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Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom
Updated: 7 min 18 sec ago

Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 06:29:29 AM

Guest post by figosdev

Summary: Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"

In December 2018 and earlier this year, I called for Richard Stallman to voluntarily resign.

The reasons for this call were entirely different from the reasons he just resigned.

Here were the reasons:

1. What I believe (and many others believe) are systemic attacks on Free software, are being largely ignored — even by the FSF.

Some progress was actually made in this regard recently.

2. Users are losing freedom faster than they gain it, due to these attacks.

3. Once-strong and popular distros are falling apart — too many to ignore.

4. “the fsf needs a president who stands up to these new challenges that threaten Free software. and i dont think stallman is doing that anymore.”

However, this was not the whole story, and I added other points:

“most people who declare a lowered confidence in rms as the leader of his own movement, are declaring it for political reasons that benefit corporations and monopolies — monopolies are the very problem that Free software exists to provide alternatives to.”

That is the problem we are witnessing today, as Stallman has actually resigned.

“we dont need another smarmy corporate sycophant yes man to take over the fsf, as open source would propose.”

“and someone asked me this morning about my call to ‘impeach’ stallman.”

“theres a very important distinction to be made. im not asking for anyone to be impeached. even if that were possible, thats not what the call is for!”

Apparently, it is possible. I do not believe Stallman stepped down out of choice (as was my wish) but instead was asked (or forced) to by the Board.

I was very clear, that was not the outcome I desired:

“impeachment is a process of forcing a leader out. hopefully if youre going to force someone out of a position (think back to the 2003 invasion of iraq) you have someone better to take their place.”

“and if youre going to ask someone to step down, there need to be reasons. my reason is simple and straightforward, and obviously controversial”

I do not think Stallman stepped down for a good reason this week. This was about image, not truth — it was not about renewing the fight for Free software.

The largest threat I did not think the FSF was taking seriously enough, was the adaptation of EEE tactics to software under a free licence:

“i am not suggesting that rms should ‘just go home’ and disappear from the public sphere.”

Stepping down as President would have likely protected him from what happened today. I can’t prove that, I can only guess.

“i am not suggesting he should leave the fsf! he should certainly be on the board.”

Tragically, he has resigned from the Board as well.

Let me say immediately after hearing it: that particular decision is an enormous mistake on the part of the FSF. I hope you’re all aware that you just lost your most important member. Anyone who does not realise this, really does not belong on the board themselves.

“i am not suggesting that rms is any less the father of the Free software movement, than albert einstein is the author of the theory of relativity.”

“and i think that ben mako hill is the best possible replacement”

Ben Mako Hill and Alexandre Oliva (who just joined the Board, for better or worse — I believe for better, though it is deeply unfortunate that this is what his first year on the Board looks like) tend to occupy the top spot on my “Who should be a stand-in for rms” list and alternate from time to time. I have always discounted Oliva primarily over geographical issues — plus a hint of a no-longer-relevant connection to Red Hat — which isn’t entirely fair but either way, he doesn’t work there anymore.

“and i feel confident that ben mako hill would have a great deal of respect in how he dealt with the problems ahead.”

The number one concern for Free software supporters today, should be who the FSF replaces Stallman with.

“its got to be said that i dont think anybody is ready to fill the important role that stallman filled in 1984, and 1991, and 2005, and 2010 — the role that stallman filled when we learned about prism. im not knocking his career or brilliance or legacy, only the past 4 years of his presidency. the fsf needs him on the board, at a minimum.”

“there is no one that is ‘like stallman, only more like him.’ that wont ever happen.”

“there are only people who are different. they would have to have enough in common that they filled the role, but we all know there will never be another president rms.”

Some of the people I think the FSF have not paid enough attention to, in terms of problems related to the state of the Free software ecosystem include:

(This is mostly, not exclusively, about systemd)

1. Denis Roio, who already worked on dyne:bolic, an FSF-approved GNU distribution
2. Emulatorman, who heads Hyperbola, an FSF-approved GNU distribution
3. Ian Jackson, who joined Debian in its first year, and has spent the past 4 years fighting this problem
4. Some Debian developers who have left Debian to fight this problem elsewhere
5. The Veteran Unix Admins, who created Devuan along with Roio
6. fsmithred, maintainer of Devuan Live, Refracta and the refracta-tools remastering programs
7. Various bloggers and software developers who have spent years talking about these problems
8. Most of the Puppy Linux community, at least those who would even notice the changes happening outside the distro
9. anticapitalista, GNU-based distro developer
10. Aitor, developer of Gnuinos
11. Eric Vidal, developer of Obarun

This critique will not fall entirely on the FSF — note some progress was made recently in this regard:

“i believe stallman is more focused on hardware-related threats and license-related threats, while the software ecosystem is constantly getting dragged backwards into windows-esque software lock-in and instability. the core Free software ecosystem is no place for these problems.”

“indeed, these are the sorts of problems we fled to rely on gnu/linux as a solution to in the first place. we still have the freedom per se, but we have not for years now, enjoyed the full benefits of that freedom.”

“the effects are real, the problems are real — the denial that happens year after year is shocking.”

“whatever is preventing the fsf from addressing this — now (if not 4 years ago) is the time for that to end.”

Now that Stallman is gone, it is more important than ever to hold the FSF to its mission. Were Stallman to remain on the Board, he could do a lot in that regard. Instead, now we have to do it without him.

I have for years, watched for a good replacement for Stallman. The list of candidates is very short.

I’m not at all impressed with the SFC, who appear to assume there is someone “better” than Stallman out there.

Anybody who can do better than Stallman is going to have to grow into that role, and they’re going to have to be a pretty outstanding person to begin with as well.

Where are these outstanding people?

Torvalds for example, could not do anything more for the FSF than sell them off to Jim Zemlin and Microsoft — that’s not very useful.

Perhaps we should consider asking Bruce Perens, now that the position is actually open.

I feel I’ve already given this far more thought than the SFC — I don’t even think their reasoning was very detail-oriented, it was simply accusatory and knee-jerk and destructive. In my opinion there was no obvious consideration of consequences, just “get on with the Inquisition” and somehow we will clean up later.

The world is a dumber place today, for the father of Free software being removed over an opinion.

That was never a good idea, nor was it my idea.

Further, I believe September 16th (or October 1st) is a good day for a Political Incorrectness Day. Political correctness has wronged one of the greatest and most valuable minds of our century, without anything remotely like due process (or sufficient deliberation).

To the Board of the FSF: You acted hastily. I’m not saying you made the wrong decision altogether (I disagree strongly with his ejection from the Board, obviously) but you made it too quickly.

This is about the founder of Free software, and the founder of your organisation — the real one, not the others.

You could have (or should have) taken at least a week to decide, for more evidence to come out.

Doing this based on a poll and several hours of deliberation was completely insufficient!

The Free Media Alliance has never lobbied the FSF to make such important decisions with such enormous haste — only to carefully reconsider certain dismissals of things people have complained about for years.

I’m sure there were people who were careful. Maybe there was even a dissenter on the Board.

Whoever you are, if you dissented or took the greatest care among the members, you have my gratitude.

Mr. Stallman, this is not what I wanted. You should still be on the Board. This should have been entirely voluntary, and only for freedom — not for image.

A great man was done an injustice and disservice today, not for the first time. Stallman created the GNU Operating System — and too many people want to ship the credit off to corporations that don’t care about the freedom it was created to give you, the user.

This ought to be the final injustice to his legacy, but it probably won’t be. Today, ingrates and opportunists have won a great victory.

Let’s give them, I hope, as little of what they want as possible.

Also, there is nothing wrong with critiquing Stallman. He is being held to a bizarre standard, one we reserve for people who remind us of inconvenient truths. But there is nothing wrong with critiquing him.

There is something wrong with the idea that he was treated fairly this week. The FSF has traitors, just look at those who received awards. LibrePlanet has done as much harm as good to the organisation — it was a battleground for superficial, political correctness and ways to limit Free software, as much as promote it.

Freedom does not come from witch hunts and witch trials. The Code of Conduct should be called the Malleus Hackerum. Who among us is safe from its spiteful hypocrisy?

As with the Board, I do not wish to blame everyone who participated in LibrePlanet. But there are clearly traitors in your midst.

What I recommend we do as a result — is Speak Up for Free software, treat Stallman’s legacy with the well-earned respect and consideration that goes beyond the superficiality of headlines and paid shills (at least!) –and keep Free software alive.

I don’t blame you if the feeling isn’t mutual Mr. Stallman, but if you ever need anything at all, I hope you’ll ask and I hope I can help in some way. That hope is sincere, but if I can’t do that myself I would ask the same of anybody who takes me even a little bit seriously.

To all who care: please send rms your condolences and support, as soon as we find out what his new email address is.

When you inevitably read people from the Open Source movement gloating about this, think about all the times they’ve criticised the very idea of being fully free (as in not having your life controlled by big tech corporations.) This is a great day for them — it is not a great day for us.

Long Live Stallman —

Long live GNU–

And bring back “Free as in Speech” — what a complete farce that phrase was made today.

License: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)

As Richard Stallman Resigns Let’s Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 03:05:15 AM

Media mob. A year after they made Torvalds ‘take a break’ Stallman steps down (coinciding with lots of negative media coverage).

Summary: Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom

SO it’s official. The FSF has broken the news that “Richard M. Stallman resigns” and it seems like it was done in a hurry judging by the brevity of the statement:

On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.

I’ve decided to wake up early and do a rebuttal to all that “remove Stallman” movement. He can be tactless, sure, and I often disagree with what he says in some areas like sexuality, but removing him would make the world a much worse place. As explained yesterday, Microsoft people should call to “remove Gates”; Gates has done vastly worse things. As for Stallman? Some media exaggerated or distorted what he said; see later comments in this thread. The damage has been done.

“He can be tactless, sure, and I often disagree with what he says in some areas like sexuality, but removing him would make the world a much worse place.”As Stallman himself has just put it in his site, “I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.”

Stallman previously responded in his blog with “Statements about Epstein”. To quote:

I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

I’m sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.

Slashdot mentioned this and there’s this article entitled “Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments”, lost in the noise of misleading headlines claiming that Stallman was defending Epstein (he wasn’t).

To make matters worse, yesterday the Software Freedom Conservancy issued a statement to say: “We call for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in our movement.”

Wait, your movement?

“…Microsoft people should call to “remove Gates”; Gates has done vastly worse things.”Stallman started it. You just piggybacked it. Some of you were kids when he started it.

“Move along, Stallman, let us steal your movement…”

This is part of the “remove Stallman” and “post-RMS” nonsense (among others; the FSF mistakenly gave an award to that person).

Sorry to say this, but the Software Freedom Conservancy would not even exist if it weren’t for Stallman’s software and licence, which they enforce for a living (they’re quasi-lawyers suing and threatening to sue). We’d rather see Kuhn stepping down (than Stallman stepping down). The Software Freedom Conservancy is not essential and it has competition anyway (it’s not like GPL enforcers are missing in action).

In the above statement the Software Freedom Conservancy cites (without actually citing) old remarks from Stallman, but why did it wait until now to make a big fuss over it? Is it opportunism? Maybe the impact of Outreachy inside the Software Freedom Conservancy? Agenda for 'professionalism'?

We can’t help recalling what happened a year ago to Torvalds. He temporarily stepped down. Had Torvalds still had ‘teeth’ in the project (he was lashed last year as a a warning), he would likely reject exFAT like he did all sorts of case-insensitive file systems in the past. He doesn’t want Linux – strategically – to chase Microsoft with specifications and patents (for an inferior implementation).

“We can’t help recalling what happened a year ago to Torvalds. He temporarily stepped down.”Why was he pushed out? You would struggle to find evidence of Torvalds being racist or sexist.

Even remotely.

If he sees bad code, he calls it out.

He’s a technical person, a geek.

We need geeks, not suits and marketing liars like Linux Foundation managers.

Calling bad code “bad” is not intolerance and it is very much essential. Look how many strides Microsoft has made inside Linux since Torvalds got ‘spooked’ by the media.

Is there an effort to ‘decapitate’ (as in decapitation strategies) GNU/Linux? The media wants us to think Torvalds is a disgusting person and Stallman now speaks of pressure on MIT.

“When Bill Gates was done with the Lolita Express they figured out how to steal kids from their parents for a profit (child separation). But it’s Stallman who ends up being the evil one?”Torvalds isn’t a bad person (I spoke to him in the past and he was polite), but yesterday I saw some people repeating this smear about Torvalds. Some videos in YouTube want him and Stallman to step down (no more identity to Linux and GNU). Who would benefit?

Those who wanted Stallman to step down or be removed got their way. Now, who the heck do they think can replace him? Nobody can. We wrote about this in our recent series about "FSF Titanic". Stallman made GNU when I was a baby (literally), then he came up with the GPL etc.

He’s tactless, but he remains instrumental. If the Conservancy wished to distance itself from Stallman, fine. But they actually called for his resignation and sacking.

We need someone in the top of Free software who speaks about politics (like Stallman does) because companies like Microsoft are inherently political, politically-connected and extremely subversive, you can’t face them on technical terms alone.

Why doesn’t Smith resign over crimes against humanity? Here are some new tweets:

TFW your angry tweets about Microsoft and DHS end up in a book written by the president of Microsoft. pic.twitter.com/4YqtYH1OiQ

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

Also, I find Brad Smith's "aww we'd kind of forgotten about that ICE contract" attempted minimizing of this issue to be extremely disingenuous given the revolving door between Microsoft and the Department of Homeland Security: https://t.co/NVebYaBe9J

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

I'm glad that I could help remind Brad that his company was working on using facial recognition with ICE to round up people, tear their children away from them, and imprison them in concentration camps where they aren't given clean water, adequate food, or medical care.

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

But I mean, I'm sure that all these DHS contracts landing with Microsoft is just a big weird huge coincidence, something that the President of Microsoft hardly ever thinks about until some rando tweets about it on twitter to remind him.

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

Hey look, here's a shout out to Brad Smith from Palmer Luckey, after they both appeared on a panel talking about how it is the duty of tech companies to supply the U.S. military: pic.twitter.com/rmtNSUDX5x

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

When Bill Gates was done with the Lolita Express they figured out how to steal kids from their parents for a profit (child separation). But it’s Stallman who ends up being the evil one?

Free speech and political speech come at a cost; you’re guaranteed to piss off just about everyone, based on selective subsets of things you say over the years. Having no opinions is ‘safe’; if you want to be attacked while smiling politely.

At the moment Micosoft is trying to take control of both GNU and Linux using EEE tools such as Azure and WSL. Failing to guard GNU and Linux at a higher level may hand fast defeat to us and triumph to Microsoft.

“With the removal of Stallman we already see some “Extinguish”.”Some Linux bloggers have sadly decided to also cover Microsoft Vista 10 news because there’s “Linux” in the name. Now, with Stallman out, such an agenda would face less resistance. From yesterday: “Microsoft announced something Linux users would have never dreamed of, the first Microsoft Linux Conference for their WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) implementation. [...] WSL 2, the latest version of Windows Subsystem for Linux, was announced by Microsoft earlier this summer and it introduces major new features like an entirely new architecture that uses a real, in-house built Linux kernel, as well as full system call compatibility to run more Linux apps.”

With the removal of Stallman we already see some “Extinguish”.

Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

Monday 16th of September 2019 04:54:20 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Can a Raspberry Pi 4 really replace your PC?

        I have written several times already about the recently-released Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (see my first impressions, how-to setup, my hands-on experience, and my thoughts two months in). Now I’m going to look at one of the practical aspects that I think a lot of people have been wondering about – is it (finally) good enough to use as an every-day desktop system?

        We’ve been through this several times before, when the original Raspberry Pi, the Pi 2 and the Pi 3 came out – and each time the answer was “only if you have enough patience”. Although the amount of patience required decreased each time, it was still too slow on many everyday tasks, or too limited in configuration (primarily memory) for most people to be satisfied using it. So maybe this time it will make the grade?

    • Server
      • This $8,000 super computer can be yours for pennies

        With companies of all sizes looking to boost their computing power, the amount of competition to provide such services is keener than ever.

        20 years ago, the world’s most powerful computer was the Intel-powered ASCI Red. It had nearly 10,000 cores, a peak performance of 3.21 Tflops and had a cool price tag of $55 million.

        [...]

        Ubuntu 18.04 is included as the default operating system and you can upgrade it to WIndows Server 2019. As with all Ionos dedicated servers, there’s also a 1Gbps unlimited data pipe, and you can choose the location of your server (either US or Europe).

      • IBM
        • 9 steps to awesome with Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift

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

          Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for hybrid cloud portable application architecture, and in this session, Burr Sutter shows why Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift provide the ideal solution for deploying and managing microservices in your organization.

          This live hands-on session is for any developer who is interested in Linux containers and cloud-native application architecture. Our examples will primarily be in Java, as there is some special “care and feeding” related to Java in a container, but the lessons are applicable to any programming language.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • GNU World Order 13×38

        First up: all about mcookie, mesg, and namei from util-linux. Then, a discussion of how one might transition to running Linux exclusively. Do you have a story of how you switched to Linux full-time? Do you not run Linux and just run as much open source as possible?

    • Kernel Space
      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Released, This is What’s New

        Linux 5.3 was announced by Linus Torvalds on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (lkml) in the founder’s trademark modest style. No major “quotable” quips from Linus thus time around, save for background on the unplanned eighth release candidate.

        This release follows the well-received Linux 5.2 release back in July and comes with a raft of improvements, optimisations, and new hardware support.

        For instance, Linux 5.3 introduces early support for AMD Navi GPUs, makes 16 million new IPv4 addresses available, and is compatible with Intel Speed Select used in Intel Xeon servers.

      • Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.3: Kernel fixes are about user impact, nothing else

        Linux kernel boss Linus Torvalds has finally announced the release of Linux 5.3, after eight release candidates and a delay of one week.

        But that delay has been a good thing, according to Torvalds, because it gives kernel developers an important lesson in what’s important and how to frame issues when reporting bugs.

        Torvalds had a busy schedule last week, speaking with ZDNet’s open-source authority, Steven J Vaughan-Nichols, at not one but two core Linux conferences – the Kernel Maintainers Summit and the Linux Plumbers Conference, held in Lisbon, Portugal last week.

      • The 5.3 kernel is out

        The 5.3 kernel is available at last. The announcement includes a long discussion about user-space regressions — an ext4 filesystem performance improvement had caused some systems to fail booting due to a lack of entropy early after startup. “It’s more that it’s an instructive example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole ‘no regressions’ kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn’t change any API’s, and it didn’t introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a user. So it got reverted.”

      • Linux 5.2.15

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.15 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

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

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

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

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

      • Linux 4.19.73
      • Linux 4.14.144
      • Linux 4.9.193
      • Linux 4.4.193
      • GNU Linux-libre 5.3-gnu GNU Linux-libre 5.3-gnu sources and tarballs are now available at <http://www.fsfla.org/selibre/linux-libre/download/releases/5.3-gnu/>. It didn't require any deblobbing changes since -rc7-gnu, the first published rc-gnu. Freesh binaries are already available!, thanks to Jason Self; others are on the way. Besides recognizing new false positives (sequences that our blob hunter would report as suspicious, but that are neither blobs nor requests for blobs), updating the deblobbing scripts for 5.3 required adjusting cleaned up drivers for updated blob names, recognizing one new Free piece of firmware with binary and corresponding sources embedded in the kernel sources, and disabling blob loading introduced in a few drivers: QCOM, DRM (HDCP), Allegro-DVT, and Meson-VDEC. This last one was particularly disappointing: the firmware sources were supposed to be available from LibreELEC, and though the link to the alleged sources there is broken, I managed to find the "source" repo containing them, only to find out the "source" was just a binary blob encoded in C as an array of char, just like Linux used to do back when I got involved with Linux-libre. Oh well... Request disabled... If anyone can find Freely-licensed actual source code for that, or for any other file whose loading we disable, please let us know, so that we can refrain from disabling its loading. For up-to-the-minute news, join us on #linux-libre of irc.gnu.org (Freenode), or follow me (@lxoliva) on Twister <http://twister.net.co/>, Secure Scuttlebutt, GNU social at social.libreplanet.org, Diaspora* at pod.libreplanetbr.org or pump.io at identi.ca. Check my web page (link in the signature) for direct links. Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.
      • GNU Linux-libre 5.3 Continues Deblobbing & Dealing With Firmware Trickery
      • GNU Linux-Libre 5.3 Kernel Arrives for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs
      • Google’s FS-VERITY File Authentication Called For Inclusion In Linux 5.4 Kernel

        Linux kernel engineer Eric Biggers of Google has sent in a pull request adding FS-VERITY support to the Linux 5.4 but it remains to be seen if Linus Torvalds is content with pulling the code at this stage.

        FS-VERITY is the code Google has been working on for a while now in the context of Android. The focus is on providing transparent integrity/authenticity support for read-only files on an otherwise writable file-system. See this presentation to learn more on this file-based authenticity protection.

      • Linux 5.4 Brings Working Temperature Reporting For AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs

        Due to a combination of poor timing and an oversight at AMD, the CPU temperature reporting under Linux for the Ryzen 3000 series processors isn’t in order until this new Linux 5.4 cycle. Back at the Ryzen 3000 series launch event I was told everything was “all good” from the Linux support perspective for thermal monitoring, after having been closely following the situation for past Zen CPUs and ended up myself adding the Linux CPU temperature monitoring support for Threadripper 2 among other hudles in the past. That all-good though just ended up meaning that there is no Tcontrol offset needed for these new CPUs, which is great news no longer needing the temperature offset by an arbitrary amount. But the oversight was the Family 17h Model 70h ID was never added to the AMD k10temp driver. As a result, temperature monitoring wasn’t actually working and took an extra kernel cycle before this trivial addition landed.

      • Linux Foundation
        • All about Reactive Foundation,The Linux Foundation’s new baby

          The Linux Foundation has announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation, a community of leaders established to accelerate technologies for building the next generation of networked applications. The foundation is made up of Alibaba, Lightbend, Netifi and Pivotal as initial members and includes the successful open source RSocket specification, along with programming language implementations.

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end-user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability, and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.

          [...]

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end-user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability, and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.
          “From the beginning of our work on RSocket during my time at Netflix, our intent was to have an open system that encouraged broad adoption, which is essential for networking technology. We’re thrilled to be hosted at the Linux Foundation with commitment from leaders and disruptors in the industry, and are excited to make progress enabling reactive programming,” said Ryland Degnan, Co-Founder, and CTO at Netifi and Foundation community chair.

    • Applications
      • New WireGuard Snapshot Offers Better Compatibility With Distributions/Kernels

        WireGuard sadly isn’t slated for the now-open Linux 5.4 merge window, but lead developer Jason Donenfeld has put out a new development snapshot of this open-source secure VPN tunnel.

        Coming barely two weeks since the previous WireGuard snapshot, this newest development release isn’t too heavy on the changes but the focus is on better portability/compatibility.

      • PulseAudio 13 Released with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support, More

        Released three months after the PulseAudio 12 series, PulseAudio 13 is here with support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, support for the SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB headset, improved initial card profile selection for ALSA cards, as well as S/PDIF improvements for CMEDIA USB2.0 High-Speed True HD Audio.

        The PulseAudio 13 series also adds several new module arguments, including “max_latency_msec” for module-loopback, “stream_name” for module-rtp-send, and “avoid_resampling” for module-udev-detect and module-alsa-card, and no longer uses persistent Bluetooth card profile choices by default, recommending users to use A2DP by default.

      • Apple Watch Series 5, $500, or Linux PineTime smartwatch, $25?

        A new open-source smartwatch is in the works with a planned price of $25.

        [...]

        But the PineTime isn’t quite a reality yet. Pine64 said it is still “waiting for some love from developers” and that for now it is a side project, similar to the Pine64 CUBE, an open-source IoT camera.

        Besides Apple, no Android smartphone maker besides perhaps Xiaomi has been able to carve out a dominant position in the smartwatch category.

        The cheapest decent smartwatches today can be found generally for about $40, so Pine64′s promise of a smartwatch that looks similar to the Apple Watch for $25 does sound interesting. And it runs on Arm MBed or FreeTOS, a sure selling point for those who want to avoid the mainstream.

        The smartwatch announcement follows Pine64′s plans to launch the PinePhone, a follow-up to its cheap Pinebook Pro laptops and its Raspberry Pi rival boards.

      • cmus – free terminal-based audio player

        It took me a few years to appreciate console-based software. Repairing a broken system using the ubiquitous vi text editor was a turning point in my Linux journey. Now I spend a lot of time at the terminal, and listening to music. Best combine the two!

        When it comes to console-based music software, I really admire musikcube, a wonderful audio engine, library, player and server written in C++.

        This review looks at an alternative to musikcube. It’s called cmus. It shares many similarities with musikcube. Both are designed to run on a text-only user interface, reducing the resources required to run the application.

        cmus is written in C.

      • Rclone Browser Fork With Fixes And Enhancements

        Rclone Browser is a fairly popular cross-platform GUI for Rclone. Its development was stopped in 2017, but a Rclone Browser fork was created recently to fix some “small not working bits and pieces”, like the transfer progress not working, while also adding some enhancements.

        Let me tell you a few things about Rclone, in case you haven’t heard of it, and then continue with Rclone Browser. Rclone is like rsync, but for cloud storage. The command line tool can synchronize files between your filesystem and cloud storage services like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Nextcloud, Yandex Disk, Dropbox, Amazon Drive and S3, Mega, pCloud, and others (and having WebDAV, FTP and SFTP support), as well as directly between cloud storage services. It also supports mounting these cloud storage services so you can access your files using desktop applications.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • It Stares Back, an RTS with a really wild style will be coming to Linux

        Always on the lookout for my next strategy game fix, I recently came across It Stares Back after it pulled my in due to the wild visuals.

        Currently, it’s only available for Windows in Early Access on Steam. However, the developer confirmed to me on the Steam forum that it’s planned for Linux just like their last game, Castle Battles. The Linux version should come once the game is complete.

      • Receiver, the experimental FPS from Wolfire Games had a big update recently

        Receiver is a name I’ve not heard in a long time, the indie FPS released back in 2013 by Wolfire Games and it’s just seen a big update.

        There’s no new enemies or levels in this update, instead Wolfire focused on the tech that runs the game. In this case it’s the Unity game engine and they gave it quite a big update. It also adds in some graphical prettiness and other bits like that.

      • Ocean exploration game Beyond Blue has a new story trailer and voice cast reveal

        Beyond Blue, the near-future ocean exploration game from E-Line Media (publisher of Never Alone) has a new story teaser.

        If you’ve not heard of it before, this is not some survival game like Subnautica. Instead, it’s a game about exploring the depths of our oceans. Think of it like Blue Planet: The Game, that sums it up quite well especially since they’ve teamed up with BBC Studios (who did the Blue Planet documentary).

      • NARWHAR Project Hornwhale, a really wacky shoot ‘em up that reminds me of the Amiga days

        The developer of NARWHAR Project Hornwhale emailed in recently about their new arcade style shoot ‘em up being released with Linux support. It’s a bit wild.

        I’ll admit the name, along with the setting of this thoroughly made me chuckle to no end. Space Narwhals that rule with an iron fist, with you playing as one of two Rays that shoot lasers? The damn Narwhals took away all the free milkshake, so naturally a rebellion happened. What’s not to love about such a crazy setting?

      • Buoyancy, a city-builder where you manage a floating city has a Linux test build up

        Sometimes when you ask if a game is coming to Linux it’s a no, others say it’s planned and when it’s Buoyancy the developer just puts up a build soon after asking.

        Yep, that’s what happened here. After asking about Linux support on Steam, developer replied to say “yes”. When asking if they knew when, they went ahead and uploaded a build. If only it was always that easy…

      • The latest Overcooked! 2 expansion sounds more crazy than ever with the Carnival of Chaos

        Overcooked! 2 is no doubt one of the best, most hilarious and most infuriating co-op experiences around all in one. It just got bigger again too, with another great sound DLC out now.

      • Fantastic looking beat ‘em up Shing! confirmed to be releasing for Linux

        One we completely missed from Gamescom is Shing!, a new beat ‘em up from developer Mass Creation releasing next year and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

        Curiously, it appeared recently in my Steam searching with a SteamOS/Linux icon but the store page only has Windows system requirements. When going to message the developer, I checked the Steam forum and as expected someone asked about Linux support. The reply from the developer was a very clear “Yes – Shing will be available on Linux.”.

        They’re saying it’s so good, they’ve called it a “beat-em-up 2.0″. With Shing! Mass Creation say they’re mixing in classic arcade-style gameplay with modern graphics and an innovative control scheme. This is not going to be a button basher, instead you use the right stick of a gamepad to directly control your weapon. It sounds good on paper but does it look good? Sure does! Take a look at their recent gameplay reveal:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • New webpage for Plasma Desktop

          In my quest to improve the website of KDE, I updated the Plasma Desktop webpage. This is a huge improvement to the old website, which didn’t show any screenshots and didn’t list any Plasma features.

          I already teased the improvements I made in the Plasma BoF in Milan to the Akademy.

          The redesign got a lot of positive feedback by the Plasma team and after some small modifications the changes landed.

        • Interview with Julius Grels

          At one point I started to search for open source alternatives for the myriad number of programs I was using, and Krita was a recommendation somewhere to replace Photoshop, with high ratings from users.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GNOME Firmware App Launches Officially to Make Updating Firmware Easier on Linux

          Promising to make firmware updates easier to deploy, GNOME Firmware is a graphical application for power users that lets them check for new firmware for their devices, update or downgrade current firmware, as well as to install new firmware. GNOME Firmware is designed as an optional utility for GNOME users, as well as users of other desktop environments.

          “GNOME Firmware is designed to be a not-installed-by-default power-user tool to investigate, upgrade, downgrade and re install firmware,” said Richard Hughes in a blog post. “GNOME Software will continue to be used for updates as before. Vendor helpdesks can ask users to install GNOME Firmware rather than getting them to look at command line output.”

        • A Simple Review of GNOME 3.34

          That’s all for now. As always, I love how simple and beautiful GNOME release announcement was. After testing in 3 days, I immediately like this version more than the previous one for the speed improvement and I hope Ubuntu and other distros adopt it soon. Ah, I forgot, regarding Ubuntu, good news for us: next October’s Ubuntu Eoan Ermine will feature 3.34! Regarding GNOME, I don’t know if this is coincidence or what, but this year’s KDE Plasma is faster and smoother and so is GNOME. I think next GNOME 3.36 will be faster and better as well. Finally I would love to say thank you GNOME developers! You all did well in last 6 month.

          How do you think about 3.34? Let me know in the comment section!

        • Internet Speed Indicator for GNOME 3.34
    • Distributions
      • Reviews
        • Chuwi AeroBook review: Testing 5 Linux distributions

          Chuwi is likely not a brand familiar to many, though the Chinese firm has established its abilities in producing budget-focused notebooks and tablets—essentially, attempting to provide a full Windows experience at a price point of an average Chromebook. Chuwi’s upmarket Chuwi Aerobook could be the right price for an Ultrabook form factor at a $500 price point.

          Support for Linux on fundamentally consumer hardware has improved considerably over the last decade, largely preventing the need to perform extensive manual configuration. In 2019, minor compatibility issues—tiny papercut-like problems that are harder to actually solve—can pop up for specific hardware configurations. Depending on the return policies of your preferred marketplace, it might be impossible or cost-prohibitive to return a product like this if it doesn’t work with Linux.

      • Debian Family
        • Why Debian Is the Gold Standard of Upstream Desktop Linux

          If you don’t follow the fortunes of Linux distributions, you might think that the days of Debian’s dominance are long since gone. However, superficial appearances can be deceiving. Not only does Debian consistently appear in the top ten of Distrowatch’s page hit ranking, it’s used as the base of the majority of other distributions as well, far eclipsing rivals like Fedora and Red Hat or openSuse. In fact, Debian might be said to be the most influential distro ever.

          That may seem an overstatement, but the figures are hard to argue with. For at least eight years, Debian has been by far the most dominant distribution. Some details of its dominance have changed, but the overall pattern has been constant. Without Debian, modern Linux would be vastly different.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • QMO: Firefox 70 Beta 6 Testday Results

            Hello Mozillians!

            As you may already know, Friday, September 13th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 70 Beta 6.

            Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: Gabriela (gaby2300), Dan Caseley (Fishbowler) and Aishwarya Narasimhan!

            Result: Several test cases were executed for Protection Report and Privacy Panel UI Updates.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments

          Open saucy messiah Richard Stallman has found himself in a bit of a mess after he was quoted as defending Marvin Minsky’s association with dead sex-pest Jeffrey Epstein.

          On MIT’s internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listserv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was “accused of assaulting” one of Epstein’s victims. Stallman argued that “the most plausible scenario” is that “she presented herself to him as entirely willing” — even if Epstein coerced her into doing so — whereas the phrase “assaulting” implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls “accusation inflation… Whatever conduct you want to criticise, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.”

      • Programming/Development
        • The State Of Qt Quick Vulkan Support With Qt 5.14

          Of the exciting changes so far for Qt 5.14, one of the big ticket items on the path to Qt 6 is the experimental implementation of Qt’s new graphics API independent scenegraph renderer. Rather than being limited to OpenGL, Qt 5.14+ can target Vulkan, Direct3D 11, and even Apple’s Metal API for rendering.

        • How to get current date and time in Python?

          There are a number of ways you can take to get current date. We will use date class of the datetime module to accomplish this task.

        • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Veronica Hanus

          This week we welcome Veronica Hanus (@veronica_hanus) as our PyDev of the Week! Veronica is a regular tech speaker at Python and other tech conferences and meetups. You can see some of her talks and her schedule on her website. She has been active in the Python community for the past few years. Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

  • Leftovers
    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Warning Issued For Millions Of Microsoft Windows 10 Users

        The September KB4515384 update is already a menace. Introduced to fix CPU spiking, reports state it has broken Windows 10 search, the Start Menu, Action Centre, USB connections and caused audio problems. And now it is gunning for your Internet access.

        Windows Latest has spotted that users are reporting on Microsoft’s community forum, Windows 10’s Feedback Hub and social networks that network adapters have stopped working after applying this update. Impacted users primarily appear to have Intel chipsets (Asus, MSI and Gigabyte motherboards are mentioned) and both their Ethernet and WiFi connections are affected.

        “Cumulative update (KB4515384) causes the NIC to fail to enable with a code 10 error,” warns one user on the Windows 10 Feedback Hub. “Reinstalling network drivers from Intel or Windows Update sources does not resolve the issue. However removing the update through the ‘Programs & Software’ panel or using a recovery point set *before* the update fully resolves the issue.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Possibly by accident, Moscow officials released the decryption key for the city’s online votes. We put it to use and found some weird stuff.

        In three of Moscow’s voting districts, the city’s September 8 legislative elections also served as a test for a new online voting system. In one of those districts, the online vote proved decisive: While independent candidate Roman Yuneman won the most paper ballots in District 30, he lost to pro-regime candidate Margarita Rusetskaya thanks to the latter’s electronic results. Moscow City Hall published the results of the city’s online voting but did not provide access to the raw voting data behind those results. We found the key to that data, decrypted all of Moscow’s online votes, and reconstructed the three races that used online voting down to the minute.

      • By unknown means, Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation reportedly obtains list of Moscow online voters

        Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has reportedly obtained a complete list of the Moscow residents who were registered to vote online during the city’s limited run of a new Internet election system on September 8. The list includes 12,000 names (9,810 people ultimately submitted online ballots) as well as contact information.

        A statement on Navalny’s website did not specify how the FBK had obtained the list. Moscow city officials said they would investigate the matter. They did not confirm or deny the list’s authenticity, saying only that their official voter list was stored in a different format.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Edward Snowden wants to come home: “I’m not asking for a pass. What I’m asking for is a fair trial”

        “I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal. But if I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom line demand that we have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won’t provide access to what’s called a public interest defense,” Snowden told “CBS This Morning.”

        The former NSA contractor is shedding new light on his decision to reveal classified documents about the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program back in 2013. Snowden disclosed government programs that collected Americans’ emails, phone calls and internet activity in the name of national security and was subsequently charged under the Espionage Act for doing so. A congressional report said his disclosures “caused tremendous damage to national security.”

        In his new memoir, “Permanent Record,” Snowden tells his story in detail for the first time and speaks about his life in exile in Russia. Snowden, who now identifies himself as a privacy advocate, said his biggest issue with standing trial in the U.S. is that the government won’t allow the jury to consider his motivations.

    • Monopolies
      • Patents and Software Patents
        • CJEU declines to assess unfriendly SPCs based on third-party MAs in Eli Lilly v. Genentech (C-239/19)

          One of the features that render the European Union’s Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) unique in comparison to similar legal instruments in other jurisdictions, including the United States and Japan, is that there is no legal provision expressly calling for any specific relationship or agreement between the patent proprietor (and SPC applicant) on the one hand, and the holder of the marketing authorization relied upon for the SPC filing on the other hand. In line with this, and following the CJEU’s judgment in Biogen (C-181/95), it has become common practice that SPCs are granted to patent proprietors who rely on a marketing authorization held by a third party, including even a competitor, without the consent of that third party. Yet, the validity of this practice has stirred controversy for more than 20 years, which has never been fully resolved.

          [...]

          While this result is not entirely unexpected, it is deeply disappointing that the fundamental question whether or not the consent of the holder of a marketing authorization is required for the filing of an SPC remains unresolved. Yet, chances are that this same question could be referred to the CJEU again in the near future, possibly in contentious proceedings between the same parties in another EU member state or in the context of a different case with similar factual circumstances, of which there are more than a few.

        • State of Minnesota Petitions for Certiorari in Regents of University of Minnesota v. LSI Corp.

          The issue is not whether the university’s patents can be challenged, because the State has asserted these patents against Respondent in district court litigation. The issue, according to the brief, is that the State has the constitutional right to choose the forum before which its patents are put at issue. This position is contrary to the Federal Circuit’s blanket determination (begging for Supreme Court review) that IPRs are not subject to any sort of sovereign immunity, based on the appellate court’s decision in St. Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

Monday 16th of September 2019 08:10:11 AM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Bad news for Microsoft as Huawei starts shipping Matebooks with Linux

        Huawei’s struggles with the US government is still far from over, with the company currently only 30 days into a 90-day reprieve from the US Commerce Department’s ban which prevents US companies from trading with the Chinese giant.

        While there is a possibility that this ban will be extended again and again, there is also the possibility that come December Huawei will no longer have access to Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

        On smartphones, Huawei is working on Harmony OS to replace Android. While this operating system could run on the desktop it would need a lot more development.

        There is however a readymade free OS for the desktop already, Linux, and today Betanews reports that Huawei has started selling their MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro running the OS in China.

      • Linux In, Windows Out: Huawei Laptops Coming With Deepin Linux Pre-Installed

        The mid-May sanction has forced the Chinese tech giant to look for alternatives, and while everybody knew Linux was the first option, Huawei has been working hard on its very own operating system as well.

        Called HongMeng, this project eventually turned to be a platform for IoT devices, but it can easily convert to mobile and desktop if needed.

        However, Linux appears to be Huawei’s choice in the short term, and the company thus launched the very first devices running this operating system in its home market.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • Talking About Communities and ‘People Powered’ with Leo Laporte

        I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the TWiT team and more specifically Leo Laporte. Years ago I used to co-host FLOSS Weekly on their network and occasionally I pop over to the studio for a natter with Leo.

        With ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘ coming out, I thought it would be fun to hop over there. Leo graciously agreed and we recorded an episode of their show, Triangulation.

      • Linux Action News 123

        Speed is the big story around GNOME 3.34, two new major Firefox security features start to roll out, and we explain the CentOS 8 delay.

        Plus our thoughts on the PineTime, and more.

    • Kernel Space
      • Linux 5.3 Released
      • Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

        Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8.

      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Released By Linus Torvalds With Support For AMD Navi GPUs

        After 8 release candidates, Linus Torvalds has finally released Linux Kernel 5.3. It is a major upgrade that brings many new features in terms of better hardware support, changes specific to Arm architecture and a couple of bug fixes.

        The extra release candidate RC8, as Torvalds says, was because of his busy travel schedule. Nonetheless, RC8 has allowed developers to bring in some essential bug fixes.

      • Graphics Stack
        • Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D

          Now that the first beta of Qt 5.14 is getting closer, it is time to start talking about one of the big new features. We cannot possibly cover all the details around the graphics stack improvements and the road to Qt 6 in one post, so in part 1 and 2 we will describe the background and take a closer look at what 5.14 will ship with, and then dive into the technical details and future directions in another set of posts later on.

        • Linux Drivers Entries Suggest two APU AMD Lines in 2020

          A Linux patch reveals that AMD is actively working on two APU series, Dali and Renoir. If chatter is correct then Renoir is to focus on the mobile and the desktop market whereas Dali will be targeted at budget-friendly small form factor builds and mobile systems.

          Renoir likely will be making use of Vega architecture (not NAVI). However, the processor cores would be likely be based on Zen 2 at a 7nm fabrication process.

    • Applications
      • Feh is a light-weight command-line image viewer for Linux

        The default image viewer in most Linux distros is a fine option for many users, but if you want a distraction free alternative, Feh is a good option.

        Feh’s interface is as barebones as it gets as it does not have any toolbars or buttons but is a command line interface application; because of that, it is very light on resources and still easy enough to use even for users who shy away from using the command line whenever possible.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Distributions
      • Reviews
        • EndlessOS | Review from an openSUSE User

          EndlessOS is a distribution of Linux I have been watching from afar and almost dabbled with several times. Unfortunately for me and my biases, I didn’t take the time to get to know this distribution sooner. This is an incredibly interesting project that has been given a lot of time and care with plenty of thought. In no way should Endless ever be confused with a casual passion project. This is a serious, well designed and well thought out distribution of Linux that should be part of any Linux user’s growth in an open source enthusiastenthusiest.

          Bottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.@endlessglobalBottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.

        • BlackWeb 1.2

          BlackWeb is a penetration and security testing distribution based on Debian. The project’s website presents the distribution’s features as follows:

          BlackWeb is a Linux distribution aimed at advanced penetration testing and security auditing. BlackWeb contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering. Starting from an appropriately configured LXDE desktop manager it offers stability and speed. BlackWeb has been designed with the aim of achieving the maximum performance and minimum consumption of resources.

          There are 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds of BlackWeb available on the distribution’s website. I downloaded the 64-bit build which is 2.6GB in size. Booting from the media brings up a menu asking if we would like to try BlackWeb’s live desktop, run the installer or run the graphical installer. Taking the live desktop options presents us with a graphical login screen where we can sign in with the username “root” and the password “blackweb”.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • Debian Family
        • Sam Hartman: Free as in Sausage Making: Inside the Debian Project

          Recently, we’ve been having some discussion around the use of non-free software and services in doing our Debian work. In judging consensus surrounding a discussion of Git packaging, I said that we do not have a consensus to forbid the use of non-free services like Github. I stand behind that consensus call. Ian Jackson, who initially thought that I misread the consensus later agreed with my call.

          I have been debating whether it would be wise for me as project leader to say more on the issue. Ultimately I have decided to share my thoughts. Yes, some of this is my personal opinion. Yet I think my thoughts resonate with things said on the mailing list; by sharing my thoughts I may help facilitate the discussion.

          We are bound together by the Social Contract. Anyone is welcome to contribute to Debian so long as they follow the Social Contract, the DFSG, and the rest of our community standards. The Social Contract talks about what we will build (a free operating system called Debian). Besides SC #3 (we will not hide problems), the contract says very little about how we will build Debian.

          What matters is what you do, not what you believe. You don’t even need to believe in free software to be part of Debian, so long as you’re busy writing or contributing to free software. Whether it’s because you believe in user freedom or because your large company has chosen Debian for entirely pragmatic reasons, your free software contributions are welcome.

          I think that is one of our core strengths. We’re an incredibly diverse community. When we try to tie something else to what it means to be Debian beyond the quality of that free operating system we produce, judged by how it meets the needs of our users, we risk diminishing Debian. Our diversity serves the free software community well. We have always balanced pragmatic concerns against freedom. We didn’t ignore binary blobs and non-free firmware in the kernel, but we took the time to make sure we balanced our users’ needs for functional systems against their needs for freedom. By being so diverse, we have helped build a product that is useful both to people who care about freedom and other issues. Debian has been pragmatic enough that our product is wildly popular. We care enough about freedom and do the hard work of finding workable solutions that many issues of software freedom have become mainstream concerns with viable solutions.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • MIT scientist defends pedophile Jeffrey Epstein [Ed: This headline is patently false. Stallman defends all sorts of crazy things, but he did not “defend Epstein” as corporate media keeps telling us (probably distorting the story intentionally).]

          Richard Stallman, a well-known MIT computer scientist who’s previously suggested that President Donald Trump stole the 2016 presidential election, has been accused of not only defending deceased billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes but also smearing his victims.

        • Epstein Victim Likely Was Willing, MIT Scientist Says [Ed: Check what Stallman actually said. Nothing like what these headlines claim. Tactless? Sure. Even tasteless. But this is distortion.]

          MIT’s Jeffrey Epstein awkwardness isn’t going away yet. Days after the director of the MIT Media Lab resigned after being accused of accepting and covering up donations from Epstein, emails have surfaced that show a famed computer scientist excusing sexual assault. Richard Stallman wrote that it’s likely that a woman who says she was recruited for sex at age 16 was “entirely willing,” the Daily Beast reports, logic that would excuse the late Marvin Minsky, who founded MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab.

        • MIT computer scientist describes Jeffrey Epstein victim as ‘entirely willing’ in alleged sexual assault
        • [libreplanet-discuss] Is Stallman nuts? Remarkably, in order to make their allegations against Stallman, both Selam G. and Edward Ongweso Jr. must speak untruthfully about what Stallman wrote. Selam G., for example, writes: "…and then [Stallman] says that an enslaved child could, somehow, be "entirely willing"." Yet, what Stallman actually wrote was that if the victim were being coerced by Epstein, he thinks it most likely that she would have been directed to conceal that coercion from Minsky and others. The two statements are very different. What Salem G. falsely attributes to Stallman would indeed be very damning -- but it is not what Stallman wrote at all. Edward Ongweso Jr. offers this slander: "Early in the thread, Stallman insists that the "most plausible scenario" is that Epstein's underage victims were "entirely willing" while being trafficked." The truth, however, is that Stallman wrote: "We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing." Two two statements are, again, very different. Ongweso Jr.'s false paraphrase is about whether the young woman was willing. Stallman's is about how, under the circumstances, the young woman might have appeared to Minsky to be willing, for example if she were directed to conceal the coercion. Accusations such as Salem G. and Ongweso Jr. make are made to cause harm to the accused. That is how they appear to be made in this context: with the aim of harming Stallman. Yet in order to accomplish this harm, both Salem G. and Ongweso Jr. must abandon the truth in favor of statements falsely attributed to Stallman. It would be appropriate, in my opinion, for both writers to retract their critical misstatements of fact.
        • Statements about Epstein

          I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

          Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

          I’m sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.

        • Richard Stallman Challenges ‘Misleading’ Coverage of His Comments on Marvin Minsky

          On MIT’s internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listerv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was “accused of assaulting” one of Epstein’s victims. Stallman argued that “the most plausible scenario” is that “she presented herself to him as entirely willing” — even if she was coerced by Epstein into doing so — whereas the phrase “assaulting” implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls “accusation inflation… Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.”

          An angry MIT alumni who was forwarded the email then “started emailing reporters — local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations” — and then not receiving quick enough responses, published it herself in a Medium essay titled “Remove Richard Stallman. And everyone else horrible in tech.” And then leaked the whole thread to Vice.

        • Preliminary fact-finding about MIT and Jeffrey Epstein

          Joi sought the gifts for general research purposes, such as supporting lab scientists and buying equipment. Because the members of my team involved believed it was important that Epstein not use gifts to MIT for publicity or to enhance his own reputation, they asked Joi to agree to make clear to Epstein that he could not put his name on them publicly. These guidelines were provided to and apparently followed by the Media Lab.

          Information shared with us last night also indicates that Epstein gifts were discussed at at least one of MIT’s regular senior team meetings, and I was present.

          I am aware that we could and should have asked more questions about Jeffrey Epstein and about his interactions with Joi. We did not see through the limited facts we had, and we did not take time to understand the gravity of Epstein’s offenses or the harm to his young victims. I take responsibility for those errors.

          While the fact finding will continue, we have already identified flaws in our processes that need to be addressed.

          I am confident that, once Goodwin Procter submits its final fact-finding to the Executive Committee and me, and the Provost’s internal review is complete, MIT will have the tools to improve our review and approval processes and turn back to the central work of the Institute.

      • Programming/Development
        • Constraint programming by example

          There are many different ways to solve problems in computing. You might “brute force” your way to a solution by calculating as many possibilities as you can, or you might take a procedural approach and carefully establish the known factors that influence the correct answer. In constraint programming, a problem is viewed as a series of limitations on what could possibly be a valid solution. This paradigm can be applied to effectively solve a group of problems that can be translated to variables and constraints or represented as a mathematic equation. In this way, it is related to the Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP).

          Using a declarative programming style, it describes a general model with certain properties. In contrast to the imperative style, it doesn’t tell how to achieve something, but rather what to achieve. Instead of defining a set of instructions with only one obvious way to compute values, constraint programming declares relationships between variables within constraints. A final model makes it possible to compute the values of variables regardless of direction or changes. Thus, any change in the value of one variable affects the whole system (i.e., all other variables), and to satisfy defined constraints, it leads to recomputing the other values.

        • Samuel Sutch: Why Python Has Become an Industry Favorite Among Programmers

          With the world stepping towards a new age of technology development, it isn’t hard to imagine a future that will be full of screens. And if so be the case then, demand for people with strong programming skills will definitely rise with more number of people required to develop and support the applications. Python Training is always a good idea for those wishes to be a part of this constantly developing industry. Python language is not only easy to grasp, but emphasizes less on syntax which is why a few mistakes here and there doesn’t give as much trouble as some other languages does.

  • Leftovers
    • Defence/Aggression
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • The World’s Most Important Political Prisoner

        We are now just one week away from the end of Julian Assange’s uniquely lengthy imprisonment for bail violation. He will receive parole from the rest of that sentence, but will continue to be imprisoned on remand awaiting his hearing on extradition to the USA – a process which could last several years.

    • Environment
      • Naomi Klein: ‘We Are Seeing the Beginnings of the Era of Climate Barbarism’

        In a North American context, it’s the greatest taboo of all to actually admit that there are going to be limits. You see that in the way Fox News has gone after the Green New Deal—they are coming after your hamburgers! It cuts to the heart of the American dream—every generation gets more than the last, there is always a new frontier to expand to, the whole idea of settler-colonial nations like ours. When somebody comes along and says, actually, there are limits, we’ve got some tough decisions, we need to figure out how to manage what’s left, we’ve got to share equitably—it is a psychic attack. And so the response [on the left] has been to avoid, and say no, no, we’re not coming to take away your stuff, there are going to be all kinds of benefits. And there are going to be benefits: We’ll have more livable cities, we’ll have less polluted air, we’ll spend less time stuck in traffic, we can design happier, richer lives in so many ways. But we are going to have to contract on the endless, disposable consumption side.

      • NaomiKlein: ‘We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism’
      • Globalwarming hot spots pass safe limit

        A study says Earth’s hot spots have already warmed by more than the safe limit for avoiding dangerous climate change.

      • Why DeSmog Is Joining a Global News Collaboration to ‘Cover Climate Now’

        Since then, we’ve been telling the stories overlooked by mainstream media: debunking early arguments of climate science deniers, exposing their funding sources and networks, and examining the questionable claims (and finances) of the “fracking revolution” that has contributed to the climate crisis, just to name a few.

      • Attacks on Greta Thunberg Are About More Than Anti-Environmentalism

        “Freak yachting accidents do happen…”

      • How to Live With the Climate Crisis Without Becoming a Nihilist

        The climate crisis has moved into everyday life and it can feel overwhelming.Hurricane Dorian, which left more than 70,000 people homeless, was an instance of this climate breakdown. A hotter ocean means stronger storms, a higher sea means worse flooding, a hotter atmosphere means more rain. Worsening wildfires in California and elsewhere…

      • Energy
        • Drone attacks cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half

          Moreover, the attacks come at a sensitive time for the oil markets in general and for Aramco in particular, which is preparing to list a portion of its shares in what is expected to be the largest initial public offering ever. In preparation for its listing, Saudi Arabia has been keen to show both that it can support the oil price and that it can produce crude reliably, despite mounting security threats. Recent events reveal the limits of its ability to do either.

        • Trump authorizes use of emergency oil reserve after Saudi attacks

          “Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”

      • Wildlife/Nature
        • Instagram is helping drive a black market for succulent poachers

          While there are documented cases of succulent poaching in dating back at least two decades, officials say it has recently increased in frequency and severity. Plant experts tell Salon poachers take these plants from private and public properties. And such poaching is destroying California’s coastal ecosystem, already compromised by invasive plants and human development.

          [...]

          Suba added that people don’t need poachers to enjoy these plants, noting that they are easy to grow. A pinch of seeds, he said, can produce ten thousand plants.

    • Finance
      • Teaching Democrats to Talk About Socialism

        It doesn’t matter who the Democratic nominee for president is next year, they will be attacked for being “socialist.”  It will be relentless and merciless.  The problem is that none of the current candidates know how to talk about socialism, so they always seem to be on the defensive.  They’re always back on their heels, explaining, evading, apologizing.

      • From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing’s Glass House

        I don’t know about you, but I take a teeny weeny bit of offense when a guy in a glass house lobs a great big stone and expects me not to notice the sound of shattering. Which brings me to National Public Radio.

        [...]

        This had me picking through the shards when they went on to explain that Lansing comes to NPR from the United States Agency for Global Media, a federally-funded organization whose express mission is to interfere in journalism by doing it, in such as way as to promote American policy values all across the world.

        NPR’s new CEO story came with a picture of Lansing in his capacity as CEO of USAGM, testifying in Congress about the scourge of Russian media meddling. “The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching, malign influence campaigns,” he said.

      • Reasons for Optimism

        The arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern. Whenever privilege and power conspire to pull us backward, we eventually rally and move forward.

      • Auto Workers Vote to Strike at General Motors Plants

        The United Auto Workers union announced Sunday that its roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. would go on strike just before midnight because contentious talks on a new contract had broken down.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Trapped, alone and ‘desperate to come home.’ American siblings barred from leaving China

        The State Department has warned Americans about China’s growing use of exit bans – stating in a Jan. 3 travel advisory that Chinese authorities have sometimes used exit bans to keep Americans in China for years.

        “China uses exit bans coercively,” the State Department cautioned, “to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations, to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.”

      • Israel: Two Elections, One Apartheid State

        Israelis are getting ready to head to the polls for the second time in 2019. Israel’s last national elections were five months ago in April, ending in a razor-tight finish with Netanyahu’s Likud party winning 35 Knesset seats and the Blue and White party winning 35 Knesset seats.

      • 3 Democratic Candidates Call for Kavanaugh’s Impeachment

        At least three Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a new, uninvestigated, allegation of sexual impropriety when he was in college.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Should apps share details of women’s menstruation and sex lives with Facebook and other sites? Some already do

        Aside from the high level of intrusion this kind of tracking represents, there’s another worrying aspect. Judging by the 187,000 reviews of Maya on Google Play, almost nobody is aware of how their most personal information is being passed around. That’s not a surprise: Privacy International had to use some fairly sophisticated software tools in order to study the data flows from these period tracking apps. Few general users would be able to do that, even if it occurred to them to try. But the more sensitive the personal data that is being collected, the stronger should be the protections to keep it safe at all times, and the greater should be the transparency about how it used.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • India: Free Kashmiris Arbitrarily Detained

        Indian authorities should immediately release detained Kashmiris who have not been charged with a recognizable offense.

      • China: Xinjiang Children Separated from Families

        Chinese authorities should immediately release to their families children held in “child welfare” institutions and boarding schools in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should cease unnecessarily separating Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim children from their families. 

    • Restrictions
      • Congress Is Investigating Apple’s Repair Monopoly

        For years, the independent repair community has said that Apple has engaged in anticompetitive behavior by refusing to sell parts to repair shops who are not “authorized” by the company. The company has also lobbied heavily against so called right-to-repair legislation, which would require it and other electronics companies to sell parts and tools to the general public. It has sued independent repair companies for using aftermarket and refurbished parts and worked with the Department of Homeland Security to seize unauthorized repair parts from small businesses both at customs and from individual shops. And, as the committee’s letter notes, Apple cut a deal with Amazon that restricted who is allowed to sell refurbished Apple devices on Amazon.

        Apple has made small strides toward opening up the repair ecosystem. Earlier this month, the company said it would begin to sell repair parts to certain independent repair shops, though it has not said how much they will cost or what parts will be available.

        The internal communications are due to the committee on October 14.

    • Monopolies
      • Copyrights
        • Platform Exclusives Could Boost Piracy, UK Govt Report Notes

          One of the prerequisites of beating piracy is that content is available legally for a fair price. In recent years, however, movies and music are increasingly becoming fragmented over a variety of paid subscription services. According to a UK Government report, this may be the reason why piracy is making a comeback.

        • UK ‘Pirate’ IPTV Users’ Favorite Channels “Are Free-to-Air”

          TV viewers in the UK are blessed with a wealth of channels provided free-to-air, such as the world-famous BBC and ITV selections. Interestingly, however, the operator of a ‘pirate’ IPTV service says that people are increasingly turning to platforms like his to access the same channels due to a better viewing experience.

Richard Stallman’s Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates’ Vastly Worse Role

Monday 16th of September 2019 02:19:54 AM

All attention has been shifted


Reference: Media manipulation

Summary: It’s easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman’s personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant

“Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone,” Richard Stallman said a long time ago.

It certainly feels like politics or social issues are now being weaponised against Free software. I’ll explain. Please read the whole article before leaping to any conclusions (I am not defending Stallman but adding some context, instead).

“His views are not a crime and don’t imply behaviour that constitutes a crime.”Stallman’s views on underage sex (he typically means adolescents/teens) go a long way back. This isn’t new. At least 8 years or about a decade ago he wrote about it on his Web site, typically citing some news reports and interpreting various scenarios from a moral and legal perspective. I don’t share his views. The vast majority of people don’t share such views, either. It’s not a crime to merely express such views. ESR expresses similar views in his blog.

There’s no need to try to defend these statements; it’s possible to support the man’s work in the area of software while politely disagreeing with him on lots of other things, including politics (some people cannot tell the difference).

His views are not a crime and don’t imply behaviour that constitutes a crime. He did not commit a crime. Cordially agreeing with him on Software Freedom while strongly disagreeing with him on those other things is a perfectly reasonable stance to have.

With that in mind, we assume a lot of readers still don’t know what it’s all about. Maybe it’s better that way. Maybe worse.

“Stallman is, without a doubt, not happy about it. It’s a crisis to his reputation and credibility.”We’ve just mentioned it in our latest daily links (in the title even!) and there’s an almost-complete compilation of coverage here (blog posts and press reports). If we’ve missed something, let us know. Our goal is to merely document those things.

Stallman is, without a doubt, not happy about it. It’s a crisis to his reputation and credibility. We’re a lot less likely to ever hear/see the explanation he said he was working on (about his Microsoft visit which we covered here [1, 2, 3, 4]). He has a far bigger reputation issue to deal with at this moment.

Some readers wrote messages to us — messages to that effect (that he will probably have bigger issues if not scandals to deal with right now). These readers also took note of how it helps distract from the scandal Bill Gates found himself in last week — to the point of having his PR people bombarding the media with face-saving PR and excuses for nearly a week (if people search the Web for information they’re likely to see dishonest denials and distractions rather than original, factual reports).

“To Meeks this is nothing new; to a lot of Free software developers and hackers this is not new. A lot of them very well know about Stallman’s views on sexuality.”Stallman’s views are hardly even new views; they have been public as well (for a long time). I’ve known about these for about a decade and saw them blasted in various forums about “Linux”. Those aren’t a secret; they’ve never been secret. The main news is a particular exchange echoing these views. It’s about a few E-mails. The negative press still isn’t ending and there’s lots more in ‘social’ media (e.g. here) and sites of developers. Michael Meeks (known for LibreOffice/GNOME mostly) wrote on Saturday: “Luckily I don’t look to RMS for ethical statements on sexuality to try to live by…”

To Meeks this is nothing new; to a lot of Free software developers and hackers this is not new. A lot of them very well know about Stallman’s views on sexuality. Some call it gross, obscene, and perverse. Peculiar? Unusual? For sure. Has he done something illegal? No. Developers have known about it for a long time and the media already pointed out his joke about making love to flowers and his “former Personal Ad”; it says “(Currently for amusement only.)”

How about this one or various other forum posts? Maybe Stallman overuses terms like “sex” — sometimes failing to foresee how the humour would be (mis)comprehended. There may also be infidelity issues, but again, this is not a crime.

“This whole Stallman focus/angle helps distract from Bill Gates’ direct links to Epstein and bribery of MIT’s Media Lab (where Stallman is/was), via Epstein himself.”The reaction to press reports (which we won’t reproduce here) has been mostly anger, sometimes disappointment and rarely fury. Yes, we saw more strongly-worded responses from other developers and few which were sort of understanding. A lot of people made it clear that they don’t share Stallman’s view on the subject. Neither do I.

But putting ethics in perspective, let’s look what this media storm helps distract from. In fact, some readers wrote to us about it. They want to point this out.

This whole Stallman focus/angle helps distract from Bill Gates’ direct links to Epstein and bribery of MIT’s Media Lab (where Stallman is/was), via Epstein himself.

Again, Stallman’s views do not reflect his own actions; we got more mail to that effect, some urging a focus on more direct connections to Epstein. Bill Gates has those connections; Stallman hasn’t.

Remember that it’s not Stallman who met Epstein, even after the sexual crimes were known; it wasn’t him who flew the “Lolita Express”. That was Bill Gates of Microsoft. He met him in person even after he had been informed of these crimes. Why?

“Remember that it’s not Stallman who met Epstein, even after the sexual crimes were known; it wasn’t him who flew the “Lolita Express”. That was Bill Gates of Microsoft. He met him in person even after he had been informed of these crimes.”It wasn’t Stallman whose house got raided for child porn. That too was Bill Gates of Microsoft. Stallman doesn’t have child porn. Bill Gates' house does. It was reported in the mainstream media 4 years ago. Various associates of Bill Gates are also connected to Epstein and Epstein decided to leave one of them lots of inheritance money. Those are facts that cannot be denied, only distracted from.

It wasn’t a GNU developer who admitted that he had molested/raped kids (and was arrested for that months ago). That was Microsoft Peter, who is still in prison (his employer has collapsed since, partly due to severe credibility issues). Microsoft Peter spent nearly a decade attacking GNU/Linux constantly; he also played an instrumental role in the openwashing of Microsoft and pushing the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie. He acted as Microsoft’s PR courier and came to dominate the Open Source section (all of the articles in that section were about Microsoft when he was arrested).

It wasn’t and isn’t GNU people pushing child porn; that’s what Microsoft does. Microsoft's stance on child porn may shock you. This has to be read to be believed! I was rather shocked by it myself…

The latest bunch of reports about Epstein will definitely haunt Bill Gates for some time to come (maybe decades); no matter how many press companies he has bribed for reputation laundering, as he still does, quite a few outlets still report on it. They dig deeper and find a growing number of connections between Gates and Epstein. This won’t be good for his fake ‘charity’. It’s used for lobbying and bribery, including of media outlets all around the world.

Can someone explain to us why bribing colleges (or admissions) is an arrestable offence when you’re ‘only’ a celebrity and not a crime when you’re a famous rich criminal (found guilty already)?

“Bribing colleges (or admissions) is not hard, especially when you have a fake ‘charity’ and can bribe the universities/colleges ‘upstream’ (above admissions), as a certain college dropout does a lot, under the guise of ‘charity’.”There’s lots of press about an arrest for that (in recent days; it’s everywhere).

Bribing colleges (or admissions) is not hard, especially when you have a fake ‘charity’ and can bribe the universities/colleges ‘upstream’ (above admissions), as a certain college dropout does a lot, under the guise of ‘charity’. On at least one occasion (MIT) he made the payment through Epstein himself; that’s how close they are.

Speaking of bought media, on numerous occasions over the years Gates bribed NPR (we covered that several times before). Now NPR is a megaphone of Microsoft with its truly hypocritical and laughable statements [1, 2]. PR or NPR? Follow Bill’s money.

We’re supposed to think Microsoft is some sort of moralistic company or ethical authority. That’s what NPR basically tells us, having received untold millions from Bill Gates through his so-called ‘charity’. This sort of reputation laundering is why the Saudis, Epstein and Gates pay all sorts of institutions. That’s nothing new. They know what they pay for. Microsoft loves being Microsoft. This attracts the world’s worst offenders because they love working for a company that is above the law because of "connections" (it’s still bribing officials).

“A lot is being gained here by Microsoft; they’re shaming GNU developers by association — as it to imply that by contributing to GNU they engage in pedophilia — in the same way that Torvalds was shamed in the media a year ago until he took a month-long break.”When the corporate media wants to paint Stallman as a criminal (by innuendo, citing personal E-mails) it can ignore much bigger things, such as the above. As one reader put it, there are quotas for writers per topic, so when they focus on Stallman they can excuse not covering similar stories about Gates and MIT. As we noted here recently, citing another reader who is deeply familiar with Microsoft, media companies seem to be deflecting to Google in order to distract from Microsoft's vastly worse abuses of the same kind.

Suffice to say, we don’t mean to insinuate an elaborate ‘conspiracy’. Nothing is intended to suggest some Gates-coordinated campaign against Stallman (it all started with a blog post actually); the way the media picks it up, however, is a tad interesting. Even Fox News picked it up over the weekend and it put Stallman’s face at the forefront (Fox is owned by a close friend of Gates, Mr. Rupert Murdoch).

“Torvalds hasn’t been the same since.”A lot is being gained here by Microsoft; they’re shaming GNU developers by association — as it to imply that by contributing to GNU they engage in pedophilia — in the same way that Torvalds was shamed in the media a year ago until he took a month-long break. Thinly-veiled accusations from self-professed feminists started it. Need we add that the person who calls for removal of Stallman is the same person who did this to Torvalds half a decade ago (piggybacking those very same feminists)? Torvalds hasn’t been the same since. He’s weak. He has been quiet since then; he’s not allowed to criticise anything without huge backlash. In that sense, he lost a lot of his authority over his own project. Microsoft is happy to take advantage [1, 2]. Torvalds has not even expressed an opinion on exFAT. Radio silence. Linux is becoming Windows in file systems space (Torvalds used to bemoan those things, e.g. case-insensitive filesystems). Nothing to see here, move along…

The main filesystems maintainer of Linux has already been slandered as “rape apologist” by the same person (as above). He did object to exFAT, even on the mailing lists. It rests on facts, not bigotry. It’s about law and technicality.

There’s a growing push in various YouTube channels, readers have told us, to remove both Stallman and Torvalds (founders of GNU and Linux, respectively). Rendering them invisibles (from the public scene). If that happens, the effect will be devastating. For morale, for leadership, for identity…

We know who wishes to take their place or replace them. It’s not hard to see. Their agenda is a matter of public record.

Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

Sunday 15th of September 2019 11:49:19 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Linux VR Headset

      Since most VR Headsets support Windows platforms today, there are very few options for Linux users. Despite its support, many people have faced troubles setting up and running their Headsets on Linux. However, not anymore. The VR gaming experience is now getting better!

      The all-new Xrdesktop is an open-source development that lets you work with various desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. Since this project is under progress right now, we can hope for more features like Steam, Valve and other platforms for gaming and Virtual Reality experience.

      In addition, the Xrdesktop will also offer integration with Windows as well. Once completed, it will be a great step towards traditional Linux desktop environments. The program is available for installation in both packages for Ubuntu Linux and Arch Linux.

    • VRChat for Linux

      VRChat is a massive multiplayer online virtual reality platform launched in 2017 by VRChat Inc. The game was initially released for Microsoft Windows and was accessible by Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and regular PC users. It was later launched for Oculus Quest platforms in May 2019

      VRChat in non-technical terms is a meeting ground where you can create your own world and avatar, play games, watch anything you like, and just discover as you would in real life. It has players from around the world who you can be friends with during your time while playing. For anyone getting their hands on VRChat for the first time, follow the guide to get started. Also, find out how to download VRChat if you are a Linux user.

    • Top 5 VR games to play on Linux

      The gaming world has also evolved a lot and the current trends are very VR oriented. A large number of games are being ported to VR systems along with regular releases. The good news about this is that developers are also acknowledging the need for stable releases for VR games on Linux systems.

    • Desktop
      • Huawei embraces deepin Linux as Microsoft Windows 10 future remains uncertain

        Huawei makes some of the best laptops around — the company actually puts Apple’s design team to shame. This focus on elegance cannot be said for many other Windows PC manufacturers, as they often just set their sights on cutting corners to keep prices down.

        And that is why Donald Trump’s xenophobic attacks on Huawei are so tragic. Huawei’s computers and smartphones are wonderful, but with uncertainty about access to Windows and proper Android (with Google apps), consumers are correct to be a bit concerned.

      • Op-Ed: Some Huawei laptops in China now come loaded with Deepin Linux

        For its smartphones Huawei has been using Google’s Android operating system (OS). It can still use the system but only the open source version that lacks key features and important apps that the proprietary system had. Huawei has developed its own Harmony OS but so far is used only in smart TVs. It is not clear yet if it will be developed for smart phones.

        In the case of Huawei laptops Huawei had been using Windows 10 another US product by Microsoft. However, in China it is now replacing Windows 10 by Deepin Linux a Chinese release of Linux. There are numerous Linux versions most of them free.

      • Huawei releases Linux variants of the MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro

        The prices for the three Huawei Linux laptops are advertised as 5,399 yuan (~US$763) for the MateBook 13, 5,699 yuan (~US$805) for the practically identical but slightly larger MateBook 14, and 8,699 yuan (US$1,229) for the high-end MateBook X Pro. The three devices are scheduled for availability in September, but it’s not known if Huawei plans on releasing laptops operating on Deepin OS outside of China.

    • Server
      • SUSE Enhances Delivery of Modern Containerized and Cloud Native Applications

        SUSE® today announced updates to its application delivery solutions that help customers accelerate production of modern containerized and cloud native applications. These updates advance SUSE’s delivery and support of solutions to create, deploy and manage workloads anywhere – on premise, hybrid and multi-cloud – with exceptional service, value and flexibility.

      • With its Kubernetes bet paying off, Cloud Foundry doubles down on developer experience

        More than 50% of the Fortune 500 companies are now using the open-source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service project — either directly or through vendors like Pivotal — to build, test and deploy their applications. Like so many other projects, including the likes of OpenStack, Cloud Foundry went through a bit of a transition in recent years as more and more developers started looking to containers — and especially the Kubernetes project — as a platform on which to develop. Now, however, the project is ready to focus on what always differentiated it from its closed- and open-source competitors: the developer experience.

      • Kubernetes in the Enterprise: A Primer

        As Kubernetes moves deeper into the enterprise, its growth is having an impact on the ecosystem at large.

        When Kubernetes came on the scene in 2014, it made an impact and continues to impact the way companies build software. Large companies have backed it, causing a ripple effect in the industry and impacting open source and commercial systems. To understand how K8S will continue to affect the industry and change the traditional enterprise data center, we must first understand the basics of Kubernetes.

      • Google Cloud rolls out Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes

        Google Cloud is trialling alpha availability of a new platform for data scientists and engineers through Kubernetes.

        Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes combines open source, machine learning and cloud to help modernise big data resource management.

        The alpha availability will first start with workloads on Apache Spark, with more environments to come.

      • Google announces alpha of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes

        Not surprisingly, Google, the company that created K8s, thinks the answer to that question is yes. And so, today, the company is announcing the Alpha release of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes (K8s Dataproc), allowing Spark to run directly on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)-based K8s clusters. The service promises to reduce complexity, in terms of open source data components’ inter-dependencies, and portability of Spark applications. That should allow data engineers, analytics experts and data scientists to run their Spark workloads in a streamlined way, with less integration and versioning hassles.

      • IBM
        • Fedora Is Beginning To Spin Workstation & Live Images For POWER

          If you are running the likes of the Raptor Blackbird for a POWER open-source desktop and wanting to run Fedora on it, currently you need to use the Fedora “server” CLI installer and from there install the desired packages for a desktop. But moving forward, Fedora is beginning to spin Workstation and Live images for PPC64LE.

          Complementing Fedora’s Power Architecture images of Fedora Everything and Fedora Server, Workstation and Live images are being assembled. This is much more convenient for those wanting an IBM POWER Linux desktop thanks to the success of the Raptor Blackbird with most Linux distributions just offering the server/CLI (non-desktop) images by default for PPC64LE.

        • Are Application Servers Dying a Slow Death?

          There has been concern for nearly five years application servers are dead. Truth be told, they are not dead, but is their usage in decline? The simple answer is yes. Over the years, it appears corporate environments have decided the “return on investment” is not there when looking at Java application servers. On the surface, one might assume that the likes of WebSphere or WebLogic might be the ones in decline due to cost. Perhaps it is just affecting the proprietary choices, while their open source based derivatives are growing or remaining steady? Appears not. Whichever Java application server you choose, all of them are in a state of decline.

          Whether it be proprietary options such as WebSphere or WebLogic, or open source alternatives JBoss or Tomcat, all are in decline based on employment listings we review. However, they are not declining at the same pace. From our collection of data, WebSphere and WebLogic’s decline has been more muted. The rate of reduction for each of these application servers is in the neighborhood of 25-35% over the last couple years. At the same time, the likes of JBoss and Tomcat have declined around 40-45%. Not a drastic difference, but one that still is notable.

        • Red Hat’s David Egts: Commercial Open Source Software to Drive Federal IT Modernization

          David Egts, chief technologist for Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) North American public sector division, advises federal agencies to adopt commercial open source software to help advance their information technology modernization efforts, GovCon Wire reported Aug. 23.

          He said Aug. 22 in an FCW thought piece that agencies should seek software vendors that are well-versed in open source technology as well as government security certifications in order to successfully modernize federal IT processes.

    • Kernel Space
      • Linux 5.3 So we've had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8. Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there's some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues. One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring the version change itself) done just before the release, and while it's very annoying, it's perhaps also instructive. What's instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn't actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do, and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that the much improved IO patterns it caused then ended up revealing a user-visible regression due to a real bug in a completely unrelated area. The actual details of that regression are not the reason I point that revert out as instructive, though. It's more that it's an instructive example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole "no regressions" kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn't change any API's, and it didn't introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a user. So it got reverted. The point here being that we revert based on user-reported _behavior_, not based on some "it changes the ABI" or "it caused a bug" concept. The problem was really pre-existing, and it just didn't happen to trigger before. The better IO patterns introduced by the change just happened to expose an old bug, and people had grown to depend on the previously benign behavior of that old issue. And never fear, we'll re-introduce the fix that improved on the IO patterns once we've decided just how to handle the fact that we had a bad interaction with an interface that people had then just happened to rely on incidental behavior for before. It's just that we'll have to hash through how to do that (there are no less than three different patches by three different developers being discussed, and there might be more coming...). In the meantime, I reverted the thing that exposed the problem to users for this release, even if I hope it will be re-introduced (perhaps even backported as a stable patch) once we have consensus about the issue it exposed. Take-away from the whole thing: it's not about whether you change the kernel-userspace ABI, or fix a bug, or about whether the old code "should never have worked in the first place". It's about whether something breaks existing users' workflow. Anyway, that was my little aside on the whole regression thing. Since it's that "first rule of kernel programming", I felt it is perhaps worth just bringing it up every once in a while. Other than that aside, I don't find a lot to really talk about last week. Drivers, networking (and network drivers), arch updates, selftests. And a few random fixes in various other corners. The appended shortlog is not overly long, and gives a flavor for the changes. And this obviously means that the merge window for 5.4 is open, and I'll start doing pull requests for that tomorrow. I already have a number of them in my inbox, and I appreciate all the people who got that over and done with early, Linus
      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

        Linus Torvalds announced today the release of the Linux 5.3 kernel series, a major that brings several new features, dozens of improvements, and updated drivers.

        Two months in the works and eight RC (Release Candidate) builds later, the final Linux 5.3 kernel is now available, bringing quite some interesting additions to improve hardware support, but also the overall performance. Linux kernel 5.3 had an extra Release Candidate because of Linus Torvalds’ travel schedule, but it also brought in a few needed fixes.

        “Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad Btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues,” said Linus Torvalds.

      • Linux 5.3 Kernel Released With AMD Navi Support, Intel Speed Select & More

        Linus Torvalds just went ahead and released the Linux 5.3 kernel as stable while now opening the Linux 5.4 merge window.

        There was some uncertainty whether Linux 5.3 would have to go into extra overtime due to a getrandom() system call issue uncovered by an unrelated EXT4 commit. Linus ended up reverting the EXT4 commit for the time being.

      • Intel Continues Investing In Execute-Only Memory Support For The Linux Kernel

        One of the steps Intel’s open-source developers continue working on for Linux is supporting “execute only memory” that will already work with some of today’s processors and serve as another defense for bettering the security of systems particularly in a virtualized environment.

        Ultimately they have been working on an implementation to create execute-only memory for user-space programs similar to work already done for other architectures as well as the kernel itself. This “not-readable” memory would help when paired with other precautions like address space layout randomization (ASLR) for leaking less data about the system (i.e. where different bits are in memory) to make other exploits more difficult.

      • AMD Dali APU Spotted On Linux Patch, Mobile Devices Could Have Budget APU in 2020

        Salvador Dali apparently is going to be the inspiration for the next generation of APUs besides the Renoir APUs that have already been discussed because we’re actually finding out in Linux drivers that there is potentially a new AMD APU class called Dali. It’s not clear what this is going to be, especially since Renoir is supposed to be Zen 2 CPU with Vega graphics. Maybe, potentially this is nice pit balling Dali is likely going to be Zen + CPU with Nova graphics and they’re just gonna complicate everything in differentiating APUs. Last week updated Linux patch appeared on Freedesktop.

      • Linux 5.4 Cycle To Begin With exFAT Driver, EPYC Improvements & New GPU Support

        The Linux 5.3 kernel is expected to be released as stable today and that will mark the opening of the two-week Linux 5.4 merge window. Here is a look ahead at some of the material expected to make it into this next version of the Linux kernel that will also be the last major stable release of 2019.

      • This PPA Lets You Try an exFat Kernel Module Based on Samsung Code

        A new PPA gives Ubuntu users the opportunity to try an alternative exFAT kernel module based on the latest Samsung code.

        You may recall that, back in August, Microsoft announced it would help bring exFAT to the Linux kernel under a permissible license. This move ended years of legal uncertainty and should allow exFAT to be fully supported in the mainline Linux kernel.

      • An Alternative exFAT Linux File-System Driver Based On Samsung’s sdFAT

        While the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel cycle is finally bringing a driver for Microsoft exFAT file-system read/write support, it’s dated on an old Samsung code drop that has seen little public work over the years. Since queued for staging-next, there has been a big uptick in clean-ups and other activity, but there also exists another alternative out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver.

      • Linux Foundation
      • Graphics Stack
        • Mesa Vulkan Drivers Now Tracking Game Engine/Version For Handling More Workarounds

          Currently the Mesa OpenGL/Vulkan drivers have relied upon matching executable names for applying game/application-specific workarounds. But with Vulkan as part of the instance creation information and VkApplicationInfo it’s possible to optionally advertise the rendering engine and version in use. The Mesa Vulkan drivers are now making use of that information to allow for more uniform workarounds.

          Rather than having to match and apply workarounds to each specific game in the case of broad game engine defects, the Radeon RADV and Intel ANV drivers have introduced the infrastructure for tracking the exposed engine name and version for allowing workarounds to be applied at that higher-level rather than just each executable name.

    • Benchmarks
      • Intel’s Gallium3D Driver Is Running Much Faster Than Their Current OpenGL Linux Driver With Mesa 19.3

        Last month I did some fresh benchmarks of Intel’s new open-source OpenGL Linux driver with Mesa 19.2 and those results were looking good as tested with a Core i9 9900K. Since then, more Intel Gallium3D driver improvements have landed for what will become Mesa 19.3 next quarter. In taking another look at their former/current and new OpenGL drivers, here are fresh benchmarks of the latest code using a Core i7 8700K desktop as well as a Core i7 8550U Dell XPS laptop.

        This month so far Intel’s new Gallium3D OpenGL driver has seen OpenGL 4.6 support added, an optimization to help the Java OpenGL performance (one of the deficiencies noted by our earlier rounds of benchmarks), and other performance work.

        For some weekend benchmarking fun I tested the Core i7 8700K desktop and Dell XPS 13 laptop with Core i7 8550U graphics while comparing the OpenGL driver options. The driver state for both the i965 and Iris Gallium3D drivers were of Mesa 19.3-devel Git as of this week and also running with the near-final Linux 5.3 kernel.

    • Applications
      • Linux Shell Roundup: 15 Most Popular Open Source Linux Shells

        Unix systems have captivated the world since its inception in the 70s. One of the fundamental features that helped Linux and BSD distributions in securing their current stature is the Linux shell. The shell is one of the essential tools for many Linux aficionados due to its immense power and diverse applications. It is a command-line interface to your operating system, which allows you to perform any kind of operation depending on your criteria. Moreover, Linux shells are not just an interface but also a full-fledged scripting language with its own set of syntax and semantics.

      • MusicBrainz Picard 2.2 Released with Built-in Media Player

        MusicBrainz Picard, a cross-platform music tagger, released version 2.2 a day ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Wine or Emulation
      • Wine 4.16 Released with Improvements

        Wine (i.e “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, macOS, & BSD. Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.

    • Games
      • Pavlov VR | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

        Pavlov VR running through Steam play.

      • DiRT Rally is Currently FREE on Steam, Saving You $39.99 [Limited Offer]

        Codemasters, who publish the game, have teamed up with Steam to give away a free, fully-featured version of the game to any Steam user who wants it — saving them $39.99!

        DiRT Rally delivers an exceptional rally racing experience with more than 40 rally cars available to race on more than 70 stages.

        [...]

        You?ll need a valid Steam account (free, requires e-mail) in order to redeem the offer, as well as to download and install the game.

      • Minecraft Game Free Download for Linux

        Minecraft is a Swedish video game. Minecraft is a Sandbox and survival game developer Markus Persson. Minecraft developed and published by Mojang. The Minecraft has been described one of the most influential greatest video games in the history and won the numerous awards. The Minecraft game has been used in educational environment especially in computer systems. The game was released in November 18, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, masOS, Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • digiKam 6.3.0 is released

          We received a lot of excellent user feedback after publishing the third digiKam 6 release in August 2019. We are now proud to briefly announce the new digiKam 6.3.0, a maintenance version which consolidates this feedback and acts as an important phase of this 3-year-old project.

        • This week in KDE

          See, I told you I’d continue to blog about the cool things that have happened in KDE-land.

        • KDE’s KWin Options UI Improved, Various Other Enhancements During Akademy Week

          KDE’s annual Akademy developer conference took place this past week in Milan, Italy. But even with that in-person event the development of the KDE desktop environment didn’t let up in landing new improvements.

          While the KDE Usability & Productivity initiative is over with now KDE focusing on Wayland, consistency, and application improvements, KDE contributor Nate Graham is continuing with his weekly blog posts highlighting the usability/productivity changes and other improvements to the KDE stack.

        • KDE Akademy 2019 Recap

          After eight densely packed days Akademy 2019 is over. As always it was very nice to meet everyone again, as well as to meet some people I have been working with online for the first time in real life.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • Nostalgia is a GNOME Wallpaper App with a Twist

          Nostalgia a free GTK app for the Linux desktop that enables you to browse through official GNOME desktop wallpapers, and quickly set them as your desktop background.

          Like Ubuntu, each new release of the GNOME desktop comes bearing its own unique wallpaper (which, again like Ubuntu, tend to stay within a loose theme).

          While GNOME’s default wallpapers aren’t as well known or as revered as Ubuntu’s default wallpapers (by lieu of the fact they’re usually not used by default, i.e. so fewer people see them) they’re still high-quality pieces of art.

        • GNOME and gestures, Part 2: HdyLeaflet

          A folded HdyLeaflet, just like GtkStack, shows one of its children at any given moment, even during child transitions. The second visible child during transitions is just a screenshot. But which child is “real” and which is a screenshot? Turns out the real child is the destination one, meaning the widget switches its visible child when the animation starts. It isn’t a problem if the animation is quick and time-based, but becomes very noticeable with a gesture. Additionally, it means that starting and cancelling a gesture switches the visible child two time.

          One solution would be only switching the visible child at the end of the animation (or not at all if it was canceled). The problem is that it’s a major behavior change: applications that listen to visible-child to know when to update the widgets, or sync the property between two leaflets will break.

          Another solution would be to draw both children during transitions, but it still means that visible-child changes two times if the gesture was canceled. The problem here is similar: applications wouldn’t expect the other child to still be drawn, but at least it’s just a visual breakage. And it still means that starting and canceling the gesture would mean two visible-child changes.

          The second solution may sound better, and yet the current WIP code uses the first one.

    • Distributions
      • New Releases
        • EasyOS Buster version 2.1.3 released

          EasyOS version 2.1.3, latest in the “Buster” series, has been released. This is another incremental upgrade, however, as the last release announced on Distrowatch is version 2.1, the bug fixes, improvements and upgrades have been considerable since then. So much, that I might request the guys at Distrowatch to announce version 2.1.3.

        • EasyOS Pyro version 1.2.3 released

          Another incremental release of the Pyro series. Although this series is considered to be in maintenance mode, it does have all of the improvements as in the latest Buster release.

        • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 136 is available for testing

          the summer has been a quiet time for us with a little relaxation, but also some shifted focus on our infrastructure and other things. But now we are back with a large update which is packed with important new features and fixes.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family
        • An Easy Fix for a Stupid Mistake

          I waited a long time for Mageia 7 and for OpenMandriva Lx 4. When both distros arrived, I was very happy.

          But new distros bring changes, and sometimes it is not easy to adapt. Mageia 7 has been rock-solid: it is doing a great job in my laptop and both in my daughter’s desktop and in mine. There is one thing, though. I have been avoiding a strange mesa update that wants to remove Steam.

          OpenMandriva is also fantastic, but this new release provided options like rock, release, and rolling. When I first installed the distro, I chose rock because I was shying away from the rolling flavor. Eventually, I had to move to rolling because that was the only way in which I could manage to install Steam in both my laptop and desktop machines.

      • Arch Family
        • Manjaro 18.1 ‘Juhraya’ Released: A Beginner-friendly Arch Experience

          In response to the same, the Manjaro team clarified that it was an independent decision and no money was exchanged.

          The team also changed their stance by letting the users choose between LibreOffice and FreeOffice during the installation process. As a result of this change, Manjaro 18.1 has become the first version to give users this choice. Now, during the installation itself, you’ll be asked to choose the office suite. Alternatively, you can go without an office suite at all.

      • Debian Family
        • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities (August 2019)

          The Debian Community Team (CT) had a meeting where we discussed some of our activities, including potential new team members!

        • miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus – Oct 25-27 2019 – Call for Presentations

          We’re opening the Call for Presentations for the miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus now, until October 20, so please contribute to the MiniDebConf by proposing a talk, workshop, birds of feather (BoF) session, etc, directly on the Debian wiki: /Vaumarcus/TalkSubmissions We are aiming for talks which are somehow related to Debian or Free Software in general, see the wiki for subject suggestions. We expect submissions and talks to be held in English, as this is the working language in Debian and at this event. Registration is also still open; through the Debian wiki: Vaumarcus/Registration.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Workarea Commerce Goes Open-source

        The enterprise commerce platform – Workarea is releasing its software to the open-source community. In case you don’t already know, Workarea was built to unify commerce, content management, merchant insights, and search. It was developed upon open-source technologies since its inception like Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and Ruby on Rails. Workarea aims to provide unparalleled services in terms of scalability and flexibility in modern cloud environments. Its platform source code and demo instructions are available on GitHub here.

      • Wyoming CV Pilot develops open-source RSU monitoring system

        The team working on the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program in Wyoming have developed open-source applications for the operation and maintenance of Roadside Units (RSUs) that can be viewed by all stakeholders.

        The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot implementation includes the deployment of 75 RSUs along 400 miles (644km) of I-80. With long drive times and tough winters in the state, WYDOT needed an efficient way to monitor the performance of and manage and update these units to maintain peak performance. With no suitable product readily available, the WYDOT Connected Vehicle team developed an open-source application that allows authorized transportation management center (TMC) operators to monitor and manage each RSU at the roadside. The WYDOT team found that the application can also be used as a public-facing tool that shows a high-level status report of the pilot’s equipment.

        [...]

        For other state or local agencies and departments of transportation (DOTs) wishing to deploy a similar capability to monitor and manage RSUs, the application code has been made available on the USDOT’s Open Source Application Development Portal (OSADP). The code is downloadable and can be used and customized by other agencies free of charge. WYDOT developed this capability using USDOT funds under the CV Pilot program as open-source software and associated documentation. The application represents one of six that the program will be providing during its three phases.

      • You Too Can Make These Fun Games (No Experience Necessary)

        Making a videogame remained a bucket list item until I stumbled on an incredibly simple open source web app called Bitsy. I started playing around with it, just to see how it worked. Before I knew it, I had something playable. I made my game in a couple of hours.

      • From maverick to mainstream: why open source software is now indispensable for modern business

        Free and open source software has a long and intriguing history. Some of its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when Richard Stallman first launched the GNU project.

      • Analyst Watch: Is open source the great equalizer?

        If you had told me 25 years ago that open source would be the predominant force in software development, I would’ve laughed.

        Back then, at my industrial software gig, we were encouraged to patent as much IP as possible, even processes that seemed like common-sense business practices, or generally useful capabilities for any software developer.

        If you didn’t, your nearest competitor would surely come out with their own patent claims, or inevitable patent trolls would show up demanding fees for any uncovered bit of code.

        We did have this one developer who was constantly talking about fiddling with his Linux kernel at home, on his personal time. Interesting hobby.

      • Scientists Create World’s First Open Source Tool for 3D Analysis of Advanced Biomaterials

        Materials scientists and programmers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia and Germany’s Karlsuhe Institute of Technology have created the world’s first open source software for the 2D and 3D visualization and analysis of biomaterials used for research into tissue regeneration.

        [...]

        Scientists have already tested the software on a variety of X-ray tomography data.

        “The results have shown that the software we’ve created can help other scientists conducting similar studies in the analysis of the fibrous structure of any polymer scaffolds, including hybrid ones,” Surmenev emphasised.

      • Making Collaborative Data Projects Easier: Our New Tool, Collaborate, Is Here

        On Wednesday, we’re launching a beta test of a new software tool. It’s called Collaborate, and it makes it possible for multiple newsrooms to work together on data projects.

        Collaborations are a major part of ProPublica’s approach to journalism, and in the past few years we’ve run several large-scale collaborative projects, including Electionland and Documenting Hate. Along the way, we’ve created software to manage and share the large pools of data used by our hundreds of newsrooms partners. As part of a Google News Initiative grant this year, we’ve beefed up that software and made it open source so that anybody can use it.

      • Should open-source software be the gold standard for nonprofits?

        Prior to its relaunch, nonprofit organization Cadasta had become so focused on the technology side of its work that it distracted from the needs of partners in the field.

        “When you’re building out a new platform, it really is all consuming,” said Cadasta CEO Amy Coughenour, reflecting on some of the decisions that were made prior to her joining the team in 2018.

      • Artificial intelligence: an open source future

        At the same time, we’re seeing an increasing number of technology companies invest in AI development. However, what’s really interesting is that these companies – including the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce and Uber – are open sourcing their AI research. This move is already enabling developers worldwide to create and improve AI & Machine Learning (ML) algorithms faster. As such, open source software has become a fundamental part of enabling fast, reliable, and also secure development in the AI space. So, why all the hype around open source AI? Why are businesses of all sizes, from industry behemoths to startups, embracing open source? And where does the future lie for AI and ML as a result?

      • How open source is accelerating innovation in AI

        By eradicating barriers like high licensing fees and talent scarcity, open source is accelerating the pace of AI innovation, writes Carmine Rimi

        No other technology has captured the world’s imagination quite like AI, and there is perhaps no other that has been so disruptive. AI has already transformed the lives of people and businesses and will continue to do so in endless ways as more startups uncover its potential. According to a recent study, venture capital funding for AI startups in the UK increased by more than 200 percent last year, while a Stanford University study observed a 14-times increase in the number of AI startups worldwide in the last two years.

      • Adam Jacob Advocates for Building Healthy OSS Communities in “The War for the Soul of Open Source”

        Chef co-founder and former CTO Adam Jacob gave a short presentation at O’Reilly Open Source Software Conference (OSCON) 2019 titled “The War for the Soul of Open Source.” In his search for meaning in open source software today, Jacob confronts the notion of open source business models.

        “We often talk about open source business models,” he said. “There isn’t an open source business model. That’s not a thing and the reason is open source is a channel. Open source is a way that you, in a business sense, get the software out to the people, the people use the software, and then they become a channel, which [companies] eventually try to turn into money.”

        [...]

        In December 2018, Jacob launched the Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities (SFOSC) project to advocate for these ideas. Instead of focusing on protecting revenue models of OSS companies, the project’s contributors work together to collaborate on writing core principles, social contracts, and business models as guidelines for healthy OSS communities.

      • New Open Source Startups Emerge After Acquisition, IPO Flurry

        After a flurry of mega-acquisitions and initial public offerings of open source companies, a new batch of entrepreneurs are trying their hands at startups based on free software projects.

      • TC9 selected by NIST to develop Open Source Software for Transactive Energy Markets

        TC9, Inc. was selected by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop open source software for Transactive Energy Bilateral Markets based on the NIST Common Transactive Services.

        Under the contract, TC9 will develop open source software (OSS) for agents for a transactive energy market. The software will be used to model the use of transactive energy to manage power distribution within a neighborhood. Transactive Energy is a means to balance volatile supply and consumption in real time. Experts anticipate the use of Transactive Energy to support wide deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) across the power grid.

      • Open Source Software Allows Auterion to Move Drone Workflows into the Cloud

        “Until today, customizing operations in the MAVLink protocol required a deep understanding of complex subjects such as embedded systems, drone dynamics, and the C++ programming language,” said Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion. “With MAVSDK, any qualified mobile developer can write high-level code for complex operations, meaning more developers will be able to build custom applications and contribute to the community.”

      • Events
        • ApacheCon 2019 Keynote: James Gosling’s Journey to Open Source

          At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, James Gosling delivered a keynote talk on his personal journey to open-source. Gosling’s main takeaways were: open source allows programmers to learn by reading source code, developers must pay attention to intellectual property rights to prevent abuse, and projects can take on a life of their own.

        • 20 Years of the Apache Software Foundation: ApacheCon 2019 Opening Keynote

          At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, the opening keynote session celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), with key themes being: the history of the ASF, a strong commitment to community and collaboration, and efforts to increase contributions from the public. The session also featured a talk by astrophysicist David Brin on the potential dangers of AI.

      • Databases
        • MariaDB opens US headquarters in California

          MariaDB Corporation, the database company born as a result of forking the well-known open-source MySQL database…

        • ScyllaDB takes on Amazon with new DynamoDB migration tool

          There are a lot of open-source databases out there, and ScyllaDB, a NoSQL variety, is looking to differentiate itself by attracting none other than Amazon users. Today, it announced a DynamoDB migration tool to help Amazon customers move to its product.

        • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

          ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

        • ScyllaDB Secures $25 Million to Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-compatible API

          Fast-growing NoSQL database company raises funds to extend operations and bring new deployment flexibility to users of Amazon DynamoDB.

        • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

          ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

        • ScyllaDB powers up Alternator: an open Amazon DynamoDB API

          Companies normally keep things pretty quiet in the run up to their annual user conferences, so they can pepper the press with a bag of announcements designed to show how much market momentum and traction that have going.

          Not so with ScyllaDB, the company has been dropping updates in advance of its Scylla Summit event in what is perhaps an unusually vocal kind of way.

          [...]

          Scylla itself is a real-time big data database that is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra and is known for its ‘shared-nothing’ approach (a distributed-computing architecture in which each update request is satisfied by a single node –processor/memory/storage unit to increase throughput and storage capacity.

        • Percona Announces Full Conference Schedule for Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019

          The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019 is the premier open source database event. Percona Live conferences provide the open source database community with an opportunity to discover and discuss the latest open source trends, technologies and innovations. The conference includes the best and brightest innovators and influencers in the open source database industry.

        • Thwarting Digital Ad Fraud at Scale: An Open Source Experiment with Anomaly Detection

          Our experiment assembles Kafka, Cassandra, and our anomaly detection application in a Lambda architecture, in which Kafka and our streaming data pipeline are the speed layer, and Cassandra acts as the batch and serving layer. In this configuration, Kafka makes it possible to ingest streaming digital ad data in a fast and scalable manner, while taking a “store and forward” approach so that Kafka can serve as a buffer to protect the Cassandra database from being overwhelmed by major data surges. Cassandra’s strength is in storing high-velocity streams of ad metric data in its linearly scalable, write-optimized database. In order to handle automation for provisioning, deploying, and scaling the application, the anomaly detection experiment relies on Kubernetes on AWS EKS.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
      • Funding
        • Square Crypto Grants $100,000 to Open-Source Crypto Payment Processor

          Bitcoin (BTC)-supporting payments service Square Crypto is giving the first of what will be many grants to support open-source Bitcoin projects to BTCPay Foundation.

        • CasperLabs Raises $14.5M Series A Round, Aims to Scale Blockchain Opportunities for Everyone

          CasperLabs, the open-source blockchain platform powered by the Correct-by-Construction (CBC) Casper proof-of-stake consensus protocol, today announced it has raised $14.5M in Series A funding led by Terren Piezer, the “Zelig of Wall Street,” through his personal holding company, Acuitas Group Holdings. Other major investors include Arrington XRP Capital, Consensus Capital, Axiom Holdings Group, Digital Strategies, MW Partners, Blockchange Ventures, Hashkey Capital, and Distributed Global. The new investment will be used to accelerate product development and expand hiring of world-class engineers.

        • Akeneo raises $46 million for its product information management service

          Akeneo started as an open-source PIM application. Today, thousands of companies actively use that open-source version. But Akeneo also offers an enterprise edition with a more traditional software-as-a-service approach. The startup has managed to attract 300 clients, such as Sephora, Fossil and Auchan.

        • Where have all the seed deals gone?

          When it comes to big business, the numbers rarely lie, and the ones PitchBook and other sources have pulled together on the state of seed investing aren’t pretty. The total number of seed deals, funds raised and dollars invested in seed deals were all down in the 2015-2018 time frame, a period too long to be considered a correctable glitch.

          [...]

          Gone were the days of investing millions of dollars in tech infrastructure before writing the first line of code. At the same time, the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated and freely available open-source software provided many of the building blocks upon which to build a startup. And we can’t forget the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and, more importantly for startups, the App Store in 2008.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • MIT scientist appears to DEFEND Jeffrey Epstein
        • MIT professor defended Jeffrey Epstein associate in leaked emails, claimed victims were ‘entirely willing’

          In the email thread, leaked by MIT alum Salam Jie Gano to VICE on Friday, Stallman argued that the late Marvin Minsky – an AI pioneer who died in 2016 and is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, – had not actually assaulted anyone.

          “The word ‘assaulting’ presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex,” he wrote, referring to an article about Giuffre’s testimony against Minsky. “The most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him an entirely willing.”

        • Remove Richard Stallman

          I’m writing this because I’m too angry to work.
          I’m writing this because at 11AM on Wednesday, September 11th 2019, my friend sent me an email that was sent to an MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) mailing list.
          This email came from Richard Stallman, a prominent computer scientist.
          In it, he’s responding to a female student’s email about this Facebook event, which calls for a protest by MIT students and affiliates regarding Jeffrey Epstein’s donation.

      • Public Services/Government
        • Sandboxie’s path to open source, update on the Pentagon’s open source initiative, open source in Hollywood, and more

          In 2016, the White House mandated that each government agency had to open source at least 20 percent of its custom software within three years. There is an interesting article about this initiative from 2017 that laid out some of the excitement and challenges.

          According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon’s not even halfway there.

          In an article for Nextgov, Jack Corrigan wrote that as of July 2019, the Pentagon had released just 10 percent of its code as open source. They’ve also not yet implemented other aspects of the White House mandate, including the directive to build an open source software policy and inventories of custom code.

          According to the report, some government officials told the GAO that they worry about security risks of sharing code across government departments. They also admitted to not creating metrics that could measure their open source efforts’ successes. The Pentagon’s Chief Technology Officer cited the Pentagon’s size as the reason for not implementing the White House’s open source mandate. In a report published Tuesday, the GAO said, “Until [the Defense Department] fully implements its pilot program and establishes milestones for completing the OMB requirements, the department will not be positioned to take advantage of significant cost savings and efficiencies.”

        • GAO: DoD Not Fully Implementing Open-Source Mandates

          The Department of Defense has not fully implemented mandates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to increase its use of open-source software and release code, according to a September 10 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

          The report notes that the 2018 NDAA mandated DoD establish a pilot program on open source and a report on the program’s implementation. It also says that OMB’s M-16-21 memorandum requires all agencies to release at least 20 percent of custom-developed code as open-source, with a metric for calculating program performance.

          However, DoD has released less than 10 percent of its custom code, and had not developed a measure to calculate the performance of the pilot program. In comments to GAO, the DoD CIO’s office said there has been difficulty inventorying all of its custom source code across the department, and disagreement on how to assess the success for a performance measure. While the department worked to partially implement OMB’s policy, the department had not yet issued a policy.

        • Pentagon moves slowly on open-source software mandate amid security concerns

          The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit.

        • DOD struggles to implement open source software pilots

          The Department of Defense’s congressionally mandated efforts to create an open source software program aren’t going so well.

          DOD must release at least 20 percent of its custom software as open source through a pilot required by a 2016 Office of Management and Budget directive and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Open source software, OMB says, can encourage collaboration, “reduce costs, streamline development, apply uniform standards, and ensure consistency in creating and delivering information.”

        • GAO report on open-source software

          The Sept. 10, 2019 Government Accountability Office report finds that the Defense Department “has not fully implemented an open-source software pilot program and related Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements as mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.”

        • DOD drags feet with open-source software program due to security, implementation concerns

          The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit. Since 2016, DOD has been required by law to implement an open-source software pilot program in accordance with policy established by the Office of Management and Budget.

        • DOD pushes back on open source
        • DOD pushes back on open source
        • CONNECT Interoperability Project Shifting to the Private Sector

          The CONNECT project, an open source project that aims to increase interoperability among organizations, is transitioning from federal stewardship to the private sector and will soon be available to everyone.

          Developed ten years ago by a group of federal agencies in the Federal Health Architecture (FHA), CONNECT was a response to ONC’s original approach to a health information network. The agencies decided to build a joint health interoperability solution instead of having each agency develop its own custom solution, and they chose to make the project open source.

      • Licensing/Legal
        • Is Open Source licensing irretrievably broken?

          Jonathan Ellis is the CTO and Founder of DataStax. At ApacheCon 2019 in Las Vegas, he gave a keynote that will make many in the industry uncomfortable. The focus of that keynote was the state of open source licensing. Ellis believes that there is a problem, if not what some would call a looming crisis in how open source software licences are being used.

          He believes that the last 10 years, in particular, have seen a significant change in attitudes around what open source means. One of the big changes has been the shift from a hobbyist, part-time code development role to venture capital funded companies. Many of these like the open source model. As Ellis told Enterprise Times, making something open source is about instant exposure to a wider audience.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
        • Color Open-Sources Playbook for Population Genomics Programs

          By open-sourcing this playbook, Color is supporting global efforts to make genetics and precision health programs accessible, convenient, and cost effective, while offering responsible clinical grade return of results to all participants.

          Despite rapidly decreasing sequencing costs and growing interest in population-scale genomics, many programs have struggled to launch and scale as expected for two primary reasons.

          First, many programs have been rebuilding critical components of the architecture from the ground up, including lab infrastructure, bioinformatics, clinical interpretation & reporting, as well as secure and flexible data management systems. This process often dramatically extends timelines and forces programs to incur unnecessary costs and implementation risks.

        • Open Hardware/Modding
          • Delta X open source delta robot kit hits Kickstarter from €179

            After previously being unveiled earlier this month the Delta X open source delta robot kit has now launched via Kickstarter offering open source hardware, firmware and software for the community. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Arduino powered 3D printed open source robot kit which is now available from €179.

            The Delta X offers both a complete desktop robot and a modular kit and can be combined with a range of end effectors to complete a wide variety of different applications, offering increased speed and flexibility when compared to other robotic arm kits on the market.

          • AXIS open source 3D printer from $125

            An affordable 3D printer has launched via Kickstarter this week in the form of the AXIS 3D Printer which is priced from just £99, $125 or €115. Complete with dual 3D printing head the 3D printer is based on open source technology with “tried and tested industry standard components designed to work right, first time” say it’s creators.

          • Freemelt raises $1.6 million in investment round for open-source EBM 3D printer
          • 3D printing stethoscopes, tourniquets and crucial dialysis-machine parts in Gaza

            Tarek Loubani is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor who works with the Glia Project, a group that creates open-source designs for 3D-printable medical hardware. Their goal is to let local populations manufacture their own medical wares at prices considerably lower than in the marketplace, and in situations where — because of distance or war — it may not even be possible to ship in equipment at any price. Some of their early work has been in blockaded Gaza, for example.

            So far, Glia has designed a stethoscope that can be made for about $2.83, and a tourniquet that costs about $7 to make.

          • GameShell Kit – Open Source Portable Game Console

            This portable console has a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system that lets you play all kinds of retro games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, MAME, MD, PS1, and more. You can even create your own games if you want. Get one for yourself or build it together with your kids. Check out more details by clicking the link above.

          • Play classic games on an open-source console with GameShell: $143 (Orig. $199)
          • The GameShell Open Source Portable Game Console is 28% off today

            But when it comes to truly great games, the classics never fade. The GameShell Kit: Open Source Portable Game Console allows you to play thousands of classic games on an incredibly portable console, and you’ll even be able to create your own games using simple code—all for over 25% off at just $142.99.

      • Programming/Development
        • Hey, We’re Open Source Again! Eclipse Unveils Jakarta EE 8

          The enterprise developers’ edition of Java has gone completely open source with a new version managed entirely by the Eclipse Foundation. The Foundation released Jakarta EE 8 with a flourish yesterday.

          Jakarta took a winding road to get to this point. Originally called J2EE when released in 1999, it was renamed to Java EE in 2006. Then, Oracle bought Sun three years later, which locked the product up in Fort Larry for the best part of a decade.

          Citing a wish to make things more open, it agreed to give Java EE back to the open source community in 2017, choosing the Eclipse Foundation. While it gave the Foundation the IP rights to the code, though, it held onto the name. So Eclipse had to find another one. Hence, Jakarta.

        • Jakarta EE now operates under open, community-driven process

          After transitioning from Oracle to the Eclipse Foundation in 2017, Jakarta EE (previously known as Java EE), has reached another major milestone.

          With today’s release of the Jakarta EE 8 Full Platform and Web Profile specification, the project now has a new baseline for having an “open, vendor-neutral, community-driven process.” Now, Java vendors, developers, and consumers will have a foundation for migrating Java EE applications to a standard enterprise Java Stack.

        • The Eclipse Foundation releases Jakarta EE 8, the first truly open-source, vendor-neutral Java EE

          Yesterday, the Eclipse Foundation announced the release of the Jakarta EE 8 full platform, web profile specifications, and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). This marks the completion of Java EE’s transition to an open and vendor-neutral evolution process.

          Explaining the vision behind this release, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation said, “There are tens of thousands of companies with strategic investments in Java EE and over 10 million Java developers globally. The finalization of the Jakarta EE 8 specifications means that the transition of Java EE to our new open, vendor-neutral, and community-based process has been completed, and paves the way for an entirely new era in Java innovation for enterprise and cloud workloads.”

        • The Eclipse Foundation Releases Jakarta EE 8 Specifications; Completes Transition to Eclipse Foundation as the New Home for Open Source Cloud Native Java
        • Top 20 Best Python IDE for Linux. Some of Them are Open Source

          Python is a programming language. User can apply it for general purposes to design program from the backend web development, scientific computing, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. Moreover, it works on developing Apps, games and productivity software, and many more purposes. Python is one of the most popular and extensively used programming languages because of its easy to use and simple nature. Additionally, IDE implies an Integrated Development Environment that facilitates debugging, testing, and writing code easier way. It offers highlighting code insight, code completion, and resource management for the users.

        • Python Programming Language Is Considered Better Than Other Languages

          Python is a high-level scripting language. It is easy to learn and powerful than other languages because of its dynamic nature and simple syntax which allow small lines of code. Included indentation and object-oriented functional programming make it simple. Such advantages of Python makes it different from other languages and that’s why Python is preferred for development in companies mostly. In industries, machine learning using python has become popular. This is because it has standard libraries which are used for scientific and numerical calculations. Also, it can be operated on Linux, Windows, Mac OS and UNIX. Students who want to make future in Python are joining online video training courses and python programming tutorial.

        • Python inotify examples
        • How to work with Jupyter Notebooks in PyCharm
        • Immer, “Most Impactful Contribution” JavaScript Open Source Award Winner, Releases V4

          Alec Larson released a few days ago the fourth major iteration of award winner JavaScript library Immer, patching an important edge case. Immer is a JavaScript package which allows developers to work with immutable state as it were mutable, by implementing a copy-on-write mechanism. Immer was recently distinguished this year with the Breakthrough of the year React open source award and the Most impactful contribution JavaScript open source award.

        • Ballerina Reinvents Cloud Native Middleware as a Programming Language, Puts ESB on the Path to Extinction

          Ballerina 1.0, which is available under the Apache License, is being announced in conjunction with ApacheCon North America 2019. Ballerina, an ApacheCon Gold Sponsor, will offer technical sessions and demos of the new Ballerina release at the event. WSO2 CTO Paul Fremantle will also hold a session on Tuesday, September 10 at 2:30 p.m., “Ballerina – Re-inventing Middleware in a Programming Language.” ApacheCon North America 2019 is being held September 9-12, 2019 at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

        • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Ballerina

          The open-source programming language Ballerina hit 1.0 generally availability this week.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: pinp 0.0.9: Real Fix and Polish

          Another pinp package release! pinp allows for snazzier one or two column Markdown-based pdf vignettes, and is now used by a few packages. A screenshot of the package vignette can be seen below. Additional screenshots are at the pinp page.

  • Leftovers
    • The End of Aquarius and The Dawn of a Death Star: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

      Quentin Tarantino’s latest (and last?) film was under fire for its subject matter (a mostly fictional retelling of the Manson murders) even before it went into production, and has since taken hits on multiple fronts from the thumb sucking segment of the peanut gallery, convinced that the director is hiding a fugitive agenda at odds with their prevailing group think imperatives. Chief among them: A howling mob should be put at the helm of a film to ensure the audience is safely strapped into their car seats. As usual, Tarantino’s detractors are flinging birdshot at a master flame thrower.

    • How China Sees the World
    • Bearing Witness at Aeon’s End: the Wound Becomes the Womb

      PR: Kenn, this question haunts me: Is it still possible, amid constant inundation by the mass and social media simulacrum, for literature, poetry or a music to rouse the heart and foment rebellion against one’s complicity in what amounts to a bondage of sensibility? Naturally, we are given to outrage but, for the most part, it is directed, if we are honest, at our own sense of powerlessness against the mind-stupefying roil of events.

    • From Bach to ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ here’s the music Russia’s government is using to inject the youths with ‘cultural literacy’

      Russia’s Culture Ministry has issued a new set of recommendations for what it calls “The Schoolchild’s Cultural Standards.” This new educational project is intended to bolster “the spiritual, aesthetic, and artistic development of Russian schoolchildren and increase the cultural literacy of our rising generation.”

    • Science
      • Here’s to the Last Philosophes, the Frankfurt School

        The “Frankfurt School” refers to a group of unorthodox Marxist intellectuals associated with Frankfurt, Germany’s Institute for Social Research. The most famous first-generation members, whose collective work spans from the 1930s into the early 1970s, include Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse. They wondered why advanced capitalist societies were sinking into new forms of barbarism rather than, as Marx envisioned, transitioning to a humane society that uses technological gains to abolish toil and promote human flourishing. To supplement Marx’s theories of ideology and social reproduction, they drew on a wide range of thinkers, including Sigmund Freud and Max Weber, developing a sizeable canon of radical and often pessimistic analyses of a “totally administered society.”

      • When You Mess With Creation Myths, the Knives Come Out

        I would have ended my challenge to “Hamilton, The Revolution” after a four night reading of the script that took place at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe last January. It was one of the actors, Robert Mailer Anderson, a filmmaker (Windows on the World) and novelist, who said that he’d put up money for a full production. He doubled the amount that he promised. The second largest contributors were the late Toni Morrison and her son, Ford, who saved us big bucks by making their New York apartment available to us during rehearsals and performances. Plus audience members sent us donations.But even the reading, which cost me $5,000.00, the backlash from “Hamilfans” was furious.

      • Dissociative Identity Disorder: The woman who created 2,500 personalities to survive

        Contemporary Australian experts refer to Jeni’s condition as Dissociative Identity Disorder, and say it is heavily linked to experiences of extreme abuse against a child in what is supposed to be a safe environment.
        “DID really is a survival strategy,” Dr Pam Stavropoulos, a childhood trauma expert, told the BBC.
        “It serves as a very sophisticated coping strategy that is widely regarded as extreme. But you have to remember, it’s the response to extreme abuse and trauma the child has undergone.”
        The earlier the trauma and the more extreme the abuse, the more likely it is that a child has to rely on disassociation to cope, leading to these “multiple self-states”.

      • Shirish Agarwal: Freedom, Chandrayaan 2 and Corporations in Space.

        Before we get to Chandrayaan 2, there are few interesting series I want to talk about, share about. The first one is AltBalaji’s Mission Over Mars which in some ways is similar to Mars 6-part series Docu-drama made by National Geographic and lot of movies, books etc. read over years. In both these and other books, movies etc. it has been shown how Corporate Interests win over science and exploration which the motives of such initiatives were and are. The rich become richer and richer while the poor become more poorer.

        There has been also lot of media speculation that ISRO should be privatized similar to how NASA is and people saying that NASA’s importance has not lessened even though they couldn’t have been more wrong. Take the Space Launch System . It was first though of in the 2010 after the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 came into being. When it was shared or told it was told that it would be ready somewhere in 2016. Now it seems it won’t be ready until 2025. And who is responsible for this, the same company which has been responsible for lot of bad news in the international aviation business Boeing. The auditor’s report for NASA while blaming NASA for oversight also blames Boeing for not doing things right. And from what we have come to know that in the american system of self-regulation leaves much to be desired. More so, when an ex-employee of Boeing is exercising his fifth Amendment rights which raises the suspicion that there is more than just simply an oversight issue. Boeing also is a weapons manufacturer but that’s another story altogether. For people interested in the arms stuff, a wired article published 2 years back gives enough info. as to how America is good bad or Arms sale.

    • Health/Nutrition
    • Defence/Aggression
      • From A Russian: Our Planet is So Small that We Must Live in Peace

        “Our planet is so small that we must live in peace” said the head of the organization for mothers of military veterans in Yakutsk, Siberia, Far East Russia and called for “mothers to unite against war,” a sentiment that, despite the actions of our politicians and government leaders, is one of the many common threads that ordinary Russians and ordinary Americans share.

      • Son of Bin Laden Killed in U.S. Strike, White House Says

        The White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

      • Democratic Debate’s Top Ten in Texas

        Well, as CNN’s Jake Tapper told Stephen Colbert Thursday night after the Democratic presidential debate, one thing’s for certain: Beto O’Rourke isn’t leaving the race to run for the US Senate from Texas.Not after what he said about guns. “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he declared.

      • Cowardly Democratic Senator Coons Attacks Beto for Standing Up to NRA

        O’Rourke: “But the time for letting status quo politics determine how far we can go is over. If we agree that having millions of weapons of war on the streets is a bad idea, we have to do something about it. “

      • Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Attack Key Saudi Oil Sites

        DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies.

      • All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace A Chance (Bring It Home!)

        As you come to know the seriousness of our situation – the war, the racism, the poverty in the world—you come to realize it is not going to be changed just by words or demonstrations. It’s a question of living your life in drastically different ways. – Dorothy Day

      • Despite GOP Death Threat, Beto Doubles Down on “We’re Going to Take Your AR-15″ Promise

        “Hell yeah, we’re going to take your AR-15 and your AK-47.”

      • Never Forget

        Never forget. Never forget. Never forget.

        Never forget that the U.S. government was warned that Osama bin Laden was determined to strike within the United States.

        Never forget that the hijackers who used airplanes as weapons on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, not from Afghanistan and Iraq.

        Never forget that George W. Bush spoke to a joint session of Congress and to the American people, saying, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” before launching a war that would become never-ending.

        Never forget that George W. Bush called the 9/11 terrorists enemies of freedom.

      • Biden Takes Iraq Lies to the Max at Democratic Debate

        Presidential candidate Joe Biden is adding lies on top of lies to cover up his backing of the Iraq invasion.At last night’s Democratic Party debate hosted by ABC News Biden lied about his Iraq record, just like he did at the first two debates.

      • #NeverForget the War in Afghanistan

        When President Donald Trump announced this week that a highly anticipated peace deal with the Taliban was dead, Afghans braced for more violence. Their fears were realized as fresh fighting broke out immediately between Taliban forces and U.S.-backed Afghan government forces.

      • Yemen as Arabian Vietnam

        It wasn’t supposed to end this way. The last soldiers and agents of the world’s biggest and deadliest empire, fleeing Saigon with their thorned tails between their legs as a rag-tag army of half-starved guerrillas inched closer by the hour. The last Bell helicopters, stuffed to the brim with bourgeois refugees of the fascist Yankee quisling state of South Vietnam, bumbling about before they scatter like highway vultures interrupted by a semi as they attempt to pick the last bone clean on a withering carcass. This was unthinkable just a decade earlier, when LBJ decided to turn a contentious civil war into a full blown holocaust. We had thrown everything but the White House kitchen sink at those yellow commie savages; bombs, napalm, agent orange, near institutionalized campaigns of rape and slaughter. We had turned the jungles of Indochina into a living hell, just a few Pinkville’s shy of a full tilt genocide. But they just kept coming. Tiny men and women in black pajamas with hearts like lions, throwing their malnourished bodies into the guts and gears of the war machine. At the end of the day, the empire’s efforts were all for nothing. Billions of dollars, millions of lives, and the sterling reputation we had built on the myths of the Good War were gone like dust scattered to the wind. Was there a lesson to be learned here? Was anybody but Charlie interested in learning it?

      • At #SandtonShutdown, South African Women Disrupt Business as Usual as Fury Over Gender-Based Violence Boils Over

        “My body is not your war zone,” read one protest signs.

      • Challenging Biden on Iraq War Vote, Sanders Denounces Bloated Trump Pentagon Budget During Democratic Debate

        “I don’t think we have to spend $750 billion a year on the military when we don’t even know who our enemy is.”

      • Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics

        As we move past the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, it helps to be aware of the changes in U.S. political culture that have transformed this nation over the last two decades. I teach a history class at Lehigh University, “The War on Terrorism in Politics, Media, and Memory,” which is billed as examining the “meaning” of this war, via an exploration of “personal experiences and critical perspectives on the war,” as depicted in official rhetoric, the news media, and popular film.

      • Taliban Negotiators Go to Moscow After Trump Declares Talks ‘Dead’

        MOSCOW—A negotiating team from the Taliban arrived Friday in Russia, a representative said, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump declared dead a deal with the insurgent group in Afghanistan.

      • The Age of Constitutional Coups

        The contemporary global neofascistic right has become adept at seizing power through legal and parliamentary coups that do not involve military units dramatically taking over government headquarters and radio and television and rounding up opponents.

      • The Russian officials responsible for authorizing supposed CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov’s trip abroad have reportedly been punished

        The state officials who allowed suspected CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov to leave Russia have been punished, a source told the news agency Interfax. Smolenkov took his family to Montenegro on vacation in 2017 and never returned. According to Interfax’s source, the trip was permitted, despite the fact that Russia barred state officials from traveling to Montenegro at the time.

      • The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care?

        On Saturday September 7, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a prisoner swap which has brought hope of improved relations between the two countries and an end to the 5-year long conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • Snowden Tells Life Story and Why He Leaked in New Memoir

        Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has written a memoir, telling his life story in detail for the first time and explaining why he chose to risk his freedom to become perhaps the most famous whistleblower of all time.

    • Environment
      • Singapore smog worst in three years as forest fires rage

        Every dry season, smoke from fires to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia clouds the skies over much of the region, raising concerns about public health and worrying tourist operators and airlines.

      • Alaska Villages Run Dry And Residents Worry ‘If This Is Our Future Of No Water’

        John Kvasnikoff is the village’s chief and Nina Kvasnikoff’s brother-in-law. He says Nanwalek’s leaders realized its reservoir was running low about a month ago due to lack of rain and low snowpack.

      • “We Are Striking to Disrupt the System”: An Hour with 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

        Today we spend the hour with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired millions across the globe. Last year, as a 15-year-old, she launched a school strike for the climate, started by going in front of the Swedish parliament every day for three weeks, then skipped school every Friday to stand in front of the parliament, demanding action to prevent catastrophic climate change. Her protest spread, quickly going global. Hundreds of thousands of schoolkids around the globe have participated in their own local school strikes for the climate.

        Since her strike began in 2018, Greta has become a leading figure in the climate justice movement. She has joined protests across Europe. She has addressed world leaders at the U.N. climate talks in Poland and the European Union Parliament. She has even met the pope.

        Now she’s in New York to join a global climate strike on September 20th and address the U.N. Climate Action Summit at the U.N. on September 23rd. Greta has refused to fly for years because of emissions, so she arrived here after a two-week transatlantic voyage aboard a zero-emissions racing yacht. She is also planning to attend the U.N. climate summit in Santiago, Chile, in December.

        I sat down with Greta Tuesday in our Democracy Now! studio.

      • ‘ABC and the DNC Should Be Ashamed,’ Say Progressives, After Just One Question on Climate Crisis During Democratic Debate

        “I don’t know how Tom Perez and DNC leaders can look themselves in the mirror after tonight.”

      • How’s the Weather?
      • Highlighting Number of Years Left to Save Earth, Greta Thunberg Joins 11-Minute Die-In Outside White House

        “We’re seeing entire communities being decimated by the climate crisis. That’s why we strike here today, that’s why we strike here every Friday.”

      • It’s Not About Your Straws and Your Light Bulbs

        A few years ago, I had a cupcake problem. I’d go to the cupcake store almost daily and I’d eat at least one cupcake, sometimes more.

        [...]

        That’s similar to what presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren just said about fixing climate change. She was asked about her position on small changes like banning plastic drinking straws or inefficient light bulbs.

        “Give me a break,” she said. “This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry wants us to talk about… They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your lightbulbs, around your straws” when “70 percent of the pollution” comes from “the building industry, the electric power industry, and the oil industry.”

        Like my cupcakes, those three industries are the real problem. Banning straws while leaving those three industries in place will make about as much of a dent in the climate as eating two cups of parsley a day while continuing my cupcake habit would have made in my waistline: Not much.

        My cupcake habit was a problem, but it was also a symptom of a larger problem. In the end, I got therapy for difficult feelings I was dealing with. Once I took care of my mental health, the emotional eating stopped, and I lost 30 pounds.

      • Maxime Bernier Attacked Greta Thunberg’s Autism. Naomi Klein Says Autism Made the Teen a Global Voice of Conscience

        Maxime Bernier wants us to think he is sorry. The leader of the extremist People’s Party of Canada had tweeted that Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is “clearly mentally unstable. Not only autistic, but obsessive-compulsive, eating disorder, depression, and lethargy, and she lives in a constant state of fear. She wants us to feel the same.

      • Energy
        • French city of Dunkirk tests out free transport – and it works

          More revealing than the simple increase is the way that the free buses are changing residents’ habits. In a town where a large majority of residents (about two-thirds) have typically depended on their cars to get around, half of the 2,000 passengers surveyed by researchers said they take the bus more or much more than before. Of those new users, 48 percent say they regularly use it instead of their cars. Some (approximately 5 percent of the total respondents) even said that they sold their car or decided against buying a second one because of the free buses.

      • Wildlife/Nature
        • Montana’s Wilderness Deficit

          Montana has a wilderness deficit. People may be surprised to learn that only 3.4 million acres out of the state’s nearly 94 million acres are congressionally designated wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act. There are at least 6.3 million more U.S. Forest Service acres that potentially could be designated as wilderness, as well as additional lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

        • Protect the Sacred Grizzly Bear, Follow Those Who Know Grandmother Earth
        • Wild Love Preserve Founder: Our Path Forward

          In 2010 when I founded Wild Love Preserve, folks told me it would not be possible to bring stakeholders together in a new light, one told me to stop reinventing the wheel, another even attempted to shut me down, however I stayed true to my beliefs and spearheaded collaborative efforts with the Idaho Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and stakeholders. Wild Love Preserve is a unique legacy project that includes our innovative wild horse conservation program, conflict resolution, education platform, comprehensive range health fixed on sustainability, and the creation of our wildlife preserve in the heart of Idaho’s wild horse country, which will serve as permanent home to our current 136 Challis-Idaho wild horses and future Idaho wild horses not otherwise adopted. Kindness, mutual respect, accountability, science, and education drive Wild Love’s mission to protect and preserve western wild horses in their native habitats and nurture the legacy of respective indigenous ecosystems as an interconnected whole by bridging divides, and our conservation efforts have turned Challis-Idaho wild horses into an asset for the community, region, and state.

    • Finance
      • Russia Has ‘Oligarchs,’ the US Has ‘Businessmen’

        Even in corporate media, you will occasionally see references to the United States as an “oligarchy.” That is the judgment of former President Jimmy Carter, of peer-reviewed academic studies, and even opinion pieces in our most prestigious media (e.g., Washington Post, 4/8/14; New Yorker, 4/18/14). Indeed, Paul Krugman has been saying it in the New York Times (11/3/11, 5/15/15, 7/15/19) for years.  Just three men hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the country combined, and the richest people in society use their money to influence media, society and the government.

      • Privatisation to begin this year, says minister

        He said the government intends to generate revenue through privatisation of state-owned entities (SOEs) to meet large debt servicing obligations of the country.

        Secretary Privatisation Commission Rizwan Malik said the government wants active privatisation plan initially for 6 to 7 SOEs while another 10 entities have been included for the next phase.

        The most important in this list of initial privatisation are 1,230MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant and the 1,223MW Balloki Power Plant owned by National Power Parks Company (NPPC).

      • Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors

        In 2015, Waheed Etimad immigrated with his wife and their children to the United States from Afghanistan, where he’d been a translator for the U.S. Army.

      • Majority in US Back Free College Tuition and Student Debt Cancellation, New Poll Finds

        The proposals of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been dismissed as “extreme” by some of their opponents, but most Americans support such ideas.

      • The Solution to Homelessness Is Staring Us in the Face

        It’s no secret that homelessness in the United States, especially in California, has reached critical levels. That the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the world is dealing with a crisis that stems so clearly from inequality and neglect should have its predominantly left-leaning residents up in arms. And to some extent, they are.

      • Marjorie Cohn on Afghanistan’s Unending War, Amit Narang on Deregulation & Corporate America
      • UAW Extends Ford, Fiat Chrysler Pacts; Strike Possible at GM

        DETROIT — Leaders of the United Auto Workers union have extended contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely, but the pact with General Motors is still set to expire Saturday night.

      • Ralph Nader: Trump Learned His Tricks From Corporate America

        For avalanche-level lying, deceiving, and misleading, mega-mimic Donald Trump need look no further than the history of the corporate advertising industry and the firms that pay them.

      • Cutting Social Security to Offset Paid Parental Leave Would Weaken Retirement Security

        Two recently introduced bills allowing workers to trade part of their future Social Security retirement benefits for parental leave benefits after the birth or adoption of a child would undercut Social Security’s benefits and structure, weakening the retirement security it offers workers.

      • The Plutocratic War on People: Centrists and Conservatives are Ignoring the Giant Elephant in Our National Living Room

        The best analogy I can think of to characterize what passes for political “debate” in America these days, is a bunch of people stuck in a rubber life raft with a big leak hissing away, drifting in the midst of a vast ocean surrounded for as far as they can see by starving sharks, while a few “leaders” insist on arguing about 1) whether there’s a leak; 2) whether to patch it…

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Ex-Muslims are “not an authority on Islam!”

        Similar to new Muslims and their conversion stories, ex-Muslims have every right to express their life world discourse experiences without being an authority in Islam and with whatever knowledge of Islam they possessed when they decided that they could no longer practice or believe in the religion.

        Attempting to silence that lived experience would truly be intellectually dishonest within itself.

      • In ‘Massive Victory’ in Fight Against Trump’s ‘Unconstitutional Conduct,’ Federal Appeals Court Reopens Emoluments Case

        “We never wanted to be in a position where it would be necessary to go to court to compel the president of the United States to follow the Constitution. However, President Trump left us no choice.”

      • The Pirates of Gibraltar

        When I hear the word “pirates” certain images conjure up: the silly, moldy, dusty “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride in Disneyland that I saw in my youth; the banal, boring, childish Hollywood movies by the same title that I could not watch for more than a few minutes; or the actual pirates, such as the modern day bandits who were actively raiding ships a few years ago off the coast of Somalia. But the image of British, American and Israeli politicians in three-piece suits or skirts as pirates never came to my mind until very recently. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read the script below which appears in chronological order.

      • The Vox Populi

        Donald J. Trump won the presidency partially because of his already existing Reality TV celebratory status. Audiences got used to his dealing tactics and he became proficient in reaching those who enjoyed — perversely at a time when layoffs were rampant in the land — hearing “You’re fired!” That segment of the population aided him in discovering the nature of the current populism. As president he has put into play what he learned: bigotry and prejudice to the point of racism has populist appeal, so too does a ridiculing of any authority, whether political, scientific, legacy media, academe, the EU and all Western agreements.

      • Break Up the Democratic Party?

        Thursday’s debate on Walt Disney’s ABC channel shaped up as yet another shameless charade. The pretense was that we are to select who the Democratic presidential candidate will be. But most Americans, as the Irish say, vote with their backsides, belonging to the informal but dominant party of non-voters who choose not to be sucked into legitimizing the bad choices put before them.

      • ‘No Policy, No Facts, Just Displays of Violence’: Ocasio-Cortez Says Hysterical Ad Proves GOP Has No Response to Progressive Vision

        “We are fighting to guarantee healthcare in America. To make education and housing dignified and accessible. To save our planet. To set living wages. To establish justice at home and peace abroad.”

      • The Sacking of John Bolton

        It was compelling viewing (one does not so much read Twitter as see it as a series of violent flashes). John Bolton, the armed-and-ready national security adviser who has been tiring of the US President’s jerks and adjustments, had floated the prospect of resignation. “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’” To the New York Times, Bolton reiterated the account. “Offered last night without [Trump] asking. Slept on it and gave it to him this morning.”

      • Why is the Left Without a Single Elected Official in LA?

        In no way is this essay attempting to “situate” or “articulate” the vast complexity that is Los Angeles through the question the title poses. Instead, it is a public engagement with humanist social movements in LA, focused on human recognition and human value, and their inability to be institutionalized as government, especially as city commissions. Like many other cities in the US, Los Angeles suffers from what Alex Honneth terms “a failing sociality” or “a failure in the power of civic imagination, political will, and open democracy”. Henri Giroux elaborates on the idea in The Terror of The Unforeseen, his masterpiece of a takedown of American fascism and its complexity and complicities. Like many other cities, this failing sociality has come with late capitalism, as an urbacide of community, personality, and life in general. Like many other cities, large parts of Los Angeles refuse to die, despite the failing sociality.

      • How the South Could Help Flip the US Senate

        Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has instituted dramatic policy changes that have hurt the most vulnerable U.S.

      • Hong Kong and the Future of China

        Something didn’t quite add up.

      • For the First Time in My Life I’m Against Impeaching the President

        I had hoped to make the above statement after electing a president whom I did not consider a vile mass-murderous warmongering climate-destroying threat to humanity. I’m saying it early. I’m saying it while Trump is president.

        [...]

        The reason I’m against impeachment is that House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler has made clear that he will use it to focus on the disastrous and counterproductive unproven and unprovable claims of Russiagate rather than on the dozens of indisputable public acts through which Trump has committed open and acknowledged (and in some cases acknowledged by Nadler) impeachable offenses.

        Yes, yes, yes, someone in Russia may have bought an infinitesimally small amount of very weird advertisements on Facebook.

        Yes, of course, Trump has shady business dealings in Russia as in every other part of the earth.

        Yes, Trump has obstructed justice and refused to comply with subpoenas in connection with Russiagate-ish things.

        But a Russiagate impeachment is good for Trump and bad for humanity.

      • Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?

        Britain’s hard-right Tory Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (BoJo the Racist Clown), recently told US Vice President, Mike Pence, that Labour’s genuinely left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is “a gigantic chlorinated chicken.” The official Tory Twitter account even featured a Photoshopped image of Corbyn wearing a chicken costume, making the joke (which doesn’t even work) that the Tories have found a bigger chicken than KFC. (KFC is a corporation, not a chicken.) KFC tweeted negatively in response. The person who took the original photo tweeted (later deleted) that his image was being used without license; the word “Tory” comes from Gaelic for outlaw. Tories and ex-Tories, including Alistair Burt (co-convenor of the political wing of the anti-Assad terrorists who wrecked Syria) and former chair, Sayeeda Warsi, who four-times over the last few years called for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia, tweeted or stated in response to the official chicken tweet that the Tory party should stop such puerility because it is better than this. No it is not.

      • The Unprincipled – and Potentially Racist – Lib Dems

        One might hope the role of the monarchy in the prorogation plot, and then Theresa May’s cronies getting honours in her resignation list, might do enough to undermine public confidence in some of the systems that define the British establishment. But the honours list will shortly be further devalued by political muck as Jo Swinson’s office is proffering peerages and knighthoods in the dissolution honours to candidates and their constituency chairmen in winnable seats, if they are willing to make way for Blairite entryists like Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger.

      • ABC Debate Lowlights

        Only three climate questions were asked, by Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. The first, a query to vegan candidate Cory Booker about whether “more Americans [should] follow your diet,” was not even a policy question.

      • Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left

        The neoliberal revolution that has been underway since the mid-1970s fundamentally reoriented American governance toward the interests of capital. While the distance between government and the so-called private sector was never that great, all pretense that government served the broader public interest was cast aside in favor of state-corporatism. This wasn’t simply a matter of privatizing the public realm— it overlaid a capitalist rationale on all public undertakings.

      • Report on Election Security Gains Attention, and a Sharp Rebuke

        In July, election officials across the country received a mass email from NormShield, a Virginia-based cybersecurity company few had heard of.

        The company informed the officials it was about to publicly release the results of a “risk scorecard” it had generated assessing vulnerabilities in their internet-facing election systems. States could request their scorecards in advance, the company said, and join what it termed “a joint marketing and public service project.”

      • It’s Time to Talk About Our Broken Democracy. Will Tonight’s Democratic Debate Moderators Step Up?

        Amanda Litman of Run for Something wants to know if the presidential candidates will support introducing ranked choice voting in federal elections, and also if they will commit to pursuing full congressional representation for the 4 million Americans — a total almost equal to our six smallest states—who live in territories without a voting member of Congress.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • Facebook removed doctors’ fact-check of false anti-abortion video because Ted Cruz complained

        Three doctors authored a fact-check for Health Feedback, an organization that seeks to debunk misleading medical coverage. The fact-check deemed the video “inaccurate,” noting that “certain medical conditions such as placenta previa and HELLP syndrome can make abortion a necessary medical procedure in order to prevent the mother’s death.”

      • Google pays 700,000-ruble fine for refusing to filter search results according to Russian demands

        Google has paid a 700,000-ruble ($11,000) fine in Russia, where the federal censor penalized the tech company for refusing to block all content banned by Russian officials. According to Roskomnadzor, Google only selectively filters search results, and roughly a third of the hyperlinks blacklisted in Russia are still available to the search engine’s users. 

      • Twitter Stands Up For Devin Nunes’ Parody Accounts: Won’t Reveal Who’s Behind Them

        A couple weeks ago, we noted that the judge in Virginia presiding over Devin Nunes’ bullshit censorial lawsuit against Twitter, some parody Twitter accounts, and political strategist Liz Mair, had demanded that Twitter reveal to the judge who was behind the two parody accounts (for “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom.”) As we pointed out at the time, this request was highly unusual. Yes, the judge was in the process of determining if the case did not belong in Virginia, so he wanted to know if the people behind the accounts were based in Virginia, but there are ways to do that that protect the anonymity of the account holders (anonymity being a 1st Amendment right). Specifically, he could have just asked whether or not the account holders appeared to be based in Virginia.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Looks Like Israel Was Caught Spying on Capitol Hill Cell Phones and Trump Was Fine With It

        Daniel Lipmann at Politico dropped the bombshell that mysterious electronic spying devices placed throughout Washington, D.C. and close to the White House and the Capitol were traced by the FBI to Israel.

      • Victory! Individuals Can Force Government to Purge Records of Their First Amendment Activity

        The FBI must delete its memo documenting a journalist’s First Amendment activities, a federal appellate court ruled this week in a decision that vindicates the right to be free from government surveillance.

        In Garris v. FBI, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the FBI to expunge a 2004 memo it created that documented the political expression of news website www.antiwar.com and two journalists who founded and ran it. The Ninth Circuit required the FBI to destroy the record because it violated the Privacy Act of 1974, a federal law that includes a provision prohibiting federal agencies from maintaining records on individuals that document their First Amendment activity.

      • Facebook Must Better Limit Its Face Surveillance

        Last week, Facebook started sending a small portion of its users a new notification about its face surveillance program, which concludes with two important buttons: “keep off” and “turn on.” This is a step in the right direction: for these users, the default will be no face surveillance, unless the user gives their affirmative opt-in consent.

        But as EFF recently explained, Facebook will not provide this privacy-protective default to billions of its current users, and it is unclear whether the company will provide it to its new users. Facebook should not subject any of its current or new users to face surveillance, absent their informed opt-in consent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
      • Spanish Reporter Detained for Weeks Without Charge, Deported From Iraqi Kurdistan

        On August 8, in the Nahla Valley, in northwestern Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish Asayish security forces arrested Barber, a freelance reporter and photographer who contributes regularly to Spanish outlets including Publico and El Mundo, and detained him until September 4, according to the journalist, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app, and news reports.

        Authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan did not file any charges against Barber and barred him from contacting anyone during his detention, including a lawyer, he told CPJ. He was deported to Egypt on September 8 and returned to Spain on September 9, he said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer

        On December 2, 2016, a fire swept through a living and workspace in Oakland, California. Thirty-six people died, many of them attending a late night party in a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship.” Investigators never determined the cause of the fire, but the Alameda County District Attorney charged “master tenant” Derick Almena and his assistant, Max Harris, with 36 counts of involuntarily manslaughter. The DA did not bring charges against the “acting landlord,” Eva Ng, or against her mother, Chor Ng, and her brother, Kai Ng, who together own the building.

      • ‘Justice is Indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb Should Be Our Wake-up Call

        The death of Israa Ghrayeb has ignited furious reactions regarding the so-called ‘honor-killings’ in Palestine and throughout the Arab world.

      • Resisting a World That Privileges Whiteness—While We Still Can

        “My Time Among the Whites: Notes From an Unfinished Education”

      • Me First and the Loss of Compassion

        America stands at a crossroads today. Terrorism and nuclear proliferation, immigration, climate change or the growing gap between rich and poor reveal policy priorities that increasingly segregate society. Americans have been taking their divisions to the streets. Voicing opinion as part of the political process or outside of it are signs of a healthy democracy. However, more and more, political parties and interest groups promote their goals with the sole purpose of winning without any real interest in compromise, let alone collaboration. As we are losing interest in and eventually the ability to compromise, we are losing the very essence of our democracy.

      • The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?

        A 2017 U.S. government report, “SUPREME COURT DECISIONS OVERRULED BY SUBSEQUENT DECISION,” notes, “while the Supreme Court sometimes expressly overrules a prior decision, in other instances the overruling must be deduced from the principles of related cases.” The report identifies 237 Court decision that have been either overturned or revised.

      • ‘From cultural capital to gangland’ An election monitor explains how chaos in St. Petersburg has led to mass fraud

        Days after election day, the results in St. Petersburg still haven’t been announced. In precincts where opposition candidates apparently won, election officials are busy with recounts that have handed opposition seats to candidates from United Russia, the country’s ruling political party. To learn more about this chaos, Meduza spoke to the “Golos” election monitoring group’s local coordinator in St. Petersburg, Natalia Menkova, who says her beloved city has succumbed to “gangland” rule. 

      • High-Level DOJ Official Latest Gov’t Employee To Be Caught Watching Porn While On The Clock

        It’s good to know government employees are hard at work. (This statement mainly applies to male employees.)

      • Justice Department Will Fund More Prosecutors, Jails and Cops in Rural Alaska

        The U.S. Department of Justice is adding federal prosecutors to pursue cases in remote Alaska towns and villages where U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr recently declared a public safety emergency.

        After visiting Alaska and meeting with Alaska Native leaders, Barr declared the problem to be a national emergency, promising $10.5 million in immediate relief. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder in Anchorage announced new details on how the money will be spent, as well as related efforts by federal agencies and the state of Alaska.

      • Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns

        For 50 years the environmental movement has depended on laws and regulations from the 1970’s enforced by lawyers and judges to achieve its goals. But since Trump’s election, the regulations, processes, courtesies, assumptions and norms undergirding America’s approach to the environment have been systematically discarded, reversed and dismantled. Accordingly, grassroots organizing will have to evolve and play a larger role in the future.

      • Homage to the Tabloids

        Are you ready for some football?  Big story in the LA Times this week: “Will the NFL allow players to use marijuana? League wants Science to determine drug policy. ” It should come as no surprise that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell  is taking refuge behind “More Research is Needed.”

    • Monopolies
      • Copyrights
        • Judge Recommends to Deny Summary Judgment Against Tor Exit Node Operator in Piracy Case

          A long running piracy lawsuit between a piracy-accused Tor Exit Node operator and the makers of the Oscar-winning movie Dallas Buyers Club has yet to see a breakthrough. A Magistrate Judge from a federal court in Oregon recommends to deny motions for summary judgment filed from both sides. This means that a jury may eventually have the final say.

        • Plex is a Pirate’s Dream But Could Also Build Bridges to Legal Content

          Popular media server Plex is an entirely legal tool to arrange movies, TV shows and other content and present them in a Netflix-beating interface. Some have described Plex as a pirate’s dream, especially when its augmented with little-known third-party ‘pirate’ services. But Plex also has grand plans that could help to build bridges between content pirates and media companies that might otherwise prove impossible.

        • Manga Publishers Sue Pirate Site “Hoshinoromi” in New York Court

          Four of the largest manga publishers have sued ‘pirate’ site Hoshinoromi in a New York federal court. The Japanese companies accuse the site of blatant copyright infringement and request damages. According to the publishers, Cloudflare is helping the site’s operators to conceal their identities.

Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

Sunday 15th of September 2019 02:44:20 PM

Summary: Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those

DUE TO lack of time we probably won’t (and can’t) keep these “Openwashing Reports” a daily feature but merely weekly, as originally intended. Moreover, once we cover a particular theme or a strand of openwashing we’ll try to move on to the next and merely ‘shelve’ new examples in our Daily Links under “openwashing” (there’s one big batch coming later today). We don’t want to sound too repetitive (with the arguments, not the pertinent new examples), so this series will have a special nature with a certain uniqueness. Today’s “Openwashing Report” is about ONF; it’s the turn of telecoms, based on the past week’s news (there was an event). It’s a pattern we have observed for over a decade and it’s usually the same ‘news’ sites that are the main culprits; we know who funds these (some are transparent about it). They would have us believe that every large telecom company is now “Open”. This is the art of marketing by openwashing…

“They would have us believe that every large telecom company is now “Open”. This is the art of marketing by openwashing…”Disguising ‘interop’ (somewhat of a buzzword) and shims/standards as “open” is another form of openwashing; here’s a new article entitled “How network standards and open source organizations differ” (there’s some fragmentation among these organisations).

“Both open source and network standards organizations want to develop the next-generation network,” it says. “Yet their methods differ, and they can benefit different types of organizations.”

“The Linux Foundation makes Orwell proud by painting surveillance — the opposite of privacy — as a matter of confidentiality!”What’s common to all of them is the nature of members. They relay or transmit a lot of traffic, lots of information of lots of different people. They snoop, they intercept, they analyse and they inform. They’re informants of militaries, governments or — as they prefer for people to think — “advertisers”. The openwashing pattern to watch out for here is pretty simple: surveillance is being framed as “open” or “sharing” or “confidential”. Yes, confidential! The Linux Foundation makes Orwell proud by painting surveillance — the opposite of privacy — as a matter of confidentiality! That’s how deeply dishonest they are.

“They work like a tightly-knit family and it mostly boils down to cost-cutting collaboration, sharing of code among the members.”This weekend we’ve decided to do an article about openwashing in the telecom sector mostly because a lot of new examples are available. It’s because of the event of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

How many of our readers are familiar with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF)? Open is a familiar word, sure. But how many people heard of ONF? How many people participated in some form? How much is actually known about it? We are guessing that few of our readers know much. ONF is actually rather secretive. It’ll like an onion one has to peel and it’s not a pleasant (or easy) experience.

They work like a tightly-knit family and it mostly boils down to cost-cutting collaboration, sharing of code among the members. Not freedom. Hardly even genuine openness.

Let’s look at some examples from last week’s news.

Comcast wants to be thought of as “Open” because it shares code with few other giant telecoms (we’ll use abbreviations for “telecommunications”). Watch this puff piece that says “Comcast sent its Senior VP of Next Generation Access Networks Elad Nafshi to the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) conference today to announce that the service provider has rolled out some open source software as part of its Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout.”

The conference was used by Comcast to also issue paid nonsense. From the conference: “The ONF today announced that Comcast has reached production roll-out of the Trellis Open Source Network Fabric as part of Comcast’s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout.”

“Comcast wants to be thought of as “Open” because it shares code with few other giant telecoms (we’ll use abbreviations for “telecommunications”).”The Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) conference is more like a PR platform than a real, traditional conference which is open to all. It’s openwashing of surveillance infrastructures. You don’t get to tinker with the code, but wow! Oh yeah! “Open”…

Whatever.

Here’s another puff piece that says “Comcast today said it deployed Trellis, the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) open source SDN fabric, in “multiple markets.””

SDxCentral is a ‘tool’ of the Linux Foundation, VMware etc. Those sites are deeply corrupt. They run or ‘operate’ on the cash of companies they cover. So in effect they’re like peripheral PR agencies. Check out their internal blog; it’s nauseating. Imagine the BBC or CNN having a section in which they invite corporations to become “partners” with their own (dedicated) ‘news’ sections, fused together with so-called original ‘news’ (or ‘content’)…

“SDxCentral is a ‘tool’ of the Linux Foundation, VMware etc. Those sites are deeply corrupt. They run or ‘operate’ on the cash of companies they cover. So in effect they’re like peripheral PR agencies.”More openwashing by SDxCentral (PR for the Linux Foundation and various other “sponsors”) can be found here. This one bears the headline “AT&T’s Fuetsch Touts Trellis Deployed in Tier-1 Network” (AT&T uses the above to spy on millions if not billions of people, but let’s celebrate because something is “Open”).

Then there was also Edgecore. This is collaboration among giants. It’s good to collaborate, but it is not about freedom; it’s just a cost-cutting exercise. Watch this press release [1, 2] and accompanying puff piece for ONF: “Taiwan-based Edgecore is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Accton Technology. Historically, Edgecore built boxes that the incumbent telecom vendors, such as Cisco and Ericsson, would buy. These vendors would then re-label the boxes and sell them to their own customers. “With the movement to open source, some of these vendors that used to be in the background are becoming more visible,” said Timon Sloane, VP of marketing with the ONF.”

“This is collaboration among giants. It’s good to collaborate, but it is not about freedom; it’s just a cost-cutting exercise.”Look at this surveillance giants galore [1, 2]. They shower themselves using openwashing, with the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) help.

TechDirt published an article under a week ago about how the telecom giants try really hard to distract us with “Big Tech”, blaming the likes of GAFAM as if they’re the sole culprits and privacy violators. In reality, both telecoms and GAFAM are enemies of everybody’s privacy. Google, for example, wants a monopoly on access to your data, i.e. it wants to infringe your privacy and for no other company to do the same (hence “security”). From exclusivity come higher pricing opportunities. You are the product. Remember that! To ISPs the customers have increasingly become just “products” to be “informed on” (e.g. to governments and advertisers).

This past week, for the third week in a row, Google was still googlebombing the word “privacy” to make it seem like it fights for it, not against it, plus openwashing on the side. We saw dozens of examples early in the month and it isn’t stopping. Examples now include [1, 2].

Also get a load of this from Appuals (“Google Talks About The Importance Of Open Source And Open Data In A Recent Blog Post”). A proprietary software company talks about the importance of what it barely does. Google’s openwashing is nothing too new or unique. How many core, important google things are Open Source in their entirety? Same question for Microsoft…

“This past week, for the third week in a row, Google was still googlebombing the word “privacy” to make it seem like it fights for it, not against it, plus openwashing on the side.”Is Google Search Open Source? How about Apps (office suite, Gmail etc.)? Android as in AOSP is “open” mostly for compliance reasons (they make use of many external projects, including Linux). The same goes for Chromium…

Almost nothing is really “open”. Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) is an extension of the marketing strategy, something along the lines of “don’t be evil…” (a motto that Google has already abandoned officially)

Going back to the main subject at hand, an openwashing consortium of surveillance giants totally ‘orchestrated’ the media this past week. Here’s a puff piece entitled “ONF works on an open source evolved packet core” (who other than giant telecoms has contributed to this?) and to quote:

The original 3GPP evolved packet core was not CUPS compliant, said Guru Parulkar, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Control User Plane Separation (CUPS) of evolved packet core (EPC) nodes provides for the separation of functionality in the S-gateway, P-gateway and MME.

Guess who makes all the commits.

Here’s another new press release (from that same event):

The ONF today announced that the Stratum™ project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF’s next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

Based on this press release there has been fluff:

Stratum is a silicon-independent platform designed to let network operators easily integrate new devices from a wide range of vendors, expanding and upgrading their infrastructure in real time. It strictly defines the interface between switches and controllers as an unambiguous “contract,” avoiding proprietary silicon interfaces and software APIs that lock operators into one vendor’s hardware.

Another piece of fluff from the same site:

The ONF today announced that the Stratum project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF’s next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

How many companies is that even relevant to? Not many. Only the few which participate.

“How many companies is that even relevant to? Not many. Only the few which participate.”We don’t wish to come across as too cynical. If openashing is the wrong term by which to describe ONF, then we need to come up with another new word. It’s when companies come together to share code and the public can see the code. In the past they habitually did all this, but the public was shut out.

ONF is not a fraud but a vastly better thing than all telecoms having their own pool of proprietary software. ONF is a good thing in general, but it boils down to collaboration, not Open Source or Free software (they’re all, for the most part, against freedom because their surveillance facilitates oppression).

“Remember that Software Freedom includes privacy; the cheapening or departure from freedom (to “Open Source” or “Open” or “Collaboration”) is a sacrifice/compromise whose end goal (or ultimate objective) is to rationalise abuse. It’s about maintaining the status quo, i.e. not reforming anything except the marketing slant.”We’re still thinking what to call all this. It’s not limited to ONF and there are overlaps in the Linux Foundation, whose chief Jim Zemlin rejects Open Source (he uses a proprietary operating system with proprietary on it). We’ve meanwhile noticed that F5 is, perhaps as expected, leveraging NGINX (just Open Core basically) for openwashing purposes. F5 is spying on a lot of traffic, but it prefers to be seen as “Open”. Perhaps that was one of the main ‘perks’ of buying NGINX.

Remember that Software Freedom includes privacy; the cheapening or departure from freedom (to “Open Source” or “Open” or “Collaboration”) is a sacrifice/compromise whose end goal (or ultimate objective) is to rationalise abuse. It’s about maintaining the status quo, i.e. not reforming anything except the marketing slant.

‘Open Source’ You Cannot Run Without Renting or ‘Licensing’ Windows From Microsoft

Sunday 15th of September 2019 01:30:09 PM

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

“[Windows Vista DRM] seems a bit like breaking the legs of Olympic athletes and then rating them based on how fast they can hobble on crutches.“

–Peter Gutmann

Summary: When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?

What good is “open source” that needs a back-doored, proprietary software (i.e. back doors cannot be removed) operating system with spying and DRM just to run it? We recently wrote about this kind of situation, offering examples from both Apple and Microsoft.

“And they say “soon open source” without specifying a licence or anything.”Here comes another new example from GHacks (lots of those lately; mostly from this site). “Sandboxie, a sandbox program for Microsoft’s Windows operating system, has been turned into a free application.” Freeware. And they say “soon open source” without specifying a licence or anything. Might as well turn out to be vapourware at the end…

Tabloid troll Catalin Cimpanu is already openwashing this proprietary software based on a promise from Sophos alone. Let’s rejoice “open source” that runs only on Windows. CBS and its tabloid ZDNet are once again proving to be Microsoft propaganda and this article comes from the person who constantly slanders Linux. Help Net Security said: “Sophos plans to open-source Sandboxie, a Windows utility that allows users to run apps in a sandbox. Until that happens, they’ve made the utility free.”

“When “open source” runs only on a proprietary platform with NSA back doors what is it really worth?”BetaNews — just like the above — put “open source” in the headline even though it’s only freeware. Great! And even though it’s Windows only; just like Steve Ballmer wanted…

When “open source” runs only on a proprietary platform with NSA back doors what is it really worth? Is it good for anything? Also, it’s not security; just illusion of it…

They claim that these applications improve security, but these applications only run on a platform with NSA back doors. Here’s another new example, this one of an “app” that only runs on iOS. “If you’re looking for an alternative for Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, or Authy, you may want to give Authenticator a chance,” it says. How does that improve security? The underlying operating system has well known back doors. The company that monopolised maintainer-ship works with the NSA and is in the PRISM spy programme. Ed Snowden’s leaks provided actual evidence and 2 years ago Wikileaks added more with Vault 7.

“Notice that all the above are security-oriented programs but not a single platform without NSA back doors is supported.”A similar example was covered 3 days ago by GHacks: “WinOTP Authenticator is an open-source alternative for WinAuth”

The “Win” means Windows; it means you lose security. You lose privacy. When “open source” runs only under proprietary software stacks with NSA back doors, such as Vista 10 (strictly in this case), a vendor can only pretend it offers security…

One of the virtues extolled by Free software proponents is superior security; well, how much do such claims hold when one must rent (license, temporarily) a bunch of dodgy binaries from NSA partners to run the said program/s? Notice that all the above are security-oriented programs but not a single platform without NSA back doors is supported.

All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

Sunday 15th of September 2019 12:21:05 PM


Credit: The Silence of the Lambs (film)

Summary: All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor

THE MISGUIDED idea or the concept of Microsoft as “Open” has long been laughable. Just look at all their major products. Not even one is Free/Open Source software. Nothing. None.

When one can spend billions of dollars on PR, however, it is possible to interject all sorts of lies into the media, even ridiculous statements such as "Microsoft loves Linux"

“As far as Linux development goes, Microsoft is already pretty deep inside; it even has access to highly confidential mailing lists.”Persistence has paid off. Lies can eventually triumph. Patience…

Microsoft would love to control Linux. It’s already getting there, little by little (the latest step is imposing Microsoft’s proprietary file systems on Linux [1, 2]).

As far as Linux development goes, Microsoft is already pretty deep inside; it even has access to highly confidential mailing lists.

Next step? Buy all the seats or most of them. Take control. Make Linux all about Microsoft. Control Linux. Censor or remove code/people who aren’t liked by Microsoft (for purely commercial reasons).

The other day we covered another step in this gradual ‘coup’. This Apple PR(opaganda) site gets it wrong; Microsoft just basically bought a seat. Some high-profile media wrote shallow articles about it (like the press releases of the Linux Foundation) and a reader sent us what we initially cited, if only just to highlight this bit:

Microsoft and Apple have both joined the Academy Software Foundation, a group designed to promote the use of open source in Hollywood. Both companies joined the foundation at the premier membership level, which helps it to surpass $1 million in annual funding.

Slush funds. When Microsoft takes (or buys) the key seats in committees/panels the projects are compromised and end up outsourced to proprietary software such as GitHub and Slack (security suicide). Another new example, reposted days ago as a press release: “Haivision and Microsoft Host SRT Sunday Featuring Panel Discussions and SRT Open Source Showcase [...] Haivision freely engages the community on Github and a dedicated Slack channel that is open to all SRT Alliance members.”

“Microsoft is nowadays in the censorship and surveillance business. It tries to monopolise this.”So it is controlled by the host. They should delete GitHub and Slack if they’re serious about Open Source. Meanwhile, as another new example, Stripe outsources the company’s operations to Microsoft and its censorship platform, which is proprietary software. To quote: “The product in question is called Stripe Connect Express, and it helps platforms like Spotify and Medium sign up new sellers to their platforms. To use those examples: Connect Express has helped Spotify quickly sign up new independent artists to get paid per play of their music, and Medium uses it to pay out writers for their slice of paywall revenue.”

Microsoft does not help developers be paid; it’s defunding them based on broad, racist generalisations. When you put your code in Microsoft’s GitHub you facilitate systematic racism by the most aggressive regimes and help imperialism. That’s antithetical to Software Freedom; it’s in violation of the first essential freedom.

Microsoft is a censorship enforcer now. It censors Open Source and it fights Free software that the US government does not like. Even the Microsoft-friendly ZDNet has just admitted it:

Duncan Worrell, a GitHub user from the UK, this month had his financial services company’s private repository blocked because GitHub determined that it was subject to US trade controls.

GitHub didn’t explain how it determined that the UK company should be restricted. However, Worrell suspected it was because “a sub-contractor of a sub-contractor currently resident in Ukraine, accessed our GitHub repo while visiting family in Crimea”.

The only communication he received from GitHub was that: “Due to US trade controls law restrictions, paid GitHub organization services have been restricted.”

Also see the article that a reader sent us, below [1] (we’re already posted a bunch of reports about this in our Daily Links, but not this report). Microsoft is nowadays in the censorship and surveillance business. It tries to monopolise this.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Ninth Circuit Says LinkedIn Wrongly Blocked HiQ’s Scraping Efforts

    Fans of scraping cases may rejoice. The Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited opinion in the hiQ v. LinkedIn case (it was argued in March 2018, so the opinion took about 18 months). It rules in favor of hiQ.

    hiQ was a company that, apparently with LinkedIn’s authorization, accessed data from public LinkedIn profiles and built products on this data. After years of this practice, LinkedIn sent hiQ a cease and desist letter that hiQ was no longer authorized to access LinkedIn user data, so any ongoing access would violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other laws. hiQ preemptively sought a preliminary injunction. The district court granted the injunction and ordered LinkedIn to allow hiQ to access the data in question during the pendency of the lawsuit. It was a sweeping ruling that many thought would be unlikely to survive challenge on appeal. The Ninth Circuit upheld the ruling.

The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

Sunday 15th of September 2019 03:03:49 AM

From a brochure of the Linux Foundation (selling press coverage and even "tweets"):

Summary: The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software

LINUX.COM is practically dead. The Linux Foundation killed it off as a news source. Linux Journal is also gone, but at least the site is still online (at least for now). It is getting harder and harder to find proper journalism about GNU/Linux (a rarity these days) and Microsoft is happy to fill the gap by Googlebombing "Linux" with Vista 10 'spam' — something to which the Linux Foundation actively contributes.

“It’s hardly surprising that we’re all being bombarded with lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”…”Hours ago Slashdot promoted VMware/Linux Foundation puff pieces from a Linux Foundation-sponsored ‘news’ site. This is the kind of problem we wrote about a few days ago. The same large corporations that control today’s Linux Foundation also control the story/narrative of “Linux”. So in effect there has been a corporate coup not just in the Linux Foundation but also media that covers “Linux”. It’s hardly surprising that we’re all being bombarded with lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”; yesterday we showed how Microsoft had approached writers and liaised with bloggers in order to dish out these lies. They’re basically trolling us all for a quick buck.

Alexandre Oliva moments ago: “anyone seen recent articles critical of Richard Stallman, father of open source and main author of linux, as they used to write before they all suddenly came across free software, and some even about gnu some 48 hours ago?”

EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

Sunday 15th of September 2019 02:30:36 AM

They now rely on EBA to ‘endorse’ such patents (again)

Summary: A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren’t EPC-compliant)

IT OUGHT to come as no surprise that António Campinos — like his ‘handler’ — pushes hard for software patents to be granted by the European Patent Office (EPO). The law does not matter to these people; neither do constitutions. Today’s EPO is totally in the pockets of patent maximalists (just look at all the tweets from Friday; they're in cahoots).

Rather than moan and groan about this sad reality let’s take stock of the latest observations, which merit a rebuttal or two. We hope that by exposing facts we can at least enlighten some examiners; perhaps people in positions of authority can respond accordingly.

Just before the weekend Bristows’ Alan Johnson turned the Kool-Aid nozzle again (link for those curious enough to see it). When Bristows says “Poll indicates businesses’ support for UPC without UK” it refers to propaganda from a UPC think tank; it’s Managing IP's UPC propaganda machine — one that its staff pinged me about in Twitter (as if to impress me with their so-called ‘study’). Suffice to say, it’s a poll that only speaks to and for litigation firms. Bristows is a band of liars, so they spin that as “businesses’ support”; it’s not an independent poll (push polling likely) and it blindly follows that ludicrous idea that a corrupt institution that breaks the law internally would act better outwards. We’ve already written a great deal about the firm behind it; on Friday it spoke — in its very latest article — of “Rising Star Awards”. Paid-for, fake and corrupt awards. The lawyers’ ‘industry’ has been manufacturing these fake ‘endorsements’ for themselves. IAM does this for a living, so why not Managing IP as well? Under the guise of “IP STARS”…

“We hope that by exposing facts we can at least enlighten some examiners; perhaps people in positions of authority can respond accordingly.”It’s that same old business model of lying and calling people/sponsors “STARS”. It’s a common scam/fraud in other domains too; a firm comes with an offer of an award, in exchange for some payment of course; contrariwise, it can blackmail businesses with threat of negative publicity. From Managing IP: “The best rising stars lawyers from across the continent congregated at The Pierre Hotel last night to celebrate Euromoney Legal Media Group’s second annual Americas Rising Stars awards.”

So they booked some expensive hotel in which to give their bogus awards. In the same way they promote the UPC with bogus ‘polls’, after the EPO cooperates with them on UPC propaganda events. IAM does that too. They’re all connected and they fool nobody but themselves. They hope to mislead politicians however. Why?

Look no further than Friday’s post from Kluwer Patent Blog (in which Team UPC admits: “Czech Republic will not ratify UPCA any time soon”… or ever!).

So now they admit they’ve lied about remaining barriers. The opening paragraph states “it may violate the Czech Constitution.”

“So they booked some expensive hotel in which to give their bogus awards.”Not just the Czech Constitution; there are similar issues in Hungary and elsewhere (even the courts ruled accordingly).

Norice that Team UPC is nowadays writing anonymously, e.g. "Kluwer Patent blogger", in order to dodge accountability for lying. “Kluwer Patent blogger” is always or usually Bristows. It’s probably Alan Johnson. Here they go: “The Czech Republic will not ratify the Unified Patent Agreement in the near future, even if the Unitary Patent system takes the hurdles of the Brexit and the German constitutional complaint. According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) report on the impact of the patent package, which was commissioned by the national IP office, the Unitary Patent system could have negative financial consequences for Czech SMEs; moreover it may violate the Czech Constitution. Kluwer IP Law interviewed Karel Sindelka, partner and IP expert of the Czech law firm Sindelka Lachmannova, about the PwC report.”

This is the same PwC which was paid by Battistelli a few years ago to lie about EPO staff.

Pressing on, however, who would actually want the UPC? Litigation firms for sure. It’s also pretty clear that UPC would usher in software patents — something that EPO management is still pushing for. It’s lobbying very hard for illegal software while attacking its own judges into approving that. Based on this new blog post: “It appears that the President is broadly in favour of the patentability of computer-implemented simulations…”

“Pressing on, however, who would actually want the UPC? Litigation firms for sure.”Of course!

IP Kat’s blogger adds: “Running a simulation on a computer in order to determine a technical parameter, the President argued, is also not equivalent to a mental act.”

Well, he never wrote a computer program! His sole skill is drinking wine with the ‘right’ people.

The blogger concludes with: “The EBA is independent of the President and is therefore not obliged to follow his opinion.”

“His sole skill is drinking wine with the ‘right’ people.”Lies from Rose Hughes? Probably not. Maybe she’s simply unaware of recent developments. Consider EBA's recent handling of the 'Haar question'. In this newer one, Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) referral G 1/19, the same issues arise. These are serious issues which we’ve mentioned here many times before, as did IP Kat (albeit it’s run by patent maximalists these days). It sometimes spreads lies for EPO management (and censors comments critical of it), so we shall assume good faith and strive to remain polite. Not an easy task when their latest roundup is full of patent maximalism — same as last week! Annsley Ward (Bristows) is dominant in this blog; she’s promoting patent trolls such as InterDigital (again) and also spent a long time promoting software patents in the past. Yes, in IP Kat! It’s also not easy to overlook the professional affiliation of the author of this article; it’s the litigation department of a pharmaceutical giant/monopoly (Rose Hughes works for one) and she constantly comments on the subject of her business. She has just done that again. So the blog lacks independence and it speaks for lawyers, not even scientists inside companies with patents. This wasn’t always the case!

Here’s what she wrote about G 1/19:

One of the more early awaiting referrals before the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA), is G 1/19, relating to the patentability of computer-simulated methods (IPKat post here). The referral has already attracted a large number of amicus curiae from interested parties, including CIPA, EPI and AIPPI. IPKat will review these observations shortly (once this Kat has had the chance to read them all). In the meantime, the EPO has recently announced that the EPO President himself, António Campinos, has taken the unusual move of submitting his own comments on the referral.

The President’s comments can be read in full here. It appears that the President is broadly in favour of the patentability of computer-implemented simulations (in contrast to his view on the patentability of products produced by essentially biological processes…IPKat post here). In summary, the President argues that the case law of the Boards of Appeal already provides that computer-implemented simulations, claimed as such, may be based on technical considerations. Furthermore, these technical considerations may confer inventiveness on the claim. Computer-simulated inventions may therefore be inventive, and thereby patentable.

[...]

Will the EBA agree with the President? The EBA is independent of the President and is therefore not obliged to follow his opinion. Furthermore, as mentioned above, there have already been a large number of observations from third parties submitted to the EBA, some in favour and some against the patentability of computer-simulated inventions (Article 10 RPEBA). Individuals with strong views on this issue [Merpel: such as certain hyperbolic bloggers...], are encouraged to submit their own!

That last remark might be a vague reference to us; I already submitted letters to the EBA a long time ago. That barely had an effect. It would be even less likely to have an effect now that these judges lack independence.

“Many of these patents are fake. Everyone knows it, even the examiners (or SUEPO which represents them), but there’s pressure to grant anyway and it’s expensive to challenge these in courts or even in formal appeals.”Will the judges feel comfortable going against the wishes of Campinos and guard the EPC instead? That’s a risky career choice. Many of these patents are fake. Everyone knows it, even the examiners (or SUEPO which represents them), but there’s pressure to grant anyway and it’s expensive to challenge these in courts or even in formal appeals. 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US is proving that the USPTO granted far too many such bogus patents as well; Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) aren’t so cheap, however, so most patents will reach their expiration date without proper scrutiny.

Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

Saturday 14th of September 2019 11:50:48 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Clear Linux Is Being Used Within Some Automobiles

      Intel’s speedy Clear Linux distribution could be running under the hood of your car.

      While we’re fascinated by the performance of Intel’s open-source Clear Linux distribution that it offers meaningful performance advantages over other distributions while still focused on security and offering a diverse package set, we often see it asked… who uses Clear Linux? Some argue that Clear Linux is just a toy or technology demo, but it’s actually more.

    • Server
      • IBM
        • Agile project management: 10 reasons to use it

          On the road to change, you’ll encounter fear and loathing. People will undoubtedly cling to old ways of working. Successfully making it to the other side will require commitment, passionate change agents, and unwavering leadership. You might wonder – is it really worth it?

          Leaders who have made the switch to agile project management say that it has delivered benefits both large and small to their organizations, from the rituals that bring their team together – like daily stand-ups – to the results that make their business stronger – like better end products and happier customers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
    • Kernel Space
      • Improve memset since the merge window is closing in and y'all are on a conference, I thought I should take another stab at it. It being something which Ingo, Linus and Peter have suggested in the past at least once.
      • An Improved Linux MEMSET Is Being Tackled For Possibly Better Performance

        Borislav Petkov has taken to improve the Linux kernel’s memset function with it being an area previously criticzed by Linus Torvalds and other prominent developers.

        Petkov this week published his initial patch for better optimizing the memset function that is used for filling memory with a constant byte.

      • Kernel Address Space Isolation Still Baking To Limit Data Leaks From Foreshadow & Co

        In addition to the work being led by DigitalOcean on core scheduling to make Hyper Threading safer in light of security vulnerabilities, IBM and Oracle engineers continue working on Kernel Address Space Isolation to help prevent data leaks during attacks.

        Complementing the “Core Scheduling” work, Kernel Address Space Isolation was also talked about at this week’s Linux Plumbers Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The address space isolation work for the kernel was RFC’ed a few months ago as a feature to prevent leaking sensitive data during attacks like L1 Terminal Fault and MDS. The focus on this Kernel ASI is for pairing with hypervisors like KVM as well as being a generic address space isolation framework.

      • The Linux Kernel Is Preparing To Enable 5-Level Paging By Default

        While Intel CPUs aren’t shipping with 5-level paging support, they are expected to be soon and distribution kernels are preparing to enable the kernel’s functionality for this feature to extend the addressable memory supported. With that, the mainline kernel is also looking at flipping on 5-level paging by default for its default kernel configuration.

        Intel’s Linux developers have been working for several years on the 5-level paging support for increasing the virtual/physical address space for supporting large servers with vast amounts of RAM. The 5-level paging increases the virtual address space from 256 TiB to 128 PiB and the physical address space from 64 TiB to 4 PiB. Intel’s 5-level paging works by extending the size of virtual addresses to 57 bits from 48 bits.

      • Linux Foundation
        • Interview with the Cloud Foundry Foundation CTO

          In this interview, Chip Childers, the CTO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation talks about some hot topics.

        • Research Shows Open Source Program Offices Improve Software Practices

          Using open source software is commonplace, with only a minority of companies preferring a proprietary-first software policy. Proponents of free and open source software (FOSS) have moved to the next phases of open source adoption, widening FOSS usage within the enterprise as well as gaining the “digital transformation” benefits associated with open source and cloud native best practices.

          Companies, as well as FOSS advocates, are determining the best ways to promote these business goals, while at the same time keeping alive the spirit and ethos of the non-commercial communities that have embodied the open source movement for years.

        • Linux Foundation Survey Proves Open-Source Offices Work Better
      • Graphics Stack
        • Radeon ROCm 2.7.2 Released

          Radeon ROCm 2.7.2 is now available as the newest update to AMD’s open-source GPU compute stack for Linux systems.

          ROCm 2.7.2 is a small release that just fixes the upgrade path when moving from older ROCm releases, v2.7.2 should now be running correctly. This release comes after the recent ROCm 2.7.1 point release that had corrected some components from properly loading the ROC tracer library.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Wine or Emulation
      • Wine-Staging 4.16 Brings Rendering Fix For A Number Of Direct3D Games

        Based off yesterday’s release of Wine 4.16, the Wine-Staging 4.16 update out today is more prominent with a number of new patches introduced to this experimental/testing flavor of Wine for running Windows games/applications on Linux.

        Wine-Staging 4.16 brings a tentative fix for this six year old bug report about Direct3D 9 rendering issues. The functionality can be enabled via a new “multiply_special” registry key to workaround issues with Final Fantasy XIV, The Witcher 2, Darkness II, Need for Speed Shift 2, Resident Evil 4, and other games.

    • Games
      • Kind Words, a pretty sweet experience about sending and receiving anonymous letters

        Developer Popcannibal (Make Sail, Girls Like Robots) just released an updated version of the Humble Original Kind Words with Linux support. Originally released in July’s Humble Monthly as an original game, Popcannibal did some tweaks and released it this week on Steam.

      • Dead Rising 4 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

        Dead Rising 4 running through Steam play.

      • Steam Play Proton 4.11-4 has been released into the wild

        Get ready for another weekend full of testing games, as Valve and CodeWeavers have put out a fresh official build of Steam Play Proton for your pleasure.

      • Village building sim with god powers Rise to Ruins to leave Early Access next month

        Developer Raymond Doerr has announced their village building sim Rise to Ruins will leave Early Access on October 14th.

        A game regular GamingOnLinux readers will most likely be familiar with, since I’ve written about it quite a few times when checking up on development. The progress on it and how it’s grown has been astonishing. Coming from such a basic village builder into a highly engrossing mix of village building, god sim and tower defense all in one it’s great. The current trailer is a little old but it gives you a reasonable idea:

      • Weekend Deals: grab DiRT Rally completely free to keep and more not to miss

        Just a quick one really on some excellent deals going on right now, including two games you can grab completely free to keep.

        On Steam you can currently pick up DiRT Rally with 100% off, so if you don’t own it you can add it to your Steam Library and keep it forever. It’s really challenging but also incredibly fun, give it a go! Additionally, the THE GREAT GEOMETRIC MULTIVERSE TOUR, an indie FPS is also 100% off on Steam. Both deals should end on Monday, 16th at 5PM UTC.

        Also a reminder about Deep Rock Galactic, it’s fantastic in Steam Play and it’s having a free weekend with a big sale.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • KDE Frameworks 5.62.0

          KDE Frameworks are over 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks web page.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.62 Released With KWayland Additions & Other Improvements

          KDE Frameworks 5.62 is out today as the latest monthly update to this collection of KDE libraries complementing the Qt5 tool-kit offerings.

        • Back from Akademy 2019 in Milan

          The last week I was in Milan with my wife Aiswarya to attend Akademy 2019, the yearly event of the KDE community. Once again it was a great experience, with lots of interesting conferences and productive BoF sessions (“Birds of a Feather”, a common name for a project meeting during a conference).

          On Sunday, we presented our talk “GCompris in Kerala, part 2”. First, Aiswarya told some bits of Free-Software history in Kerala, gave examples of how GCompris is used there, and explained her work to localize the new version of GCompris in Malayalam (the language of this Indian state). Then I made a quick report of what happened in GCompris the last 2 years, and talked about the things to come for our next release.

        • Akademy was a blast!

          I attended my first ever Akademy! The event was held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy this year. And the experience was splendid. During the 2 day conference, I had the opportunity to talk at the Student Showcase, where all of the SoC students presented their work to the community. There were about 8 students, and everyone gave a good briefing on their project.

          My project this summer was with Kdenlive, the open source non linear professional video editor. I proposed to revamp one of the frequently used tools in the editor, called the Titler tool, which is used to create title clips. Title clips are video clips that contain text and/or images that are composited or appended to your video (eg: subtitles). The problem with the titler tool as it is, is that it uses QGraphicsView to describe a title clip and QGraphicsView was deprecated since the release of Qt5. This obviously leads to problems – upstream bugs crawling affecting the functionality of the tool and an overall degradation in the ease of maintenance of the codebase. Moreover, adding new features to the existing code base was no easy task and therefore, a complete revamp was something in sights of the developer community in Kdenlive for a long time now. I proposed to rework on the backend for the period of GSoC replacing the use of XML with QML and use a new rendering backend with QQuickRenderControl, along with a new MLT module to handle the QML frames. I was able to cover most of the proposed work, I seek to continue working on it and finish evolving the titler tool.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GNOME Shell + Mutter Patches Pending For Wayland Fullscreen Compositing Bypass

          There’s an exciting patch set to GNOME Shell and Mutter now pending for finally wiring up the full-screen unredirected display / full-screen bypass compositing for helping the performance of full-screen games in particular on Wayland.

          GNOME on X11 has long supported the full-screen compositing bypass so the window manager / compositor gets out of the way when running full-screen games/applications. That support under Wayland hasn’t been in place and thus there is a performance hit for full-screen Wayland-native software. But now thanks to Red Hat’s Jonas Ådahl, that infrastructure now appears to be ready.

    • Distributions
      • Slackware Family
        • September Edition of Plasma5 for Slackware

          After a summer hiatus during which I only released new packages for KDE Frameworks because they addressed a serious security hole, I am now back in business and just released KDE-5_19.09 for Slackware-current.

          The packages for KDE-5_19.09 are available for download from my ‘ktown‘ repository. As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a full installation of Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2. On my laptop with slackware64-current, this new release of Plasma5 runs smooth.

      • Debian Family
        • Releasing Slax 9.11.0

          New school year has started again and next version of Slax is here too this time it is 9.11.0. This release includes all bug fixes and security updates from Debian 9.11 (code name Jessie), and adds a boot parameter to disable console blanking (console blanking is disabled by default).

          You can get the newest version at the project’s home page, there are options to purchase Slax on DVD or USB device, as well as links for free download.

          Surprisingly for me we skipped 9.10, I am not sure why

          I also experimented with the newly released series of Debian 10 (code name Buster) and noticed several differences which need addressing, so Slax based on Debian 10 is in progress, but not ready yet. Considering my current workload and other circumstances, it will take some more time to get it ready, few weeks at least.

        • Slax 9.11 Released While Re-Base To Debian 10 Is In Development

          Slax 9.11 pulls in all the package updates and fixes from Debian 9.11. Meanwhile the lead developer is working on a presumably “Slax 10″ that is rebased against Debian 10. But there are a number of issues still needing to be addressed and as such that next major Slax release is still some time out from being released.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • 14 Essential Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts

          You probably already know a stack of keyboard shortcuts already because general actions like copy (ctrl + c), paste (ctrl + v), and undo are the same across all operating systems and throughout most (if not all) software.

          So in this post we focus solely on a set of Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts you might not know about, as well as those that you might, but always forget to use!

          Read all the way to the end for a bonus tip on how to create custom keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu for your favourite apps and CLI tools — and to download our newbie-friendly Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet!

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Xabber Server v.0.9 alpha is released

        After almost three years of research, planning and development we’re proud to present the first public version of Xabber Server. Server is licensed under GNU AGPL v3 license, source code is available on GitHub. It is a fork of superb open source source XMPP server ejabberd by ProcessOne, with many custom protocol improvements an an all-new management panel.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • Noted MIT Computer Scientist Defends Jeffrey Epstein in Leaked Emails

          Richard Stallman is a noted alumnus of MIT who remains listed as a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). In the world of free software, he’s considered one of the earliest pioneers. He also helped develop the GNU Project, which has had a significant impact on the development of computers and technology.

          Now for the bad part — and it’s really, really bad: Stallman has some very troubling opinions on the subject of Jeffrey Epstein, along with a host of related subjects. MIT graduate and engineer Selam Jie Gano was the first to raise the alarm about this, with a long post on Medium quoting an email Stallman recently sent to the CSAIL mailing list and exploring other deeply dodgy things he’s said and done in the past.

        • MIT Students Think President L. Rafael Reif Should Also Resign Over Taking Jeffrey Epstein’s Money

          Last week, Media Lab director Joi Ito resigned after admitting that he had also taken Epstein’s money to fund his personal investments. Both Ito and Reif insist that they simply thought Epstein was a convicted sex offender and didn’t know he was a sex trafficker. Meanwhile, over on the MIT email listserv, computer scientist Richard Stallman is asking if maybe Epstein’s victims aren’t to blame for all this.

        • MIT scientist says Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre was ‘entirely willing’: report

          Stallman allegedly blasted the email out Thursday to a mailing list for MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, according to an MIT alumni who leaked the message, Selam Jie Gano.

          Stallman was apparently responding to an email alerting students of an anti-Epstein protest at MIT.

          The university has come under fire after Giuffre’s allegations and revelations its highly acclaimed Media Lab accepted donations from Epstein.

        • It’s time to talk about post-RMS Free Software

          Richard Stallman has once again managed to demonstrate incredible insensitivity[1]. There’s an argument that in a pure technical universe this is irrelevant and we should instead only consider what he does in free software[2], but free software isn’t a purely technical topic – the GNU Manifesto is nakedly political, and while free software may result in better technical outcomes it is fundamentally focused on individual freedom and will compromise on technical excellence if otherwise the result would be any compromise on those freedoms. And in a political movement, there is no way that we can ignore the behaviour and beliefs of that movement’s leader. Stallman is driving away our natural allies. It’s inappropriate for him to continue as the figurehead for free software.

        • Bison 3.4.2 released [stable] Bison 3.4.2 is a bug fix release of the 3.4 series. It fixes a number of hard-to-find bugs, mostly discovered by fuzzing. In Bison 3.4 a particular focus was put on improving the diagnostics, which are now colored by default, and accurate with multibyte input. Their format was also changed, and is now similar to GCC 9's diagnostics. Users of the default backend (yacc.c) can use the new %define variable api.header.include to avoid duplicating the content of the generated header in the generated parser. There are two new examples installed, including a reentrant calculator which supports recursive calls to the parser and Flex-generated scanner. See below for more details. ================================================================== Bison is a general-purpose parser generator that converts an annotated context-free grammar into a deterministic LR or generalized LR (GLR) parser employing LALR(1) parser tables. Bison can also generate IELR(1) or canonical LR(1) parser tables. Once you are proficient with Bison, you can use it to develop a wide range of language parsers, from those used in simple desk calculators to complex programming languages. Bison is upward compatible with Yacc: all properly-written Yacc grammars work with Bison with no change. Anyone familiar with Yacc should be able to use Bison with little trouble. You need to be fluent in C, C++ or Java programming in order to use Bison. Here is the GNU Bison home page: https://gnu.org/software/bison/ ================================================================== Here are the compressed sources: https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.gz (4.1MB) https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.xz (3.1MB) Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]: https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.gz.sig https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.xz.sig Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth: https://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact. First, be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball. Then, run a command like this: gpg --verify bison-3.4.2.tar.gz.sig If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, then run this command to import it: gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 0DDCAA3278D5264E and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command. This release was bootstrapped with the following tools: Autoconf 2.69 Automake 1.16.1 Flex 2.6.4 Gettext 0.19.8.1 Gnulib v0.1-2844-g03add7eb9 ================================================================== NEWS * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4.2 (2019-09-08) [stable] ** Bug fixes In some cases, when warnings are disabled, bison could emit tons of white spaces as diagnostics. When running out of memory, bison could crash (found by fuzzing). When defining twice the EOF token, bison would crash. New warnings from recent compilers have been addressed in the generated parsers (yacc.c, glr.c, glr.cc). When lone carriage-return characters appeared in the input file, diagnostics could hang forever. * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4.1 (2019-05-22) [stable] ** Bug fixes Portability fixes. * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4 (2019-05-19) [stable] ** Deprecated features The %pure-parser directive is deprecated in favor of '%define api.pure' since Bison 2.3b (2008-05-27), but no warning was issued; there is one now. Note that since Bison 2.7 you are strongly encouraged to use '%define api.pure full' instead of '%define api.pure'. ** New features *** Colored diagnostics As an experimental feature, diagnostics are now colored, controlled by the new options --color and --style. To use them, install the libtextstyle library before configuring Bison. It is available from https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/ for instance https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/libtextstyle-0.8.tar.gz The option --color supports the following arguments: - always, yes: Enable colors. - never, no: Disable colors. - auto, tty (default): Enable colors if the output device is a tty. To customize the styles, create a CSS file similar to /* bison-bw.css */ .warning { } .error { font-weight: 800; text-decoration: underline; } .note { } then invoke bison with --style=bison-bw.css, or set the BISON_STYLE environment variable to "bison-bw.css". *** Disabling output When given -fsyntax-only, the diagnostics are reported, but no output is generated. The name of this option is somewhat misleading as bison does more than just checking the syntax: every stage is run (including checking for conflicts for instance), except the generation of the output files. *** Include the generated header (yacc.c) Before, when --defines is used, bison generated a header, and pasted an exact copy of it into the generated parser implementation file. If the header name is not "y.tab.h", it is now #included instead of being duplicated. To use an '#include' even if the header name is "y.tab.h" (which is what happens with --yacc, or when using the Autotools' ylwrap), define api.header.include to the exact argument to pass to #include. For instance: %define api.header.include {"parse.h"} or %define api.header.include {<parser/parse.h>} *** api.location.type is now supported in C (yacc.c, glr.c) The %define variable api.location.type defines the name of the type to use for locations. When defined, Bison no longer defines YYLTYPE. This can be used in programs with several parsers to factor their definition of locations: let one of them generate them, and the others just use them. ** Changes *** Graphviz output In conformance with the recommendations of the Graphviz team, if %require "3.4" (or better) is specified, the option --graph generates a *.gv file by default, instead of *.dot. *** Diagnostics overhaul Column numbers were wrong with multibyte characters, which would also result in skewed diagnostics with carets. Beside, because we were indenting the quoted source with a single space, lines with tab characters were incorrectly underlined. To address these issues, and to be clearer, Bison now issues diagnostics as GCC9 does. For instance it used to display (there's a tab before the opening brace): foo.y:3.37-38: error: $2 of ‘expr’ has no declared type expr: expr '+' "number" { $$ = $1 + $2; } ^~ It now reports foo.y:3.37-38: error: $2 of ‘expr’ has no declared type 3 | expr: expr '+' "number" { $$ = $1 + $2; } | ^~ Other constructs now also have better locations, resulting in more precise diagnostics. *** Fix-it hints for %empty Running Bison with -Wempty-rules and --update will remove incorrect %empty annotations, and add the missing ones. *** Generated reports The format of the reports (parse.output) was improved for readability. *** Better support for --no-line. When --no-line is used, the generated files are now cleaner: no lines are generated instead of empty lines. Together with using api.header.include, that should help people saving the generated files into version control systems get smaller diffs. ** Documentation A new example in C shows an simple infix calculator with a hand-written scanner (examples/c/calc). A new example in C shows a reentrant parser (capable of recursive calls) built with Flex and Bison (examples/c/reccalc). There is a new section about the history of Yaccs and Bison. ** Bug fixes A few obscure bugs were fixed, including the second oldest (known) bug in Bison: it was there when Bison was entered in the RCS version control system, in December 1987. See the NEWS of Bison 3.3 for the previous oldest bug.
      • Public Services/Government
  • Leftovers
    • Farmers, chefs fight to save classic ingredients in Mexican cuisine

      She says her mission is to save the “saberes y sabores” — the knowledge and flavors — of traditional Mexican food.

      Climate change is just one of the threats facing the ingredients of Mexico’s renowned cuisine, which was named an essential part of the world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2010.

      [...]

      According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which launched a campaign last month to save Mexico’s classic ingredients, six out of every 10 chiles consumed in the country today come from Chinese seeds.

      But now some farmers and chefs are fighting back to save Mexico’s indigenous chiles, beans, tomatoes, gourds, maize and more.

    • Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in prison in admissions scandal, possible sign of what’s to come for others charged

      “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT scores in the college admissions scandal that ensnared dozens of wealthy and well-connected parents.

      Huffman, 56, became the first of 34 parents to be sentenced in the case. She was also given a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and a year of supervised release.

      Before sentencing, she tearfully described her daughter asking why Huffman didn’t trust her.

      “I can only say I am so sorry, Sophia,” Huffman said. “I was frightened. I was stupid, and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done. I have inflicted more damage than I could ever imagine. I now see all the things that led me down this road, but ultimately none of the reasons matter because at the end of the day I had a choice. I could have said no.”

    • Science
      • As Michigan schools ban cellphones, reports surface of ‘talking,’ ‘eye contact’

        Pew found that 95 percent of U.S. teens age 13 to 17 use a smartphone and 45 percent say they are online “almost constantly.” More than half said they spend too much time on their phones. Another survey found teens were on their phones nearly nine hours a day.

        Almost a fourth in the Pew survey said social media had a “mostly negative effect” on their lives.

        A third study, from the University of San Diego, concluded that students frequently on their cellphones were twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety as low-level users of cellphones.

        Some experts suspect that obsessive cellphone use may in fact be a physiological addiction, as the brain releases the chemical dopamine – part of the brain’s pleasure circuitry – with each digital notification.

      • I Won’t Buy My Teenagers Smartphones

        Now that my oldest is in ninth grade, it occurs to me that this decision not to buy him the one thing that every other kid has might be the most subversive, countercultural gesture of my entire life. I’m a total conformist. I follow the rules. I return my library books on time or pay the fine. My husband is a captain in the Navy—certainly not countercultural. As soon as the first baby came along, we bought a minivan. We’ve never been out there trying to make any bold statements. And yet, when it comes to allowing my teenagers access to smartphones, I am apparently a rebel. Is resisting this ubiquitous technology really worth it?

        For me, it is. I believe that a smartphone too accessible, given too early, and in the wrong hands is at best an addictive distraction and at worst a handheld siphon draining away children’s youth one beep, one swipe, one notification at a time.

    • Health/Nutrition
      • N.Y. Finds $1B in Hidden Transfers by Family Behind OxyContin

        The family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma used Swiss and other hidden accounts to transfer $1 billion to themselves, New York state’s attorney general contends in court papers filed Friday.

      • Medicaid’s Dark Secret

        She soon learned that the rumors held some truth. Medicaid, the government program that provides health care to more than 75 million low-income and disabled Americans, isn’t necessarily free. It’s the only major welfare program that can function like a loan. Medicaid recipients over the age of 55 are expected to repay the government for many medical expenses—and states will seize houses and other assets after those recipients die in order to satisfy the debt.

      • Thousands of Poor Patients Face Lawsuits From Nonprofit Hospitals That Trap Them in Debt

        Over the past few months, several hospitals have announced major changes to their financial assistance policies, including curtailing the number of lawsuits they file against low-income patients unable to pay their medical bills.

        Investigative reports have spurred the moves, and they prompted criticism from a top federal official.

      • After Being Sued, Mississippi Rewrites Its Unconstitutional Ban On The Use Of Meat Words By Vegan Food Producers

        Mississippi legislators — apparently guided by “threatened” cattle farmers — decided to rewrite its product-labeling laws. It enacted a statute forbidding producers of non-meat products from using meat-associated terms to describe their products. This unconstitutional requirement was put in place to supposedly reduce customer confusion, but the labels targeted made it clear their products — hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. — contained zero meat.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Pen-testing duo cuffed for breaking into courthouse that hired them

        Later, the County official discovered that the two men were in fact, hired by the state court administration to try to “access” court records through “various means” to find out potential security vulnerabilities of the electronic court records.

        The state court administration acknowledged that the two men had been hired, but said they were not supposed to physically break into the courthouse.

    • Defence/Aggression
      • Library-Themed University Phishing Attack Expands to Massive Scale

        The domains are associated with a group of Iranian cyberattackers collectively known as Cobalt Dickens or Silent Librarian. As Threatpost recently reported in a post on the group’s attack tactics, the attackers are looking to use fake, library-themed landing pages to steal students’ credentials, then use those to steal and resell intellectual property, move laterally within organizations, conduct internal phishing and more.

        New details from Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) researchers this week show that in total, Cobalt Dickens is actively targeting at least 380 universities in more than 30 countries. Many universities have been targeted multiple times, the firm said.

      • Rwandans Charged With Murder of Exiled Critic

        South Africa’s National Prosecution Authority has issued arrest warrants for two Rwandans accused of murdering Rwandan critic Colonel Patrick Karegeya, who was found dead in his hotel room in Johannesburg on January 1, 2014.

      • Bangladesh: Internet Blackout on Rohingya Refugees

        New telecommunications and internet restrictions on Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh will disrupt critical humanitarian and emergency services.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • This game uses troll tactics to teach critical thinking

        Enter Finnish Public Broadcasting Company, Yle, which is hoping to harness the engagement power of gamification to accelerate awareness and understanding of troll tactics and help more people spot malicious internet fakes. It has put together an online game, called Troll Factory, that lets you play at being, well, a hateful troll. Literally.

        The game begins with a trigger warning that it uses “authentic social media content” that viewers may find disturbing. If you continue to play you’ll see examples of Islamophobic slogans and memes that have actually been spread on social media. So the trigger warning is definitely merited.

      • Photojournalist who snapped ‘Tank Man’ image dies aged 64

        A film roll of the image was smuggled out of China and the photo later appeared on the front pages of global newspapers. In China, however, the image remains highly taboo and any information about the crackdown is heavily suppressed.

      • Julian Assange to stay in prison over absconding fears

        Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange is to remain in prison when his jail term ends because of his “history of absconding”, a judge has ruled.

        He was due to be released on 22 September after serving his sentence for breaching bail conditions.

        But Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard there were “substantial grounds” for believing he would abscond again.

        The Australian, 48, is fighting extradition to the US over allegations of leaking government secrets.

      • The London Upper Tribunal rejects La Repubblica’s appeal on the Assange documents

        The press does not have the right to access the full set of documents on the Julian Assange case. That is what judge Edward Mitchell finally ruled in an appeal taken to the London Upper Tribunal by la Repubblica, after we have spent the last four years trying to access the full documentation to investigate the Assange case and factually reconstruct it.

        In an extremely technical judgement just made public and which the judge himself characterises as “unusually long”, Mitchell rejects our legal arguments and states that he believed public knowledge of Mr Assange’s case would not have increased if it was known that the CPS held information from the US State Department or Department of Justice. A rather incredible argument considering that the entire Assange case revolves around the role of the United States authorities, who want to get their hands on the WikiLeaks founder, extradite him to the US and jail him for life: establishing whether the British and US authorities discussed this possibility from the very beginning is crucial.

        Julian Assange is currently in the high-security prison in Belmarsh in London. He is in very precarious condition and in fact is still in Belmarsh’s health unit. Last July the UN Special Rapporteur on torture said he is “gravely concerned” about his situation. Assange is awaiting the extradition hearing, after US authorities indicted him for alleged violations of the US Espionage Act for the publication of secret US government documents. A crucial extradition hearing is supposed to be held in February 2020 in London. If the founder of WikiLeaks is extradited to the US, he risks 175 years in jail: it would be the first time in US history that a journalist has ended up in jail for his work.

    • Environment
    • Finance
      • Workers Need More Rights and Economic Democracy

        As someone who has been a union member since I was a Marine with the American Servicemen’s Union until I retired last year as a Teamster as well as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, I have lived the reality of mistreatment of workers in the United States.

      • The Intellectual Development of Karl Marx

        The first installment of Michael Heinrich’s three-volume biography of Karl Marx titled “Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society” is now available from Monthly Review Press. In keeping with MR’s long-time tradition as a movement rather than an academic press, the cloth edition is $34.95 and the eBook is only $19.95. Given the renewed attention to Karl Marx since the financial crisis of 2008, it will help us understand how his life and thought evolved. Heinrich is a consummate scholar of Marxism, best known until now for his 2012 “An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital”, also available from MR.

      • Spooked by Facebook’s Libra, euro zone to step up work on public cryptocurrency

        The 19-country bloc is also united in pursuing a tough regulatory approach should Libra seek authorizations to operate in Europe. It is also considering a common set of rules for virtual currencies, which are currently largely unregulated.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Super-Delegated and Relegated

        After reading a number of recent articles by Norman Solomon in which he seems to be chronically bristling under his democrat identity, his frustration with his party keeps reminding me why the democrats and republicans are both wastes of energy.

      • RCMP Attempt to Silence Critics of Trudeau Foreign Policy

        On Tuesday two RCMP agents came to my house. Two large men in suits asked for me and when my partner said I wasn’t there they asked who she was.

      • Hong Kong’s Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes get a protest makeover

        The tops often have intricate Chinese character designs detailing the brand or the filling inside.

        But Suen’s mooncakes have different kinds of messages printed on them such as “Hong Kong People”, “No withdrawal, no dispersal” and “Be Water”.

        All are chants heard on Hong Kong’s streets in the last three months, as huge crowds come out to protest eroding freedoms after two decades of rule by Beijing.

      • Of Course It’s an Impeachment Inquiry

        Let’s clear things up: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she’s “not answering any more questions about a possible inquiry, investigation, and the rest” because “there is nothing different from one day to the next.”

        But something new did happen on Thursday. The Judiciary Committee’s Democratic majority voted to open an “investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with regard to President Donald J. Trump.” In so doing, they established guidelines for pursuing an inquiry—with committee chair Jerry Nadler noting, correctly, that “Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms.”

      • Voters would back temporary government of national unity to avoid no deal, poll finds

        Voters would back the creation of a temporary government of national unity to avoid a no-deal Brexit, according to a new poll.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Danish News Round-Up: Facebook data centre opens ahead of schedule

        There was no red ribbon, but a big blue button, as Facebook’s new 400 million kroner data centre officially opened in Odense yesterday – several months ahead of schedule.

      • Microsoft is thrusting its hidden telemetry app at Windows 7 and 8.1 users again [iophk: noxious payloads piggybacked onto "security" updates]

        Microsoft is up to its old tricks again, sneaking in some cheeky telemetry software with an update.

        Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 have once again been greeted this month with a ‘security only’ update rollup which actually hides some telemetry spyware within, designed to allow Microsoft to keep tabs on your usage.

      • Drastic falls in cost are powering another computer revolution

        Up close, the result will be a steady stream of quotidian benefits. Some will arise from convenience. Microchipped clothes could tell washing machines how to treat them. Smart traffic systems will reduce waiting times at traffic lights and better distribute cars through a city. Some will be the sorts of productivity improvements that are the fundamental drivers of economic growth. Data from factory robots, for instance, will allow algorithms to predict when they will break down, and schedule maintenance to ensure that does not happen. Implanted sensors will spot early signs of illness in farm animals, and micromanage their feeding. Collectively, those benefits will add up to a more profound change: by gathering and processing vast quantities of data about itself, a computerised world will allow its inhabitants to quantify and analyse all manner of things that used to be intuitive and inexact.

        One way to understand the IoT says Martin Garner at CCS Insight, a firm of analysts, is by analogy with another world-changing innovation. Over the past century electricity has allowed consumers and businesses at least in the rich world, access to a fundamental, universally useful good—energy—when and where they needed it. The IoT aims to do for information what electricity did for energy.

      • ‘If I Happen to Fall out of a Window, You Can Be Sure I Was Pushed’

        Snowden: I hope not. But look, if I had wanted to live a safe life, I would still be sitting in Hawaii in paradise with the woman I love collecting a huge paycheck to do almost no work. But what makes a life? It’s not just who we think we are, it’s the choices we make. If I can’t return home to my country, I will at least know that I made it better. And no matter what happens, that’s something I can live with.

      • In ‘Permanent Record,’ Edward Snowden Says ‘Exile Is An Endless Layover’

        So what’s changed since Snowden’s revelations?

        The law, for one. In 2015, Congress passed the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which prohibits the bulk collection of the phone records of American citizens, addressing one of Snowden’s major complaints. Now the government must get a court warrant to look at individual phone records.

        Also, ordinary citizens have become much more aware of how governments and private companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google may collect personal data. This has, in turn, has led to the much wider use of encryption.

        “2016 was a landmark in tech history, the first year since the invention of the Internet that more Web traffic was encrypted than unencrypted,” writes Snowden.

      • Edward Snowden’s memoir reveals some (but not all)

        The press, he notes, mostly missed a story that was squatting right out in the open. Why else would the NSA build what was originally called the Massive Data Repository, a colossal data-storage facility in the Utah desert? He cites an unclassified presentation given by Ira Hunt, then the chief technologist at the CIA, in which he blithely told a crowd of conference attendees and journalists that “it is nearly within our grasp to compute on all human-generated information”, and that the spooks could eavesdrop on every one of their communications and track their smartphones even when they were switched off. Appalled by the power and intrusiveness of a mass-surveillance system that had been developed without public consent, Mr Snowden says, he began organising one of the largest leaks in the history of American spying.

        This is Mr Snowden’s account of an episode that still provokes powerful emotions. He says mass surveillance directly contradicts both the spirit and letter of America’s constitution, which is designed to protect its citizens from an over-mighty government. His former employers decry him as a traitor. Western officials have alleged that China and Russia have managed to decrypt some of the cache of documents he took, something that, on Mr Snowden’s telling, should be impossible. For now at least, the truth remains unknowable.

      • Australia is considering mimicking the UK’s failed porn block policy

        According to the report, the committee intends not only to examine how age verification works on gambling sites, but also to look specifically at the UK version from the Digital Economy Act 2017.

        They’ll have to make do with looking at the Act, because the actual policy hasn’t been enacted yet, already missing two deadlines and last seen with the promise of a revised roll out before 2020. Our bet is closer to “the 1st of Never”, but trust whichever source you prefer.

      • Denmark Releases 32 Prisoners Convicted Because Of Flawed Mobile Phone Tracking Data

        A few weeks ago, Techdirt wrote about Denmark reviewing 10,000 court verdicts because of errors in mobile phone tracking data that was offered as evidence in those cases. At that time, it wasn’t clear how many of the group were affected by the unreliable data. However, the Guardian reports that 32 people have already been freed. Given the large number of cases involved, it seems unlikely that many have been reviewed in such a short space of time. If that’s the case, it is possible that quite a few more verdicts will be overturned, and more people released. Companies providing mobile phone services in Denmark are naturally keen to distance themselves from this mess. Jakob Willer, speaking on behalf of the country’s telecoms industry association, said it was not their job to provide evidence:

      • Google’s smart home ecosystem is a complete mess

        A few days ago, I tried and failed to install Google’s smart smoke detector — the Nest Protect — at the CNET Smart Home. After nearly two hours on the phone with the help desk, the Nest App and device still refused to connect. Why? Well, I finally discovered, a problem on the iOS version of the Nest App won’t allow a Nest Protect to be installed after a Nest Hub Max, Google’s shiny new smart display. Eventually, following a suggestion from Google, I had to dig up an old Android-based Galaxy Note 6 to properly install the smoke detector.

        If Google’s own smart home products act like embarrassed step-siblings, many erstwhile Works with Nest gadgets seem like they won’t even visit for the holidays anymore. And it’s not their fault: It turns out Google is a terrible parent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
    • Civil Rights/Policing
        • Amazon-owned Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for part-time workers

          Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, and the grocery chain currently employs roughly 95,000 people. Amazon, on the other hand, is worth nearly $910 billion, making it the third most valuable company on the planet behind Apple and Microsoft, both of which passed trillion-dollar market valuations over the past 12 months.

          Despite running only the third most valuable company, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person, with a net worth north of $115 billion, thanks to the sheer volume of Amazon shares he owns as the company’s sole CEO since its creation in 1994.

        • The 2 Instagram influencers detained in Iran are held in a prison where people are reportedly threatened with dismemberment, forced to eat dirt, and sleep on cockroach-infested floors

          Jolie King and Mark Firkin are being held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, The Times of London, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Persian-language Manoto TV reported. Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to confirm the location.

        • Michigan has a smart idea for fixing gerrymandering. Conservatives want to crush it.

          Political operatives are much more likely to seek deadlock and push the issues to Michigan courts, where Republicans have a majority on the state Supreme Court. Indeed, conservative law professor and former 10th Circuit judge Michael McConnell recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court arguing that the patronage cases do not apply to judges because judges are policymakers. McConnell is trying to get the Court to reinstate a rule requiring partisan balance on Delaware’s courts, which are appointed by the governor and approved by the state senate. The same reasoning applies to Michigan’s commission; the commissioners are policymakers and the state can decide to achieve balance and exclude party insiders.

        • Edward Snowden Tells NPR: The Executive Branch ‘Sort Of Hacked The Constitution’

          “No one becomes a whistleblower because they want to,” he said. “No one becomes a whistleblower because it has a happy ending.”

          Snowden warned that wide-scale data collection continues. He recalled the moment the light clicked: He was in a Best Buy, looking at “smart” refrigerators and stoves, when it dawned on him that the manufacturers, not the purchasers and owners, were the ones ultimately in control.

          “Where this data that your refrigerator was collecting, that your phone was collecting, that the government was collecting — where all of this data was going was intentionally hidden from us,” he said. “We are no longer partner to our technology, in large part, just as we are increasingly, unfortunately, no longer partner to our government, so much as subject to them. And this is a dangerous trend.”

        • Joie-de-Job: Staying High, at Work

          On listening to Alabama Shakes frontwoman and three-time Grammy winner Brittany Howard’s “Stay High,” an early release from her debut solo album Jamie due out next Friday, I thought of Matsuo Bansho’s sixteenth-century haiku: “Beginning of all art / a song when planting a rice field / in the country’s inmost part.” Perhaps implied in those three lines is the fulfillment of work done not just in the natural world, but in harmony with it. Bansho’s voice calls from a vanished time before our separation from that world.

        • Hempress Sativa: “Rastafari Should be Protected”

          Hempress Sativa is one of the most dynamic and talented performers – male or woman – in reggae music today. Currently at work on her sophomore album following her extremely impressive debut “Unconquerebel” – and its dub version with legendary sound engineer Scientist (“Scientist Meets Hempress Sativa in Dub”) – Hempress Sativa is a spiritual, powerful, deeply conscious Rastafari singer. Born into a musical family, she grew up surrounded and nurtured by some of the biggest names in Jamaican music.

        • As Students From China Flock to University of Illinois, Lawsuit Alleges Ex-Professor Targeted Female Chinese Students

          This week, my NPR Illinois and ProPublica colleagues reported on a lawsuit filed by two former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and a professor at another college against former Illinois professor Gary Gang Xu, alleging he assaulted, bullied and raped multiple students — and specifically targeted female Chinese students.

          During the past decade, the flagship campus at Urbana-Champaign has become a destination for students from China and has enrolled more Chinese undergraduates during some years than any university in the U.S. There are 569 freshmen from China this year, about 7.4% of the class, according to university data released this week. Overall, there are 5,825 U. of I. students from China, including more than 3,000 undergraduates.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • Comcast Sues Maine For Demanding It Sell TV Channels À La Carte

        Over the last few years, telecom giants have increasingly been trying to claim that pretty much any effort to hold them accountable for their terrible service (or anything else) is a violation of their First Amendment rights. Historically that hasn’t gone so well. For example, courts generally laughed off ISP lawyer claims that net neutrality violated their free speech rights, quite correctly highlighting that ISPs are simply conduits to information, not acting as editors of available speech through their blocking or filtering of available information.

      • Disney’s Bob Iger Resigns From Apple’s Board as Companies Launch Competing Streaming Services

        But while the two companies had long been intertwined at the helm, plans to launch competing streaming services were increasingly putting Apple and Disney at odds. Disney is set to launch its Disney Plus service on November 12, whereas Apple TV Plus will launch on November 1.

        As the two companies enter the global streaming market, they aren’t just competing for consumer dollars, but also for programming rights. By some reports, Apple has allocated as much as $6 billion for Apple TV Plus content.

      • MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

        Even with MoviePass’ evident demise, the service has spurred theater chains including AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark to launch their own rival subscription plans. Last month, AMC said its Stubs A-List program, which lets subscribers see three movies weekly for $19.95 a month, had hit 900,000 subscribers.

      • MoviePass is shutting down September 14th

        According to Helios and Matheson, MoviePass was too far gone to save. “On September 13, 2019, MoviePass notified its subscribers that it would be interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective September 14, 2019, because its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” reads the release.

    • Monopolies
      • Patents and Software Patents
        • Curver v. Home Expressions Advances Design Patent Law

          In today’s Curver v. Home Expressions decision, the Federal Circuit resolved several outstanding questions regarding design patents. In particular, the Federal Circuit rejected the notion that a design can be claimed, untethered from a specific article of manufacture to which it is applied. It also rejected the notion that the verbal portion of a design patent—the title and the claim, in particular—are irrelevant to analyzing the scope of the right.

          Citing work from Prof. Sarah Burstein, one of the foremost scholars of design patents, the opinion stated that a design per se, untethered from any specific article, would create difficulties for the public in identifying the scope of what the design patent protects, as well as for the Patent Office in creating a reasonable scope within which to search for prior art. Again citing Prof. Burstein, the court also noted that a rule that ignores the title and claim language of a design patent makes those components meaningless—surplusage that “would provide no useful information at all.”

        • Looney Coons meets resistance to ill-conceived STRONGER Patents bill that would increase patent troll litigation, harm high-tech innovators

          Over at IPWatchdog they have a summary of this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (video recording) on the STRONGER Patents Act, a bill primarily (but not exclusively) put forward and promoted by Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.). They place a little more emphasis on quotes from those supporting the bill, but they do acknowledge a “sharp split on injunctive relief, IPR [PTAB inter partes reviews] fixes.”

          The bill’s name stands for “Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience,” but there’s nothing positive to say about its content other than recognizing the creativity that went into the derivation of this marketing-friendly acronym and the fact that there is widespread consensus one should end USPTO fee diversion. While the tertiary item on “assisting small businesses in the U.S. patent system” sounds good, it’s useless and amounts to diversionary tactics.

          Like many–if not most–legislative proposals, “STRONGER” is a misnomer, and those opposing the pillars of that reactionary and harmful proposal stressed that stronger enforceability of patents doesn’t mean a stronger innovation economy. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation accurately stated, that bill “would make bad patents stronger than ever.” In a Washington Examiner op-ed, the R Street Institute’s Charles Duan proposes that “Congress should look for solutions that enhance not the strength of patents, but the strength of patent correctness.”

        • State Rights; Sovereign Immunity; and the Patent System

          UMN sued LSI and Ericsson for infringing several of its semiconductor related patents. U.S. Patents 5,859,601, 7,251,768, RE45,230, 8,588,317, 8,718,185, and 8,774,309. Those two companies then petitioned the USPTO for inter partes review (IPR) of the asserted claims. The PTAB then dismissed the proceedings – holding that 11th Amendment sovereign immunity applied to IPR proceedings. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit reversed – holding that sovereign immunity does not protect state-owned patents from being cancelled by the PTAB.

          A key Supreme Court precedent on-point is Fed. Mar. Comm’n v. S.C. State Ports Auth., 535 U.S. 743 (2002) (FMC) (presumptive state immunity even in administrative adjudications). Here a major difference is that we have property-rights at stake that create special in rem jurisdiction potential and that UMN has already attacked the IPR petitioners by suing them for infringement, creating potential waiver.

        • Japanese courts slow to adopt information technologies

          It has been pointed out that Japan is behind Singapore, China, South Korea and other countries in the adoption of IT for proceedings. In Japan, there is a saying “Knocking on a strong stone bridge before crossing it”. It means to be excessively cautious. Today’s Japan seems not to be able to cross the bridge before everyone else cross it.

          My concern is that Japan may be not able to change its current situation until it recognize the fact that Japan is behind other countries, especially China and Korea. I’m afraid that innovative people around the world will not want to partner with a country or companies that have such a mindset.

        • Article 3(a) just keeps on giving: AG Opinion in SPC referrals C-650/17 and C-114/18

          The Advocate General (AG) has issued his opinion in SPC Referrals C-650/17 (Royalty Pharma) and C‑114/18 (Sandoz). Both referrals seek clarification over whether an SPC may be granted to a specific, individualised, embodiment of the product claimed by the basic patent. The referrals particularly relate to the correct interpretation of Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 469/2009). Article 3(a) states that an SPC shall be granted for a product “protected by a basic patent in force”. C-650/17 asks how Article 3(a) should be applied to functional claims, and C‑114/18 asks how Article 3(a) should be applied to claims specifying a Markush formula. In his opinion, the AG is clear that Article 3(a) should be interpreted for these types of claims according to the test provided in the CJEU decision C-121/17 (Teva).

      • Trademarks
        • Liverpool FC Fans Plan Protest Of Their Own Club Over Trademark Issue

          It was only a few weeks back that we were discussing Liverpool FC, a soccer team playing in the UK Premier League, attempting to get a trademark for “Liverpool”, the city in which it plays. While the club has made a point of reminding the public that its application is quite narrow, limited specifically to products and services revolving around soccer, that same public has pointed out there are both other indpendent soccer clubs in the city that would technically be infringing on that applied-for mark and that there is a culture of independent retailers selling fan gear that would get caught up in this as well. Liverpool FC, meanwhile, maintains that it wouldn’t go after either group, but instead are interested only in protecting its fans from mass-makers of counterfeit apparel and the like.

        • Tempting to trade mark the Olympics: Beware of reputation

          With several attempts to trade mark the name of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, Dutch-based Tempting Brands is on track to clash with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

          [...]

          In April every year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the IP community celebrate ‘World Intellectual Property Day. This year’s theme was ‘Reach for Gold: IP and Sports’. The Director-General of WIPO, Dr Francis Gurry, emphasised that “Intellectual property rights underlie and empower the financial model of all sporting events worldwide.” As any observant Kat will know there is no better example of this than the Olympic Games.

          The Olympic Games remains one of the most well-known sporting events in the world, which alternate every two years with the Summer games set for Tokyo in 2020 and the Winter games in Beijing in 2022. In order to protect its brand and reputation, the IOC relies on the Nairobi Treaty, as well as national legislation (in Australia: Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987), to protect its Olympic marks and insignia.

      • Copyrights
        • Rojadirecta Puts Up Defense But Can’t Escape ISP Blockade

          A Danish court has ordered Internet provider Telenor to block access to the famous sports streaming site Rojadirecta. The order was requested by local anti-piracy group RettighedsAlliancen and Spanish football league La Liga. Rojadirecta, which filed its objections on paper without success, has yet to decide whether it will appeal.

        • Brazzers Wants Cloudflare to Identify YesPornPlease Uploaders

          MG Premium, a company operated by adult giant Mindgeek, is attempting to find out who is pirating its Brazzers-branded content. In a DMCA subpoena application filed in Washington, the company wants Cloudflare to reveal who is behind thousands of ‘pirate’ uploads on YesPornPlease.com – one of the world’s largest porn sites – in some cases dating back to 2016.

        • Loot Boxes Should Be Regulated as Gambling, UK Parliament Says

          The saga of loot boxes continues. This time, it’s Parliament weighing in, with the UK’s governing body releasing a report from its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on the issue of loot boxes in games and how they should be handled by regulatory bodies.

          The big takeaway? As many people have insisted for a while now, the report suggests that loot boxes—wherein you spend real money for the chance to get a thing you want—are gambling. And, specifically, as Rock Paper Shotgun explains, this committee thinks they should be regulated under UK gambling law since they are “games of chance played for money’s worth.” If this regulation happens, it could have pretty big ripples. We’ll be following this one.

Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the ‘Norm’ in Europe

Saturday 14th of September 2019 04:06:02 PM

The European Patent Office keeps spitting on the laws which govern it (EPC)

Summary: Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole ‘patent bubble’ lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)

35 U.S.C. § 101 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the EPC at the European Patent Office (EPO) ought to have prevented all sorts of crazy abstract patents or patents on things in nature; but António Campinos follows Battistelli‘s footsteps and only ever strives to increase so-called ‘production’ as measured by things like number of patents granted. This means that bogus European Patents are being granted.

“Too bad the EPO does not follow the rule of law, maybe the other German constitutional complaint about the EPO will end up declaring the EPC construction illegal…”
      –Benjamin HenrionIn response to something we wrote some days ago about Koch v EPO [1, 2, 3, 4] Benjamin Henrion of FFII joked about the FCC (Germany’s Constitutional Court): “Too bad the EPO does not follow the rule of law, maybe the other German constitutional complaint about the EPO will end up declaring the EPC construction illegal…”

Given that the EPO already grants lots of software patents in Europe, one wonders if the EPO is bound by the EPC and Europe’s political system. As recently as days ago the EPO mentioned Fröhlich, a booster of illegal software patents. “Michael Fröhlich,” it said, “our Director European & International Legal Affairs, PCT, will be talking about the most efficient filing strategies at this event. It’s being held in various European cities…”

Michael Fröhlich typically offers tricks and loopholes for obtaining illegal patents. We’ve mentioned Fröhlich several times over the years, e.g. in relation to “blockchain” patents.

“Michael Fröhlich typically offers tricks and loopholes for obtaining illegal patents.”Lawlessness isn’t limited to the EPO itself. As we’ve shown here many times before, it extends to ILO — a subject we shall revisit some other day. They hide the lawlessness using all sorts of legal maneuvering. It would be good for all EPO staff to become familiar with these tricks. As Henrion put it just before the weekend: “Software patents are excluded from the EPC art52, but the EPO grants them anyway. And even if this case makes jurisprudence in Belgium on that topic, the EPO will ignore it and continue to pollute the market with those pesky patents.”

Henrion also took note of some more propaganda from Bardehle Pagenberg; they constantly promote these illegal patents — something they try to specialise in. Here’s Bardehle Pagenberg’s Bastian Best pushing their sales pitch into hubs right now. So does Kilburn & Strode LLP, which we wrote about earlier today (same hubs).

“Video games are software. Algorithms in computer games (as opposed to controllers etc.) are not patent-eligible, even if one calls them “AI” or whatever.”Misleading headlines can now be found in Lexology (original here by Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Thomas Hamer and Matthew Woodhill). It’s a marketing piece by which they try to advance/push fake patents into Europe (where these patent are illegal), riding hype waves and buzzwords such as “AI”. To quote: “A recent report by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) puts the 2018 market size for the video game industry in Europe at €21bn, with a year-on-year growth of 15%. It’s therefore no wonder that the biggest players in the industry want to protect the next generation of hand-held controllers, software and consoles. By looking at publication and grant data for applications at the EPO over the last 10 years, we can observe the technological trends in this time and try to predict what the future might have in store for gamers. [...] The third patent trend: using AI and machine learning (ML) to dynamically improve gameplay.”

Video games are software. Algorithms in computer games (as opposed to controllers etc.) are not patent-eligible, even if one calls them “AI” or whatever. Surely they know this, but they just don’t care. Neither does the EPO, whose management actively encourages applicants to call all sorts of things “AI” and then pressures examiners to grant.

Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to ‘Globalise’ a System of Monopolies on Everything

Saturday 14th of September 2019 03:45:58 PM

Summary: Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide

DAYS ago the European Patent Office (EPO) had a meeting with the litigation ‘industry’ instead of scientists. This is rather ‘normal’ these days; António Campinos — like Battistelli — always meets non-scientists like himself. He also puts them in management around him (it’s a lot worse than in the USPTO ). He refuses to face actual scientists except when they’re on stage to receive an award, whereupon it’s an opportunity to make the EPO seem less defunct… or a patent office for science (in the service of “Invention”). The EPO wrote about its latest meetings (warning: epo.org link) just two days ago. To quote: “The EPO also held bilateral meetings with the Swedish, Finnish and Danish national intellectual property offices to discuss how the EPO can further support them in strengthening the local innovation system. They discussed co-operation activities set out in the EPO’s Strategic Plan related to IT tools, knowledge sharing, quality and aligning practices. In addition, activities aimed at raising IP awareness among SMEs and researchers, as well as deploying measures that help bring inventions to market were addressed.”

“They don’t listen to actual scientists and no wonder they promote software patents in Europe even though programmers oppose these.”These NPOs (national patent offices) are mostly lawyers unless they speak to examiners, which of course they don’t. They don’t listen to actual scientists and no wonder they promote software patents in Europe even though programmers oppose these. Mirage News then published “Heads of IPO, EPO and USPTO discuss global patents system” (taking patent maximalism global). We wrote a lot about this roughly a decade ago, based on Wikileaks’ Cablegate. Here’s what these people have in mind:

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Chief Executive Tim Moss hosted intellectual property (IP) leaders at a patent showcase event in London on 13 September.

Tim met with Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Andrei Iancu and European Patent Office (EPO) President, António Campinos.

Topics discussed included their visions for the future of the global patent system, the transformation taking place within IP offices and the cooperation between them. They also shared thoughts on how these developments will benefit users of the global patent system.

The heads of offices met a selection of the UK’s top IP professionals and groups representing the biggest users of the UK patent system.

Notice the role of Tim Moss and António Campinos, who manages the former colleague of Moss. They speak (in this article) of a “global patent system.” Pretty astounding considering the utter mess the EPO has become! European media may choose not to cover it anymore and IP Kat too was threatened into silence (it used to cover EPO scandals before censoring all comments about Campinos), but the cracks are on the surface and some of the latest comments at IP Kat bring up concerns, e.g.

To avoid that everyone is forced to apply the simple take home message from this case, we can ask the EPO to automatically include a sentence like “we intend to pay the fee code XXX mentioned above” in the generated 1038E sheet, when a specific fee code XXX is chosen. The EPO was capable introducing to automatically pre-tick the box “examination is hereby requested”….

That’s a pretty minor ‘scandal’ compared to many of the rest. Here’s a new comment by “Not everything feasible is to be done”; it’s about the EPO granting patents on life itself in defiance of instructions from the EU and irrespective of impact on public health:

That the CRISPR Scientist defends its position and wants to promote the technique is understandable. But not everything which is technically feasible should be done.

Look at the burden the present generation imposes on future ones when it comes to dealing with waste from atomic power plants. Energy generation in atomic plants might be CO2 neutral as such, but what about the waste? It is there for many many more generations!

As long as it is not demonstrated up to the hilt that using this gene editing tool is safe, any gene modification is to be equated with that obtained for GMO and has to be characterised as such.

From what one reads, even here by the CRIPR scientist himself, this is far of being the case, and the EU is right in not have wool pulled over its eyes.

That nature allows to obtain gene modifications by selection and or breeding is one thing. Simply wanting to accelerate the process by some magical tool is not correct as long as it is not possible to foresee the long term consequences of it.

When the likes of Bayer (Monsanto’s new handler, notorious for its role in genocide) have so many lobbyists in Europe it’s no surprise that their cancer-causing products are not just legal but also enshrined as monopolies through patents — those same patents that are then used to sue farmers who dare not use RoundUp (and merely get ‘contaminated’).

“When the likes of Bayer (Monsanto’s new handler, notorious for its role in genocide) have so many lobbyists in Europe it’s no surprise that their cancer-causing products are not just legal but also enshrined as monopolies through patents…”There’s too much ugly stuff on the surface and beneath it. As one person put it this morning, pointing to our recent article about EPO-Serco: “Internet Censorship. News. Irony. British prisons management company SERCO have been hired by the EU to censor unwanted political opinions and deplatform unwanted media sources. SERCO are also the arbiters and custodians of EU patents. Nothing to see here.”

Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli ‘Metastasising’ in Private Law Firms

Saturday 14th of September 2019 03:05:16 PM

EPO revolving doors totally acceptable when you serve Team Battistelli

Summary: The EPO’s Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect

“REAL SOON NOW!”

That’s what Team UPC wants us to think of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). They keep telling me stuff like this in Twitter, but evidence suggests otherwise. I choose not to reply; they try to provoke for a response they can somehow take out of context. It’s an entrapment and opponents of the UPC call it that. They try to put UPC critics in a position wherein they seem ‘clueless’ about what they oppose.

“They try to put UPC critics in a position wherein they seem ‘clueless’ about what they oppose.”Unitary Patent (UP) rebuttals are necessary; there’s lots of propaganda to come shortly from Team UPC, i.e. from people whose entire career for about a decade was advocacy of UPC (for personal gain in the monetary sense). Lots of new FUD is afoot, no doubt about it, and it’s connected to corrupt EPO officials like António Campinos or like Benoît Battistelli. They stand to gain from the UPC, even if the people of Europe stand to lose. The European Patent Office is just some empty vessel for them — something with which to propel and boost interests of the litigation ‘industry’. If the Office dies in the process, so be it; they don’t really care. If European firms suffer? They couldn’t care any less. The only firms they care about is their own, i.e. law firms, unproductive firms.

“If European firms suffer? They couldn’t care any less. The only firms they care about is their own, i.e. law firms, unproductive firms.”As we shall explain in a later post, Lexology was recently bombarded with lots of shameless self-promotion by a firm with special EPO connections. Lexology is connected to IAM, the EPO’s prime propaganda machine.

Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Carrollanne Lindley wrote some days ago (to be boosted by Lexology) that UPC “would allow central revocation, enforcement and litigation throughout the EU [and] becomes more uncertain in the light of Brexit.”

“Uncertain” as in dead? Here is the whole paragraph which is relevant:

​Patents. Clients should be reassured that the implication of Brexit for patents is less substantial as there is little post grant pan-European patent law (in fact the only post grant pan-European law is relatively rare and is at the level of the Court of Justice of the European Union). The European Patent Convention (EPC) is not an EU body. The future of an EU Unitary Patent (UP) and an EU Unitary Patent Court (UPC) that would allow central revocation, enforcement and litigation throughout the EU becomes more uncertain in the light of Brexit.

“Clients”…

This is news? This is what now counts as ‘news’ (in Google News, owing to Lexology as a gateway)?

Private firms’ promotional messages to “Clients” are not news. They’re sales pitch. It’s marketing.

But pressing on, around the same time we saw Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Albert Keyack with his own puff piece (apparently they’ve paid Lexology to promote their stuff, as it shows up everywhere lately).

“As we explained some months ago (after readers too had alerted us), this is a classic case of revolving doors with the EPO (something ordinary EPO staff, such as examiners, isn’t permitted to do; strictly).”Wait, did we say “Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Albert Keyack”?

Yes, that’s the EPO’s Albert Keyack.

As we explained some months ago (after readers too had alerted us), this is a classic case of revolving doors with the EPO (something ordinary EPO staff, such as examiners, isn’t permitted to do; strictly). Now comes UPC advocacy (i.e. lies) from what became the Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP. He wrote:

The UK is set to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019 (‘Exit Day’).

[...]

What about the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court (the UPC Agreement)?

As of mid-2019, 16 EU member states (including the UK) have ratified the convention related to the new pan-European patent (Unitary Patent) and pan-European patent court (Unified Patent Court). The EPO, which is not an EU institution, would administer both the granting of these patents and the courts. All that remains for the new system to take effect is the required ratification by Germany (although ratification is currently under consideration by the German Constitutional Court). IP owners would not be able to use the Unitary Patent system to protect their inventions within the UK, and it is unclear whether post-Brexit rulings by the new court would or would not be enforceable within the UK. The UPC Agreement, once enacted, will be available to protect inventions within the 25 (of 28) EU member states that have joined, but rights holders will still be able to obtain equivalent UK patents (enforced in UK courts) to protect their inventions in the UK from either European patent applications designating the UK filed at the EPO, or UK national patent applications filed at the UK IPO – exactly the system in place today.

Notice that optimism. So he has basically already decided that UPC will come “real soon now” (not a direct quote) and somehow the UK leaving the EU would not be an issue at all. This is great propaganda from one of Battistelli’s own ‘chefs’…

“Our Prime Minister’s (not even elected!) own brother was recently “re-appointed as UK IP Minister” as well.”If the Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP is such a liar, how much better can their lawyers be? Probably the same ‘gene pool’ as Alan Johnson and Edward Nodder of Bristows LLP. They’ve been doing ‘damage control’ after the UK’s ‘IP Minister’ resigned again (that's four times in 3 years!) — revealing the extent of the chaos UPC hopefuls are facing. Just before the weekend Nodder wrote: “Chris Skidmore re-appointed as UK IP Minister [..]. Mr Skidmore was previously IP Minister between 5 December 2018 and 25 July 2019.”

Our Prime Minister’s (not even elected!) own brother was recently "re-appointed as UK IP Minister" as well. What a mess; it’s all nepotism and corruption. Over and over again. No consequences; no investigation, let alone punishment.

“Nothing “community” or “unitary” or “unified” to see here, except in name. United in greed — the law firms’!”As the FFII’s President has just put it (in reply to an EU chief): “The “rule of law”, but the EPO cannot be sued in court for maladministration. Can you explain how the Unitary Patent is compatible with the treaty then?”

It’s incompatible and unconstitutional. I also responded by saying: “At the same time the corrupt EPO threats to sue me, several times, for exposing its corruption…”

If this is what the EU boils down to under the EPO regime (remember that UPC — unlike the EPO — is an ‘EU thing’), then Team UPC liars and nepotists are becoming a credibility threat to the EU. They’re in effect fracturing Europe, not uniting it. Nothing “community” or “unitary” or “unified” to see here, except in name. United in greed — the law firms’!

Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake ‘Love’

Saturday 14th of September 2019 11:48:45 AM

If you can’t get them fired, ‘charm’ them

Summary: The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it’s worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed

Microsoft loves [to attack] Linux (usually by proxy, in ‘creative’ new ways, as internal Microsoft documents admit and have already revealed). A lot of people aren’t aware of it or in denial about it (especially those whose financial interests intersect with such a convenient denial).

This post explains three such strands of attacks, based on new articles which are only days old.

From Bought Seats to Misleading Media

“Congrats to Zemlin and the Golden Boys (money). They sell out to Microsoft so that you don’t have to (and they profit from it!).”So Microsoft bought some more seats from the Jim Zemlin-led Linux Foundation (this was announced just yesterday). Congrats to Zemlin and the Golden Boys (money). They sell out to Microsoft so that you don’t have to (and they profit from it!). As it turns out, handing over community-run projects to large corporations can be a very profitable activity. About $100,000,000 per year

Who advocates such an activity? Over the years we’ve named some of the biggest culprits, including Mac Asay, who was turning his back on Open Source to promote proprietary software openwashing. When he worked as COO at Canonical he wasn’t even using GNU/Linux! Just like Jono Bacon…

“Remember that Asay applied for a job at Microsoft and went for interviews there, by his own admission (in his personal blog).”One reader sent us a pointer to this latest article from Asay, asking us: “How did that guy worm his way into regular publication?”

“Adobe paid the publishers,” I responded. “Follow the money.”

At times his articles are published with disclosure, literally stating that they’re sponsored by his employer (at the time), Adobe. He recently moved to AWS after he had repeatedly advocated their malicious exploitation of FOSS projects — causing these projects to become proprietary. One might joke that the job offer from Amazon was a “reward” for what he did. “The US Department of Defense isn’t turning its back on open source,” he now says, “it’s just getting smarter about it.”

No, it’s becoming more proprietary and this is nothing to be celebrated! Unless you work for AWS, in which case it’s very much in tune with the whole ‘cloud’ (Clown Computing) business model. DoD is now outsourcing a lot of stuff to AWS, Asay’s employer.

“Phipps is a tough nut for Microsoft to crack (or buy). We need more like him.”Remember that Asay applied for a job at Microsoft and went for interviews there, by his own admission (in his personal blog). He later brought Microsoft to OSI (after he had gotten a seat there — a seat he no longer has).

Influence from seats in key institutions is prerequisite/prelude to entryism, which is why we were glad to see Microsoft leaving the OSI's Board some time earlier this year. This relieving news may only be temporary; judging by what Simon Phipps tweeted the other day about Stallman, he still views Microsoft as a threat. Phipps has long been resisting entryism by Microsoft, viewing that as a “submarine”…

Phipps is a tough nut for Microsoft to crack (or buy). We need more like him.

From Hate to Fake ‘Love’

If no proprietary software is tolerated by people, then openwashing with ‘fake news’ will be attempted. People who value Software Freedom will be singled out and painted as “extremists” and “zealots” (unless/until they sell out). Microsoft knows these tactics; it’s not even novel as it’s done a lot in politics. Or in religion, which is what Microsoft has become.

“If no proprietary software is tolerated by people, then openwashing with ‘fake news’ will be attempted.”Don’t get us started on Swapnil’s site (not Linux.com but his personal site, which we prefer not to link to); it is a cesspool of marketing spam and lightly-edited press releases. Linux.com is now run by these types. Thanks, “Linux” Foundation… and thank you, Microsoft, for “loving” us.

We’re not sure how many of our readers are aware of/familiar with Jason from Forbes. He’s their only writer who covers GNU/Linux. He does a pretty good job. So now Microsoft targets him…

Yes, they contacted him. Who did? Not a “Linux advocate” as Jason puts it (in his headline) but someone who helps Microsoft, i.e. Windows, Azure etc.

“Microsoft knows these tactics; it’s not even novel as it’s done a lot in politics. Or in religion, which is what Microsoft has become.”We’ve never heard his name before. He merely talks/tells a bunch of lies to Jason, e.g.: “At Microsoft, we have many statements like ‘Microsoft ❤️ Linux’ and ‘Microsoft ❤️ Open Source’, but the one that resonates with me most right now is ‘Microsoft runs on trust,’” Scott tells me.”

Scott?

Not Guthrie?

I’ve been around for a very long time (reading GNU/Linux news all day long) and not even once did I stumble upon this name. Never. He’s a faker. Like a person who climbed a mountain once and then claims to be a “mountain climber”.

What does Scott promote through Jason at Forbes? Open Source? Nope. This is proprietary software. This is Microsoft. This is surveillance. The article — to make matters even worse — comes with a lie, manufactured by Microsoft, as a feature image. The lie is embedded in pixels that are passed around like that. “Microsoft loves Linux…”

“…the way Microsoft manipulates writers into it has been documented here for years. Sometimes these writers ‘blow the whistle’ — so to speak — instead of cooperating with Microsoft.”Yeah, right!

Jason, this time you messed up! You let them manipulate you. The link (URL)? Here. In case someone wants a dose of nonsense.

Jason’s example is one of many; the way Microsoft manipulates writers into it has been documented here for years. Sometimes these writers ‘blow the whistle’ — so to speak — instead of cooperating with Microsoft.

From Openwashing to Googlebombing

What would happen if people started to associate proprietary software with “Open”? Or Windows with “Linux”? What if the vocabulary we all use ceased to have a meaningful purpose and became so ambiguous and confusing that it’s an hopeless exercise in (mis)communication? Someone has just called the above (from Jason) openwashing [1, 2]. The term “openwashing” is catching on; it helps describe what we’re talking about. It’s an attack on language itself, it’s a lexical attack vector.

Here’s an example; so there’s this thing called WSL (or WSL2). Up until recently it was just Windows calling itself “Linux”. We explained the motivation. It is a Microsoft Trojan horse strategy, using “Linux” as a Windows/Azure ‘ramp’. Watch what was published two days ago about “Windows Subsystem for Linux 2″ (it’s part of the headline, which actually entered news feeds about Linux).

“Towards the end of this past week about a quarter of the search results for “Linux” were actually Microsoft something…”The day before we learned of “Cortana and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) improvements” (another headline) and last night “Windows 10 Preview Adds Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 on ARM64 Devices” (from Microsoft-connected media). Towards the end of this past week about a quarter of the search results for “Linux” were actually Microsoft something…

Sometimes it’s as much as a half! Like one week earlier.

Microsoft fights us with googlebombing techniques. And it may be winning. It’s working. Instead of seeing GNU/Linux wins (like the big news from Huawei) people see some Vista 10 ‘spam’. Microsoft has resorted to rather effective Trojan horse strategies. These are ‘side perks’; it’s at least partly intentional and they teach these things in marketing schools/colleges.

This is upsetting; “another spying app for Microsoft” is what my wife called this new thing (she covers Android at Tux Machines and is increasingly being presented with Microsoft proprietary surveillance stuff, which Microsoft ‘googlebombs’ Android with).

“Based on mails we’ve been receiving, there are reactionary movements in the making.”She also complained about this “Microsoft PlayReady DRM server on Linux.”

This is the type of stuff she finds when looking for “Linux” news. That’s just leveraged to promote and spread Microsoft malice and lock-in (DRM).

Understanding the game Microsoft plays is essential if we intend to tackle it. We’re merely explaining what we see. Based on mails we’ve been receiving, there are reactionary movements in the making.

Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source ‘Communities’ That Proprietary Software Giants Are ‘Friends’

Saturday 14th of September 2019 09:39:55 AM

Summary: The openwashing services of the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called “Open” and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called ‘compromise’ which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)

“HOW did we get here?”

Many people ask us such questions…

Ask Jim Zemlin instead.

The “Registrant Contact” for Linux.com is “Jim Zemlin”. So a person who never uses GNU/Linux… owns Linux.com. Great!

A whois lookup shows that “Domain Name: LINUX.COM” has “Creation Date: 1994-06-02T04:00:00Z”

“The “Registrant Contact” for Linux.com is “Jim Zemlin”. So a person who never uses GNU/Linux… owns Linux.com.”So the site turned 25 only 2 months after Zemlin and the Golden Boys (gold, as in money) had fired all the staff. They ended up sacking all Linux.com journalists and editors — actual users of GNU/Linux — without prior notice (lack of funds was definitely not the problem!), only to be replaced by obedient openwashing pros, making the site more ‘in tune’ with the Openwashing as a Service (OaaS) business strategy of the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation.

The Linux Foundation has been thoroughly and almost entirely captured by inherently-monopolistic corporate interests from the Board downwards, which means it cannot be salvaged or repair itself, only replaced. Entryism kills institution by undermining their goals. This is what happened here. The Linux Foundation’s chiefs (what’s left after many got removed) would likely tell us GPL is a “cancer” (if they could). We were shocked when someone recently told us, based on research he had done, that the last project released by the Foundation with a GPL-like licence was Xen. That was ages ago and since then the Foundation actively attacked the GPL, as we noted some days ago. This is the licence of Linux, which Torvalds loves. The “Linux Foundation” is against the license of Linux.

“The Linux Foundation has been thoroughly and almost entirely captured by inherently-monopolistic corporate interests from the Board downwards, which means it cannot be salvaged or repair itself, only replaced.”We’re meanwhile watching, with increasing levels of concern, SUSE’s retreat to its (or Novell’s) proprietary roots. It’s getting down on its knees again for Microsoft (Friday’s Azure promotion). It’s basically a Microsoft ad in SUSE’s official blog. “This blog was written based on the SUSECON 2019 presentation given by Stephen Mogg, Technical Strategist for SAP and Public Cloud and Mark Gonnelly, Senior Consultant for SUSE Consulting,” it says.

Notice SAP in there as well. SAP has too much control over SUSE these days and one must remember that SAP has long been close to Microsoft (it was almost bought by it) and it attacks Free software behind the scenes, sometimes even publicly. See old posts such as “Shai Agassi, SAP, and Open Source Software” or Open-source community hits back against SAP. The insults they threw at Open Source match those Microsoft had thrown before them. Cancer, socialism, you name it…

These companies are looking for ways to portray themselves as “open” without actually changing in any concrete way; same business models, same development paradigms.

“We’re meanwhile watching, with increasing levels of concern, SUSE’s retreat to its (or Novell’s) proprietary roots.”Swapnil made the openwashing image at the top. He actually made this phony nonsense. These liars for hire of the ‘Linux’ Foundation aren’t even using Linux. It’s all Microsoft and Apple stuff in his Twitter feed.

“The thing about the Linux Foundation is,” I wrote yesterday, “many have known for a while that it went awry, but 1) they didn’t say anything and 2) they didn’t understand just how bad it had become…”

One critic of the Foundation (for quite some time) responded: “Was when I was in Seattle on a Moodle gig… There was a foundation [Linux Foundation] event. There was a free pass to the security talks… So mysel+my gentoo friend went. They gave us full passes because they claimed there were no security passes left. Then I saw. Not community! And saw..and saw…”

“Saying that Linux needs Big Corporations to “succeed” is like saying that feminism needs financial support from wealthy white men who dominate the “rich lists” owing to the status quo feminists are looking to tackle…”She has been in the Linux community for decades and her site bemoans a corporate takeover disguised thinly as ‘social issues’. In her own words: “There is a poison spreading within our community. From my perspective, this is coming from people who do not code, who do not understand an inkling of what it is like to be a programmer, a maintainer, and put your heart and soul into a project.”

Some people saw that coming a long time ago. Remember that those looking to cause trouble aren’t critic of the Linux Foundation but of actual Linux developers (vastly different things). Saying that Linux needs Big Corporations to “succeed” is like saying that feminism needs financial support from wealthy white men who dominate the “rich lists” owing to the status quo feminists are looking to tackle…

What would GNU/Linux be if it was 100% dominated and controlled by the companies that compete against it technically and philosophically (as explained in our previous post)?

Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

Saturday 14th of September 2019 08:46:29 AM

It’s all about domination and about money

Summary: Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some ‘slush funds’

“HAPPY TIMES” for Jim Zemlin at the Linux Foundation. Two companies he adores, Apple and Microsoft, are on board (or Board) with him. More press releases this past week from the ‘Linux’ Foundation about Microsoft and Apple (than about anything else combined). Whose foundation is it? The proprietary software giants’.

Here’s the Microsoft puff piece and a separate one for Apple. “The Academy Software Foundation,” it says, “a collaborative effort to advance open source software development in the motion picture and media industries, today announced that Apple has joined the Foundation as a Premier member.”

“It’s about helping to run the “Open Source” on proprietary operating systems with DRM and back doors.”That just means payment. That’s all. Nothing else is necessary! Cheap PR stunt (by their financial standards this is ‘slush funds’).

Apple-centric sites take note (for openwashing of Apple of course!) and so do Microsoft apologists, in all their colours of the rainbow. Openwashing is a powerful PR tactic after all — one we shall deal with separately (later this weekend).

So what’s it all about?

Not much.

Do Apple and Microsoft give some code?

No.

“Well, the Linux Foundation says it’s an “open source” and “collaboration” platform. So why is it outsourcing all that collaboration to a proprietary software platform (GitHub) owned and controlled (even censored) by the biggest opponent of Open Source?”Microsoft pays some more money to Zemlin; for the ‘Linux’ Foundation to keep outsourcing virtually all of these projects to Microsoft (GitHub). It’s like a recruitment drive. Microsoft pays ‘Linux’ Foundation to outsource everything in this foundation to Microsoft, as we explained earlier (check where the Academy Software Foundation shelves its code).

Here’s one press article with “Microsoft”, “Apple” and “Open Source” in the headline:

Microsoft and Apple have both joined the Academy Software Foundation, a group designed to promote the use of open source in Hollywood. Both companies joined the foundation at the premier membership level, which helps it to surpass $1 million in annual funding.

“Filmmakers everywhere use Apple products,” said Academy Software Foundation executive director David Morin in a statement. “We are delighted to welcome Apple as a new member, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that our open source projects run well on Apple software platforms.”

In addition to becoming a premier member, Microsoft is also joining the foundation’s governing board and technical advisory council.

It’s about helping to run the “Open Source” on proprietary operating systems with DRM and back doors. Is that an actual contribution?

Also notice how Microsoft has just, in effect, bought itself a seat on the “governing board and technical advisory council.”

Well, the Linux Foundation says it’s an “open source” and “collaboration” platform. So why is it outsourcing all that collaboration to a proprietary software platform (GitHub) owned and controlled (even censored) by the biggest opponent of Open Source? Because that’s just this foundation’s business model. Nothing out of the ordinary here (from their point of view).

Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

Saturday 14th of September 2019 04:19:22 AM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Huawei Opts for Linux on Its Laptops

        Huawei created its own operating system called HarmonyOS to potentially replace Android on smarpthones, but for laptops, the Chinese company is opting for Linux.

        As TechRepublic reports, Huawei continues to face trade restrictions with the US, meaning it needs to rethink the software shipping on its devices. For phones, that means HarmonyOS instead of Android if necessary. Now that same thinking is being applied to laptops because Windows 10 is developed by Microsoft, a US company.

        Huawei’s Windows-alternative is a rather obvious one and it looks to be already using it. Three listings have appeared in China for the MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro, all of which run Deepin Linux. And as there’s no Windows license to pay, the laptops are priced between $42-$84 cheaper depending on which model is chosen.

      • Huawei is selling Linux laptops in China

        Huawei is selling Linux laptops in China

        09/13/2019 at 8:40 AM by Brad Linder 4 Comments

        Huawei’s laptops have made a bit of a splash in recent years thanks to a combination of strong performance, design, and build quality.

        But Huawei is a relative newcomer to the personal computer space, having introduced its first tablet in 2016 and its first laptop just a year later.

        So with the company still dealing with the fallout of US trade policy generally as well as those targeted specifically at Huawei, it’s unsurprising to see Huawei looking for alternatives to US-based software. Huawei’s Harmony OS is coming to smart TVs and other devices (possibly including phones). And it looks like Huawei is already selling laptops with Linux software in China. There’s no word on whether the company plans to use Linux rather than Windows in other markets.

      • Huawei Is Selling Laptops Running Linux In China

        Specifically, these laptops are the Huawei MateBook X Pro, MateBook 13 and MateBook 14. They run Deepin Linux, which some would argue as the better looking versions of the operating system. This particular distribution of Linux also recently added a cloud sync feature. This lets you save various system settings to the cloud, which can be useful if you foresee reinstalling your OS often.

      • HUAWEI MATEBOOK LINUX (DEEPIN) VERSION DEMONSTRATED

        Huawei has a laptop series called MateBook. In this line, the company has released a number of outstanding models designed for all categories of customers. And if taking into account that Honor belongs to Huawei as well, we can say there are notebooks packed with both Intel and AMD chips. But still, something is missing. Earlier today, the company announced the new Huawei MateBook Linux version. It turns out Huawei and Deepin Linux have already carried out ‘long-term adaptation work’.

        [...]

        Though Huawei didn’t disclose much and didn’t talk about the goals of designing this laptop, we think it’s mainly related to the US list of entities. After all, both hardware and software are subject to the other party’s constraints. Huawei needs to prepare alternative solutions. Although Huawei has developed its own system, a more mature Linux system is also a good choice. Agree, in this sense, Deepin Linux is a good choice. It is quite possible for Huawei to cooperate with one of the most mature Linux distributions.

      • Huawei starts selling Matebook laptop models running Linux via VMall in China

        Apart from the smartphone business, one of Huawei‘s stronghold is its laptop business. Huawei manufactures some of the best laptops worldwide, in terms of design and even the configuration (hardware and software). Until now, Huawei laptops run Microsoft Windows but the recent US trade ban is threatening to shut down the laptop business. Well. that isn’t going to happen as Huawei has started selling its latest Matebook models running Deepin Linux.

        [...]

        The Chinese tech giant had also hinted that it would launch laptops running its self-developed HarmonyOS in the future. But for now, Deepin Linux comes to the rescue and we believe the company must have worked on the software to ensure that the desktop and other aspects like battery are optimised.

      • Huawei sells Matebooks with Linux

        Huawei is now flogging the Matebook 13, Matebook 14, and Matebook X Pro in China with Deepin Linux preinstalled.

        For those not in the know, Deepin is a Chinese-domestic distribution, with their own desktop environment. It is possible that Huawei may lose the ability to purchase Windows licenses from Microsoft due to their placement on the “entity list,” restricting companies dealing in U.S.-origin technology from conducting business with Huawei, constituting an effective blacklisting by the US government. While it might take pressure of Huawei if the US trade war gets even uglier, Huawei is passing along the savings to consumers.

        The Matebook 13 and 14 models get a 300 yuan ($42) price cut, though the Linux version of the MateBook X Pro is listed at 600 yuan ($84) higher.

      • Huawei Linux Laptops Running Deepin Linux Now Available

        Three brand new Huawei Linux Laptops running Deepin have been released by the Chinese tech giant. Deepin is a Linux distro developed in China.

        The Chinese association with Deepin is a little unsettling for some users. But the source code of this Linux distro is open for everyone to go through, so there are no serious issues there.

    • Server
      • The Next SUSE CaaS Platform is Here!

        The SUSE CaaS Platform team is excited to announce the availability of our new version 4 – a container management solution that is easier to deploy and manage at scale, richer than ever in security and control, and ready with the latest innovations!

      • SUSE Bolsters Security, Advanced Networking in SUSE CaaS Platform 4

        SUSE has revamped its SUSE CaaS Platform with a wide range of updates, including advanced networking for Kubernetes that will make it easier to configure networking with the platform, and has also bolstered its SUSE Cloud Application Platform with refinements such as improved user interface features.

        The biggest improvement to SUSE Container as a Service (CaaS) Platform 4, which is built for application developers, DevOps teams and Kubernetes container platform operators, is the new advanced networking for Kubernetes which is being brought in via the Cilium open source project, according to SUSE. Cilium works to transparently secure network connectivity between application services deployed using Linux container management platforms like Docker and Kubernetes.

      • IBM
        • IBM Storage syncs new DS8900F array to z15 mainframe launch

          Endpoint security is another new capability that IBM is adding with its Z, LinuxOne and DS8900F systems. Herzog described the new functionality as a “custom handshake” to ensure that the array and the Z system know they’re talking to each other, rather than any spoofed system.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
    • Kernel Space
      • Kernel Lockdown Feature Will Try To Land For Linux 5.4

        After going through 40+ rounds of revisions and review, the Linux kernel “LOCKDOWN” feature might finally make it into the Linux 5.4 mainline kernel.

        While not yet acted upon by Linus Torvalds with the Linux 5.4 merge window not opening until next week, James Morris has submitted a pull request introducing the kernel lockdown mode for Linux 5.4.

      • Linux 5.4 Pull Requests Begin With AMD EPYC Rome EDAC Support, 64-Bit ARM Updates

        Linux 5.3 isn’t being released until this weekend after being delayed by one week, but already there have been a few early pull requests submitted for the to-be-opened Linux 5.4 merge window.

        The early Linux 5.4 material submitted so far includes:

        ARM64 updates come in with a growing number of contributors to this 64-bit ARM architecture code. This time around there is support for 52-bit virtual addressing, early random number generator (RNG) seeding by the bootloader, improved robustness of SMP booting, support for the NXP i.MX8 DDR PMU, and various other fixes and improvements.

      • Linux 5.4 Bringing Support For Lenovo’s “PrivacyGuard” On Newer ThinkPads

        Newer high-end Lenovo ThinkPad laptops feature an option called “PrivacyGuard” for restricting the usable vertical and horizontal viewing angles of the LCD display, similar to what has been achievable previously using film covers and the like. With Linux 5.4 this feature will be supported by the kernel if concerned about others looking over your shoulders at your screen, etc.

        Lenovo PrivacyGuard allows restricting the usable vertical/horizontal angles of the laptop’s LCD panel so that ideally no one else but the user can view the screen contents. Unlike film covers or other practices, PrivacyGuard can be easily enabled/disabled depending upon your location. PrivacyGuard hasn’t worked under Linux up to this point but is coming now with Linux 5.4.

      • Support Is Being Worked On For Root File-System Support Over SMB Protocol

        More details on this work can be found via this patch series including the first patch with more documentation on this support for root file-systems via Samba shares.

        These patches aren’t in the current CIFS for-next branch so it doesn’t look like this functionality will be making it for Linux 5.4.

      • Intel
        • Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux To Help With Performance

          Going on for months had been work by Intel Linux developers on supporting the FSGSBASE instruction for helping Intel CPU performance going back to Ivybridge where this instruction set extension was first introduced. The FSGSBASE support was queued for the Linux 5.3 kernel but was reverted due to “serious bugs” in the implementation. Intel has now published a revised version of this support.

        • Intel’s H.265 Encoder SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 Released With Optimizations & More

          While not quite as exciting as the big performance boost found with SVT-VP9 for AVX2 CPUs a few days ago, Intel’s Scalable Video Technology team has released SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 as their newest feature release to this open-source H.265/HEVC video encoder.

          SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 now allows setting an arbitrary thread count for the program, there is a new tile group for better tile parallelism to help with performance, support for building both shared and static libraries, fixed motion vector out-of-bounds issues, and other fixes resolved.

    • Benchmarks
      • The Sandy Bridge Core i7 3960X Benchmarked Against Today’s Six-Core / 12 Thread AMD/Intel CPUs

        Complementing our recent AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Linux benchmarking, with recently having out the Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition, here are benchmarks showing that previous $999 USD six-core / twelve-thread processor compared to today’s Ryzen 5 3600X (and previous-generation Ryzen 5 2600X) as well as the Core i7 8700K.

        As some Friday benchmarking fun, this article offers a fresh look at how the once high-end Core i7 3960X compared to today’s AMD Ryzen 5 processors at six-cores / twelve-threads and also having in the similarly core/thread count Core i7 8700K.

        Besides the Core i7 3960X having cost a great deal more ($999~1059 USD compared to the Ryzen 5 3600X at $250 USD), the i7-3960X has a 130 Watt TDP compared to the Zen 2 mid-range processor at 95 Watts. The i7-3960X carries a 3.3GHz base clock with 3.9GHz turbo frequency compared to the 3600X at 3.8GHz and boosting up to 4.4GHz.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Wine or Emulation
      • Wine Announcement The Wine development release 4.16 is now available. What's new in this release (see below for details): - More reliable mouse grabbing in games. - Better cross-compilation support in WineGCC. - Improved compatibility with Windows debuggers. - Various bug fixes.
      • Wine 4.16 is out with ‘more reliable mouse grabbing in games’

        The Wine team have opened up another bottle of the good stuff this evening, with the Wine 4.16 development release now available.

      • Wine 4.16 Bringing Better Compatibility With Windows Debuggers

        Wine 4.16 is out as the newest bi-weekly development snapshot leading up to the Wine 5.0 release in just a few more months.

        Wine 4.16 brings more reliable mouse grabbing for Windows games, better cross-compilation support with WineGCC, and improved compatibility with Windows debuggers.

    • Games
      • Gaming: Puzzle Agent

        Two lovely but short puzzle games: Puzzle Agent and Puzzle Agent II, follow agent Nelson Tethers in his quest to solve an obscure case in Scoggins, Minnesota: The erasers factory delivering to the White House stopped production – a dangerous situation for the US and the world. Tethers embarks on a wild journey.

      • Just some of the games coming to Linux in 2019, the September edition

        It’s been quite a while since we had a listicle of interesting games gearing up for release on Linux in 2019, let’s take a fresh look today.

        There’s a huge amount coming and this list is by no means exhaustive (that would be impossible), plenty still to even be announced yet that I know of. This is just a nice and simple reminder on a few interesting titles you may have forgotten about or perhaps you might find something new.

      • Steam Play Proton 4.11-4 has been release into the wild

        Get ready for another weekend full of testing games, as Valve and CodeWeavers have put out a fresh official build of Steam Play Proton for your pleasure.

      • Proton 4.11-4 Released With Updated DXVK, Improved PS4 Controller Handling

        In time for any weekend gaming, Valve’s team maintaining their Proton downstream of Wine for powering Steam Play to run Windows games on Linux has issued their v4.11-4 update.

        Proton 4.11-4 is another update to their Wine 4.11 derived branch. With Proton 4.11-4 comes integrated the new DXVK 1.3.4, D9VK 0.21-rc-p, and FAudio 19.09 as some prominent component updates.

      • Dota Underlords to get 2 actually playable Underlords, the Duos team mode and more next month

        Valve have teased what they’re calling ‘The Big Update’ to release in early October, with the final release due not long after that for the first official season.

        The news comes from the first of two smaller updates released over the last few days, all update notes can be seen here. What Valve said they will be doing is adding in 2 playable Underlords, the Duos team mode, 6 new Heroes, 3 new Alliances and an updated user interface. That will come sometime in the first part of October, with the “final stop” (the 1.0 release) to come shortly after with 2 more Underlords, the proper Battle Pass, the City Crawl and the start of the first season.

      • Unknown Worlds are dumping the Linux version of Natural Selection 2

        Some sad news to share this Friday evening, as Unknown Worlds Entertainment have announced they’re calling it a day for the Linux version of Natural Selection 2.

        Posted in an official announcement on the NS2 website, they claim they’re doing this as a result of it apparently being “more difficult to support and develop for the platform natively” including issues like not finding enough users with QA experience to help.

        Unlike what happened with Rust, they’re not offering refunds to previous buyers. They say to claim a refund from Valve if you purchased it in the last “30″ days which isn’t even right, it’s two weeks (and under two hours) on Valve’s refund option. They will, however, continue their Linux server.

      • Story-driven tactical RPG with time manipulation mechanics ‘Iron Danger’ should come to Linux

        Here’s some fun news, Iron Danger from Action Squad Studios sounds interesting and it’s trying to set itself apart from the many turn-based tactical RPGs out there.

        With the fate of the entire world apparently in your hands you will deal with cosmic magic, monsters and colossal war machines in an attempt to save it. I like games that combine elements from different time periods, so you’re dealing with both magic and machine here. You take on the role of Kipuna, a “simple village girl” who ends up gaining power over time itself and this is used during combat.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • Akademy Report

          “Who are you people?”

          That’s what the woman selling the ferry tickets at Varenna asked me once she realized I speaked Italian. She was definitely not used to a group of ~80 people wearing a blue badge. Another woman who was selling stuff on the street asked me if we were a school.

          It’s been an amazing week and a very productive Akademy. A lot has been discussed and a lot has been decided. On my side, I’ve hosted a Dolphin BoF where we discussed both boring things (e.g. where to send bugzilla notification mails) as well as the awesome new features we are getting into Dolphin. Alexander talked about the status of the KIO Fuse project, while Méven talked about his work on the kioslave for the recently used files.

        • Akademy 2019 Wednesday and Thursday BoF Wrapup

          Wednesday continued the Akademy BoFs, group sessions and hacking in the morning followed by the daytrip in the afternoon to Lake Como, to have some fun, get away from laptops and get to know each other better. Thursday was back to BoFs, meetings and hacking culminating in a wrapup session at the end covering the last two days so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GNOME 3.34 ‘Thessaloniki’ Linux desktop environment is finally here

          There are many Linux desktop environments from which to choose — some are good, others are bad, but only one can be best — GNOME. Whether you choose Ubuntu, Fedora, Manjaro, or some other different Linux distribution, GNOME will provide you with a superior user experience. Not only is it ideal for productivity, but GNOME is quite pretty too. And yes, there are plenty of customization options. Not to mention, the excellent stock GNOME apps create a very cohesive experience overall.

          Today, GNOME 3.34 is finally released. Code-named “Thessaloniki,” the newest version of the desktop environment is chock full of new features, bug fixes, visual improvements, and updated apps. One of the most apparent changes to users will be the ability to group icons into folders within the application overview — very cool.

        • GNOME 3.34 releases with tab pinning, improved background panel, custom folders and more!

          Yesterday, GNOME 3.34 was released as the latest version of GNOME, the open-source desktop environment for Unix-like operating systems GNOME 3.34 comes 6 months after the release of GNOME 3.32, with features such as custom folders, tab pinning, improved background panel, Boxes, and much more. This release also offers support for more than 34 languages with at least 80 percent of strings translated.

          [...]

          Music can now watch tracked sources including the Music folder in the Home directory for new or changed files and will now get updated automatically. This release features gapless playback and comes with an updated layout where the album, artist and playlist views have now been updated with a better layout.

    • Distributions
      • Reviews
        • Archman Linux: Pure Arch With Extra Flair

          The distro’s origin is Turkey. That by itself is not an issue, but the reach of the Archman community’s language localization seems a bit short.

          In numerous documentation and website displays, the use of English is a bit awkward. The flawed English does not seem to be a factor within the operating system itself though. Still, if you are struggling to deal with Arch idiosyncrasies, side-stepping some of the phraseology can add to the frustration.

          Distros based on Arch Linux usually are not a good starting choice for newcomers to the Linux operating system. Users need a better handle on how Linux works to use Arch-based distros successfully. Considerable background reading is necessary for things to make sense with minimal frustration.

          Arch Linux distros in general are not ideal operating systems for users with little Linux experience. Developers of distros such as Archman Linux are trying to change that reputation. Archman Linux can be a good second OS to use as a tool for learning more about how Linux works.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • Fedora Family
        • MariaDB 10.4 + PHP 7.4 Slated For Fedora 32

          This shouldn’t come as much surprise, but the upcoming Fedora 32 will offer the latest “L.A.M.P.” stack components.

          The proposal has already been volleyed for including PHP 7.4 in Fedora 32. PHP 7.4 is due out in November as the latest annual update to PHP7. It’s too late for Fedora 31 but the timing gives plenty of room to land PHP 7.4 in Fedora 32. Read about the new features and performance improvements with PHP 7.4.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Why the founder of Apache is all-in on blockchain

        As Behlendorf tells the story, Apache came out of an environment when “we might have had a more beneficent view of technology companies. We still thought of them as leading the fight for individual empowerment.”

        At the same time, Behlendorf adds, “there was still a concern that, as the web grew, it would lose its character and its soul as this kind of funky domain, very flat space, supportive of freedoms of speech, freedoms of thought, freedoms of association that were completely novel to us at the time, but now we take for granted—or even we have found weaponized against us.”

        This led him to want Apache to address concerns that were both pragmatic in nature and more idealistic.

        The pragmatic aspect stemmed from the fact that “iteratively improving upon the NCSA web server was just easier and certainly a lot cheaper than buying Netscape’s commercial web server or thinking about IIS or any of the other commercial options at the time.” Behlendorf also acknowledges, “it’s nice to have other people out there who can review my code and [to] work together with.”

        There was also an “idealistic notion that tapped into that zeitgeist in the ’90s,” Behlendorf says. “This is a printing press. We can help people publish their own blogs, help people publish their own websites, and get as much content liberated as possible and digitized as possible. That was kind of the web movement. In particular, we felt it would be important to make sure that the printing presses remained in the hands of the people.”

      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • Armen Zambrano: A web performance issue

            Back in July and August, I was looking into a performance issue in Treeherder . Treeherder is a Django app running on Heroku with a MySql database via RDS. This post will cover some knowledge gained while investigating the performance issue and the solutions for it.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • Famed MIT Scientist Defends Epstein: Victims Were ‘Entirely Willing’

          While MIT engages in damage control following revelations the university’s Media Lab accepted millions of dollars in funding from Jeffrey Epstein, a renowned computer scientist at the university has fanned the flames by apparently going out of his way to defend the accused sex trafficker — and child pornography in general.

          Richard Stallman has been hailed as one of the most influential computer scientists around today and honored with a slew of awards and honorary doctorates, but his eminence in the academic computer science community came into question Friday afternoon when purportedly leaked email excerpts showed him suggesting one of Epstein’s alleged victims was “entirely willing.”

        • Prominent computer scientist at MIT argues definition of rape in defending money from dead sex offender

          Richard Stallman, founder of Cambridge’s Free Software Foundation and a visiting scientist at MIT, argues that Jeffrey Epstein’s victims were likely “entirely willing” and to stop besmirching the good name of deceased MIT AI guru Marvin Minsky just because he might have “had sex with one of Epstein’s harem.”

          Vice reports Stallman made his comments on an MIT mailing list on which he objected to a protest being planned for next week over MIT’s ties to the convicted sex offender long after his conviction.

        • Free software icon Richard Stallman has some moronic thoughts about pedophilia

          The world of academia is in turmoil over the shock discovery that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein funded several several prestigious science and technology research labs, including MIT’s Media Lab, long after his 2008 conviction for sex crimes involving children.

          For the late Epstein, his generous donations served to whitewash his tainted reputation. They were part of a well-sculpted PR effort that also included paid-for puff pieces in publications like Forbes and HuffPost, which emphasised his philanthropy, while conveniently ignoring his crimes.

        • Famed Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Described Epstein Victims As ‘Entirely Willing’

          Richard Stallman, the computer scientist best known for his role in the free software movement, has joined the list of MIT men going out of their way to defend the university’s relationships with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

          Selam Jie Gano, an MIT alum, posted on Medium about an email thread in which Stallman argued that the late Marvin Minsky—an AI pioneer accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre—had not actually assaulted anyone.

        • MIT Community Horrified by Famed Researcher’s Epstein Outburst

          Since the July arrest of Jeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking, a number of huge names in the world of tech — from Bill Gates to Elon Musk — have attempted to defend or deny any inkling of a relationship with the financier.

          But one prominent computer scientist is seemingly going out of his way to insert himself into the scandal: MIT Visiting Scientist Richard Stallman.

          MIT accepted millions of dollars in funding from Epstein, prompting one student group to organize a protest calling for the resignation of any senior MIT administrators who knew about the donations.

        • How to Make Your PC Faster? Easiest Software

          Those who are into the business of photography will most certainly have am image processing software application. When we talk about such applications we often come across names such as Adobe, Photoshop and so on. Gimp portable also belongs to this category and helps in giving shapes and sizes to images that have been clicked for various reasons. GIMP actually stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program and according to people who are in the photography line, it is one of the most powerful free image editors that are available in the market today. Many people believe that it may be a good alternative to Photoshop.

          It is versatile and unique because it has a number of interesting features. Apart from being used as a basic drawing program, it also could be used a very effective image editor. It can help edit digital photographs and make it to the level of professional photography. It is accommodating channels, masks, layers, special effects and filters. It makes editing quite easy.

          The good thing about this software application is that it is light and it does not unnecessarily burden your computer. You can rest assured that your system will not slow down. Hence, if you are planning to make your personal computer faster and more efficient, then this could be the obvious choice.

      • Programming/Development
        • Highlights From The 2019 Pandas Hack

          Taking place simultaneously in Austin, Bentonville, and Dallas from August 16–18, the Pandas Hack was a weekend hackathon focused on providing updates and bug fixes to the pandas data science library.

        • Updated high-DPI support for Qt 5.14 Hi all, We’ve recently merged several patches which improves Qt’s high-DPI support. The changes include: * Support for fractional device pixel ratios (e.g. Windows 150%) * Support per-screen DPI in more places like QStyle * Cleanup of configuration API and options. These fixes applies mostly to the AA_EnableHighDpiScaling type of high-DPI support where the device independent coordinate system is set up by QtGui. Relevant platforms include Windows, X11, and Android. The new code and and config options are cross-platform though; it should be possible to develop and test on any platform (as long as you are not working on platform plugins).
        • Qt 5.14 Is Bringing Significantly Better HiDPI Support

          Besides KDE seeing its own HiDPI improvements like fractional scaling on Wayland recently landing, the Qt5 tool-kit is seeing more HiDPI improvements on its end too.

          With Qt 5.14 that is slated to be released before year’s end there will be better HiDPI support for dealing with today’s modern high pixel density displays. Some of the Qt 5.14 HiDPI improvements include support for fractional device pixel ratios, supporting per-screen DPIs more throughout the tool-kit, configuration API clean-ups, platform plug-in additions, an API for setting the rounding policy for the scaling factor, and expanding the supported environment variables for testing the functionality.

        • Reactive Foundation tackles next phase of software architecture

          “With the rise of cloud-native computing and modern application development practices, reactive programming addresses challenges with message streams and will be critical to adoption,” said Michael Dolan, VP of strategic programs at the Linux Foundation. “With the Reactive Foundation, the industry now has a neutral home for supporting the open source projects enabling reactive programming.”

          [...]

          RSocket builds on reactive streams to prevent outages and is designed to support microservices-based and cloud-native applications as a high-performance replacement of traditional HTTP. It enables long-lived streams on different transport connections, which is useful for mobile to server communication. The foundation will also seeks to expand the open-source community around RSocket and reactive programming.

          “After more than a decade of innovations, the reactive ecosystem is making it into mainstream adoption with Project Reactor, Spring Boot and the Spring Framework accelerating its adoption,” said Stephane Maldini, project reactor lLead at Pivotal. “Together, we can build hyper efficient, scalable distributed systems by rethinking the way we design them and by using the right protocol to coordinate them.”

  • Leftovers

Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

Friday 13th of September 2019 06:42:51 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Huawei launches MateBooks running Linux in China

        TROUBLED TECH TITAN Huawei has had a fairly lousy year so far, and as yet, there’s no end in sight.

        Fortunately, Huawei is taking some decisive action, at least in China, as it widens the appeal of its near-universally acclaimed MateBook series of laptops with a range powered by Linux.

      • Huawei launches MateBooks running Linux in China

        The last MateBook launch in the US was cancelled following the decision to add Huawei to the so-called “Entity List” of companies banned from trading with the US without a special licence.

        Up until then, the Shenzhen company had been churning out some of the best laptops of the last few years, and now, the MateBook 13 is available running a lovely shiny Linux distro.

      • Huawei is Now Selling Linux Laptops

        If you follow tech news, you must have heard of Huawei. It’s a Chinese multinational company in telecommunication and consumer electronics.

        A prominent player in the telecom sector, Huawei has been marred with controversy. It’s been long seen as a dubious front by the Chinese government to spy on other countries through its massive telecom infrastructure.

        Earlier this year, the US government imposed a ban on Huawei that sparked a trade war between China and United States of America. Google banned Huawei from using Android and other Google services like Play Store, Gmail etc on Huawei devices. It is still not clear if the ban is in affect or not.

      • Huawei now sells MateBook laptops in China running Linux

        Ever since Huawei was put on the US’ blacklist, the future of its products has been put into question. The company has more or less bragged about its self-sufficiency in terms of hardware components but software, especially mobile, is a different story. The company has been reportedly looking for alternative operating systems to put on its devices and it seems it may have settled on Linux for some of its laptops being sold in China.

      • Huawei Starts Selling Laptops With Linux Preinstalled

        Huawei is now selling the Matebook 13, Matebook 14, and Matebook X Pro to consumers in China with Deepin Linux preinstalled. “Deepin is a Chinese-domestic distribution, with their own desktop environment — appropriately also called Deepin,” notes TechRepublic.

    • Server
      • IBM
        • 10 edge computing myths, debunked

          Edge computing can mean different things to different technology leaders – from “anything that’s not in the cloud” to “the practice of capturing, storing, processing, and analyzing data nearest to where the data is generated.” As important as knowing what edge computing is, however, is understanding what it is not.

          [...]

          “Edge can vary based on computing, storage, and where you engage streaming data,” says Jason Mann, VP of IoT at SAS. It will also vary based on your point of view, adds Hopkins. The enterprise edge will look different than a cloud vendor’s or a telco’s edge.

        • Red Hat Success Stories: Reducing friction in Southeast Asia banking and more

          Wondering how Red Hat is helping its customers to succeed? Last month we published six customer success stories that highlight how we’ve helped customers gain efficiency, cut costs, and transform the way they deliver software. Read on to find out how Ascend Money, Heritage Bank, Generali Switzerland, and others have worked with Red Hat to improve their business.

          [...]

          To improve the efficiency of its application processes, Ascend Money decided to migrate its legacy applications to a standardized platform using Red Hat technology. With assistance from Red Hat Consulting, Ascend Money moved both its legacy applications and new cloud-native services to OpenShift Container Platform, providing a single platform for IT and developers to collaborate across cloud environments.

        • OpenShift 4.2 Disconnected Install

          In a previous blog, it was announced that Red Hat is making the OpenShift nightly builds available to everyone. This gives users a chance to test upcoming features before their general availability. One of the features planned for OpenShift 4.2 is the ability to perform a “disconnected” or “air gapped” install, allowing you to install in an environment without access to the Internet or outside world.

        • Develop with Node.js in a container on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          In my previous article, Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 in a container on RHEL 7, I showed how to start developing with the latest versions of languages, databases, and web servers available with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, even if you are still running RHEL 7. In this article, I’ll build on that base to show how to get started with Node using the current RHEL 8 application stream versions of Node.js and Redis 5.

          From my perspective, using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 application streams in containers is preferable to using software collections on RHEL 7. While you need to get comfortable with containers, all of the software installs in the locations you’d expect. There is no need to use scl commands to manage the selected software versions. Instead, each container gets an isolated user space. You don’t have to worry about conflicting versions.

          In this article, you’ll create a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Node.js container with Buildah, and run it with Podman. The code will be stored on your local machine and mapped into the RHEL 8 Node.js container when it runs. You’ll be able to edit the code on your local machine as you would any other application. Because it is mapped via a volume mount, the changes you make to the code will be immediately visible from the container, which is convenient for dynamic languages that don’t need to be compiled. This method isn’t the way you’d want to do things for production, but it gets you started developing quickly and should give you essentially the same development inner loop as you’d have when developing locally without containers. This article also shows how you can use Buildah to build an image with your completed application that you could use for production.

          Additionally, you’ll set up the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Redis application stream in a container that is managed by systemd. You’ll be able to use systemctl to start and stop the container just as you would for a non-container installation.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • Splitting Fun and Profit | User Error 74

        It’s another #AskError episode. The finances of social situations and FOSS projects, automated vehicles, and ways to cheer up.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E23 – Wing Commander

        This week we’ve been playing Pillars of Eternity. We discuss boot speed improvements for Ubuntu 19.10, using LXD to map ports, NVIDIA Prime Renderer switching, changes in the Yaru theme and the Librem 5 shipping (perhaps). We also round up some events and some news from the tech world.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 23 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope and Mark Johnson are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Applications
      • Sayonara Player – small, clear and fast audio player

        One of the traits I love about Linux is the breadth of open source available. And music players are no exception. There’s many excellent open source music players available ranging from sublime GUI software like Tauon Music Player to terminal based software such as musikcube. They are two of my favorite audio apps. But there’s always room for more.

        Sayonara Player is another quality music player. It’s under active development. It caught my eye for a number of reasons, not least its large range of features. Let’s see what it has to offer.

        The program is written in C++, supported by the Qt framework. It uses GStreamer as its audio backend.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • Mayhem in Single Valley sounds like quite a unique adventure, coming to Linux this year

        Mayhem in Single Valley from developer Fluxscopic seems like an adventure not to be missed and it’s releasing later this year, sometime in the “Fall”, with Linux support.

        It’s a stylish top-down action adventure, mixing in combat and puzzles with a focus on “family and everyday struggles”. It’s quite an exaggerated tale, one where the craziest things you might read about happen a lot more frequently. You play as Jack, a local “troublemaker” who makes a series of major discoveries before he’s supposed to leave home.

      • Join Open Jam 2019 to build open source indie games

        On September 27th, dozens of indie developers will come together virtually to develop video games using open source software. This date marks the third annual Open Jam, a three-day, 80-hour online game jam dedicated to indie developers building playful games and advancing the world of open source game development.

      • The FOSS strategy game 0 A.D. seems to be coming along very nicely

        Things on the news front for the FOSS RTS game 0 A.D. have been quiet recently but they certainly haven’t been sitting on their hands, a lot of work has been going on in the background.

        A game that’s a real pleasure to watch grow, easily one of the most professional looking FOSS games around that may one day rival much bigger RTS games.

        Since releasing Alpha 23 last year, the team haven’t really said much. That changed yesterday, with the release of a brand new progress report. The silence on a lot of FOSS project news at times is quite understandable though, pulling together information on everything going on can be quite time consuming when people just want to get things done.

      • Hello Games continue fixing up Linux issues for No Man’s Sky in Steam Play

        While not available for Linux, No Man’s Sky can be run through Steam Play and it appears Hello Games continue to keep an eye on it.

        In a recent article, I highlighted the fact that the developer put in a fix for SteamVR on Linux even though the game is not supported there. Not only that, NVIDIA (certain generations anyway) needed a fix applied to get it working properly.

        Here we are less than a month later and it appears that manual fix for NVIDIA is no longer needed. Not just that, their latest experimental update released yesterday notes that it fixed “a Linux driver issue.”. If you wish to try it, use the password “3xperimental” on the Beta tab of the games properties on Steam.

      • Don’t Starve Together updated, Woodie gets a refresh with a new animated short plus a new Beta

        Creepy and stylish co-op survival game Don’t Starve Together from dev Klei has another update available and it sounds great.

        This time around the character Woodie went through a bit of a refresh including two brand new transformations, giving different specializations. You can also trigger random transformations by consuming Monster Meat (or prepared dishes like Monster Lasagna), with specific transformations done by consuming one of the three new craftable idols made with Monster Meat. There’s some other strange changes too, like Woodie being forced into a random transformation on each full moon, Woodie no longer needs to eat wood and so on.

      • Beautiful open-world action adventure Pine is releasing next month

        3D open-world action adventure game Pine from Twirlbound and Kongregate is going to officially release on October 10th.

        Sounds like an incredible intriguing game, a world where Humans are seemingly not top of the chain and so you will encounter all sorts of creatures.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • Catfish 1.4.10 Released

        The best Linux graphical file search utility keeps getting better! The latest release features a new preferences dialog, a polished user interface, and significantly improved search results and performance.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • Squish – Test automation tool for our HMI build with Qt

          When test engineers hear about test automation the first word that comes to mind is of course Selenium which is the most popular testing library that helps us writing scripts for web applications. There are also ready solutions for mobile apps like Appium, Robotium, Espresso, UI Automator and others. The challenge is when we have some project-specific technologies that are not as easy to automate as web applications. But while using Qt we have some advantage over other non-web applications because there is some ready solution that we can use.

          The goal of the project was to build a digital cockpit system for car sharing solutions with navigation as the main feature, where the user agrees on advertisements while choosing a cheaper subscription. Advertising can suggest purchasing coffee to the driver, which can be ordered through our application from the navigation screen, then we add a coffee stop to the destination point. We also included the HVAC module and menu where the driver can switch between different screens (music player, settings, 3D model of a car, phone, weather view). To build this we were using Qt Application Manager, QML, MapBox, Qt 3D Studio and server written in python that was using OSRM.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GNOME 3.34 Released With New Features & Performance Improvements

          The latest version of GNOME dubbed “Thessaloniki” is here. It is an impressive upgrade over GNOME 3.32 considering 6 months of work there.

          With this release, there’s a lot of new features and significant performance improvements. In addition to the new features, the level of customization has also improved.

        • GNOME 3.34 released — coming soon in Fedora 31

          Today the GNOME project announced the release of GNOME 3.34. This latest release of GNOME will be the default desktop environment in Fedora 31 Workstation. The Beta release of Fedora 31 is currently expected in the next week or two, with the Final release scheduled for late October.

          GNOME 3.34 includes a number of new features and improvements. Congratulations and thank you to the whole GNOME community for the work that went into this release! Read on for more details.

        • GNOME Games 3.34

          A year ago, Adrien Plazas stepped down as a maintainer, so Games 3.32.0 was released without an accompanying blog post, since I didn’t have a blog at the time. Now it’s time to make up for it with a blog post about 3.34.0.

          Savestates are a common feature in game emulators, that work similarly to snapshots in virtualization: emulator takes a full snapshot of RAM and storage, which can be loaded later to restore the game to the same exact state it was in when saved.

          The app has supported savestates for a long time: when you exit a game, a savestate is created. Then when you run it again, Games offers to restore that savestate or reset the game. However, there was no way to manage savestates during the game, or to have more than one savestate at a time.

        • The GNOME 3.36 Release Date is Set for Next March

          This date, along with other key dates in the GNOME 3.36 development cycle — technically GNOME 3.35 as only stable releases use even numbers — is revealed in the official GNOME 3.36 release schedule up on the GNOME wiki.

          The first GNOME 3.36 development snapshot, aka GNOME 3.35.1, is scheduled for release on October 12, 2019. A second development snapshot, GNOME 3.35.2, follows on November 23, 2019.

          More notable, the first GNOME 3.36 beta is tabled in for release at the beginning of February, with a second beta release arriving two weeks later, on February 15, 2020.

        • GNOME and gestures, Part 1: WebKitGTK

          I’m a big fan of responsive touchpad gestures. For the last half a year (mostly January, February and during the summer) I’ve been working on improving gestures in many areas throughout GNOME. In this series I will do a (belated) overview.

          Late in the 3.32.x cycle, I saw a commit by Jan-Michael Brummer adding a back/forward swipe to Epiphany. It was really nice to finally have gestures, but it didn’t have any visual feedback. Less importantly, the direction was reversed, as if when scrolling with Natural Scrolling being off. I wanted to give a shot at improving it.

        • GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

          This morning I tagged the newest fwupd release, 1.3.1. There are a lot of new things in this release and a whole lot of polishing, so I encourage you to read the release notes if this kind of thing interests you.

          Anyway, to the point of this post. With the new fwupd 1.3.1 you can now build just the libfwupd library, which makes it easy to build GNOME Firmware (old name: gnome-firmware-updater) in Flathub. I tagged the first official release 3.34.0 to celebrate the recent GNOME release, and to indicate that it’s ready for use by end users. I guess it’s important to note this is just a random app hacked together by 3 engineers and not something lovelingly designed by the official design team. All UX mistakes are my own

        • Fwupd 1.3.1 Released With GNOME Firmware 3.34

          Richard Hughes has released GNOME Firmware 3.34, his new project formerly known as the GNOME Firmware Update as an alternative interface outside of GNOME Software for managing firmware updates on Linux. Additionally, Fwupd 1.3.1 is out with the newest firmware updating bits.

          GNOME Firmware 3.34 is the first official release of this new firmware updating UI and coming along with this week’s GNOME 3.34 release. GNOME Firmware is intended to be a power-user tool for upgrading/downgrading/managing firmware on the system while most users should be fine with just using the existing GNOME Software integration.

        • Back to GNOME development

          After writing my last blog post – a retrospection about my first 10 years of Free Software development – it made me want to contribute to GNOME again. I didn’t contribute much this past year (in short, too much stress). But I’m back, I hope my keen interest will continue.

        • Alexander Mikhaylenko: Games and GSoC 2019

          GNOME Games has been participating in Google Summer of Code for many years, and this one is no exception. This time Andrei Lişiţă a.k.a. Yetizone was implementing a savestate manager.

          Andrei’s work involved redoing $XDG_DATA_HOME/gnome-games/ directory layout, writing a migrator for existing data, reworking the app to support having multiple savestates at once, implementing on-demand loading and saving, and implementing the UI.

    • Distributions
      • Applications, PostgreSQL, Zypper Packages Update in Tumbleweed

        The snapshots brought an update of KDE Plasma and Applications along with an update for the input framework ibus, two PostgreSQL versions and the command line package manager zypper.

        KDE Applications 19.08.1 improvements to Kontact, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Konsole, Step, and more arrived in snapshot 20190909. Several regressions in Konsole’s tab handling were fixed and olphin again starts correctly when in split-view mode. The updated of the anti-virus package clamav 0.101.4 address two Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. The GNOME web browser package epiphany 3.32.5 fixed a memory corruption and broken web process extension connection when using WebKit trunk. An update of links 2.20.1 brought stability improvements and also addressed a bug when connected with tor would send real dns requests outside the tor network when the displayed page contains link elements with rel=dns-prefetch. The Plasma desktop received a minor update to 5.16.5 and fixed KWayland-integration builds with recent frameworks and Qt 5.13. Some notifications were changed in the new minor version and the some functionality was improved for current weather conditions. The qrencode 4.0.2 package improved support for cmake. The snapshot was trending at a rating of 84, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • Arch Family
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • Here’s Ubuntu 19.10’s New Default Wallpaper

          The new desktop background for Ubuntu 19.10 was uploaded to a bug report on Launchpad where, as tradition dictates, it’s also available to download.

          As we’ve come to expect from Ubuntu wallpapers of late, the new drape bears an artistic depiction of the latest Ubuntu codename mascot, which for this release is an “Ermine”, or white stoat…

          Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ will be released on October 18, 2019. And as well as this wonderful new wallpaper it offers Linux Kernel 5.3, a light Yaru GTK theme and the all-new GNOME 3.34 release.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • What politics can teach us about open source

        It would be dangerous to oversimplify the parallels between these political approaches and the relationship between open source and closed source software. Even so, it is worth examining the impact and challenges for democracy in the context of ongoing debates about the role of open source, especially in enterprise IT environments.

        Democracy, particularly in the open source sense, is better than the autocratic, closed source model of software deployment. For closed source software vendors, a profit motive can ultimately be more influential than an interest in improving the software. More often than not, when deciding whether to invest in product innovation, commercial vendors will ask themselves at least one of these questions…

      • Events
        • Open Source at IBC 2019

          Showcasing two brand new Open Source software demonstrations featuring the Xilinx high-performance Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC, and the Magic Leap One augmented reality headset.

      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • Creating privacy-centric virtual spaces

            We now live in a world with instantaneous communication unrestrained by geography. While a generation ago, we would be limited by the speed of the post, now we’re limited by the speed of information on the Internet. This has changed how we connect with other people.

            As immersive devices become more affordable, social spaces in virtual reality (VR) will become more integrated into our daily lives and interactions with friends, family, and strangers. Social media has enabled rapid pseudonymous communication, which can be directed at both a single person and large groups. If social VR is the next evolution of this, what approaches will result in spaces that respect user identities, autonomy, and safety?

            We need spaces that reflect how we interact with others on a daily basis.

          • Mozilla previews Firefox VPN, will charge for service at some point

            Mozilla has not hidden its desire to branch into new revenue territories to divest from the more-or-less-single-source of search engine royalties. In June, CEO Chris Beard and other Mozilla officials said that paid service subscriptions would roll out this fall, but assured users that the browser itself would remain free of charge. The VPN could be the first of several paid services pitched to Firefox users, or part of a larger all-in-one package; Mozilla hasn’t been clear about the form(s) this new revenue stream may take.

            Nor did Wood say how long her team will test Firefox Private Network. However, she did position this iteration of Test Pilot differently than before. “The difference with the newly relaunched Test Pilot program is that these products and services may be outside the Firefox browser, and will be far more polished, and just one step shy of general public release,” she said.

          • Encrypted DNS could help close the biggest privacy gap on the Internet. Why are some groups fighting against it?

            Thanks to the success of projects like Let’s Encrypt and recent UX changes in the browsers, most page-loads are now encrypted with TLS. But DNS, the system that looks up a site’s IP address when you type the site’s name into your browser, remains unprotected by encryption.

            Because of this, anyone along the path from your network to your DNS resolver (where domain names are converted to IP addresses) can collect information about which sites you visit. This means that certain eavesdroppers can still profile your online activity by making a list of sites you visited, or a list of who visits a particular site. Malicious DNS resolvers or on-path routers can also tamper with your DNS request, blocking you from accessing sites or even routing you to fake versions of the sites you requested.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
        • Open Hardware/Modding
          • Anyone Can Build This Open Source, DRM-Free Kindle Alternative

            It’s harder to get an open source e-reader than you might think. Kindles are popular, but they lock you into Amazon’s ecosystem. Amazon’s books come with digital rights protection and the company can remove them from your device whenever it wants. Those problems exist on tablets from Barnes and Nobles, Google, and Apple, too. When it comes to open source reading, there’s just no good options. The Open Book Project wants to change that.

      • Programming/Development
        • Fastest Python function to slugify a string

          The code is 7-8 years old and relates to a migration when MDN was created as a Python fork from an existing PHP solution.

          I couldn’t help but to react to the fact that it’s a list and it’s looped over every single time. Twice, in a sense. Python has built-in tools for this kinda stuff. Let’s see if I can make it faster.

        • Should you use “dot notation” or “bracket notation” with pandas?

          If you prefer bracket notation, then you can use it all of the time! However, you still have to be familiar with dot notation in order to read other people’s code.

          If you prefer dot notation, then you can use it most of the time, as long as you are diligent about renaming columns when they contains spaces or collide with DataFrame methods. However, you still have to use bracket notation when creating new columns.

        • Solving Sequence Problems with LSTM in Python’s Keras Library

          Time series forecasting refers to the type of problems where we have to predict an outcome based on time dependent inputs. A typical example of time series data is stock market data where stock prices change with time. Similarly, the hourly temperature of a particular place also changes and can also be considered as time series data. Time series data is basically a sequence of data, hence time series problems are often referred to as sequence problems.

        • How the Worlds of Linux and Windows Programming Converged

          Once upon a time, the world of developers was split into two halves: One half was composed of Windows developers, who created most of the productivity apps that powered PCs (and, occasionally, servers). The other half comprised Linux and Unix developers, whose work focused on server-side development. Today, however, as the worlds of Windows and Linux move ever closer together, the distinction between Windows and Linux developers is disappearing. Gone are the days when you had to specialize in one ecosystem or the other.

  • Leftovers
    • RIP Daniel Johnston
    • [Older] Photographer removes our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

      US photographer Eric Pickersgill has created ‘Removed’ a series of photos to remind us of how strange that pose actually is. In each portrait, electronic devices have been ‘edited out’ (removed before the photo was taken, from people who’d been using them) so that people stare at their hands, or the empty space between their hands, often ignoring beautiful surroundings or opportunities for human connection. The results are a bit sad and eerie–and a reminder, perhaps, to put our phones away.

    • Science
    • Hardware
      • Coast Guard issues warning on charging phone batteries after California boat fire

        A preliminary report on the Labor Day fire that destroyed the dive ship Conception near Santa Cruz Island could be issued as soon as Thursday, the National Transportation Safety Board said. The cause of the fire likely won’t be addressed, but NTSB members have said how batteries and electronics were stored and charged is being scrutinized.

        The Coast Guard said it has convened a Marine Board of Investigation to determine the cause of the blaze. But the bulletin noted that it does not have to await the board’s findings before taking “immediate and positive” action.

    • Health/Nutrition
      • Treadmill of Magic Seeds and Broken Promises: Dismantling the Myth of Bt Cotton Success in India

        Political posturing aligned with commercial interests means that truth is becoming a casualty in the debate about genetically modified (GM) crops in India. The industry narrative surrounding Bt cotton is that it has been a great success. The current Modi-led administration is parroting this claim and argues its success must be replicated by adopting a range of GM food crops, amounting to what would be a full-scale entry of GM technology into Indian agriculture. Currently, Bt cotton is India’s only officially approved commercially cultivated GM crop.

      • Administration to Drop Obama-Era Water Protection Rule

        The Trump administration on Thursday revoked an Obama-era regulation that shielded many U.S. wetlands and streams from pollution but was opposed by developers and farmers who said it hurt economic development and infringed on property rights.

      • Neonicotinoid Pesticides Have Caused A Huge Surge in the Toxicity of U.S. Agriculture

        Scientists are warning about a second Silent Spring after a new study found that U.S. agriculture is 48 times more toxic to insects than it was 20 years ago.

        A peer-reviewed study published in the journal PLOS One found that 92 percent of that toxic load can be attributed to neonicotinoids — the most widely used class of insecticides.

        Neonics, as they are commonly called, are 1,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT, the infamous pesticide exposed by Rachel Carson’s work in the 1960s, says Dr. Kendra Klein, a report co-author and senior scientist at Friends of the Earth.

        A big reason that neonics are so dangerous is that they persist in the environment — sometimes lasting up to 1,000 days. They remain in the soil and can be taken up by other plants. They’re also water soluble, so they wash into rivers, streams and wetlands. Their toxicity can build up in the environment and cascade from soil to plants, insects to birds.

        Neonics first hit the agriculture market in the 1990s and are mostly applied as a coating on seeds. They’re used on 140 different crops but most prevalently on corn and soybeans.

      • Harmful Algal Blooms: Regional Information

        If you live near the coast or the Great Lakes, you’ve probably experienced a harmful algal bloom — HAB for short. HABs occur when algae — simple photosynthetic organisms that live in the sea and freshwater — grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. Visit our new portal for region-specific HAB information, links, and resources.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • The New Target That Enables Ransomware Hackers to Paralyze Dozens of Towns and Businesses at Once

        On July 3, employees at Arbor Dental in Longview, Washington, noticed glitches in their computers and couldn’t view X-rays. Arbor was one of dozens of dental clinics in Oregon and Washington stymied by a ransomware attack that disrupted their business and blocked access to patients’ records.

        But the hackers didn’t target the clinics directly. Instead, they infiltrated them by exploiting vulnerable cybersecurity at Portland-based PM Consultants Inc., which handled the dentists’ software updates, firewalls and data backups. Arbor’s frantic calls to PM went to voicemail, said Whitney Joy, the clinic’s office coordinator.

      • If you’re not using SSH certificates you’re doing SSH wrong

        None of these issues are actually inherent to SSH. They’re actually problems with SSH public key authentication. The solution is to switch to certificate authentication.

        SSH certificate authentication makes SSH easier to use, easier to operate, and more secure.

      • Your phone can be [cracked] – and there’s nothing you can do about it

        Finally, another benefit of Simjacker from the attacker’s perspective is that many of its attacks seems to work independent of handset types, as the vulnerability is dependent on the software on the UICC and not the device. We have observed devices from nearly every manufacturer being successfully targeted to retrieve location: Apple, ZTE, Motorola, Samsung, Google, Huawei, and even IoT devices with SIM cards. One important note is that for some specific attacks handset types do matter. Some, such as setting up a call, require user interaction to confirm, but this is not guaranteed and older phones or devices with no keypad or screens (such as IoT device) may not even ask for this.

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl, dnsmasq, and golang-go.crypto), Mageia (docker, firefox, flash-player-plugin, ghostscript, links, squid, sympa, tcpflow, thunderbird, and znc), openSUSE (srt), Oracle (.NET Core, kernel, libwmf, and poppler), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (cri-o, curl, java-1_8_0-ibm, python-SQLAlchemy, and python-urllib3), and Ubuntu (curl and expat).

      • Microsoft Issues New Windows 10 Update Warning

        Meanwhile, the Windows Latest reports the Start menu stops working for some users who have upgraded to KB4515384 with Windows 10 delivering the following errors: “We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in” and “Critical Error – Your Start menu isn’t working”

      • Heads up: Microsoft is back to snooping with this month’s Win7 and 8.1 ‘security-only’ patches

        Two months ago, the July Win7 security-only patch was found to install telemetry software, triggered by newly installed scheduled tasks called ProgramDataUpdater, Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser, and AitAgent. As best I can tell, Microsoft never admitted that its security-only patch dropped a telemetry component.

        The August security-only update didn’t include that bit of snooping, so it looked like the July snooping was a one-off aberration.

        Now we’re learning that the September security-only patches for both Win 7 and Win 8.1 have this, shall we say, feature.

        [...]

        What information is Microsoft collecting? I don’t know. Telemetry is frequently downplayed as being largely uninteresting blobs of unattributed data. If that’s the case, why is Microsoft collecting it now, after all these years? It hasn’t even acknowledged (as best I can tell) that it’s collecting it via security-only patches.

      • Security Issues with PGP Signatures and Linux Package Management

        In discussions around the PGP ecosystem one thing I often hear is that while PGP has its problems, it’s an important tool for package signatures in Linux distributions. I therefore want to highlight a few issues I came across in this context that are rooted in problems in the larger PGP ecosystem.

        Let’s look at an example of the use of PGP signatures for deb packages, the Ubuntu Linux installation instructions for HHVM. HHVM is an implementation of the HACK programming language and developed by Facebook. I’m just using HHVM as an example here, as it nicely illustrates two attacks I want to talk about, but you’ll find plenty of similar installation instructions for other software packages. I have reported these issues to Facebook, but they decided not to change anything.

    • Defence/Aggression
      • Spikes of Violence: Protest in West Papua

        Like Timor-Leste, West Papua, commonly subsuming both Papua and West Papua, remains a separate ethnic entity, acknowledged as such by previous colonial powers. Its Dutch colonial masters, in preparing to leave the region in the 1950s, left the ground fertile for a declaration of independence in 1961. Such a move did not sit well with the Indonesian desire to claim control over all Dutch Asia Pacific colonies on departure. There were resources to be had, economic gains to be made. The military duly moved in.

      • Moscow says reports about a CIA spy in the Kremlin are ‘classic propaganda’ generated by America’s upcoming presidential election

        Russia’s Foreign Ministry has formally appealed to Interpol, following media reports that a missing former Kremlin aide named Oleg Smolenkov is currently living in the United States.

      • Yemen Continues Its Descent into Hell

        There are really only two sides to the war in Yemen. There are the unarmed civilians. And there’s everyone else. The civilians are losing. Badly.

      • Netanyahu Risks Triggering an Unwinnable War to Avoid Losing Election
      • Russian agency adds student protester and YouTuber Egor Zhukov to blacklist of extremists and terrorists

        Egor Zhukov, a video blogger and a student at the Higher School of Economics, has been added to a list of extremists and terrorists maintained by Russia’s finance monitoring agency, Rosfinmonitoring. Zhukov was charged with mass rioting in the so-called “Moscow case” after he participated in election protests this summer. Those accusations were later dropped and replaced with charges of calling for extremism. The current case against Zhukov is based on his YouTube videos.

      • John Bolton’s Living Obituary

        “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.” —John Bolton, in his Yale University 25th reunion book 

      • Iran-Linked Cybergroup Phishing Universities, Group Warns

        The group, likely seeking academic data and intellectual property [sic], have attempted to steal login credentials from employees at universities in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Switzerland after sending their targets phony library-themed emails, said Secureworks, a cybersecurity company…

      • Climate Change Will Create 1.5 Billion Migrants by 2050 and We Have No Idea Where They’ll Go

        Climate change—which the U.S. Department of Defense called a “threat multiplier”—can exacerbate poverty, conflict, and instability, which already plague impoverished nations like Honduras. According to new research from Stanford University, the economic gap between the richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without climate change.

        The International Organization for Migration projects that between 25 million and 1.5 billion people will have to leave their homes by 2050. The poorest and smallest nations are the ones who are least likely to contribute to climate change, but they will be the first to be forced to migrate.

      • Police recovers arms cache during raid in central London

        The British Police has reportedly found a significant arms cache, including a sniper rifle, a silencer and tracer rounds linked to the banned terrorist group al-Muhajiroun in a Coventry, The Observer reported.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • The Prosecution Against Julian Assange: Where Presidential Candidates Stand

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been jailed in London’s Belmarsh Prison since April 11, when Ecuador authorities revoked his political asylum in their embassy and British authorities arrested him.

        The United States government had Assange arrested for extradition on charges of violating the Espionage Act and conspiracy to commit a computer crime that stem from the disclosures from U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning that were published in 2010.

    • Environment
      • Climate change poses major risk to flood insurance program, experts warn

        Subcommittee Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said the Financial Services Committee has had to “deal with the issue of flooding repeatedly.”

      • Residents of a Siberian Town With Black Snow Are Pleading for Asylum in Canada

        Nikitina Irina Alexandrovna is from the Siberian town of Kiselyovsk, where inky black snow, a toxic byproduct of coal mining, has rendered it a nightmare-scape. Industrial waste covers homes, schools, and vehicles in a shroud of contaminated dust. The miasma of pollution is so pervasive that locals find it coming out of their mouths.

        Now, more than a dozen Kiselyovsk residents, including Alexandrovna, are asking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accept them as environmental refugees, as CBC News first reported.

      • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Seeks to Intervene on Proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Expansion

        Standing Rock attorney Timothy Purdon said if it’s granted intervenor status, the tribe would be allowed to cross-examine the company and call witnesses. Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement that the “proposed pipeline expansion magnifies the potential disaster in the event of an oil spill. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe looks forward to expressing its concerns during the upcoming PSC hearing.”

      • Tribe leading DAPL lawsuit makes final case for shutdown, more environmental study

        “This illegal and dangerous pipeline must be shut down,” Standing Rock Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement.

        Standing Rock and three other Sioux tribes in the Dakotas fear a pipeline spill into the Missouri River would contaminate water they rely on for drinking water, fishing and religious practices. Thousands of pipeline opponents from around the world who took up their cause flocked to southern North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 to protest the project. Some clashed with police, resulting in 761 arrests in a six-month span.

      • Bahamians look for loved ones as 1300 missing after Dorian

        They scan social media, peer under rubble, or try to follow the smell of death in an attempt to find family and friends.

      • The Four Storms of the Apocalypse: Katrina, Sandy, Maria and Dorian.

        The history of the United States remains shrouded in the fog of myth and overlain by the mists of time. Here in the stygian gloom, its founding looms as the triumph of freedom over tyranny; its slaveholding the reasonable exploitation of an inferior race; its civil war the singular triumph of a great president; its period of reconstruction proof that former slaves were not ready to take their place in the country’s democratic institutions; and in Jim Crow a return to the natural order. Here, the great wealth of this country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century is viewed as the result of American entrepreneurial genius and technical wizardry rather than its founding on the flagellated backs of African slaves.

      • ‘Holy Smokes, This Thing Could Get HUGE’: NYC Public Schools to Let Students #ClimateStrike

        “They are finally treating the crisis like a crisis,” said 14-year-old New Yorker and climate striker Alexandria Villaseñor.

      • Nonviolence Denial Is As Dangerous As Climate Denial

        Persistent willful ignorance of necessary knowledge can be deadly. This is true of denial of climate collapse. It is also true of denial of the tools and power of nonviolent action. As evidence and knowledge pile up in each case, denial of the facts looks more and more intentional, reckless, and malevolent, or intentionally, recklessly, and malevolently manufactured by propagandists.

      • ‘We Must Be Bolder Than Ever’: Labor Federation Representing 30 Million Workers Calls on All Unions to Join Global Climate Strike

        “We cannot let the vital idealism of this new generation be poisoned by cynicism and doubt. This is our last chance. They are our last chance. We must stand with them.”

      • Energy
        • The Koch Brothers Are Even Worse Than You Think

          The phrase “The Koch Brothers” has become a shorthand for the insidious spread of radical right-wing power in America. But even those of us who devoured Jane Mayer’s book “Dark Money,” as well as the work of other journalists who illuminated the reach of billionaires Charles and the recently deceased David Koch, including their massive network of conservative and libertarian Political Action Committees and the lobbying efforts of those PACs, might have only a glimmer of an idea of the size and scope of Koch Industries. The business is headed by Charles (David was a shareholder, but not involved in day-to-day affairs), and it’s what gave the brothers their money and influence.

        • [Older] Leaked Audio Shows Oil Lobbyist Bragging About Success in Criminalizing Pipeline Protests

          Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted “model legislation” that states across the nation have passed in recent months.

          AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.

          “We’ve seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017,” said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. “We’re up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet.”

        • [Older] Oil Companies Persuade States to Make Pipeline Protests a Felony

          The companies, including Koch Industries Inc., Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Energy Transfer Partners LP — whose Dakota Access project in North Dakota was targeted three years ago — lobbied state legislatures to effectively outlaw demonstrations near pipelines, chemical plants and other infrastructure. Nine states have gone along so far, in some cases classifying the activities as felonies. More are considering measures.

          The lobbying campaign, documented in state disclosures and other records reviewed by Bloomberg News, has raised concerns about corporate influence muzzling free speech.

        • Fracked Gas Well Blowout in Louisiana Likely to Burn for the Next Month

          A fracked natural gas well in northwest Louisiana has been burning for two weeks after suffering a blowout. A state official said the fire will likely burn for the next month before the flames can be brought under control by drilling a relief well.

        • Greenpeace Shuts Down Houston Ship Channel to Protest Oil Exports as Democratic Candidates Arrive in Texas for Debate

          Today, as Democratic presidential contenders arrive for a major debate this evening in Houston, 22 activists from Greenpeace sought to shut down what they called the country’s “largest fossil fuel thoroughfare,” the Houston Ship Channel, by rappelling from the Fred Hartman Bridge in Baytown, Texas.

          Greenpeace said the rappellers plan to stay in place for 24 hours, through tonight’s Democratic debates.

    • Finance
      • Tax Dodging 101: the Aircastle Model

        Aircastle Ltd. is not a household name, but if you’ve flown on South African Airways, KLM, or any of more than 80 other airlines, you’ve probably traveled on an airplane the Connecticut-based company owns and manages.

      • Angry Birds Maker Rovio Plummets After Profit Outlook Is Cut

        The Finnish game-maker now sees an adjusted operating profit margin of 5% to 8% in 2019 compared to a previous forecast of 9% to 11%. It also reduced its revenue outlook slightly as older games bring in less cash and brand licensing fails to reach expectations.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • That Time EFF Got A Copyright Takedown Demand Of Its Own Artwork

        Earlier this week, EFF received an email claiming that our body-camera police officer illustration (shown in the banner above) violated the sender’s copyright in a graphic they used to illustrate a tweet (cropped screenshot shown below). The email demanded we remove the image or provide a link to their e-commerce website, which sells police body cameras. For those interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a link from EFF can be very beneficial to their page ranking. The funny thing was, the police officer illustration is an original EFF work.

      • EFF to Third Circuit: Off-Campus Student Social Media Posts Should be Entitled to Full First Amendment Protection

        Special thanks to legal intern Maria Bacha who was the lead author of this post.

        EFF, Student Press Law Center (SPLC), Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment (PaCFA), and Brechner Center for Freedom of Information filed an amicus brief in B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to close a gap in the law to better protect off-campus student speech.

      • ‘Airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center’: New York Times deletes tweet about 9/11 after outrage

        Is political correctness in the modern, woke world going out of hands, where one can’t call a spade a spade? All such questions were raised on Twitter when one of world’s top news outlet New York Times tried to play coy about who really were behind the Twin Tower attack on 11th September 2001, where over 3000 people were killed.

        In a shocking tweet, New York Times said that, “‘Airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center’.

      • These States Are Pushing Laws to Restrict Protests on College Campuses

        According to the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law’s US Protest Law Tracker tool, at least four states are currently considering campus anti-protest laws, including Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and South Carolina. The bills mostly require punishments in the form of suspension or expulsion for students, faculty, or community members who disrupt visiting speakers at public colleges and universities.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Encryption Working Group Releases Paper To ‘Move The Conversation Forward’

        One of the frustrating aspects of the “debate” (if you can call it that) over encryption and whether or not law enforcement should be able to have any kind of “access” is that it’s been no debate at all. You have people who understand encryption who keep pointing out that what is being asked of them is impossible to do without jeopardizing some fairly fundamental security principles, and then a bunch of folks who respond with “well, just nerd harder.” There have been a few people who have suggested, at the very least, that “a conversation” was necessary between the different viewpoints, but mostly when that’s brought up it has meant non-technical law enforcement folks lecturing tech folks on why “lawful access” to encryption is necessary.

      • DNA analysis leads to charges in 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protest

        BCI agents gathered evidence after the incident. Included in that evidence were two cigarette butts that were sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis. In August, the BCI was notified that the DNA profile from one of the butts was a match for Malcolm, whose DNA sample was on file from a previous arrest.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
      • 12 Journalists Have Been Killed In Mexico This Year, The World’s Highest Toll

        This year, Mexico surpassed Syria to become the deadliest country for journalists, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

        Many consider that overall levels of violence and impunity in Mexico are the biggest problems facing Mexican journalists. But press advocates say the president’s harsh rhetoric toward the media isn’t helping the situation.

        So far this year, 12 journalists have been killed, according to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission. Some press rights groups put the number even higher, according to their own reporting criteria.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • Kazakhstan: Feminist Group Denied Registration

        An appeals court in Kazakhstan on September 3 upheld a decision denying Feminita, a national feminist initiative, registration as a nongovernmental organization (NGO). The group’s focus includes the rights of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. 

      • ‘We’ll get by somehow’ Following attacks on social media, Mothers of Beslan committee cancels fundraising efforts for terrorism victims

        The Mothers of Beslan committee has decided to cancel its planned fundraising efforts for those injured in the Beslan school siege 15 years ago. Aneta Gadieva, the vice chair of the committee, told The Caucasian Knot about the cancellation on September 9.

      • South Africa: Punish Xenophobic Violence

        The South African police should take swift action to end xenophobic attacks targeting African foreign nationals.

      • NFL’s Depression-Era Ban on Black Players Lingers On in the Owners Box

        The National Football League season opened last week with a full slate of games.

      • Kickstarter fires two union organizers, potentially breaking labor laws

        The company reportedly fired employee Taylor Moore, who was one of the organizers, on Thursday morning. Last week Clarissa Redwine, who had also been involved in the union effort, was fired, too.

        It is illegal to fire employees for being involved in unionization efforts in the United States.

      • Creator of Stanford Prison Experiment on Trump’s camps: It’s how Nazi guards behaved

        Psychologist Philip Zimbardo became famous for examining the mass psychology and group dynamics of human authority, violence and evil in his landmark 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo has also explored similar questions in his numerous books, most notably “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.”

        I recently spoke to Zimbardo about Donald Trump’s concentration camps, how ICE and Border Patrol and other Trump enforcers rationalize their cruelty against migrants and refugees, and what these inhumane policies reflect about our president’s mental health. Zimbardo also discussed the way Trump’s supporters are attracted to his cruelty because of their cult-like relationship with him — a relationship that represents a dire threat to the safety of our country and the future of our democracy.

        This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

      • Saudi Princess Found Guilty of Having Worker Beaten in France

        Princess Hassa bint Salman, who was tried in absentia, was given a 10-month suspended sentence Thursday and fined $11,000 on charges of armed violence and complicity to hold someone against their will.

        The only daughter of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reportedly became angry when she thought the plumber, Egyptian-born French national Ashraf Eid, had photographed her inside her home.

        Eid said he was summoned to fix a sink in the princess’ bathroom in September 2016. He claimed she saw him take photos of the bathroom, which he needed for his work, and accused him of taking the photos in order to sell them.

        The indictment said she ordered her bodyguard Rani Saidi to beat and humiliate Eid.

      • Rape Emergency Declared In Sierra Leone, Then Lifted. Did Anything Change?

        With the emergency now lifted and no funds earmarked, activists are now questioning if — and when — promises like government-sponsored psychosocial support and health care will be realized. Within the government, the focus on sexual assault cases has swung from big initiatives to small changes that can be made by parliament. The body is currently considering a new version of the 2011 Sexual Offenses Act, which, if passed, would make Bio’s call for a life sentence for anyone who has sex with someone under 18 a formal part of the country’s law.

        That could be a problematic law in a country where, according to U.N. data analyzed by Save the Children, which works in Sierra Leone, 13% of the country’s girls are married by age 15, and 39% by age 18.

      • Officers Said They Smelled Pot. The Judge Called Them Liars.

        But in late July, a judge in the Bronx said in a scathing opinion that officers claim to smell marijuana so often that it strains credulity, and she called on judges across the state to stop letting police officers get away with lying about it.

        “The time has come to reject the canard of marijuana emanating from nearly every vehicle subject to a traffic stop,” Judge April Newbauer wrote in a decision in a case involving a gun the police discovered in car they had searched after claiming to have smelled marijuana.

      • LeDuff: A Combat Marine learns the real war is at home in Detroit

        According to independent audits of the city’s finances, Detroit is spending nearly $50 million less on public safety (inflation-adjusted) than it did the year of the bankruptcy when we took all those cuts to public safety. There are one-third fewer firefighters manning rigs on any given day, according to the union. In July alone, it was published in the police officers’ union newspaper that 33 patrol cops had resigned. The pay and morale are miserable.

        Scenes of the recent crimes on West Lafayette Boulevard downtown. (Photo: Google Street View)

        So every time we take a public dollar and give it to a cheapskate billionaire sports team owner who does not share the profits, we get less public safety and more worn-out beat cops beating it for better-paying jobs in the suburbs.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • AT&T’s Terrible New TV Branding Confuses Even AT&T

        AT&T’s efforts to dominate the online streaming (and advertising segment) has had a bit of a rocky start. After spending more than $150 billion to acquire both DirecTV and Time Warner in recent years, AT&T’s been losing subscribers hand over fist anyway. Part of the problem is that the company acquired so much debt in the course of the deal (AT&T is among the most indebted companies in the world), AT&T’s been forced to raise rates on subscribers. Given the rise in streaming competitors, those users are wisely just heading for the exits.

    • Monopolies
      • Intellectual Property Is Neither Intellectual, Nor Property: Discuss

        Well over a decade ago I tried to explain why things like copyright and patents (and especially trademarks) should not be considered “intellectual property,” and that focusing on the use of “property” helped to distort nearly every policy debate about those tools. This was especially true among the crowd who consider themselves “free market supporters” or, worse, “against government regulations and handouts.” It seemed odd to me that many people in that camp strongly supported both copyright and patents, mainly by pretending they were regular property, while ignoring that both copyrights and patents are literally centralized government regulations that involve handing a monopoly right to a private entity to prevent competition. But supporters seemed to be able to whitewash that, so long as they could insist that these things were “property”, contorting themselves into believing that these government handouts were somehow a part of the free market.

      • Confuse, Then Blame the Public: Facebook Dodges Regulation With Wall Street’s Tactics

        Facebook fulfilled an old promise last month in the most Facebook way possible: by sounding nice on paper and glossing over the details. Their new privacy tools are a laughably inefficient and insufficient set of measures, because fundamentally, they’re not trying to actually solve the stated problem: Facebook’s surveillance-based business model. It’s more proof that forcing individuals to protect themselves from the abuses of giant corporations is a cruel fantasy. This collective problem will require a collective solution. It’s about time regulators stepped in to do something about it.

      • Uber and Lyft launch anti-labor misinformation campaign in response to historic California bill

        “They have been doing this from the very beginning of AB5,” Stack-Martinez said. “It is not surprising they are providing misleading fear-mongering tactics… we see this every time workers fight back and begin to win.”

      • France Says It Will Block Facebook Libra in Europe

        The French minister has previously expressed concerns over Libra’s threat to national currencies, saying after the cryptocurrency’s debut in June that “It is out of question’’ that Libra be allowed to “become a sovereign currency. It can’t and it must not happen.”

      • Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency will be blocked in Europe, France says

        Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee told Financial News: “To me, [Libra] suggests that Facebook’s almost trying to turn itself into its own country.

        “It’s a global organisation that doesn’t have physical boundaries but basically has a global community who are solely under the oversight of Mark Zuckerberg.”

      • Patents and Software Patents
        • USPTO Increases Limit on Accepted Requests for Track I Examination [Ed: So it won’t only PENALISE you for not using Microsoft formats! Now it’s also giving a FAST LANE for rich people’s applications!]

          The Office implemented the prioritized examination provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act in September 2011 (see “USPTO Implements Prioritized Examination Track under AIA”). The AIA had set forth a prioritized examination fee of $4,800 (since reduced to $4,000), which applicants must pay in addition to filing, search, and examination fees (including any applicable excess claims and application size fees) and processing and publication fees (the prioritized examination fee for small entities is reduced by 50%). In addition, the AIA specified that to be eligible for prioritized examination, an application must contain (or be amended to contain) no more than 4 independent claims and no more than 30 total claims. The AIA also limited the number of requests for prioritized examination that the Director may accept to 10,000 per fiscal year.

          [...]

          In its latest notice, the Office notes that the number of requests for prioritized examination has increased steadily over the last few years to the point that the limit of 10,000 requests for prioritized examination that may be accepted in any fiscal year will be reached if the limit is not increased. The Office also notes that the number of applications accepted for prioritized examination will remain a small fraction of the approximately 650,000 applications and requests for continued examination that the Office examines per fiscal year. Thus, the Office has determined that the Track I program may be further expanded to permit more applications to undergo prioritized examination while maintaining the ability to timely examine all prioritized applications.

        • Huawei is trying to sell all its 5G patents to a Western buyer in a bid to placate Trump and dodge national security concerns

          Huawei is trying an unusual tactic to try to break its deadlock with the US government. It’s offering to sell the rights to all its 5G patents in a one-time-only offer.

          Huawei’s CEO, Ren Zhengfei, told The Economist’s Hal Hodson that the company was offering to bundle up its 5G patents, licenses, code, and technical blueprints in a one-off transaction.

          The idea would be to create a rival for the Chinese tech giant. “A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei’s survival,” Ren told Hodson.

      • Trademarks
        • THE Ohio State University Loses Its Trademark Application For ‘THE’

          Over the past several weeks, we have been discussing a ridiculous trademark application filed by the Ohio State University for the word “the.” This entire episode has been a painful reminder of the fallout of the permission culture that has risen up out of strict IP enforcement and an overly-permissive USPTO. The idea that so common a word could be locked up by a public university for any market designation is, ahem, patently absurd. So absurd, in fact, that even OSU alumnus and college football commentator Kirk Herbstreit thought the whole thing was silly.

      • Copyrights
        • Nintendo Sues RomUniverse for Mass Copyright Infringement

          Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the alleged operator of the popular pirate site RomUniverse. The game company accuses the site of brazen and mass-scale copyright infringement of its games and hopes to shut it down. RomUniverse, which also offers pirated ebooks and movies, sells paid memberships to those who want unlimited downloads.

        • Meet Our Growing Tech Team!

          Timid Robot Zehta, Core Systems Manager

More in Tux Machines

Fedora: GSoC, Fedora Program Management, PHP, Fedora Infrastructure, Test Day and EPEL

  • Fedora Community Blog: GSoC summer 2019: Fedora Gooey Karma

    The day GSoC projects list was published I started sorting out all the organizations that I’d enjoy working with. Being a Linux user/enthusiast I filtered down to a bunch of Linux distros and desktop managers. Sorting out all the projects, Fedora-Gooey-Karma seemed to be a project that suited the skills I have. Once I was sure that Fedora Gooey Karma is a project that I would love to work on during the summer, I mailed @sumantro about the project. We talked about the project on mails.

  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-37

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 31 Beta is go! I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

  • PHP version 7.2.23RC1 and 7.3.10RC1

    Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests (for x86_64 only), and also as base packages. RPM of PHP version 7.3.10RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Fedora 29 and Enterprise Linux. RPM of PHP version 7.2.23RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 29 or remi-php72-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

  • Karsten Hopp: Onboarding Fedora Infrastructure

    I'm using / working on Fedora since FC-1 and just recently joined the Infrastructure team.

  • Fedora Community Blog: Fedora 31 Gnome Test Day 2019-09-18

    Wednesday, 2019-09-18 is the Fedora 31 Gnome Test Day! As part of changes Gnome 3.34 in Fedora 31, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

  • EPEL Bug: Bash errors on recent EL-8 systems.

    Last week, I got asked about a problem with using EPEL-8 on Oracle Enterprise Linux 8 where trying to install packages failed due to bad license file. I duplicated the problem on RHEL-8 which had not happened before some recent updates.

Games: CodeWeavers, gamepad and Cascade

  • Linux 5.4 To Fix Many Newer 64-bit Windows Games On Wine / Steam Play

    A kernel patch from CodeWeavers is landing in the Linux 5.4 kernel and will help some 64-bit Windows games run nicely under Wine (and the likes of CrossOver / Valve's Proton) with newer Intel and AMD systems. With the few x86 Assembly patches for Linux 5.4 is a UMIP addition by CodeWeavers' Brendan Shanks that ends up being quite important for running a number of Windows games under Proton/Wine on newer AMD/Intel Linux systems.

  • You may want to hold off on Linux Kernel 5.3 and systemd 243 if you use a gamepad

    Did you do a big system upgrade recently and notice you're having gamepad issues? You're not alone. Time to downgrade perhaps. To be clear this might only be an issue for the more bleeding-edge distributions which update more often, or those of you who are doing some manual updates to their system. The distributions that update more slowly like Ubuntu are likely unaffected right now.

  • Cascade – a turn-based text arcade game

    I wrote this game about 20 years ago. Glad to see it still compiled out of the box on the latest Linux distro! Download it from here. If anyone can remember the name or any details of the original 1980s MS-DOS game that I copied the idea from, please let me know in the comments.

GNOME's Sammy Fung and Bin Li

  • Molly de Blanc: Meet the GNOMEies: Sammy Fung

    Sammy is a freelancer, community organizer, and GNOME enthusiast from Hong Kong. For almost 20 years, Sammy has been using, GNOME and building community in Asia.

  • Bin Li: GUADEC 2019

    Thessaloniki is very peaceful place, every morning I liked to walk along the seaside to the venue. As usual, it was a great and enjoyable GUADEC, thanks to everyone who helped to make it. In core days I attended a lot of great talks in this year, I learned a lot of latest status of GNOME, and here are my favorite talks, “Managing GNOME Sessions with Systemd“, “State of the Shell“, “Packing up Boxes“, “Modernizing Desktop Linux Development with Containers“, “Is the Linux Desktop Really Dead?“. I also enjoy watching Lighting talks every year. In this year Britt Yazel’s lighting talks, I knew the GUADEC App was based on Connfa, and it’s also an open source project. This App is very convenient, I could check schedule at any time.

SUSE: YaST Development Sprint 84 and SUSE 'in Space'

  • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 84

    The YaST Team finished yet another development sprint last week and we want to take the opportunity to let you all glance over the engine room to see what’s going on. Today we will confess an uncomfortable truth about how we manage the Qt user interface, will show you how we organize our work (or at least, how we try to keep the administrative part of that under control) and will give you a sneak peak on some upcoming YaST features and improvements. Let’s go for it!

  • Lunar Vacation Planning

    HPE, one of SUSE’s most important partners in High-Performance Computing and the advancement of science and technology, is now building NASA’s new supercomputer named “Aitken” to support Artemis and future human missions to the moon. HPE’s “Aitken” supercomputer will be built at NASA’s Ames Research Center and will run SUSE Linux Enterprise HPC (co-located where the Pleiades supercomputer – also SUSE-based – has been advancing research for several years). Aitken will run extremely complex simulations for entry, descent and landing on the moon as part of the Artemis program. The missions include landing the next humans on the lunar south polar region by 2024 (on the rim of the Shackleton crater, which experiences constant indirect sunlight for a toasty -300 degrees Fahrenheit).