Guest Article: Why Users Must Dictate the Free Software Movement

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 11:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Article by Jagadees.S


Summary: “Recently, a person named Eric Lundgren completed his jail sentence just for copying and distributing Microsoft software which is available for free in their website”

For a capitalistic market to work all the things should be available in scarcity. Then, only those things get a selling value. Supply and demand rules decide that. If there is more of something or a greater quantity, you will get less per item (lower price). If a thing is abundant, then it will not have any value. Example that’s common is air. (I cannot write water because we’ve polluted it so much that nowadays clean water is scarce. Soon, air will also become like that).

Selling abundant things

We cannot copy physical things. But software is not physical. It’s a digital, virtual thing. You can create it once, then it is there. Copying makes it abundant. Because it costs nothing to copy software. So it has no intrinsic value.

“Recently, a person named Eric Lundgren completed his jail sentence just for copying and distributing Microsoft software which is available for free in their website.”But software programs are very important and a critical creation. How can a capitalist leave it as free/commodity when, as the whole, the nature of capitalism is all about putting a price tag on everything possible and trying to expand to make a profit? With surveillance capitalism they are selling our private experiences too.

So, to put a price on software you need to stop copying. Naturally you can’t quite do that since laws of physics don’t allow it. Copying is natural. What else they can do? They made laws that made copying a criminal act. Simple. People will have to go to jail if they copy. Recently, a person named Eric Lundgren completed his jail sentence just for copying and distributing Microsoft software which is available for free in their website. So copying is a very big political issue.

Free software politics

This is the place where Free software begins. It is a political movement to defend the right of a user to own and control the software.

“The Free software movement is only focused on things done after the production of software.”Free software is not too bothered about how software is produced at the first time/in the first place. You can do it with one hand, or with two hands, or while blindfolded or with a single individual or with a larger group, or with a 100% women group, or with a 50% women group, or with old management or without new management, or with object-oriented methods, or with structured programming methods, or with waterfall model, or with agile model, or with 500 while loops, or with 159 if conditions… you name whatever way suits you. It doesn’t matter. Free software doesn’t care.

The Free software movement is only focused on things done after the production of software. It’s about how software reacts to the users or to society in general; only after the production. All other issues (happening before its release) are general issues specific to that particular person or a group or a company. It should be and will be addressed generally, by the government and the society.

Citizens’ role in Democracy

There are lots of definitions for democracy. Most popular one may be Lincoln’s – that democracy means the government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a system that’s supposed to work for the people. Is it like that anywhere in the world? Can you tell where or give an example of a country? None. Nowhere is it working for the people fully.

“Free software freedom is for its users. They should be in power. They should dictate.”For example, there is this study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page of Princeton University. They found that 70% of all the decisions taken by the American government are against ordinary citizens, which means means the 99%. So, we can say that the government is working for the top 1% and people are voting against their self-interest. WHY?

Simple answer may be, the people are not in power. They are distracted and divided and fighting each other over silly issues. So the minority took power and controls everything. WHY?

People are not dictating or exercising their power over the government. Sometimes you can see people coming to the street and chanting “this is what democracy looks like!” But this happens when they become too frustrated about the situation. They are not united. They easily get caught in the traps the ruling class puts. Anti-Iraq war movement, Occupy Wall Street movement etc. are just some of the examples.

Users must dictate the Free software movement

“So, in order to make the software users-subservient (serving its users), users must act; they have to demand that.”Free software freedom is for its users. They should be in power. They should dictate. But our system does not let it happen so easily. You always have to fight for freedom. You have to be vigilant. Otherwise the rich minority will take it (since it’s profitable for them). They are not bad people. It’s happening like that because the system is designed in that way.

So, in order to make the software users-subservient (serving its users), users must act; they have to demand that. But there will a time when all the people in this world might live in peace, harmony and enjoy cooperation. At that stage nobody will need to do any extra activism. But ’till that time, users must dictate Free software’s agenda/movement. It is the duty of Free software activists to empower the users to feel involved at such a level.

Links 22/10/2019: MX-19, Tails 4, Mesa 19.1.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Samsung’s Support for Linux on DeX Fizzles

        Samsung has called quits on its effort to provide a full Linux desktop platform for Android.

        In an email to beta testers last week, Samsung said it would not support its Linux on DeX beta program for future operating system and device releases.

        Samsung’s announcement coincides with Google’s release of the Android 10 OS update and its rollout on Samsung phones. Neither company will provide Linux on DeX support.

        Linux on DeX allows users to connect smartphones or tablets to monitors to simulate a full Linux desktop computing experience. Samsung initially offered DeX as a docking station for phones. It then allowed users to connect their Android phones to monitors via a USB-C cable.

        Samsung did not provide details on what led to the decision to dump DeX support but an advisory informed users that DeX will not be supported in Android 10 beta. Samsung phone users will not be able to perform a version rollback to Android Pie.

      • Disney’s Streaming Service is Having Troubles with Linux

        You might be already using Amazon Prime Video (comes free with Amazon Prime membership) or Netflix on your Linux system. Google Chrome supports these streaming services out of the box. You can also watch Netflix on Firefox in Linux but you have to explicitly enable DRM content.

        However we just learned that Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+ does not work in the same way.

        A user, Hans de Goede, on LiveJournal revealed this from his experience with Disney+ in the testing period. In fact, the upcoming streaming service Disney+ does not support Linux at all, at least for now.

      • Disney+ May Not Work on Chromebooks and Some Android Devices Due to Access Control Technologies

        According to early testing in the Netherlands, Disney+ may not work on a number of popular consumer devices. Much like other streaming services, Disney is using DRM, or Digital Rights Management, to help prevent piracy, but is using a much more strict version.

        Disney is using a DRM service provided by Google called Widevine, which offers three different levels of security. Currently, Disney+ is using level 1, which is the strictest level and is not supported by Chromebooks and many older Android devices.

        Streaming services like Netflix use level 3 DRM, which doesn’t support HD streaming on mobile devices and some Android devices. Disney+ using type 1 allows it to stream in HD, but limits the number of supported devices.

      • Disney+ won’t work on Linux at launch as the DRM is set too high

        IT’S EXPECTED TO lead the vanguard of streaming services launching in the next six months, but Disney+ won’t be available to Linux users at launch.

        The news, which also applies to Chromebooks and some lower-end Android devices, has come about because of the level of DRM applied to streams.

        The service will use a system known as Widevine to try and keep stream rippers at bay. It has three levels of security, and most services, like Google Play, Netflix and Amazon use the lowest – Level 3.

    • Server

      • Unix Celebrates 50 Years

        Today and tomorrow Nokia Bell Labs is hosting a two-day event celebrating 50 years of the Unix operating system, reflecting on Unix’s past and exploring the future of computing. Speakers and panelists include many of the original team that built Unix and designed the C programming language.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat Ceph Storage RGW deployment strategies and sizing guidance

          Starting in Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.0, Red Hat added support for Containerized Storage Daemons (CSD) which allows the software-defined storage components (Ceph MON, OSD, MGR, RGW, etc) to run within containers. CSD avoids the need to have dedicated nodes for storage services thus reducing both CAPEX and OPEX by co-located storage containerized daemons.

          Ceph-Ansible provides the required mechanism to put resource fencing to each storage container which is useful for running multiple storage daemon containers on one physical node. In this blog post, we will cover strategies to deploy RGW containers and their resource sizing guidance. Before we dive into the performance, let’s understand what are the different ways to deploy RGW.

        • Behind Red Hat’s growth in the local channel
        • OpenShift 4.2: New YAML Editor

          Through our built-in YAML editor, users can create and edit resources right in the Red Hat OpenShift Web Console UI. In the latest release, we’ve upgraded our editor to include language server support.

          What is language server support?

          The language server support feature uses the OpenAPI schema from Kubernetes to provide content assist inside the YAML editor based on the type of resource you are editing. More specifically, the language server support offers the following capabilities:

          Improved YAML validation: The new editor provides feedback in context, directing you to the exact line and position that requires attention.
          Document outlining: Document outlines offer a quick way to navigate your code.
          Auto completion: While in the editor, language server support will provide you with valid configuration information as you type, allowing you to edit faster.
          Hover support: Hovering over a property will show a description of the associated schema.
          Advanced formatting: Format your YAML.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • How we brought JavaScript to life for Command Line Heroes

        Animators within Red Hat?s Open Studio help bring Command Line Heroes? artwork more to life. All throughout Season 3, they?ve added movement to our episode pages and created eye-catching trailers for social and Red Hat?s YouTube channel. This post highlights their important contributions to the Command Line Heroes? creative process by looking at their work for Episode 3 of Season 4: Creating JavaScript. Also, designer Karen Crowson talks about the easter eggs in that episode?s artwork.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel adds 10nm Ice Lake desktop and server CPUs to Linux kernel

        The fact that Intel’s Kan Liang has signed off on the addition of Ice Lake desktop and server parts to the Linux kernel does lend a little more credence to Intel’s assertion last week that, despite rumours to the contrary, it would definitely be shipping 10nm desktop processors.

        Now it looks like those 10nm CPUs might actually come from the Ice Lake family after all. With Intel Comet Lake, its 10-core big-boy, and Hyper-Threading throughout the range, popping up either late this year or early next we had assumed Intel wasn’t going to follow up the mobile release of Ice Lake with any desktop parts.

      • Intel Core i7-1065G7 Ice Lake Linux Performance Benchmarks

        Recently I picked up a Dell XPS 7390 Core i7 Ice Lake laptop for finally testing this Intel 10nm+ processor under Linux. I have delivered some results so far like the Windows vs. Linux OpenGL/Vulkan performance and the Spectre impact with Ice Lake while this article is the first of several really drilling down on the CPU performance. In this article are benchmarks showing how the Core i7-1065G7 compares in raw performance and performance-per-Watt to the earlier Core i7-8565U (Whiskey Lake) and Core i7-8550U (Kabylake-R) processors.

        The Dell XPS 7390 / Core i7-1065G7 continues working out well under Linux as noted in the earlier article with just the potential caveats of needing to switch the storage setting in the firmware over to AHCI mode and on some distributions needing to boot with the intel_lpss_pci driver black-listed. There is also the caveat of Ice Lake Thunderbolt support not in the mainline kernel until Linux 5.4, but at least for Ubuntu 19.10 Canonical has ended up back-porting it to Linux 5.3, but I haven’t seen any other major distributions do the same yet. But besides those few blemishes on modern Linux distributions you should be in good shape for the new Dell XPS / Ice Lake.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 19.1.8
          Mesa 19.1.8 is now available.
          NOTE: It is anticipated that 19.1.8 will be the final release in the
          19.1 series. Users of 19.1 are encouraged to migrate to the 19.2 series
          in order to obtain future fixes.
          Apologies for the big delay in this release; there were several regressions that we
          were investigating, which prevented the pre-release to be on time.
          Subject: [ANNOUNCE] mesa 19.1.8
          To: mesa-announce at lists.freedesktop.org
          Cc: mesa-dev at lists.freedesktop.org
          Adam Jackson (1):
                docs: Update bug report URLs for the gitlab migration
          Alan Coopersmith (5):
                c99_compat.h: Don't try to use 'restrict' in C++ code
                util: Make Solaris implemention of p_atomic_add work with gcc
                util: Workaround lack of flock on Solaris
                meson: recognize "sunos" as the system name for Solaris
                intel/common: include unistd.h for ioctl() prototype on Solaris
          Andreas Gottschling (1):
                drisw: Fix shared memory leak on drawable resize
          Andres Gomez (3):
                docs: Add the maximum implemented Vulkan API version in 19.1 rel notes
                docs/features: Update VK_KHR_display_swapchain status
                egl: Remove the 565 pbuffer-only EGL config under X11.
          Andrii Simiklit (1):
                glsl: disallow incompatible matrices multiplication
          Arcady Goldmints-Orlov (1):
                anv: fix descriptor limits on gen8
          Bas Nieuwenhuizen (2):
                tu: Set up glsl types.
                radv: Add workaround for hang in The Surge 2.
          Danylo Piliaiev (1):
                st/nine: Ignore D3DSIO_RET if it is the last instruction in a shader
          Dylan Baker (5):
                meson: fix logic for generating .pc files with old glvnd
                meson: Try finding libxvmcw via pkg-config before using find_library
                meson: Link xvmc with libxv
                meson: gallium media state trackers require libdrm with x11
                meson: Only error building gallium video without libdrm when the platform is drm
          Eric Engestrom (4):
                gl: drop incorrect pkg-config file for glvnd
                meson: re-add incorrect pkg-config files with GLVND for backward compatibility
                util/anon_file: add missing #include
                util/anon_file: const string param
          Erik Faye-Lund (1):
                glsl: correct bitcast-helpers
          Greg V (1):
                util: add anon_file.h for all memfd/temp file usage
          Haihao Xiang (1):
                i965: support AYUV/XYUV for external import only
          Hal Gentz (1):
                gallium/osmesa: Fix the inability to set no context as current.
          Jason Ekstrand (2):
                nir/repair_ssa: Replace the unreachable check with the phi builder
                intel/fs: Fix fs_inst::flags_read for ANY/ALL predicates
          Juan A. Suarez Romero (12):
                docs: add sha256 checksums for 19.1.7
                cherry-ignore: add explicit 19.2 only nominations
                cherry-ignore: add explicit 19.3 only nominations
                Revert "Revert "intel/fs: Move the scalar-region conversion to the generator.""
                cherry-ignore: Revert "gallium: remove PIPE_CAP_TEXTURE_SHADOW_MAP"
                bin/get-pick-list.sh: sha1 commits can be smaller than 8 chars
                cherry-ignore: nir/opt_large_constants: Handle store writemasks
                cherry-ignore: util: added missing headers in anon-file
                cherry-ignore: radv: Fix condition for skipping the continue CS.
                cherry-ignore: Revert "radv: disable viewport clamping even if FS doesn't write Z"
                Update version to 19.1.8
                docs: add release notes for 19.1.8
          Ken Mays (1):
                haiku: fix Mesa build
          Kenneth Graunke (4):
                iris: Initialize ice->state.prim_mode to an invalid value
                intel: Increase Gen11 compute shader scratch IDs to 64.
                iris: Disable CCS_E for 32-bit floating point textures.
                iris: Fix iris_rebind_buffer() for VBOs with non-zero offsets.
          Lionel Landwerlin (5):
                anv: gem-stubs: return a valid fd got anv_gem_userptr()
                intel: use proper label for Comet Lake skus
                mesa: don't forget to clear _Layer field on texture unit
                intel: fix subslice computation from topology data
                intel/isl: Set null surface format to R32_UINT
          Marek Olšák (1):
                gallium/vl: don't set PIPE_HANDLE_USAGE_EXPLICIT_FLUSH
          Matt Turner (1):
                util: Drop preprocessor guards for glibc-2.12
          Michel Dänzer (1):
                radeonsi: fix VAAPI segfault due to various bugs
          Michel Zou (2):
                scons: add py3 support
                scons: For MinGW use -posix flag.
          Paulo Zanoni (1):
                intel/fs: fix SHADER_OPCODE_CLUSTER_BROADCAST for SIMD32
          Prodea Alexandru-Liviu (1):
                scons/MSYS2-MinGW-W64: Fix build options defaults
          Rhys Perry (2):
                radv: always emit a position export in gs copy shaders
                nir/opt_remove_phis: handle phis with no sources
          Samuel Iglesias Gonsálvez (1):
                intel/nir: do not apply the fsin and fcos trig workarounds for consts
          Stephen Barber (1):
                nouveau: add idep_nir_headers as dep for libnouveau
          Tapani Pälli (3):
                iris: close screen fd on iris_destroy_screen
                egl: check for NULL value like eglGetSyncAttribKHR does
                util: fix os_create_anonymous_file on android
          pal1000 (2):
                scons/windows: Support build with LLVM 9.
                scons: Fix MSYS2 Mingw-w64 build.
          git tag: mesa-19.1.8
        • Mesa 19.1.8 Released To End Out The Series

          More than one month has passed since Mesa 19.1.7 compared to the usual bi-weekly release cadence, but on Monday following the closure of remaining blocker bugs, Mesa 19.1.8 was released that also ends out this release series.

          Mesa 19.1.8 is the last planned release in the 19.1 Q2 series with users now being encouraged to upgrade at least to the stable Mesa 19.2 while Mesa 19.3 should be out around early December.

        • Linux 5.5 To Restore Power-Savings For Hybrid Laptops When Not Using The dGPU

          On recent kernels when using a laptop with hybrid graphics but not running with the discrete GPU graphics enabled, a regression meant the dGPU never got powered off… Fortunately, for Linux 5.5 — and potentially to be back-ported after that — is a change to restore that power-savings.

          A change enabling NVIDIA HDA controller support inadvertently left dGPUs powered up when not in use, i.e. where the dGPU is not bound to a driver. When the NVIDIA discrete graphics aren’t bound to a driver, the power saving path wasn’t being hit where the platform power management could disable power to the GPU.

        • Intel Lands More Graphics Code For Linux 5.5 – Jasper, More Intel Xe Multi-GPU Prepping

          Intel’s open-source developers kicked off a new week by sending in their latest vetted changes to DRM-Next ahead of next month’s Linux 5.5 kernel cycle.

          They already have sent in a lot of new graphics driver code for Linux 5.5 particularly around Tiger Lake while this week’s pull request contains more new hardware enablement. They also anticipate sending in another pull request next week to DRM-Next with any other lingering feature work they are hoping to get into Linux 5.5.

        • Intel’s Graphics Compiler For Their NEO Compute Stack Now Supports Jasper Lake

          The team maintaining the LLVM-based Intel Graphics Compiler as part of their “NEO” OpenCL/Compute Stack have rolled out v1.0.2714 that includes initial support for Jasper Lake among other improvements.

          Just in the past week we’ve begun seeing Linux graphics driver patches around “Jasper Lake” and that initial kernel-side support coming for Linux 5.5. Jasper Lake is the rumored 10nm successor to Gemini Lake for low-power SoCs but not to be confused with Elkhart Lake that is Tremont+Gen11 also for ultra-low-power environments based upon the limited information thus far.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Space grand strategy game AI War 2 has now officially launched

        Arcen Games have released a new deadly AI into space with the grand strategy game AI War 2 now available as it has left Early Access. This comes ten years to the date since the original launched as well.

        This is the 11th title from Arcen Games to support Linux after AI War: Fleet Command, Tidalis, A Valley Without Wind, A Valley Without Wind 2, Shattered Haven, Skyward Collapse, Bionic Dues, The Last Federation, Starward Rogue, In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor and now AI War 2. You’ve got to hand it to Arcen, they treat Linux well as a platform for gamers.

      • The Children’s Commissioner in England has called on the government to class loot boxes as gambling

        Here could be the start of another nail in the coffin for loot boxes, as the Children’s Commissioner in England has put out a new report after a little study was done.

        Never heard of the Children’s Commissioner? It’s a public independent body in England that is responsible for promoting and protecting the rights of children (read more here). The current head is Anne Longfield, who today released a pretty damning report on the state of how certain games and companies really attempt to suck money out of people at every opportunity.

        I won’t quote all of it to spare you some of the things we all already know but it’s good to see such a thing being done over here. It’s needed, it has been for a long time now. This particular study had them speak to children between 10 to 16 about their gaming habits, what they liked and disliked and so on. Games included that were talked about include Fortnite, Call of Duty, FIFA, Roblox and more which do have some pretty aggressive advertising of the in-game items and subscriptions.

      • Dead End Job, a twin-stick ghost-sucking shooter releases December 13

        Ant Workshop and publisher Headup have announced the madcap mash-up of Ren & Stimpy meets Ghostbusters, Dead End Job, is releasing on December 13. If you love 90′s cartoons (who doesn’t?) and ghost hunting adventures then you’re probably going to enjoy Dead End Job.

        Interestingly, Ant Workshop was founded by Tony Gowland, who previously worked for Rockstar Games and their first game as an indie was Binaries released back in 2016 with Linux support arriving a little later. On top of that, they’re getting the music in the game produced by the award winning Wil Morton of Solid Audioworks, who also worked for Rockstar Games.

      • Chilly survival game The Long Dark has released Episode 3, Survival Mode update due December

        Today, you can venture back into the frozen wastes of The Long Dark, as Episode Three CROSSROADS ELEGY is now out. You can skip right ahead to it too.

        With the first two episodes following Mackenzie, this new episode instead follows Astrid after she and Mackenzie get separated in Milton at the opening of Episode One. Due to that, Hinterland Studio said they’ve just unlocked the first three episodes for anyone to jump in where the want. They said there “may be some minor spoilers for the earlier episodes, but in general we think this flow can work” and while they still recommend playing from the first episode you now have a choice.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME files defense against patent troll

          A month ago, GNOME was hit by a patent troll for developing the Shotwell image management application. It’s the first time a free software project has been targeted in this way, but we worry it won’t be the last. Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC offered to let us settle for a high five figure amount, for which they would drop the case and give us a licence to carry on developing Shotwell. This would have been simple to do so; it would have caused less work, cost less money, and provided the Foundation a lot less stress. But it also would be wrong. Agreeing to this would leave this patent live, and allow this to be used as a weapon against countless others. We will stand firm against this baseless attack, not just for GNOME and Shotwell, but for all free and open source software projects.

          For these reasons, GNOME Foundation Executive Director Neil McGovern instructed our legal counsel at Shearman & Sterling to file three papers with the court in California.

        • Molly de Blanc: Join GNOME in our fight against a patent troll

          A month ago, GNOME was hit by a patent troll for developing the Shotwell image management application. It’s the first time a free software project has been targeted in this way, but we worry it won’t be the last. Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC offered to let us settle for a high five figure amount, for which they would drop the case and give us a license to carry on developing Shotwell. This would have been simple to do so; it would have caused less work, cost less money, and provided the Foundation a lot less stress. But it also would be wrong. Agreeing to this would leave this patent live, and allow this to be used as a weapon against countless others. We will stand firm against this baseless attack, not just for GNOME and Shotwell, but for all free and open source software projects.

          For these reasons, GNOME Foundation Executive Director Neil McGovern instructed our legal counsel at Shearman & Sterling to file three papers with the court in California.

          First, a motion to dismiss the case outright. We don’t believe that this is a valid patent, or that software can or should be able to be patented in this way. We want to make sure that this patent isn’t used against anyone else, ever.

        • Richard Hughes: GNOME, and Free Software Is Under Attack

          A month ago, GNOME was hit by a patent troll. We’re fighting, but need some money to fund the legal defense, and counterclaim. I just donated, and if you use or develop free software you should too.

        • GNOME’s patent-troll counterattack

          Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC filed a patent suit against the GNOME Foundation in September, asserting a violation in the Shotwell photo manager. GNOME has now gone on the counterattack, questioning the validity of the patent and whether it applies to Shotwell at all. There is also an unspecified counterclaim to strike back against Rothschild. “We want to send a message to all software patent trolls out there — we will fight your suit, we will win, and we will have your patent invalidated. To do this, we need your help.”

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • MX-19 “patito feo” released!

          We are pleased to offer MX-19 for your use.

          As usual, this iso includes the latest updates from debian 10.1 (buster), antiX and MX repos.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • The Importance of Culture in Software Development

          A few weeks ago at Cloud Foundry Summit, I had the chance to grab a few of our partners and talk about how culture plays a part in the software development process. While appropriate tools are very important, it is only part of the story. Culture will make or break any change initiative regardless of how amazing our technology is.

        • openSUSE Asia Summit

          I met Edwin and Ary earlier this year at the openSUSE Conference in Nuremberg. They invited me to come to the openSUSE Asia Summit happening in Bali. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to attend it. But then, around June I saw a tweet reminding about the deadline for the Call for Proposal for the openSUSE Asia Summit and I thought maybe I should give it a try.

          I submitted a workshop proposal on MicroOS and a lightning talk proposal to the openSUSE Asia CFP team. Both were accepted and I couldn’t be happier. It gave me the chance to meet friends from the openSUSE community again, learn and share more.

          We do not have direct flights to Indonesia. I traveled through Air Mauritius to Kuala Lumpur and then Malaysia Arlines to Denpasar, Bali. I spent almost 24 hours traveling before reaching my hotel in Jimbaran. I was totally knackered when I arrived but the enthusiasm of being there for the summit was stronger than anything.

          I booked a taxi through Traveloka ahead of my arrival in Bali. It was recommended by Edwin. When I compared other taxi fares I felt glad I booked it online. I also bought a SIM card on my way to the hotel with a 6GB data package. I knew we’d all communicate mostly on Telegram, just as we did for oSC 2019. My hotel WiFi connection wasn’t great but I was impressed by the 4G coverage of my mobile Internet provider, XL Axiata. Mobile connectivity was extremely helpful as I would rely on GoJek car-hailing for the next few days.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.0 is out

          We are especially proud to present you Tails 4.0, the first version of Tails based on Debian 10 (Buster). It brings new versions of most of the software included in Tails and some important usability and performance improvements. Tails 4.0 introduces more changes than any other version since years.

        • Tails 4.0

          Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is, as the spelled out name implies, a privacy focused distribution, designed to run from removable media. Version 4.0 has been released.

        • Tails 4.0 Anonymous Linux OS Released, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster”

          The Tails project released today the final version of the Tails 4.0 operating system, a major release that introduces numerous enhancements and updated components.

          Based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system, Tails 4.0 is here with up-to-date components to keep your online identity hidden from potential attackers. These include the latest Tor Browser 9.0 anonymous web browser, Tor anonymous network client and server, OnionShare 1.3.2 anonymous file sharing tool, MAT 0.9.0 metadata removal tool, and KeePassXC password manager.

          Tails 4.0 is also powered by the latest Linux 5.3 kernel series, shipping with Linux kernel 5.3.2 in the live ISO image, which brings better support for newer hardware and many other improvements. On top of that, Tails 4.0 ships with GnuPG 2.2.12, Enigmail 2.0.12, Electrum 3.3.8, Git 2.20.1, LibreOffice 6.1.5, Inkscape 0.92.4, GIMP 2.10.8, and Audacity 2.2.2.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 19.10: A look into Ubuntu’s enterprise future

          As Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth said, “In the 15 years since the first Ubuntu release, we have seen Ubuntu evolve from the desktop to become the platform of choice across public cloud, open infrastructure, IoT, and AI.” The Linux desktop still matters, especially for developers and system administrators, but Canonical’s real cash comes from the cloud.

          I say “plans” because Ubuntu 19.10, Eoan Ermine, isn’t a long-term support (LTS) version. No one — I hope! — will build a business around an operating system with a nine-month support lifetime. The next LTS edition, Ubuntu 20.04, “Focal Fossa, won’t be out until April 2020. But we can see what it’s likely to have by looking at Eoan Ermine.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) Daily Build ISOs Are Now Available to Download

          Unveiled last week as the “Focal Fossa” release, the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS operating system will hit the streets next year on April 23rd, as the 8th long-term support version of Ubuntu Linux, one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems in the world.

          While its development cycle will kick off officially later this week on October 24th, with the toolchain upload, the first daily build ISO images are now already available to download for those who want to test it and report bugs, as well as anyone else who just wants an early taste of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa – Features and Updates

          The next Ubuntu long term support (LTS) release would be code named “Focal Fossa” – Canonical says. The Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” would be released on April 23rd 2020 for users including desktops and servers.

          Before we inform you about the tentative feature-set of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – you should know what is ‘Focal Fossa’. As per Wikipedia, Focal Fossa is a “carnivorous mammal regularly found in Madagascar, and it’s related to the mongoose family.” Scary!

        • Regolith Linux Adds Support for Ubuntu 19.10

          We wrote about Regolith Linux (a distro) and the Regolith desktop (a DE) earlier in the year — and the topic proved incredibly popular with many readers.

          So I’m pleased to hear that the Regolith experience is now available on Ubuntu 19.10, aka the latest version of Ubuntu.

          While I recommend read our earlier post out for a comprehensive look at what Regolith is, what it offers, and why it’s (imo) pretty cool, I’ll recap the essentials:

          Regolith Linux is lightweight Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 19.04 that uses the Regolith desktop by default.

        • 20 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’

          Ubuntu 19.10 with codename Eoan Ermine is now here and available for install. For those of you who are eager to check the latest Ubuntu version and for all newcomers to the Linux family, we have prepared few tips to help you get started with Ubuntu 19.10 and get what you may need to complete the setup of your desktop/laptop distro.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Gets First Linux Kernel Security Patch, Update Now

          Canonical’s recently released Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) operating system has received today its first Linux kernel security patch to address an important security vulnerability.

          Released last week on October 17th, Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) brought numerous new features and improvements, including experimental ZFS on root support in the installer, LZ4 initramfs compression for all architectures, up-to-date toolchain, and embedded Nvidia graphics drivers. It also ships with the latest Linux 5.3 kernel series.

        • How Ubuntu Advantage delivers top-notch Linux security

          Every two years in April, a Long Term Support (LTS) release is published. Ubuntu LTS releases are commonly used in enterprise environments, with more than 60% of large-scale production clouds running Ubuntu LTS images.

          Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) is the latest Ubuntu LTS release, with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS coming in April 2020. Each new LTS release is supported for ten years total; five years of standard support, and five additional years of support under Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure (UA-I). UA-I provides users and organisations access to key security fixes and patches, including Canonical’s Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and Kernel Livepatch services.

          Twice every year, in April and October, interim releases are published. They are commonly used by those interested in the latest features and capable of upgrading more frequently.

          Our latest interim release, which arrived last week, is Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine). It enhanced capabilities include the latest OpenStack Train release for live-migration assistance, improved security for Kubernetes deployments at the edge and significant updates to desktop performance. Standard support for an interim release is provided for nine months with no additional support extension offered.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • NextCloud on Pi Adventures

        I spent yesterday *finally* setting up a NextCloud instance of my own. It’s been on my todo since I installed fiber at home and got a decent Internet connection.

        I started out with Rasbian Lite and combined it with the NextCloudPi install script from ownyourbits. I then used certbot to install certificates from let’s encrypt before migrating the data directory using these instructions.

        After that it was happy account creation time, before realizing that I could not upload files larger than ~10kB. Very annoying.

      • Escape Google!

        Being practical most people are going to want to keep using Google services, but at least knowing what the issues are, how you can use privacy-enhanced versions or escape completely with your own services is good to know. While Nextcloud is so slick these days and with pre-packaged options it’s certainly fun just to try out, if not deployed as a full-time personal cloud solution.

        But it’s not all worrying about invasion of the privacy snatchers, we’ve plenty of down-to-earth tutorials and projects to keep you busy. We take another look at using Audacity to improve your YouTube audio and create effects, we test out of a bunch of server distros to see which is best for you in Roundup, there’s some lovely retro loving with a look at running ZX Basic and we look at building a wearable webcam from a Pi Zero. Enjoy!

      • Commitment To Elevating The Very Best

        OSI applauds the efforts of every individual who has ever spoken up and taken steps to make free, libre, and open source software communities more inclusive. Without you, the movement would be less vibrant, less welcoming, and irreversibly diminished.

        Whether you’ve led your community to implement a code of conduct or taken the time to mentor someone who isn’t like you, whether you’ve reported toxic behavior or pressured community leaders to act: thank you. It takes courage to change the status quo, and all too often, that comes at a personal expense.

        Ultimately, ours is a moral movement, and our integrity hinges on whether we rise to meet the challenge of seeking justice and equity for all.

        As we move forward, we hope that we can learn as a community and incorporate the lessons of the past into building a better future. Further, we hope we can build bridges to those who have been shut out of our movement, whether by omission or commission, at the hands of systemic bias as well as toxic and predatory behavior.

        As the saying goes in open source, “Many eyes lead to shallower bugs.” So too do many perspectives lead to better software. Here’s to a better, more inclusive tomorrow.

        - The OSI Board of Directors

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

            • Firefox 70 is Here with New Logo, Secure Password Generator + More

              The release, the latest stable update to the hugely popular open source web browser, features a number of notable improvements and privacy enhancements.

              Among the changes is the new Firefox logo we reported on back in June. The new Firefox logo for the browser — there’s a separate new logo for Firefox as a product family — is as striking as it is colourful, and certainly helps give the browser a more ‘modern’ presence across operating systems.

              But the “visual” changes don’t stop there.

              Users will also now see an indicator in the address bar when loading a website that accesses geolocation data.

            • Firefox 70 Released With JavaScript Baseline Interpreter, Other Updates

              Firefox 70.0 officially hit the web this morning as the newest version of Mozilla’s web browser.

              Firefox 70 is notable on the JavaScript front with enabling the new Baseline Interpreter as a faster JavaScript interpreter. The baseline interpreter is exciting but there are also various security improvements, WebRender being flipped on by default for more systems (though on the Windows side), various developer tooling enhancements, privacy handling refinements, and many other web API / developer additions.

            • Firefox 70 — a bountiful release for all

              Firefox 70 is released today, and includes great new features such as secure password generation with Lockwise and the new Firefox Privacy Protection Report; you can read the full details in the Firefox 70 Release Notes.

              Amazing user features and protections aside, we’ve also got plenty of cool additions for developers in this release. These include DOM mutation breakpoints and inactive CSS rule indicators in the DevTools, several new CSS text properties, two-value display syntax, and JS numeric separators. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the highlights!

            • Firefox 70 Is Out Today with the Ability to “Track the Trackers”

              Mozilla has today released Firefox 70.0 for all platforms. The previous version of the browser arrived with Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) enabled by default on all platforms. The latest version of this privacy-focused browser ups the game by also bringing Social tracking protection – which blocks cross-site tracking cookies from sites like Facebook and Twitter – under the Standard settings. [The browser offers Standard, Strict, and Custom privacy settings.]

              The company said that since July 2 it has blocked over 450 billion tracking requests that attempted to follow Firefox users. Mozilla added that all of this happened behind the scenes but the growing threat to privacy warrants more visibility to these efforts.

            • Dramatically reduced power usage in Firefox 70 on macOS with Core Animation

              In Firefox 70 we changed how pixels get to the screen on macOS. This allows us to do less work per frame when only small parts of the screen change. As a result, Firefox 70 drastically reduces the power usage during browsing.In short, Firefox 70 improves power usage by 3x or more for many use cases. The larger the Firefox window and the smaller the animation, the bigger the difference. Users have reported much longer battery life, cooler machines and less fan spinning.

            • Latest Firefox Brings Privacy Protections Front and Center Letting You Track the Trackers

              Our push this year has been building privacy-centric features in our products that are on by default. With this move, we’re taking the guesswork out of how to give yourself more privacy online thanks to always-on features like blocking third-party tracking cookies and cryptominers also known as Enhanced Tracking Protection. Since July 2 we’ve blocked more than 450 billion tracking requests that attempt to follow you around the web.

            • Firefox 70 released

              Version 70 of the Firefox web browser is out. The headline features include a new password generator and a “privacy protection report” showing users which trackers have been blocked. “Amazing user features and protections aside, we’ve also got plenty of cool additions for developers in this release. These include DOM mutation breakpoints and inactive CSS rule indicators in the DevTools, several new CSS text properties, two-value display syntax, and JS numeric separators.” See the release notes for more details.

            • Firefox 70 new contributors
            • The Illusion of choice and the need for default privacy protection

              Since July 2019, Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection has blocked over 450 Billion third-party tracking requests from exploiting user data for profit. This shocking number reveals the sheer scale of online tracking and it highlights why the current advertising industry push on transparency, choice and “consent” as a solution to online privacy simply won’t work. The solutions put forth by other tech companies and the ad industry provide the illusion of choice. Let’s step through the reasons why that is and why we ultimately felt it necessary to enable Enhanced Tracking Protection by default.

            • Firefox privacy protections reveal who’s trying to track you

              You could say that a web browser is kind of like a car. The engine drives you where you want to go, and a dashboard tells you what’s happening under the hood. And cars these days have dashboards that go beyond the basics of your speed and fuel level. They also alert you to things you might not realize, like when you need to brake and if you’re driving in a blind spot. The latest Firefox has a new privacy protections dashboard that reveals who’s trying to track you behind the scenes and helps you stop them.

            • New password security features come to Firefox with Lockwise

              Remembering unique, strong passwords for all your accounts and apps is a challenge, but it’s also essential for good digital security. We’re making that easier by helping you generate and manage passwords with Firefox Lockwise — all seamlessly, straight from your browser. Here’s how the new password security features work.

            • No Judgment Digital Definitions: What is a web tracker?

              Let’s say you’re on an outdoor pizza oven website dreaming about someday owning one. Mmm pizza. Next you switch gears and visit a fitness site; low and behold an ad for the pizza oven you were just looking at is there, too. Then you go to YouTube to see how easy it would be to build your own pizza oven (it’s too hard), but first you have to sit through an advertisement about, you guessed it, that same pizza oven. Time to check Instagram on your phone, and there it is again, grinning at you as a sponsored post in your feed.

            • No-judgment digital definitions: What are social media trackers?

              Let’s be honest. We’re usually pretty particular about what we post on social media, right? When we’re on vacation, we’ll post photos on Facebook of a beautiful sunset… and crop out the guy wearing the “no shirt, no shoes, no problem” T-shirt. We’ll post on LinkedIn about our exciting new job… but not that we were laid off four months earlier and self-medicated with pints of ice cream.

              While we choose what we want to share with our friends and followers, we don’t get to choose what those social media platforms learn about us behind the scenes.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.4 Alpha1 is ready for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 6.4 Alpha1 is ready for testing!

          LibreOffice 6.4 will be released as final at the beginning of February, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan ) being LibreOffice 6.4 Alpha1 the first pre-release since the development of version 6.4 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since then, 4600 commits have been submitted to the code repository and more than 720 bugs have been set to FIXED in Bugzilla. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.


        • GNU Parallel 20191022 (‘Driving IT’) released [stable]

          GNU Parallel 20191022 (‘Driving IT’) [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/

          No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.
          GNU Parallel is 10 years old next year on 2020-04-22. You are here by invited to a reception on Friday 2020-04-17.

        • GNU Health: 10 years of Freedom and Equity in Healthcare

          I am back from my trip to India, where I spent a week with the team of All India Institute of Medical Sciences – AIIMS –, the largest public hospital in Asia and a leading research institution. They have taken the decision to adopt GNU Health, the Free Hospital and Health Information System.

          One key aspect in Free Software is ownership. From the moment they adopted GNU Health, it now also belongs to AIIMS. They have full control over it. They can download and upgrade the system; access the source code; customize it to fit their needs; and contribute back to the community. This is the definition of Free Software.

          The definition of Free Software is universal. GNU Health is equally valid for very large institutions, national public health networks and small, rural or primary care centers. The essence is the same.

        • The 3rd FSFE System Hackers hackathon

          On 10 and 11 October, the FSFE System Hackers met in person to tackle problems and new features regarding the servers and services the FSFE is running. The team consists of dedicated volunteers who ensure that the community and staff can work effectively. The recent meeting built on the great work of the past 2 years which have been shaped by large personal and technical changes.

          The System Hackers are responsible for the maintenance and development of a large number of services. From the fsfe.org website’s deployment to the mail servers and blogs, from Git to internal services like DNS and monitoring, all these services, virtual machines and physical servers are handled by this friendly group that is always looking forward to welcoming new members.

      • Programming/Development

        • Picolibc Updates (October 2019)

          Tiny stdio in picolibc uses a global variable, __iob, to hold pointers to FILE structs for stdin, stdout, and stderr. For this to point at actual usable functions, applications normally need to create and initialize this themselves.

          If all you want to do is make sure the tool chain can compile and link a simple program (as is often required for build configuration tools like autotools), then having a simple ‘hello world’ program actually build successfully can be really useful.

          I added the ‘dummyiob.c’ module to picolibc which has an iob variable initialized with suitable functions. If your application doesn’t define it’s own iob, you’ll get this one instead.

        • NGT: A library for high-speed approximate nearest neighbor search

          Different search methods are used for different data types. For example, full-text search is for text data, content-based image retrieval is for images, and relational databases are for data relationships. Deep learning models can easily generate vectors from various kinds of data so that the vector space has embedded relationships among source data. This means that if two source data are similar, the two vectors from the data will be located near each other in the vector space. Therefore, all you have to do is search the vectors instead of the source data.
          Moreover, the vectors not only represent the text and image characteristics of the source data, but they also represent products, human beings, organizations, and so forth. Therefore, you can search for similar documents and images as well as products with similar attributes, human beings with similar skills, clothing with similar features, and so on. For example, Yahoo! Japan provides a similarity-based fashion-item search using NGT.

        • Tryton Spanish Days 2019: In Alicante on the 27th & 28th of November

          The Tryton Foundation is happy to announce the venue and date of the next Tryton Spanish Days.

        • 6 Excellent Free Books to Learn OCaml

          Caml is a general-purpose, powerful, high-level programming language with a large emphasis on speed and efficiency. A dialect of the ML programming language, it supports functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming styles. Caml has been developed and distributed by INRIA, a French research institute, since 1985.

          The OCaml system is the main implementation of the Caml language. It has a very strong type-checking system, offers a powerful module system, automatic memory management, first-class functions, and adds a full-fledged object-oriented layer. OCaml includes a native-code compiler supporting numerous architectures, for high performance; a bytecode compiler, for increased portability; and an interactive loop, for experimentation and rapid development. OCaml’s integrated object system allows object-oriented programming without sacrificing the benefits of functional programming, parametric polymorphism, and type inference. The language is mature, producing efficient code and comes with a large set of general purpose as well as domain-specific libraries.

          OCaml is often used for teaching programming, and by large corporations. OCaml benefits from a whole range of new tools and libraries, including OPAM (package manager), optimizing compilers, and development tools such as TypeRex and Merlin.

          OCaml was written in 1996 by Xavier Leroy, Jérôme Vouillon, Damien Doligez, and Didier Rémy at INRIA in France.

        • Build win32/win64 nightlies using Gitlab CI

          A week ago after getting Dia nightlies published on GNOME’s new Flatpak nightlies infrastructure I was discussing with Zander Brown, the new maintainer of Dia, of the possibility to publish Windows nightlies through Gitlab the same way we do with Flatpak bundles. A few minutes later I was already trying to cargo-cult what Gedit had to build Windows bundles.

          It took me a bit of time to figure out how things work, especially that I wanted to make it easier for you to set up a win32/win64 build for your project without much work and as we already use a CI template for Flatpak builds, I ended up doing something pretty similar, but a bit more complex under the hood.

        • Additions and Corrections

          FreeBSD official ports has KDE Frameworks 5.63, Plasma 5.17 and Applications 19.08.2 so it’s right up-to-date with the main KDE releases and it makes a great development platform.

        • NumFOCUS and Tidelift partner to support essential community-led open source data science and scientific computing projects

          NumFOCUS and Tidelift today announced a partnership to support open source libraries critical to the Python data science and scientific computing ecosystem. NumPy, SciPy, and pandas—sponsored projects within NumFOCUS—are now part of the Tidelift Subscription. Working in collaboration with NumFOCUS, Tidelift financially supports the work of project maintainers to provide ongoing security updates, maintenance and code improvements, licensing verification and indemnification, and more to enterprise engineering and data science teams via a managed open source subscription from Tidelift.

        • Python Plotting With Matplotlib

          A picture is worth a thousand words, and with Python’s matplotlib library, it fortunately takes far less than a thousand words of code to create a production-quality graphic.

          However, matplotlib is also a massive library, and getting a plot to look just right is often achieved through trial and error. Using one-liners to generate basic plots in matplotlib is relatively simple, but skillfully commanding the remaining 98% of the library can be daunting.

        • Nominations for 2019 Malcolm Tredinnick Memorial Prize

          Malcolm was an early core contributor to Django and had both a huge influence and large impact on Django as we know it today. Besides being knowledgeable he was also especially friendly to new users and contributors. He exemplified what it means to be an amazing Open Source contributor. We still miss him.

          The DSF Prize page summarizes the prize nicely:

          The Malcolm Tredinnick Memorial Prize is a monetary prize, awarded annually, to the person who best exemplifies the spirit of Malcolm’s work – someone who welcomes, supports and nurtures newcomers; freely gives feedback and assistance to others, and helps to grow the community. The hope is that the recipient of the award will use the award stipend as a contribution to travel to a community event — a DjangoCon, a PyCon, a sprint — and continue in Malcolm’s footsteps.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: pkgKitten 0.1.5: Creating R Packages that purr

          This release provides a few small changes. The default per-package manual page now benefits from a second refinement (building on what was introduced in the 0.1.4 release) in using the Rd macros referring to the DESCRIPTION file rather than duplicating information. Several pull requests fixes sloppy typing in the README.md, NEWS.Rd or manual page—thanks to all contributors for fixing these. Details below.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (jss and kernel), Debian (libpcap, openjdk-8, and tcpdump), Fedora (java-11-openjdk), openSUSE (libreoffice), Oracle (java-1.7.0-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.7.0-openjdk, python, and wget), Scientific Linux (java-1.7.0-openjdk), SUSE (ceph, ceph-iscsi, ses-manual_en, dhcp, openconnect, and procps), and Ubuntu (exiv2, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-snapdragon, and uw-imap).

      • Password lessons: Longer is better, so is salt

        Infosec pros who had no idea of how easily a stolen list of hashed passwords could be cracked got a sobering lesson at this month’s SecTor security conference in Toronto.

        There, Will Hunt, co-founder of the U.K. based In.security consulting firm, casually talked of systems that can be built around a common (about $1,500) Nvidea GTX 2080 graphics card that could make 100 billion guesses a second in a brute force attack.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘Go Home America. After You Made Our Sons Die’: Outraged Syrian Kurds Throw Dirt and Rotten Food at Fleeing US Troops

        “To the U.S. Army who are leaving northeast Syria, tell your children that the children of the Kurds were killed by the Turks and you did nothing to protect them.”

      • As Trump Tweets He Is ‘Bringing Soldiers Home,’ Pentagon Chief Says US Forces Leaving Syria Are Shifting to Iraq

        “We simply cannot believe anything the Trump administration says—and neither can our allies.”

      • No, Trump Isn’t Bringing US Troops Home

        Although Trump keeps talking about bringing the troops home from the Middle East, that isn’t what he is doing. There are some 60,000 US troops in and around the Middle East. There is no prospect of any significant number of them “coming home” any time soon.

      • The Empire Steps Back

        What everyone is most upset about with regard to Syria isn’t the bloodshed or anything having [to] do with human rights. It’s the decline in American control of the Middle East. This is 100% about US imperialism taking a hit.

      • Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush

        It’s a nice story if you don’t think beyond it: former president George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, sitting in the Cowboys’ owner’s luxury suite with Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi at a Dallas Cowboys/Green Bay Packers NFL game. “People were upset,” DeGeneres was quoted as saying. “They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president. . . . A lot of people were mad . And they did what people do when they’re mad . . . they tweet.” Rather than sharing any negative tweets, DeGeneres offered a positive one: “ ‘Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.’” DeGeneres then made an observation that also was enthusiastically applauded by her television audience: “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them . . . When I say, ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.” (“Ellen DeGeneres explains hanging out with her friend George W. Bush,” By Lisa Respers France, CNN, Oct. 8, 2019)

      • Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain

        I don’t know how many times I heard that if we don’t stand by Israel, the victims of the Nazi Judeocide will have died in vain. I knew something was wrong with that claim, but for the longest time I couldn’t put my finger on it. Now I think I can.


        The victims of the Holocaust did not see themselves as dying for a cause and were not expecting their deaths to accomplish anything on their part. They certainly did not think of themselves as dying for the future establishment of a chauvinist Jewish state in Palestine, although a small number might have been Zionists.

      • Russian journalist-turned-mercenary reportedly killed in Libya

        Yevgeny Ilyubayev, a journalist from Yekaterinburg, has evidently been killed in the Libyan civil war, the local investigative outlet Znak.com reported based on anonymous tips.

      • Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
      • No Limits to Evil?

        Not all world leaders are evil.  The Russians are bombing hospitals in Syria, but the president of Ethiopia has just won the Nobel Prize for fostering peace in the Horn of Africa.  Meanwhile, the presidents of China, Russia, India, Turkey, and  the United States are distinguished by their almost unimaginably evil actions.   

      • Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition

        My friend Marianne Goldscheider, who is 87, suffered a broken hip in July, 2018 and then, in June 2019, it happened again. When she broke her hip the first time, she was running, with her son, on a football field. After the second break, when she fell in her kitchen, she recalls her only desire as she was placed on a stretcher. “I just wanted ‘the right pill,’” she says. She wished she could end her life. Marianne says her Catholic friends, who live nearby in the New York Catholic Worker community, persuaded her not to give up. They’ve long admired her tenacity, and over the years many have learned from her history as a survivor of the Nazi regime who was forced to flee Germany. Recalling her entry to the United States, Marianne jokes she may have been one of the only displaced persons who arrived in the United States carrying her skis. Yet she also carried deep anxieties, the “angst,” she says, of her generation. She still wonders about German people in the military and the aristocracy who knew Hitler was mad and, yet, didn’t try to stop him. “When and how,” she wonders, “do human beings get beyond all reasoning?”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Adam Silver Reveals The Chinese Government Asked Him To Fire Daryl Morey

        We’ve been taken on something of a journey over the past several weeks by China and their thin-skinned government’s attempt to pressure everyone into forgetting that Hong Kong exists. Specifically, it seems that Beijing is quite afraid of any person with a platform showing any support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, which much of the world sees as an attempt to stave off an authoritarian government with a history of human rights abuses. While much of the eSports gaming world has taken the cowardly step to self-censor — going so far as to punish those competing in a fairly hamfisted manner — there is also this NBA…thing.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Bad Laws And The Best Of Intentions: Law Designed To ‘Protect’ Gig Workers May Destroy Journalism Freelancers

        For years there have been arguments about the whole “gig work” economy, and how the various “gig workers” should be classified. Specifically, it historically came down to a question of whether or not they should be seen as contractors/freelancers or employees. Of course, the real answer should probably be “neither” and there should be a different classification altogether (if we must classify them). However, following a California Supreme Court ruling that found that the so-called “ABC Test” should be used for determining employment, California pushed for a law codifying that rule, which would, in theory, force tons of companies to reclassify contract/gig workers as “employees.” Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law last month with a signing statement that claimed it was to combat the “hollowing out of our middle-class…” and suggesting this will somehow help workers.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Azerbaijan: Peaceful Rallies Dispersed Violently

        Azerbaijan police violently dispersed two peaceful protests in central Baku on October 19 and 20, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Police rounded up dozens of peaceful opposition and civic activists, beating and roughing them up while forcing them onto buses and into police cars.

      • Lebanon Plan to Address Protest Grievances Falls Short

        Spontaneous anti-government demonstrations broke out across Lebanon last week, sparked by the announcement of a slew of new taxes. The largely peaceful protests took an ugly turn on October 18th.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Ed Norton Calls Out Steven Spielberg & Hollywood For Demonizing Netflix

        Earlier this year Steven Spielberg had a “get off my lawn” moment in demanding that films from Netflix and other streaming services be excluded from Oscar contention. The sentiment isn’t uncommon among old-school Hollywood types who see traditional film as somehow so sacred that it shouldn’t have to change or adapt in the face of technological evolution. It was the same sentiment recently exhibited by the Cannes film festival when they banned Netflix films because Netflix pushed back against absurd French film laws like the 36-month delay between theatrical release and streaming availability.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Ericsson privateer Unwired Planet seeking $8 billion from Apple over standard-essential patents, submission to UK Supreme Court says

          Yesterday it became known that Apple is an intervenor (as is Qualcomm with its diametrically opposed views) in the UK Supreme Court appeal of Unwired Planet v. Huawei (consolidated with Conversant v. ZTE).

          Day 2 of the hearing just started. Brick Court Chambers’ Mark Howard, counsel for Huawei, came out swinging–he’s more forceful today than he was yesterday, though the point he drove home on Monday that the implementer of a standard is entitled to dispute validity and infringement (an entitlement that would be vitiated by a SEP holder just being given all the leverage in a single jurisdiction to force the defendant into a global portfolio license).

          Given how outrageous the lower courts’ rulings in this case were, I would have expected more judges to make the kinds of statements we heard from Lady Black, who so far appears to have the best grasp at both the theoretical/dogmatic and practical levels of the case. And by now the most senior judge on the panel, Lord Reed (Deputy President of the Court) appears to have totally understood the difference between a declared-essential patent (with declarations being made even before it’s clear what the ultimately-adopted standard looks like, which is but one of the various uncertainties between a declared-essential patents and an established-essential patent). This is closely related to that brilliant point I mentioned: it’s not about turning SEP licensing (in my words) into an implementer’s jukebox–it is, as Mr. Howard made clear yesterday, about the entitlement to dispute validity and essentiality, which involves issues on which one jurisdiction may very well reach a different conclusion from another (as has been proven in this case, where Unwired Planet is on the losing track in China so far).


          The new information is now that what Unwired Planet demands from Apple amounts to $8 billion.

          If those patents are really that valuable–and it’s not like Ericsson doesn’t know a thing or two about cellular SEPS–, why would Ericsson have transferred them to Unwired Planet without a substantial one-time payment due upon the signing of the agreement? It’s because Unwired Planet is not a regular and genuine acquirer. It’s, as I just said, a licensing and litigation agent. No legal issues concerning the transaction itself or directly related to it, such as standing, are at issue in the UK case. But this is important context because it shows the policy implications of the lower courts’ misguided decisions.

        • Six months after settlement, Apple and Qualcomm opposing each other in UK court: interventions in Unwired Planet v. Huawei

          There is a lot at stake in this case (for the technology industry, this is bigger than Brexit), and the panel of five justices, led by Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the UK Lord Reed, will hear argument over the course of four days–or a total of roughly 20 hours, which is about 10-20 times as long as a U.S. Supreme Court hearing in a comparable case would be. While this case involves certain questions specific to standard-essential patents (SEPs) that the UK Supreme Court must delve into, it wouldn’t actually be hard to find a dispositive error. But the UK Supreme Court doesn’t seem to be looking for a shortcut. They’re trying to narrow the actual issue of dispute down with a jigsaw as opposed to just disposing of the case with a chainsaw. While courts at all levels, and especially top-level courts, generally seek to rule narrowly rather than broadly, there’s always the risk of not seeing the forest amid all the trees.

          After the first day, there is no clear indication as to what’s going to happen. Huawei’s counsel had all the speaking time today, and drove a few points home, but hasn’t dealt the lower courts’ misguided rulings a knock-out blow yet.

          One circumstance that has me concerned is that Lord Justice Kitchin, who was on the appellate panel that upheld Mr. Justice Birss’s reasoning, is now on the Supreme Court–not on the panel hearing this case, but he appears to seize each and every opportunity, be it a Munich conference that I attended earlier this year or a recent interview with ManagingIP magazine, to advocate affirmance instead of letting his colleagues form their own opinion without a questionable kind of attempt to influence their thinking (indirectly, as I don’t presume he actually talked to them about this case).


          That entitlement wasn’t abolished by the CJEU’s Huawei v. ZTE ruling. But that leads us to the other point I wish to make (as there’ll be opportunities on the following days to look at this case from more angles): I got the impression that the UK courts–at all three levels–are influenced far too strongly by that Huawei v. ZTE decision and the idea that FRAND goes both ways (though the reciprocal-license requirement in an ETSI FRAND declaration is irrelevant to this, and Lady Black made a very important when she stressed that the FRAND undertaking estops the declarant, but does not prevent the implementer from disputing validity and infringement). Brexit hasn’t happened yet, so CJEU rulings can still govern UK cases, but what needs to be considered is that Huawei v. ZTE came from Germany, a jurisdiction that doesn’t distinguish between legal and equitable remedies. But UK law does give judges more discretion with respect to the grant of injunctive relief. Huawei v. ZTE may be the only line of defense (until Germany finally brings its national patent law into compliance with the IPR enforcement directive of the EU) for a company held to infringe a SEP. It’s an antitrust defense. In the UK, however, courts don’t even need to resort to antitrust law in order to find that a patent holder–in this case, one that doesn’t make any products–can simply be made whole with money, even if it may take a couple of rounds of litigation to get there.

          The ruling that is being reviewed here does not contain a proper derivation of a result from the starting parameters. In this case, as Huawei’s counsel outlined, the major market is China, as is the place of manufacturing, and Unwired Planet has already lost multiple patents there and may end up having failed to prove the infringement of a single valid patent. In such cases, a real-world defendant will, in the absence of judicial imperialism, base its negotiating position largely on the parties’ positions of strength and weakness in the most relevant jurisdiction.

          It was British understatement when Huawei’s counsel said toward the end of the first hearing day that the UK wouldn’t be a major patent litigation venue in the smartphone industry (except in the event of affirmance) as it is neither where those phones are manufactured nor the place where most of them are sold. The UK market isn’t small or poor, and many parties have litigated there (such as by seeking declaratory judgment of invalidity) just to be handed decisions that would serve as persuasive authority in other countries, such as Germany. And one can submit UK rulings in many other jurisdictions even without having to translate them (while translation costs are a non-issue, it’s always preferable to present an original decision).

      • Copyrights

        • Ready to Pay $30,000 for Sharing a Photo Online? The House of Representatives Thinks You Are

          Tomorrow the House of Representatives has scheduled to vote on what appears to be an unconstitutional copyright bill that carries with it life altering penalties. The bill would slap $30,000 fines on Internet users who share a copyrighted work they don’t own online.

          Take Action

        • Congress Looks To Rush Through Unconstitutional Pro-Copyright Trolls Bill, Despite Promising To Explore Alternatives

          We’ve written a bunch about the CASE Act, which Congress (misleadingly) has referred to as a sort of “small claims court” for copyright claims. Supporters say that this is needed because actually going to federal court, where copyright claims are normally heard, is too expensive for smaller copyright holders. There are multiple problems with this, starting with the fact that an entire industry of copyright trolling firms has been built up around “helping” smaller copyright holders demand payment from anyone who uses their works, and the courts are already flooded with such cases (many of which are already dubious). Second, the CASE Act is not actually about “small claims” nor is it a “court.” The process it can create — a tribunal within the Copyright Office — can order accused infringers to pay up to $30,000, which is not very small at all. Yet, Congress is so out of touch with the average American citizen that one member, Rep. Doug Collins, literally laughed about how $30,000 was such a “small claim.”

“Stallman Was Right” is Not Just a Meme as It’s Usually True

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux at 1:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[...] we know that Microsoft is getting patents on some features of C#. So I think it’s dangerous to use C#, and it may be dangerous to use Mono.”

Richard Stallman

Summary: The track record of Stallman isn’t immaculate, but it’s exceptionally good if not impressive

A decade ago we wrote a lot about Mono and we’ve all managed to keep the Mono agenda away (from GNU/Linux) until Novell vomited out Mono and Microsoft collected the pieces, rendering them ‘in-house’ a unit and later adding Peters, revealing what these people were all along.

“Stallman typically turned out to be right with his pessimism. That in its own right makes him a good leader for the FSF or at least for GNU.”GNU/Linux has long had an issue with moles and defectors. For instance, the sole editor of Linux.com has just declared his intention to buy a Microsoft computer. That’s how ridiculous the people at the Linux Foundation really are. Those are the sorts of people who pretend to care about the FSF when they demand the removal not only of Stallman but everyone else who supports Stallman, i.e. the goals of the FSF.

No person is perfect and no perfect prediction records exist (unless one makes very few predictions). Stallman typically turned out to be right with his pessimism. That in its own right makes him a good leader for the FSF or at least for GNU. Don’t rewrite the past.

EPO Diplomatic Immunity

Posted in Europe, Humour, Patents at 11:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli broke every law possible, but Benalla punched someone

Summary: What people can get away with at the European Patent Office (EPO) if their name is Battistelli or António Campinos

Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Reveals How the German Government Actively Ignored SMEs to Push the Notorious ‘Unitary Patent’ Sham

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

See our past UPC articles (or Unitary Patent articles) for background

Ingve Björn Stjerna's Unitary Patent paper

Summary: Turning European Patents (which are no longer good patents but expensive or overpriced patent monopolies — patents which European courts will likely reject) into “unitary” ones (i.e. enforceable EU-wide with one legal action) would harm wrongly-accused parties that mostly or only operate in one single country, overriding the authority of those parties’ national laws and courts

Ingve Björn Stjerna’s latest Unitary Patent/Unified Patent Court/Community Patent/EU Patent (yes, the advocates keep shuffling names to confuse us) paper is out. It’s about a dozen pages long (that’s just page 1 above), so it oughtn’t take more than an hour to read.

“New Stjerna UPC article published today: The European Patent Reform: The German Ministry of Justice and the legal scrutiny of the UPCA and the draft legislation for its ratification,” Benjamin Henrion wrote, as this new publication [PDF] was made available yesterday (as per the date on the paper).

“It’s about a dozen pages long (that’s just page 1 above), so it oughtn’t take more than an hour to read.”The UPC is really, really awful. It may not be simple to track its history because names changed over time. A decade ago it had another acronym altogether. But Team UPC cannot fool us; it can trick us for a while, but sooner or later people realise that words like “unity” or “union” are just euphemistic marketing blankets for something pretty awful that extends the powers and reach of a totally unaccountable European Patent Office (EPO), led by dangerous people such as António Campinos and Battistelli, advocates of software patents in Europe, breakers of European laws, breakers of labour laws, union busters, censors, illegal spies, thieves and worse. At least one of them should have been arrested for bringing weapons to the EPO (in direct breach of very strict German laws).

“The UPC is really, really awful.”Henrion has assessed the paper and admitted he has not yet “read the FOIA documents [Stjerna] managed to get [...] Basically German gov did not do its homework on economic impact of UPC [...] notably on the impact for small companies which will be negative, as cost of litigation will be higher…”

To quote from and around page 11 (last page): “the costs of the European patent reform for the economy, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises, were not addressed in the draft ratification laws.”

And from page 1: “[...] The GGO contains detailed guidelines for bills of the Federal Government (sec. 42 ff GGO), such as the Ratification and Implementation Acts on the UPCA.”

What does the EPO have to say about all this? Not much. Not anymore. The EPO grants lots of fake patents, hoping to render them ‘unitary’ some time in the future. They call these European Patents even though a very significant majority of them are not European at all. They’re being granted mostly to large foreign (outside Europe) companies, notably the United States.

“The EPO grants lots of fake patents, hoping to render them ‘unitary’ some time in the future.”The EPO has just tweeted: “It is a pleasure to announce that Andrei Iancu, Director @USPTO, will join us for this year’s Patent Information Conference in Bucharest in less than 10 days’ time.”

Today’s Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the "American Battistelli", Andrei Iancu (born in Hungary). He comes to the EPO to advance the litigation ‘industry’ agenda (he comes from there) and maybe he will lecture them on how to ignore courts and judges. This is what he does in the US, just like Battistelli and Campinos in Europe.

A short while ago the EPO also wrote: “Last month, EPO examiners & formalities officers were invited to discuss the challenges related to patenting additive manufacturing ( #3Dprinting). This field has become a driving force in various industries.”

“But the EPO — like the UPC — has nothing to with innovation and science. It’s all about litigation and monopolies that guard themselves by suing the competition (or threatening to sue).”“What an absolutely terrible example,” I responded to them. “It is widely known (ask ANYBODY in the field) that #patents on #3dprinting curtailed #innovation in this space for DECADES!”

But the EPO — like the UPC — has nothing to with innovation and science. It’s all about litigation and monopolies that guard themselves by suing the competition (or threatening to sue). SMEs don’t matter; it’s just something the EPO name-drops in “tweets” every other day.

Links 22/10/2019: Pacman 5.2, Shame of Disney+ DRM, Microsoft’s DRM Scheme, Microsoft Reprimanded for Privacy Abuses

Posted in News Roundup at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Samsung Kills ‘Linux on DeX’ With Android 10 Rollout

      Samsung will no longer provide support for the program for future operating systems and devices.

    • Samsung Linux on DeX is dead, here are open source alternatives

      Over the weekend, Samsung sent a relatively small number of its customers an email that they probably didn’t want to read on a weekend or on a weekday. The company was put its Linux on DeX beta program to rest and not because it was graduating to a stable release. On the contrary, Samsung was ending the program completely. It may have had a small number of users but LoD, as it was known, was well-loved by those because of what it enabled. Fortunately, there are other ways to carry on that promise in a hopefully more sustainable and more future-proof way.

      There are actually two things involved here as the name may suggest, neither of which are actually intrinsically dependent on the other. The first is DeX, which is Samsung’s makeshift desktop experience that runs only on a large screen, either directly on a tablet or via an external screen in the case of phones. Despite looking like a conventional desktop, you are still running Android, just with a different home screen and with windowed apps by default.

    • Samsung’s ‘Linux on DeX’ project shuts down after just 11 months

      The desktop environment that turns your Samsung phone or tablet into a PC when connected to an external display, nicknamed ‘DeX,’ has been around for a while now. Nearly a year ago, Samsung introduced the Linux on DeX beta, which could run a full Linux OS on top of DeX. Sadly, the project seems to have been discontinued.

      Samsung is sending out an email to testers explaining that the beta program has ended, and that Linux on DeX will not be supported on devices running Android 10…

    • Samsung won’t support Linux on DeX in Android 10

      The beta programme allowed users to run an entire Linux distro on their Samsung device, using the company’s DeX feature to connect it to an external monitor and keyboard to create a complete desktop computer.

      However, Samsung has announced that the Android 10 builds for its devices will remove the feature. DeX users will still be able to access a customised version of Android, but the Linux option will be gone.

      It told users in an email: “Linux on DeX will not be supported on Android 10 Beta. Once you update your device to Android OS 10, you will not be able to perform a version rollback to Android Pie. If you decide to update your device to Android 10 Beta, we recommend backing up data before updating.”

    • Stephen Michael Kellat: Assessing Cord Cutting

      And then to see OMG! Ubuntu! mention today that Disney+ won’t support Linux adds to why I’m having trouble with the whole notion of shifting to streaming.

    • Disney+ incompatible with certain devices, Linux developer reveals why

      The content streaming market just welcomed another competitor that hopes to attract new subscribers. With a massive library of movies and upcoming exclusive series, Disney+ appears to be the platform to beat. However, a recent report from developers confirms that the service might not be compatible with all devices. It appears that the strict DRM built into the system is causing problems for owners of these devices. If the issue is not addressed soon, it can push users to switch to alternatives that can support their platforms.

      Among the items reportedly affected are Chromebooks, Linux PCs and some Android devices that fail to meet the DRM system’s requirements. Lifehacker points out that credit for this discovery goes to Hansdegoede, a Linux developer who confirmed what causes the Disney+ compatibility matter. Based on the findings, Disney’s streaming service relies on Widvine DRM. Ideally, this security measure is in place to block users from accessing content over the web on devices deemed as potential risks for unauthorised usage.

    • Disney+ Does Not Work On Linux Devices

      De Goede noticed that Disney+ would not work in any of the web browsers that he tried on systems running Fedora Linux. He tried Firefox and Chrome, and both times Disney+ threw the error “error code 83.” Disney+ Support was not able to assist de Goede. It replied with a generic message stating that the error was known and that it happened often when customers tried to play Disney+ in web browsers or using certain devices. Support recommended to use the official applications on phones or tablets to watch the shows or movies. Other streaming services, e.g. Netflix, work fine on Linux.

    • Disney+ does not work on Linux devices

      Linux users who plan to subscribe to Disney’s Disney+ video streaming service may have a rude awakening when they are greeted with Error Code 83 when trying to play any TV show or movie offered by Disney+ on Linux devices.

      Fedora Linux package maintainer Hans De Goede from the Netherlands decided to try out Disney+ as the service launched recently in some regions including in the Netherlands. Interested users can sign up for a free trial to test the service.

    • Happily Never After: Why Disney+ Doesn’t Support Linux (Yet)

      As many of you will no doubt know, most major online video streaming services work on Linux via Google Chrome and Firefox browsers “thanks” to DRM and the “Widevine” plugin.

      This plugin, controversial though it is, is what enables Linux desktops to access content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other VoD providers.

      Now, in theory, there’s no technical reason why folks can’t watch Disney+ on Linux using Widevine too (Disney+ uses it on Windows and macOS).

      Hans de Goede mailed Disney to explain his issues, which Disney said they were aware of and that their IT department was “working hard to solve”.

      But a month on from that mail there’s been zero progress.

    • Disney+ Might Not Work on Your Device

      Those looking forward to the upcoming Disney+ may want to double-check their preferred devices can actually run the streaming service in the first place. According to Linux developer Hansdegoede, Linux PCs, Chromebooks, and some Android devices are incapable of meeting Disney’s stringent DRM requirements necessary for accessing Disney+ via web browsers.

      Disney+ uses the “Widevine” DRM, which restricts access to content based on a security level between 1 (low) and 3 (high). Most streaming services only require devices meet level 1 security in order to watch (non-4K) content, but Disney+ is only accessible to devices that meet level 3. Linux, Chromebooks, and some older Android devices are only compatible with level 1, meaning all those devices are locked out of the service. Disney is aware of this issue and told Hansdegeode that the issue was being worked on back in September, but the error persists.

    • Sadly Disney+ Won’t Work on Chromebooks, Linux, & Some Android Devices Because of DRM

      If you plan to get Disney+ with the hopes of using it on a Chromebook, Linux computer, or some Android streaming players, you may be out of luck. Sadly, early testing in the Netherlands has shown Disney+ does not work on these devices.

      So why are devices like Chromebooks blocked? It seems that Disney has set its DRM (Digital Rights Management) to a very high level to help prevent piracy. Disney uses a DRM system created by Google called Widevine. The Widevine system has three different levels of security, and Disney has set their level of security all the way up to 3 according to Hasdegoede who first reported this and Cord Cutters News has later confirmed. Sadly many devices including Chromebooks and Linux do not support level 3 Widevine as their support stops at level 1.

      Google’s Widevine DRM is a widely used DVR standard for services like Google Play, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. This DRM standard is also why you can’t stream Netflix higher than 480p on mobile devices and some Android streaming players.

    • Desktop

      • Audio capture in Linux on Chromebooks testing about to begin in Chrome OS

        may be one of the few that wants to record audio using a Linux app on my Chromebook, but I’m going to share this news anyway. The effort to bring audio capture support to Project Crostini that started in February is nearly ready for testing, at least on a limited basis.

        ’ve tried to start my conainer with the new –enable-audio-capture argument using the Dev Channel of Chrome OS 79 but the extra parameter isn’t yet recognized. Hopefully, it arrives in the next Dev Channel update for Chrome OS.

        My specific need for audio capture is when using Audacity, an open-source audio editing tool available for Linux, as well as Windows and macOS.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes networking, OpenStack Train, and more industry trends

        As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat has open source credibility: CEO Jim Whitehurst

          Red Hat’s strategy remains unchanged. We are an open source software company looking to deliver open source platforms. Every line of code we have is open source—that will continue to be true going forward. In fact, even for employee contributions, IBM changed their entire contribution policy to match that of Red Hat. The logic of the deal is more around how IBM’s go-to-market capability can help us scale faster. Earlier, we just didn’t have the size and the scale to really be able to deliver these huge platforms for telcos, etc. IBM is working hard to better optimize their software to run on our platforms.

          I think the biggest change really has happened over the last 6-7 years. Open source has grown from basically being used either by hobbyists, or vendors looking to build alternatives to traditional software, to being adopted by large IT users such as Google and Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook—all of whom have started doing most of their own engineering work for their infrastructure and doing it with open source. Open source has also evolved from being a lower-cost alternative and something you might consider if you’re a techie, to consume it if I want to innovate. So if you want to do Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML), you’re going to use open source. If you’re going to use cloud, you’re going to use open source; if you’re going to do analytics and Big Data, you’re going to consume a lot of open source. That’s a fundamental switch in the minds of enterprises. In the context of developers, too, the vast majority of open source is coming from programmers paid by their employers.

        • How collaboration fueled a development breakthrough at Greenpeace

          We’d managed to launch a prototype of Planet 4, Greenpeace’s new, open engagement platform for activists and communities. It’s live in more than 38 countries (with many more sites). More than 1.75 million people are using it. We’ve topped more than 3.1 million pageviews.

          To get here, we spent more than 650 hours in meetings, drank 1,478 litres of coffee, and fixed more than 300 bugs. But it fell short of our vision; it still wasn’t the minimum lovable product we wanted and we didn’t know how to move it forward.

          We were stuck.

          Planet 4′s complexity was daunting. We didn’t always have the right people to address the numerous challenges the project raised. We didn’t know if we’d ever realize our vision. Yet a commitment to openness had gotten us here, and I knew a commitment to openness would get us through this, too.

        • After Seven Quarters Of Growth, Power Systems Declines

          The tough compares have hit home on IBM’s Power Systems business, but the good news is that this has happened after seven consecutive quarters of growth for the Power-based server business that Big Blue owns lock, stock, and barrel. Even with this decline, which was quite steep because of the triple whammy of tough compares (more on that in a moment), there is still a healthy underlying Power Systems business that is much better off than the last time it was hit by similar declines.

          Let’s take a look at the numbers for IBM’s Power Systems division and then work our way up through its Systems group and to the company at large. According to the presentation put together by IBM’s chief financial officer, Jim Cavanaugh, to go over the numbers for the third quarter of 2019, the Power Systems division had a decline of 27 percent in constant currency (meaning growth in local currencies aggregated across those economies), with as-reported sales also being down 27 percent. In other words, currency had no effect on the overall Power Systems business even if it did impact IBM’s sales, as reported in U.S. dollars, by 1.3 percent in the period ended in September.

        • Red Hat Government Symposium: Transforming culture and creating open innovation powerhouses

          For state, local and federal government agencies, digital transformation means much more than just migrating away from legacy technology systems. It involves inspiring ideas, encouraging communication and collaboration, and empowering government employees to forge their organizations’ innovation pathways.

          That’s why we are focusing on cultural transformation at our upcoming Red Hat Government Symposium. This year’s one-day event—Open transforms: A future built on open source—will be on Nov. 12, 2019, in Washington, D.C., and will feature a stellar lineup of keynotes and panels, as well as fantastic networking opportunities with industry peers.

        • Journey to the Future of Money with Red Hat at Money 20/20

          Event season is in full swing for the Red Hat Financial services team, and this time, we are headed to the bright lights of Las Vegas to attend Money 20/20 USA, being held from October 27 – 30th. Red Hat will be attending to sponsor a number of activities and discuss the important role open source technologies play in the future of payments, money and banking activities.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2019-10-21 | Linux Headlines

        New off-line features coming to Firefox, an update on exFAT support in the Linux Kernel, why Disney+ might not stream on Linux, and the trick Pop!_OS 19.10 has up its sleeve.

      • SMLR 316: Interview with Ohio Linux Fest
      • gnu World Order 13×43

        Klaatu is back in New Zealand after the All Things Open conference in Raleigh, NC.

      • Our Trip To Texas Cyber Summit | Jupiter Extras 24

        We’re back from Texas Cyber Summit with stories of new friends, great food, and our experiences from the event.

      • Deus Ex & DevOps Episode 1
      • LHS Episode #308: Ciao, Enzo

        Welcome to Episode 308 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short-topic episode, the hosts discuss the JOTA/JOTI weekend, Homebrew Heroes, youths as the future of amateur radio, GNU, Perl, OpenLibra, open hardware, FOSS satellites and much more. Thank you for tuning in. We appreciate you all.

      • Illustrating The Landscape And Applications Of Deep Learning

        Deep learning is a phrase that is used more often as it continues to transform the standard approach to artificial intelligence and machine learning projects. Despite its ubiquity, it is often difficult to get a firm understanding of how it works and how it can be applied to a particular problem. In this episode Jon Krohn, author of Deep Learning Illustrated, shares the general concepts and useful applications of this technique, as well as sharing some of his practical experience in using it for his work. This is definitely a helpful episode for getting a better comprehension of the field of deep learning and when to reach for it in your own projects.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • RLSL Allows Running A Subset Of Rust On Vulkan/SPIR-V Enabled GPUs

          There was a recent Khronos meet-up in Munich where Maik Klein of Embark Studios talked about their work on bringing a sub-set of the Rust programming language to Vulkan (SPIR-V) enabled GPUs.

          RLSL is the project being worked on by the Swedish game studio for opening up Rustlang use for GPUs to benefit from the language’s same design advantages, provide a unified front-end, and being able to leverage the existing Rust ecosystem with the likes of Cargo/crates.

        • Raspberry Pi 4′s V3D Driver Lands OpenGL ES 3.1 Bits In Mesa 19.3-devel

          The Broadcom “V3D” Gallium3D driver that is most notably used by the new Raspberry Pi 4 boards now is effectively at OpenGL ES 3.1 support within the newest Mesa 19.3 code.

          We’ve known that Igalia has been ironing out OpenGL ES 3.1 for V3D after taking over the work from Eric Anholt who left Broadcom earlier this year to go work for Google.

          Merged this past week was the OpenGL compute shader bits as the main blocker that prevented the V3D open-source Gallium3D driver from exposing GLES 3.1. Following that was a memory violation fix and then explicitly exposing OpenGL ES Shading Language 3.1. That merge request does note that a few more fixes are still needed before V3D will officially pass all of the OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance tests, but at least Mesa 19.3′s code is good enough along to enable the support.

    • Microsoft

      • Euro data watchdog has ‘serious concerns’ as to whether EU deals with Microsoft obey GDPR

        The way Windows 10 is configured is critical, and the report concludes that if the Timeline is disabled and telemetry set to the lowest level, there are “no high data protection risks resulting from the diagnostic data collection in Windows 10″.

        The Dutch report on Office 365 is less positive, particularly with regard to Office mobile apps and Office Online, for which “five high data protection risks” are identified. “Until Microsoft takes measures to mitigate these risks, government organisations should refrain from using Office Online and the mobile Office apps included in Office 365 licence,” it states. There is also advice that “in order to prevent continued vendor lock-in, government organisations are advised to conduct a pilot with alternative open-source productivity software”. That said, if all recommended measures are followed, “there are no more known high data protection risks for data subjects related to the collection of data about the use of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus”, it concludes.

        In July 2019, the Dutch government published a “State of Play” memo [PDF] indicating that Microsoft had largely resolved the issues which prevented Office from meeting GDPR requirements. “Microsoft has now made the most urgent changes in accordance with the improvement plan. These were tested by SLM Microsoft Rijk in June 2019 and found to be in order,” it says.

        This explains why the EDPS now states that the agreement forged between Microsoft and the Dutch government is a model for the rest of the EU. “The EDPS is of the opinion that such solutions should be extended not only to all public and private bodies in the EU, which is our short-term expectation, but also to individuals.”

      • EU’s Microsoft probe throws up ‘serious concerns’ over GDPR compliance

        “Though the investigation is still ongoing, preliminary results reveal serious concerns over the compliance of the relevant contractual terms with data protection rules and the role of Microsoft as a processor for EU institutions using its products and services,” it said.

      • EU data watchdog raises concerns over Microsoft contracts

        Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) contracts with European Union institutions do not fully protect data in line with EU law, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said in initial findings published on Monday.


        The EU introduced new rules on data protection in 2018, known as GDPR, applicable to all companies operating in the bloc and designed to give individuals more control over their personal data and to create a more level playing field for businesses.

        “We are committed to helping our customers comply with GDPR, Regulation 2018/1725 and other applicable laws,” a Microsoft spokesman said.

        “We are in discussions with our customers in the EU institutions and will soon announce contractual changes that will address concerns such as those raised by the EDPS.”

        The EDPS has worked with the Dutch ministry of justice, which carried out risk assessments last June and found that public authorities in member states face similar issues

        The two have since set up a forum designed to set up fair rules for public administrations.

        The EDPS said there is “significant scope” for improvement of contracts with powerful software developers and that contractual terms and technical safeguards agreed between the Dutch ministry and Microsoft were a positive step forwards.

    • Applications

      • Darktable 2.6.3 Released with New Cameras support (Ubuntu PPA)

        Darktable, open source photography workflow app and RAW developer, released version 2.6.3 today with new features, bug-fixes, and many new cameras support.

      • Proper Linux Screen Sharing Coming to Chromium & Electron Apps like Discord

        A patch to add ‘screen enumeration’ to the Chromium browser is currently pending merge upstream.

        Once this fix is accepted Chromium and Chromium-based apps (like Discord) will finally support full screen sharing on Linux in a manner similar to that on Windows and macOS.

        Not being a multi-monitor user, or someone who shares their screen often, I wasn’t aware of this particular limitation until recently.

        So I’ll explain.

      • Proprietary

        • Avast’s internal network was [cracked] via a compromised VPN profile

          “The user, whose credentials were apparently compromised and associated with the IP, did not have domain admin privileges. However, through a successful privilege escalation, the actor managed to obtain domain admin privileges.”

        • Can the Internet of Things Prevent Colony Collapse?

          Nordic software consultant Tieto Oyj has placed sensors in two beehives in Sweden, connecting some 80,000 bees in each to the Internet. The hives send data to the off-site servers where it can be remotely accessed in real time, and soon artificial intelligence algorithms will be used to analyze the information.

        • Apple plans its own Mac processors, report claims

          Apple’s top brass is well aware that dependency for key components on third-party suppliers is a big risk. This is why it likes to have at least two suppliers for most of its components across its chain.

          It is also why the company invests deeply in proprietary technologies.

        • Apple’s ARM-based Macs are probably arriving next year

          A shift to custom-based ARM chips, while bad news for Intel, would be hardly surprising. It would see Apple more closely merging its hardware efforts, and would also mean the firm no longer have to deal with issues such as Intel’s ongoing processor shortages, which could see new MacBooks make it to market more quickly.

        • Apple’s Smart Glasses Could Make 2020 the Year of AR

          Apple plans other revamps for later next year, too: a Watch with sleep-tracking features and Macs that might run on custom processors, which would likely have greater efficiency and lower battery drain.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Steam ‘Remote Play Together’ is now in Beta, allowing local multiplayer games over the net

        Today, Valve have released an exciting update to the Steam Beta Client which adds in Remote Play Together, allowing you to play local co-op, local multiplayer and shared/split screen games over the net with your friends.

        From what Valve said, it will allow up to four players “or even more in ideal conditions”, meaning if you all have reasonable internet connections you might be able to play with quite a few people.

        Something that has of course been done elsewhere, although the advantage here is no extra payments or software needed as it runs right from the Steam client. It’s very simply done too. Just like you would invite friends to join your online game, you invite them to Remote Play Together from the Steam Friends list and if they accept…away you go. Only the host needs to own the game too, making it easy to get going.

      • Another OpenRA preview build is up needing testing, Tiberian Sun support is coming along

        Work continues on the open source game engine OpenRA which allows you to play Command & Conquer, Red Alert and Dune 2000 on Linux and other modern platforms with support for Tiberian Sun progressing well.


        One issue they’ve been dealing with is deployable units in Tiberian Sun, while OpenRA had basic support for the feature due to the Construction Yards in classic C&C it wasn’t suitable for Tiberian Sun. Now though? They’ve overhauled it and expanded it. You can now queue up deploy commands between other orders, deployable units can be ordered to pack up and then move somewhere else as a single action too.

        Additionally, the code for aircraft and helicopter movement has also been given an overhaul to add in many of the extra features and dynamics needed for Banshees, Orcas, and Carryalls. The transport behaviour for the Carryall was also updated, with unit pick-up behaviour closer to the original game and allowing you to queue up multiple transport runs.

      • Devespresso Games join with Headup for Western release of The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters

        The Korean survival horror-adventure The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters from Devespresso Games is now getting a helping hand from publisher Headup for Western audiences.

        Also confirmed through the press emails is that The Coma 2 will be entering Steam Early Access on November 5th, with a full release expected in “Q1 2020″.

      • Humble Store is doing a Female Protagonist Sale, plus the upcoming Steam sale dates leaked

        The week has only just begun and there’s plenty of sales going on, with even more coming up. Let’s have a little look. First up, Humble Store is doing a Female Protagonist Sale celebrating various heroines across multiple genres.

      • Kowai Sugoi Studios close up so they’ve made their point & click horror ‘Shiver’ free

        Times are tough for indies, with Kowai Sugoi Studios announcing they’re closing up shop and so they’ve set their point and click horror title Shiver free for everyone.

        Kowai Sugoi Studios said in a blog post on the official site that this month they’re shutting down, no reason for it was given but they gave their “sincere appreciation to our friends, family, and fans” for supporting them along the way. Shiver seems to be their only game, released originally back in 2017.

      • vkBasalt, an open source Vulkan post processing layer for Contrast Adaptive Sharpening

        This is an interesting open source project! vkBasalt is a new Vulkan post processing layer that currently supports Contrast Adaptive Sharpening.

        Unlike Radeon Image Sharpening, vkBasalt supports Linux and works with both NVIDIA and AMD. This isn’t entirely reinventing the wheel though, as it’s partly based upon the ReShade port of AMD’s CAS. Still, it’s fun to see what hackers are able to do with little layers like this, especially when we don’t have official support.

      • Ikey Doherty Launches Open-Source Focused Game/Software Development Company

        Well known open-source figure Ikey Doherty who rose to prominence for his work on the Solus Linux distribution and then went on to work on Intel’s Clear Linux project is now having his hand at game engine development.

        Ikey shared with us that he left Intel back in May to begin his new adventure: Lispy Snake. Lispy Snake is a UK software development firm that at least initially is working on a game engine and games. Given Ikey’s experience, the firm is focused on leveraging open-source technologies.

      • After making Crusader Kings II free, Paradox are now giving away The Old Gods expansion

        It’s been a bit of a whirlwind of Paradox news recently and we have even more to share. With a tiny amount of effort, you can get The Old Gods expansion for Crusader Kings II free.

        This is after Crusader Kings II was set free to play and Crusader Kings III was announced just like I suggested it would be.

      • Failbetter Games are upgrading owners of Sunless Skies to the Sovereign Edition next year

        Failbetter Games have announced that Sunless Skies is getting a bit of an upgrade with the Sovereign Edition and it’s going to be free to existing purchasers when it’s release next year.

        Part of the reason, is that it will be releasing on Consoles so they’re polishing the experience up some more. It’s not just a special console edition though, it’s coming with a bunch of new content and various improvements to the flow of it. To release on PC at the same time as Consoles, free for existing players.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • AAB Support in Qt for Android

          Starting with Qt 5.14.0 beta2, users will notice that there are a lot fewer Qt for Android distributions than in previous versions. But don’t panic: All the usual target architectures are still available! Instead of distributing a single package for each target ABI, we now have one larger package that covers all the ones we support: arm64-v8a, armv7a, x86 and x86-64.

          For users building from source, the new default is also to build for all target ABIs in one go.

          The reason for this is that Google Play is moving away from requiring the upload of multiple publisher-signed APK packages. Instead, the recommended form of distribution now is the new AAB format: An unsigned package that contains all supported target ABIs in one. Based on this, the app store will generate signed APKs that are suitable and optimized for the device issuing the request.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME sends message to ‘patent trolls’ and files defence against lawsuit

          The GNOME Foundation has filed a defence against the patent lawsuit it received a month ago, saying it wants to “send a message to all software patent trolls out there”.

          The alleged “patent troll” in question, Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI), sued the GNOME Foundation in September, making claims that the Linux desktop provider had infringed a patent related to the wireless distribution of images.

          In its original legal complaint, RPI said GNOME’s Shotwell program infringed upon its patent as the platform wirelessly shared photos to social media, imported camera photos onto Shotwell, and filtered various photographic images by topics such as events or groups.

          In response to the patent lawsuit, the Linux desktop provider has filed three legal defences — a motion to dismiss the case outright, an answer to the claim, and a counterclaim.

    • Distributions

      • Lightweight Linux Distros for Old Laptop (2019)

        Do not discard that old PC or laptop yet. You can use a lightweight Linux distro to make them as good as new. Some of these Linux distros are specifically for use in older machines.

        You can use any of the lightweight Linux distros and bring your old machine back to life. In as much we focus on the old distros, we do have some new releases that do not require many resources that can re-invent your old computers.

      • Clear Linux Working On A New Software Store, User Bundles Arriving Before End Of Year

        Intel developers are still working on some interesting improvements to Clear Linux itself this quarter on top of keeping up to date with the latest upstream software it packages.

        For those users of this Intel-optimized rolling-release Linux distribution, Q4’2019 is set to bring more improvements to its installer, Python 2 should finally be cleared out, the user bundles / third-party support looks like it will be ready, and they are even working on a new alternative to GNOME Software that will be focused on their bundles packaging architecture.

      • New Releases

        • Alpine 3.10.3 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.10.3 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Digital Transformation – it’s dead, Jim?

          However, digital transformation is like life – it’s an ongoing process, not something you just do once and then it’s done and dusted. A large part of digital transformation is your cloud strategy, which I wrote about fairly recently. That is also something that isn’t a one-off task, but is instead an evolving, transformational process. It was interesting to see, after speaking to attendees at the Gartner event in Frankfurt, that a number of them still hadn’t defined their cloud strategy outside of “we need to move everything to the cloud for cost savings and agility”, while some hadn’t even begun writing a cloud strategy.
          Looking at a chart showing the trends in Google searches for digital transformation in the US (the global trend is the same) over the past 5 years, you can see that while it trends up and then down fairly regularly, it still continues to grow on the whole. So if it’s been around for a while, why does it continue to grow, and is it still relevant?

        • New Security Tools for Application Delivery

          What if you could shut down cybercriminals’ most frequently used method of attack? At SUSE we’ve recently made a move to help you get closer to that goal.

          As you may know, SUSE recently released new versions of our application delivery solutions, SUSE CaaS Platform 4 and SUSE Cloud Application Platform 1.5. The releases contain a number of important updates and features, but the one most exciting in terms of protecting your organization is the addition of Cilium to SUSE CaaS Platform.

      • Arch Family

        • Pacman 5.2 Release

          We have a clear winner. Although I’m sure that at least half of those are in responses to bugs he created! He claims it is a much smaller proportion… And a new contributor in third.

          What has changed in this release? Nothing super exciting as far as I’m concerned, but check out the detailed list here.

          We have completely removed support for delta packages. This was a massively underused feature, usually made updates slower for a slight saving on bandwidth, and had a massive security hole. Essentially, a malicious package database in combination with delta packages could run arbitrary commands on your system. This would be less of an issue if a certain Linux distro signed their package databases… Anyway, on balance I judged it better to remove this feature altogether. We may come back to this in the future with a different implementation, but I would not expect that any time soon. Note a similar vulnerability was found with using XferCommand to download packages, but we plugged that hole instead of removing it!

        • Arch Linux’s Pacman 5.2 Released – Drops Support For Delta Packages, Adds Zstd Support

          The Pacman 5.2 package manager for Arch Linux systems is now available with a variety of changes over earlier releases.

          Pacman 5.2 notably drops support for delta packages — the ability to download what has changed between current and new versions of packages. Delta packages/updates are supposed to yield bandwidth savings and time due to only downloading the “diff” between package versions, but ultimately the current implementation didn’t work out well. Pacman’s delta package handling yielded minimal bandwidth savings and it turned out to be a security hole.

        • Manjaro Linux 18.1.0 Juhraya Cinnamon – Spicy but sweet

          You know how the popular saying goes. When it rains … people drive slowly just to annoy you. But as it happens, I received a bunch of emails from people asking me two things: 1) Why have I not recently done any more Cinnamon reviews (other than Mint)? 2) When am I going to review the latest version of Manjaro 18.1 Juhraya?

          The answer to these question is: yes. At the same time! I decided to try Manjaro Cinnamon, not something I’ve done before, so it should be an interesting, refreshing and hopefully worthwhile exercise. The test box will be the same one I used for the Illyria Xfce test, so we can compare things in earnest – and accurately. This is an eight-book mixed Windows & Linux box, and it comes with UEFI, Intel graphics, 16 sweet partitions, and another instance of Manjaro that we won’t touch in this review. Begin to start.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Community Blog: Where are the team’s newcomers?

          I was wondering why, in the QA team, there are various newcomers willing to contribute, but so little interaction in the mailing list.

          If a person would like to join the QA team, like many other Fedora teams, one of the first things they are supposed to do (at least as a good practice, if not as prescribed by the team SOP) is to send an introductory email to the team’s mailing list.

          And it is simple to spot that—after the introduction email and eventually being sponsored into the FAS group—in most cases the newcomers don’t send any other mail in the following times. Why?

          I was wondering: is it ever possible that a newcomer is so skilled that he/she doesn’t need to ask any clarification to other team members? Is it possible that the documentation we have on the wiki or on docs.f.o. is sufficient to teach a newcomer all the tasks he/she is supposed to perform? How things work? No doubts? Any specific curiosity? All the processes, all the tasks, are they so clear? Wow… or… there is something strange.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu release could stir the Linux pot with delighted users

          Ubuntu 19.10. Kubernetes at the edge. Integrated AI and machine learning. Those were a few of the top notes bleated out by Canonical, sounding its trumpet on October 17 with its announcement of the Ubuntu 19.10 release.

          What’s the big deal? The new release accelerates developer productivity when working on AI/machine learning projects. They said the new release delivered “edge capabilities for MicroK8s.” Thirdly, the release delivered “the fastest GNOME desktop performance.”

          Elaborating on those top notes, the announcement looked at the Kubernetes environment: “Strict confinement ensures complete isolation and a tightly secured production-grade Kubernetes environment, all in a small footprint ideal for edge gateways. MicroK8s add-ons—including Istio, Knative, CoreDNS, Prometheus, and Jaeger—can now be deployed securely at the edge with a single command.”

        • What To Do After Installing Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

          In this traditional article special for Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine you will find my suggestions and recommendations in 3 parts, work (including date/time adjustments, productivity tools), non-work (including extensions, podcasts, RSS, codecs), and system maintenance (including CPU-X, repository setup, auto-backup). I also have suggestion for you wanting Global Menu on this Eoan Ermine OS at the end. Adjust it once and use freely everyday. Finally, I hope Ubuntu 19.10 will be your best tool you could imagine to use without worry. Happy working!

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Is Here With MicroK8s Add-Ons, GNOME 3.34 And Lots More
        • Ubuntu 19.10 Doesn’t Ship With AMD Navi / Radeon RX 5700 Support Working, But Easy To Enable

          While last week’s release of Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” is new enough for Radeon RX 5700 series support with the Linux 5.3 kernel and Mesa 19.2, it doesn’t actually work out-of-the-box for these Navi graphics cards.

          While the principal driver components of the Linux kernel and Mesa3D (for RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan) are new enough with Navi support, Ubuntu 19.10′s support isn’t rounded out because its linux-firmware package isn’t new enough for containing the necessary Navi firmware binaries required for the open-source driver usage. So if booting a clean Ubuntu 19.10 install with Radeon RX 5700, you are likely to just see a blank screen.

        • NVIDIA GPU Operator – Simplifying AI/ML Deployments on the Canonical Platform

          Leveraging Kubernetes for AI deployments is becoming increasingly popular. Chances are if your business is involved in AI/ML with Kubernetes you are using tools like Kubeflow to reduce complexity, costs and deployment time. Or, you may be missing out!

          With AI/ML being the tech topics of the world, GPUs play a critical role in the space. NVIDIA, a prominent player in the GPU space is one of the top choices for most stakeholders in the field. Nvidia takes their commitment to the space a step ahead with the launch of the GPU Operator open-source project at Mobile World Congress LA.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 601

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 601 for the week of October 13th – 19th, 2019.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OmniOS Community Edition r151030y, r151028ay, r151022dw

        OmniOS Community Edition weekly releases for w/c 21st of October 2019 are now available.

      • OmniOS r151030y Brings Microcode Updates For Intel, Zen Topology Updates For AMD

        OmniOS Community Edition remains one of the few successful Illumos/Solaris operating systems outside Oracle. OmniOS CE r151030y was released today along with other older build updates to address the recent sudo vulnerability.

        Besides correcting the recent sudo security vulnerability, OmniOS r151030y has updated its bundled Intel CPU microcode bundle against a newer Intel snapshot, there are improvements to AMD processor topology detection, improved compatibility with Linux’s getsockopt() within LX Zones, and other fixes.

      • Events

        • CopyleftConf 2020

          A week before Software Freedom Conservancy had announced the CopyleftConf 2020. The conference is going to take place on 3 February 2020, Monday, in Brussels, Belgium.

          The first edition of CopyleftConf took place in February 2019. One can have a look at the videos here The organizers do plan it after Fosdem.

        • The fight to get home from Oggcamp 2019

          I’d heard that parking in Manchester was not only a nightmare and that you would have to sell your children into slavery to pay the parking fee for a few hours so with that in mind I decided to use the train. Now to get to Manchester by car from my house

          takes around an hour and a half so long as you stick within the speed limit. My train was set to eat two and a half hours from my lifes timeline, but I felt it was a small price to pay given I was only going to do one day of a two-day event.

          My journey to Oggcamp started at 6.55 am the train took me to Birmingham New Street, where I was due to change for the onward train to Manchester, on the way up to Birmingham, we stopped at Wolverhampton train station. My connection was on-time, and I made myself as comfortable as possible in my reserved seat. To my horror, a rather large gentleman poured himself into the seat next to me and mine if truth be told. We set off heading back the way we came and just for the fun of it and to wind me up a little our first stop was, yes, you guessed it, Wolverhampton train station. I could see the next two hours were going to be a bundle of joy as I tried to look at my phone while feeling that I was confined in an invisible straight jacket if only that were the extent of my problems. Mr Creosote decided that after consuming his breakfast which he had brought on board, it was now time to have a little sleep. “What’s wrong with that?” I hear you ask. Mr Creosote promptly started to snore like farmer Giles’s prized Gloucestershire Old Spot pig. Two hours later, frazzled we arrived in Manchester Mr Creosote had been kind enough to wake up in Macclesfield just enough time for my bladder to fill to bursting along with my fit to burst brain after all that snoring. Oh, and I forgot to mention the lad opposite who while sat underneath a sign saying “Please be considerate to those around you” played videos of South Park amongst other things at full volume on his phone. Never heard of headphones arsehole?

        • FOSDEM 2020 IoT Devroom Call for Proposals

          FOSDEM (Free & Open-source Software Developers’ European Meeting) takes place every year in Brussels, Belgium on the first weekend of February.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 70 Is Now Available to Download with Fresh New Look, Extended Dark Mode

            Judging by the version number, you would think that Firefox 70 is a massive update to the open-source and cross-platform web browser built by Mozilla, but it’s not really a major release. However, it does bring some a fresh new look for its icon, new welcome screen, and an extended dark mode for the built-in pages.

            So the first thing you’ll notice after installing Firefox 70, which you can download right now for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows systems, it’s the new Firefox icon that was unveiled by Mozilla a few months ago. In addition, you’ll notice that all of Firefox’s built-in pages now follows the system dark mode preference and a new welcome screen will help you setup Firefox faster.

          • Quickly Alter Typography with Firefox Font Editor

            Fonts and typography are at the heart of design on the web. We now have powerful tools to inspect, understand, and design our typography in the browser. For instance, have you ever landed on a web page and wondered what fonts are being used? Then, have you asked yourself where those fonts come from or why a particular font isn’t loading?

            The font editor in Firefox provides answers and insights. You gain the ability to make font changes directly, with a live preview. As for me, I use the editor for understanding variable fonts, how they work, and the options they expose.

          • Nate Weiner, formerly CEO of Pocket, to take expanded role at Mozilla focused on New Markets

            Nate Weiner, founder and CEO of Pocket, has been promoted to SVP of a new product organization, New Markets, at Mozilla. The New Markets organization will be working to expand and scale Mozilla’s product portfolio alongside the Firefox and Emerging Technologies teams. The Pocket and Emerging Markets teams will live within the New Markets organization.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Open source database use is a growing trend

          Open source databases are a growing segment of the overall database management system market, but according to a new survey, users are working with multiple databases adapted for specific purposes and not looking at single databases as multi-purpose.

          The Open Source Data Management Software survey was conducted by Percona, a vendor based in Raleigh, N.C. that provides supported versions of multiple open source database platforms including PostgreSQL, MySQL and MongoDB.

          Some 92% of survey respondents saying they are using multiple database technologies, with 89% using more than one open source database platform. The study, conducted earlier this year, also found that cloud deployments are a growing trend, with more than 50% running at least one workload in the public cloud.

          “It’s hard for one database to do everything well, so the trend is definitely to use the best database for the job, rather than try and fit into a single technology,” said Matt Yonkovit, chief experience officer at Percona.

      • Sourcehut Q3 2019 Financial report

        In summary, Sourcehut is financially healthy, with an operating monthly profit of about $1,038. Slowed growth in Q2 picked back up in Q3, to levels similar to Q1. Though perpetual growth is not a goal of Sourcehut, growth does help us accomplish our goals. One of these goals is to sponsor members of the open-source community to work on self-directed projects – a goal which was met for Q4, when Simon Ser will be joining us. My goals for future growth are:
        Investing in additional hardware and resources
        Marketing & outreach
        Investing in the broader open-source ecosystem
        Thank you for your support in the alpha. I’m looking forward to continuing to serve you.

    • Programming/Development

      • GCC 10 Switches Arm’s Scheduling-Pressure Algorithm For Better Performance

        A minor optimization was merged into GCC 10 last week for benefiting those on Arm compiling their code with the GNU Compiler Collection.

        Prominent Arm toolchain developer Wilco Dijkstra of Arm has changed the default scheduling-pressure algorithm used by their back-end with GCC

      • GCC 10 Has C++20 Concepts Support In Order

        Concepts is one of the big features of the forthcoming C++20 that extends the language’s templates functionality to add type-checking to templates and other compile-time validation. The existing concepts support in GCC was updated to reflect differences between the years old technical specification and the version being introduced as part of C++20.

        After review, that C++20 concepts support was merged earlier this month for GCC 10 as well as the libstdc++ updates.

      • Qt 3D Will Still Be Improved On Alongside Qt Quick 3D

        While Qt Quick 3D has been talked up a lot recently with The Qt Company’s plans for that new 3D module inside the current Qt5 and future Qt6 tool-kits, Qt 3D itself is not going away.

        Qt Quick 3D will offer 3D support to Qt Quick via QML and C++ APIs but the existing Qt 3D support isn’t going to be eliminated and in fact will be improved upon as we near the Qt 6.0 release in about one year’s time.

      • The Future of Qt 3D

        As you will have read, a new module called Qt Quick 3D will begin offering 3D capabilities to Qt Quick via a QML API (and a planned C++ API for Qt 6). What does this mean for Qt 3D and where will it fit in the Qt ecosystem? Hopefully this blog post and the following one will help answer that question as well as give some insights into what we are working on in Qt 3D. This blog post will focus on the changes coming with Qt 5.x and the following article will details some of the research we are doing to improve Qt 3D on the Qt 6 timescale.

      • Qt 3D: One too many threads

        Qt 3D makes heavy use of threads, as a way to spread work across CPU cores and maximize throughput, but also to minimize the chances of blocking the main thread. Though nice on paper, the last case eventually leads to added complexity. Sometimes, there are just one too many threads.

        In the past, we’ve been guilty of trying to do too much within Qt 3D rather than assuming that some things are the developer’s duty. For instance there was a point in time where we’d compare the raw content of textures internally. The reason behind that was to handle cases where users would load the same textures several times rather than sharing one. This led to code that was hard to maintain and easy to break. Ultimately it provided convenience only for what can be seen as a misuse of Qt 3D, which was not the the original intention.

        We had similar systems in place for Geometries, Shaders… Part of the reason why we made such choices at the time was that the border between what Qt 3D should or shouldn’t be doing was really blurry. Over time we’ve realized that Qt 3D is lower level than what you’d do with QtQuick. A layer on top of Qt 3D would have instead been the right place to do such things. We’ve solved some of these pain points by starting work on Kuesa which provides assets collections.

      • Pylint: Making your Python code consistent

        Pylint is a higher-level Python style enforcer. While flake8 and black will take care of “local” style: where the newlines occur, how comments are formatted, or find issues like commented out code or bad practices in log formatting.

        Pylint is extremely aggressive by default. It will offer strong opinions on everything from checking if declared interfaces are actually implemented to opportunities to refactor duplicate code, which can be a lot to a new user. One way of introducing it gently to a project, or a team, is to start by turning all checkers off, and then enabling checkers one by one. This is especially useful if you already use flake8, black, and mypy: Pylint has quite a few checkers that overlap in functionality.

      • PyDev of the Week: Sophy Wong

        This week we welcome Sophy Wong (@sophywong) as our PyDev of the Week! Sophy is a maker who uses Circuit Python for creating wearables. She is also a writer and speaker at Maker events. You can see some of her creations on her Youtube Channel or her website. Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

      • Erik Marsja: Converting HTML to a Jupyter Notebook

        In this short post, we are going to learn how to turn the code from blog posts to Jupyter notebooks.

      • KDevelop 5.4.3 released

        We today provide a stabilization and bugfix release with version 5.4.3. This is a bugfix-only release, which introduces no new features and as such is a safe and recommended update for everyone currently using a previous version of KDevelop 5.4.

        You can find the updated Linux AppImage as well as the source code archives on our download page.

      • Python Script Invalidates Hundreds Of Papers

        This news item is interesting not just because it is a lesson to us all, but because of the way it is being reported as “Bug In Python Script …” with the suggestion that Python is the cause of the problem. The truth is, in fact, much more interesting.

        The script is about 1000 lines of Python and hence it isn’t a small program. It has been in use since 2014 and was created by Patrick Willoughby, Matthew Jansma, and Thomas Hoye to take raw data and calculate NMR shifts. In the journal Nature Protocols the subject is referred to as the “Willoughby-Hoye” scripts.

      • Future-Proof Code

        Y2K was the nerdy disaster that wasn’t. The fear was that the moment 1/1/00 rolled around, some computers would think it was Jan. 1, 1900. What could go wrong? Maybe highly computerized hydroelectric dams would open their floodgates! Or maybe all date math trying to subtract from 00 would end up negative, and suddenly your mortgage would have been paid off dozens of decades ago!

        The world freaked out. Software engineers stayed up late. In the end, Y2K had some terrible real-life consequences, but it also didn’t turn out to be a complete catastrophe that required stockpiling ammunition and MREs. After airplanes didn’t fall out of the sky, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The problem, as the public learned so well in the run-up to the New Year, was that for decades, software engineers had left out the century to save on space when storing dates. It was as though they had assumed their software would always run in a year that began with 19. For many who were still just getting used to dial-up internet, Y2K was their first exposure to the potential fragility of software.

      • Current qutebrowser roadmap and next crowdfunding

        Now I’m employed around 16h/week at the same place, mainly helping out with the operating systems course (in other words: I spend my time staring at LaTeX/C/Assembler/Python and teaching students).

        Like already mentioned in the earlier mail, this means I now have a lot more time than before for working on open-source projects. I’m in the process of founding my own one-man company and already have some work lined up – but as soon as everything is set up, I plan to spend much more time on qutebrowser. Certainly a lot more than what I’ve been able to during my studies in the past years.

        However, that means I don’t have a lot of recurring income (enough to pay for rent, food and other bills – but not much more than that). This is why I plan to start another qutebrowser fundraising very soon. There will be shirts and stickers available again, as well as some other swag. This time, I’ll focus on recurring donations, but I also plan to offer a way to contribute via one-time donations instead.

      • Introduction to PyTorch for Classification

        PyTorch and TensorFlow libraries are two of the most commonly used Python libraries for deep learning. PyTorch is developed by Facebook, while TensorFlow is a Google project. In this article, you will see how the PyTorch library can be used to solve classification problems.

        Classification problems belong to the category of machine learning problems where given a set of features, the task is to predict a discrete value. Predicting whether a tumour is cancerous or not, or whether a student is likely to pass or fail in the exam, are some of the common examples of classification problems.

        In this article, given certain characteristics of a bank customer, we will predict whether or not the customer is likely to leave the bank after 6 months. The phenomena where a customer leaves an organization is also called customer churn. Therefore, our task is to predict customer churn based on various customer characteristics.

      • Arduino With Python: How to Get Started

        Microcontrollers have been around for a long time, and they’re used in everything from complex machinery to common household appliances. However, working with them has traditionally been reserved for those with formal technical training, such as technicians and electrical engineers. The emergence of Arduino has made electronic application design much more accessible to all developers. In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to use Arduino with Python to develop your own electronic projects.

      • Eclipse Vert.x 3.8.1 update for Red Hat Runtimes

        The latest update to Red Hat Runtimes has arrived and now supports Eclipse Vert.x 3.8.1.

        Red Hat Runtimes provides application developers with a variety of application runtimes and enables them to run on the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

      • Robotic process automation (RPA): How it works

        “Do more with less” might be a timeworn excuse for a business mantra, but robotic process automation (RPA) is a tool that could actually help teams do just that in the right circumstances.

        That’s the big selling point of RPA. The phrase itself might sound complicated or scary, but the possible benefits of RPA are pretty simple: Use software to automatically handle repetitive (and often boring) computer-based tasks that previously hogged a person’s time.

        Moreover, the processes that make good fits for RPA usually take up human hours with work that requires minimal (or no) skill or creativity. It’s ultimately about efficiency.

      • How to program with Bash: Logical operators and shell expansions

        Bash is a powerful programming language, one perfectly designed for use on the command line and in shell scripts. This three-part series (which is based on my three-volume Linux self-study course) explores using Bash as a programming language on the command-line interface (CLI).

        The first article explored some simple command-line programming with Bash, including using variables and control operators. This second article looks into the types of file, string, numeric, and miscellaneous logical operators that provide execution-flow control logic and different types of shell expansions in Bash. The third and final article in the series will explore the for, while, and until loops that enable repetitive operations.

        Logical operators are the basis for making decisions in a program and executing different sets of instructions based on those decisions. This is sometimes called flow control.

      • Initializing arrays in Java

        People who have experience programming in languages like C or FORTRAN are familiar with the concept of arrays. They’re basically a contiguous block of memory where each location is a certain type: integers, floating-point numbers, or what-have-you.

        The situation in Java is similar, but with a few extra wrinkles.

      • Python array list’s count method

        In this example, we will use the count method from the Python array list to decide which phrase to return from a function that will accept an array list consists of good and bad ideas.

        In the below example, you need to decide which phrase to return from the array list which consists of good ideas ‘good’ and bad ideas ‘bad’. If there are one or two good ideas, return ‘Publish!’, if there are more than 2 return ‘I smell a series!’. If there are no good ideas, as is often the case, return ‘Fail!’.

      • Jakarta EE: What’s in store for Enterprise JavaBeans?

        Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) has been very important to the Java EE ecosystem and promoted many robust solutions to enterprise problems. Besides that, in the past when integration techniques were not so advanced, EJB did great work with remote EJB, integrating many Java EE applications. However, remote EJB is not necessary anymore, and we have many techniques and tools that are better for doing that. So, does EJB still have a place in this new cloud-native world?

        Before writing this post, I did an informal survey via Twitter poll to hear what the community thinks about it. In this article, I’ll share the results of the survey as well as some discussion that emerged as part of the poll. Additionally, I’ll share my opinions on the topic.

      • Dirk Eddelbuettel: digest 0.6.22: More goodies!

        digest creates hash digests of arbitrary R objects (using the md5, sha-1, sha-256, sha-512, crc32, xxhash32, xxhash64, murmur32, and spookyhash algorithms) permitting easy comparison of R language objects. It is a fairly widely-used package (currently listed at 868k monthly downloads) as many tasks may involve caching of objects for which it provides convenient general-purpose hash key generation.

        This release comes pretty much exactly one month after the very nice 0.6.21 release but contains five new pull requests. Matthew de Queljoe did a little bit of refactoring of the vectorised digest function he added in 0.6.21. Ion Suruceanu added a CFB cipher for AES. Bill Denney both corrected and extended sha1. And Jim Hester made the windows-side treatment of filenames UTF-8 compliant.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Pleasures of Tibetan input and typesetting with TeX

        Many years ago I decided to learn Tibetan (and the necessary Sanskrit), and enrolled in the university studies of Tibetology in Vienna. Since then I have mostly forgotten Tibetan due to absolute absence of any practice, save for regular consultations from a friend on how to typeset Tibetan.


        In former times we used ctib to typeset Tibetan, but the only font that was usable with it is a bit clumsy, and there are several much better fonts now available. Furthermore, always using transliterated input instead of the original Tibetan text might be a problem for people outside academics of Tibetan. If we want to use one of these (obviously) ttf/otf fonts, a switch to either XeTeX or LuaTeX is required.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Linux Could Open The Door To Serious Attacks Over Wifi Signals [Ed: This FUD came from a Microsoft employee and was initially spread by a site where Microsoft employed convicted people to attack Linux and FOSS. This is false, It’s FUD. Nobody enables P2P mode. Almost nobody.]

        A potentially severe vulnerability in Linux might make it attainable for nearby units to use Wi-Fi signals to crash or fully compromise vulnerable machines, a security researcher mentioned.

        The flaw is situated within the RTLWIFI driver, which is used to help Realtek Wi-Fi chips in Linux gadgets. The vulnerability triggers a buffer overflow in the Linux kernel when a machine with a Realtek Wi-Fi chip is inside the radio and varies from a malicious device. At a minimal, exploits would cause a working-system crash and will possibly permit a hacker to achieve full management of the computer. The flaw dates again to version 3.10.1 of the Linux kernel launched in 2013.

        The vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2019-17666. Linux builders proposed a fix that can doubtless be included in the OS kernel within the coming days or weeks. Only after that can the repair make its means into various Linux distributions.

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (aspell, graphite-web, imagemagick, mediawiki, milkytracker, nfs-utils, and openjdk-11), Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, mediawiki, and radare2), openSUSE (dhcp, libpcap, lighttpd, and tcpdump), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Slackware (python), SUSE (bluez, kernel, and python-xdg), and Ubuntu (aspell).

      • Nostromo web servers exposed by resurrected RCE vulnerability

        A security researcher has disclosed the existence of a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in the open source Nostromo web server software.

        On Monday, a threat analyst and bounty hunter with the online handle Sudoka published a technical analysis of the bug, tracked as CVE-2019-16278.

        The vulnerability impacts Nostromo, also known as nhttpd, a niche web server used by some in the Unix and open source community but altogether dwarfed in popularity by Apache.

        In a blog post, Sudoka said the vulnerability stems from shortcomings in how the path of URLs are verified. Inadequate URL checks mean that an unauthenticated attackers is able to force a server to point to a shell file, resulting in the potential execution of arbitrary code.

      • PureBoot Best Practices

        Recently we started offering the PureBoot Bundle–PureBoot installed and configured on your laptop at the factory and bundled with a pre-configured Librem Key so you can detect tampering from the moment you unbox your laptop. It’s been great to see so many customers select the PureBoot Bundle and now that PureBoot is on so many more customer laptops, we felt it was a good time to write up a post to describe some best practices when using PureBoot.

        If you are just getting started with PureBoot and want to know the basics, check out our Getting Started Guide for pointers on what to do when you start up your PureBoot Bundle for the first time. In this post I’ll assume you have already gone through the first boot and first reboot of your laptop and have settled into daily use.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The faith of the Fox Nation: belief in opinions trumps hope in news

        A longtime sticking point among Fox News employees is their insistent differentiation between its news division, where employees practice actual journalism, and its opinion division, where employees practice actual nativism, spew misinformation, and have been actively campaigning for Donald Trump’s re-election since 2016. Inside the organization, they claim to believe that the news side is separate from the opinion side, and insist that the audience can tell the difference.

      • Assange Case

        I am trying to write a report of what I saw in Westminster Magistrate’s Court today, but my hands keep shaking with rage, frustration and sadness to the point I can’t type, and my heart keeps going into atrial fibrillation. I have got myself a cheese sandwich and bottle of Irn Bru and still hope to finish it this evening.

      • Julian Assange denied extradition hearing delay

        The full extradition hearing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will go ahead in February 2020 after London judge Vanessa Baraitser declined a request by his lawyers to delay proceedings by three months.

        Assange, 48, faces 18 counts in the US including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law. He could spend decades in prison if convicted.

      • Extradition of Julian Assange to the United States must not go ahead – Amnesty International Australia

        Ahead of today’s extradition hearing in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe, said:

        “The British authorities must acknowledge the real risks of serious human rights violations Julian Assange would face if sent to the USA and reject the extradition request. The UK must comply with the commitment it’s already made that he would not be sent anywhere he could face torture or other ill-treatment.

        “The UK must abide by its obligations under international human rights law that forbids the transfer of individuals to another country where they would face serious human rights violations. Were Julian Assange to be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, Britain would be in breach of these obligations.”

      • Press Release Regarding Julian Assange’s Case Management Hearing

        At today’s case management hearing against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who faces US extradition and 175 years’ imprisonment for publishing classified information revealing war crimes, district magistrate Vanessa Baraitser allowed the defence two extra months to submit new evidence that is emerging in Spanish investigative proceedings.

        The magistrate refused to allow a preliminary hearing to hear arguments that the extradition request for Julian Assange was barred by the 2003 US-U.K. Extradition Treaty, which prohibits political crimes such as Espionage. Assange is charged under the 1917 Espionage Act. (Attached is an information note on today’s submissions from Mr. Assange’s solicitors, Birnberg Peirce and Partners LLP.)

        The second application from the defence was to ask the court postpone the full extradition hearing due for 24th February 2020. The application to postpone was based on two grounds:

        Firstly, Mr. Assange’s conditions in Belmarsh prison, where he is kept in isolation without access to legal papers, a computer or meaningful participation in his case. These conditions obstruct his legal defence in a significant way.

        Secondly, subsequent to the timetable being agreed in June, a Spanish Court has initiated a case with direct impact on Assange’s extradition case in the United Kingdom. The case concerns clandestine operations against Assange, his lawyers and doctors and Assange’s family, including at the Ecuadorean Embassy. The sheer magnitude of the evidence in the Spanish case necessitates that the defence be given more time, argued the defence. The application was refused but will be revisited at the 19 December case management hearing.

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Boris Johnson Will Ruin Britain or Cry Trying

        Another day, another drama in the Brexit saga that has consumed the United Kingdom. The past few days have once again left heads spinning around the world as those interested in U.K. politics try to catch up with the events that keep unfurling at neck-breaking speed. On Friday, the Oct. 19 deadline put forward in the Benn Act to either get a Brexit deal passed through Parliament or ask the European Union for an extension past the Oct. 31 deadline loomed. That’s when Prime Minister Boris Johnson miraculously managed to negotiate a deal with the EU—well, I should say, a regurgitated, amended version of his predecessor Theresa May’s deal.

      • The fire next time: California’s rolling blackouts are no substitute for serious prevention

        The state legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom, prompted by the aftermath of the catastrophic fires of 2017 and 2018, devoted an impressive amount of energy to resolving the post-fire question —who pays. Whether or not you agree with their solutions to the question of liability, they grappled with it.

        The same cannot be said of the problem of fire prevention and risk avoidance. The panoply of regulatory, financial and attitudinal problems that prevent proper fuel load management, residential fire resistance, community disaster evacuation planning, and proper land use regulation to prevent new homes from being built in fire hazard zones were barely touched. Controlled burning to reduce fuel load, for example, is precluded in much of the state because air pollution laws restrict voluntary burning, even if it avoids much larger, and health-destroying, wildfires. Air pollution districts, in other words, are penalized for the pollution from fire prevention, but not held responsible for the much greater pollution when a wildfire breaks out.

      • Mark Zuckerberg Has More Than Pete Buttigieg’s Ear

        In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg toured America. The cross-country trip was, as BuzzFeed’s Alex Kantrowitz described, “a charm offensive and a focus group.” Zuckerberg visited factories. He held a kitten. Multiple publications questioned whether he was running for president, or simply trying to deflect attention from mounting privacy concerns and accusations that Facebook had allowed Russian interference in the 2016 election.

      • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made staff recommendations to Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign

        Zuckerberg reportedly sent multiple emails to Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager, with names of individuals whom he thought would be a good fit for the team, campign spokesman Chris Meager confirmed to the news outlet. Chan also emailed various recommendations to Schmuhl, according to Meager.

        Ultimately, two of the recommended people were hired. The campaign staffers are Eric Mayefsky, senior digital analytics adviser, and Nina Wornhoff, organizing data manager, according to the news outlet.

      • Tim Cook to serve as chairman at Chinese business school amid Hong Kong outcry

        Apple CEO Tim Cook has been appointed chairman of the advisory board for Tsinghua University’s economics school in Beijing, according to local news reports and a Chinese-language meeting summary noted by Apple Insider.

        Cook will reportedly assume the role for the next three years, and recently acted as chairman for a meeting, as the South China Morning Post notes. Cook has been on the board in the past, as has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who recently took on Chinese censorship in a public speech about free expression. Major Chinese government officials have also served on the board, as the Post reports. Cook succeeds Breyer Capital founder Jim Breyer in the role.

      • Tim Cook elected chairman of Chinese business school amidst Hong Kong scrutiny

        Cook said that the next three years will be spent working to promote development of the university, in hopes of building a world-class school of economics and management. Cook succeeds former chairman Breyer Capital founder and CEO Jim Breyer, who held the position from 2016 until this year.

      • In ‘Bow to Reality,’ Trump Scraps ‘Stunningly Corrupt’ Decision to Hold G7 at His Doral Resort

        “His reversal does not change how astonishing it was that he ever thought that it was appropriate, or that it was something he could get away with.”

      • Trump Was Outraised by Hundreds of Millions in 2016. That Won’t Happen Again in 2020

        While some Democrats are spending more money than they are raising to stand out in a crowded presidential primary, President Donald Trump continues to expand his robust fundraising machine.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • U.S. Takes Step to Require DNA Samples From Asylum-Seekers

        The Trump administration is planning to collect DNA samples from asylum-seekers and other migrants detained by immigration officials and will add the information to a massive FBI database used by law enforcement hunting for criminals, a Justice Department official said.

      • Facebook Staff in Contact With Warren Campaign, CEO Tells NBC

        Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said employees are in touch with Elizabeth Warren’s campaign to address her concerns about the company’s decision to let politicians lie in ads.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Trump says he doesn’t want NYT in the White House

        President Trump said Monday that he doesn’t want to have copies of The New York Times in the White House anymore and suggested he would terminate the subscription.

      • Gingrich calls for eliminating White House press corps in wake of Mulvaney briefing

        While speaking to reporters, Mulvaney indicated that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in part to get the country to investigate an unproven theory related to the 2016 election. He has since walked back those remarks.

        Questioned on how he would have advised Mulvaney before the briefing, Gingrich said that “there wouldn’t be a White House press corps in the White House” if he had the ability to make such a decision.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Internet isolation exercises to take place in Russia at least once every year

        Following the passage of a 2019 law allowing Russian Internet traffic to be isolated from the World Wide Web in case of an emergency, the country’s government has arranged to hold exercises to prepare for such a scenario at least once a year.

      • The IndieWeb Movement: Owning Your Data and Being the Change You Want to See in the Web

        The below is a transcript of the talk The IndieWeb Movement: Owning Your Data and Being the Change You Want to See in the Web that I gave this afternoon at OggCamp 2019.

        I’ve taken the advice given out in DDD East Midlands: Speaker Workshop and decided to write out a transcript of the talk, as a way to drive out the talk’s content, as well as give me a good blog post, too! What follows is fairly similar to the words I said live on stage, but includes a bit more detail that I’d not gone into or was a bit rushed to say!

        Thanks again to those who came to the talk, I appreciate it and hope that it helped convince you to investigate the IndieWeb for yourself.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Secured-core PCs offer new defense against firmware attacks

        Microsoft, chipmakers, and several PC makers on Monday announced Secured-core PCs, which use hardware-based defense mechanisms to combat firmware-level security attacks.

      • Microsoft’s New Plan to Defend the Code Deep Within PCs

        The idea of secured-core PC is to take firmware out of that equation, eliminating it as a link in the chain that determines what’s trustworthy on a system. Instead of relying on firmware, Microsoft has worked with AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm to make new central processing unit chips that can run integrity checks during boot in a controlled, cryptographically verified way. Only the chip manufacturers will hold the encryption keys to broker these checks, and they’re burned onto the CPUs during manufacturing rather than interacting with the firmware’s amorphous, often unreliable code layer.

    • Monopolies

Patents Need to Exist Only to Pass Information Around and Keep Good Ideas Alive, Not to Feed Litigation Firms and Litigation ‘Enthusiasts’

Posted in Law, Patents at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Litigation was never the intended purpose of patent systems. Litigation ‘industries’ or “Big Litigation” just took over the systems.

Sue all the inventors. Litigation first!

Summary: The current situation or the status quo where legal professionals are advised not to even look at patents means that patents aren’t for “information” and “innovation” anymore; moreover, calling them “intellectual property rights” (or IPRs) is spreading a malicious lie

“Patent” means not a “right”; it does not mean "property" either. It might be the product of intellect, but calling it “IPR” is a deliberate lie. A patent is, in effect, a temporary monopoly, granted by an authority like some government in exchange for sharing of original ideas (not thought of or attempted before). Patent systems have become so misguided that they actually teach people never to read patents (whose whole purpose was to disseminate knowledge!) and then they resort to calling patents a “property” and a “right” — as if to imply those defying the monopoly are “thieves” who “steal” like “pirates”. We reject that sort of nonsense. Go back to the genesis of patent systems and study their original purpose. Their ‘mission statement’, so to speak…

“Go back to the genesis of patent systems and study their original purpose.”Now that monopolies are being sold to rogue actors the concept innovation is all lost. So-called ‘patent trolls’ clearly weren’t envisioned by people who conceived the system. A lot of people rightly argue that passage of monopolies from one person/entity/company to another should be verboten.

“A survey by Patent Scholar found that 37% of researchers in the electronics and software space reported having been instructed not to read patents,” Stanford Law said this week, citing this report about another Gilstrap case. From outside the paywall:

A recent ruling in the Eastern District of Texas has called into question the practice of not reading patents as a way for companies to shield themselves from claims of willful infringement, potentially putting some businesses in a Catch-22.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap came in a lawsuit Motiva Patents brought against HTC accusing the electronics maker’s Vive virtual reality system of infringing several patents covering technology for tracking a person’s movement.

While deciding a motion to dismiss, the judge found HTC’s alleged policy of prohibiting its employees from reading patents can support a claim for willful infringement…

Even the most overzealous judges/activists cannot deny that software patents are worthless (even if they’re activists looking — by their own admission — to attract patent trolls) should simply accept that the patent system has gone all wrong/rogue in the Eastern District of Texas. Gilstrap’s rejection of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and SCOTUS caselaw notwithstanding, what we have here is what the article abve calls “Catch-22″. The way things nowadays work may mean that actively dodging or working around known monopolies would cause damage to oneself. Therefore, people no longer read patents; they actively refrain from such an activity. So what on Earth is even the point of this system? Patent offices like to speak in terms such as “patent information”, but if such information is just a liability and a legal landmine, who would even bother?

IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 21, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:01 am by Needs Sunlight



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