Links 21/12/2019: Wine 5.0-RC2, NuTyX 11.3

Posted in News Roundup at 10:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 2019 Brought Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, k3s and HPC-in-a-Box
    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Kubuntu Linux Focus Laptop Announced

        The vendor will provide two years of limited warranty and claims of superior cooling experience for users. Users can upgrade and remove SDD, NVMe, and RAM easily. However, no words on firmware/bios, including Intel ME. Is it going to be disabled? Are they going to provide open-source firmware?

        Similarly, specced ThinkPad X1 Exteram or P1 gen two costs around USD $2200. So I guess that will be the price range for this laptop too. However, the price is yet to announce for Kubuntu Linux Focus Laptop.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Live coding at Codemotion Berlin

          Our Developer Advocacy team was at Codemotion Berlin 2019, 12 – 13 November, at the Kulturbrauerei; Codemotion connects tech professionals, communities, and companies. It was the conference’s sixth year and had more than 1,200 participants. Both an engaging and extremely diverse crowd, the attendees came from all around the world. The broad range of 17 topics included AI, machine learning, software architecture, DevOps, mobile, cybersecurity, diversity in tech, voice and digital assistants, and others. Regardless of language and experience, there was something for everyone.

        • What does it mean to be a great place to work?

          As we head into the end of 2019, I’ve been reflecting on the past year. This has been a time of immense opportunity, successes and growth for Red Hat and our associates.

          One of the things I am most proud of is the recognition we received this year for our culture and the environment we strive to create for our associates. In October Forbes ranked us as No. 3 on its list of the World’s Best Employers (our first time on the list!). In addition, Fortune included us on their list of the 50 Best Workplaces for Parents and the 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity.

          We know that Red Hat’s open culture—the set of values and principles that influence how we work together and how we serve our customers—has always been a key component of our employer value proposition (community, passion, purpose and opportunity). Our culture, which flows from how we operate, is what I think makes Red Hat a great place to work, and it’s been so rewarding to see others notice that as well.

        • The economic impact of Red Hat Enterprise Linux: RHEL for everybody

          We pointed out in our last post that by the end of 2019, it is expected that nearly 900,000 workers will be employed in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux ecosystem, with an additional 236,000 jobs predicted to be added through 2023. These figures include all employees in hardware, software, services and channels companies (not just the software engineers or programmers), and most of the additions are expected to be highly-skilled, high-paying jobs.

          While some of these companies will be multinational, a majority will be locally-based, and as a result will be making investments in the regions in which they serve. These are investments in marketing, local offices, staff and services. All told, these investments should reach nearly $48 billion in 2019 to the benefit of local economies…but this is just the beginning.

        • Accelerate your 5G strategy with virtualized RAN (vRAN)

          There are more than 5.1 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. Plenty of them are streaming and downloading music, video, and other media on a daily basis, constantly exchanging data with their mobile network. And with 9.1 billion connected or IoT devices worldwide, mobile traffic could reach an annual run rate of a zettabyte in just a few years.

          According to the GSMA Intelligence research report, “4G will soon become the dominant mobile technology, surpassing half of global mobile connections in 2019 and reaching 60% in 2023.” However, 5G is already making headway globally, and with it could come a plethora of new mobile services. In fact, GSMA anticipates 1.4 billion 5G connections by 2025.

        • Open source and the mainframe: The present and the future

          Say open source and mainframe in the same sentence and people might look at you strangely. But they shouldn’t. In fact, if you want to trace the history of open source, you would need to go all the way back to the 1950s with SHARE — an event designed specifically to enable mainframers to share code with one another (though on microfiche and tape versus how we do it today). Open collaboration is a key part of the heritage of the mainframe ecosystem, and it’s fitting now that over the last 20 years these worlds have been aligning once more.

          How can open source fit in with the mission-critical workloads that only a mainframe can drive? How can organizations trust code developed in the public eye to keep applications crucial to our society going? And is all open source the same?

        • Using Ubuntu on IBM Z and LinuxONE

          At IBM Z Day, we welcomed representatives from SUSE, Red Hat, and Canonical (Ubuntu) to showcase the latest that their respective distributions have to offer for running on IBM Z. In the following guest post, Frank Heimes, Technical Lead Ubuntu Server on Z at Canonical, gives us a rundown of his talk, including some details about Ubuntu itself and why Ubuntu on Z is such a great pairing.

          At the IBM Z Day on November 21, I had the honor to give a technical session about Ubuntu Server on IBM Z and LinuxONE, and explained what it is, where we are, our releases, their contents, their lifetime and support, selected components, and complementing Canonical technology.


          The openness described above is probably also Ubuntu’s biggest strength as it allows you to use Ubuntu however and whenever you like. Ubuntu’s ease of use and its roots in the desktop make it an increasingly popular way to consume new and innovative generations of open source. This leads to significant community participation, new technologies, innovations, and streamlining (like LXD, snaps, and uvt), which has resulted in a huge number of packages (over 25,000) in all the Ubuntu archives (including cloud archive, partner archive, and snap store).

        • Red Hat Wins Ford IT Innovation Award

          Red Hat has been awarded the Ford IT Innovation award. In its fourth year, the award recognizes Ford’s technology partners that have helped company launch new capabilities and services or enhance existing operations.

        • TakingOpenShift’s Security for Containerized Applications to the next level with Aqua

          The Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform has a number of built-in security capabilities. Aqua provides an additional layer of security in development and protects containerized applications in runtime. Aqua recently developed a Kubernetes Operator that was successfully tested and validated by Red Hat OpenShift standards for integration and supportability. Aqua completed technical validations to become a Red Hat OpenShift Certified Operator, allowing our joint customers to deploy Aqua seamlessly on the OpenShift platform.

          One key differentiator of OpenShift Container Platform is that it allows users to leverage image streams when building environments using different registries.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Brunch with Brent: Jason Spisak Part 2 | Jupiter Extras 41

        Brent sits down with Jason Spisak, professional voice actor, actor, producer, and co-founder of multiple Linux-related projects including Lycoris, Symphony OS, and Symple PC. In Part 2 we explore Jason’s various voice acting roles, his approach to embodying roles like The Joker, the setup in his Linux-only audio recording studios, the power in collaborative innovation, examining yourself through meditation, and more.

      • Software Freedom Podcast #3 about Free Software in the mobile phone communication with Harald Welte

        Software Freedom Podcast #3 about Free Software mobile phone communication with Harald Welte

        Once a month, we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this third episode, our guest is Harald Welte, Free Software programmer and activist. Harald discusses with us his current projects regarding mobile phone communication and the general status of Free Software in this area.

      • 2019-12-20 | Linux Headlines

        CERN eyes Kopano to replace its Exchange infrastructure, Apple open-sources its HomeKit Accessory Development kit with some caveats, and the GNU project releases a testing version of its GNUnet framework.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Opening up Mali T720

          If you have a device with a Mali T720 or T820 GPU, you’re in luck – your device is now supported in upstream Mesa at feature parity with other GPUs. Get out your Allwinner H6 or Amlogic S912 board, grab the latest Mesa, and enjoy a match of SuperTuxKart with fully free and open source mainline drivers!

          When Panfrost began, we focused on the highest performance Mali GPUs found in Chromebooks. By contrast, Mali GPUs like T720 are designed for simplicity, where minimizing size is more important than maximizing performance.

          Simplicity for the hardware, that is. For us, those changes mean new complexity – but we’re up to the challenge. Over the past month, Collaboran Tomeu Vizoso and I reverse-engineered the Mali T720 and adapted Panfrost for the new devices.

          Much of our work focused on the tiler. As I blogged about over the summer, Mali GPUs are “tiling” architectures, meaning they divide the screen into many small “tiles” or “bins” and operate on those smaller sections of the screen to save memory bandwidth and improve power efficiency. The fastest Mali architectures use “hierarchical tiling”, where many different sizes of tiles are used at once. But this tiler is simplified, with no support for hierarchical tiling. Instead, the driver selects a single tile size used for the entire screen; the new model requires new driver changes. Fortunately after my work on hierarchical tiling over the summer, we were able to figure out the non-hierarchical tiler and then implement our findings in Panfrost with ease.

    • Benchmarks

      • Bare Metal Benchmarking Alpine Linux 3.11 Against Ubuntu 19.10 + Clear Linux

        While Alpine Linux has traditionally been a lightweight Linux distribution focused on use within containerized environments, with yesterday’s release of Alpine Linux 3.11 brought GNOME and KDE support for those wanting to use this distribution as a desktop/workstation OS. Curious, I had to give it a try and of course run some general Alpine Linux 3.11 benchmarks up against Clear Linux and Ubuntu 19.10 for seeing how its performance is on bare-metal hardware.

        At this stage, Alpine Linux isn’t really a desktop contender. While eager to toy with it, they — at least not yet — do not provide any desktop installation images and thus you are left with their basic/extended text-based environments to install Alpine Linux and after which you can install GNOME or KDE (or Xfce) through their APK packaging system.

      • Ubuntu 19.10 Laptop Disk Encryption Benchmarks
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.0-rc2 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 5.0-RC2 Released With 36 Bug Fixes For The Week

        Following last week’s code freeze and subsequent Wine 5.0-rc1, the second weekly release candidate is now available for testing of the forthcoming Wine 5.0.

        Thirty-six bugs have been fixed over the past week but with no new features given the code freeze. Wine developers currently are anticipating the Wine 5.0 stable release around the second-half of January.

    • Games

      • With destructible terrain and tough enemies, the rogue-lite Gerty is out now

        In Gerty, sometimes the only way to escape is to dig your way to victory, just be careful to watch those corners. They come out of the walls, they will surround you and it’s quite challenging.

      • The classic POSTAL is free to grab on Steam (not just GOG now)

        After GOG recently announced the classic isometric shooter POSTAL was permanently free, Steam has now also done the same.

        The Steam version includes all the content like the Special Delivery expansion and 2 previously Japanese-exclusive levels. There’s also 22 bonus Challenge stages, across 4 categories and you can also play everything through in The Gauntlet.

      • Paradox show off Characters and Portraits for Crusader Kings III, also Game Designer job opening

        Another recent developer diary for Crusader Kings III went up and it goes over some very interesting points about the new and improved character system coming.

        One big change is how they will be dealing with personality traits, which they said they’re going to be putting a lot more emphasis on. They said in CK2, you could end up with a lot of them and it didn’t really do a whole lot. With CK3, they will have a “massive effect on the behavior of each individual character, so when a character is Greedy you’ll really feel it” and each character will usually have no more than 3 personality traits. So CK3 should be easier to understand, while also have a little more depth to it as the same time for the characters which does sound better.

      • Faerie Solitaire Remastered arrives on Linux, free on itch.io

        Developer Subsoap just recently updated their 2017 title Faerie Solitaire Remastered and they’ve now given it a Linux version.

        Curiously, like they did with Faerie Solitaire Harvest the Linux version is entirely free to grab from itch.io to “support the Linux Gaming community”—nice! You can choose to donate if you wish as well. Otherwise, there’s also the Steam version which also now has Linux support.

      • You can now take your collected monsters online for PvP duels in Monster Sanctuary

        Monster Sanctuary is rapidly improving with a big update out now. The headline feature of this update is the ability to take your collection online to battle against others.

        Not played Monster Sanctuary before or only just hearing about it? It’s a side-scrolling adventure, with a Metroidvania-styled world. You go around collecting monsters, each with their own special abilities and the powers of your monsters will help you overcome obstacles while exploring, as well as battling.

      • Free and open source arena FPS ‘Red Eclipse 2′ is now out on Steam

        The fast-paced arena styled first-person shooter Red Eclipse 2 has now officially released on Steam so anyone can jump in, as it’s free and open source.

        After no official update since 2017, two years later a huge revamp of this classic shooter is alive. While it is on Steam now, it’s not Steam-exclusive as you can still get it from the official site so that’s good. This isn’t them just sticking a 2 on the end with a few little changes. Red Eclipse 2 is a massive overhaul including a new and updated rendering engine (Tesseract), a new UI, streamlined gameplay and plenty of tweaks.

      • Ore LLC given an Epic MegaGrant to finish their cinematic adventure game ‘Ira’

        Announced yesterday, Ore LLC have been awarded an Epic MegaGrant which should allow them to finish work on the first act of their upcoming cinematic adventure game ‘Ira’.

        This is another game that was actually crowdfunded, Ira gained little over $13K on a Kickstarter campaign back in 2016. To make a full-length cinematic 3D adventure game, across multiple episodes, can’t be cheap and that was quite a low goal. It seems things weren’t going well either, as the developer stated “We were mere weeks away from having the entire project go under” but this Epic MegaGrant should save it.

      • Doomsday Engine for classic Doom, Heretic and Hexen has a new release out

        Giving you another great way to play the classics, Doomsday Engine 2.2 has been released marking 20 years since the announcement of its creation. Doomsday is probably one of the easiest ways to play Doom, Heretic and Hexen on Linux with minimal amounts of fussing around and it looks good thanks to the nice UI.

      • Linux is now a viable OS for PC gamers, thanks to Steam’s Proton initiative

        Linux is intimidating. I recall the first time I was exposed to the OS on a server farm. It required me to grow accustomed to the differences quickly. Still, once you’ve played around with the OS — and bricked numerous installs — you overcome those initial fears of not knowing what’s going on, and it becomes just as (if not more) user-friendly than other desktop-class operating systems.

        Ubuntu is a distribution of Linux and remains to this day as the most popular destination for not only Linux veterans, but also newcomers to the platform. If you’re looking for a single distribution (or ‘distro’) to try out for the first time, give Ubuntu a go. It has an incredibly active support community that’s more than happy to lend a hand to get you settled in. It’s also the OS I’m using to test and type up this piece.

        To put Linux to the test in comparison to Windows 10, I’m going to be installing Ubuntu on a speedy Seagate FireCuda M.2 NVMe SSD, which is sat on an X470 ASUS motherboard with a 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU, 32GB of RAM, and a GTX 1070 GPU for good measure. You could build your own gaming PC for less than $800. It’s not the most capable machine we could put together, but it’s one I feel should lead to some interesting results with more mature driver support from NVIDIA.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma Mobile as Daily Driver on PinePhone

          Last week I was in Bluesystems GmbH meeting in Germany, almost 7000 km away from home. While one would hope that this journey is smooth, of-course this was not case for my journey. I missed my phone in first segment of journey (which now is on route to my home as I write). In 4 hours of layover I tried to retrieve my phone but unfortunately it was already with Lost and Found team and getting that would require me going through immigration etc. Thankfuly I had a LG Nexus 5X which I generally use to test out Plasma Mobile builds, In hurry I flashed LineageOS on it and downloaded some basic applications I needed on it. In second lag of journey I spent time copying some of required documents and files to mobile device.

          Fast-forward 2 days, my Nexus 5X decided that it is time to give up. After turning off screen, it won’t turn back on. I tried charging it for few hours but no luck. I did not need mobile while I was in meeting, since I was having meeting and stay at same place. I was able to communicate with my family and friends over telegram. But when I needed to travel back home, I realized while I can survive without mobile device, it won’t be largely fun.

        • What’s up in Notifications?

          With the end of the year approaching in some parts of the world and already half a year since I announced the notifications rewrite, I thought I’d give you an update on some of the things I’ve worked on since. While Plasma 5.17 only saw minor changes, most notably automatic do not disturb mode when screens are mirrored during presentations, there are some very exciting new features that will arrive in the upcoming Plasma 5.18 LTS to be released early February next year.


          Do not disturb mode can now quickly be enabled or disabled anytime by pressing a configurable global shortcut. Thanks to David Faure, KOrganizer now checks Plasma’s notification inhibition state and delays any reminders until do not disturb is disabled again.

        • Plasma Mobile update: part 11-12

          The Plasma Mobile team is happy to present the blogpost with updates from week 11 and 12.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Firefox GNOME search provider

          Search is a central concept in the GNOME user experience. It provides quick navigation and shortcuts to recently used documents, places and software.

          A search provider is used by an application to expose such data to the users via the GNOME Shell search screen. As for Web browsers currently only Gnome Web (Epiphany) have integrated this feature.

        • The art of using GSettings in a library

          While providing GActions in a library can be done quite naturally, for GSettings it is more complicated.

          To simplify, GSettings is used by GTK applications to store their settings. Libraries usually provide GObject properties, and the application can bind the properties to the corresponding GSettings key with the g_settings_bind() function. So far so good.

          For the libdevhelp I wanted to go one step further, and provide a GSettings schema in the library itself.

        • Testing D-Bus clients with libglib-testing

          I’ve always found it a bit of a pain to write unit tests for D-Bus client libraries, where you’re testing that your code calls methods on a D-Bus service appropriately and, in particular, correctly handles a variety of return values and errors. Writing unit tests like this traditionally involves writing a mock D-Bus service for them to talk to, which validates the input it receives and provides appropriate responses. That often goes most of the way towards reimplementing the entirety of the real D-Bus service.

          Part of the difficulty of testing D-Bus clients like this is synchronising the state of the mock D-Bus service with the test code, and part of the difficulty is the fact that you have to write mock service code for each D-Bus method before you can test it — which is a lot of investment in writing code before you can even start writing your unit tests themselves.

          As an experiment in finding a better way of doing this kind of testing, I’ve written GtDBusQueue in libglib-testing, and I think it might be ready for some wider use. Thanks a lot to Endless for allowing me to work on such projects! I’ve used it in a couple of projects now, particularly in libmalcontent (which handles implementing parental controls policy on the desktop, and needs to talk to the accountsservice D-Bus service).

          GtDBusQueue basically implements a queue for D-Bus messages received from your D-Bus client code. Each D-Bus message is typically a method call: your unit test can inspect the queue, and will typically pop messages off the front of the queue to assert they match a certain method call, and then send a reply to that call.

          A key feature of GtDBusQueue is that it operates as a queue of D-Bus messages, rather than as a collection of D-Bus object proxies (typically GDBusObjectProxy), which means that it can be used to handle method calls to arbitrary D-Bus object paths without having to implement a new proxy class for each of them.

    • Intel

      • SVT-AV1 0.8 Brings More AVX2/AVX-512 Optimizations, Multi-Threaded Decode Support

        Intel’s Scalable Video Technology SVT-AV1 video encoder/decoder for AV1 content has already been the speediest of the various solutions we have tried, but now a new release is available and it looks to be even faster for CPU-based AV1 video encode/decode.

        SVT-AV1 has already employed various AVX2 and AVX-512 optimizations while more of these Advanced Vector Extensions optimizations have arrived with this new SVT-AV1 0.8 release. SVT-AV1 0.8 also has new preset optimizations, a single-core execution memory optimization, auto-max partitioning support, multi-pass partitioning depth support, and other encode improvements.

      • Intel Linux Driver Support Revived Again For Interesting Per-Process Usage Reporting

        Back in October 2018 came the initial patches for providing per-process GPU usage reporting to be exposed to user-space for interesting metrics akin to the top command or other system monitoring utilities but for detailed GPU statistics. In October that interesting work finally saw a revision but went dark after that and didn’t make it into the recent Linux 5.5 merge window. Now a new spin of that code has been sent out for review.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Alpine Linux Adds ‘Initial Support’ for KDE, GNOME Desktops

          Alpine Linux is a small, streamlined Linux distro based on musl libc and busybox. Although initially aimed at routers Alpine has snowballed to become the leading Linux distro for Docker containers.

          And that’s understandable.

          Alpine is super lightweight, super small (a base image can be a mere 8MB), and it’s super secure too — and this latter claim isn’t merely marketing, either.

          Alpine is built around a battle-hardened Linux kernel and, as the project website notes: “all userland binaries are compiled as Position Independent Executables (PIE) with stack smashing protection.”

          Put simply: this thing is rock solid.

          If you’re interested in the PinePhone and other Linux-based mobile technology you’ll surely have heard of postmarketOS. And what’s postmarketOS based on? Alpine Linux.

        • NuTyX 11.3 Available

          I’m very pleased to announce the new NuTyX 11.3 release.

          The 64-bit version contains about 850 packages upgraded.

          The 32-bit version of NuTyX, still actively supported.

          In the newest release, base NuTyX comes with the Long-Term Support (LTS) kernel 4.19.90 (4.9.206 for the 32-bit version).

          For 64-bit systems,the kernel release 5.4.4 is also available.

          Changelogs for the kernels are available here: kernel 4.19.90 changlog kernel 5.4.4 changelog

          The gnu c library, glibc, is now glibc 2.30

          The graphical server is xorg-server 1.20.6.

          The mesa lib is 19.2.7, gtk3 is 3.24.13, and qt has been updated to 5.13.2.

          Python interpreters 3.7.4 and 2.7.17 have been included in this release.

          The MATE Desktop Environment comes in 1.22.2, the latest version.

          The KDE Plasma Desktop is now 5.17.4, the Framework is now 5.64.0 and applications are now 19.12.0

          Available browsers are: firefox 71.0, falkon 3.1.0, epiphany 3.34.2, etc

          Many desktop applications have been updated as well like thunderbird 68.3.1, Scribus 1.5.5, libreoffice, gimp 2.10.14, etc.

          5 news ISOs are available.

      • Gentoo Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Open Build Service: Look Back at 2019

          Despite the changes experienced along the year, we are very proud of our achievements, especially the revamping of our user interface :heart_eyes_cat:. We opted for a new and well-known technology which made frontend code easier to maintain and more attractive for contributors. Now we are delighted with such a success, we received many contributions and feedback, and most of our users appreciate the fresh and modern look and feel of Open Build Service (OBS).

        • Root cause analysis of the OBS downtime 2019-12-14

          Around 16:00 CET at 2019-12-14, one of the Open Build Service (OBS) virtualization servers (which run some of the backend machines) decided to stop operating. Reason: a power failure in one of the UPS systems. Other than normal, this single server had both power supplies on the same UPS – resulting in a complete power loss, while all other servers were still powered via their redundant power supply.

        • IPv6 for machines in Provo

          Sadly neither the forums nor WordPress instances are IPv6 enabled. But we are hoping for the best: this is something we like to work on next year…

      • Arch Family

        • ArcoLinux 19.12.16
        • Xorg cleanup requires manual intervention

          In the process of Xorg cleanup the update requires manual intervention when you hit this message:

          :: installing xorgproto (2019.2-2) breaks dependency ‘inputproto’ required by lib32-libxi
          :: installing xorgproto (2019.2-2) breaks dependency ‘dmxproto’ required by libdmx
          :: installing xorgproto (2019.2-2) breaks dependency ‘xf86dgaproto’ required by libxxf86dga

          when updating, use: pacman -Rdd libdmx libxxf86dga && pacman -Syu to perform the upgrade. After the update it will be safe to also remove the “xorgproto” package.

      • Fedora Family

        • Flatpak 1.6 Released With Bits For Supporting Paid App Store, Better Self-Sandboxing

          Flatpak 1.6 was released today as the culmination of the Flatpak 1.5 development series.

          One of the biggest additions for 1.5/1.6 is the introduction of protected/authenticated downloads support with Flatpak as part of their plans to ultimately allow “app purchasing” via Flathub whether it be a donation/pay-what-you-want type scenario or ultimately allowing commercial applications to become available via Flathub. Flatpak 1.6 introduces the preliminary interfaces for this authenticated/protected Flatpak handling for “paid” apps.

        • Infrastructure support over the holidays

          As you may be aware, Red Hat has a mandatory shutdown period beginning 24 December and ending 2 January. This allows most associates to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family and recharge their batteries after a busy year. Multiple Red Hat teams will be observing this period, including the Community Platform Engineering team, which supports Fedora & CentOS infrastructure. We want to raise awareness that availability will be minimal during this time.

          For services that affect end users (e.g. mirrorlists) and services that directly affect the ability to provide critical updates to users, we will attempt to provide coverage, but this is not guaranteed and will be on a best-effort basis. Any coverage offered will ultimately will be at the personal choice of the individual during their time off.

        • Fedora program update: 2019-51

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. This is the last update of 2019. We’ll see you all next year!

        • Fedora 31 : Start with tito tool.

          If you have some Fedora related project and you want to your output an RPM package, then you can use the tito tool.

          This tool comes with the version 0.6.12 and today is finally out!

        • Fedora Looking At Finally Enabling FSTRIM By Default In Fedora 32

          With Fedora 32 the developers are finally looking at enabling the fstrim.timer systemd unit by default that would trigger FSTRIM to run weekly on supported storage devices and file-systems. For file-systems mounted with the likes of EXT4 / XFS / Btrfs / F2FS and on a supported flash-based storage device, each Monday FSTRIM would run for informing the storage devices about unused blocks. This also benefits LVM thin-provisioned environments for returning LV extents to the pool.

        • Fedora 32 Aiming To Enable Link-Time Optimizations By Default For Packages

          In addition to finally enabling FSTRIM for flash-based storage devices, another arguably long overdue change slated for Fedora 32 to benefit performance is compiling packages by default with link-time optimizations (LTO) by the GCC compiler.

          Link-time optimizations can be a big win for performance of common multi source file programs by applying optimizations during the linking phase, after all the object files have been combined. Thanks to this whole-program analysis/optimization there is much greater potential for enhancing the performance.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Pop!_OS vs Ubuntu: Which One is Better?

          Well, you might find it easy to pick one from the list of best Linux distributions. However, it is often confusing to compare two similar Linux distros, just like Pop!_OS vs Ubuntu.

          Interestingly, Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu. So, what is the difference between Pop!_OS and Ubuntu? Why should you choose one over other?

          In this article, I’m going to compare Pop!_OS and Ubuntu (both of which happen to be my favorites).

        • Remix Could Bring Some Cinnamon Lovers Back to Ubuntu

          Since I am an avid Cinnamon user, I was a bit disappointed in the performance of this initial stable release. The critical stuff worked fine. The Ubuntu base is very forgiving. What did not work was an annoying list of small stuff. I am a lot less forgiving of those glitches.

          I am sympathetic to the challenges a small developer team faces in swapping a heavyweight desktop design the likes of Cinnamon into a powerhouse operating system such as Ubuntu. Given that it has come this far in the last five years or so, I hope it will be a short time before the next stable remix release is ready.

          Planned improvements for the 20.04 release include a new GRUB, a Plymouth theme, an improved layout application, and a Welcome screen. Also planned is a slideshow presentation during installation.

          I want to see a better installed base of applications that rises to the volume of what Ubuntu now offers in its desktop offerings. I am not in favor of application bloat, but I think the current installed software inventory is far too minimal.

          I look forward to seeing the Cinnamon desktop spice up Ubuntu as an official competitive desktop option. Hopefully, this new remix distro will improve and become part of the official Ubuntu Linux lineup. I can not help but wonder why Canonical has not already done this, without waiting for a third-party distro to join the Ubuntu spice rack.

        • ROS-Industrial – Canonical

          ROS-Industrial was way better than I expected it to be. As a first time ROS-Industrial attendee and only a second-time ROS-anything. I’m not sure what my expectations were. But it was really good. A great event, some great speakers, new friends and cool robots. What more could you want? This blog will not cover every talk in any detail. This is a general overview for anyone unlucky enough to miss the conference and a breakdown of some thoughts and observations. If you want more detailed information look here. If you have ROS-Industrial specific questions, head this way. But if you’re interested in just reading about it, look no further.

        • Design and Web team summary – 20 December 2019

          Web is the squad that develop and maintain most of the brochure websites across Canonical and is the team that underpins our toolsets and architecture of our projects. They maintain the CI and deployment of all websites we maintain. The Brand Squad are tasked with updating and managing the overall style of Canonical, Ubuntu and the many fantastic products we create both on and off-line.

        • How to install the Akaunting Accounting Suite on Ubuntu 18.04

          Your small business data center isn’t complete without an accounting tool. Although you might be tempted to head directly toward Quickbooks or another, proprietary solution, why not first try out an open source, on-premise solution? One such option is Akaunting.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • List of 4 Open Source Network Asset Management Systems for Data Centers

        A network asset management software is a specialized program for managing network devices and connection endpoints in a data center or a large network. When you have tens of routers, hundreds of PCs and servers and thousands of IP addresses and endpoints, it becomes impossible to monitor everything and understand who is connected to what in such scenarios manually.

        Traditionally, people used to keep such information in an organized spreadsheet in order to be able to share it later with their co-workers. But as the number of entries grows and as the number of administrators who will need to access all of this information grows, using such solutions becomes impractical. That’s why special software exists to solve this problem.

        And as usual in any software field, there are those $$$ proprietary software solutions that you can use, and open source ones. In today’s article, we’ll give you 4 possible open source network assets management solutions for managing a data center or a large network.

      • In the Love of Open Source Communities

        We do, to some limited extent, acknowledge the efforts and contributions of open source software developers. But another aspect of that goes completely unnoticed, which is the community around that software.

        By the word “Community”, I do not mean just the geeky people who are very much obsessed with a specific software, nor the ones who benefit somehow from working on improving the project they are working on… I mostly mean the normal, average users whether newbies or advanced who help others in finding that software, and more importantly, help them in walking through it and using it for their needs. In my opinion, it is a priceless experience to have someone from the other side of the world to help you fix your issues and get what you need to be done, for free.

        It is true that a lot of open source software developers are paid to do their job (acknowledging that most of them aren’t), but in terms of the community, I have found most of those fellow humans – if not all – willing to give you the help you want and need for free. Think about the countless forums and online support channels (Mailing lists, IRCs…) that are always available to help you in case you need help, they are always free. In those channels, people spend countless hours asking those in need for help for extra information and debugging details, only to give them the support they need and teach them how to do X.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla VR Blog: How much is that new VR headset really sharing about you?

            VR was big this holiday season – the Oculus Go sales hit the Amazon #1 electronics device list on Black Friday, and the Oculus Quest continues to sell. But in the spirit of Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included guidelines, you might be wondering: what personal information is Oculus collecting while you use your device?

          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 71 on POWER

            This is the last of the 6-week sprints, moving to a 4-week cadence for Firefox 72. As a result I will be doing smoke test builds about every 10-14 days to ensure early regressions on Power are intercepted. Unfortunately I have not had time to do much more work on the JIT because of the holidays, family responsibilities and $DAYJOB. I won’t be offended at all if someone beats me to the punch especially as I’m starting to see WebAssembly becoming a hard dependency even for some add-ons (without the JIT there is no support for wasm).

          • Daniel Stenberg: Summing up My 2019

            I quit Mozilla last year and in the beginning of the year I could announce that I joined wolfSSL. For the first time in my life I could actually work with curl on my day job. As the project turned 21 I had spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 unpaid spare time hours on it and now I could finally do it “for real”. It’s huge.

          • Daniel Stenberg: My 28 talks of 2019

            In 2019 I did more public speaking than I’ve ever than before in a single year: 28 public appearances. More than 4,500 persons have seen my presentations live at both huge events (like 1,200 in the audience at FOSDEM 2019) but also some very small and up-close occasions. Many thousands more have also seen video recordings of some of the talks – my most viewed youtube talk of 2019 has been seen over 58,000 times. Do I need to say that it was about HTTP/3, a topic that was my most common one to talk about through-out the year? I suspect the desire to listen and learn more about that protocol version is far from saturated out there…

          • Firefox UX: Listening: It’s not just for audio

            When we first set out to study listening behaviors, we focused on audio content. After all, audio is what people listen to, right? It quickly became apparent, however, that people also often listen to videos and multimedia content. Listening isn’t just for audio — it’s for any situation where we don’t (or can’t) use our eyes and thus our ears dominate.

            Why do we care that people are listening to videos as a primary mode of accessing content? Because in the past, technologists and content creators have often treated video, audio and text as distinct content types — after all, they are different types of file formats. But the people consuming content care less about the media or file type and more about the experience of accessing content. With advances in web, mobile, and ubiquitous technology, we’re seeing a convergence in media experience. We anticipate this convergence will continue with the emergence of voice-based platforms.

          • Firefox UX: People who listen to a lot of podcasts really are different

            Podcasts are quickly becoming a cultural staple. Between 2013 and 2018, the percent of Americans over age 12 who had ever listened to a podcast jumped from 27% to 44%, according to the Pew Research Center. Yet just 17% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past week. So we wanted to know: What distinguishes people who listen to podcasts weekly, or even daily, from people who only listen occasionally? Do frequent and infrequent podcast listeners have different values, needs and preferences? To put it another way, are there different kinds of podcast listeners?

            To explore this question, Mozilla did a series of surveys and interviews to understand how people listen to podcasts — how often they listen, how many shows they listen to, what devices they use, how they discover content, and what features of the listening experience matter most to them. Here’s what we found.

          • Implementing WebGPU in Gecko

            As WebGPU specification is approaching a usable shape, we are working on prototype implementations in both Gecko and Servo. If you ever wondered about what it’s like to implement a complex Web API in Gecko, this article is for you. It’s focused on the plumbing: what the parts of implementation are, and how they fit together. We are going to start with the user-facing API (JS on the Web) and go down the shaft till we reach the GPU.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Outreach

        • Raleigh, North Carolina: good BBQ and great outreach for free software knowledge.

          We recently posted a lengthy write-up of the licensing team’s activities in 2019. Although we have been really busy, we didn’t want to miss the chance to share some specifics about our activities in October. That month, members of our licensing and campaigns teams headed down to North Carolina to spread the message of software freedom. First, on the 14th & 15th, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) staffed a booth at the ATO conference where we reminded hundreds of people that freedom is better than just being open. Next, on October 16th, our licensing and compliance team held another Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar.

          We had a great time representing software freedom at the ATO conference. ATO was a huge conference with almost 5,000 people from all over the world in attendance. We were fortunate to have prime real estate for our booth location, which was at a bottleneck right outside the keynote auditoriums, and it provided us with a constant stream of visitors. We gave away 200 Bash stickers, and we happily said goodbye to four adorable baby gnu plushies, along with many T-shirts and books. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring our new DRM dust jackets, and we only discovered this because someone asked for one. It was a very busy and full day of introducing people to the FSF and meeting our fervent supporters. As usual, we also hosted a meetup after the conference. Well over twenty people joined us, and we feasted on fried Brussels sprouts and boiled peanuts, among other tasty appetizers. Meetups are always a great time to socialize with free software supporters, and this was no exception, as we had staff from the GNOME Foundation, the Open Source Initiative, and the Software Freedom Conservancy in attendance. While chatting among peers, one of the attendees informed us about a barcade right around the corner requiring a picture of your face to enter the establishment, and that those images are allegedly shared with the police. Yikes! The idea of giving up your whereabouts so wantonly seems like a horrible activity to normalize.

          Following the two days of the ATO conference, we hosted our CLE seminar. Attendees of the full day seminar got a comprehensive overview of copyleft and other practical concepts in the GNU family of licenses. They also learned about ethical considerations important to lawyers working with clients involved in free software, and other current topics in free software licensing.

        • Outreachy post 2

          The third week of the Outreachy is continuing successfully, everyone seems to be in the Outreachy vibe of working and learning a lot. The last weeks have been quite intense and interesting for me as well. While I spent the first few days gaining access to most of the repos and accounts that I will need to complete my internship or doing research and studying the next phases for the continuity of the project, my second and third week have been more “hands on” since I had set up everything and was ready to complete further tasks.

          As you may know from my last blog post, I am working with DebConf sponsorships and fundraising, so, these two weeks I have been mostly working on the fundraising of the next DebConf, which will be held in Haifa, Israel. Preparations for the event have already started, and I have participated in all the organizing team calls so far, trying to learn more about organizing DebConfs, and also give possible updates about my work, which I am really happy to say has been received positively by the community. I have received very nice feedback from team members and sponsors.

        • 4 ways to volunteer this holiday season

          Social impact happens when leaders deploy individuals and resources to make positive change, but many social efforts are lacking technology resources that are up to the task of serving these change-makers. However, there are organizations helping to accelerate tech for good by connecting developers who want to make a change with communities and nonprofits who desperately need better technology. These organizations often serve specific audiences and recruit specific kinds of technologists, but they all share a common thread: open source.

          As developers, we all seek to participate in the open source community for a variety of reasons. Some participate for professional development, some participate so that they may collaborate with a vast, impressive network of technologists, and others participate because they know their contributions are necessary for the success of a project. Why not also volunteer your talents as a developer to an effort that needs them, and contribute to open source all at the same time? The organizations below are prime examples of how you can do that.

      • Programming/Development

        • Welcome the Qt Champions of 2019!

          After having processed the nominations with the current lifetime champions we have now come to a consensus on the Qt Champions of 2019! A special thank you to @SGaist and @mrjj for your help in this regard!

          This year’s Maverick is Denis Shienkov who was one of those who stepped in to help the qbs project when it was handed to the community. Not only that he has continued to maintain Qt SerialPort and has also provided a lot of fixes to Qt Creator too and yet still finds time to handle reviews across a number of projects and modules too. For that Denis is deservedly our Maverick this year.

          We ended up with two winners in the Fixer category this year, it was too close to call between the two so we felt that it was best to have two winners as a result. This year the honors fall to @christian-ehrlicher and Orgad Shaneh.

          Christian became our rookie of the year last year and has continued to contribute a lot to Qt both in the form of patches and reviews while also being one of our moderators on the Qt Forum. He has been getting involved in some of the lesser maintained modules and is not afraid to ensure that things are done correctly when reviewing patches thus making sure the quality of Qt stands.

          Orgad has contributed a lot to Qt Creator this year as well as being very helpful when it comes to reviewing patches as well and is additionally has been a long serving member of the community. So it is only fitting that he is also the winner in the Fixer category this year and as a result becomes our third lifetime champion.

        • UiWatchDog: a keepalive monitor for the GUI thread

          A fundamental rule when writing applications in event-driven UI frameworks such as Qt is: do not ever block the GUI thread!

          The GUI thread is also usually called the main thread of the application — that is, the thread that runs main(). In Qt the GUI thread is somehow special, because it’s the only thread from which we can perform operations in our UI; these include creating, showing, modifying our controls; updating their contents on the screen; playing visual animations; handling keyboard and mouse events; and so on.

          Doing any blocking I/O (such as disk access, networking, IPC), as well as running any computationally intensive operation from within the GUI thread is going to block it for a certain period of time.

          If this period is too long, our GUI will become non-responsive, and there’s nothing more frustrating for the user to have an application that feels sluggish or worse doesn’t respond at all.

          The definition of “too long” depends on the requirements we have. Of course, a few seconds is completely unacceptable — most operating systems will show that our application has frozen, and potentially will ask the user to terminate it. Below that limit, it really depends: while we could have some leeway for applications using Qt Widgets, a Qt Quick application that has animations all over the place would look terrible if those animations stutter. In other words, “too long” can be as small as a few milliseconds!

        • GCC 5 Through GCC 10 Compiler Benchmarks – Five Years Worth Of C/C++ Compiler Performance

          As part of our end-of-year benchmark comparisons, the latest results are looking at how the GNU Compiler Collection has evolved with the past five years of performance in testing GCC 5 through GCC 9 stable and the latest GCC 10 development compiler from the same system.

        • Write your First Apple Swift Program in Debian

          Swift is a programming language developed by Apple Inc. It is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language developed for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, Linux, and z/OS. According to the developers, Swift is a fantastic way to write software, whether it’s for phones, desktops, servers, or anything else that runs code. It’s a safe, fast, and interactive programming language that combines the best in modern language thinking with wisdom from the wider Apple engineering culture and the diverse contributions from its open-source community. The compiler is optimized for performance and the language is optimized for development, without compromising on either.

          In this article, we will explain how you can install the latest version of Swift on your Debian. More importantly, we will tell you how to get started with swift by explaining how to write your first Swift program and also a Hello World project in Swift.

        • Python

          • Working with Redis in Python with Django

            Data is increasingly becoming a valuable commodity in the current era of technology and this necessitates the optimization of storage and access to this data.

            There are quite a few notable solutions for the storage of data, including Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, which store data in a structured format using rows and columns and the relationships within the data.

            Apart from RDBMS, there are key-value stores that store data based on unique keys and values like a dictionary. Key-value databases fall under the NoSQL family of databases that do not conform to the relational nature of RDBMS.

            In this post, we will explore Redis as a key-value store and use it in a project to explore its functionality.

          • Python Software Foundation: Python 2 series to be retired by April 2020

            The CPython core development community is urging users to migrate to Python 3 as it will be the only version that will be updated for bugs and security vulnerabilities.

            After nearly 20 years of development on the Python 2 series, the last major version 2.7 will be released in April 2020, and then all development will cease for Python 2. Users are urged to migrate to Python 3 to benefit from its many improvements, as well as to avoid potential security vulnerabilities in Python 2.x after April 2020. This move will free limited resources for the CPthyon core developer community for other important work.

            The final Python 2.7 maintenance release was originally planned for 2015. However, it was delayed 5 years to give people adequate time to migrate and to work closely with vendors and redistributors to ensure that supported Python 3 migration options were available. Part of the reason for this delay was because the stricter text model in Python 3 was forcing the resolution of non-trivial Unicode handling issues in the reference interpreter and standard library, and in migrated libraries and applications

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Portion of Affordable Care Act

        A federal appeals court panel in New Orleans dealt another blow to the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, agreeing with a lower-court judge that the portion of the health law requiring most people to have coverage is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated the tax penalty that was intended to enforce it.

      • The Looming U.S. Water Crisis

        America is going through a water crisis, and we’re going to face even more dire times if it doesn’t begin to change soon.

      • Trump EPA Sued for Putting Millions of Lives at Risk With Rollback of Chemical Safety Rules

        “We are fighting for the lives and safety of our families and workers. Our lives are more valuable than the bottom line of a few chemical barons.”

      • How an Environmental Regulator Became Known for Protecting Industry

        The notion that the natural environment should be regulated and protected by the government is a relatively modern one, often ascribed to the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s seminal book “Silent Spring.”

        In 1970, President Richard Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency, marking the beginning of the modern environmental apparatus. State environmental agencies began to pop up, and they were typically given the authority to enforce key federal laws, such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

      • In “Cancer Alley,” Toxic Polluters Face Little Oversight From Environmental Regulators

        Five years ago, the owners of the Noranda Alumina plant on the border of St. John and St. James parishes in Louisiana discovered a big problem: They were emitting more than half a ton of mercury, a heavy metal that is toxic to humans and animals even in trace amounts, into the air each year. And the plant had likely been doing it for decades, in violation of its permit.

        Plant officials, as required, alerted the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. Then they asked for permission to keep doing what they had been doing.

      • What Happens When a Health Plan Has No Limits? An Acupuncturist Earns $677 a Session.

        Judging by the marketing, it would seem that the teachers of New Jersey have collectively thrown out their backs, pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve while engaged in rigorous educating.

        Last fall, when teachers at about a dozen New Jersey schools returned from break, employees from Thompson Healthcare & Sports Medicine welcomed them with bagels and orange juice. The clinic’s owner also created an empathetic YouTube video titled “We Understand Painful Conditions Suffered By Teachers.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • TurboTax Tricked Customers Into Paying to File Taxes. Now Several States Are Investigating It.

          Multiple state attorneys general, including Josh Stein of North Carolina, have opened investigations of TurboTax maker Intuit, following ProPublica’s reporting that the company charged millions of Americans for tax filing services they were eligible to receive for free, according to people with knowledge of the investigations.

          As part of the investigations, Intuit has been subpoenaed for records. At least four states besides North Carolina are investigating, but the exact number is not clear.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cyrus-imapd and gdk-pixbuf), Fedora (cacti, cacti-spine, and fribidi), Red Hat (fribidi, git, and openstack-keystone), Scientific Linux (fribidi), Slackware (wavpack), and SUSE (firefox, kernel, mariadb, spectre-meltdown-checker, and trousers).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • This Story on Cellphone Tracking ‘Is the Most Important Article You Should Read Today. Period.’

              The New York Times published the first piece in its “One Nation, Tracked” investigation based on a data set with over 50 billion location pings.

            • FBI Surveillance of Trump Aide Reflects Flaws in Secretive FISA System

              Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Wednesday the FBI should have considered halting its surveillance of Trump’s campaign aide Carter Page months before it did, after it was revealed that accusations against him may not be credible. Horowitz made the comments while testifying to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, saying the FBI used false information to obtain approval to wiretap Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and raising wider concerns about the agency’s use of surveillance. He testified a day after the highly secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — known as the FISA Court — issued a public order accusing the FBI of misleading the court to gain approval to wiretap Page, and ordering the FBI to propose changes in how its investigators seek permission for domestic surveillance of U.S. citizens by January. Last week, Horowitz issued a first report finding a series of inaccuracies and omissions in the FBI’s surveillance application process. We speak with Ashley Gorski, staff attorney with the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

            • Austria’s Top Court Says Police May Not Install Surveillance Malware On Computers And Phones, Nor Collect Vehicle And Driver Information Covertly

              One of the features of surveillance in Germany is the routine use of malware to spy on its citizens. The big advantage for the authorities is that this allows them to circumvent end-to-end encryption. By placing spy software on the user’s equipment, the police are able to see messages in an unencrypted form. Austrian police were due to start deploying malware in this way next year. But in a welcome win for digital rights, Austria’s top court has just ruled its use unconstitutional (in German). The Austrian Constitutional Court based its judgment on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR — pdf). The Web site of the Austrian national public service broadcaster ORF reported the court as ruling:

            • Ring Throws Customers Under the Bus After Data Breach

              Just a week after hackers broke into a Ring camera in a child’s bedroom, taunting the child and sparking serious concerns about the company’s security practices, Buzzfeed News is reporting that over 3,600 Ring owners’ email addresses, passwords, camera locations, and camera names were dumped online. This includes cameras recording private spaces inside homes.

              This stunning new leak could potentially provide criminals and stalkers with access to view live video feeds from inside and around thousands of Ring customers’ homes, see archived videos, and get the precise location of all Ring devices attached to the compromised account by studying the orientation of the footage and location information attached to each camera. 

            • Leaked Data Set Reveals Individual Tracking of 12 Million Phones

              The New York Times has obtained a massive data set of over 50 billion location pings linked to more than 12 million phones which illustrates the ease with which tech companies can track and identify individuals.

              The data, which was leaked to the Times, allowed reporters to easily identify individuals by tracking their movements, despite claims by companies like Foursquare, which says it anonymizes personal data when sharing with third parties.

              Location data — which is often embedded in apps — is pseudonymized by a 30-digit-long mobile advertising ID which works cross-platform for advertisers and other businesses. The ID can also stitch geolocation together with other information like name, home address, email, phone number or even an identifier tied to your Wi-Fi network.

            • Millions of Children-Tracking Smartwatches Are At Risk Of Being Hacked

              New findings by security firm Pen Test Partners reveal that 47 million devices worldwide could be exposed and tracked thanks to a strikingly insecure cloud platform.

            • Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) Working Group is Backed by Google, Apple, Amazon, and the Zigbee Alliance
    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Unmasking the Secret Landlords Buying Up US Properties

        America’s cities are being bought up, bit by bit, by anonymous shell companies using piles of cash. Modest single-family homes, owned for generations by families, now are held by corporate vehicles with names that appear to be little more than jumbles of letters and punctuation — such as SC-TUSCA LLC, CNS1975 LLC — registered to law offices and post office boxes miles away. New glittering towers filled with owned but empty condos look down over our cities, as residents below struggle to find any available housing.

      • Boston One Step Closer to a Luxury Real Estate Transfer Tax

        Last week, the Boston City Council voted 10-3 in favor of a home rule petition to the Massachusetts legislature to levy a real estate transfer tax on high-end sales.

      • Accountability Is Nowhere To Be Found For Foxconn’s Wisconsin Head Fake

        If you recall, the state of Wisconsin had originally promised Taiwan-based Foxconn a $3 billion subsidy if the company invested $10 billion in a Wisconsin LCD panel plant that created 13,000 jobs. But as the subsidy grew to $4.5 billion, the promised factory began to shrink further and further to the point where nobody is certain that anything meaningful is going to get built at all.

      • Trade Deals Are About Increasing Protectionist Barriers

        The NYT had a piece describing the departure of the UK from the EU as the end of an era:

      • Romania agrees to pay large compensations to Romanian-Swedish investors

        Romania’s Government will pay nearly EUR 200 million worth of compensations to Romanian-Swedish investors Ioan and Viorel Micula, based on a decision of the International Arbitration Court in Washington – ICSID.

        The Government took this decision to unlock the accounts of Romania’s air control company Romatsa, frozen by the Miculas, as the company risks having its activity blocked, prime minister Ludovic Orban explained, quoted by Hotnews.ro.

        The two investors have also put distraints on the Romanian state’s stake in energy companies Nuclearelectrica and Conpet.

        In its meeting on Friday, December 13, the Romanian Government supplemented the budget of the Finance Ministry with the amount of RON 912.5 million (nearly EUR 200 mln) from the executive’s reserves fund so that the Finance Ministry can pay the compensations owed to the Micula brothers.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Trump Is Bad for the Jews’: Full-Page Ad From Progressive Jewish Group Condemns President

        “During this moment of very real, terrifying anti-Semitism coming from white nationalists and the White House, we need Congress to catch up and finally speak out.”

      • Hezbollah-Backed Professor to Form New Government in Lebanon

        A former education minister backed by the militant Hezbollah group and its allies was selected Thursday as Lebanon’s new prime minister to break a political impasse amid mass protests, although he almost immediately ran into opposition from demonstrators on the streets.

      • A New Brexit Settlement?

        Boris Johnson has Trumped Britain. Widely reviled as an untrustworthy bumbler, he has won the biggest Tory majority in decades with a three-word campaign: ‘Get Brexit Done!’ There is much to be said. The first-past-the-post electoral system rewarded Johnson with 47 more seats for little over 1 percent more in the popular vote. The media campaigned mercilessly against Labour, particularly its leader, Jeremy Corbyn. The Liberal Democrats’ centrism faces near extinction. Scottish independence has become more likely. Nigel Farage’s Brexit party sacrificed itself for the Conservatives by not running seats they held, only in Labour ones to draw away its working class voters. Transatlantic links surfaced with talk that Nigel Farage would soon to work on the Trump Campaign. However, we must leave all these for another day. Dispatching two emerging myths is more urgent.

      • Sanders and Warren Demand McConnell Hold Full and Fair Impeachment Trial for ‘Most Corrupt President in Our History’

        “U.S. senators take an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not the president of the United States,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

      • Trump Is Third Impeached President, But Tulsi Gabbard Now First Lawmaker in US History to Vote ‘Present’ on Key Question

        “I really think it was not a smart choice for her politically,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a fellow Democrat. “I thought that was very disappointing and, frankly, a cop out.”

      • McConnell Openly Signals GOP’s Future Willingness for ‘Endless Parade’ of Meaningless Impeachment Efforts

        Did the Senate Majority Leader just issue a warning, or was it a threat?

      • Just Because Republicans Are Spewing Nonsense on Impeachment Doesn’t Mean the “Big Lie” Won’t Work

        The real jury in an impeachment trial is the people, no the U.S. Senate. But is enough of the nation truly ready to call out the president and is party for what they truly are? 

      • Media’s Anti-Sanders Bias on Full Display in L.A. Debate

        Tonight’s Democratic presidential debate will be sponsored by Politico and PBS, simulcast by CNN, and moderated by Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta, along with PBS NewsHour’s anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, senior national correspondent Amna Nawaz and White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

      • For ‘Making Movement Politics Mainstream,’ National Grassroots Group People’s Action Endorses Bernie Sanders

        “Bernie Sanders cuts through the haze of corporate propaganda that clouds politics across the spectrum.”

      • Key Takeaways From Democratic Presidential Debate in L.A.

        Democratic presidential candidates offered two very different debates during their final forum of 2019. In the first half, they spent much of their time making the case for their electability in a contest with President Donald Trump. The second half was filled with friction over money in politics, Afghanistan and experience.

      • Impeachment and the Democrat/Progressive United Front

        Let’s do all in our power to turn the Republican Party’s unanimous kissing of Mafioso Don’s ring in the House yesterday into a massive wave of popular revulsion and a progressive political landslide next November.

      • Warning Against Sham ‘Cover-Up to Protect Trump,’ Progressives Pressure McConnell to Hold Fair Senate Impeachment Trial

        Advocacy groups called for a “fair trial of the impeached and disgraced president in the United States Senate—not a show trial to attempt to excuse the abuses of office which led to President Trump’s impeachment.”

      • History Will Judge Republicans for Protecting an Impeached President

        Last night, Donald Trump became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. Two hundred and thirty members of Congress voted to impeach on abuse of power; 229 on the obstruction of Congress question.

      • After House Impeachment Vote, Trump’s Case Headed for Possible “Kangaroo Court”

        The trial to impeach President Trump could soon head to the Republican-controlled Senate, which requires a two-thirds supermajority vote to convict. Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell has said he is not an “impartial juror” and that he would closely coordinate a Senate impeachment trial with the White House Counsel’s Office, leading Democrats to accuse McConnell of trying to preside over a sham trial. We speak with John Bonifaz, who spearheaded the push for impeachment with his group, Free Speech for People. Bonifaz says that despite the low chance of conviction in the Senate, Wednesday’s impeachment vote was important in holding “this lawless president” accountable. “I do agree that we need to demand a full and fair trial out of the United States Senate and that we cannot allow the kangaroo court that Mitch McConnell appears to be preparing for,” he says.

      • Tipping Point

        The release of the Articles of Impeachment (AOI) in the din of Republicans howls marks a tipping point in public trust and political legitimacy. The problem is not just adversarial political opposition, but rather the bulwark stance against the underlying order that privileged decency, respect, and commitment to our social institutions. Many politicians are motivated by fear of President Trump’s wrath to oppose their next election. Seasoned diplomats and decorated veterans are pilloried and intimidated when they report under oath about White House shenanigans that run counter to established procedures and protocols involving national security and foreign relations. Even the FBI is attacked for investigating well-documented Russian interference in the 2016 election.

      • ‘Absolutely Disgusting’: Trump Suggests Late Congressman Is in Hell After His Widow Debbie Dingell Votes to Impeach

        “One of the worst things this very horrible man has ever said. And that’s not easy.”

      • Vladimir Putin suggests a hard two-term limit on presidential service, amending Russia’s Constitution to remove the word ‘consecutive’

        At a major press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin suggested removing the word “consecutive” from Russia’s constitutional limit on two consecutive presidential terms. Putin is currently serving his second consecutive (fourth non-consecutive) term in office.

      • Vladimir Putin’s four-hour annual press conference in a single paragraph

        In a contemporary democratic society, only one ideology is possible: patriotism, “in the broadest, best sense of the word.” The line in Russia’s constitution that limits presidents to two consecutive terms could be changed to remove the word “consecutive.” “The decrease in [Russian] citizens’ real disposable income is a very bad thing.” An increase must be achieved, but “we’re not about to throw money around left and right.” December 31 can be made a federal holiday, but not this year and “without offending farmers.” “Putting the Soviet Union and fascist Germany on equal footing is unacceptable.” The biggest beef to be had with Lenin is that he hitched the whole country’s fate to that of his party, but there’s no need to remove his body from its mausoleum. Akhmat and Ramzan Kadyrov deserved the Hero of Russia titles they received. “Ramzan Kadyrov also could have been given the Hero of Labor title, but he’s still quite young — he can wait.” There are no occupying regimes in the Donbas, nor are there any foreign troops. Kyiv has to enter into a dialogue, but “the people living there are proud.” The arrest of Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov is being investigated: “Five people from the [Internal Affairs Ministry] have been fired, and there are criminal cases against all of them.” “The Russian and Belorusian peoples are almost one and the same.” Banning Russia from the Olympics is an “unjust” decision that “goes against common sense.” There is no need to change Russia’s federal health care model. “We have such bandits running around Berlin.” There will be no second pension reform. “Are we having a dialogue, or am I giving my answer?” “Do we need a law against domestic violence? Let’s discuss this calmly.” We’re not moving toward closing down the Internet. Things were much worse in the 1990s than they are now. When asked about his daughters: “You mentioned one woman, then another.” “Happy New Year!”

      • Putin announces felony charges against ex-cops who arrested ‘Meduza’ reporter Ivan Golunov in June. The case was launched yesterday.

        At an annual press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin revealed that five police officers who arrested Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov in June on bogus drug charges are being investigated for felony offenses. The president added that he is unaware of any evidence suggesting that the officers were acting on behalf of some third party. 

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Politician Proposes Removing Racist Statue In Favor of Dolly Parton

        Tennessee State Representative Jeremy Faison wants to replace a bust of the KKK’s founder that currently sits in the state’s capitol building. He’s calling for the statue to be removed and replaced with a Dolly Parton statue — an idea that faces stiff resistance from other lawmakers.

      • New Bill Introduced To Study Impact Of SESTA/FOSTA On Sex Workers

        A few months back, we were pleasantly surprised to see Rep. Ro Khanna announce plans to introduce a bill that would study the impact of FOSTA on sex workers. Earlier this week, he came through, introducing the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, which he’s introducing with Rep. Barbara Lee in the House. On the Senate side, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden have introduced the companion bill. You can read the bill here. It would task Health & Human Services with studying the impact of FOSTA on sex workers, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health.

      • Indian Government Sets New Record For ‘Internet Shutdown By A Democracy’

        India’s internet blockade targeting the Kashmir state has set a dubious record that really shouldn’t be held by a government that considers itself a democracy.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Illegal surveillance of Assange’s conversations with his lawyers must not be used in court

        ARTICLE 19 has said that recordings of conversations between Julian Assange and his lawyers and other visitors, made during his stay in the Ecuadorian embassy, should not be used in his extradition case or any prosecution.

        ARTICLE 19 also reiterated its call on the UK court to reject the extradition of the founder and publisher of Wikileaks to the US, where he faces charges that relate to the publication of Wikileaks material. If found guilty, Assange could face up to 175 years in prison.

        Executive Director Thomas Hughes said:

        “We call on the UK court to reject the extradition order that could lead to Julian Assange being prosecuted and potentially imprisoned for exposing human rights violations.

        “If it is shown that illegal surveillance took place and that recordings were provided to the US authorities, it is further evidence that Assange is unlikely to receive a fair trial. His prosecution under the broadly worded Espionage Act is already problematic.

        “The UK should not allow an extradition that would have severe consequences for investigative journalism and freedom of expression around the world.”

      • WikiLeaks’ Assange testifies in embassy spying case

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday testified in his legal case against a Spanish private security firm that he claims spied on him while he was holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London.

        Assange, who is currently serving time at a high-security prison in Britain, was to answer questions from a judge at Spain’s National Court in Madrid, testifying by videoconference from Westminster Magistrates Court in London, his legal team said.

        Spain’s top criminal court is investigating whether Undercover Global Ltd, which was responsible for security at the embassy, spied on Assange and passed on information to the United States.

        The case is key to Assange’s efforts to fight an extradition request by the US Justice Department which is pushing to have him put on trial for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents in 2010.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Global NGO Community Demands a Stop to the Sale of .ORG

        Over 500 organizations and 18,000 individuals have signed a letter urging the Internet Society to stop the private equity takeover of the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the organization that manages the .ORG top-level domain. It’s rare that EFF, Greenpeace, Consumer Reports, Oxfam, the YMCA of the USA, and Human Rights Watch all speak out about a single issue, but the sale of .ORG affects every corner of the NGO sector.

        Take Action

    • Monopolies

Dear FSF, Your Fundraiser “Memes” Are The Best Ever — But Image Isn’t Everything

Posted in FSF at 8:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figsodev


Summary: “What really matters to your members is the future — getting it right, and doing what’s right.”

Zoe, since you’re the one being quoted, and possibly the most potential-member-facing of the group at the moment, let me start by letting you off the hook. Nobody (that I know of) really blames you for this, even if your name is on the page. This isn’t about you, this is about your organisation. No worries.

With that said, here is how not to encourage people to support the FSF:

“The faces behind the Free software movement may change, but with your support, the Free Software Foundation will not diverge from our continued”

Sad trumpet noises

Who really believes you’re going to stand behind a mere advocate of Free software like me, when you don’t stand behind the founder of Free software?

We know what happened — they got to the interns with FUD, the interns didn’t know better, they convinced the Board, and Stallman more or less jumped ship so they would stop firing at it. That’s noble and all, but it doesn’t do much good if your ship is now drifting aimlessly and without a real Captain.

Now that enough people have more or less proven that the attacks were predominantly fake — Joshua Gay said that things started to look “up” after RMS left — they’re not looking up now though, are they?

“And it’s not just the FSF, organisations everywhere are selling out and selling off their names to companies with a mandate to destroy them and profit from their destruction.”People are figuring out that an FSF that doesn’t stand up for its Chief doesn’t stand for anybody.

You could have at least said you were sad that he left! Are you only sad to lose members? Dyne.org was able to say it was a misfortune, why weren’t you?

And it’s not just the FSF, organisations everywhere are selling out and selling off their names to companies with a mandate to destroy them and profit from their destruction. Don’t let the FSF become another Linux Foundation.

Now that you’re low on steam, you’re leaning on Valessio Brito to get everybody moving. You keep him, he honestly is doing a super job — the badges are terrific and I’m sure they will help spread the word and ideas of the FSF. But the FSF can’t survive on image alone. True advocates are too smart for that, or they would have all joined OSI by now…

Anyway, don’t lean too much on looking cool, the real legacy of the FSF is about Doing The Right Thing. And The Right Thing is to Bring Stallman Back. As much as you possibly can.

“Of course Stallman’s not immortal (if he is, that’s one trick up his sleeve we aren’t in on) and he will leave the FSF someday, but the terms under which he left this year were mostly invalid at best.”The first thing you need to do is get him on the Board, starting yesterday. There was just no reason for him to leave. Sit down with Brito and come up with some way to woo RMS back to the board where he belongs, and I bet the donations will start rising. I’m still going to chide the FSF for being overly donation-driven, when the whole point of a non-profit is to put the mission first and the fund-chasing second, but you’re an ageing 501(c)3 so I get it, really.

Second, you need Stallman to lead until you have an adequate replacement. That’s going to take more time, and I think most people will be very relieved to see the FSF running on all cylinders again, without recreating season six of The Office.

Of course Stallman’s not immortal (if he is, that’s one trick up his sleeve we aren’t in on) and he will leave the FSF someday, but the terms under which he left this year were mostly invalid at best. It will take a lot of putting aside pride to put things right, but that doesn’t make it impossible, only difficult.

“What really matters to your members is the future — getting it right, and doing what’s right.”This time around, I strongly recommend any of his protégées be brought a little more into the fold and properly integrated with the FSF and its mission. The FSF is not monolithic, nor do I think it should be, but it will still crash without a working kernel.

It’s clear that you want people to work with the FSF. It’s becoming clearer they want the FSF to work with them as well. I agree that it’s important to appeal to people as strongly as possible, and some of the messages are really on point — not the one about “the faces may change.” That was awful… but I’m sure it was with good intentions, like being excited for someone and asking “When is it due?” and hearing “I’m not pregnant.”


What really matters to your members is the future — getting it right, and doing what’s right. That’s all the FSF can do now, is try to move the FSF towards a better future than the one it has at the moment. I realise Stallman may decline. All you can do really, is all you can. People will know the difference. Haters gonna hate, Cowards gonna cower, Heroes gonna hero, and Members gonna remember.

I know these questions and comments could sound like they’re aimed at you personally — they’re really not. You’re speaking for the FSF, but nobody in particular as far as we know, and I’m speaking to the FSF for a bunch of other people who care about Free software, but nobody in particular as far as you know. That’s how it goes for proxies, eh?

Have your people call my people, and let’s get this mess sorted out before next year’s fundraiser, whatd’ya say? It’s not too late to put things right again.

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Links 20/12/2019: Proton 4.11-11 and GNUnet 0.12.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Chef KubeCon 2019 Highlights: Lean, Mean, and Open to Cloud-Native

        The record breaking attendance at this year’s KubeCon 2019 North America further solidifies the fact that Kubernetes is one of the hottest technologies to come into the ring in the last few years. In addition to changing the way organizations run and manage workloads at scale, Kubernetes has also driven a new and rapidly growing ecosystem. The sponsor showcase was packed with more than 250+ sponsors from all categories of the CNCF vendor landscape.

        The showcase provided a great opportunity for Chef to talk to attendees about our current CNCF projects – Chef Habitat for Application Definition and Packaging, Chef InSpec for Security and Compliance, and Chef Infra for Configuration Automation.

      • IBM

        • National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Develop Next-Generation Cloud Computing Testbed Powered by Red Hat

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Computer and Network Systems has awarded a grant to a research team from Boston University, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) to help fund the development of a national cloud testbed for research and development of new cloud computing platforms.

        • SANTALUCÍA Digitalizes Customer Experience with Red Hat
        • Companies Prefer Hybrid Cloud To Escape Public Cloud Data Grabbity
        • IBM Z Open Editor Support for Language Server Protocol is a Game Changer

          The integrated development environment (IDE) is an indispensable tool for software developers. Before it came along, coding was a laborious, detail ladened undertaking. We’ve become accustomed to the syntax checking and code completion features than even the most basic IDEs provide. These days we tend to forget how hard it was programming with nothing but a rudimentary text editor. Something as simple as finding a missing comma or a misplaced curly bracket that was causing a compilation error could take hours, maybe days should the codebase be big enough. When it came to tracing your way through a seemingly endless chain of functions and classes in order to find the culprit of a runtime error, well…fuggedaboutit! Without the modern IDE, we’d be sunk.
          Well, that was then and this is now. A few years back, a new technology emerged on the technical landscape that’s boosting the power of the IDE, and subsequently the scope of work a developer does and the decisions he or she makes by an order of magnitude. This new technology is Language Server Protocol (LSP).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 152 – Opt-In vs Opt-Out, Ubuntu Cinnamon, Microsoft Teams, Xfce, Upstream Graphics

        Topics covered in this episode:

        Opt-Out vs Opt-In
        – initiated by feedback on the Zorin OS discussion on DL150
        – related to the DLN Forum thread of “Is opt-out ever ethical?”
        Ubuntu Releases User Survey
        Ubuntu Cinnamon
        Microsoft Teams Out For Linux
        Canonical Sponsors WSL Conference?
        Upstream Graphics Too Little Too Late
        Type Knight

      • 2019-12-19 | Linux Headlines

        Canonical’s Multipass virtual machine manager reaches its 1.0 milestone, the Django project releases a major security update out-of-band, Kdenlive receives major improvements, and Mozilla is replacing IRC for its community communications.

      • LHS Episode #318: The Weekender XXXIX

        In this episode, the last episode of 2019, the hosts turn The Weekender into a roundtable free-for-all where fans of the show could join us on Mumble and talk about anything they wanted to. We touch on amateur radio, Linux, open source, sociology, thoughts about the past and the future and throw in a healthy dose of hedonism. Thank you to everyone who participated and who listens to our program. May you have a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new decade.

      • Larry Two-tails | User Error 81

        The future of Internet video, the best way to develop open source software, skills vs talents, and our favourite types of animal companions.

    • Applications

      • Quick List Of Top Server Monitoring Tools For 2020

        Without any explanation, let’s have a quick look into the list of useful and top server monitoring tools for the server administrators.

      • 8 Best Free Linux Astrology Software

        Astrology is a set of traditions, beliefs and systems which hold that there is a connection between the movement of heavenly bodies and events that take place on Earth such as human affairs, and personality. Astrologists use the position of the planets to try to predict future events, and to inform the psychological understanding of an individual’s psyche.

        Up until the 17th century astrology and astronomy were inextricably intertwined. However, it’s important to recognize that astronomy and astrology are two very different disciplines. Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects and is widely respected in the scientific community, whereas astrology is based on universal, timeless symbolism, it is often regarded as a pseudo-science, and thought of as an art.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Proton 4.11-11 Released With DXVK 1.5, Few Game Fixes

        Just in time for those taking advantage of Valve’s annual Steam Winter Sale, a new release of the Wine-based Proton software is now available that powers Steam Play for running Windows games generally very well on Linux.

        Just a week after Proton 4.11-10 that brought support for Halo: Master Chief Collection, full-screen integer scaling, and other improvements, version 4.11-11 is now available.

      • Steam Play Proton gets turned up to 11 in the latest update

        Steam Play Proton has been updated once again, dealing with a mouse issue from the last update and other improvements.

    • Games

      • ‘Civilization’ and Strategy Games’ Progress Delusion

        Now you don’t need me to tell you that the 4X genre is problematic (the four Xs stand for explore, expand, exploit, exterminate, after all). And I’d hazard to guess that most 4X developers take a systemic approach to game design which treats theme as a largely secondary issue (Sid Meier has repeated Bruce Shelley’s joke that they do their research in the kid’s section of the library [48 minutes into the linked recording]). But games are an artifact produced within a given social context and as such reproduce aspects of their worldview, particularly those aspects that are seen as being natural.

        And what do we find in most historical 4X games? A largely uniform tech tree that all factions will progress through in a unilateral direction. Even non-historical 4X games feature uniform tech trees, they just use the present as a starting point and not an endpoint. But what is progress in an historical 4X game? To be blunt, it’s the elimination of difference. The closer you are to “us”, the more you have progressed. [...]

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Why Vim fans love the Herbstluftwm Linux window manager

        Everybody loves Vim (aside from Dvorak and Emacs users). Vim is so popular that there are entire web browsers dedicated to navigating the web with Vim keybindings, a Vim mode in the wildly popular Zsh terminal emulator, and even a text editor. There’s also a window manager called herbstluftwm that models itself partly after the “Vim way.” Herbstluftwm does away with windows, as such, and replaces them with tiles, or quadrants, into which applications are loaded and used. You use the keyboard (Alt+h, Alt+j, Alt+k, and Alt+l) to navigate from one tile to another.

        Install herbstluftwm from your distribution’s software repository. After installing it, log out of your current desktop session so you can log into your new one. By default, your session manager (KDM, GDM, LightDM, or XDM, depending on your setup) will continue to log you into your previous desktop, so you must override that before logging in.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Alpine Linux 3.11 released

          Version 3.11 of the lightweight Alpine Linux distribution is available. Changes include the 5.4 kernel, Raspberry Pi 4 support, GNOME and KDE support, and the deprecation of Python 2.

        • Alpine 3.11.0 Linux Version Released with Kernel 5.4 & Raspberry 4 Extended Support!

          Alpine 3.11.0 Linux Version Released Today: Alpine Linux is also one of the best Linux Distro. Alpine 3.11.0 Linux is an open-sourced Linux based operating system mainly focuded to provide the secured server based secure computing environment.
          What?s New in Alpine Linux 3.11.0:

          Comes with Linux 5.4 kernel (Linux-LTS) support
          Initial GNOME and KDE support added
          MinGW-w64 and DXVK support added
          Added support for Raspberry Pi 4 (aarch64 and armv7)
          Added support for Vulkan
          Rust is available on all architectures
          No rust support for s390x architectures
          These are the key new features comes with Alpine Linux 3.11.0

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Gentoo Family

        • Michał Górny: A distribution kernel for Gentoo

          The traditional Gentoo way of getting a kernel is to install the sources, and then configure and build one yourself. For those who didn’t want to go through the tedious process of configuring it manually, an alternative route of using genkernel was provided. However, neither of those variants was able to really provide the equivalent of kernels provided by binary distributions.

          I have manually configured the kernels for my private systems long time ago. Today, I wouldn’t really have bothered. In fact, I realized that for some time I’m really hesitant to even upgrade them because of the effort needed to update configuration. The worst part is, whenever a new kernel does not boot, I have to ask myself: is it a real bug, or is it my fault for configuring it wrong?

          I’m not alone in this. Recently Михаил Коляда has talked to me about providing binary kernels for Gentoo. While I have not strictly implemented what he had in mind, he inspired me to start working on a distribution kernel. The goal was to create a kernel package that users can install to get a working kernel with minimal effort, and that would be upgraded automatically as part of regular @world upgrades.

        • Gentoo Developers Exploring The Possibility Of Shipping Distribution Binary Kernels

          While much of the lure to Gentoo Linux is on being a source-based distribution and assembling your system packages from source, some Gentoo developers are toying with the idea of providing some new kernel binary options similar to that of the more conventional binary Linux distributions.

          Gentoo developer Michał Górny explained some of the problems leading to this new idea with fellow Gentoo developer Михаил Коляда for a distribution binary kernel option. “The worst part is, whenever a new kernel does not boot, I have to ask myself: is it a real bug, or is it my fault for configuring it wrong?”

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE CEO Melissa Di Donato’s strategy comes into focus

          Melissa Di Donato has held the chief executive post for just over 100 days, arriving at SUSE from SAP, where she was chief operating officer and chief revenue officer. Prior to her time at SAP, Di Donato had been an executive at Salesforce.

          Now she has her feet on the ground she wants to double the growth of the open source firm by helping customers “simplify”, “modernise”, and “accelerate”, as was often stressed during a recent interview with Computerworld.

      • Fedora Family

        • Matthias Clasen: More on Flatpak updates

          In the terminal, I’m building a new version of the the portal test app, and update my (local) repository. The flatpak portal is noticing that the update appeared (I’m running it with a short poll timeout here, instead of the usual 30 minutes), and sends out a D-Bus signal to the application, which requests to be updated, and then restarts itself.

          Using the portal API directly is not very convenient, since you have to listen to D-Bus signals and whatnot. Therefore, we now have a library called libportal, which is providing simple async wrappers for most portals. That is what the portal test app in the demo is using, and you should be using it too in your applications.

          The first stable release of libportal will appear very soon, with Flatpak 1.6, and then it will find its way into runtimes.

      • SystemD Issuea and Devuan Family

        • Systemd In Ten Years Has Redefined The Linux Landscape

          Systemd got its start in 2010 in providing a better init system and expanded its scope from there. As part of our year-end and end-of-2010s articles, here is a look at the top systemd stories from the past distribution controversies to new features and other highlights.

          Systemd certainly had a wild ride over these past ten years and is now used by nearly all of the Linux distributions out there. While many still seem to hate it with a passion, it’s brought many interesting features and new innovations to the Linux ecosystem. Below is a look at the most-viewed systemd stories of the decade.

        • Escape from System D, episode VI: freedom in sight

          Sometimes I feel like there’s no hope of avoiding a Systemd monoculture, but occasionally there’s news that shows that other options remain alive and well. Debian is having a vote on whether to continue to support other init systems, and to what extent; we’ll see soon enough what the outcome is. Adélie linux recently announced support for using Laurent Bercot’s S6-RC (an init alternative that’s certainly solid and which deserves respect, though it’s a little minimalist for my own taste). Devuan continues to provide a Systemd-free variant of Debian, as Obarun does for Arch Linux. I’d love to have a distribution decide to give Dinit a try, but of course I have to face the possibility that this will never happen.

          I’ll end with a plea/encouragement: if you’re interested in the project at all, please do download the source, build it (it’s easy, I promise!), perhaps configure services and get it to run. And let me know! I’m happy to receive constructive feedback (even if I won’t agree with it, I want to hear it!) and certainly would like to know if you have any problem building or using it, but even if you just take a quick peek at the README and a couple of source files, feel feel to drop me a note.

      • Debian Family

        • Introducing dpkg source format for git repositories

          There is a large disagreement inside Debian on how a git repository used for Debian packages should look like. You just have to read debian-devel to get too much of it.

          Some people prefer that the content of the repository looks like a “modern” (3.0) source package the Debian archive accepts. This means it includes upstream source and stuff in debian/patches that need to get applied first to have something usable. But by definition this concept is incompatible with a normal git workflow; e.g. you can’t use cherry-pick of upstream patches, but need to convert it into a patch file either by hand or with another tool. It also can’t use upstream test definitions using a CI without adopting it and patching source first.

          Other people prefer to have a complete patched source available always. This allows for use of cherry-pick and all the other git concepts available. But due to the way our “modern” (3.0) source formats are definied, it is impossible to use those together. So everyone wanting to use this can only use ancient 1.0 source packages, which lack a lot of features like modern compression formats.

          Some do stuff that is much more weird. Weird things like git-dpm, which is also incompatible with merges. But we can’t save everyone.

          I started working on bridging the gap between a proper git repository and modern Debian source package by building a source package from some special target in debian/rules. But people maybe rightfully complained that not be able to use dpkg-source got a big downside and needs a lot of documentation. To get this into proper shape, I’d like to introduce a new dpkg source format.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

      • FSF

        • The FSF can’t campaign for free software without your help

          The Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) campaigns team works tirelessly to spread the message to the world that all software must be free. Campaigning for free software takes creativity, hard work, and a dedicated community. We amplify free software organizations and projects, mobilize activists, and provide resources. We’re only three people, but we are the point of connection for hundreds of thousands of supporters annually. You hold the power to exponentially increase this number. It is our goal to make the free software conversation a kitchen table issue, and we need your help!

          Since many families and friends get together at the end of the year, we worked with our recent FSF intern, Valessio Brito, on translating some of the reasons why our fight is so important into illustrations, to facilitate conversations during these gatherings.

          The images we developed, which we are using in our annual fundraiser, seek to raise the issue of free software by focusing on common issues with proprietary software, like privacy violations, exemplified by a simple flashlight app and its permissions in your device. We visualize issues like data mining, back doors into your devices, and the vulnerability of cameras and microphones in so-called “smart devices.” We also comment on Digital Restrictions Management’s (DRM) power over you and your devices. We put a lot of thought into designing these images to be conversation starters, and now we’re asking you, as the free software community and our main channel of communication, to share them. You can find the images, their embed codes, and their .SVG source files on the FSF Web site. Please use them to start conversations with the people you care about, using the hashtag #ISupportFreeSoftware.


          This year, we organized four member meetups in different locations in the US, and we hosted free software introductions to students of local public schools. We also organized the LibrePlanet conference with live instances on IRC (#libreplanet on Freenode) and mumble, and livestreamed all 40 sessions on social justice and technology. We held our annual associate member meeting, a “hackathon,” an FSF office open house, and two social events during this time as well. We were also one of two EmacsConf satellite instances, and took to the streets in protest of DRM twice this year, once (in conjunction with fourteen online partners) to stand up for students against Pearson Education for the International Day Against DRM (IDAD), and once against Disney+ at the opening night of Frozen II, here in Boston.

          To organize quality events such as LibrePlanet, IDAD, Continuing Legal education (CLE) seminars, and others, we need to invite speakers and collaborators from all over the world, and we also need to make sure the events are accessible remotely. With your support, we can add an additional “workshop room” to the annual LibrePlanet conference, host smaller educational gatherings and talks throughout the year, do more student outreach, and grant more speakers and attendees access to events by growing our scholarship fund. We will work together with other organizers to set up and promote local instances of events, like an upcoming LibrePlanet 2020 satellite in Ontario, Canada, and we are developing a program to help financially support free software local activist groups.

          Public speaking is another way of increasing our footprint in the community. Campaigns manager Greg Farough spoke at a local maker space, and executive director John Sullivan traveled to both South America and Europe to talk about free software issues this year. We also host informational booths all over the world, with the help of volunteers and our operations team. These are very effective way of reaching a large audience, and so we want to do more of it.

          The campaigns team is at the center of all communications and events here at the FSF, working closely with all other teams. Along with the tech team, we are always thinking about how we can improve the user experience of our campaigns and our Web sites. Together, we are working on developing a petition site to allow us to turn around signature actions quickly, and on a major update to the fsf.org Web site, which will enhance user experience on mobile phones. With the licensing team, we work to release the latest Respects Your Freedom (RYF) announcements, and we organize the CLE seminars to educate law professionals on licensing issues.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet 0.12.0 released

            We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.12.0.
            This is a new major release. It breaks protocol compatibility with the 0.11.x versions. Please be aware that Git master is thus henceforth INCOMPATIBLE with the 0.11.x GNUnet network, and interactions between old and new peers will result in signature verification failures. 0.11.x peers will NOT be able to communicate with Git master or 0.12.x peers.

            In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.12.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

      • Public Services/Government

        • CERN to switch to Kopano mail server for its 40,000 users

          In June the IT trade press reported widely on CERN’s Microsoft Alternatives (MALT) project. “It started off as a very unfortunate situation with license costs increasing, but has turned into a great opportunity to review the way we do things in order to move towards open solutions,” Tenaglia told the European Commission’s Open Source Observatory.

          The first tangible outcome of this is a switch to the Kopano mail server. CERN is currently evaluating Kopano, aiming in due course to support 40,000 users and some 60 terabytes of mail data. CERN is running an on-premises pilot of the same size as its production server, which uses Microsoft Exchange. The research organisation, based in Meyrin, Switzerland, has a support contract with Kopano, the Dutch/German software company that is developing the eponymous mail server. “Kopano offers support for their 100% open source software. That sets it apart from business that offer support for premium features built onto their basic open source product,” Tanaglia says.

      • Programming/Development

        • Flutter 1.12, Dart 2.7, Android 10, & much more!

          TL;DR 186 | The Google Developer News Show

        • Huawei Contributes Some Glibc AArch64 Performance Optimizations

          Huawei isn’t known as much of an upstream contributor to the GNU toolchain and as far as GNU C Library (glibc) commits go prior to Thursday had just authored three patches from a Huawei emailing address. But that count more than doubled thanks to some optimizations they have successfully landed upstream.

          Huawei has contributed optimized implementations of strlen_asimd, memrchr, strnlen, strcpy, and memcpy for Glibc’s AArch64 (64-bit ARM) code that stands to benefit for all modern Arm SoCs and just not Huawei hardware. For strcpy it’s possible to be 5~18% faster, strnlen in the range of 11~24% for longer strings, and other optimized functions in the range of upper single digit percentages to around ~20% in best case scenarios.

        • Top 50 Frequently Asked Ruby Interview Questions and Answers

          Ruby is a modern-day programming language developed in Japan around the 90s. This high-level language is intended for general-purpose software development. Ruby gained immense popularity during the transition of websites to web apps. It fuels the first generation of these apps due to its high-scalability and robust feature set. Even after the JS boom, Ruby is still enjoying increasing demand. Companies often seek developers fluent in Ruby and Rails, Ruby’s flagship web framework for maintaining their existing products and adding new functionalities. So, it’s essential to know common ruby interview questions if you want to grab a Ruby job.

        • e2k19 Hackathon Report: Stefan Sperling on GoT and wireless

          By the end of the hackathon the Game of Trees 0.22 release was published. I was glad to see growing support for this project among the developer base.

        • Python

          • How to Generate Random Numbers in Python

            There are different ways, we can generate random numbers in Python. We can categorize them in following ways.

            Random numbers generate from a list using Python random

            Random numbers using Numpy Random

            Lets go through the above methods one by one.

            We need random package from Python. Lets import that.

          • Python 3.8.1, 3.7.6, 3.6.10, and 3.9.0a2 are now available!

            On behalf of the entire Python development community, and the currently serving Python release team in particular, I’m pleased to announce the unprecedented combined release of no less than four versions of Python. Let’s dig in!


            Python 3.9 is still in development. This releasee, 3.9.0a2 is the second of six planned alpha releases. Alpha releases are intended to make it easier to test the current state of new features and bug fixes and to test the release process. During the alpha phase, features may be added up until the start of the beta phase (2020-05-18) and, if necessary, may be modified or deleted up until the release candidate phase (2020-08-10). Please keep in mind that this is a preview release and its use is not recommended for production environments.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • How To Automate Directory Database And Website Backup Using Bash

            If there is anything that makes Linux a great server OS when it comes to maintenance, it is scripting.

            Be it simple bash scripting, python or perl, it’s awesome when you can automate boring repetitive tasks, knowing that the system will handle everything perfectly.

            From creating database dumps, syncing filesystem backups, to automating application installations, scripting is present everywhere in Linux.

            In this tutorial, we will cover the basics of bash scripting, enabling you to write your own bash scripts you can use to make your life easier. Also checkout how to write bash functions.

          • Msot popele can undreatnsd tihs setennce

            I wrote about this particular kind of text garbling five years ago on the Linux Rain website. For some background, see the last section of this post.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Google Reader Killed RSS

          Google Reader reigned for so long that people towards the end of its run weren’t wistful for a return to the old ways. They were wistful for the thing that wrecked the old ways. The old ways were a world not even remembered.

        • Beyond integration: how APIs can form a platform for connected health

          Neither of these interoperability models is well suited to provide just enough information, when needed, for the burgeoning ecosystem of internet-based applications that we see today. These apps grew up in the world of the internet, web and mobile applications, and expect to connect via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), leveraging ubiquitous standards such as REST transactions (think HTTPs), in human readable JSON or XML formats, with readily discoverable “descriptions” of the APIs understandable to developers and connecting applications.

          To meet this need, the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard was created to enable secure exchange of just enough information on demand or via subscription over the internet in packets of clinically related data termed “Resources” in self-describing FHIR APIs. This new FHIR API standard is well suited for supporting rapid innovation and the flattening of the healthcare ecosystem.

        • Situation: there are too many competing smart home standards

          The idea behind the the standard is to make it easier to get new smart home devices onboarded on to your network and to minimize the need for consumers to have to check to see what is or isn’t compatible with their smart home control system — whether that be Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or something more professional like Control4.

          Think of it this way: the smart home has a plumbing problem. Imagine none of the companies making faucets or even pipes were willing to talk to each other, so every single connector was different, depending on the company. And none of them even agree on how to route hot, cold, and sewage water. Just to fix your sink you have to commit to working with a single company in perpetuity and probably make five trips to the hardware store for adapters if you didn’t.

          Command Line is The Verge’s daily newsletter about computers, gadgets, and software. You should subscribe! I’m eager to hear your feedback. Please feel free to email me at dieter@theverge.com if you have thoughts. -Dieter

          By subscribing, you are agreeing to receive a daily newsletter from The Verge that highlights top stories of the day, as well as occasional messages from sponsors and / or partners of The Verge.

          That’s what’s happening right now when you screw in a smart lightbulb or wire up a smart thermostat. Some of that pain is made invisible by software abstraction from Amazon or Google, but it’s still a snarled mess underneath.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • Why Public College Should Be Free

        In 2017, the most recent year for which we have data, all of the tuition and fees charged by public colleges came to $75.8 billion. That’s less than what the federal government spends to subsidize the cost of college. In the same year, the government disbursed about $160 billion in the form of student loans, grants, and tax breaks to help make higher education less of a burden on American families.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Court Voids ‘Obamacare’ Individual Mandate, Sidesteps Whole Law Issue

        A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down “Obamacare’s” now-toothless requirement that Americans carry health insurance but sidestepped a ruling on the law’s overall constitutionality. The decision means the law remains in effect for now.

      • Traveling for the Holidays? Here’s How to Not Get Sick

        The quick wipe-down makes things seem less icky, especially since the cleaning between flights is minimal. (Though it’s worth noting that planes get a thorough cleaning overnight, so your most hygienic option is to take the first flight of the day.) But the gloves and hand sanitizer might be more useful in the airport. A study during the 2015-2016 influenza season in Finland detected respiratory viruses on 10 percent of surfaces, including bins in the security area, a plastic child’s toy on an airport playground, stair handrails, and the buttons on a payment terminal in an airport pharmacy.

        The influenza virus can survive on surfaces for 24 hours, says Mark Gendreau, an emergency medicine physician and specialist in air-travel-related health. “Humans touch their face about 200 times a day,” says Gendreau, who is chief medical officer of Beverly Hospital in suburban Boston. “The eyes, nose, and mouth are the port of entry for these infectious agents.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • 10 Best Tools to Open RAR Files
        • Undocumented Catalina file access change

          File access privacy protections were introduced in macOS 10.14 Mojave and then expanded in Catalina. Mojave restricted access to directories such as “~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook” and “~/Library/Safari”. Catalina added even more restricted directories, such as “~/Downloads” and “~/Documents”. I’ve discussed macOS privacy protections (and their shortcomings) several times before on this blog. You can grant special exceptions to the built-in file access policies by clicking one of the much beloved permissions dialogs that pop up in Mojave and Catalina or by manually configuring the exceptions in the Security & Privacy pane of System Preferences. That’s all quite explicit to the user. What I just discovered, though, is that on Catalina you can also implicitly — even accidentally — grant special exceptions, not only to the built-in policies but also to your own explicitly chosen special exceptions. I’ll illustrate with an example.

        • Why Ring can’t just blame users for those home-invading camera ‘hacks’

          This is not the local TV sweeps week “you’re not safe anywhere” story, and that’s why it resonates so strongly: the reporters ask security experts what’s missing from Ring’s security measures, detailing each small thing. For example, Ring doesn’t check if your password was swept up in a hack elsewhere. It doesn’t send notifications to your phone to make sure a log-in is legitimate. And if someone who manages to find your password accesses your Ring account, there doesn’t appear to be any record of it. So an unwelcome guest could be watching you and you’d never be the wiser. It’s a methodical, careful look at the small things Ring (and other companies; it’s not just Ring) could be doing to make its cameras more secure, but isn’t.

        • Vivaldi opens up an exciting new front in the browser wars, seeks to get around blocking with cunning code

          Browser maker Vivaldi celebrated its last release of 2019 with a handbags-at-dawn move that will see it don a Google Chrome disguise.

          The move comes as the Oslo-based outfit reached the end of its tether with web sites rejecting its Chromium-based browser, while waving the similarly Chromium-based Google Chrome through with a cheery smile.

          The issue, according to a recent rant blog post by QA lead, Ruarí Ødegaard, comes down to the User Agent string, passed from the browser to the web site upon connection.

          It’s a handy string, and lets sites sniff all kinds of interesting things, such as the operating system on the client as well as the browser and version (among other nuggets of data.)

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Telefónica, flexiWAN Drive Open Source SD-WAN Development

              Open source SD-WAN vendor flexiWAN today announced a partnership with Telefónica to develop a proof-of-concept SD-WAN service designed to run on white-box consumer premises equipment (CPE). The partnership, which began in June, will continue through 2020 and involve testing flexiWAN’s performance for consumer branches that need throughputs from 50 Mb/s to 1 Gb/s of encrypted traffic.

              flexiWAN’s open source SD-WAN platform entered public beta in late July promising to disrupt the market with an open architecture. CEO and co-founder of the Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup Amir Zmora imagines a future where the open standard has become the No. 1 deployed SD-WAN on the market, similar to what pfSense did for firewalls.

            • Amazon Snaps at New York Times Open Source Critique

              This licensing issue has come to the fore as a number of firms, including Elastic, have changed the licensing model on some of their technology in an attempt to prevent larger cloud providers from taking that technology, changing up a bit of the code, and offering it as-a-service. That move ignited considerable debate within the open source community as to the continued “openness” of those platforms.

              “This puts open source software vendors in a difficult place,” explained Paul Dix, founder and CTO of InfluxData, in an interview with SDxCentral earlier this year. “We are trying to create something valuable that has a community around it but we have to have a value proposition to allow those community members to be customers.”

              Chris Aniszczyk, CTO and COO of the Linux Foundation-based Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), earlier this year told SDxCentral that such moves could “confuse” downstream adopters that these new models were still open source.

              “We are cool with businesses trying to come up with new and innovative business models, but don’t call it open source,” Aniszczyk said.

            • AWS denies claims it steals features from open source software

              The cloud giant was less than pleased with a recent article in the New York Times which criticized the company for integrating open source software created by others into its own offerings. In the article, the chief executive of the open source database MariaDB, Michael Howard even went as far as to say that “A.W.S.’s success is built on strip-mining open-source technology”.

            • AWS hits back at open source theft allegations

              During 2019, there have been a number of reports about how open source software providers have had their business models undermined by AWS taking the free version of their software and making it available as a fully managed cloud service.

              The New York Times article describes how, in 2015, AWS copied and integrated open source software from Elastic into its new Elasticsearch service. This effectively meant that Elastic was competing with AWS to offer a managed service, based around the open source software it had spent time and money developing and supporting.

              As Computer Weekly has reported previously, MongoDB and Redis have both changed their products to differentiate between the freely distributed version and a licence that explicitly covers organisations that want to use the product in a managed service.

            • AWS hits back at open-source software critics

              Amazon Web Services (AWS) has rejected criticism that the company ‘strip mines’ open source software projects for their innovations. AWS wasn’t happy with how it was portrayed in a recent New York Times article about open source database makers which criticised the the cloud giant for integrating open source software pioneered by others into its offerings.

              But rather than copying software and profiting from the others’ labor the world’s top cloud computing company is just giving customers what they want, according to Andi Gutmans, vice president of AWS analytics and ElastiCache.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Microsoft Made More Linux / Open-Source Announcements In 2019 From exFAT To WSL2

              Under the continued guidance of Satya Nadella, Microsoft made more interesting open-source / Linux moves in 2019 most notably with allowing exFAT support to be introduced into the mainline Linux kernel and also introducing Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.

            • Linux Foundation

              • Cloud Native Computing Foundation Announces TUF Graduation

                The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, today announced that The Update Framework (TUF) is the ninth project to graduate, following Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy, CoreDNS, containerd, Fluentd, Jaeger, and Vitess. For projects to move from the maturity level of incubation to graduation, they must demonstrate thriving adoption, an open governance process, and a strong commitment to community, sustainability, and inclusivity.
                TUF, an open-source technology that secures software update systems, is the first specification and first security-focused project to graduate. Justin Cappos, associate professor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, initially developed the project in 2009. Cappos is also the first academic researcher to lead a graduated project and TUF is the first project born out of a university to graduate.

              • Cloud Native Computing Foundation announces TUF graduation

                The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is part of the Linux Foundation that is focused on Kubernetes and other cloud technologies. It has announced that The Update Framework (TUF) has graduated to a full member project.

        • Security

          • Security Flaws in KeyWe Smart Lock Leave It Vulnerable to Hacks

            Smart home products seem to be keeping white-hat hackers in business. It’s a safe bet at this point to say in the near future, they’ll be kept in business, as the smart home products continue to have many vulnerabilities.

            One of those products is the KeyWe Smart Lock. It was discovered that it has a design flaw that can be exploited by an attacker to easily pick the lock.

          • [Older] AsusWrt-Merlin Firmware 384.14 Beta 3 Is Available for Several ASUS Routers

            AsusWrt-Merlin has made available its new 384.14 Beta 3 firmware version compatible with some of ASUS’ routers which merges with GPL 384_81351 and adds “split” busybox applet and IPv6 support to Network Analysis WebUI.

            In addition to that, this release updates miniupnpd (20190824), dnsmasq (2.80-95-g1aef66b), OpenSSL (1.1.1 to 1.1.1d), Curl (7.66.0), nano (4.4), OpenVPN (2.4.8), OUI database (2018-08-17), and CA root certificates (October 9th 2019).

            Moreover, the developer has managed to implement an option to prevent Firefox’s automatic usage of DoH, make the WebUI SSL certificate generation compliant with IOS 13 and MacOS 10.15, and allow IPv6 firewall to use empty values for local IP.

          • What You Probably Didn’t Know About Sudo

            I hope this article proved to you that sudo is a lot more than just a simple prefix. There are tons of possibilities to fine-tune permissions on your system. You cannot just fine-tune permissions, but also improve security by checking digests. Session recordings enable you to check what is happening on your systems. You can also extend the functionality of sudo using plugins, either using something already available or writing your own. Finally, given the list of upcoming features you can see that even if sudo is decades old, it is a living project that is constantly evolving.

          • pf-badhost

            It’s been just over a year since version 0.1 of pf-badhost was released. pf-badhost has been downloaded thousands of times. The BSD Now guys even did a spot on pf-badhost. Considering the attention pf-badhost has received, I figured it deserved some love.

            Version 0.2 is a complete rewrite of the script. I’ve written a basic address parser to allow for proper address verification and error checking. As an added benefit of the new address parsing function, IPv6 lists are now supported as well as mixed lists containting any combination of IPv4, IPv6 and/or CIDR notation.

            The parser also supports arbitrary input formatting for address lists. This means it can be fed addresses in HTML, XML, JSON, CSV etc and be able to parse it into a format suitable for feeding into pf.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Just Two Days After Product Warning Issued for Amazon Ring, Reporting Reveals Data of 3,000 Users Leaked

              “This gives a potential attacker access to view cameras in somebody’s home in some of these cases—that’s a real serious potential invasion of privacy right there.”

            • Joint Letter from 80 organisations: Ban Security and Surveillance Facial Recognition

              The Observatoire des Libertés Numériques1The Observatoire des Libertés Numériques federates several French NGOs monitoring legislation impacting digital freedoms: Le CECIL, Creis-Terminal, Globenet, La Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (LDH), La Quadrature du Net (LQDN), Le Syndicat des Avocats de France (SAF), Le Syndicat de la Magistrature (SM). and 80 organisations are signing a joint letter calling French Government and Parliament to ban any present and future use of facial recognition for security and surveillance purposes. The wide diversity of organisations signing this letter shows how deeply the population condemns this technology.

            • Facebook Acquired a Startup to Build a Live Shopping Feature

              The social media company bought Packagd, a five-person company founded by Eric Feng, a former partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and most of the startup’s team joined Facebook in September. Packagd was building a shopping product for YouTube videos. “Think of it as a re-imagination of QVC or a home shopping network,” Feng said in a 2017 interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang.

            • Still Why No HTTPS?

              Back in July last year, Scott Helme and I shipped a little pet project that tracked the world’s largest websites not implementing HTTPS by default. We called it Why No HTTPS? and it gave people a way to see the largest websites not taking transport layer security seriously. We also broke the list down on a country-by-country basis and it quickly became a means of highlighting security gaps and serving as a “list of shame”. I’ve had many organisations reach out and ask to be removed once they’d done their TLS things properly so clearly, the site is driving the right behaviour. Today, we’re happy to share the first update since November last year.

            • Edward Snowden’s book profits must go to the government, judge rules

              The government argued that since Snowden had failed to provide the book for a contractually obligated review, he had no right to the profits from the book or his public speeches. Snowden’s lawyers have countered that it would be impossible for the book to receive a good-faith review from the government.

              But in yesterday’s ruling, a federal judge in Virginia sided with the government, finding that “the contractual language is clear.” The judge writes that Snowden’s “failure to participate in the prepublication review process” made it impossible for the judge to question hypothetical decisions about that review.

              Brett Max Kaufman, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Center for Democracy who worked on Snowden’s legal team, said in a statement that it was “farfetched” to think Snowden’s book would receive a fair government review.

            • Forget piggy banks. Kids are using mobile apps for pocket money

              These apps offer a simple money management service for children, often for a monthly subscription fee paid by the parents. Parents can add money to children’s accounts, set limits and monitor transactions, while children can choose to save their money or spend it using a prepaid card that works like a debit card. The apps suggest minimum ages ranging from six to nine for the prepaid card.

            • Facebook Is Building an Operating System for Future Devices

              The planned operating system, earlier reported by The Information, would be focused more on future products, such as augmented-reality glasses, according to a Facebook spokeswoman. Facebook has shared plans to build this type of glasses, with software built in, but the social-media giant is likely years away from launching anything in this area.

            • Firefox UX: How people really, really use smart speakers [Ed: There's no such thing as "Smart speakers". They're listening devices or microphones connected to someone else in the wiretapping sense.]

              More and more people are using smart speakers everyday. But how are they really using them? Tawfiq Ammari, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, in conjunction with researchers at Mozilla and Yahoo, published a paper which sheds some light on the question. To do this, he gathered surveys and user logs from 170 Amazon Alexa and Google Home users, and interviewed another 19 users, to analyze their daily use of voice assistants.

              Users of both Google Home and Alexa devices can access a log showing all the interactions they’ve had with their device. Our 170 users gave us a copy of this log after removing any personal information, which meant we could understand what people were really using their devices for, rather than just what they remembered using their devices for when asked later. Together, these logs contained around 259,164 commands.

              We collected 193,665 commands on Amazon Alexa which were issued between May 2015 and August 2017, a period of 851 days. On average, the datasets for our 82 Amazon Alexa users span 210 days. On the days when they used their VA, Alexa users issued, on average,18.2 commands per day. We collected 65,499 commands on Google Home between September 2016 and July 2017, a period of 293 days. On average, the datasets for each of the 88 Google Home users spans 110 days. On days when they used their VA,Google Home users issued, on average, 23.2 commands per day with a median of 10.0 commands per day.

              For both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the top three command categories were listening to music, hands-free search, and controlling IoT devices. The most prevalent command for Amazon Alexa was listening to music, while Google Home was used most for hands-free search. We also found a lot of items in the logs reflecting that both devices didn’t often understand queries, or mis-heard other conversation as commands — that’s 17% in the case of Google Home and 11% in the case of Alexa, although those aren’t quite comparable because of the way that each device logs errors.

              People used their smart speakers for all sorts of searches. For example, some of our respondents use VAs to convert measurement units while cooking. Others used their VAs to look up trivia with friends. Users also searched for an artist who sang a particular song, or looked for a music album under a specific genre (e.g., classical music).

            • Confidentiality

              • How bad can text security be? One company just showed us.

                “The TrueDialog database is hosted by Microsoft Azure and runs on the Oracle Marketing Cloud in the USA. When we last looked at the database it included 604 GB of data. This included nearly 1 billion entries of highly sensitive data,” the report noted. “Millions of email addresses, usernames, cleartext passwords, and base64 encoded passwords (which are easy to decrypt) were easily accessible within the database. … “We also found in the database logs of internal system errors as well as many http requests and responses, which means that whoever found it could see the site’s traffic. This could [have] by itself exposed vulnerabilities. …

              • OpenSSH Key Shielding

                On June 21, 2019, support for SSH key shielding was intro‐ duced into the OpenBSD tree, from which the OpenSSH releases are derived. SSH key shielding is a measure intended to protect private keys in RAM against attacks that abuse bugs in speculative execution that current CPUs exhibit.[0] This functionality has been part of OpenSSH since the 8.1 re‐ lease. SSH private keys are now being held in memory in a shielded form; keys are only unshielded when they are used and re‐shielded as soon as they are no longer in active use. When a key is shielded, it is encrypted in memory with AES‐256‐CTR; this is how it works: [...]

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Multiple people killed in shooting at Russia’s Federal Security Service headquarters

        A shooting has taken place in central Moscow at the Federal Security Service (FSB) building on Lubyanka Square. RBC reported that an unknown individual opened fire there using a Kalashnikov automatic rifle. Preliminary eyewitness reports indicated that one individual began shooting in the FSB’s reception area, after which he ran out into the street and continued shooting there. RT reported that the shooter barricaded himself inside a nearby building while exchanging fire with officers.

      • Masterminds Guilty in Philippines Massacre

        When I heard the verdict handed down in the Maguindanao Massacre case today, I was ecstatic. As a former journalist, I’ve waited 10 long years for a court to convict the perpetrators of the country’s worst case of political violence, in which 58 people, 32 of them journalists, were killed execution-style.

        The masterminds of this horrific crime – Andal Ampatuan Jr. and his brother Zaldy Ampatuan Jr. – were sentenced to life in prison without parole. But out of more than 107 who stood trial, only 28 people were convicted of murder, receiving 40-year prison terms, minus 10 for time served. Another 15 people were found guilty as accessory to the murders. The court acquitted 55 defendants of all charges. Then there are the 80 suspects that police have failed to arrest.

      • How War Targets the Young

        One day in October 2001, shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, I stood at the front of a private high school classroom. As a new social studies teacher, I had been tasked with describing violence against women in that country. I showed the students an article from the front page of the New York Times featuring Afghan women casting off their burqas as they bathed in a stream near Kabul.

      • Democrats Are Shifting on Foreign Policy – But Not Far Enough to End War

        After months of debate, the crowded Democratic primaries have begun to narrow. Major candidates have largely avoided foreign policy discussions, instead focusing on issues like health care, trade, immigration and gun control, which are seen as more important to the U.S. electorate. Although they have clear differences in vision, it is obvious that both progressives and traditionalists on the ticket see foreign policy as a secondary concern. This is standard for U.S. politics. Often, campaign staff will see few incentives to discuss foreign policy, regarding it as too abstract to be understood by a U.S. public that is largely inward-looking.

      • Chinese [Cracking] Group, Quiet for Years, Resumes Global Attacks

        Fox-IT, a security company based in the Netherlands, said in a report published Thursday that the group’s attacks have extended to 10 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany and Italy.

        The Chinese [attackers] carried out a global espionage campaign that targeted industries including aviation, construction, finance, health care, insurance, gambling and energy, the firm said.

    • Environment

      • Acidifying Oceans Could Eat Away at Sharks’ Skin and Teeth

        For hundreds of millions of years, sharks have been roaming Earth’s oceans making meals out of a huge range of critters, from the whale shark gobbling up tiny krill to the 60-foot megalodon that could take down whales. Their ancestral line has survived mass extinctions with ease, most notably the catastrophe that took down the dinosaurs.

        But nothing could have prepared them for the scourge that is humanity—we’re polluting their waters and snatching up their prey and hunting them to extinction. And now, thanks to climate change, humans may be transforming the very water sharks swim into an existential threat: In findings published today in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers show that prolonged exposure to acidified water corrodes the scales, known as denticles, that make up a shark’s skin. To be clear, this work was done in the lab and on only one species, but the implications are troubling. As we belch still more CO2 into the atmosphere, which reacts with seawater and makes the oceans more acidic, the seas themselves could become yet another threat that pushes sharks over the brink.

      • Bernie Sanders’ Climate Change Message Cheered in L.A. Debate

        Sen. Bernie Sanders received widespread applause during Thursday night’s Democratic Party presidential debate when he challenged what he considered a flimsy question on the issue of the climate crisis and then offered a far-reaching critique about a global system in which trillions are spent on war and destruction but similar investments are not made to address the emergency of global heating.

      • After Telling Moderator Climate Question ‘Misses the Mark,’ Sanders Says Real Issue Is Will We ‘Save the Planet for Our Children and Grandchildren’ [Ed: Same as above]

        “Instead of spending $1.8 trillion a year on war, globally, on weapons of destruction,” said Sanders, “maybe we pool our resources and fight our common enemy which is climate change.”

      • Heat the Arctic to cool the Earth, scientists say

        If we seriously want to tackle the climate crisis, here’s a drastic idea: we could heat the Arctic to cool the planet.

      • Energy

        • Biosphere Collapse?

          Five years ago: Nations of the world met in Paris to draft a climate agreement that was subsequently accepted by nearly every country in the world, stating that global temperatures must not exceed +2C pre-industrial. Global emissions must be cut! Fossil fuel usage must be cut!

        • World’s first floating nuclear power station begins operations in Russia’s Far East

          In the far eastern Russian region of Chukotka, the first nuclear power station located on a waterborne vessel has begun operations, Rosatom announced. The station is named the Academic Lomonosov.

    • Finance

      • If Current Trends Hold, Women Around the World Will Have to Wait 257 More Years for Gender Pay Gap to Close

        “None of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children.”

      • Betsy DeVos’s Family Foundation Funnels Money to Her Right-Wing Supporters

        The family foundation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her billionaire husband, Dick, gave more than $1 million to purportedly “independent” right-wing groups that have helped boost her assault on public education, according to a recent tax filing obtained by the government watchdog group Allied Progress and shared with Salon.

      • 100 million Indians, no hope and future

        What will happen when you have a 100 million Indians in the productive age of 14-40 are not working, neither looking for work, neither training or have any hopes that they will get any jobs. This is the India that most Indians are inheriting which has been shared in a recent Govt. report released about a month back.


        There has been no uptake in rural demand and there is no policy by the Govt to tackle this. Couple of months back the FM gave 1.45 lakh crore or $20 billion dollar tax bonanza to corporate houses which make a measly 3-4% of the total economy and are already swimming in cash, while the other 96% of the economy which actually oils the Indian market which is the small businesses, the farmers who are net loosers in the current regime. Even essential commodities prices have gone up both in retail and wholesale markets with almost all of the profits acruing to the middleman rather than the farmer or the agricultural labor . We are on the path of being England which imports all of its veggies. Last not but not the last exports have been down from India for straight fourth month.


        Unless India fixes lot of structural issues for e.g. adherance to legal contracts or fast resolution in case of issues, don’t see India bouncing back anytime soon. Nobody from the other side even comments why economies of Bangladesh, Vietnam, China and even Cambodia are able to ramp up their economies even if the argument is ‘global slowdown’ . Some people have argued for cyclical slowdown but haven’t had any evidence to prove that other than conjecture.

      • Why big business can count on courts to keep its deadly secrets

        It was an evidence log, a detailed inventory of documents and other exhibits that had been used in an injured worker’s lawsuit. And it was freely available to anyone who bothered to look for it – for this was long ago in 1978, before the routine use of protective orders, sealed documents and other tools of concealment wrapped U.S. courts in lethal secrecy.

        Motley, a lanky, deep-drawling South Carolina lawyer, had been representing sick workers in lawsuits against companies that used asbestos. And he was losing, as defense lawyers convinced juries that the companies had only recently learned of the dangers of the cancer-causing mineral. Now, the log might guide him to proof that the companies had long known that asbestos exposure could be deadly.


        Motley shared the documents with other plaintiff lawyers and with Los Angeles Times reporter Henry Weinstein, who was with Motley in Newark that day in 1978 and recounted the lawyer’s discovery to Reuters. A member of Congress got them, too. In a matter of months, the Sumner Simpson papers unlocked what one prominent plaintiff lawyer had dubbed a new “industrial Watergate.” Congress held hearings, workplace safety rules were enacted, workers won more lawsuits, and scores of companies, including Raybestos, declared bankruptcy. The companies set up victim trust funds that have paid out more than $30 billion in settlements and that continue compensating victims even now.

        Today, there’s little chance a lawyer – or a journalist or a concerned citizen – could do what Motley did. That’s because in the intervening decades, big business and its legal lieutenants succeeded in a focused, concerted campaign that has ensured that secrecy cloaks lawsuits alleging that their products can kill or injure people.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • To Understand Trump, You Must Understand His Cult

        As Americans watch the political drama of impeachment against President Donald Trump unfold in Congress, it seems clear that Democrats and Republicans seem to occupy entirely different planes of reality, speaking in opposite terms about the same issues. It is a reflection of the political polarization in the nation at large that social scientists have struggled to understand. But there is a simple explanation: We are witnessing the development of a dangerous and massive cult. And Trump, the cult leader, knows exactly how to wield his power over his supporters in order to retain his position.

      • Trump Could Be Impeached More Than Once

        “And still I rise, Madam Speaker,” Congressmember Al Green, Democrat of Houston, said, opening his statement during the House hearing on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Those words were taken from Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise”…

      • A Leader of Grossly Immoral Character: The Chosen One Gets Unchosen
      • Reich on presidential primaries
      • Humans
      • PBS Taps Journalist With Anti-Sanders Bias to Help Moderate Debate

        Tonight’s Democratic presidential debate will be sponsored by Politico and PBS, simulcast by CNN, and moderated by Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta, along with PBS NewsHour’s anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, senior national correspondent Amna Nawaz and White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

      • To Corporate Media, an Exercise Bike Ad Is More Newsworthy Than 3/4 of a Trillion for the Pentagon

        What is more newsworthy—a decision to give the Pentagon three-quarters of a trillion dollars, or an ad for an exercise bike? If you picked the Pentagon spending, you may not have a future in corporate media.

      • Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham Must Pay for Enabling Trump

        In modern history, only Adolf Hitler’s enablers received anything like accountability for their furtherance of the Nazi agenda. A post–World War II West was determined to punish the purveyors of atrocity. But those days are long over. Oh, if you’re an African despot, the International Criminal Court will come for you, but if you’re committing war crimes on behalf of a Western country, they call you “Dick Cheney” and pretend they can’t see you.

        The enablers of President Donald Trump are likely well aware of how history gets made. The record of these times will show that Donald Trump, and Donald Trump alone, was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. It will show that Donald Trump was a liar, a bigot, and a sexual predator. It will show that Donald Trump presided over the failure of America, if there even is an America left when he’s done with it.`

      • The House Has Impeached President Trump. Here’s What We Learned.

        But in looking at their words and deeds over the past few months, House Republicans have effectively given Trump the green light to solicit other foreign governments to help him win next year’s election. It looks like House Republicans would defend Trump if he, for example, asked Saudi Arabia to investigate the Democratic nominee next year.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Ethiopia: Bill Threatens Free Expression
      • Why India shuts down the internet more than any other democracy

        The internet has been shut down 93 times so far this year, according to the Internet Shutdown Tracker, a portal which tracks such incidents across the country.

      • India: The world leader in Internet shutdowns

        According to the Internet shutdown tracker, India has the highest number of network disruptions ordered by the state with 91 reported instances (at the time of writing) alone in 2019. The number stood at 134 in 2018. These are just the incidents that have been reported; the actual number is likely to be more. This makes India the Internet shutdown capital of the world. The world’s biggest democracy leads in digital authoritarianism — and by some margin.

        The reason? The government wants to silence dissenting voices.

      • More than 350 Internet shutdowns in India since 2014

        India Today Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) analysed Internet shutdowns in the country and found that terror activities and communal tensions have been the biggest contributors to suspension of services.

      • India’s internet shutdown is the longest in history

        The Indian government defended this move as necessary to thwart what it calls Pakistan-led terrorist groups from launching attacks on security forces.

        “Social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and YouTube are likely to be used for spreading of rumours and also for transmission of information like pictures, videos and text that have the potential to inflame passions and thus exacerbate the law and order situation,” said officials in the state of Assam.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • The INQUIRER reaches end-of-life

        Our publisher, Incisive Media, has made the decision to shut down the website, which has come as a huge shock to everyone here at The INQUIRER. We were informed by our publisher last week – Merry Christmas! Happy Tory landslide! – which has made the decision that due to a recent decline in digital advertising, along with a change of focus for the business, it was time for The INQUIRER to go dark.

        The site will remain live until the end of March, but Thursday will be the final day that we will be publishing new content.

      • Britain’s election fallout spells danger for the BBC

        Those who argue that the Beeb’s troubles will blow over point out that its licence fee is protected by royal charter until 2027. But it will need to reach another fee settlement in 2022. Mr Cummings and the prime minister were willing to prorogue Parliament; they might well countenance legislation to change the BBC’s funding. Changing the BBC’s leadership could be another approach. In the past the corporation could count on allies on both sides of politics. Just now it is looking rather friendless.

      • Assange’s Defense Outlines Extradition Arguments
      • Spanish judge to question Julian Assange over Ecuador embassy spying claims

        Assange will be transferred from Belmarsh prison in southeast London to Westminster Magistrates Court to answer questions from De la Mata, who is investigating alleged violations of client-attorney privilege between the cyber-activist and his lawyers, and allegations that these conversations were passed on to the CIA.

        British civil servants visited Assange in prison last week, asked him whether he agreed to be questioned by De la Mata, and delivered a document listing the events under investigation by the judge, who had issued a European Investigation Order (EIO) in September requesting assistance from British authorities.

        This list of events under investigation, which EL PAÍS has seen, notes that David Morales, owner of the Spanish security firm UC Global, SL “invaded the privacy of Assange and his lawyers by placing microphones inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London without consent from the affected parties.” It also states that the information thus collected was distributed to other people and institutions, including “authorities from Ecuador and agents from the United States.”


        This position created unease in judicial circles, and was viewed as resistance to an investigation that could hinder Assange’s extradition to the US. The WikiLeaks founder’s hearing is scheduled for February.

        Several Spanish judges consulted by this newspaper said that EIO requests are generally granted on an automatic basis. With an EIO, a legal authority from a EU member state can ask a legal authority from another EU country for assistance in obtaining evidence or means of evidence, including witness statements.

        The US justice system is accusing Assange of 18 crimes that add up to 175 years in prison in connection with WikiLeaks’ publication of classified material on military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • More Than Thirty Human Rights Groups Protest the Targeting of Digital Rights Defenders in Ecuador, Argentina, and Beyond

        Protecting human rights comes in many forms. Some human rights defenders are lawyers, defending clients against violations of their basic humanity. Some are journalists, exposing corruption and the secret injustices that might otherwise hide behind power. Some are activists, working in politics and in their communities to give support to those who might not be able to defend themselves.

        And some human rights defenders are technologists: building tools to defend or enhance the practice of human rights, and calling out the errors or lies of those who might misuse technology against its users.

      • Beyond Prisons: Sunlight Is A Human Right

        Abolitionist and journalist Jared Ware joins the Beyond Prisons podcast for a conversation on deteriorating abusive conditions within South Carolina prisons.

        Jared gives us an update on recent organizing efforts by prisoners in South Carolina and their comrades on the outside, who delivered a demand letter to UN offices in the United States, Carribean, and United Kingdom last month. They argue the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) is violating international standards for confinement known as The Mandela Standards.

      • EU court rules that Catalan leader was jailed improperly
      • New Report From Bernie Sanders Details Declining Living Standards for Millennials

        “If we don’t fundamentally transform our economy, we are facing — for the first time in the history of this country — the possibility that our young people will suffer a worse future than their parents had. This report confirms my fears,” Sanders said in a statement provided to Teen Vogue.

        According to the report, in the 1970s, 94% of 30-year-olds earned more than their parents did at that age, as opposed to 2010, when only 50% of 30-year-olds earned more than their parents. In 2016, the median net worth (assets minus debt) of millennials between ages 25-34 was 36% lower than it was for Gen X’ers at that age; just $20,038, compared with $31,240 for Gen X’ers. The report goes on to highlight the unique factors that have led to this change: a decrease in homeownership and an increase in student loan debt.

      • Labor board rolls back employee email rights after Google recommendation

        The federal labor board ruled this week that employers can block workers from using email to organize, in a decision that companies, including Google, have asked for.

        The National Labor Relations Board said in the 3–1 decision that “employees have no statutory right to use employer equipment, including IT resources,” for union activity, giving management leeway to ban organizing on their work email systems. The decision undoes a previous ruling from the board decided under the Obama administration, which gave workers more latitude to use their work email for legally protected labor activity. ““employees have no statutory right to use employer equipment.””

      • Indigenous Eurasian Islamic Populations

        This blog was defending the human rights of the Uighurs a decade before the neo-conservatives for whom they are now a fashionable cause even knew of their existence. The Uighurs are the closest linguistic and cultural cousins of the Uzbeks, and the populations are contiguous. (China is not contiguous with Uzbekistan but Osh and the eastern Ferghana Valley in Kirghizstan are Uzbek majority areas).

      • Sudanese brides who feel forced to undergo FGM to get married

        In the mainly Muslim country this can involve the removal of the clitoris and labia and often includes some stitching to narrow the vaginal opening- a process known as infibulation.

        These stitches come away when a woman has sex.

        If a bride-to-be opts for further FGM, the operation, usually carried out by midwives, can involve cutting away more of the labia and re-stitching the vagina.`

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • New York State Legislature Introduces a Net Neutrality Bill

        Following the lead of California, New York is now introducing measures to implement net neutrality in the state.

      • This Page is Designed to Last

        Bookmark after bookmark led to dead link after dead link. Vanished are amazing pieces of writing on kuro5hin about tech culture, and a collection of mathematical puzzles and their associated discussion by academics that my father introduced me to; gone are Woodman’s Reverse Engineering tutorials from my high school years, where I first tasted the god-like feeling of dominance over software; even my most recent bookmark, a series of posts on Google+ exposing usb-c chargers’ non-compliance with the specification, disappeared.

        This is more than just link rot, it’s the increasing complexity of keeping alive indie content on the web, leading to a reliance on platforms and time-sorted publication formats (blogs, feeds, tweets).

    • Monopolies

      • German court hands Uber another legal setback

        A court in Germany has banned Uber from offering rides through rental car firms. It’s another blow for the US ride-hailing company which has had its European ambitions curtailed by the courts.

      • Amazon Seeks Out First Irish Warehouse as Brexit Date Looms

        Irish property investors including Green REIT Plc, which was acquired by private equity firm Henderson Park last month, and IPUT Plc have been investing in Dublin warehouses and land for industrial development, betting Brexit could amplify already strong demand for logistics properties. Large retailers including Amazon and Marks & Spencer Group Plc ship goods to Irish customers from warehouses in the U.K. That leaves them vulnerable if the U.K. fails to agree a deal that would ensure the smooth movement of goods across the Irish Sea when it leaves the EU.

      • TCS: Current IP paradigm inadequate for the age of AI
      • Patents

        • House approves Trump’s USMCA trade deal amid shadow of impeachment

          The House on Thursday passed a bill to implement President Trump’s overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), advancing a crucial piece of his economic agenda with strong bipartisan support.

          The bill to enact Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) passed 385 to 41, with 38 Democrats, two Republicans and Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) voting against the deal. The measure now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to pass after the chamber concludes Trump’s impeachment trial.

        • House Passes USMCA Trade Deal With Broad Bipartisan Support

          One day after its historic impeachment votes, the Democratic-led House gave President Donald Trump an overwhelming bipartisan victory Thursday on a renegotiated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

        • PCT Office Moving Toward Standardization of Electronic Document Submissions [Ed: Big patent offices making proprietary software of Microsoft the ‘standard’]

          Patent attorneys are always concerned about the risk of document discrepancies arising when submitting electronic documents to patent offices.

        • Amgen Inc. v. Hospira, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          The Federal Circuit has grappled with, divisively in some instances, the extent to which the safe harbor provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1) extend to activities not strictly for obtaining regulatory approval, such as post-approval quality testing and “stockpiling” product used for commercial purposes. For example, in Classen Immunotherapies, Inc. v. Biogen IDEC, then-Chief Judge Rader joined by Judge Newman held that “routine” post-approval submissions are outside the safe harbor (over a vigorous dissent by Judge Moore), whereas in the following case, Momenta Pharm. v. Amphastar Pharm., the roles were reversed, with Judge Moore finding herself in the majority (with Judge Dyk), and then-Chief Judge Rader filing a dissent. Yesterday, the Federal Circuit revisited these issues in its decision in Amgen Inc. v. Hospira, Inc.

          The case arose over Amgen’s complaint that Hospira infringed its U.S. Patent Nos. 5,865,298 and 5,756,349 relating to cells and methods of preparing erythropoietin (EPO). The jury found that Hospira had not carried its burden of showing either patent to be invalid by clear and convincing evidence; and that Hospira infringed claims 24 and 27 of the ’298 patent but had not infringed claims 1-7 of the ’349 patent…


          The opinion also affirmed based on substantial evidence the jury’s finding that Hospira’s EPO preparations infringed claim 27 of the ’298 patent based on expert testimony and portions of Hospira’s aBLA. The Federal Circuit also affirmed the jury’s decision that claim 27 was not anticipated by a prior art reference because it did not disclose “a composition with a predetermined in vivo activity” but just that the EPO produced according to the reference was “biologically active.”

        • Guest post by Profs. Yu and Contreras: The Uncertain Criminal Status of PAE Litigation in China

          On September 30, 2019, the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court (court of first instance) ruled that an individual, Mr. Li Xingwen, was guilty of criminal extortion for asserting patents against a number of Chinese companies shortly before their initial public offerings (IPOs). The case was widely reported in the international press (see here, here and here) before the official release of this first-instance judgment, and gave rise to concern about the risks of asserting patents in China. The full text of the Shanghai court’s decision was finally released on September 30, 2019 and reveals several interesting details about the case. In particular, Mr. Li’s conduct giving rise to the judgment of extortion involved the falsification and backdating of a license agreement with a related company in order to extract additional royalties from a company with which Li had already settled. However, most of Mr. Li’s other patent assertions, notwithstanding their strategic filing prior to the defendants’ IPOs, were viewed as legitimate. Then, on October 18, 2019, the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Procuratorate lodged a protest with the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court, arguing that the judgment against Mr. Li was too lenient. Below, we summarize the facts of the case and the findings of the court of first instance, then assess the implications of the People’s Prosecutor’s protest.

      • Copyrights

        • Police Raid in Moscow’s NGINX HQ

          Russian police raided Nginx’s Moscow offices, a company that’s behind the open source web server and reverse proxy server suite, a fast-growing alternative to Apache (about 30% of websites use Nginx, including Netflix and Twitch).

          According to local media, in addition to the raid at the Nginx offices, Russian police have arrested Igor Sysoev, Nginx’s conceptual founder and his colleague and co-founder, Maxim Konovalov.

        • MPA Wants Enhanced Border Enforcement Against Pirate Streaming Boxes

          The Motion Picture Association hopes that changes to U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations will enhance enforcement against pirate devices. The movie industry group proposes to expand the definition of a “copyright protection measure,” so that a broader range of piracy tools can be seized at the border.

        • Mega Now Stores 63.8 Billion Files, Has Suspended 78,000 Users For Copyright Infringement

          Now one of the Internet’s most-visited sites, Mega currently hosts 63.8 billion files but receives relatively few copyright takedown notices, around 317,500 during the first nine months of 2019. Since its 2013 launch, around 78,000 Mega users have been suspended for breaching its repeat infringer policy, which currently sits at “three strikes”.

        • Ghosh Yoga College Claims Copyright Infringement Over Netflix Documentary On Bikram Choudhury

          While the volume isn’t enormous, I would still say that there are entirely too many Techdirt posts on the topic of yoga. Most of those center around yoga instructors somehow thinking that a specific progression of yoga poses is somehow deserving of copyright protection or patents. The whole thing feels antithetical to yoga practices to begin with, which are at least in part about bringing a calm spiritual experience into a healthy living style. Paywalling that is an odd choice.

        • Indie Music Consumption Has More Than Doubled Since 2015 on Napster

          Napster says indie music growth on its platform has more than doubled since 2015. 33% of the top 100 streamed artists are from indie artists and labels.

Journalism in the Area of Patents and the Domain of Patent Litigation is Dead

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Media coverage is incomplete by design. It’s dominated by litigation firms.

Echo chamber (media)
Reference: Echo chamber (media)

Summary: Here in Europe and in the world at large decent and balanced coverage about patents and their true (full) ramifications is almost completely absent, partly due to lack of funding for actual journalism, with the vacuum being gleefully exploited by agenda peddlers

TEN or eleven days are left for this year (well, about ten and a half, depending on one’s timezone). Team Campinos/Battistelli is still promoting software patents in Europe, in clear and direct defiance of the EPC (like 35 U.S.C. § 101 gets bypassed by USPTO management), but we’re making progress when it comes to raising awareness. We shall continue doing so next year. The fight will undoubtedly carry on for years to come. On one side we have geeks (coders/programmers) and on the other patent lawyers/attorneys. We know what motivates the latter group (money) unlike the former.

“Remember how, perhaps 2-5 years ago, media across Europe still wrote about EPO scandals? That was before the EPO intimidated and bribed major publishers. Don’t expect thugs and criminals to “play nice”; they have money, they lack ethics and putting those two things together means trouble. It spells censorship.”Yesterday we noticed that IP Kat is advertising EPO events once again. As readers may recall, once upon a time they wrote about EPO corruption, but then came threats and sanctions. The ‘Kat’ is still dead to us… the people who run it today aren’t the people who ran it 3-5 years ago (people we used to amicably correspond with). It’s sad in a way; we loved the old IP Kat. People with true integrity ran it in a top-down fashion, loyal to truth more than to agenda of litigation zealots.

Remember how, perhaps 2-5 years ago, media across Europe still wrote about EPO scandals? That was before the EPO intimidated and bribed major publishers. Don’t expect thugs and criminals to “play nice”; they have money, they lack ethics and putting those two things together means trouble. It spells censorship.

We’ve also just noticed that Managing IP is once again announcing its silly IP [sic] STARS “2019 firm rankings for IP [sic] transactions”; Way to give something back to your sponsors. Those are fake “awards” they can — and constantly do — use as marketing ammunition. IAM does the same thing. It’s their business model. The legal ‘industry’ is so rigged that it sponsors media, which in turn gives it fake badges and endorsements. It’s like a form of marketing ‘tax’ and we recently took note of Managing IP showering a particular judge with praise, almost as though they want a particular outcome (regarding UPC) ‘in return’…

“People who insist we should all obey the law turn out to be some of the biggest criminals out there, but they got themselves covered with diplomatic immunity (isn’t it nice to control the law, shielding oneself from it?).”Deep inside the lawyers and law firms involved know that we’re right about it; maybe they don’t want to admit it, but that’s just how their modus operandi goes. Don’t look up to them for law and ethics; just because they’re called “law firms” doesn’t mean they respect the law (as much as look to bypass, work around or shrewdly violate it without consequences). Look what WIPO has been doing in recent years. Quite astounding, isn’t it? People who insist we should all obey the law turn out to be some of the biggest criminals out there, but they got themselves covered with diplomatic immunity (isn’t it nice to control the law, shielding oneself from it?).

Anyway, there’s this this new article by Adam Lacy and Thorsten Bausch. It’s about the EPO’s Boards of Appeal. We don’t share Dr. Bausch’s optimism, seeing how a bunch of dubious appointments thwarted a key case regarding the exile of all judges. To quote some bits from their article (“Entry into force of the new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal”):

As the clock strikes midnight on 31 December 2019, we hope that the new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) will not be the first thing on our minds. Nevertheless, the beginning of this new decade will mark the entry into force of these new rules, which look set to have a significant impact on appeal proceedings.

When first announced, the new RPBA were presented as part of the plan to increase the efficiency of the Boards without reducing the quality of the decisions issued. Several of the amendments will contribute towards these goals by changing the internal organization of the Boards. However, there is a growing realization that several of the other amendments concerning the appeal procedure as it is experienced by EPO users are unlikely to improve efficiency, and may even be detrimental to overall quality if they are not applied prudently.

In the following, we will discuss the most important changes to the appeal proceedings for EPO users, and will provide our analysis on whether they are likely to help achieve these twin goals of the EPO of increased efficiency while maintaining quality.


When the new RPBA enter into force next year, the changes discussed above will apply to all cases, including those which are currently pending, with only a few minor exceptions. As described above, we remain sceptical that the changes will achieve the goals set by the EPO of reducing the pendency times without reducing the quality of the decisions issued. Instead, there is a risk that the increased focus on formal issues will actually increase the workload of BOA members due to longer submissions being filed by the parties to the appeal in an attempt to address the various new found requirements discussed above. This may also distract from substantive issues, which risks reducing the quality of decisions. Our expectations are not without basis: research by Anetsberger et al published in EPI Information 2/2015 suggests that the stricter approach to formal issues is correlated with an increase in the number of auxiliary requests filed, the length of BOA decisions, and also the fraction of patents revoked on formal grounds.

When challenged on this point at a conference in 2018 concerning these rule changes, some of the authors of the new RPBA acknowledged that there may be a short period in which more time needs to be devoted to formal issues, until EPO users become familiar with the new strict standards. However, the hope is that once the new rules have been accepted such that parties to appeal do not try to change their case relative to the first instance, then the formal issues will no longer need to be discussed to the same extent and efficiency will increase. Only time will tell whether this will indeed prove to be the case.

So if you are an EPO user, it should be clear what your New Year’s resolution should be: Frontload your case! More emphasis needs to be placed on filing a complete case during the first instance since it will become even more difficult to introduce new requests, facts, objections, arguments and evidence when filing an appeal and also during the appeal proceedings. And when making changes to your case on appeal, it will now be even more important to identify these changes and explain why they are a suitable response to the development of the case. As the transitional provisions are fairly restricted, many of the new rules apply also to pending cases. So in addition to these New Year’s resolutions, perhaps it would not be a bad idea to wish for a time machine for Christmas.

Notice that nothing has been done to restore autonomy and independence of judges. They’re therefore expected to just do what the Office presidency wants. This is so wrong on many levels; like the Trumpian situation unfolding right now in the United States amid impeachment. When there’s no separation of powers there cannot be accountability.

“This is so wrong on many levels; like the Trumpian situation unfolding right now in the United States amid impeachment. When there’s no separation of powers there cannot be accountability.”In 2020 expect the quality of European Patents to continue to slide. The appeal boards cannot stop this (fear of consequences to one’s career).

Earlier this week we saw an article in Renewables Now. It’s about a new European Patent which covers energy production; some such patents were recently invalidated by a court after a lot of money had been spend on litigation (several sites like Renewables Now covered it). Here’s the latest:

The European Patent Office (EPO) has granted new patents to Finnish wave energy developer AW-Energy Oy for its WaveRoller device, the company informed on Tuesday.

AW-Energy has secured patent protection for the wave energy converter in 38 countries across Europe. The use of the device in wave energy applications is protected until 2034.

The patents, EP3175111 (B1) and EP3175110 (B1), cover the energy system and power transfer application of the WaveRoller device, including several operating improvements, AW-Energy said.

How do we know that these patents are actually valid? Patents similar to these (e.g. solar panels) were recently tossed out by a relatively high court. We wrote about that several times several weeks ago.

Here’s another new article, this one entitled “EU Grants Patent to TNX-102 SL, Oral Muscle Relaxant for Fibromyalgia in New Phase 3 Trial” (they can’t even tell the difference between EU and EPO — not the same thing at all!)

The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a patent covering the intellectual rights to the composition and formulation of TNX-102 SL, Tonix Pharmaceuticals’ investigational under-the-tongue muscle relaxant now in pivotal clinical trials to treat fibromyalgia and other disorders.

The company is currently enrolling adults with fibromyalgia into the Phase 3 RELIEF (NCT04172831) study, testing TNX-102 SL as a sublingual tablet taken at bedtime. Criteria for eligible patients are available here; U.S. trial locations and contacts are here.

Again, are these sorts of patents valid? Considering the lack of compliance with the EPC — a growing problem the EPO admits internally — it’s becoming a round of Russian roulette. Many European Patents turn out to be bunk, bogus, invalid. Invalid Patents (IPs)? Or European Patents (EPs)? Those two things might become synonymous one day…

Yesterday we saw new EPO puff pieces that totally miss the point. Illicit Trade published this laughable article about Africa. We all know that copy-pasting press releases is not journalism but dissemination (usually of PR and marketing, i.e. self-serving lies crafted by salaried propagandists) and this is what we have here:

The European Patent Office (EPO) has agreed to help the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) build capacity to examine patent applications validated in its member states.

On Monday, EPO President António Campinos and ARIPO Director General Fernando dos Santos signed a memorandum of understanding in Zimbabwe.


Last month, the EPO signed a reinforced partnership agreement with Intellectual Property of Indonesia, which was the second intellectual property office in Southeast Asia to enter into such a deal with its European counterpart.

Where’s the actual investigation? Nothing. They just parrot whatever EPO management claims. Is this what so-called ‘journalism’ has been reduced to? It’s not too hard to just copy-paste a bunch of self-serving nonsense, making use of one’s English skills (sometimes degree) to rephrase things a little. But that’s not journalism! They’re not fact-checking anything here, they relay falsehoods instead!

“They just parrot whatever EPO management claims. Is this what so-called ‘journalism’ has been reduced to? It’s not too hard to just copy-paste a bunch of self-serving nonsense, making use of one’s English skills (sometimes degree) to rephrase things a little.”Sadly, as we’ve been saying for years, the death of journalism means that law firms now directly “write” ‘the news’…

Here’s Daniel Law’s Ricardo Dutra Nunes. Having promoted in Lexology his corporate article (marketing), we’re made to think that “Patent Prosecution Highway” (PPH) is desirable to all. It’s not. Ricardo Dutra Nunes just celebrates litigation, his bread and butter, even across continents. Of course the patent maximalists love lawsuits and hurried examination; the most expensive ‘product’ to sell are lawsuits, even frivolous ones! To quote Ricardo Dutra Nunes (calling it “good news”):

We are writing to report good news: in addition to recent measures implemented by the Brazilian PTO towards fixing the patent backlog in the course of the next 18 months, the Brazilian PTO decided to make all Patent Prosecution Highway Programs tech-neutral as of December 1, 2019 (Rule 252/2019). Basically, the PPH Programs are no longer limited to certain areas of technology, so applicants are now able to both expedite examination and increase chances of allowance no matter the application’s area of technology.

Who is this “good news” to? Lawyers. What does that mean for Brazilians? It just makes them more vulnerable to litigation. Let’s face it, Brazilian companies rarely sue rivals overseas.

“What’s troubling is the degree to which they control ‘the news’; they use their money to distort the message the general public is exposed to.”We’ve also just noticed this Lexology promotion of marketing by Tilleke & Gibbins’s Chanraksmey Sokun, Sokmean Chea and Sovanrotha Sok. “Between 2010 and 2018,” they say, “around 30 Korean patent applications were filed with the MIH, but none have been granted. According to the MIH, Cambodia has so far granted 160 patents out of an estimated 930 applications. It is important to note that a majority of the granted patents were registered under the current facilitation programs the MIH offers in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the European Patent Office (EPO), and the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).”

Who is this good for? Certainly not Cambodians. Or even Koreans. It’s all about law/litigation firms. What’s troubling is the degree to which they control ‘the news’; they use their money to distort the message the general public is exposed to. Nobody bothers refuting them, so there’s an echo chamber effect.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 19, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:36 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

More ‘Fake News’ About Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Battistelli’s CEIPI Emerges as a Booster

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 2:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Attacks judges. Wants to be head of a major court.

Summary: The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) is still promoted by the cabal of law firms (litigation giants) we’ve dubbed “Team UPC” and now they’re joined by a law school headed by a criminal

THERE’S a book chapter coming about the fall of the UPC — something we might participate in (we’ve been invited to). It’s rather revealing that the European Patent Office (EPO) hardly ever mentions the UPC anymore. As for António Campinos, we can’t even recall the last time he spoke about it (maybe 2018). Sure, he’s still promoting software patents in Europe, but the ‘unitary’ aspects of European Patents are never mentioned any longer.

“If judged from the optics of 200 euros per hour, several law firms have already invested millions of euros (each!) in this ‘pet’ project of theirs.”Team UPC is another matter. Unlike the EPO, it spent a fortune (assuming time is money) trying to make it a reality. If judged from the optics of 200 euros per hour, several law firms have already invested millions of euros (each!) in this ‘pet’ project of theirs. It’s almost understandable that they refuse to let go.

Yesterday we saw Rachel Montagnon (Herbert Smith Freehills) with another loaded and very misleading headline (“Ratification Of The UPC Agreement In Sight? German Constitutional Decision Likely Early In 2020″). We’ve stumbled upon a few more like these in the sites of law firms; no need to mention these as some of them are old (start of December). What they basically try to tell us is “UPC is coming!”

“The UPC has meanwhile come under scrutiny in more nations. It’s illegal and unconstitutional. It’s the outcome of lobbying and corruption.”Well, haven’t we all heard that before? Team UPC is very good at lying and paying fees to foist these lies onto politicians who don’t know better. To quote Montagnon (what’s outside the paywall anyway): “As those with an interest in patents will be aware, the Unified Patent Court is still not a reality. The final ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (“UPCA”) required for the agreement to come into effect, is that of Germany (over 13 states having ratified including the UK and France, which, along with Germany, were the three states which were required to have ratified along with at least ten months…”

The rest is behind a paywall, but there’s another new piece from Montagnon and her colleagues.

Andrew Moir, Rachel Montagnon, Sebastian Moore, Alexandra Neri, Mark Shillito and Joel Smith (Herbert Smith Freehills) should know better. They are well aware that the UPC faces a lot more barriers than these which they mention (Brexit and FCC). The UPC has meanwhile come under scrutiny in more nations. It’s illegal and unconstitutional. It’s the outcome of lobbying and corruption. But here’s what Herbert Smith Freehills tell us:

As those with an interest in patents will be aware, the Unified Patent Court is still not a reality. The final ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (“UPCA”) required for the agreement to come into effect, is that of Germany (over 13 states having ratified including the UK and France, which, along with Germany, were the three states which were required to have ratified along with at least ten more, before the UPCA could come into force – see here for ratification details). Without the UPC established to enforce them, unitary patents cannot be granted. Germany’s ratification has yet to be received.

The outcome is still awaited of the constitutional case objecting to a ratification of the UPCA by Germany, which was listed to be decided in 2019. In a recent interview, Judge Huber of the German Federal Constitutional Court (which is the court due to decide the case) denied that the delay had anything to do with Brexit, rather that other important cases were also waiting to be decided and took precedence. He suggested that the case might be decided in the early part of 2020.

The German Federal Constitutional Court has since then distanced itself from these statements. It’s not appropriate for a German Federal Constitutional Court judge (Justice) to be talking to a Team UPC pressure group. Nevertheless, what he said continues to be leveraged for propaganda purposes; Team UPC has already made up its mind and its blogs pretend that UPC is coming “REAL SOON NOW!” (not exact quote, but so implies/says the person whose career involved lying about the UPC for years).

“What a bunch of fakers and charlatans. The fact that JUVE participates in these campaigns says a lot about JUVE and its declining integrity.”These people have been telling us for at least 13 years that UPC was just around the corner and now they tweet about it in Bristows, in Kluwer and in the UPC Digital Team, linking either to this Bristows piece from Dominic Adair (citing ‘UPC HQ’) or “Kluwer Patent blogger” (probably Bristows as well, albeit masked). Bristows says: “The Unified Patent Court (UPC) Preparatory Committee has published today a message from its Chairman, Alexander Ramsay. [...] Regarding IT work, the case management system is ready for the sunrise period (during which opt-outs may be registered) and now the focus will be on review and improvement of the UPC website.”

But… there’s no UPC. They already admitted to the media that they fake progress to keep the false impression of momentum. What does the original from Ramsay even say? What’s the substance of it? Nothing. That JUVE propaganda with a misleading headline. To quote: “Now to the future. I recently gave an interview to Juve [https://www.juve-patent.com/news-and-stories/people-and-business/the-upc… about my forecast for 2020 and beyond. I will continue to work toward a solution and I know I have the best possible team to help me do that.”

What a bunch of fakers and charlatans. The fact that JUVE participates in these campaigns says a lot about JUVE and its declining integrity.

As MaxDrei said in the comments yesterday:

People like to spout the line “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” as if it is the self-evident truth. But it isn’t. Recent history proves that. For politicians knowingly to lead the voters on, in such beliefs, is to betray them.

Examples? First, the notion of a friction-free, formalities-free land border between EU Member State Ireland and a non-EU Member State UK. That was flagged up by the experts, even before the UK referendum, as THE insoluble problem of BREXIT and, guess what, despite all the hot air and Johnsonian bluster, it is still just that. The only solution is to cleave NI off from the UK Union.

Second, the notion of an EPLA that includes a non-EU Member State, a UK with an ever-fiercer mindset, bent on breaking away from the EU so as to “take back control”. Is that the sort of thing they mean when they utter the words “No Brainer?” The country of my birth is more and more painful to observe.

Readers will surely be able to supply other examples.

We’ve meanwhile also noted that CEIPI is promoting the UPC. CEIPI is run by corrupt Battistelli, who belongs in prison, not in a law school. And he wants to be chief of UPC (which won’t exist), or so said rumours repeatedly.

This is what CEIPI tweeted some days ago:


Enrolment is open for the 2020 edition of the #Training Program on the #UnifiedPatentCourt.

It will take place in Strasbourg on March 13-14 & April 17-18.

For a draft program, enrolment and further info see: https://bit.ly/2M2wdFU

EPO watchers have meanwhile also taken note of this news about a chairman getting jailed on union-busting charges. Battistelli should take note; we don’t suppose he’ll be facing a raid at CEIPI and arrested for these crimes and much worse crimes, which he committed at the EPO. It’s rather amazing that such a thug and a criminal was permitted to run a law school. Moreover, he wants to manage courts? After all he has done to abuse and bully judges?

“The UPC will go down with the sunset, but we don’t expect that to be the end of this saga. Some time later the sun will re-emerge from the other side, possibly with a new name and a new marketing strategy…”Quite frankly, it’s pretty unthinkable that independent judges will permit the UPCA to carry on. Seeing what happened and continues to happen at the EPO, these judges should recommend that immunity be stripped and managers put on trial. It’s well overdue (at least half a decade).

The UPC will go down with the sunset, but we don’t expect that to be the end of this saga. Some time later the sun will re-emerge from the other side, possibly with a new name and a new marketing strategy (maybe they can call it “AMAZING PATENT SYSTEM” or “ULTIMATE PATENT COURT” or “INNOVATION FIRST COURT SYSTEM”).

“With or without these amendments, there’s still no indication that the UPC will resurface any time soon, especially after the election outcome we had in the UK last week. Notice how Team UPC isn’t even talking about the ramifications, which are profound.”“I think it’s pretty clear they will reopen the negotiations,” one person told us, “but I ask you to keep that secret for now because the patent community will try to say “just replace UK by Italy” and nothing more…”

Well, they’ve already been saying that for years, so what’s the point keeping it a secret? It’s not like it’ll give them any ideas they haven’t already had. “We need to get the CJEU back on the table with am6-8,” the person said, “so that the last word over software patents is within the CJEU, and not within those captive patent courts.”

With or without these amendments, there’s still no indication that the UPC will resurface any time soon, especially after the election outcome we had in the UK last week. Notice how Team UPC isn’t even talking about the ramifications, which are profound.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts