSY (Pronounced “eck-see”): a new -highly experimental- Entity Component System framework for Javascript.

          • Announcing the Inside Rust blog

            Today we’re happy to announce that we’re starting a second blog, the Inside Rust blog. This blog will be used to post regular updates by the various Rust teams and working groups. If you’re interested in following along with the “nitty gritty” of Rust development, then you should take a look!

      • Databases

        • PostgreSQL 12 Released!

          The PostgreSQL Global Development Group today announced the release of PostgreSQL 12, the latest version of the world’s most advanced open source database.

          PostgreSQL 12 enhancements include notable improvements to query performance, particularly over larger data sets, and overall space utilization. This release provides application developers with new capabilities such as SQL/JSON path expression support, optimizations for how common table expression (WITH) queries are executed, and generated columns. The PostgreSQL community continues to support the extensibility and robustness of PostgreSQL, with further additions to internationalization, authentication, and providing easier ways to administrate PostgreSQL. This release also introduces the pluggable table storage interface, which allows developers to create their own methods for storing data.

          “The development community behind PostgreSQL contributed features for PostgreSQL 12 that offer performance and space management gains that our users can achieve with minimal effort, as well as improvements in enterprise authentication, administration functionality, and SQL/JSON support.” said Dave Page, a core team member of the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. “This release continues the trend of making it easier to manage database workloads large and small while building on PostgreSQL’s reputation of flexibility, reliability and stability in production environments.”

        • PostgreSQL 12 Released As Newest Update To “World’s Most Advanced Open-Source DB”

          As was anticipated, PostgreSQL 12.0 is now officially available.

          PostgreSQL 12.0 brings a variety of performance improvements, JIT compilation is enabled by default, JSON path expressions support, generated columns are now supported, internationalization improvements, and a whole lot more.

        • PostgreSQL 12 released

          Version 12 of the PostgreSQL database management system is out. “PostgreSQL 12 enhancements include notable improvements to query performance, particularly over larger data sets, and overall space utilization.

        • The Art of PostgreSQL
      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice drawing using Skia

          Now, admittedly, this looks way better than it should, as it is actually still far from finished. It is so far X11-only, using the venerable not-that-performant XPutImage(). No Windows, no Vulkan. Yet. Also, while it passes all VCL unit tests, that rather says something about the poor state of coverage of those tests, as they fail to hit any of those abort() calls I still have in a number of places. Well, maybe I should rather post the screenshot from yesterday:


        • Some lessons from the MIT Media Lab controversy

          And there were other spinoff effects as well: Richard Stallman, a free-software pioneer and veteran MIT professor, also resigned, after being criticized for comments he made on an internal email list that downplayed the impact of Epstein’s sexual abuse.

        • Photoshop too expensive? Try these 5 free alternatives

          GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a downloadable, professional-grade photo editor with an extensive Photoshop-like collection of essential editing tools. In addition, GIMP boasts advanced filters and layer masks. Whether you want to add text, erase a background, or add texture to a photo, this no-cost editing software will meet your needs.

      • Programming/Development

        • File Management with AWS S3, Python, and Flask

          One of the key driving factors to technology growth is data. Data has become more important and crucial in the tools being built as technology advances. It has become the driving factor to technology growth, how to collect, store, secure, and distribute data.

          This data growth has led to an increase in the utilization of cloud architecture to store and manage data while minimizing the hassle required to maintain consistency and accuracy. As consumers of technology, we are generating and consuming data and this has necessitated the requirement of elaborate systems to help us manage the data.

          The cloud architecture gives us the ability to upload and download files from multiple devices as long as we are connected to the internet. And that is part of what AWS helps us achieve through S3 buckets.

        • Node.js VS Python: Which is Better?

          Both Node.js (majorly used as a backend framework ), and Python ( front-end and back-end programming language) are used extensively for programming of a web app. It is vital to select a suitable framework or programming language for web app development because it is the backbone of every web app.

          Node.js and Python are extensively used for this purpose. When you talk about Node.js or python,you are actually comparing JavaScript with Python. This is because Node.js is actually a framework built on Google Chrome’s JavaScript.

          Both of them are among the top programming languages according to the TOIBE index.

          Here is the list with May 2018 and May 2019 rankings.

        • How to edit a qcow2 file from C

          Suppose you want to edit or read or write the data inside a qcow2 file? One way is to use libguestfs, and that’s the recommended way if you need to mount a filesystem inside the file.

          But for accessing the data blocks alone, you can now use the libnbd API and qemu-nbd together and this has a couple of advantages: It’s faster and you can open snapshots (which libguestfs cannot do).

          We start by creating a libnbd handle and connecting it to a qemu-nbd instance. The qemu-nbd instance is linked with qemu’s internal drivers that know how to read and write qcow2.

        • PicoLibC is a Lightweight C library for Embedded Systems

          Well-known developer, Keith Packard has recently announced the launch of “picolibc” through his blog.

        • 2019.3 EAP 4

          This week’s Early Access Program (EAP) for PyCharm 2019.3 is available now! Download it from our website.

        • Bring in the WhiteNoise, Bring in Da Funk – Building SaaS #34

          In this episode, we added WhiteNoise to the app as a tool for handling static assets. This lets us move away from depending on Nginx for the task and gives shiny new features like Brotli support.

        • A fast and thread-safe pool allocator for Qt – Part 2

          In part 1 of this blog series, we developed a pool allocator that is optimized for small allocations. We confirmed that we do that a lot in Qt when we allocate QEvent or QObject instances, and a specialized allocator might be useful for application developers as well. So far, our solutions will allocate complete pages of memory as needed, and hand out memory chunks of a fixed size that is specified at compile time through a template parameter. It supports different threading models, with different tradeoffs regarding performance, memory efficiency, and concurrency. The results were giving us a very promising performance, beating the general-purpose allocators by a factor of 3-10 in our multi-threaded benchmarks.

          However, with an allocator that can only handle one chunk-size, and never returns memory back to the operating system, we still have a way to go before we can really support our QEvent and QObject use cases within Qt. We can’t just make our library waste and hog memory, or require application developers to reimplement operator new/delete to be able to allocate instances of their larger subclasses!

        • KDE & Qt Applications and High DPI Displays with Scaling

          In the past, most displays had (or the OS pretended to have) around 96 PPI, more or less.

          If you differed a bit and had too small/large UI elements, you mostly just resized your default font size a bit and were kind of happy.

          In the last years, more and more displays arise that have a much higher PPI values, which allows for e.g. very crisp rendering of text.

          I arrived late in that era for my Linux machines by now starting to use two 163 PPI displays.

          Just tweaking your fonts doesn’t help here, all other things will still be unbearable small, even if you in addition increase e.g. icon sizes.

          A solution for this is the current trend to just “scale” your UI by some factor, for my displays some factor of 1.5 leads to the most pleasant sizes.

        • dup2 System Call in C

          The dup2() system function is used to create a copy of an existing file descriptor. In Linux, there are 3 standard file descriptors. They are:
          stdin: This is the standard input file descriptor. It is used to take input from the terminal by default. scanf(), getc() etc functions uses stdin file descriptor to take user inputs. The stdin file descriptor is also represented by the number 0.

          stdout: This is the standard output file descriptor. It is used to print something to the console/terminal by default. The widely used printf() function uses stdout to print your desired output to the console/terminal. The stdout file descriptor is also represented by the number 1.

          stderr: This is the standard error file descriptor. It does the same thing as the stdout file descriptor. The stderr file descriptor is used to print error messages on the console/terminal. The only difference is if you use stderr file descriptor to print the error messages, and stdout file descriptor to print normal outputs, then you can later separate them. For example, you can redirect the error messages to a file and normal outputs to the console or another file. The stderr file descriptor is also represented by the number 2.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Adversarial Interoperability

          “Interoperability” is the act of making a new product or service work with an existing product or service: modern civilization depends on the standards and practices that allow you to put any dish into a dishwasher or any USB charger into any car’s cigarette lighter.

          But interoperability is just the ante. For a really competitive, innovative, dynamic marketplace, you need adversarial interoperability: that’s when you create a new product or service that plugs into the existing ones without the permission of the companies that make them. Think of third-party printer ink, alternative app stores, or independent repair shops that use compatible parts from rival manufacturers to fix your car or your phone or your tractor.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel), Debian (jackson-databind, libapreq2, and subversion), Fedora (glpi, memcached, and zeromq), openSUSE (rust), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (patch), and SUSE (dovecot23, git, jasper, libseccomp, and thunderbird).

      • Coders’ Rights Are At Risk in Brazil, and the Harms Could Affect Everyone

        A bill pending in the Brazilian Senate (PLS 272/2016) amends the current anti-terrorism law to make it a “terrorist act” to interfere with, sabotage or damage computer systems or databases in order to hinder their operation for a political or ideological motivation. Publicly praising such actions, or other ill-defined terrorism offenses, could lead to a penalty for up to eight years in prison, according to the same bill. Earlier this year, EFF criticized a set of Brazilian “anti-terrorism” bills that seriously threaten  free expression and privacy safeguards. PLS 272/2016 is one of them. Now, the new rapporteur appointed in the Senate’s Constitutional Commission is expected to convene a public hearing and release a new report.

        Among other key concerns, Brazilian human rights groups have stressed that the bill unduly expands terrorism offenses to frame acts that are already addressed by existent criminal law – targeting them for harsher, disproportionate, penalties. Praising or inciting crime and breaking into computer devices are already illegal under the Brazilian Criminal Code. But if the bill passes, actions similar to those could receive a sentence ten times higher or more.  

      • O.MG! Evil Lightning cable about to hit mass distribution

        Remember the O.MG cable? Back in February, we covered its early development: A project by self-taught electronics hacker _MG_, it’s a malicious Lightning cable that looks just like the regular overpriced piece of wire that connects your iPhone to a computer.

      • Good cybersecurity comes from focusing on the right things, but what are they?

        If you think that’s easy for him to say, consider his education and employment twists and turns before getting into technology and, ultimately, into cybersecurity: he was an art and design student, then a Marine, and later an UPS truck loader.

        While doing that last job and hating it, he decided that there was no personal sacrifice too big to make a total life change. So, he spent a summer sleeping on his brother’s couch, consuming every Unix and TCP/IP book he could find, until he landed a junior system administrator job.

        Several generous mentors and more than a few lucky breaks later, he moved into cyber defense as a security analyst and rose up through the ranks. During his tenure in cybersecurity, he has built and run security operations teams at the White House, the Pentagon, global managed security service providers, and various other organizations in the public and private sectors.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘Appalling Disregard for Civilians’: Amnesty Investigation Details How US Military Killed Innocent Farmers in Somalia

        “Three civilian men died agonizing deaths while their families are left questioning why the U.S. military targeted and killed them.”

      • A small price to pay for Tripoli Between 10 and 35 Russian mercenaries have been killed in the Libyan Civil War. We identified several of them.

        Last week, the bodies of the first Russians killed in Libya’s civil war started arriving back home for burial. Officially, Russia isn’t part of the fighting in North Africa, which has been ongoing for several years now. In reality, however, Russian combatants have been providing massive support to one side in the conflict, in exchange for which Moscow’s Libyan allies have promised “oil, railways, and highways.” Meduza investigative journalist Liliya Yapparova has learned that an infamous Russian private military company has suffered dozens of casualties in Libya. She also found some of the mercenaries’ names despite efforts to keep that information secret: even the mercenaries’ bodies are being withheld.

      • We’re on a Hypersonic Arms Race to Hell

        Hypersonic weapons close in on their targets at a minimum speed of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound or 3,836.4 miles an hour. They are among the latest entrants in an arms competition that has embroiled the United States for generations, first with the Soviet Union, today with China and Russia. Pentagon officials tout the potential of such weaponry and the largest arms manufacturers are totally gung-ho on the subject. No surprise there. They stand to make staggering sums from building them, especially given the chronic “cost overruns” of such defense contracts — $163 billion in the far-from-rare case of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

      • Protests Escalate in Iraq: 9 Dead, Hundreds Wounded

        At least seven people were killed and dozens were wounded in clashes that spread across several Iraqi provinces on Wednesday as security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas for the second day to disperse anti-government protesters demanding jobs, improved services and an end to corruption.

      • A Step Toward Protecting Civilians from Bombing and Shelling

        The dangers from explosive weapons used in populated areas were the focus of a two-day international conference that concluded today in Vienna, Austria.

    • Environment

      • Oil Companies Sued by Baltimore Face Discovery in State Court

        A federal appellate judge ruled that Baltimore’s climate liability suit will proceed in state court, rejecting a motion by more than two dozen fossil fuel defendants to halt the suit while they try to convince the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the case belongs in federal court.

      • Will Rail Be Key to Exporting Canada’s Tar Sands Oil to the World?

        Several recent developments in the rail arena are setting up the tar sands industry to realize those plans in a major way.

      • We’re Just Starting to Learn How Fracking Harms Wildlife
      • Nuclear war could ruin Earth and leave only losers

        As the potential for nuclear war in Asia hots up, scientists have chilling news for those far from the battleground: we will all suffer.

      • Drought may hit half world’s wheat at once

        Wheat yields could be hit by severe drought across half the world at once, driving up prices and making problems for global markets.

      • “Sea Levels Are Rising and So Are We!”

        Look what Greta started and what she did to me! I took part in the recent climate-strike march in New York City — one of a quarter-million people (or maybe 60,000) who turned out there, along with four million others across all seven continents. Then I came home and promptly collapsed. Which tells you one thing: I’m not 16 years old like Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who almost singlehandedly roused a sleeping planet and is now described as “the Joan of Arc of climate change.” Nor am I the age of just about any of the demonstrators I stopped to chat with that afternoon, however briefly, while madly scribbling down their inventive protest signs in a little notebook.

      • ‘No Winners on a Dead Earth’: Why We Need a Climate Leader in 2020

        We know that election year 2020 is important, but we have scarcely begun to grasp the epic depth of what we must set in motion by the end of next year if there is to be realistic hope for a human future.

      • Despite ‘Enormous Potential’ as Carbon Sink, Australia’s Damaged Coastal Ecosystems Spewing Millions of Tons of CO2

        “Australia is in a position to take a leading role in developing policies to offset greenhouse gas emissions which can then be implemented around the world.”

      • I Climate Strike Because This Is Zero Hour

        As a seventeen-year-old, I—like many young people—find my youth dedicated to the fight for climate justice. Being the first American generation in my family—who immigrated from Kingston, Jamaica—the climate crisis is something that directly affects my community.

      • The Fight to Stop the Climate Crisis is Local

        I participated in the historical week of Global Climate Strikes, where an estimated 7.6 million people took to the streets across the world to demand real action on climate. In New York City on September 20th, I was among 250,000 people, including youth, elders, parents, teachers, scientists, workers, unions, faith leaders and more. It was incredible.

      • Energy

        • Pacific Ocean oil dumping: Feds file criminal charges against company, engineer; case solved thanks to whistleblower

          In February, the 16,408-ton oil tanker Zao Galaxy traveled under the Golden Gate Bridge and into the San Francisco Bay, eventually docking in Richmond, where it was due for an inspection. U.S. Coast Guard officials boarded the ship, for what was a routine overview until a crew member slipped them a note.

          The note contained the words “magic pipe” and “damage marine environment.” When the inspectors began conducting interviews, they uncovered what authorities describe as a scheme to dump oily waste into the Pacific Ocean through a pipe that some onboard tried to conceal.

          On Tuesday, the investigation reached its head. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern California filed criminal charges against the companies, FGL Moon Marshall Limited, Unix Line Pte. Ltd., as well as Gilbert Fajardo Dela Cruz, an engineer aboard the ship.

          The charges allege deliberate pollution of the ocean, obstruction of justice, and aiding and abetting criminal activity. If convicted, the company faces potential fines totaling more than $1 million, and Dela Cruz could be imprisoned for up to 20 years.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Australian State’s Proposed Ag-Gag Law Threatens General Right To Protest, Critics Warn

        Ag-gag laws usually claim to be about protecting farmers from animal activists. But trespass laws already do that quite effectively. In reality, ag-gag laws are mostly about preventing activists from gathering photographic evidence of the poor conditions in which animals are kept on some farms. Techdirt has written a number of stories about ag-gag laws in the US, and how they are being ruled unconstitutional. Now it seems that Australia is intent on bringing in ag-gag laws in response to an upsurge in animal rights activism in the country. Australian politicians have been getting vocal on the topic for a while. Back in April, Australia’s Prime Minister called the activists “green collared criminals”. In May, Western Australia’s attorney general told journalists:

      • Devin Nunes Sues Again; He REALLY Doesn’t Want You To Read This Article About His Family’s Cow Farm In Iowa

        Devin Nunes is on quite a roll with stifling free speech. The Congressman, who once co-sponsored a bill discouraging frivolous lawsuits and also voted for a House Amendment saying that free speech should be protected, has been filing a whole bunch of lawsuits that appear to serve no purpose other than to stifle free speech — mainly free speech that criticizes Devin Nunes. Back when he filed the first of these suits (against satirical Twitter accounts, among others), we noted that he seemed particularly mad about an article by Ryan Lizza in Esquire trying to track down details about the Nunes’ family’s dairy farm, which is not in California where Nunes’ Congressional district is, but in Iowa. Lizza noticed that Nunes appeared to go to great lengths to not have the public realize that his family’s dairy farm (which is a big part of his bio) up and left California. The article is entitled Devin Nunes’s Family Farm Is Hiding a Politically Explosive Secret and it is absolutely worth reading, in part because Devin Nunes really doesn’t want you to read it. But also, in part, because it had paragraphs like this:

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Privacy Allies File Amicus Briefs in Support of EFF’s Jewel v. NSA Case

        Organizations raising concerns about mass surveillance, secrecy, and the Fourth Amendment, among other issues, have filed amicus briefs in support of EFF’s Jewel v. NSA case, currently pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals is set to review the District Court’s decision, which dismissed the case and effectively gave the government the power to decide whether Americans can seek judicial review of mass domestic national security surveillance. EFF filed its brief on September 6. 

        The six amicus briefs described below cover a wide number of issues, helping flesh out a fuller story of why the case was improperly dismissed.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Nobody Had To Die: A Jury Finally Decided It Was Unreasonable For A Cop To Kill An Innocent Black Man

        In “a seismic shift” in a criminal injustice system that’s long seen police get away with shooting black men and women, a Dallas jury found former cop Amber Guyger guilty of murder for killing Botham Jean, 26, a literal choir boy who “loved God (and) loved everyone” after she mistakenly barged into his apartment as he ate ice cream and watched TV.

      • How Dehumanizing Language Fuels Mass Incarceration

        The late Eddie Ellis was a leading voice in the movement for human rights, as both the founder for the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions and an internationally recognized scholar on prison policy. Imprisoned for a quarter-century (on a charge for which he maintained his innocence), Ellis earned two Associates Degrees, a Bachelor of Science degree, and a Masters Degree

      • With Pompeo’s Refusal to Obey Subpoena, Trump Administration ‘Actively Obstructing the Impeachment Inquiry’

        “You don’t get to work for Donald Trump, and then whine about ‘bullies.’”

      • ‘Unbelievable’: Snowden Calls Out Media for Failing to Press US Politicians on Inconsistent Support of Whistleblowers

        The comment followed a new Justice Department filing that claims a whistleblower engaged in “thievery, not protected speech” when allegedly leaking classified information on the U.S. drone operations…

      • U.N.: Haiti Unrest Harming Hospitals, Orphanages, Students

        The operation dubbed “Find Jovenel Moïse” organized by opposition leaders demanding the resignation of Haiti’s president ended abruptly when he appeared at the National Palace early this week following violent protests in which several people were killed.

      • Colombia Diary: Under Heavy Manners

        In Colombia as elsewhere, the commodification of higher education has led to widespread systemic corruption, and on September 23, students from the Universidad Distrital in Bogotá took to the streets to protest an egregious case of embezzlement, in which, according to the Attorney General’s Office, a professor used the university’s Institute for Outreach to enrich himself. The professor has since turned state’s evidence in exchange for a lighter sentence, implicating top university officials, civil servants, and local authorities.

      • Labour Party Annual Conference Interrupted By Supreme Court’s Decision On Boris Johnson’s Suspension Of Parliament

        I was attending the 2019 Labour Party conference as a member-delegate when proceedings on the third day of the conference were interrupted at 10.30am by the televised announcement of the UK’s Supreme Court decision on Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament.

      • Challenging Nicholas Kristof’s Claim of “Thousands More Jeffrey Epsteins”

        On September 14th, Nicholas Kristof’s NYT column was titled “Thousands More Jeffrey Epsteins Are Still Out There: They operate with impunity, continuing to sexually exploit children.”

      • Eastern Germans Voting Nazism, Again!

        In September 2019, two Eastern German states –Brandenburg and Saxony– held elections. Germany’s right-wing extremist party, the AfD, tripled its previous result in Saxony (from 9.7% to 27.5%) and doubled its earlier outcome in Brandenburg (from 12.2% to 23.5%). The next state election is scheduled for Thuringia (27th October 2019) – home of AfD-Führer Björn Höcke. According to the latest opinion poll, the AfD is set to receive 25% in Thuringia. This will be well below Hitler’s NSDAP receiving 42.5% at the Thuringia state election on 31st July 1932. With recent results, the AfD has decisively increased its ranks to be a 25% party in the Eastern region of Germany and a 12% party in the Western region.

      • Mali: Detainee Restraints Causing Grievous Injuries

        Some Malian military units are using a method to restrain detainees during counterterrorism operations that has led to amputations and other serious injuries, Human Rights Watch said today. The Defense Ministry should urgently adopt international standards for treating prisoners and end the abusive practice, which amounts to torture or other cruel and inhuman treatment.

      • Russia Jails Crimean Tatar Blogger on Bogus ‘Terrorism’ Charges

        A Russian military court today sentenced activist and blogger Nariman Memedeminov to two and a half years in prison for “making public calls for terrorism.” The prosecution was just the latest in the government’s relentless persecution of Crimean Tatar activists.

      • Court Tells Man $172 Red Light Camera Ticket Is Actually Less Than $100 And Can’t Be Challenged In Court

        Adding to the body of evidence showing that the use of traffic cameras is purely about revenue generation is this report from The Newspaper, which points out (yet again) how these systems are designed to eliminate due process and hasten the collection of fines and fees.

      • Did Rudy Giuliani Nullify His Attorney-Client Protections?

        Rudy Giuliani received a subpoena this week from House Democrats as part of their impeachment inquiry. He wasn’t happy about it. In a tweet on Monday, Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, accused the Democratic committee chairs of having “prejudged this case.” He asserted that the subpoena, which seeks “all documents and communications” about Giuliani’s repeated forays into the world of Ukrainian law enforcement and politics, raises “constitutional and legal issues” including “attorney client and other privileges.”

        At first blush, it’s a reasonable position. The attorney-client privilege shields confidential communications between a lawyer and his client so long as they pertain to seeking or providing legal advice. Giuliani is an attorney; the president is his client. With a number of exceptions, lawyers do not have to reveal anything about conversations with their clients.

      • Bulgaria: Human Rights Group Under Threat

        Bulgaria’s prosecutor general should reject a call from a political party in the country’s governing coalition to disband the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), Human Rights Watch said today. The party has been in legal battles for years with the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee over its stance on anti-discrimination issues.  

      • Guinea: Crackdown on Right to Protest

        The government of Guinea has effectively banned street protests for more than a year, citing threats to public security, Human Rights Watch said today. Local authorities have prohibited at least 20 political or other demonstrations. Security forces have tear gassed those who defy the ban, and arrested dozens of demonstrators. 

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Nonprofit TV Service Locast Accuses Big Four Broadcasters Of Collusion

        Locast, a New York based non profit that offers viewers access to over the air (OTA) broadcasts via the internet, has accused the big four broadcast networks of colluding to restrict consumer access to those broadcasts. As we noted recently, Locast was custom built to test the copyright legal minefiled created in the wake of the Aereo ruling, which made made numerous dubious assumptions and provided zero guidance for companies that wanted to enter the space but comply with the law. Enter former FCC lawyer and media executive David Goodfriend, who effectively created Locast specifically in the hopes the industry would sue.

      • Comcast Apparently Feels Qualified To Give Google Lectures On Monopoly Power

        For several years the telecom sector has been quietly trying to spur additional regulation of Silicon Valley. Why? As giants like AT&T and Comcast increasingly push into the online advertising arena, they’re keen on having competitors saddled with regulation, while they successfully eliminate oversight of their own problematic monopolies. Given the FCC (now headed by a former Verizon lawyer) just effectively neutered itself at telecom lobbyist behest while the DOJ (now headed by a former Verizon lawyer) goes the extra mile to vilify Facebook, you’d have to consider the gambit fairly successful so far.

    • Monopolies

      • CJEU rules that an intermediary can be ordered to remove content identical and equivalent to that found illegal, also worldwide

        How far can the removal obligations of an online intermediary go without breaching the no general monitoring obligation in Article 15 of the E-commerce Directive? Can an intermediary be ordered to remove content worldwide? And what can be the personal (original user and other users) and material (identical and equivalent content) scope of an injunction to remove content?

        These were the important (and complex) questions at the heart of the referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Glawischnig-Piesczek, C-18/18.


        With regard to equivalent information, Article 15(1) would not preclude a host provider from being ordered to search and identify such information in relation to the user who initially disseminated the illegal piece of information. A host provider would be also required to remove equivalent information disseminated by other users when awareness resulted from a notification made by the concerned person, third parties or another source.

        As explained in the Opinion, ‘identical’ content means both precise manual reproductions of the information, which a court or competent authority has characterized as illegal, and automated reproductions, made through the ‘share’ function on the platform run by the intermediary targeted by the injunction.

        The notion of ‘equivalent’ content is more ambiguous, also because the referring court failed to define it. However, the AG assumed that this concept would relate to “information that scarcely diverges from the original information or to situations in which the message remains essentially unaltered”, that is “a reproduction of the information that was characterised as illegal containing a typographical error and a reproduction having slightly altered syntax or punctuation constitutes ‘equivalent information’. It is not clear, however, that the equivalence referred to in the second question does not go further than such cases.”

        With regard to the territorial scope of such injunction, the AG noted that international or EU law does not prohibit orders to remove information worldwide per se. In principle, a national court may adjudicate on the worldwide removal of information disseminated through the internet, in accordance with public and private international law. However, respect of both proportionality and international comity require that any resulting removal obligation does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the protection of the injured person.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • USAA E-Check Patents Not Eligible For CBM Review: PTAB

          The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Tuesday refused to review three USAA check deposit patents, finding that the patents fell into an exclusion for covered business method review that has frustrated Federal Circuit judges and is the subject of a Supreme Court appeal.

          PTAB was deciding requests for CBM review brought by Wells Fargo, which has been accused of infringement but said claims in the patents are invalid because they are either anticipated or would have been obvious.

        • Ex parte Decisions have been Updated on Anticipat [Ed: Anticipat is so defunct that today, for the first time in months, it wrote something. PTAB IPRs ignored by them, instead they focus on “ex parte”.]

          We have been analyzing ex parte decisions at the PTAB for many years now. So for every day, we can see the decisions that have been imported from the USPTO. This came in handy a few months ago when USPTO personnel told us that they completed a migration of all ex parte PTAB decisions to a modernized webpage. While we were excited for this new functionality (including a RESTful API), we started noticing abnormalities in the data.

        • Athena v. Mayo: Whither Diagnostic Method Patents

          The invention process in this case started with the reality that the biological cause of Myasthenia gravis (MG) could be identified for only about 80% of patients. The inventors here discovered that a substantial portion of those “unknown cause” patients generated autoantibodies to “muscle-specific tyrosine kinase” (MuSK). MuSK was previously known as a naturally occurring human protein. Although the autoantibodies to MuSK were not previously known, but do naturally occur in individuals with the condition. The key discovery of the inventors is the link between the autoantibodies and the particular form of MG. Under Mayo v. Prometheus, that link is an unpatentable law of nature.

          After discovering the link, the researchers designed and then patented a method of finding those MuSK antibodies to help diagnose the particular form of MG. Since the autoantibodies were not easy to directly detect, the claims requires that a lab first tag MuSK proteins with a radio-label (such as Iodine-125) and then mix the proteins with body fluid. If the autoantibody is present in the fluid then it should bind with the tagged-MuSK. At that point, you immunoprecipitate any antibody/MuSK complex and look for the label in the precipitate. The patent explains that these steps are well known in the art – “Iodination and immunoprecipitation are standard techniques in the art.” However, they had never been done with MuSK and its autoantibody. At that tight level of granularity, these steps could be called “a series of specific chemical steps never previously performed” as they were in the petition.

          If you think that Myriad Genetics might provide insight to this case, it will also be important to recognize that radio-labeling MuSK actually creates a new molecules — “novel man-made molecules.”

      • Trademarks

        • ‘Gross Domestic Product’: How Street Artist Banksy Turned Bizarre Trademark Dispute Into Fundraiser for Migrant Rescue Ship

          “The proceeds from these products will go towards buying a new migrant rescue boat…So you may well be committing a criminal offense by purchasing them.”

        • We all recognize the mark “Uber”, but is it a strong brand?

          What do we make of a mark that has broad name recognition but struggles commercially? Stated otherwise, what is the relationship between trademark awareness and brand strength? Take the case of the Uber company: Is the “Uber’ mark widely recognized? The answer is– “yes”. Is “Uber” a strong brand? The answer is—(maybe) “no”.

          Let’s start with the public’s awareness of the “Uber” mark. This Kat believes that he is on firm ground in saying that the mark and name have become widely recognized, both in the country of its establishment, the U.S, as well as abroad. Indeed, it is often used as a virtual synonym for the business of the sharing, or “gig” economy (as in when reference is made, with a whiff of genericness, to a business as the “Uber of [choose your sector]“).

        • Standard Chartered talks IP strategy for fintech and sports sponsorship

          Given the recent success of Liverpool Football Club, the winners of the 2019 Champions League final, we had a timely catch up with Nigel King – he heads up the IP team at Standard Chartered, the football club’s main sponsor…

      • Copyrights

        • [Guest post] Paris Court on digital exhaustion and videogames

          The judgment of the Paris Court of First Instance is based on both the [2001/29] InfoSoc Directive and the [2009/24] Software Directive. General conditions preventing resale were found null and void.

          The CJEU Grand Chamber will soon clarify whether the copyright exhaustion rule applies to downloaded works protected by the InfoSoc Directive, and can thus be resold. That decision will come none too soon, because 7 human years (i.e. 44 cat years) have passed since the same Grand Chamber upheld in UsedSoft that downloaded software is indeed subject to that copyright exhaustion (aka first-sale) doctrine in the EU/EEA.

          AG Szpunar has delivered his long-awaited opinion on the topic in the CJEU Tom Kabinet case on 10 September [Katpost here]. In line with the majority of German courts, he concluded that in current EU law, there is no place for second-hand downloadable e-books. Exactly one week after the AG’s opinion was published, the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (Paris Court of First Instance) rules that a videogame distribution platform should entitle its subscribers to resell the games they paid for. The platform owners expressed their intention to appeal.

        • RIAA Reports Telegram to US Govt. Over Piracy Concerns

          The RIAA has submitted its most recent overview of “notorious markets” to the U.S. Government. As usual, the music industry group lists various torrent sites, download portals and stream-ripping sites as direct threats. This year, however, the messaging app Telegram is also highlighted as a problem.

        • Copyright Troll Attorney Again Hit With Sanctions For Being A Shitty Lawyer

          I’m not sure how copyright troll rep Richard Liebowitz is still finding work. The prolific filer of questionable lawsuits has been dinged by court after court, and yet somehow rights holders still think he’s worth hiring to go after anyone found in reverse image search results.

Today’s EPO is Pursuing ‘Troll Justice’ (Bullying and Blackmail), Not Real Justice

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Judges have also been demoted to ‘yes men’ of the President

Koch delay at ILO

Summary: The bullying tactics of the EPO and of patent trolls have so much in common; in the interim whatever remained of a legal system inside the EPO has been diminished or reduced to symbolism with a massive (and growing) backlog of over 10,000 cases and ILO-AT can take half a decade to examine staff grievances (sometimes more than half a decade, see screenshot above)

There’s no justice at the European Patent Office (EPO); nowadays it is just a patent-granting ‘machine’ with an illusion of checks and balances (recall Carl Josefsson's worrying past). Battistelli and then Campinos openly promote software patents in Europe “as AI” or “as 4IR” or “as “IoT”, unlike Brimelow with “as such” (whatever that even meant). Does anyone seriously think that Josefsson’s people will put an end to it? They cannot, they’re still controlled by Campinos, like Battistelli before him. Josefsson got the job partly from Battistelli and he too understands that they’re incapable of/can’t quite do the job, based on this new interview. There’s already a backlog of over 10,000 cases and it’ll get worse. From the interview:

he president of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal says he is not certain whether the boards’ revised rules of procedure will result in a “front-loading of requests” but has insisted that they should make proceedings more predictable.

Speaking to Managing IP, Carl Josefsson says the revised rules will reduce a party’s options to amend its case as appeal proceedings progress and make it more difficult to withhold submissions for tactical reasons.

However, he confirms the views of some regular users of the system that there will be an increased workload for first instance departments.

“Whether these [the rules] will, in the end, really lead to a ‘precautionary front-loading’ of numerous different lines of argument remains to be seen. After all, procedural economy is in the interests of the parties too,” Josefsson says.

As expected, the person who represents an attack on judges’ independence (he himself is a symptom of the problem) downplays the issue at hand. Even if more people were employed by the board, that still would not resolve the principal issue, which is lack of independence (not capacity).

In the eyes of patent maximalists, this isn’t a problem anymore. IP Kat used to write about this problem routinely, but key people have left; it became an amplifier of patent extremists at Watchtroll (most patent links this week are to that blog), so rhetorics of judge- and court-bashing are fine with them. It’s just those ‘perky’ judges who keep turning patents down. How dare they? That interferes with rubber-stamping efforts by profit-motivated offices.

The EPO’s management is more or less ‘in the pockets’ of the litigation ‘industry’. They’re a loose cannon. It’s litigation, litigation, litigation…

“The EPO’s management is more or less ‘in the pockets’ of the litigation ‘industry’. They’re a loose cannon.”Every day for well over a week now, sometimes by amplifying EUIPO "tweets" and sometimes directly, the EPO promoted a new ‘study’ (actually not new but repetition of prior years). This so-called ‘study’ is a paid-for lie, part of the EPO’s programme that bribes scholars to bolster patent trolls’ lies. Here’s the latest such “tweet”: “IPR-intensive industries have become even more integral to GDP, employment and trade in Europe.”

Those industries do a lot more than this “IPR” thing, which is a propaganda term anyway (patents are not rights and they're not property). The other EPO “tweets” aren’t much better; retweeted by EPO PR people was the Research and Innovation Department of Enterprise Ireland, which said: “The High-Growth Business Conference invites a variety of speakers to discuss IP and the values of patenting. This includes Yann Ménière, Chief Economist at @EPOorg who is an IP expert…”

“…this isn’t about startups but about trolls.”He’s not an “IP” expert and there’s no such thing as “IP” (it’s not property). Why does the Irish government associate with that disgraced bunch of Battistelli? Possibly because of this: “Join us in Dublin where Jürgen Graner, Founder & CEO, Globalator, will share his expertise in transactions powered by intellectual assets. If you are a #startup, don’t miss this event…”

It doesn’t say so in the tweet, but this isn’t about startups but about trolls. It’s an event in which the EPO is working for patent trolls (the litigation ‘industry’ has taken over what used to exist for science and technology). There are more LESI tweets, in effect promoting a front group of patent trolls. Over in Law360 there’s now this new article about patent trolls that prey on the British market, partly enabled by the EPO’s fake patents and the intentional lie known as “FRAND” (Law360 is always eager to repeat this propaganda term). To quote:

For four days beginning Oct. 21, the U.K. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the joined cases of Unwired Planet International Ltd. v. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Huawei Technologies v. Conversant Wireless Licensing SARL, and ZTE Corp. v. Conversant Wireless Licensing.[1] Among the questions presented is whether an English court — specifically, the Patents Court for England and Wales — is a proper forum for determining the terms of a global license for the use of fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory-committed standard-essential patents.[2]

We wrote about this case many times before. It serves as a timely warning about the real beneficiaries. Those are patent trolls. They don’t actually make anything; they just sue and threaten to sue.

Links 3/10/2019: Krita 4.2.7 Released and KCSAN

Posted in News Roundup at 7:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Chuwi GBox Pro Mini PC Review for Linux Users

      Chuwi is a computer manufacturer based in China. They are known for making good-looking but inexpensive devices. A few years back, some resellers used to rebrand Chuwi computers and sell them under their own brand name. Chuwi is now trying to expand its own brand visibility by selling Chuwi systems to a global audience.

      Chuwi contacted It’s FOSS and offered us the GBox Pro device to review for Linux users. Just because they offered something for free, it doesn’t mean we are going to favor them unnecessarily. I used the sample GBox Pro device with Linux and I am sharing my experience with this device. It’s up to you to make a decision about purchasing this gadget.

    • What You Need To Know About Linux

      The first acquaintance with Linux is not always successful. Beginners are scared away by the fact that this operating system has thousands of modifications.

      Therefore, it is confusing and inconvenient to use. There is a lot of information available online about both the advantages and disadvantages of Linux. On thematic forums and in communities, supporters and opponents of this OS are continually fighting among themselves. We will try to be impartial and tell you about the most essential facts, dot the i’s and find out what is true and what is false.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Achieving network wirespeed in an open standard manner: introducing vDPA

          In the past few posts we have discussed the existing virtio-networking architecture both the kernel based (vhost-net/virtio-net and the userspace/DPDK based (vhost-user/virtio-pmd). Now we’ll turn our attention to emerging virtio-networking architectures aiming at providing wirespeed performance to VMs.

          In this post we will be covering the building blocks for providing the desired data plane and control plane in order to achieve wire speed performance. We will cover the SR-IOV technology and how it currently addresses this problem. We will then describe virtio-networking approaches for addressing this challenge including virtio full HW offloading and vDPA (virtual data path acceleration) with an emphasize on the benefits vDPA brings. We will conclude by comparing the previous virtio-networking architectures and the ones presented here.

        • Red Hat expands coverage of CVE fixes

          At Red Hat, addressing customers’ security risk is of paramount importance. That’s why, after listening to our customers carefully, we have decided to expand the scope of coverage for Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) remediation. By expanding the scope, we hope to reduce the risk profile of our customers, maintain greater stability of their enterprise deployments and lessen the time to resolution of internal security audits.

        • What’s new in RHEL 8 file systems and storage

          There’s a bunch of interesting storage technology in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8- including XFS reflink, enhancements to the Boom boot manager, Stratis file management (tech preview), and broader use cases for File System Direct Access to Persistent Memory Devices (FS-DAX). We’ll touch on all of them here, but let’s start with something even more important: Why in a cloud-dominated world we need to make it easier to consume advanced storage features. This includes working to improve access to existing features, and also guides design principles on emerging capabilities.

          We need infrastructure that moves at the pace of software. Application developers in the cloud era work “above the line,” using APIs that hide complexity. Cloud administrators work “below the line” to streamline infrastructure. Below the line has to become largely invisible to the software developer, and it’s increasingly an area where on-premises infrastructure is being asked to emulate public cloud.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 549: PostgreSQL

        PostgreSQL, also known as Postgres, is a free and open-source relational database management system emphasizing extensibility and technical standards compliance. It is designed to handle a range of workloads, from single machines to data warehouses or Web services with many concurrent users.

      • The TrueNAS Library | BSD Now 318

        DragonFlyBSD vs. FreeBSD vs. Linux benchmark on Ryzen 7, JFK Presidential Library chooses TrueNAS for digital archives, FreeBSD 12.1-beta is available, cool but obscure X11 tools, vBSDcon trip report, Project Trident 12-U7 is available, a couple new Unix artifacts, and more.

      • 10/02/2019 | Linux Headlines

        Nextcloud goes pro, the self-proclaimed “Steam replacement” reaches version 1, and Microsoft drops some far-out future tech.

        Plus Linux app throttling is in the works for Chrome OS.

      • LHS Episode #305: Morning Mink

        Welcome to Episode 305 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss the Amazon being invasive (no, really!), amateur radio in France, Australia and space, artificial intelligence multi-SDR boards and much more. Thank you for listening and we hope you have a great week.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 828

        ubuntu 19.10, 3d printing, streaming, good stuff

      • Android-x86 + First steps into the cloud | Choose Linux 19

        We have three different approaches to using the cloud, so we discuss various ways to expand your Linux knowledge beyond the desktop.

        Plus Distrohoppers delivers a mobile-like experience that splits opinion.

    • Kernel Space

      • Monitoring the internal kernel ABI

        As part of the Distribution Kernels microconference at Linux Plumbers Conference 2019, Matthias Männich described how the Android project monitors changes to the internal kernel ABI. As Android kernels evolve, typically by adding features and bug fixes from more recent kernel versions, the project wants to ensure that the ABI remains the same so that out-of-tree modules will still function. While the talk was somewhat Android-specific, the techniques and tools used could be applied to other distributions with similar needs (e.g. enterprise distributions).

        Männich is on the Google Android kernel team, but is relatively new to the kernel; his background is in build systems and the like. He stressed that he is not talking about the user-space ABI of the kernel, but the ABI and API that the kernel exposes to modules. The idea is to have a stable ABI over the life of an Android kernel. He knows that other distributions have been doing this “for ages”, but the Android kernel and build system are different so it made sense to look at other approaches to this problem.

      • System-call wrappers for glibc

        The GNU C Library has long had a reputation for being hostile to the addition of wrappers for new Linux system calls; that has resulted in many system calls being unsupported by the library for years. That situation is changing, though. During the Toolchain microconference at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference, Maciej Rozycki talked about glibc’s new attitude toward system-call wrappers, but also served notice that there is still significant work to do for the addition of any new system call.
        Rozycki, who put together the talk with Dmitry Levin, is not the person doing most of this work. He was, instead, “delivering a message from Florian Weimer”, who was unable to attend the event.

        For those who might appreciate a bit of background: applications running in user space do not call directly into the kernel; instead, they will call a wrapper function that knows how to invoke the system call of interest. If nothing else, the wrapper will place the system-call arguments in the right locations and do whatever is necessary to invoke a trap into kernel mode. In some cases, the interface implemented by the wrapper can be significantly different from what the kernel provides.

      • Many uses for Core scheduling

        Some new kernel features are welcomed by the kernel development community, while others are a rather harder sell. It is fair to say that core scheduling, which makes CPU scheduling harder by placing constraints on which processes may run simultaneously in a core, is of the latter variety. Core scheduling was the topic of (at least) three different sessions at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference. One of the most interesting outcomes, perhaps, is that there are use cases for this feature beyond protection from side-channel attacks.

      • 5.4 Merge window, part 1

        As of this writing, 9,632 non-merge changesets have been merged for the 5.4 kernel. This merge window is thus off to a strong start. There has been a wide range of changes merged across the kernel tree, including vast numbers of cleanups and fixes.

      • Graphics Stack

        • ASTC Texture Compression License Turns Out To Be Restrictive Outside Of Khronos APIs

          The lossy ASTC texture compression algorithm has been widely adopted in recent years with it being official extensions to both OpenGL and OpenGL ES. While it may not be as messy as the S3TC patent situation of the past, it turns out Arm’s license on Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression actually is quite restrictive outside of the context of Khronos’ APIs.

        • RADV Vulkan Driver Picks Up Several GFX10/Navi Fixes, Including To Address Random Hangs

          If you are a user of AMD Radeon RX 5700 “Navi” graphics and don’t mind riding Mesa Git, the latest 19.3-devel code as of yesterday has several more GFX10 fixes/improvements.

          Perhaps most notable is this possible fix with random hangs no longer happening on Navi GPUs. But Valve’s Samuel Pitoiset isn’t too sure if the code in question fixed the issue, just that random hangs no longer happen now with RADV on these newest Radeon graphics cards.

        • AMDGPU Submits LRU Bulk Moves Support As A Linux 5.4 “Fix” For Better Performance

          While initially queued as a work-in-progress feature for Linux 5.5, AMD has now submitted a batch of “fixes” to the current Linux 5.4 cycle that include enabling of the LRU bulk moves performance-boosting functionality.

          Just last week that revert / enabling of LRU bulk moves for AMDGPU was queued in the 5.5 “WIP” branch while on Wednesday it was mailed in as part of the “fixes” targeting the current Linux 5.4 cycle now past its merge window. LRU bulk moves can yield some measurable performance wins for multiple types of workloads but was disabled previously over bugs that were corrected back in Linux 5.0 but then seemingly lost track of with the feature only coming up for re-enabling as of this summer.

        • Igalia Is Working On “mediump” Support For Mesa To Help With OpenGL ES Performance

          Igalia is working on supporting OpenGL ES’ GLSL marking of variables as “mediump” when the precision involving those variables can be lowered to half-float 16-bit registers. That in turn can help with performance when honoring that precision marking, which to date Mesa has ignored.

          It turns out Igalia has been working on that Mediump support for Mesa’s OpenGL ES with a focus on the Freedreno Gallium3D driver. Interestingly, it’s under contract for Google — they sure are ramping up their work on this open-source Qualcomm Adreno driver. Besides employing developers like Freedreno founder Rob Clark and former Broadcom VC4/V3D developer Eric Anholt, they are also contracting Igalia as part of the Freedreno effort.

    • Applications

      • The best Linux apps for your Chromebook

        Linux application support on Chromebooks is pretty great. Even though the feature is primarily aimed at developers, like those who want to get Android Studio running on a Pixelbook, there are plenty of apps that can benefit normal users. We already have a guide about installing Linux apps on Chrome OS, but if you’re not sure which apps to try out, we have a few suggestions here.

        This isn’t a simple compilation of the best Linux apps, because plenty of those exist already. Instead, the goal here is to recommend solutions for tasks that cannot be adequately filled by web or Android apps. For example, serious photo editing isn’t really possible through the web, and options on the Play Store are limited, but Gimp is perfect for it.

        This guide assumes you have already set up the Linux container on Chrome OS. If you haven’t, follow the instructions here.

      • Asciinema – Record Terminal Sessions And Share Them On The Web

        I already know about recording the Terminal activities using “script” command in Unix-like systems. Today, I found out yet another similar utility named “asciinema” which is used to record Terminal sessions. Forget about the heavy screen-recording tools and/or apps. Asciinema is a fast, light-weight and open source Terminal recording tool. Unlike “script” command, Asciinema not just records our Terminal activities, but also helps us to share them on the web if necessary. You can share the recordings by copying its URL and sending it to a friend or posting it on a social network. It supports Linux, Mac OS X and *BSD.

      • Samba and GnuTLS

        More or less since the beginning of Samba, it implemented the cryptography it needed to talk to Windows on its own. One reason is that Windows didn’t follow the standards or used ciphers nobody else really used. This is changing right now!

        GnuTLS already was a used by Samba if available and it is a requirement if you build the Samba AD with MIT Kerberos already. So to get out of the crypto business we decided to use GnuTLS as our crypto library.

        With Samba 4.11 we did the first step using GnuTLS and required GnuTLS 3.2. With Samba 4.12 the requirement will be at least GnuTLS 3.4.7. The reason is that we require AEAD for AES-CCM and AES-GCM and 3.4.7 is already the requirement if building Samba AD with MIT Kerberos. This allowed us also to delete a lot of code!

      • Samba 4.12 Bringing Much Faster Encryption Performance With GnuTLS

        Samba 4.11 was just released a few weeks back with big scalability improvements, but looking ahead to Samba 4.12 will be some big performance improvements for those leveraging encryption.

        Samba 4.12 for SMB3 file transfers with encryption will be an order of 4~6 times faster than current performance levels! This is coming as Samba is beginning to properly leverage GnuTLS rather than historically implementing its own crypto methods.

      • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 204

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 204.

      • Instructionals/Technical

      • Games

        • The Eternal Castle: Remastered is now available on Linux

          The Eternal Castle is a remaster of an old classic, except it kind of isn’t. The story is a little peculiar but the game does look quite fantastic and it’s available now on Linux.

          In regards to the brand new Linux version, the developer sent out a Twitter post early this morning to note that a Linux version is now up thanks to the help of Linux game porter Ryan “Icculus” Gordon.

        • Open-ended village life sim ‘Village Monsters’ now has a release date and demo available

          While I’ve no doubt plenty will compare it to the likes of Stardew Valley, Village Monsters takes a rather different take on the village life sim.

          Written about a couple of times here on GamingOnLinux, as it certainly sounds intriguing. The world of Village Monsters takes place in a computer game, a world that has been long-forgotten. What happens to all the characters when they’re done with? Well, that’s for you to find out.

        • The combat-focused simple turn-based RPG ‘Dark Bestiary’ is up on Steam

          If you’re a big fan of turn-based combat, looting and creating a character from tons of varied skills then Dark Bestiary is a game you might find quite interesting.

        • FOSS game engine Godot Engine just gained a new Platinum sponsor

          The excellent free and open source game engine Godot Engine just announced that Heroic Labs are now supporting their development as a Platinum level sponsor.

          Going by the Patreon campaign for Godot Engine, that means Heroic Labs are handing over at least $1,500 monthly to help development which is awesome. It’s an interesting matchup too, as Heroic Labs are the developers of the open source Nakama (GitHub) a “real-time, competitive, social back-end that helps game developers create compelling multiplayer experiences” according to Heroic and they’re now working on getting it working with Godot Engine as well.


          We are happy to announce that Heroic Labs is now supporting Godot’s development as Platinum sponsor! For this occasion, we asked Heroic Labs co-founder Mo Firouz to write some words about the company, why they choose to support Godot and their plans to integrate Nakama with our engine.

          Imagine a world where all music had been written for piano.

          In a piano-only world, we’d never have the guitar solo from Comfortably Numb, or the drum loop from Straight Outta Compton, and the Flight of the Bumblebee would lose its frantic energy.

          Pianos are wonderful but the world’s richer for all the many ways that we can make music.

          At Heroic Labs, we see games development in a similar way. The rich variety of tooling available to games developers has delivered an explosion of creativity over the past decade.

        • Commodore 64 on the Internet | IRC

          The Commodore 64 was my first computer and as such, now holds a special place in my heart and probably forever more, or at least until I lose my mind completely. In all the years I had a C64, I never visited a BBS as I didn’t get that bit of tech until I got my Commodore Amiga 600. Due to the wonders of the Internet, and a global effort to keep these old machines relevant from guys like The 8-Bit Guy, Perifractic Retro Recipes, Retro Man Cave, Dan Wood, LGR and so many others, I was inspired to take the time to make my Commodore 64 more than just a stroll down vintage lane for me. I have seen others make use of it for writing and developing new games and such for it but how could I incorporate it into my life was the question. That answer, IRC, it must do IRC.


          I am impressed that I am able to do this much with an unmodified Commodore 64. I am quite impressed that with 64 KiB of RAM, it is still a productive and usable tool. It is quite single purpose but absolutely useful.

          I want to note that the web browser does work in this Contiki OS but not with HTTPS so that is out. It does make requests as you would expect and I think I just may revisit the rest of this on another blathering at some point in time.

          Future plans, I really want to be able to telnet into a Linux machine with the Commodore 64, I have some other hardware and software I want to try out with this machine to see what other greatness can become of it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.2.7 Released

          Today, we’re releasing the sixth bug fix release of Krita 4.2. As discussed in our development update, we intend to release a few more monthly 4.2 bug fix releases before releasing Krita 4.3. There are a lot of bug fixes!

          And to celebrate the release, we have a new video by Ramon Miranda which comes with a very nice present: a free new bundle of six sketching brush presets!

        • Fall Season

          Autumn is upon us (this means in the Netherlands: it has started raining, but for me: coffee and pumpkin pie).

          Qt 5.13 has landed in FreeBSD, but this is now generating a bunch of bug reports, so I’m holding off upgrading my own desktop until some of those have been sorted out (by Tobias or myself, probably in VMs). Other parts of the stack are pretty much up-to-date.

          I see there’s been a kube 0.8 release – the mail thingy, not the container thingy. We don’t package that for FreeBSD, and a 30-seconds attempt at doing so hits a “need some under-specified dependencies”. I get the urge to submit some merge requests for the CMake files and documentation (as always, constrained by time to actually write the patches).

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GUADEC 2019 | Part 1: Passing the Baton

          This year, GUADEC was held in Thessaloniki, Greece from August 23rd – 28th. I had a great time at the conference and took some time to travel after, so I was able to see some of Northern Greece, in addition to hanging out with some of the best people I know while at GUADEC.

          Since there’s a lot of talk about, I’ll be doing two separate posts, one about the Board meeting (in this post), and one about the conference itself (next post).

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • Flatpak 1.5 Released With Version Pinning, Self-Updates In Portals

          Flatpak 1.5 is the newest pre-release for this Linux app sandboxing and distribution tech.

        • Fedora projects for Hacktoberfest

          It’s October! That means its time for the annual Hacktoberfest presented by DigitalOcean and DEV. Hacktoberfest is a month-long event that encourages contributions to open source software projects. Participants who register and submit at least four pull requests to GitHub-hosted repositories during the month of October will receive a free t-shirt.

          In a recent Fedora Magazine article, I listed some areas where would-be contributors could get started contributing to Fedora. In this article, I highlight some specific projects that provide an opportunity to help Fedora while you participate in Hacktoberfest.


          The projects above are only a small sample focused on software used to build Fedora. Many Fedora packages have upstreams hosted on GitHub—too many to list here. The best place to start is with a project that’s important to you. Any contributions you make help improve the entire open source ecosystem. If you’re looking for something in particular, the Join Special Interest Group can help. Happy hacking!

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Edu FAI

          Over the past month I worked on re-scripting the installation process of a Debian Edu system (minimal installation profile and workstation installation profile for now) by utilizing FAI [1].

          My goal on this is to get the Debian Edu FAI config space into Debian bulleye (as package: debian-edu-fai) and provide an easy setup method for the FAI installation server on an existing Debian Edu site.

        • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS/ELTS (September 2019)

          In September 2019, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 11 hours (of 12 hours planned) and on the Debian ELTS project for another 2 hours (of 12 hours planned) as a paid contributor. I have given back the 10 ELTS hours, but will keep the 1 LTS hour and move it over to October. As I will be gone on family vacation during two weeks of Octobre I have reduced my workload for the coming months accordingly (10 hours LTS, 5 hours ELTS).

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Sharing vs. free vs. public: The real definition of open source

        When you hear the term open source, do you think this is synonymous with terms such as shareware, freeware, or public domain? If so, you are not alone. Many people, both within and without the technology industry, think of these terms as one and the same. This article illustrates how these terms are different and how open source is a transformative licensing and development model. Perhaps the best way to explore the differences will be to share my experience with software provided under one of the above models.

      • Events

        • Hola Barcelona! – SUSE @ TechEd – All You Need to Know

          Hola! SUSE will be exhibiting at TechEd Barcelona 2019. As it was always a great event in the past I am already looking forward to be in Barcelona again. This year we have a great set of video based demos about new features and capabilities available on our booth. Lee Martin and Fabian Herschel (myself) will also present the features also during our lecture. Reserve the date! Our lecture will take place at Wednesday, October 8th from 9:15-10:15 am in room L11. Get a great overview of all you need to know in our session which has the number CAA139. All you need to know – find us in the SAP TechEd Barcelona session catalog.

      • Databases

        • Better guidance for database developers

          At the inaugural Databases microconference at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), two developers who work on rather different database systems had similar complaints about developing for Linux. Richard Hipp, creator of the SQLite database, and Andres Freund from the PostgreSQL project both lamented the lack of definitive documentation on how to best use the kernel’s I/O interfaces, especially for corner cases. Both of the sessions, along with others in the microconference, pointed to a strong need for more interaction between user-space and kernel developers.

        • Using PostgreSQL as a cache?

          In the article on his blog Peter asks “How much faster is Redis at storing a blob of JSON compared to PostgreSQL?”. Answer: 14x slower.

          Seems about right. Usually Redis is about 4x faster for a simple query like that compared to using PostgreSQL as a cache in my experience. It’s why so many people use Redis as a cache. But I’d suggest PostgreSQL is good enough to act as a cache for many people.

          Django is pretty slow at fetching from PostgreSQL compared to other python options, so this could explain part of the 14x VS 4x difference.


          Of course you should probably just cache the views at the CDN/web proxy level, or even at the Django view or template level. So you probably won’t even hit the Django app most times.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice monthly recap: September 2019

          Here’s our summary of updates, events and activities in the LibreOffice project in the last four weeks – click the links to learn more!

          The biggest event in September was the LibreOffice Conference 2019 which took place in Almeria, Spain. Over 100 people from across the globe met up to discuss current developments in LibreOffice, make plans for the future, and have fun.



          All these happened when one person shared a link from news site The Verge about the testimony of one of CIA agent Epstein victims and asked opinion in MIT mailing list. The news article says the woman was directed by Epstein to have sex with MIT professor Marvin Minsky

          Stallman took the news at face value. and replied his assumptions. Another person who a mechanical engineer and a not a professional journalist saw these comments and became very upset. She wrote a blog post and in that she twisted, lied about Stallman’s comment and asked to Remove Stallman…. A hate campaign started against Stallman as usual. People started to write about things about him from birth, real, imaginations and lies.

          Online media took this further. They further lied and twisted Stallman’s comment. Main stream media which was looking for distraction caught this and made big issue. (why? If media is honest they should expose all the detailed working of the CIA agent who suicided. There are people think that he was killed.)

          Attack on Stallman

          This is not the first time Stallman is attacked. The moment he started Free Software movement it started. So its not new to him and he dont care about those.

          But this time the tone was different. The is a social sympathy tone was present as background towards those girls trafficked by CIA. But as usual, like white terrorism, people dont say it openly. So they say some billionaire with some extra ordinary sex tastes trafficked under aged girls as per US law. So there is this huge sympathy for these girls and the distraction US deep state needed caused a firestorm. That need a pray. Stallman with strong commitment to Software Freedom that made him lot of enemies, with strong criticism towards capitalistic market system and with very successful alternative became a good pray. Thats what happened.

          Again he never said anything wrong. All accusation in the press are lies.

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

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) invites activists, hackers, law professionals, artists, students, developers, young people, policymakers, tinkerers, newcomers to free software, and anyone looking for technology that aligns with their ideals, to submit a proposal for a session at our twelfth annual social justice and technology LibrePlanet conference. Potential talks should examine free software through the lens of this year’s theme, and can focus on software development, copyleft, community, or other related issues.

          Submissions to the call for sessions are being accepted through Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 12:00pm Eastern Standard time (17:00 UTC).

          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.

      • Programming/Development

        • Using the Python zip() Function for Parallel Iteration

          Python’s zip() function creates an iterator that will aggregate elements from two or more iterables. You can use the resulting iterator to quickly and consistently solve common programming problems, like creating dictionaries. In this tutorial, you’ll discover the logic behind the Python zip() function and how you can use it to solve real-world problems.

        • 7 Excellent Free Books to Learn Forth

          Forth is an imperative stack-based programming language, and a member of the class of extensible interactive languages. It was created by Charles Moore in 1970 to control telescopes in observatories using small computers. Because of its roots, Forth stresses efficiency, compactness, flexible and efficient hardware/software interaction.

          Forth has a number of properties that contrast it from many other programming languages. In particular, Forth has no inherent keywords and is extensible. It is both a low level and high level language. It has the interesting property of being able to compile itself into a new compiler, debug itself and to experiment in real time as the system is built. Forth is an extremely flexible language, with high portability, compact source and object code, and a language that is easy to learn, program and debug. It has an incremental compiler, an interpreter and a very fast edit-compile-test cycle. Forth uses a stack to pass data between words, and it uses the raw memory for more permanent storage. It also lets coders write their own control structures.

          Forth has often being deployed in embedded systems due to the compactness of object code. Forth is also used in boot loaders such as Open Firmware (developed by Sun Microsystems) as well as scientific fields such as astronomy, mathematics, oceanography and electrical engineering.

        • Writing Comments in Bash Scripts

          When writing Bash scripts, it is always a good practice to make your code clean and easily understandable. Organizing your code in blocks, indenting, giving variables and functions descriptive names are several ways to do this. Another way to improve the readability of your code is by using comments. A comment is a human-readable explanation or annotation that is written in the shell script. Adding comments to your Bash scripts will save you a lot of time and effort when you look at your code in the future.

        • 13 Python Natural Language Processing Tools

          Natural language processing (NLP) is an exciting field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages. It includes word and sentence tokenization, text classification and sentiment analysis, spelling correction, information extraction, parsing, meaning extraction, and question answering.

          In our formative years, we master the basics of spoken and written language. However, the vast majority of us do not progress past some basic processing rules when we learn how to handle text in our applications. Yet unstructured software comprises the majority of the data we see. NLP is the technology for dealing with our all-pervasive product: human language, as it appears in social media, emails, web pages, tweets, product descriptions, newspaper stories, and scientific articles, in thousands of languages and variants.

        • Calculating Rayleigh Reflectance using Py6S

          A user of Py6S recently contacted me to ask if it was possible to get an output of Rayleigh reflectance from Py6S. Unfortunately this email wasn’t sent to the Py6s Google Group, so I thought I’d write a blog post explaining how to do this, and showing a few outputs (reminder: please post Py6S questions there rather than emailing me directly, then people with questions in the future can find the answers there rather than asking again).

          So, first of all, what is Rayleigh reflectance? Well, it’s the reflectance (as measured at the top-of-atmosphere) that is caused by Rayleigh scattering in the atmosphere. This is the wavelength-dependent scattering of light by gas molecules in the atmosphere – and it is an inescapable effect of light passing through the atmosphere.

          So, on to how to calculate it in Py6S. Unfortunately the underlying 6S model doesn’t provide Rayleigh reflectance as an output, so we have to do a bit more work to calculate it.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Ransomware Attacks Leave U.S. Hospitals Turning Away Patients [iophk: Windows kills]

        A ransomware attack, reported on Tuesday, impacts the DCH Health System, a regional hospital and medical complex located in Alabama, and left three satellite hospitals turning away patients. A separate attack disclosed on Monday impacted several regional hospitals in Victoria, Australia. There is no indication that the ransomware attacks are connected.

      • 5 Disruptive Trends Transforming Cybersecurity

        With momentum increasingly growing for technology like infrastructure-as-code and software-defined networking, we’re starting look down the horizon toward a world of software-defined everything. This transformation is definitely longer-term than those previously mentioned, but it stands to pose the most disruptions — and positive opportunities — for security down the road.

        Infrastructure and networks are increasingly becoming programmable applications themselves, and the hyperconverged world will centralize data control planes and could potentially concentrate risk in certain areas. That means security teams need to understand new architectures to build suitable security boundaries — and be ready for big changes in how networks are architected and workloads are managed. We see glimmers of this already with growing movements like zero trust and microsegmentation, which dovetail well into a software-defined reality.

        You could also see a new world of software-defined security open up opportunity for greater security automation baked into the infrastructure. One recent study shows that some 56% of organizations today are poised to explore software-defined perimeter technology within the next 18 months.

      • Managing passwords using ed and gpg2

        Years ago, I have read a blog post about managing your passwords using ed and gpg, unfortunately, I can not remember the author. Two years ago, I decided to give it a try because the few tools I tried were too obscure, required databases, were too complicated to use.

        The principle is easy: – run /bin/ed (without rlwrap) – use r !gpg2 to load protected file – use W !gpg2 to save file

        Why ed? Because it does not save any temporary file.

        I use two different methods, depending I want to get a password or if I want to add/change a password.

      • Securing Linux Systems in a New Vulnerable World

        Open source Linux software has gained favor among IoT system developers for a variety of reasons. Mostly, it is readily available through binary versions prepackaged with embedded hardware and an ever-growing set of community-driven frameworks that are built for Linux. It also offers some practical benefits for IoT applications, notably support for the interoperability that IoT devices often require. Moreover, the cloud systems that run IoT solutions are increasingly built on open source, Linux-based operating systems.

        In today’s interconnected world, securing Linux-based systems and devices has become one of the most pressing challenges facing developers and device manufacturers. Gone are the days of “fire and forget” device deployment.

      • Following Buggy AMD RdRand, The Linux Kernel Will Begin Sanity Checking Randomness At Boot Time

        The Linux kernel will begin doing a basic sanity check of x86_64 CPUs with the RdRand instruction to see if it’s at least returning “random looking” data otherwise warn the user at boot time. This stems from a recent issue where AMD’s RdRand behavior with some hardware (particularly, buggy motherboards) could have borked RdRand issues.

      • Google Is Uncovering Hundreds Of Race Conditions Within The Linux Kernel

        One of the contributions Google is working on for the upstream Linux kernel is a new “sanitizer”. Over the years Google has worked on AddressSanitizer for finding memory corruption bugs, UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer for undefined behavior within code, and other sanitizers. The Linux kernel has been exposed to this as well as other open-source projects while their newest sanitizer is KCSAN and focused as a Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer.

      • Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN)
        We would like to share a new data-race detector for the Linux kernel:
        Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) --
        https://github.com/google/ktsan/wiki/KCSAN  (Details:
        To those of you who we mentioned at LPC that we're working on a
        watchpoint-based KTSAN inspired by DataCollider [1], this is it (we
        renamed it to KCSAN to avoid confusion with KTSAN).
        [1] http://usenix.org/legacy/events/osdi10/tech/full_papers/Erickson.pdf
        In the coming weeks we're planning to:
        * Set up a syzkaller instance.
        * Share the dashboard so that you can see the races that are found.
        * Attempt to send fixes for some races upstream (if you find that the
        kcsan-with-fixes branch contains an important fix, please feel free to
        point it out and we'll prioritize that).
        There are a few open questions:
        * The big one: most of the reported races are due to unmarked
        accesses; prioritization or pruning of races to focus initial efforts
        to fix races might be required. Comments on how best to proceed are
        welcome. We're aware that these are issues that have recently received
        attention in the context of the LKMM
        * How/when to upstream KCSAN?
        Feel free to test and send feedback.
        -- Marco
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Twitter executive for Middle East is British Army ‘psyops’ soldier

        The senior Twitter executive with editorial responsibility for the Middle East is also a part-time officer in the British Army’s psychological warfare unit, Middle East Eye has established.

        Gordon MacMillan, who joined the social media company’s UK office six years ago, has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade, a unit formed in 2015 in order to develop “non-lethal” ways of waging war.

        The 77th Brigade uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as podcasts, data analysis and audience research to wage what the head of the UK military, General Nick Carter, describes as “information warfare”.

        Carter says the 77th Brigade is giving the British military “the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level”; to shape perceptions of conflict. Some soldiers who have served with the unit say they have been engaged in operations intended to change the behaviour of target audiences.

        What exactly MacMillan is doing with the unit is difficult to determine, however: he has declined to answer any questions about his role, as has Twitter and the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).

        Twitter would say only that “we actively encourage all our employees to pursue external interests”, while the MoD said that the 77th Brigade had no relationship with Twitter, other than using it for communication.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Julian Assange held in ‘sordid’ solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day, says father

        Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is being kept in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day, despite being due for release earlier in September, says his father.

        John Shipton described the treatment of his son, who is currently imprisoned in London’s top security prison Belmarsh, as “sordid and hysterical”.

        In an interview with the Press Association, Mr Shipton said it was “extraordinary” that his son was being held in such harsh prison conditions, adding that his health was deteriorating.

        “The only people who are breaking the law are the UK Government and the Crown Prosecution Service,” he said.

    • Environment

      • ‘The Most Horrible Drought in Memory’

        The situation has become critical across all of southern Africa because the subcontinent is located in a largely arid or semi-arid zone that is particularly vulnerable. Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa are all feeling the effects of climate change with increasing severity — the heatwaves are bigger, there’s less precipitation and droughts last longer.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Demand Justice Targets Democratic Sen. Chris Coons For Voting in Favor of Trump Judicial Nominees

        “We plan to invest in Delaware a lot more heavily in the coming months, assuming Chris Coons continues voting for Trump judges.”

      • Israel Begins Netanyahu’s Pre-Indictment Corruption Hearing

        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-awaited pre-indictment hearing on corruption charges began Wednesday in Jerusalem, as a jittery political world eagerly sought clarity on his legal standing amid the stalemate that followed the country’s second inconclusive election of the year.

      • Democrats: Trump Incites Violence Against Whistleblower

        Accusing President Donald Trump of “an incitement to violence,” House Democratic leaders bluntly warned Trump and his administration Wednesday not to intimidate potential witnesses in their impeachment inquiry. They said they were readying a subpoena demanding documents related to the president’s dealings with Ukraine…

      • No Good Reasons to Avoid Impeaching Trump

        The impeachment inquiry aimed at Donald Trump has elicited a near-palpable sigh of relief among many Americans deeply anxious about the damage he has done to the presidency and country. Each new poll suggests rising support among the electorate to terminate Trump’s presidency. Given how Trump has devastated constitutional protections, human rights and ethical boundaries over the past two and a half years, causing untold damage to the nation, impeachment ought to be welcome news across the political spectrum. But many on both the right and the left are calling the process into question—for different reasons, of course.

      • Corporate Journalists Push Tax Attack on Medicare for All

        Most people really like the idea of Medicare for All. So it will take a concerted effort to persuade them they actually don’t like it—and corporate media are more than happy to pitch in.

      • The Phony Liberalism of Bill Maher

        Bill Maher rose from being an “edgy,” opinionated comedian to becoming one of the most influential and recognizable faces in our media. His political talk show, Real Time With Bill Maher, has been on HBO since 2003, spanning 17 seasons with over 500 episodes to date. Real Time continues to be one of the most popular shows on cable TV, drawing in more than 4 million viewers per episode, according to a new New York Times interview (9/30/19), which frames him as a straight-shooting satirist on an “antihypocrisy crusade,” with Maher presenting himself as the voice of liberals across the country fed up with PC culture. Certainly, he has a legion of dedicated, primarily Democrat-voting Baby Boomer and Generation X fans, who take seriously his every pronouncement.

      • Official: Lobbyist who steered $50K gravel study should refund state for its cost

        A Michigan Department of Transportation study on state gravel supplies was so tainted by influence from the Michigan Aggregates Association that the industry lobbyist should pay the state a refund, a state official said in response to a blistering audit.

      • ‘Are you talking to me?’ Trump’s anger on impeachment erupts

        But Niinisto, who appeared bewildered in the Oval Office hours earlier during a previous Trump tirade, found his footing at the news conference. He seemed to send a subtle message when he remarked how he had spent part of his time in Washington prior to his White House meeting by visiting a couple of museums.

        “You have here a great democracy. Keep it going on,” he told the president.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Tokyo 2020 Olympics using facial recognition system from NEC, Intel

        The Tokyo 2020 organization didn’t say how long it would keep personal data, but said it’ll comply with the Personal Information Protection Law. “All personal data is managed and used appropriately during the games and securely deleted afterwards under strict conditions,” the organizers said. “Tokyo 2020 collects facial photos of each accredited person, with their consent, when their accreditation card is issued — similar to the accreditation process at past games.”

        It won’t be a wholesale replacement for the old ways: Accredited personnel at the Olympics will still have to wear traditional ID lanyards, Intel and NEC said. But the facial recognition system will be required: if someone loses their lanyard or tries to get access with one that’s stolen, the facial recognition system will block them, NEC said.

      • Presenting a webinar: Privacy and anonymity: Requisites for individuals’ security online

        I was invited by the Mexican Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC MX) to present a webinar session addressing the topics that motivated the project I have been involved for the past two years — And presenting some results, what we are doing, where we are heading.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘Come with us’: A year after Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, Saudi Arabian crackdown persists

        A United Nations report concluded that there was “credible evidence” that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler who enjoys a close relationship with the Trump administration, masterminded the killing. The CIA concluded that the crown prince ordered the execution or at least bears some responsibility for the Saudi operatives who carried out the assassination. The crown prince denied in an interview with “60 Minutes” that he ordered the killing.

      • The Finnish president was all of us at Trump’s latest unhinged press conference [iophk: Tweets in place of actual sources :(]

        That sort of blatant lying would be major news coming from the mouth of any other president, but it’s par for the course with Trump. But what was abnormal even for him was how upset he became with Jeff Mason of Reuters when Mason tried to follow up and get him to answer a question he dodged. Mason had asked, “What do you, or what did you want President Zelensky to do with regard to Joe and Hunter Biden?”

        “Are you talking to me?” Trump snapped back, as Mason pressed him for an answer. But none was forthcoming.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Warren v. Zuckerberg
      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Stuart Langridge: 2×58: Fat For Purpose

          [00:30:50] Gnome are being sued over a software patent (“a method that involves capturing a bunch of images, filtering them based on a topic, theme or individual, and wirelessly transmitting the filtered images to another device”) which Shotwell allegedly violates

      • Copyrights

        • Congratulations to Our 157 June CC Certificate Graduates!

          Graduates from these classes included 67 educators and 90 librarians. Together, they joined the Certificate alumni community of 442 remarkable people making extraordinary changes in every region of the world. From translating Certificate content in multiple languages, to hosting workshops to developing entire graduate-level courses, CC Certificate alumni bring a new level of advocacy to open education and open access.

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