How to Safely and Securely Back Up Your Linux Workstation
Even seasoned system administrators can overlook Linux workstation backups or do them in a haphazard, unsafe manner. At a minimum, you should ￼￼set up encrypted workstation backups to external storage. But it’s also nice to use zero-knowledge backup tools for off-site/cloud backups for more peace of mind.
Let’s explore each of these methods in more depth. You can also download the entire set of recommendations as a handy guide and checklist.
- How to Safely and Securely Back Up Your Linux Workstation
How Kubernetes is making contributing easy
As the program manager of the Kubernetes community at Google, Sarah Novotny has years of experience in open source communities including MySQL and NGINX. Sarah sat down with me at CloudNativeCon in Berlin at the end of March to discuss both the Kubernetes community and open source communities more broadly.
Among the topics we covered in the podcast were the challenges inherent in shifting from a company-led project to a community-led one, principles that can lead to more successful communities, and how to structure decision-making.
How Microsoft helped Docker with LinuxKit and Moby Project [Ed: Microsoft ‘helped’… embrace, extend, coerce; haven’t Docker employees learned from history?]
Today, supporting Linux is as critical to Microsoft as it is to Red Hat and SUSE.
How to make branding decisions in an open community
On April 18, Docker founder Solomon Hykes made a big announcement via a pull request in the main Docker repo: “Docker is transitioning all of its open source collaborations to the Moby project going forward.” The docker/docker repo now redirects to moby/moby, and Solomon’s pull request updates the README and logo for the project to match.
Reaction from the Docker community has been overwhelmingly negative. As of this writing, the Moby pull request has garnered 7 upvotes and 110 downvotes on GitHub. The Docker community is understandably frustrated by this opaque announcement of a fait accompli, an important decision that a hidden inner circle made behind closed doors. It’s a textbook case of “Why wasn’t I consulted?”
- How Kubernetes is making contributing easy
Linux Kernel 4.11 should launch this weekend after a small delay
The latest are greatest Linux Kernel 4.11 should launch this weekend after being postponed to let it mature. Linus announced via the mailing list that he could have released it on Sunday, but it didn’t feel right.
- The RX 580 on Linux, locked stock and overclock
- XDA Takes on Ryzen: In-Depth Look of AMD’s New Processors On the Linux Side
systemd ❤ meson
After hearing good things about meson for a long time, I decided to take the plunge and started working on porting the build system of systemd to meson. In our case “build system” is really a system — 11.5k lines in configure.ac and two Makefile.am s. This undertaking was bigger than I expected. Even though I had the initial patch compiling most of the code after a weekend of work, it took another three weeks and 80 patches  to bring it to mergeable state. There are still minor issues outstanding, but the pull request has been merged, so I want to take the opportunity to celebrate and summarize my impressions about meson.
Systemd Lands Meson Build System Support
Systemd can now be built with the Meson build system as an alternative to its traditional Make support.
Another Stable Update Released for the Linux 3.18 Kernel, Adds Many Improvements
One day after announcing the release of the Linux 4.10.12, 4.9.24, and 4.4.63 kernels, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of yet another maintenance update to the Linux 3.18 kernel series.
Kernel Developers Still Discussing Raising Linux’s Compiler Requirements
Linux kernel developers are still looking to raise the requirements of GCC for building the Linux kernel.
It turns out some developers are still using GCC 4.1 for building the mainline Linux kernel, largely for MIPS and other niche architectures. Plus some developers still are using older GCC compiler releases for allegedly better compiler warnings. But at least in 2017 it’s looking like there’s some agreement on beginning to mandate later GCC 4.x compilers as a minimum for being able to build newer kernel releases.
- Linux Foundation EdgeX Foundry aims to ‘unpickle’ IoT interoperability
Trying Out Nouveau’s Accelerated Pascal Support With DRM-Next, Mesa 17.2-dev
One of the many features to look forward to with Linux 4.12 is the Nouveau DRM driver providing initial 3D/accelerated support for GeForce GTX 1050/1060/1070/1080 “Pascal” graphics cards. Here are some benchmarks of this open-source NVIDIA driver support for these latest-generation GPUs compared to the proprietary driver.
- Red Hat are looking to hire a Linux graphics stack developer
Red Hat Is Hiring Another Developer For Open-Source Graphics / GPU Compute
ed Hat is looking to hire another developer to specialize in advancing the open-source graphics stack.
In particular, this latest developer they are looking to have on their growing open-source graphics driver team is to focus on the GPU computing area but may carry over into general Linux GPU driver improvements too.
- Trying Out Nouveau’s Accelerated Pascal Support With DRM-Next, Mesa 17.2-dev
AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 OpenCL vs. NVIDIA Shows Problems
Last week I began posting a number of AMD Radeon RX 580 Linux benchmarks but not covered so far has been the OpenCL compute performance considering the Clover-based compute stack isn’t good enough for benchmarking and is basically unmaintained these days by AMD. Meanwhile, their ROCm stack is still being brought up and is not yet fully-opened nor optimized yet for performance. Thus for those with desktop cards looking for basic OpenCL support are left with the AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver with its closed-source OpenCL driver. In this article are some fresh OpenCL benchmarks of AMDGPU-PRO on the RX 580 and other Radeon GPUs compared to NVIDIA with its Linux OpenCL driver.
- AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 OpenCL vs. NVIDIA Shows Problems
- Linux Kernel 4.11 should launch this weekend after a small delay
GRUB 2.02 Is Ready To Boot Your System
It appears that GRUB 2.02 is now ready for release as the first stable update to GRUB2 since the v2.00 release five years ago.
- MKVToolNix, a set of tools to create, alter and inspect Matroska files on Linux has a new major build
MKVToolNix 11.0 Open-Source MKV Manipulation Tool Released with New Features
MKVToolNix developer Moritz Bunkus proudly announced the release and immediate availability for download of MKVToolNix 11.0.0 “Alive” open-source MKV (Matroska) manipulation utility.
Coming one month after the MKVToolNix 10.0.0 release, MKVToolNix 11.0.0 stable update is here with important bug fixes for both the AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265 parsers, a bunch of improvements to the GUI (Graphical User Interface), as well as some new features implemented mostly in the mkvmerge component.
ShellCheck – A Tool That Shows Warnings and Suggestions for Shell Scripts
Boostnote – A Note Taking and Markdown Editor Made for Coders
Boostnote is an Open Source Markdown note-taking editor app designed for programmers. Of course, non-programmers can use it without issue and take advantage of all its modern features which include full Markdown (with live preview) and Latex support.
10 Alternatives to Your Favorite Windows Apps on Chrome OS
These days Chromebooks are pretty popular. Especially recently, as Google made it possible to install Android apps directly from the Play Store onto some Chromebooks. This has created an uptick in users switching from other operating systems (most notably Windows) to Google’s Chrome OS.
Top 8 Music Player for Ubuntu and Linux Mint
What’s music to you? Ask this question to people & answers will different. Some would say that its how they enjoy life, some would say it helps them sleep better after a hard day’s work & for some it just make them feel good about them & their surroundings. It can be said without doubt that everybody loves music in one form or another & Linux lovers are no different.
This post is for those Linux lovers who enjoys music & are looking for a music player for their UBUNTU & Linux Mint systems. Though there are many music players available for Linux lovers but we have prepared a list of ‘Top 8 music players for Ubuntu and Linux Mint‘
Xed Text Editor: Can It Really Compete with Gedit and Pluma
There are many text editors available for Linux such as command line editors (vi, vim, nano and so) and GUI editors (Gedit, Pluma, Kate and so on). Linux always has space for new stuff but Xed isn’t new and around from quite sometime.
Xed text editor offers most of the standard editor features, extending this basic functionality with other features not usually found in simple text editors. It supports editing of multiple text files in a window (using Tabs) just like any other famous text editor. Support to encode UTF-8 files, compare files among others, syntax highlighting of source code, auto indentation and manual indentation, printing, print preview support, and many other standard features.
- Removing git-lfs
- Packet.net arm64 servers
- Quick guide for Linux check disk space
- Steps to make Linux Integration Services 4.1 work for you
- Libreswan based Ipsec VPN using preshared and RSA keys on Ubuntu
- How to Install MySQL 5.7 on Linux CentOS and Ubuntu
- Efficient barcode scanning with QZXing
- Why I like #2 z
- Transfer Files Between Linux and Mac with NFS Server
- ssh_scan: A SSH configuration and policy scanner for Linux and UNIX server
- How to increase and set upload size to 100MB in PHP-Apache
- KDevelop Docker integration – Proof of Concept
- Building a Basic “Production” Onion Server on Ubuntu
- Fun things to do with driver updates
- Book review: Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow
- ReleaseMe CI States, Help, Git
- Preparing Data for Machine Learning
- Auto Shutdown, Reboot, Suspend, Hibernate Your Linux System At A Specific Time
Lil Tanks is a well polished and action packed side-scroller available for Linux
I’ve been playing Lil Tanks [Steam, Official Site] and I think it’s a fantastic side-scrolling action game well worth a look.
Phoenix Point from the original creator of X-COM is now crowdfunding on Fig
I haven’t been this excited for quite a while, the original creator of X-COM, Julian Gollop, and the rest of his studio Snapshot Games have put up Phoenix Point for crowdfunding on Fig.
I’m excited for a number of reasons: It will support Linux, it will be on both GOG & Steam and it looks very much like an evolution of the XCOM.
Is Linux good for gaming?
Linux has come a long way from where it started, and it’s certainly made progress when it comes to gaming. But there are still folks who doubt the ability of Linux to run games.
One redditor recently asked about gaming on Linux, and he got some very informative responses in the Linux subreddit.
- 24 Linux Games for a $1, Courtesy of Bundle Stars
- Original Tomb Raider Level Now Playable in Your Browser
- OpenLara lets you play the first Tomb Raider in your browser
- Relive the blocky, pixelated glory of the original Tomb Raider in your browser
- Play the original Tomb Raider in your browser with unlocked FPS
- You can now play the original Tomb Raider in your browser
- Original Tomb Raider Level Can Be Played In Your Browser
- A look at ‘Meganoid’, the platformer with roguelike elements from Orangepixel
- Stardew Valley 1.2 is out with more languages, better gamepad support and more
UniBall, a completely free to play online 2D sports game arrives on Linux
Rocket League too hard for you? UniBall might be what you’re after. It has very simple movement controls so it’s quick to learn.
OpenRCT2, an open source game engine for RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
It appears we’ve never mentioned OpenRCT2 [Official Site, GitHub] before, a fully featured open source engine for RollerCoaster Tycoon 2!
- Smartphone Game: City Motor Racer – Nitro on the Tizen Store
- Smartphone Game: World of Drones War Gunship now on the Tizen platform
Modders bring original Tomb Raider to browsers with new open-source project
After attempting to gain access to Eidos’ original source code for Tomb Raider, a couple of developers have started to completely rebuild the game from scratch as part of a browser-based project.
OpenRA has a new release with HiDPI font rendering, more Dune 2000 missions and more
OpenRA is easily one of my favourite open source projects. It allows us to play early Westwood RTS games like Red Alert and Dune 2000 in a modern engine on Linux. The latest release is a good one too.
- Lil Tanks is a well polished and action packed side-scroller available for Linux
- GRUB 2.02 Is Ready To Boot Your System
Enlightenment image viewer Ephoto 1.0 released
The fancy looking Ephoto 1.0 [Official Site, Git] for Enlightenment has been officially released recently with lots of useful features to manage your image library.
Enlightenment Working On OpenGL-Accelerated Evas Filters
An Enlightenment developer has been working on support for accelerating EFL Evas filters with OpenGL shaders.
Evas is Enlightenment’s display canvas API. Those wishing to learn about Evas before reading this article can see this Enlightenment.org page.
K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
KDE Plasma 5.9.5 released with some useful fixes
KDE Plasma 5.9.5 has been released today and it brings in some useful features as well as tons of bug fixes.
- KDE Plasma 5.9.5 released with some useful fixes
Drag-and-drop in lists
I’ve recently had an occasion to implement reordering of a GtkListBox via drag-and-drop (DND). It was not that complicated. Since I haven’t seen drag-and-drop used much with list boxes, here is a quick summary of what is needed to get the basics working.
The Way GNOME Handles Wallpapers Really Annoys Me
I love GNOME Shell — and no, not just because I’ve little choice now that is Ubuntu’s default desktop! But the more I use GNOME the more I learn that the desktop environment, like every other, has its own share of quirks, bugs and inconsistencies. Like the following appreciably niche niggle in the the way GNOME handles desktop wallpapers.
Desk Changer is a Wallpaper Slideshow Extension for GNOME
Have you been looking for a GNOME wallpaper slideshow extension? If so, you can stop.
In the comments to our recent post on the way GNOME handles wallpapers a number of readers asked whether GNOME had an image slideshow feature built in, without the need for third-party apps and the like.
The answer is yes, GNOME does. Sort of.
Minwaita: A Compact Version of Theme Adwaita for Gnome Desktop
As you may already know that Ubuntu is switching back to Gnome, this is the transition time for Ubuntu to switch back. Some creators are motivated and creating themes for Gnome desktop, which is a good thing and hopefully we shall see plenty of Gnome themes and icons around soon. As its name shows “Minwaita” it is minimal/compact version of Adwaita theme, the theme is available after some enhancements to make Gnome more sleek and more vanilla Gnome experience without moving to away from Adwaita’s design. This theme is compatible with Gnome 3.20 and up versions. This theme was released back in November, 2016 and still in continuous development that means if you find any problem or bug in the theme then report it to get it fixed in the next update. Obsidian-1 icons used in the following screenshots.
Gnome Pomodoro Timer Can Help You Increase Productivity
If you are struggling with focus on something, it could be your work or study then try Pomodoro technique, this method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. You can read more about Pomodoro here.
Widget hierarchies in GTK+ 4.0
In GTK+3, only GtkContainer subclasses can have child widgets. This makes a lot of sense for “public” container children like we know them, e.g. GtkBox — i.e. the developer can add, remove and reorder child widgets arbitrarily and the container just does layout.
- Drag-and-drop in lists
- Enlightenment image viewer Ephoto 1.0 released
Kali Linux 2017.1 Release
Finally, it’s here! We’re happy to announce the availability of the Kali Linux 2017.1 rolling release, which brings with it a bunch of exciting updates and features. As with all new releases, you have the common denominator of updated packages, an updated kernel that provides more and better hardware support, as well as a slew of updated tools – but this release has a few more surprises up its sleeve.
Kali Linux repository HTTPS support
A couple of weeks back we added more HTTPS support to our Kali infrastructure, and wanted to give our users some guidance and point out what’s new. While our Kali Linux download page (and shasums) has always been served via HTTPS, our mirror redirector has not. Now that we generate weekly images, secure access to the mirror redirector has become crucial.
This Week In Solus – Install #43
We’ve been hard at work after last week’s snapshot on various items. We got some early reports of hardware incompatibilities with Wayland as well as issues on the GNOME edition of Wayland breaking important functionality like the ability to re-login after a logout. After some investigation, we have decided to temporarily disable Wayland in both gnome-session as well as GDM.
Newest Solus ISO Snapshot Includes GNOME
Last week, the grand leader of the Solus Project released a new snapshot of his rolling release distro. There were a good number of changes. The most notable was a GNOME ISO.
A Visual Review to deepin 15.4 GNU/Linux Beauty
deepin 15.4 is really beautiful in every single detail. The beauty of deepin lies on its simplicity, drop shadow and translucency style, with completeness of feature. All the beauty cost only around 730MB of RAM at idle time. It’s so user-friendly until I believe kids can use GNU/Linux easier with this. It has its native applications that are fulfilling daily needs, complete in feature, and always with pretty look. The desktop menu understands the users, with greatly accessible features. The Control Center is great as well, making the users have complete control with less learning curve. I believe anyone formerly using Windows, MacOS, Android, even any GNU/Linux distro will be easy to switch to deepin 15.4.
- [Video] A Linux Distro For The Cloud: PepperMint OS 7 Review
- A Visual Review to deepin 15.4 GNU/Linux Beauty
OpenELEC 8.0.2 Embedded Linux Entertainment OS Is Out with Mesa 17.0.4, More
The OpenELEC 8.0 open-source embedded Linux entertainment operating system received its second maintenance update, versioned 8.0.2, which fixes various issues reported by users lately and updates some core components.
4MRecover 22.0 Linux Data Recovery Live CD Enters Beta, Includes TestDisk 7.0
Zbigniew Konojacki informed Softpedia about the availability of the Beta release of the upcoming 4MRecover 22.0 open-source data recovery Live CD based on the 4MLinux operating system.
Shipping with an up-to-date base system based on the upcoming 4MLinux 22.0 operating system series, 4MRecover 22.0 Beta includes the latest TestDisk 7.0 and PhotoRec 7.0 utilities that let users recover lost data (images, videos, etc.) from broken partitions and memory cards.
Q4OS 1.8.4, Orion
The new Q4OS ‘Orion’ 1.8.4 stable release is out to implement several improvements and fixes. The most significant new feature is integration of alternative desktop environments into the native Q4OS ‘Desktop profiler’ utility. Users can now select alternative desktops to install and use alongside the default Q4OS Trinity desktop. LXQT support has been depreciated in Q4OS Orion, while we intend to support it thoroughly in the Q4OS ‘Scorpion’ edition. Icedove messaging application is no more available by the Q4OS installer, as it has been replaced by the real Thunderbird 45.8 release.
- OpenELEC 8.0.2 Embedded Linux Entertainment OS Is Out with Mesa 17.0.4, More
Red Hat Family
- Red Hat announces latest version of Ansible
Red Hat On An Expansion Spree In India
Red Hat is aggressively expanding its operations in India. The company recently announced the opening of two new offices in Bangalore and New Delhi. With the opening of the new offices, Red Hat is expanding its footprint in India with a goal of supporting interest for open source solutions and services from customers and partners and further promoting the benefits open source solutions can offer enterprises in India. Red Hat now has six offices in India, including additional facilities in Bangalore and New Delhi, and offices in Mumbai and Pune.
Red Hat’s new Bangalore office is a 14,000 sq. ft. facility at Lavelle Road. It is designed to act as a training and enablement center for customers and partners. Through the new facility, which features a cafeteria, and space for networking, meetings, training and certification exams, and an indoor game zone, Red Hat aims to bring its open, collaborative culture to life. The additional New Delhi office is a 12,405 sq.ft facility located close to the international airport at Aerocity, designed with an eye toward enabling collaboration with customers throughout the region.
- Red Hat to Live Stream Red Hat Summit Press Conference and General Sessions
What’s new with RHEL 7 CGroups?
Since RHEL 6, CGroups have been a work in progress. So, in RHEL 7 features evolved through new Systemd commands like systemd-cgls, systemd-cgtop, and mainly systemctl set-property.
Still through Systemd, RHEL 7.0 brought the CPUShares (percentage of CPU), MemoryLimit (memory quota), and BlockIOWeight (percentage of block IO) main properties, allowing you to set some constraints on system resources.
- Red Hat Introduces Fully Containerized API Management Platform
About the Fedora and GNOME workshop at Flisol Lima Norte 2017
It has started around 9:00 o’clock and we were surprised that the attendees were earlier than 9 to get a sit in the workshop. I did a review of the History of GNU/Linux and then introduction to Fedora and GNOME applications. I also noticed that people that have been in previously events such as Install Fest were there to learn more about the projects and of course, commands on terminal ( as was published in the Flisol ad).
- Share Fedora: Difficult Conversations
- [bodhi] 2.6.0
- QElectroTech on the road to 0.6
- Automated critical path update functional testing for Fedora
- About the Fedora and GNOME workshop at Flisol Lima Norte 2017
Shutting down public FTP services
After many years of serving the needs of our users, and some more of declining usage in favor of better options, all public-facing debian.org FTP services will be shut down on November 1, 2017. These are:
Debian closing off public FTP servers after many years online
The official date for them to be shut down is November 1, 2017. They stated the reasons being that FTP servers have no support for caching or acceleration, they haven’t used FTP in their installers for years and other understandable reasons.
- Debian is shutting down its public FTP services
- My school computers run Debian 8 with openbox!
Ubuntu Phone security updates end in June, app store closing
When Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical (the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution), announced his company would not only be abandoning their custom desktop environment (Unity), but also halting development on their phone/tablet operating system, many questions were left unanswered.
One of those questions: What happens to the existing phones and tablets running Ubuntu Touch that have already been sold?
Security Updates for Ubuntu Phone to End in June
Security updates for Ubuntu phone and tablet will end this June, Canonical has confirmed. Current OTA updates are currently limited to critical fixes and security updates — a decision we were first to tell you back in January. But after June 2017 Canonical “will no longer deliver any further updates”.
Canonical to stop supporting Ubuntu Phone in June
Canonical had already announced development of its Ubuntu Phone software was ending. Now we know when the final nail goes in the coffin: June.
- Ubuntu Touch Phone/Tablet Support Ends June
- Canonical Shuts Down Support For Ubuntu Phone, Updates Ending In June
- Canonical confirms the death of the Ubuntu Phone ecosystem
Lessons learned from the failure of Ubuntu Touch
With the death of yet another open source/free software/Linux-based mobile platform, Ubuntu Touch, clearly it is time for us to sit down and have a frank discussion about what we in the free software world can reasonably accomplish in a mobile platform.
One of the biggest issues—if not THE biggest issue—with Ubuntu Touch was that it simply had goals that were far too aggressive to reasonably achieve. It suffered from the all-too-common malady known in software development as feature creep.
Ubuntu 17.04: Unity’s swan song?
For the most part, not much has changed on Ubuntu’s Desktop edition in the past year. Unity 7 has more or less remained the same while work was progressing on the next version of the desktop, Unity 8. However, now that both desktops are being retired in favour of the GNOME desktop, running Ubuntu 17.04 feels a bit strange. This week I was running software that has probably reached the end of its life and this version of Ubuntu will only be supported for nine months. I could probably get the same desktop experience and most of the same hardware support running Ubuntu 16.04 and get security updates through to 2021 in the bargain. In short, I don’t think Ubuntu 17.04 offers users anything significant over last year’s 16.04 LTS release and it will be retired sooner.
That being said, I could not help but be a little wistful about using Unity 7 again. Even though it has been about a year since I last used Unity, I quickly fell back into the routine and I was once more reminded how pleasant it can be to use Unity. The desktop is geared almost perfectly to my workflow and the controls are set up in a way that reduces my mouse usage to almost nothing. I find Unity a very comfortable desktop to use, especially when application menus have been moved from the top panel to inside their own windows. While there are some projects trying to carry on development of Unity, this release of Ubuntu feels like Unity’s swan song and I have greatly enjoyed using the desktop this week.
While there is not much new in Ubuntu 17.04, the release is pretty solid. Apart from the confusion that may arise from having three different package managers, I found Ubuntu to be capable, fairly newcomer friendly and stable. Everything worked well for me, at least on physical hardware. Unity is a bit slow to use in a virtual machine, but the distribution worked smoothly on my desktop computer.
Certified Ubuntu Images available on Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Service
Certified Ubuntu images are now available in the Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Services, providing developers with compute options ranging from single to 16 OCPU virtual machines (VMs) to high-performance, dedicated bare metal compute instances. This is in addition to the image already offered on Oracle Compute Cloud Service and maintains the ability for enterprises to add Canonical-backed Ubuntu Advantage Support and Systems Management. Oracle and Canonical customers now have access to the latest Ubuntu features, compliance accreditations and security updates.
Canonical’s Certified Ubuntu Images Land in Oracle’s Bare Metal Cloud Service
Canonical announced the official availability of Certified Ubuntu images in Oracle’s Bare Metal Cloud Services, which accompany the images that the company already provides in the Oracle Compute Cloud Service.
Canonical’s Certified Ubuntu images in Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Services are a great addition because they promise to provide developers with dedicated, high-performance bare-metal compute instances, as well as virtual machines with up to 16 Oracle Compute Unit (OCPU). They also add the ability for Oracle’s enterprise customers to access the latest and greatest Ubuntu features.
City Cloud gets Ubuntu Certified
European Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider City Network, has joined the Ubuntu Certified Public Cloud (CPC) programme. This is the second very big European win for Ubuntu after it signed up OVH earlier this month. As an Ubuntu CPC partner, City Cloud will no longer need to create, curate, patch and maintain Ubuntu images. This will all be done by Ubuntu who will then provide them to City Network.
Canonical Releases Linux Kernel Security Update for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 16.10
Canonical announced the availability of an updated kernel patch for all supported Ubuntu Linux releases, addressing a security vulnerability discovered recently in the upstream Linux kernel.
- [Video] Ubuntu 18.04 Should Use KDE Plasma – Part 2
- [Video] KDE Plasma titlebar color theme on Ubuntu 17.04
Are You Still Run Ubuntu 12.04 Precise LTS? Attention Because It Is Reaching End Of Life This Week
On 26th April, 2012 the most beloved version of Ubuntu was released “Ubuntu 12.04 Precise” Long-Term support version, I still remember and miss that day when it was released. I personally used it a lot after “10.04 LTS” and still I use it for productivity because it is stable has a lot of stuff available developed by community such as applications, themes, icons, 3rd-party scripts for it and so on.
- Ubuntu Phone security updates end in June, app store closing
- Shutting down public FTP services
- Kali Linux 2017.1 Release
Open-spec networking Mini-ITX has 1, 2.5, and 10 GbE ports
SolidRun’s “Marvell MacchiatoBIN” is a $349, Mini-ITX networking SBC that runs Linux 4.4 on Marvell’s quad -A72 Armada 8040, and supports ODP, OFP, and NFV.
SolidRun, which is known for its NXP i.MX6 based HummingBoard SBCs and Marvell Armada 38x based ClearFog Pro and scaled down ClearFog Base networking boards, has spun a $349 (and up) Marvell MacchiatoBIN SBC that showcases Marvell’s high-end Armada 8040 SoC. The 170 x 170mm “community” Mini-ITX board ships with schematics and layout files, and offers an open source, mainline Linux 4.4x BSP.
Tiny module and Nano-ITX dev board open up Qualcomm’s wearables SoC
Intrinsyc‘s 31.5 x 15mm “Open‐Q 2100 SOM” and Nano-ITX dev kit for wearables run Android 7.0 or Android Wear on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC.
Linux Launcher turns your Android phone into command line interface
In case you’ve been dying to use Linux-like command line on your Android device – or you simply want people to stop playing with your phone – this app might be precisely what you’ve been looking for.
Available for free, Linux CLI Launcher is an unusual app launcher that turns your regular Android phone into a full-fledged command line interface.
ZTE announces 6-inch Android Nougat phone for $130
ZTE announced its new Max XL phone today, a Boost Mobile exclusive that features a 6-inch Full HD display and Android Nougat 7.1.1. The phone will cost only $129.99. It’s nice to see ZTE launching even its budget phones with updated Android software as well as a rear fingerprint sensor. But while the company is marketing the device as ideal for streaming videos and playing games, the puny 2GB of RAM will likely be quickly filled up. Still, for the price, users are getting a nice size display, which certainly is useful for watching videos, although the resolution isn’t high enough to make for a gorgeous display.
A new Android app for teaching kids how to read
Phoenicia is a new literacy application for Android developed by Michael Hall, an open source software developer, community manager, and technology evangelist currently working at Canonical, maker of Ubuntu. In this interview, he talks about the diagnosis of his oldest child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, his learning curve of Android development, and why user testing matters more than you think.
- N-day Nvidia, Android driver security flaw details revealed
- Android might be getting native drag-and-drop feature at some point
- Sony rolls out Android 7.1.1 Nougat to Xperia XZ and Xperia X Performance
- Spotify brings its Behind the Lyrics annotations to Android
- There’s a very good reason NOT to upgrade to Android 7.1.2 Nougat
- Android Messages v2.2 cleans up the setup for solo and group messaging, allows adding new people to conversations [APK Download]
Android-x86 6.0 Gets Third Stable Update, Mesa 17.0.4 and Linux 4.4.62 LTS Added
The Android-x86 project was proud to announce the release and immediate availability for download of the third stable update to the latest Android-x86 6.0 Linux- and Android-based operating system for personal computers.
Android-x86 6.0-r3 Released, Now Riding On Mesa 17.0.4
While earlier this year the future of Android-x86 was questioned, so far the project is moving along and released this week was Android-x86 6.0-r3 as the latest Marshmallow update.
Android TV builds based on Nougat are now available for the Raspberry Pi 3
Android TV is my favorite pick for putting content up on the big screen, but there aren’t a lot of options available when it comes to hardware. The best bang for your buck option is probably the Xiaomi Mi Box, but since this is Android, there are always some crazy ways to build on new hardware. Now, an XDA user has successfully gotten Android TV running on the Raspberry Pi 3.
- Android Nougat Now Hitting Galaxy Note 5 Units On T-Mobile
- Samsung is helping Sennheiser bring 3D audio to Android
- Sennheiser is working with Samsung to bring its 3D audio earbuds to Android
- Livestream Mevo cam gets YouTube Live, Android support and 4K capture
- Android O’s Autofill Framework will Finally Resolve a Long-Standing Lag Issue with Password Managers
- [Update: Manual flashing] Android 7.0 Nougat update incoming for the T-Mobile Galaxy Note5
- The Next Big Android Update Will Be Even Better At Fighting Ransomware
- Google’s next trick for Android is ‘copyless pasting’
- Moto G4 Play to be updated to Android 7.0 in June
- Customize Your Navigation Bar on Android Nougat — No Root Needed
- T-Mobile Galaxy Note 5 owners updating to Android 7.0 using Samsung Smart Switch software
- How to remove Google Search bar on Android without root
- Android Messages 2.2 makes it easier to start group conversations
- Linux Launcher turns your Android phone into command line interface
- Open-spec networking Mini-ITX has 1, 2.5, and 10 GbE ports
Dark times for OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source Solaris project
Development of OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source variant of Solaris – is being killed after five years of work.
Active development of OmniOS by OmniTI is being suspended, we’re told, with its current beta being the final release. OmniOS is a distribution of Illumos, which is derived from OpenSolaris, Sun’s open-source flavor of Solaris.
Apache Fineract Open-Source Financial Services Application Graduates
Ever wanted to build your own banking platform? Now you can with the open-source Fineract project.
The open-source Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has many different processes, including one for how a new project can be incubated, mature and eventually graduate to become a Top-Level Project.
Open Source Stats–But What Do the Numbers Mean?
I recently sent a report to project management containing some numbers that purport to describe the status of the RDO project.
I got a long and thoughtful response from one of the managers—we’ll call him Mark—and it seems worthwhile sharing some of his insights. To summarize, what he said was, don’t bother collecting stats if they don’t tell a story.
We track “downloads” of RDO, which roughly speaking means every time someone runs the quickstart and it grabs the RPM. Except RDO is on a mirror network, so that number is false—or, at best, it reflects what the trends might be across the rest of the mirror network. So we have no idea what this metric means. So why are we bothering to track it? Just stop.
Baidu Open-Sources Its Software To To Speed Up The Development Of Autonomous Car Tech
Baidu, China’s largest search engine, said last week that it’s opening up its self-driving technology to drive the development of the budding industry. At the Shanghai Auto Show, according to the Financial Times, the company said the project would provide an “open, complete and reliable software platform for its partners in the automotive and autonomous driving industry to develop their own autonomous driving systems.”
- Baidu to Launch Autonomous Cars by 2020
- Baidu Self-Driving Vehicle Platform Started Trails
- The “Google of China” Is Releasing a Self-Driving Operating System for Free
- Baidu’s New “Project Apollo” Opens Its Self-Driving Vehicle Tech Platform
Haivision and Wowza Form SRT Alliance to Support New Open Source Low Latency Video Streaming Initiative
Developers can also improve upon, use, and re-contribute (under LGPLv2 license) to SRT.
- Wowza, Haivision launch SRT Alliance
- Haivision and Wowza Launch SRT Alliance for Low-Latency Streaming
- NAB 2017: Wowza, Haivision make SRT protocol open-source
Release Update: Prometheus 1.6.1 and Sneak Peak at 2.0
After 1.5.0 earlier in the year, Prometheus 1.6.1 is now out. There’s a plethora of changes, so let’s dive in.
The biggest change is to how memory is managed. The -storage.local.memory-chunks and -storage.local.max-chunks-to-persist flags have been replaced by -storage.local.target-heap-size. Prometheus will attempt to keep the heap at the given size in bytes. For various technical reasons, actual memory usage will be higher so leave a buffer on top of this. Setting this flag to 2/3 of how much RAM you’d like to use should be safe.
OpenStack for Research Computing
In this video from Switzerland HPC Conference, Stig Telfer from StackHPC presents: OpenStack for Research Computing. OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.
Martin Casado at ONS: Making SDN Real
Software Defined Networking (SDN) has evolved significantly since the concept began to be considered in the 1990s, and Martin Casado, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, used his keynote at the Open Networking Summit to talk about how he’s seen SDN change over the past 10 years.
- OpenStack for Research Computing
Mozilla Continues to Oppose the U.S. Administration’s Executive Order on Travel
Mozilla and more than 150 other tech companies continue to oppose the U.S. administration’s revised Executive Order on travel as it winds its way through the U.S. Court system.
This order seeks to temporarily prohibit the U.S. Government from issuing new visas to travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries and suspend the U.S refugee program. Soon after it was issued, two federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland held the revised order to be discriminatory and unconstitutional. So far, their decisions have prevented the order from being enforced, but the administration has appealed to higher courts asking for a reversal.
- Mozilla Continues to Oppose the U.S. Administration’s Executive Order on Travel
Partners, Persistent Systems to build open source, FHIR-based platform for sharing clinical info [Ed: I don’t think the author of this article understands what “Open Source” [sic] means]
Partners HealthCare has joined forces with Persistent Systems to build an open source platform for sharing clinical knowledge among healthcare providers, the companies announced on Tuesday morning.
- Partners, Persistent Systems to build open source, FHIR-based platform for sharing clinical info [Ed: I don’t think the author of this article understands what “Open Source” [sic] means]
Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
- Open source software found to pose serious security vulnerabilities
- Apps with open-source code are dangerous, research says [Ed: Days later, Microsoft anti-FOSS ‘proxy’ Black Duck finds another “useful idiot”]
FSFE Fellowship Representative, OSCAL’17 and other upcoming events
The Free Software Foundation of Europe has just completed the process of electing a new fellowship representative to the General Assembly (GA) and I was surprised to find that out of seven very deserving candidates, members of the fellowship have selected me to represent them on the GA.
I’d like to thank all those who voted, the other candidates and Erik Albers for his efforts to administer this annual process.
Linux Foundation and Free Software Foundation Europe Introduce Resources to Support Open Source Software License Identification and Compliance
The open sourcing of “cregit,” the underlying tool used at cregit.linuxsources.org, provided by The Linux Foundation. cregit enables easy access to and improves the visibility of details in the history of changes in source code files.
The Linux Foundation and FSFE introduces new OSS resources
The open-source landscape can be tricky to navigate with the different projects, licenses, and compliance requirements. The Linux Foundation and Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) are announcing new resources to simplify free and open-source software license identification and compliance.
Open Source Groups Provide New Licensing Resources
Newcomers to free and open source software (FOSS) might be bewildered by the variety of licenses that dictate how users can use community offerings.
For example, the Open Source Initiative lists nine “popular licenses” and Wikipedia lists dozens more coming in a variety of flavors for different purposes. Those purposes include linking, distribution, modification, patent grant, private use, sublicensing and trademark grant.
- FSFE Fellowship Representative, OSCAL’17 and other upcoming events
France: How a high school association finally obtained a source code
In October 2016, the association Droit des Lycéens, which represents French high school students and helps them assert their rights, finally obtained the source code of an algorithm that influences students’ choice of university after the Baccalauréat exam. This puts an end to a conflict lasting more than seven months between the association and the Ministry of Education, which until then had refused to publish the source code of its tool.
The opening of algorithms and calculators is a flagship measure in the French law for a digital republic that was passed in 2016. Since then, France has started to publish some source codes, such as the personal tax calculator in April 2016. This may have created a precedent for the present case, according to the association.
The algorithm in question forms the core of the APB (Admission Post-Bac) online platform, which is used by all students in France. It allows them to enter their preferences in terms of universities and syllabus, and helps match applicants to available places. But Droit des Lycéens believes that the calculation method has been kept secret by the Ministry, and lacks transparency.
OFE welcomes continued emphasis on openness in EIF
The OpenForum Europe (OFE) think tank welcomes the publication of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). This document continues to emphasise the importance of openness, the organisation writes on its blog.
Czech Finance Ministry app boosts open data, source
A data visualisation application developed in 2015 by the Czech Ministry of Finance, is helping to promote the publication of open data, and is making the case for open source software development across the government. The tool, called Supervizor, was one of the winners of the European Commission’s Sharing and Reuse Award. At the Sharing and Reuse Conference in Lisbon (Portugal), on 29 March, Supervizor was awarded EUR 15,000 – to help the project expands its reach.
Garanti Bank Romania implemented Allevo’s open source solution for processing payments
Garanti Bank Romania selected FinTP, Allevo’s open source solution to connect to SWIFTNet, ensuring compliance to SEPA standards and regulations, in order to optimize its operations. The bank continues, as such, to grow rapidly on the Romanian market, offering better services to its customers.
By adopting FinTP, Garanti Bank Romania benefits from a technology that drives cost reduction and conveys full control over the source code of the application, thus eliminating the vendor lock-in dependence, while gaining access to a transparent product development process and transparent product audit.
FinTP is distributed under the free GPL v3 open source license. This distribution model is different from what vendors in this industry practice, its main advantage being that it removes any dependence on the vendor.
- France: How a high school association finally obtained a source code
States to Cut College Costs by Introducing Open-source Textbooks
These two states are moving to slash the astronomical costs of higher education by introducing open source textbooks.
The University System of Maryland awarded mini-grants to 21 recipients across 12 different universities for converting all of their reading materials to open source platforms for students. Between the 7 Maryland community colleges and 5 public four-year institutions, the initiative has the potential to save over 8,000 students $1.3 million in textbook costs over the Fall 2017 semester.
New York state Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is also moving to invest $8 million of the state budget into open source educational materials. The budget also included a new proposal that will provide free college tuition to any families or students in the state making less than $125,000 per year.
- States to Cut College Costs by Introducing Open-source Textbooks
- Open Access/Content
PHP 7.2 Planned For Release At The End of November
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but the PHP 7.2 release schedule was firmed up earlier this month and is aiming to ship by the end of November.
POCL Is Working On OpenCL-Over-CUDA With New Backend
POCL, the Portable Computing Language project, aiming to provide a portable OpenCL implementation for usage against different CPUs and back-ends, has been working on CUDA support.
- PHP 7.2 Planned For Release At The End of November
Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway: hardware hackers face the climate apocalypse
Science fiction has long served as a platform for the hashing out of big social, political and economic issues, either metaphorically or literally. Cory Doctorow has never been shy of speaking their names directly, whether examining the implications of the surveillance state or the shifting of social and economic forces caused by technology. In his first novel for an adult audience in eight years, Doctorow revisits many of the themes he’s written about in the past, and he refines them into a compelling, cerebral “hard” science fiction narrative of a not-too distant future that ranks with some of the best of the genre.
Walkaway (from Tor Books, which releases on April 25 in hardcover) is a very Doctorow-y book. Intensely smart and tech-heavy, it still manages maintains the focus on its human (or in some cases, post-human) protagonists. Walkaway is also full of big ideas about both the future and our current condition, and it has enough philosophical, social, and political commentary lurking just below the surface to fuel multiple graduate theses.
Arca Noae “Blue Lion” Nearing Release, Letting OS/2 Live On
or those still having OS/2 software to run or just missing the days of OS/2, the software firm Arca Noae that is run by OS/2 veterans is preparing a new installment of the operating system with blessings from IBM.
Arca Noae is preparing this week to release their final beta of ArcaOS 5.0 “Blue Lion”to allow OS/2 software to run on modern hardware. Blue Lion can run on modern devices with USB support, AHCI / SATA, and other modern hardware compared to when OS/2 development ended in the late 90′s. The final/GA release of ArcaOS 5.0 is expected soon.
- Security updates for Monday
Recursive DNS Server Fingerprint Problem
Our goal is to identify hijacked resolvers by analyzing their fingerprints, in order to increase safety of Internet users. To do that, we utilize data collected via RIPE Atlas (atlas.ripe.net).
Online developer tutorials are spreading XSS and SQL injection flaws
The researchers, from across three universities in Germany and Trend Micro, checked the PHP code bases of more than 64,000 projects on Github and uncovered more than 100 vulnerabilities that they believe might have been introduced as a result of developers picking up the code that they used from online tutorials.
BrickerBot, the permanent denial-of-service botnet, is back with a vengeance
BrickerBot, the botnet that permanently incapacitates poorly secured Internet of Things devices before they can be conscripted into Internet-crippling denial-of-service armies, is back with a new squadron of foot soldiers armed with a meaner arsenal of weapons.
- Reproducible Builds: week 104 in Stretch cycle
Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files
Webroot’s security tools went berserk today, mislabeling key Microsoft Windows system files as malicious and temporarily removing them – knackering PCs in the process.
Not only were people’s individual copies of the antivirus suite going haywire, but also business editions and installations run by managed service providers (MSPs), meaning companies and organizations relying on the software were hit by the cockup.
Between 1200 and 1500 MST (1800 and 2100 UTC) today, Webroot’s gear labeled Windows operating system data as W32.Trojan.Gen – generic-Trojan-infected files, in other words – and moved them into quarantine, rendering affected computers unstable. Files digitally signed by Microsoft were whisked away – but, luckily, not all of them, leaving enough of the OS behind to reboot and restore the quarantined resources.
How The Update Framework Improves Security of Software Updates
Updating software is one of the most important ways to keep users and organizations secure. But how can software be updated securely? That’s the challenge that The Update Framework (TUF) aims to solve.
Justin Cappos, assistant professor at New York University, detailed how TUF works and what’s coming to further improve the secure updating approach in a session at last week’s DockerCon 17 conference in Austin, Texas. Simply using HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure a download isn’t enough as there have been many publicly reported instances of software repositories that have been tampered with, Cappos said.
Malware Hunts And Kills Poorly Secured Internet Of Things Devices Before They Can Be Integrated Into Botnets
Researchers say they’ve discovered a new wave of malware with one purpose: to disable poorly secured routers and internet of things devices before they can be compromised and integrated into botnets. We’ve often noted how internet-of-broken-things devices (“smart” doorbells, fridges, video cameras, etc.) have such flimsy security that they’re often hacked and integrated into botnets in just a matter of seconds after being connected to the internet. These devices are then quickly integrated into botnets that have been responsible for some of the worst DDoS attacks we’ve ever seen (including last October’s attack on DYN).
Google zero-trust security framework goes beyond passwords
With a sprawling workforce, a wide range of devices running on multiple platforms, and a growing reliance on cloud infrastructure and applications, the idea of the corporate network as the castle and security defenses as walls and moats protecting the perimeter doesn’t really work anymore. Which is why, over the past year, Google has been talking about BeyondCorp, the zero-trust perimeter-less security framework it uses to secure access for its 61,000 employees and their devices.
- Security updates for Tuesday
- NSA Malware ‘Infects Nearly 200,000 Systems’
- Former Spies’ Dubious Claim: Release Of NSA’s Windows Exploits Has Seriously Harmed National Security
NSA’s DoublePulsar Kernel Exploit In Use Internet-Wide
MS17-010 was released in March and it closes a number of holes in Windows SMB Server exploited by the NSA. Exploits such as EternalBlue, EternalChampion, EternalSynergy and EternalRomance that are part of the Fuzzbunch exploit platform all drop DoublePulsar onto compromised hosts. DoublePulsar is a sophisticated memory-based kernel payload that hooks onto x86 and 64-bit systems and allows an attacker to execute any raw shellcode payload they wish.
Hackers uncork experimental Linux-targeting malware [Ed: Not a Linux problem; if you have easy-to-guess username+password, then obviously you're in trouble. It's like blaming the gate for intrusion when you've left it wide open.]
Hackers have unleashed a new malware strain that targets Linux-based systems.
The Linux/Shishiga malware uses four different protocols (SSH, Telnet, HTTP and BitTorrent) and Lua scripts for modularity, according to an analysis of the nasty by security researchers at ESET.
Shishiga relies on the use of weak, default credentials in its attempts to plant itself on insecure systems through a bruteforcing attack, a common hacker tactic. A built-in password list allows the malware to try a variety of different passwords to see if any allow it in.
Securing Docker, One Patch at a Time
Finding and fixing vulnerabilities is a good thing, according to Docker engineer Michael Crosby. In a standing-room only session at the DockerCon conference in Austin, Texas last week, Crosby went into detail on how the open-source container project deals with vulnerabilities.
US considers banning laptops on flights from UK airports
The Trump administration is considering barring passengers flying to the US from UK airports from carrying laptops, sources have told the Guardian.
The proposed ban would be similar to one already imposed on travellers from several Middle Eastern countries.
British officials understand that their US counterparts are looking at extending the ban – which prevents any devices larger than a smartphone being taken as carry-on luggage – to flights from Europe.
- Trump calls WAR COUNCIL and declares NOW time to act on North Korea
- US to North Korea: ‘We will attack if you do any of THESE five things’
North Koreans celebrate ‘Army day’ on Pyongyang’s streets as US submarine lurks in the south
The day is marked with a public holiday, and despite the USS Michigan, one of US’ most powerful submarines, arriving in South Korea Tuesday in an apparent show of force, there was no sign of tension in Pyongyang as North Koreans took to the streets to celebrate.
- North Korea detains U.S. citizen Tony Kim; could it be “path forward”?
- Trump Administration Calls on North Korea to Free Jailed US Citizen
- N. Korea Detains US Citizen, the 3rd American Being Held
- N. Korea Detains US Citizen, the 3rd American Being Held
- North Korea Arrests 3rd American Citizen Amid Growing Threats of War
- Tories Support Pre-Emptive Nuclear War
- US considers banning laptops on flights from UK airports
Koch Industries and Other Corporations Lobbied for Donald Trump’s Cabinet Picks, Filings Show
Many of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations faced vocal opposition from constituents and public interest groups. But well-connected corporate lobbyists stalked the halls of Congress to make sure Trump’s team was confirmed by the Senate, new filings show.
Koch Industries, a fossil fuel conglomerate that owns a variety of business interests that have clashed with environmental regulators, directly lobbied to help confirm Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
The firm’s latest disclosure form reports that its in-house corporate lobbying team spent $3.1 million to influence lawmakers over the first three months of the year on a variety of issues affecting its bottom line, including the EPA’s Clean Power Rule on carbon emissions, carbon pricing, the Clean Air Act and “nominations for various positions at the Department of Energy.”
- Koch Industries and Other Corporations Lobbied for Donald Trump’s Cabinet Picks, Filings Show
Wipro sacks 600 employees on ‘performance grounds’
Indian IT companies get over 60 per cent of their revenues from the North American market, about 20 per cent from Europe and the remaining from other economies.
Infosys, TCS, Cognizant violating H-1B visa norms: US official
WASHINGTON: The US has complained that Indian blue chip IT firms Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Cognizant unfairly get the lion’s share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets into the lottery system, which the Trump administration wants to replace with a ‘merit-based’ immigration policy.
A Trump administration official said at a White House briefing last week that a small number of giant outsourcing firms flood the system with applications, which increases their chances of success in the lottery draw.
BitTorrent Inventor Bram Cohen Will Start His Own Cryptocurrency
BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen has already earned a spot in the Internet hall of fame, but he’s not done yet. In recent years he’s taken a strong interest in cryptocurrencies, something he will devote himself full-time to in the near future. This includes launching a new cryptocurrency which addresses some of the challenges facing Bitcoin.
Brexit campaign was largely funded by five of UK’s richest businessmen
The five contributed £15m out of a total £24.1m given to Leave campaigns in the five months before the referendum
Brexit brain drain threatens UK universities, MPs warn
The government is being urged to act swiftly to halt a post-Brexit brain drain which threatens the international competitiveness of the UK’s university sector.
A significant new report by MPs sitting on the Commons education committee says the rights of 32,000 university staff from EU countries to continue working in the UK should be guaranteed as a matter of urgency.
It says the government should be prepared to unilaterally agree the rights of EU nationals in the UK before the end of the year, even if a reciprocal deal has not been agreed, to prevent an exodus of talented EU staff leaving the UK for competitor countries.
Launching the report, Neil Carmichael, the Conservative chairman of the committee, said: “Higher education in the UK is a world leader, but Brexit risks damaging our international competitiveness and the long-term success of our universities.”
Brexit university ‘brain drain’ warning
University staff from EU countries should be guaranteed a right to stay and work in the UK after Brexit to avoid a “damaging brain drain”, says a report from MPs.
The education select committee wants urgent steps taken to end uncertainty over the future status of EU academics.
The MPs also want overseas students to be taken out of migration figures.
Committee chairman Neil Carmichael said Brexit risks damaging universities’ “international competitiveness”.
Developing Countries Lay Out E-Commerce Plan As Basis For WTO Ministerial
A group of ministers from developing countries released a roadmap today for global digital commerce discussions, aimed at paving the way to discussions on electronic commerce at the World Trade Organization ministerial conference in December.
Nestlé set to cut 300 UK jobs and move production of Blue Riband bars to Poland
“The Government needs to step in before it’s too late – and reassure millions of workers across the country this is not just the tip of the Brexit iceberg.”
President Trump’s dramatic retreat on trade
Trade was a major theme in President Trump’s campaign.
He repeatedly complained that our trade negotiators were stupid and therefore had negotiated bad trade agreements. These bad trade deals are the cause of our trade deficits, which have cost us millions of manufacturing jobs over the last two decades.
Trump made very specific promises to turn things around once he was in the White House. In “Donald Trump’s Contract with the American Voter,” his “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again” included two very clear trade-related promises:
The Bewildered Wilbur Ross
Now, the whiners in the US lumber industry don’t want Canadian lumber in their market but they can’t exclude it. Instead they whine that the royalty system is government intrusion in the market, a subsidy, when it’s not. It’s a tax. Effectively, the Canadian tax is less than the USAian tax determined by auctions. They keep taking this to court and LOSING.
So, bewildered Wilbur and stupid USAians who think the world should do things their way are doing everything they can to drive exports of softwood lumber to China and India… Smart. Real smart. Perhaps USAians won’t mind rising costs for building homes and shortages of lumber and deforestation and … Look, we Canadians don’t have to do things USA’s way. We are a free nation of free people and we choose our own path.
- Wipro sacks 600 employees on ‘performance grounds’
EU leaders: We’re not meddling by backing Macron
As EU leaders rushed to praise Emmanuel Macron, they were confronted with questions about how appropriate it is for Brussels to intervene in a national election amid fears of a backlash from French voters.
Perhaps nowhere was the question as irresistible — or inevitable — as in Moscow, where the pro-Kremlin television network Russia Today pressed the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to explain a tweet she sent Sunday night that appeared to hail Macron as “the hope and future of our generation.”
Breitbart News Denied Permanent Capitol Hill Press Credentials
The Senate Press Gallery’s Standing Committee of Correspondents chose to deny permanent Hill credentials to Breitbart News on Tuesday morning.
Breitbart has been using temporary press credentials for over two years as it has attempted to meet the press gallery’s requirements. The committee has repeatedly extended its temporary passes after deciding Breitbart has not met those requirements, and more recently for not providing adequate evidence of severing its ties with former executive chairman and current White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
White House official Gorka walks out of ‘fake news’ event
White House national security staffer Sebastian Gorka faced off with student critics he described as “victims of fake news” at a Georgetown University panel on Monday, eventually walking out of the event in the middle of the question-and-answer period.
Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Trump, blamed “fake news” — the topic of the panel — for a series of stories alleging connections between him and far-right or anti-Semitic Hungarian political organizations.
U.S. government shutdown threat recedes after Trump’s wall concession
The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend appeared to recede on Tuesday after President Donald Trump backed away from a demand that Congress include funding for his planned border wall with Mexico in a spending bill.
In remarks to conservative news media outlets that were confirmed by the White House, Trump said on Monday evening he may wait until Republicans begin drafting the budget blueprint for the fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1 to seek funds for the wall.
Trump’s fellow Republicans control both chambers of Congress but the current funding bill, which has to be passed by Friday night, will need 60 votes to clear the 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold 52 seats and so will have to get some Democratic support. Democratic leaders had said it would not get it if funds for the wall were included.
Senate ID Cards Use A Photo Of A Chip Rather Than An Actual Smart Chip
Our government isn’t exactly known for its security chops, but in a letter sent recently from Senator Ron Wyden to two of his colleagues who head the Committee on Rules & Administration, it’s noted that (incredibly), the ID cards used by Senate Staffers only appear to have a smart chip in them. Instead of the real thing, some genius just decided to put a photo of a smart chip on each card, rather than an actual smart chip. This isn’t security by obscurity, it’s… bad security through cheap Photoshopping.
If ever there was a time to vote Labour, it is now
Where are the nose-pegs this time? Those who tolerated anything the Labour party did under Blair tolerate nothing under Corbyn. Those who insisted that we should vote Labour at any cost turn their backs as it seeks to recover its principles.
They proclaimed undying loyalty when the party stood for the creeping privatisation of the NHS, the abandonment of the biggest corruption case in British history, the collapse of Britain’s social housing programme, bans on peaceful protest, detention without trial, the kidnap and torture of innocent people and an illegal war in which hundreds of thousands died. They proclaim disenchantment now that it calls for the protection of the poor, the containment of the rich and the peaceful resolution of conflict.
Hearing Set for Class Action Lawsuit Against DNC
After deliberating since October 2016, a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has recently issued an order for appearance to the lawyers representing the DNC and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the plaintiffs representing Bernie Sanders supporters, Jared Beck and Elizabeth Lee Beck. The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. on April 25, when the judge is expected to announce the court’s decision in response to the DNC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawsuit was initially filed in June 2016 in response to the mounting evidence that Wasserman Schultz used the DNC to tip the scales in Hillary Clinton’s favor during the Democratic primaries.
Giving NY’s Governor a $783,000 Bribe Is Business as Usual for Rupert Murdoch
Buffalo News headline (4/18/17) asked a pointed question about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “How Did Cuomo Make $783,000 on Memoir That Sold 3,200 Copies?”
The accompanying article did not delve particularly deep into the mystery, beyond noting that the royalty amounts to $245 per copy for a book that retails on Amazon for $13.05, and that it more than doubled Cuomo’s income for 2016, when his $216,000 in royalties topped the $168,000 he got as his gubernatorial salary. “This payment was contractual and per the agreement with the publisher,” a Cuomo spokesperson told the News.
The identity of that publisher—HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp—goes a long way to solving the mystery: Murdoch has long made a practice of funneling large payments to influential politicians via HarperCollins book contracts, in what amounts to a system of legalized bribery.
BREAKING: Federal judge blocks Trump’s attack on ‘sanctuary cities’
The Justice Department threatened to cut off grant funding to eight cities on Friday — unless those cities provide more support to federal officials trying to crack down on undocumented immigrants. But DOJ’s threat is unconstitutional and is highly unlikely to survive a lawsuit.
In fact, the Justice Department’s threat against these eight cities appears to be so amateurish and so poorly aligned with longstanding Supreme Court precedent that it raises serious questions about whether the threat was properly vetted.
At issue is funding for so-called “sanctuary cities,” a term that’s often used for cities that choose not to cooperate with federal efforts to arrest immigrants.
- EU leaders: We’re not meddling by backing Macron
Iran sucks at censoring apps, so the Persian diaspora is using them for unfiltered political discussion
Maziar Bahari is a dissident, exiled Iranian journalist who was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for 118 days in 2009. Now he runs Iranwire, a leading Persian politics site. They’ve just launched Sandoogh96 (Vote 2017), an app that publishes independent political news. Word of the app is spreading in Iran, and it’s challenging the dominant narrative.
China’s Public Prosecutors Complain About Leak Of Anti-Corruption TV Series They Bankrolled To Raise Awareness
China’s state prosecutors are not normally in the business of bankrolling TV productions. Presumably, they took that unusual step on this occasion because it was important to increase public support for Xi Jinping’s long-running fight against corruption’s “tigers” and “flies” using a medium that would reach a much wider audience than dull government speeches or press articles exhorting them to do the same.
One of the best ways to ensure the widest possible audience for that message would be to allow the TV series to appear on sites for people to download freely. So asking the companies running them to remove copies in order to “protect” the official broadcasts seems perverse. If anything, it shows that respect for copyright in China has now gone so far as to be harmful to more serious matters like tackling the country’s corruption.
DFB backs Bild over claims of Russian censorship for Confederations Cup
German Football Association (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel has backed the Bild newspaper over claims of Russian censorship ahead of this summer’s Confederations Cup.
Bild, Germany’s most popular paper, has said it will boycott this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia if journalists are not given freedom to report as they please.
Print journalists attending the event — which serves as a warm-up for the 2018 World Cup in Russia — have been informed that they will be restricted in their travelling and reporting.
North Korean censorship
The AP maintains a permanent presence in the country, with a small team of international correspondents and photographers, and a few North Koreans who work primarily as fixers. Eric Talmadge, who has led the bureau since 2013, likens working in Pyongyang to being embedded with the military. “Obviously the context is quite different,” he said. “But in practical and psychological terms, I find it very similar to my experiences embedded in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
The freedoms granted to the AP reporters are denied to would-be journalists from inside the country, said Kang Cheol Hwan, president of the North Korea Strategy Center. “Journalism in North Korea is run by the state,” Kang said.
Film can apply for censorship: Central Board of Film Certification
For two years, he has been waiting for his chance to apply to CBFC. But the authorities refused to entertain him since the title of his movie didn’t have a registration from the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA). On Monday, his problem was finally resolved after an instruction came from the CEO of CBFC. Many other independent filmmakers apart from Mukherjee stand to benefit after CBFC’s new stance.
- It’s Time to Crush Campus Censorship
- Anti-Censorship Coalition Pushes Back Against Challenge of Manga Novel in Jerome Middle School Library
Legislature: Student journalists not entitled to censorship protections
Legislation designed to protect student journalists from censorship has hit a roadblock Thursday amid criticism from some lawmakers that they’re not entitled to those protections.
House Majority Leader John Allen, R-Scottsdale, yanked SB 1384 from consideration after more than an hour of debate over its merits. Allen told Capitol Media Services he was unsure whether there were sufficient votes on the floor for approval.
Allen said the measure still could be resurrected. But he said Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, who crafted the legislation and got it approved unanimously in the Senate, is going to have to work to convince some House foes to drop their opposition.
- Iran sucks at censoring apps, so the Persian diaspora is using them for unfiltered political discussion
User Safety is a Myth call 911
Hotmail is boycotting a vital service to all humanity, they are boycotting the use of a VPN service, the thing that actually improves user safety. What if you live in a country like China or just happen to be traveling there, where the government blocks access to U.S. email services like Hotmail, what could be done? The thing a VPN is good for, to access the Internet when a government is blocking it, to read your emails, to let other Chinese folks read their emails too. Hopefully not being arrested for using a VPN. I would expect Hotmail to understand how important the use of a VPN is to humanity.
NZ spied on Japan to help US – NSA document
New Zealand spied on Japan to help the United States at an international whaling meeting in 2007, according to a classified National Security Agency document.
The Intercept website published the paper, received from US whistleblower Edward Snowden, as part of an article on Japan’s secretive relationship with the National Security Agency.
- Ex-NSA techies launch data governance tool for future algorithm-slavery
- Immuta adds accountability and control for project-based data science
- Immuta Launches ‘Projects’ to Help Data Science Teams Comply with GDPR
Privacy-Related Worries Are Keeping Users From Using E-Commerce, Survey At UNCTAD Finds
A global survey on internet security and trust found users are worried about privacy, and in particularly wary of cybercriminals, internet companies, and governments. This lack of trust is hurting the potential of electronic commerce, the survey revealed.
NSA newsletter reveals ‘critical gaps’ in intelligence during ’04 North Korea drill
Newly released documents sourced from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal details of the intelligence community’s planning for large-scale evacuations and the response to a North Korea attack.
The Intercept news website – run by Glenn Greenwald and a team of investigative journalists – released a batch of 251 internal National Security Agency newsletters, a publication called SIDtoday.
Attorney says no attempts from Trump administration to contact Snowden
“No, no one tried to contact him. I believe that Snowden clarified his position which has not changed. Nothing has changed actually, he still lives and works in Russia,” the attorney said.
Kucherena added that Snowden continued to learn Russian.
“He started to learn the Russian language and he can already speak a little of it,” the attorney said.
Legislators, School Administrators Back Off Cellphone Search Bill After Running Into ACLU Opposition
Supporters of the bill claim the lack of an exception to the privacy law leaves administrators powerless. True, a school administrator can’t seek a warrant to access the contents of a student’s phone, but there are options schools can use rather than exempt every California student from the state’s privacy law.
Most schools have electronic device policies that tie search consent to school attendance, which usually includes personal electronic devices along with vehicles parked on school grounds and lockers. A consensual search — even if performed under an “implied consent” standard rather than a more affirmative version — is still a “clean” search, though possibly one less likely to survive a courtroom challenge. Many schools also have police officers on staff. Whether or not these officers can seek warrants to access phone contents is unclear, but in cases of suspected criminal conduct, this would be turned over to law enforcement anyway.
Cars will get superior digital vision with ARM’s camera chip
A camera inside a car could also identify [...]
- User Safety is a Myth call 911
Another horror story from Saudi Arabia: Hyderabad woman sold to kafeel for Rs 3 lakh, faces torture
Sameena further said that she had learnt that her mother was sold to the kafeel for 3 lakh. “The torture started when she denied to a contract marriage with her Kafeel in Saudi Arabia. She however informed me sending message that she was sold by agents. so the Kafeel does not want to send her back,”
Muslim Extremists Destroy Pastor’s Farm, Church Building in Eastern Uganda
“My outreach to Muslims has led to all these fights that I have been receiving from the Muslims,” he said. “These people have been hunting for me since the early ’80s. And as a result, they even managed to kill my mother by poisoning, and after the death of my mother, they went ahead and killed my livestock. They are provoking me to leave the area.”
- Man in China held for posting anti-Muslim comments online
- National netball champion given triple talaq for giving birth to girl
- Silence on triple talaq exposes appeasement politics of Oppn parties: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Uber’s Kalanick got caught for tricking Apple, risking expulsion from Apple Store, report says [iophk: "no word on which other programs it will use instead to continue to thwart local regulators"]
Uber has said it will no longer use that program to thwart local regulators.
Uber cloaked its spying and all it got from Apple was a slap on the wrist
Uber hid its fingerprinting of iPhone users from Apple – techniques that would have had any other app thrown out of Apple’s store. Uber retained the information even after the Uber app had been deleted and the phone had been wiped. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick got a personal reprimand from Apple CEO Tim Cook, but the app stayed put, and Uber continues to use fingerprinting worldwide.
Met police hands victims of crime over to the Home Office for immigration enforcement
Fears have been raised that criminal offences could go unreported after it was revealed that the Metropolitan police has been referring victims of crime over to the Home Office for immigration enforcement.
In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from Politics.co.uk, the Met admitted passing on details of both victims and witnesses of crime if there were concerns over their immigration status.
We’re Investigating Hate Across the U.S. There’s No Shortage of Work.
An African-American homeless man slain with a sword on the streets of New York. A mosque attacked in Fort Collins, Colorado, its windows smashed by a man who finished off his assault by hurling a Bible inside the Muslim house of worship. A portion of Junction City, Wisconsin, evacuated after a man angry with his Hmong neighbor opened fire. A man arrested in Port St. Lucie, Florida, for trying to set fire to a convenience store he suspected was owned by a Muslim, after which he said he’d just been trying to “do his part for America.”
That happened in the month of March in America. In fact, just a flavor of it.
There was also the Jewish cemetery vandalized in Rochester, New York. The man beaten with a pipe in a restaurant in Salem, Oregon, by an attacker who said, “Arab, you need to leave.” The African-American family in Delano, Minnesota, who moved out of their home just months after moving in after it was ransacked and spray painted with epithets.
- Another horror story from Saudi Arabia: Hyderabad woman sold to kafeel for Rs 3 lakh, faces torture
Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
- FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is expected to unveil new net neutrality plans on Wednesday
Canada Rushes To Defend Net Neutrality As The U.S. Moves To Dismantle It
Here in the States, regulators and Congress are preparing to gut our existing net neutrality rules — replacing them with the policy equivalent of wet tissue paper. In Canada, regulators are taking the complete opposite tack, last week cementing the country’s net neutrality rules as some of the most comprehensive in the world.
After years of some obnoxious behavior by Canadian ISPs like Rogers, Canadian regulators adopted guidelines back in 2009 that prevent ISPs from blocking websites, while requiring that they’re transparent about network management. In 2013, those guidelines were expanded to cover zero rating after Ben Klass, a graduate student in telecommunications, filed a complaint with the CRTC over zero rating. Specifically, Klass and his co-filers noted that Bell had begun exempting its own streaming video service from the company’s usage caps, thereby putting smaller streaming competitors at a notable disadvantage.
Paul Hansmeier Argues Convicting Him Of Fraud Would Seriously Damage The Judicial System
It looks like Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier isn’t nearly as interested John Steele in striking a deal with the feds. Of course, Steele folded immediately, offering up Hansmeier as bus undercoating, which likely means Hansmeier isn’t being feted by feds with plea deals.
The 17-count indictment relayed a story familiar to Techdirt readers, since we have covered nearly every part of the scam: a get-rich-quick scheme that paid off at first for Prenda, but quickly unraveled as courts (and many copyright troll fighters) uncovered fake defendants, shell companies, forged documents, and honeypot-as-business-model tactics.
With Register of Copyrights bill, big media seeks its own in-house lobbyist
Why are advocates for major media and entertainment companies pushing Congress to rush through a bill that would make the U.S.’s top copyright official— the Register of Copyrights— a position appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate? Unfortunately, it is likely because the new appointment process will increase the ability of the incumbent copyright lobby to influence the Copyright Office, to the detriment consumers, creators and innovators.
H.R. 1695’s supporters insist that it would increase accountability by giving Congress more of a voice in the selection process. But in practice, making the appointment one more contentious political contest would create a Register who’s only really accountable to the lobbyists and special interests that help her get selected and confirmed. Indeed, proponents of the bill have touted it as a measure that will better enable the Copyright Office to serve the interests of the “creative industries.”
New Survey: Most Millennials Both Pay For Streaming Services And Use Pirate Streams When Content Isn’t Legally Available
For any of the entrenched entertainment players seated comfortably in their lofty offices, quite used to counting stacks of money and calling it a profession, they likely already know this fearful mantra: the millennials are coming. Millennials, and even more so the generations younger than them, are driving changes in the entertainment industry. These younger consumers are largely responsible for the cord-cutting trend winding its way through the cable industry, not to mention being the force behind ever-expanding streaming options for everything from movies to television shows and live sports. These are the customers of the future. Customers that will outlive a public that became used to having bloated cable television packages filled with channels and content fit to be ignored.
The RIAA is Now Copyright Troll Rightscorp’s Biggest Customer
Music industry group RIAA, which represents the leading recording labels in the US, is now a major customer of anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp. In fact, the RIAA’s commitment to the copyright troll outfit is so significant that its business accounted for 44% of Rightscorp’s revenue in 2016.
- Paul Hansmeier Argues Convicting Him Of Fraud Would Seriously Damage The Judicial System
It’s only getting worse than earlier this month…
Summary: The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts
IN our previous post, a post about the EPO, we noted that the UPC cannot happen (it’s stuck). Everybody knows it, but the lobbyists (notably Team Battistelli and Team UPC) try hard to deny it. The UPC threatens to bring to Europe the patent trolls that currently or previously revolved/orbited around the USPTO.
One new comment from this morning spoke about BB’s (Battistelli’s) “Plan B” as follows, reinforcing voices of insiders who believe that Battistelli has no intention of leaving (just like Erdoğan). To quote:
Don’t assume that BB does not have (or will not generate) a “Plan B” that will be equally unpalatable as a 3-year extension.
Remember, this is a man who has virtually wrecked the EPO on the grounds of financial self-interest (of the EPO management, the AC delegates and the Member States), in the process trampling over the (basic human) rights of the staff, crippling the Boards of Appeal and blatantly ignoring both the interests of the users and the rule of law. For someone who has achieved all that, what is to stop him twisting the agenda yet again to suit his personal needs? Certainly not the AC.
We expect that Battistelli will use the UPC woes as an excuse and ask for “more time” to “make it happen”. It’s like that classic Martial Law (or national emergency or wartime) pretext for never-ending dictatorship.
“They are manipulating international media and apparently even blogs now.”We are still truly disgusted to see what IP Kat has become. I used to view them as allies, but now they are like foes. They do exactly the opposite of fixing the EPO and instead bolster the dictatorship. Here it is writing once again about that stupid think tank, complete with stuffed/stacked panels from Microsoft, Bristows and other lovers of UPC (litigation plus patent maximalism) Kool-Aid. Battistelli’s chief UPC liar, Margot, was already aided by the Bristows mouthpieces, who in effect took over IP Kat. It’s almost unthinkable and unbelievable that IP Kat was a prominent critic of Battistelli one year ago. “The mere presence of members of the Boards of Appeal [in the panels] would have spoiled the performance of the other member of staff of EPO,” said one comment. “She came to herald the UPC, one wonders why.”
She did the same thing in Korea some weeks ago. They are manipulating international media and apparently even blogs now. Yesterday, the Bristows-run blog (IP Kat) continued to cheer for patent trolls that operate in London (profitable for Bristows). Something like the UPC would make things even worse!
As someone pointed out in the comments this morning:
What always worries me in this respect is A54(3) EPC. I could scan through the patent publications in the afternoon of the publication day, find something interesting, add a few trivial features (the processor may be silicon based, a copper containing current distributor may be used, etc.) and file it as my patent application before 24:00. As the original application is only prior art according to A54(3) and I have some trivial features for novelty, I should be fine and get it granted.
Another person asked: “Entitlement?”
“…Annsley Merelle Ward continued acting almost like a Battistelli ‘mole’ inside the blog.”Remember that Unwired Planet is just a patent troll utilised by Ericsson.
Bristows staff soon thereafter proceeded to another EPO puff piece (like amplifying Margot). In it, Annsley Merelle Ward continued acting almost like a Battistelli ‘mole’ inside the blog. Those who make a living out of litigation (like trolls with threatening letters) understandably tolerate Battistelli because of his UPC ambitions. Watch this new tweet that says “Anjali Chopra of GreyB believes that getting rid of #Patenttrolls would hurt #innovation”
Let’s just pretend — as some legal firms do — that patent trolls are good for innovation. Let’s just invert truths, pretending that UPC would be good for SMEs etc. Just earlier this month the Washington Times published “Banish the [patent] trolls” — an article which explains, in the words of United For Patent Reform, that “[p]atent reform requires shifting burden of proof “to the trolls and away from inventors & innovators”…”
From the article:
There’s an entire class of litigants in patent law that lawyers call “venue-shoppers.” U.S. district courts in East Texas and Delaware have become the go-to venues, courts likely to produce huge judgments in plaintiffs’ favor. Courts in these jurisdictions have shown themselves to be sympathetic to the trolls, or as they call themselves, “patent-assertion entities.”
Patent trolls, typically shell companies, buy the rights to dormant patents and use them to extort holders of similar patents by filing false patent-infringement claims. Defendants will often settle out of court just to make the case go away. It’s cheaper than hiring expensive lawyers to fight claims without merit.
The predatory patent-infringement threats and lawsuits drained an estimated $29 billion from the U.S. economy in 2011 alone, according to a Boston University study released in June 2012. That figure represents only direct legal costs, so the true economic toll is much higher since the true toll includes “various indirect costs such as diversion of resources, delays in new products, and loss of market share.”
Taking much of the above into account, what we have now is a British blog called IP Kat which is primarily run by proponents of patent trolls, software patents, the UPC and even Battistelli’s agenda. The FFII’s President today complained that “Redhat does not do much against swpats [software patents] anymore, against UPC for ex it is around zero.”
“Taking much of the above into account, what we have now is a British blog called IP Kat which is primarily run by proponents of patent trolls, software patents, the UPC and even Battistelli’s agenda.”It leaves not so many of us to fight for EPO justice, to combat the UPC, to stop trolls, and take away those software patents they rely on so much.
The Isle of Man is signing up to a Europe-wide system for registering patents.
It is planned for the agreement to continue beyond Brexit.
No, it’s not. That’s a lie right there. They perpetuate UPC lies again. It probably won’t be long before IP Kat, i.e. Bristows, does another series of lies about the UPC, feeding much of the misinformation whose purpose is to compel officials abroad to ratify (based on false information). █
EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse
Summary: Conflict between management and staff — a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli — continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)
WO hours ago (at the earliest), based on this page, there was a Freie Wähler motion for EPO workers who are being abused in Germany. It can go on almost until midnight, or the window for this motion will be some time from 2 hours ago until 10 PM GMT. The “basic rights for EPO employees,” SUEPO explains, “will be discussed today, 25.04.2017, between 14.00-23.00…”
“Meanwhile, as some people have already noticed, Battistelli’s political party in France has just lost…”“Unfortunately,” SUEPO continues, “we cannot inform you on the exact time. We can only inform you that it is motion 23 of 29 motions to be discussed.”
We can only wait and hope that someone in Germany (or someone who understands German) will publish the outcome, transcript, etc. We’ll happily accept and of course publish anything to that effect if it’s sent to us.
Meanwhile, as some people have already noticed, Battistelli’s political party in France has just lost (his political affiliation disqualifies him by the way, just like his age, making him strictly unsuitable for his position). Here is a comment posted in relation to the outcome of the election (first round):
Bad evening for Battistelli : crooked Fillon lost it!
Indeed Battistelli placed until very recently, his hope in Fillon’s election (they both belong the same political party Les Republicains). He was heard in Munich telling with his usual arrogance that should Fillon win, he would get a three years’ extension
well Benoit, time for a change? En Marche back in St Germain !
Battistelli should never have been given the job of President (of EPO). He is a political figure. It’s not allowed. But Battistelli, being Battistelli, breaks all the rules and lies all the time. The man is a chronic liar. It has gotten so bad that every time he speaks out (it has been a while) it’s guaranteed to be a lie and this is why we call him the Liar in Chief.
Recall the latest article from The Register; it was neatly split into four parts: Battistelli’s claims (lies), refutation from stakeholders, refutation from insiders, then an attack on insiders who say the truth. The third part contained some new information (not covered here before) and it noted “a stunning 99 per cent conformity” at the EPO, which means that Battistelli turned the EPO into another FISA/FISC, i.e. rubberstamping operation. To quote from page 2:
At the same time that the EPO management has relentlessly pushed to speed up processes, it has had maintained a second keen focus on quality, knowing full well that the entire Battistelli experiment could fall apart if the quality of patent examination is seen to suffer.
Ominously, however, as soon as the reforms started taking effect EPO management introduced a new approach to quality measurement that removed many of its independent aspects and put them under the control of the president and his team. In addition, an effort to speed up the process, combined with an aggressive clampdown on staff by management, has undermined the process for critical evaluation of patents.
Previously, the three-person team working on a given patent case would work together and then the chair in each case would do a quick quality check at the end of that process to confirm all was fine.
Under the new system, the chair is expected to weigh in earlier and lodge any concerns in the EPO’s Conformity Assurance for Search and Examination (CASE) system before talking to the first evaluator. The subsequent conversation on those points is then also lodged in the system.
The end result of this change is any errors that were previously caught at the earliest stages become a part of the record: so either the first examiner is seen to have made a mistake or the chair is seen to have falsely flagged a problem.
The end result of that, according to internal figures that The Register has seen is that there is less critically analysis being applied to applications rather than more as examiners worry about EPO management blaming them for, ironically, bringing down quality metrics.
Prior to the change, there was a 85-88 per cent conformity rate i.e. agreement between examiners; after the change, a stunning 99 per cent conformity. Battistelli’s team, convinced that their pressure tactics are simply causing people to work harder and better, view the results as validating their approach when in reality it undermines it.
But just as the EPO is increasingly unable to keep a lid on the impact of its “early certainty” program, so the knock-on impact on EPO report quality is starting to overwhelm the management’s efforts to contain it.
At the last meeting of the EPO’s Administrative Council, when the management team outlined their unlikely double-whammy of more patent application approvals while quality also rose, staff union representatives gently suggested that the figures were not showing the full picture.
Astounding, isn’t it?
No matter if one is an examiner, an attorney, lawyer or whatnot, this isn’t good. It’s not good at all. It’s almost as though the EPO covertly adopted 'registration' only, just like in France. It means that stakeholders are overpaying, examiners are made almost redundant (their skills aren’t being put to proper use), they are compelled to operate like machines and get sacked if they refuse to. Who takes the blame for all this? Not the management.
Battistelli is now doing the same thing to judges and notice the following remarkable comment:
As I have heard Americans refer to Patent Agents and Patent Atttorneys as “Patent Lawyers”, for the benefit of our transatlantic cousins, perhaps Mr. Justice Birss’ comment that that “… you don’t have to have a science degree to be a great patent lawyer” requires qualification. As far as the UK is concerned, the statement may well be true for someone who wishes to qualify as a Barrister or Solicitor with a view to specialising in Intellectual Property: however, in order to sit the qualifying exams for a UK Patent Attorney or a European Patent Attorney, a degree in Science or Engineering is normally essential. As an exception the EPO does allow candidates who have a technical qualification that is not of the required academic standard may be allowed to sit if they can offer sufficient post-qualification experience in industry.
Well, not anymore. First of all, the EPO almost stopped hiring judges (see the sad state of the appeal boards), as if the only judges to be hired are seen as UPC placeholders. Some insiders have openly hypothesised that Battistelli hopes to just demolish the EPO, negligently deal with the remaining pending patents, and get the UPC off the ground, even if it’s not possible due to Brexit and other show-stopping barriers.
In blunt terms, the EPO has truly become a clusterf*ck under Battistelli. Everyone knows it and everybody suffers from it. █
Summary: The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don’t really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie
Qualcomm does not make phones. At least not anymore. The same is true for Microsoft (with rare, minor exceptions here and there). Yet they want to be paid for every phone produced (raising prices considerably). They’re like patent trolls — the very same thing that BlackBerry and Nokia gradually become as their sales flat-line near 0. Their stockpiling of patents, they believe, is their last remaining ‘asset’ in the mobile market (Nokia, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Microsoft also feed patent trolls for this purpose). Various software patents, granted by the USPTO before Alice, account for the lion’s share of the said patents, the rest being on hardware, radio, etc. Please note that we are not opposing hardware patents like this one just covered by Patently-O or material-related patents like the one just covered by Managing IP. In the case of Qualcomm, a lot of their patents are on software (their former chiefs advocated these patents last month), so we stand on pretty firm ground when we oppose these. So does Florian Müller, who has just found out that “Qualcomm’s involuntary refund to BlackBerry amounts to approximately $5 per device” and added:
The term “specified number of subscriber units from 2010 through the end of 2015″ in Qualcomm’s press release on this month’s arbitration award could mean all or some of the devices BlackBerry sold during the period in question. What I’m interested in (because I believe many readers will be curious, too) is what indication the “rebate” gives us with a view to Qualcomm’s standard-essential patent (SEP) royalty demands. A couple of months ago I saw indications, by deducing and inferring information from certain public documents, that Apple may have been paying Qualcomm approximately $20 for its baseband chip and a second amount like that for patent license (a total of $40 per device for the chip and the license). The higher the rebate is on a per-unit basis, the more likely it is that Qualcomm’s royalty demands are really that high (we’re talking about stratospheric heights compared to what other companies are rumored to receive; for example, financial investors appear to believe that Nokia receives about $2 per device from Apple).
So let’s look at publicly-available information in the light most favorable to Qualcomm: that the “royalty cap” applied to all BlackBerry smartphones sold in the years 2010-2015. Not only is that most favorable to Qualcomm but it’s also a reasonable assumption.
How many of the patents in question are no longer valid after Alice and what will regulators say about Qualcomm’s anticompetitive practices?
“We live in a world where journalism about patents is composed by non-scientists who speak to lawyers, not scientists.”We certainly hope that Qualcomm will just disappear. It contributes nothing and takes away from everyone.
Suffice to say, the patent microcosm is supportive of Qualcomm. They push the bogus narrative of “inventors” (who create nothing) being “robbed”. Some take this further and pretend that it’s the root of all the problems in the US. For example, as if everything boils down to patents (the more, the merrier), Watchtroll has just published “Fixing America’s Patent System is the Best Strategy to Jump-Start our Stalled Economy” (on Monday).
“It has become so bad that the industry is full of trolls — one of whom (Erich Spangenberg) made about $50 million from one single patent which recently turned out to be invalid.”What they mean by “fixing” is the very opposite of fixing. They want to bring rise to more Qualcomm-like parasites.
Yesterday, behind a paywall, the patent microcosm also promoted software patents, as it so habitually does. Heck, who needs the opinion of actual software professionals? We live in a world where journalism about patents is composed by non-scientists who speak to lawyers, not scientists. It has become so bad that the industry is full of trolls — one of whom (Erich Spangenberg) made about $50 million from one single patent which recently turned out to be invalid. Think of all the companies he robbed by this charalatan over the years. █
Summary: The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent ‘parades’ in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore
THE USPTO has shifted in a direction similar to that of India, i.e. no software patents, at least not without some loopholes that would most likely fail to convince courts (so the patents are no longer potent, at least once challenged).
“LexOrbis is not a software firm; it’s an enemy of many and it uses terms like “Computer Related Inventions” (CRI), which just like CII is a dodge from the term that would instantaneously disqualify patents.”Several weeks ago we saw LexOrbis promoting Indian software patents at IAM and elsewhere, based on flawed logic. These opportunists, spinners and self-serving staff of LexOrbis keep lobbying against India’s laws not because they care about software but because they want to prey on software developers, using patents on software. The latest such piece is “India: Need ‘SoftPatents’ for Software Inventions” and it shows them trying to work around the law, then concluding with “let us keep looking for that inventive step in ‘software inventions’ and file patent applications for Computer Related Inventions.”
Or how about quit meddling in software? LexOrbis is not a software firm; it’s an enemy of many and it uses terms like “Computer Related Inventions” (CRI), which just like CII is a dodge from the term that would instantaneously disqualify patents.
“Just because patents become available for something doesn’t mean one will produce a better product or “think harder” or “innovate better”.”Elsewhere in the Indian press today, the patent microcosm maintains an atmosphere of confusion and mass deception. Here, for example, we have a new article titled “India leads Asian peers in growth in filing patents” — a piece which asserts that it’s something to be celebrated. Corporate media wants us to think that more patents mean more innovation and are necessarily more desirable. It’s not that simple. It depends on what these patents cover. Another corporate media ‘genius’ now conflates patents with innovation. Is he just gullible or intentionally dishonest? Just because patents become available for something doesn’t mean one will produce a better product or “think harder” or “innovate better”. It’s a myth.
What is the role model? China! Here is a portion:
China reduces patent fees by 75-80% for people who can’t afford it and has a patent fund to provide cash subsidies for patent applicants and patentees gratuitously.
And what has China gotten out of it? A massive surge in litigation and patent trolls. Is this really desirable? Well, for those who make a living messing around with papers (lawsuits, filings etc.) this is great.
Over at IAM, in the mean time, IPOS is quoted as some sort of authority; they never speak to actual engineers that create something. Daren Tang from IPOS is talking nonsense, resorting to the lingo of patent maximalists who compare monopoly to objects. Remember that it is IAM that keeps attacking India’s patent policy all the time (and almost every week/fortnight this year). We responded to some of it in:
- China Adopts Software Patents and IAM ‘Magazine’ (Lobbyists) Continues to Shame India Into It
- IAM Just Can’t Stop Pushing for Software Patents in India
- IAM ‘Magazine’ as Megaphone for Chamber of Corporates (CoC), Which Tries Shaming India Into Software Patenting
- IAM Helps Enemies of India’s Interests Lobby for Software Patents in the Country
- IAM ‘Magazine’ in a Campaign to Destroy India’s IT Industry and Help Patent Trolls There
- IAM is a Think Tank for Patent Trolls, Software Patents, the EPO, Microsoft, and Whoever Else is Willing to Pay
We certainly hope that developers/engineers in India are paying attention and operating in a reactionary manner to all that meddling from the patent microcosm, its think tanks, and cooperative media. They will never rest until (if ever) software patents become legal in India. █
System76 wants to build its own hardware for its Linux-based computers
System76 is building up quite a name for itself, being one of a very limited number of companies selling only computers running Linux-based operating systems. Now the aim is to branch out; System76 wants to design and build its own hardware, while representing the open source community as it does so.
At the moment, the hardware used in System76 systems is outsourced, but in the future this will change. The company says that it is moving into phase three of its development cycle, and this “moves product design and manufacturing in house.” And you should set your expectations high: “We’re about to build the Model S of computers. Something so brilliant and beautiful that reviewers will have to add an 11 to their scores.”
- System76 wants to build its own hardware for its Linux-based computers
3 signs your Kubernetes distro is built to last
It’s hard to turn around these days without bumping into a Kubernetes distribution. For example, Mirantis recently buffed its OpenStack distribution to use Kubernetes as an internal component and for container management. Major Linux server distributions include it now.
For Kubernetes adopters, it’s all good news. It means the most remarkable development in the container world since, well, containers themselves is enjoying strong uptake and acceptance.
- 3 signs your Kubernetes distro is built to last
So originally I was just planning on releasing the final 4.11 today,
but while we didn’t have a *lot* of changes the last week, we had a
couple of really annoying ones, so I’m doing another rc release
instead. I did get fixes for the issues that popped up, so I could
have released 4.11 as-is, but it just doesn’t feel right.
It’s not like another week of letting this release mature will really hurt.
The most noticeable of the issues is that we’ve quirked off some NVMe
power management that apparently causes problems on some machines.
It’s not entirely clear what caused the issue (it wasn’t just limited
to some NVMe hardware, but also particular platforms), but let’s test
Linux Kernel 4.11 to Launch on April 30 as Linus Torvalds Released Eighth RC
We were expecting so see the final release of the Linux 4.11 kernel launch on Sunday evening, but it didn’t happen as Linus Torvalds announced the eighth and last Release Candidate (RC) version instead.
According to Linus Torvalds, the release of Linux kernel 4.11 should have happened on Sunday, April 23, 2017, but things don’t always go as planned, and it looks like some last minute blockers, such as some nasty issues with the NVMe power management support, were discovered, which is the main reason we see the RC8 build.
- Linux 4.11 delayed for a week by NVMe glitches and ‘oops fixes’
- Linux 4.11 Pushed Back: 4.11-rc8 Released
Open source group focuses on industrial IoT gateway middleware
The Linux Foundation has launched an open source, cross-platform “EdgeX Foundry” project based on Dell’s FUSE for standardizing middleware on IoT gateways.
The new EdgeX Foundry organization will develop modular, cross-platform middleware for industrial IoT edge gateways. Based on a Dell FUSE project, the open source group aims to simplify and standardize industrial IoT edge computing “while still allowing the ecosystem to add significant value,” says the Linux Foundation.
- The Linux Foundation launches IoT-focused open source EdgeX Foundry, Ubuntu-maker Canonical joins
- The Linux Foundation announces a new IoT edge computing project: EdgeX Foundry
- Linux Foundation Launches EdgeX Foundry for IoT Edge Interoperability
- Linux Foundation Advances IoT Interoperability
- Linux Foundation Launches EdgeX Foundry Open Framework for IoT Edge Computing
- Opto 22 becomes founding member of EdgeX Foundry
- Linux Foundation’s EdgeX Foundry injects unity into IoT marketplace
- Linux Foundation launches open source EdgeX IoT marketplace
- Bayshore Networks a Founding Member of EdgeX Foundry
- Mocana Joins EdgeX Foundry to Ensure Framework Interoperability and Industrial-Grade IoT Security
Open-source EdgeX Foundry seeks to standardize Internet of Things
Security is the Internet of Things’ (IoT) Achilles heel. One reason that’s so is there is a lack of common IoT development standards. The Linux Foundation, along with 50 companies, is addressing this by building a common open-framework for IoT edge computing and an ecosystem of interoperable components under a new open-source consortium: The EdgeX Foundry.
I’m announcing the release of the 3.18.50 kernel.
All users of the 3.18 kernel series must upgrade.
The updated 3.18.y git tree can be found at:
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
- Opto 22 joins The Linux Foundation
Panda PAU09 N600 USB WiFi Works Fine With Linux
If you are in the market for a dual-band USB WiFi adapter, the Panda PAU09 N600 WiFi adapter works well on modern Linux distributions and will cost you just about $20 USD.
- Compute Shader Patches For Nouveau Pascal
- Mesa 17.1 RC2 Packs In Over A Dozen More Fixes
61 New Patches Allow OpenGL 4.5 For Radeon RX Vega
Initial support for Radeon RX Vega support in Mesa landed for Mesa 17.1 at the end of March. However, this initial support was limited to OpenGL 3.1 while now patches have come to take Vega up to OpenGL 4.5.
Marek kicked off the new week by posting 61 new patches for Mesa for allowing OpenGL 4.5 on the upcoming Radeon RX Vega hardware. This series also has a number of GFX9 (the graphics part of Vega) fixes (these will also be back-ported to 17.1), LS-HS/tessellation support, ES-GS/geometry shader support, and various other fixes/clean-ups/improvements.
Linux 4.11 File-System Tests: EXT4, F2FS, XFS & Btrfs
With the Linux 4.11 kernel potentially being released as soon as today, here are some fresh benchmarks of Btrfs / EXT4 / F2FS / XFS on a solid-state drive and comparing the performance of 4.11 Git back to Linux 4.9 and 4.10.
For those wondering if the block/file-system changes of Linux 4.11 have any impact on EXT4/F2FS/XFS/Btrfs for common I/O workloads or how these file-systems are comparing on this latest kernel, here are some benchmarks.
- Linux 4.11 File-System Tests: EXT4, F2FS, XFS & Btrfs
- Linux 4.11-rc8
Support for some optical media functionality (DVD/CD) is now disabled by default.
MPV 0.25 Media Player Released With Numerous Changes
For fans of MPV as the media player forked from MPlayer/MPlayer2, a new release was tagged this weekend.
MPV 0.25.0 is the new release and it has a couple features to point out. Some of the prominent work for MPV 0.25 includes disabling by default some DVD/CD playback features and also relicenses a number of components under the LGPL.
Open source media player ‘mpv’ has a brand new release available
mpv [GitHub, Official Site], a slick open source media player has seen a new release, it has re-licensed a number of components under the LGPL.
About the re-licensing, more info can be found here. Essentially, they have turned the player into a library that other applications can use, so using the LGPL allows a bit more freedom with other licenses too that aren’t directly compatible with the GPL itself.
Cockpit – An Easy Way to Administer Multiple Remote Linux Servers via a Web Browser
Cockpit is a free and open source web-based system management tool where users can easily monitor and manage multiple remote Linux srvers. It is very thin and light weight utility & directly interacts with the operating system from a real Linux session and doesn’t require any difficult configuration so just install it, it is ready for use.
Some Useful Indicators: Ayatana, Clipboard-Autoedit, Diskstat, Files, Bulletin and Udisks
Panel Indicators always comes in handy when you have to do some productive work on your desktop computer, to access quick functions of different applications these indicators saves you a lot of time, some indicator give you information you want to receive, it all depends on your needs. Today presenting you some useful indicators which may help you and makes your desktop experience much better. Following all the indicators are developed by just one guy and available through his PPA.
- 4 new OpenStack how-tos and guides
- Automatically Wake Up Your Linux System From Sleep Or Hibernation Mode
- Time-stamping Output and Profiling
- How To Suspend A Process And Resume It Later In Linux
- The Story of Getting SSH Port 22
[Older] Protect your management interfaces
Networking and server infrastructure is typically managed from a console (e.g. via SSH), a remote desktop interface, or through a web-based interface. However there are other interfaces that can be powerful and are often forgotten, such as baseboard management controllers or ‘integrated lights-out’ functionality used for out-of-band management of hardware. And of course, there are the protocols which aren’t normally used for administration but could be used for administration in some configurations – examples would include the SMB protocol for file shares or SNMP for networking.
- Keeping State and Networking in Kubernetes
- How to Set Up Your Own Linux Photo Management System with Lychee
- Wine 2.0.1 Stable Released, Here’s How To Install it on Ubuntu
- How to Add App Folders to the GNOME Shell Overview
- [Video] Why UNIX has short command names
OpenRA C&C Reimplementation Gets New Stable Release, Here Is What’s New
Oliver Brakmann from the OpenRA project, an open-source and cross-platform initiative to offer a reimplementation of the popular Command & Conquer games, announced the availability of a new stable release.
Linux gamers on Arch may want to hold off on updating due to openssl breaking some games (updated)
It seems an Arch update today has broken a few games, several Feral Interactive titles as well as Civilization VI from Aspyr Media no longer run.
It’s apparently an issue with the Arch update of openssl. I sadly updated without knowing it was an issue, so certain games are now broken for me. I’ve had this confirmed by multiple other reports, so it’s certainly not me.
- Some thoughts on ‘Hollow Knight’, an incredibly rich and unexpectedly great game
- Peace, Death! Possibly one of the weirdest games I’ve played for a while
- Project Zomboid has another major update with tons of bugs fixes and new map items
- Dota 2 has massive changes to matchmaking that should give better games
- Adventure Games and Eigenvalues
- OpenLara, an impressive open source engine for classic Tomb Raider has a WebGL demo
OpenLara: Open-Source Engine Remake For Tomb Raider, Including WebGL Version
OpenLara is an open-source effort to have a engine re-implementation of the classic Tomb Raider game.
Similar to OpenMW, Xoreos, and many other open-source projects seeking to re-implement proprietary classic game engines in modern, clean, open-source code, OpenLara is aiming for similar treatment to the classic Tomb Raider title.
- Games Republic, the store previously owned by 11 bit studios is coming back (updated)
Don’t Touch The Zombies looks like an amusing mash-up of PAC-MAN and Zombies
Don’t Touch The Zombies [Steam, Official Site], a game from Tlakali Game Studio is releasing soon with Linux support and it looks like an amusing mash-up of PAC-MAN with Zombies.
- Overload, the really great six-degree-of-freedom shooter has a major update
Steam For Linux [Steam review]
Technically, physically, mentally, chemically games are those things which make us feel like a child again. Age doesn’t matter, what matter is that spirit that is inside us, that “gamer” spirit. When I joined Linux two years ago, I installed steam firstly to get my games from windows back. Now I’ve got a library of limitless free and paid games having my CS: GO too. I am a daily CS: GO, player. All my favorite games are on Linux via steam. That is why I decided to review it for you guys who are new to Linux world and are in a doubt that how to use steam, what is steam? All answers are here. So here is Steam for Linux.
- A look at Codroids, a puzzle game with a focus on simplicity
- OpenRA C&C Reimplementation Gets New Stable Release, Here Is What’s New
K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
KDE neon Translations
One of the best things about making software collaboratively is the translations. Sure I could make a UML diagramming tool or whatever all by my own but it’s better if I let lots of other people help out and one of the best crowd-sourcing features of open community development is you get translated into many popular and obscure languages which it would cost a fortune to pay some company to do.
There’s a petition requesting Canonical to use KDE not GNOME by default
There’s a petition going around calling for Canonical to drop GNOME and go for KDE by default since they are dropping Unity.
The petition is currently sitting at 2,725 supporters, which isn’t a lot of people voting for something so big.
- KDE neon Translations
GNOME To Do 3.24 release, and it’s shining
GNOME To Do is a personal task manager for GNOME. It uses GNOME technologies and integrates very well with the desktop. And now, it’s finally being released!
The 3.24 version comes with a few nice features and, most importantly, whole load of bugfixes. Let’s get started!
GNOME To Do 3.24 released with lots of new goodies
GNOME To Do, the simple todo list application for the GNOME desktop has released their latest build with some new features.
Plano Theme Adds a Touch of Class to GNOME & XFCE4 Desktops
Plano is a flat theme designed for GNOME and Xfce4 desktops.
Yeah, I know; it seems as though there are now more flat GTK themes for Linux than there are music players! That’s not to say Plano isn’t a nice theme — just look at it! — but it is ‘yet another’ iteration on a design trend du jour.
- GNOME To Do 3.24 release, and it’s shining
- K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
- New Releases
Arch-Based arkOS Linux Being Discontinued
arkOS, the Arch-based Linux distribution focused on “securely self-hosting your online life” with aims to make it easy to deploy servers for web-based services, is being discontinued.
ArkOS since 2012 had been working to make it trivial to deploy your own Linux web server, your own personal cloud (ownCloud), and making it easy for other services to be deployed while being done so securely and easily. You probably haven’t heard of arkOS making the news in a while and sadly now it’s making news again, but only because it’s being discontinued by its lead developer.
- Arch-Based arkOS Linux Being Discontinued
openSUSE Leap’s backward version jump
On behalf of the openSUSE Board and Leap Release Management I am
pleased to announce the next version of openSUSE Leap after 42.3 will
openSUSE Leap 15
As with Leap 42.x, minor releases are expected annually for at least 3
years, so you can expect a Leap 15.1 to follow, then 15.2 and onwards.
Obviously this is quite a dramatic change from the current version
number of 42.x, so I will explain what justifies this change in some
SUSE Hack Week 15
Back in February the fifteenth SUSE Hack Week took place. As always this was a week of free hacking, to learn, to innovate, to collaborate, and to have a lot of fun. I didn’t have the full time, so I worked on a couple of small things and a few projects I maintain. I did want to summarize that, so here you go.
- openSUSE Leap’s backward version jump
Red Hat Family
Red Hat Rolls Out Version 4.1 of KVM Platform
Red Hat has just launched Red Hat Virtualization 4.1. The company says that this product is “the latest release of the company’s Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)-powered enterprise virtualization platform.” The goal, the company says is to provide “an open source infrastructure and centralized management solution for virtualized servers and workstations.” Red Hat describes some of the platform’s upgrades…
- Diversified Trust Co Decreases Stake in Red Hat Inc (RHT)
- Diversified Trust Co Decreases Stake in Red Hat Inc (RHT)
- Diversified Trust Co Decreases Stake in Red Hat Inc (RHT)
- Chart Monitor: Taking a Look at Shares of Red Hat Inc (RHT)
- Red Hat Inc (RHT) Receives $90.69 Consensus Price Target from Analysts
- Red Hat Inc (RHT) Shares Up 5.2% Following Analyst Upgrade
- Noteworthy Mover of Last Trading Session: Red Hat, Inc.’s (RHT)
- Red Hat Rolls Out Version 4.1 of KVM Platform
Devuan GNU/Linux 1.0.0 “Jessie” Just Around the Corner, Release Candidate Out
It’s been five almost five months since the developers behind the Debian-based Devuan GNU/Linux operating system launched the second Beta version towards the first stable release of the OS, and they now announced the Release Candidate.
The Devuan project continues its vision of providing a libre Debian fork without using the systemd init system, and the Release Candidate (RC) version brings the GNU/Linux distribution closer to a final release. The interesting fact is that this RC appears to be stable enough to be used for production work.
Flattiance is a Flat Fork of Ubuntu’s Ambiance Theme
Flattiance is pitched as a “semi-flat fork” of the Ubuntu Ambiance theme. You know, the one that ships out of the box and by default. On the whole Flattiance keeps to the same color palette, with dark browns and orange accents, but it ditches the gradient in app headers in favour of a solid block.
A quick look at some essential GNOME Shell tweaks and extensions
Now that Ubuntu is moving to GNOME Shell, many people will get a bit of a shock at how different the workflow is from Unity to Shell. Here’s a quick look at some essentials to get you going.
Laptop Power, Boot Times With Ubuntu 17.04
I haven’t posted any mobile/laptop Linux benchmarks recently since my newest laptop at the moment is still based on Broadwell with having no Kabylake laptop at the moment. But for those curious about any power/boot changes for mature Intel Broadwell hardware on Linux, hopefully you find these numbers today interesting.
Budgie 10.3 Released, Here’s How to Install it on Ubuntu
A new version of the Budgie desktop is available to install on Ubuntu. Budgie 10.3 adds a new Alt+Tab switcher, and brings a stack of bug fixes to the table.
- Ubuntu 17.10 Codename Released “Artful Aardvark”
Partners Canonical, openHAB Foundation and Azul Systems have collaborated hard to drive development of the new openHAB 2.0 smart-home platform as a snap package. An alternative to Apple Homekit and Samsung SmartThings, openHAB from openHAB Foundation is completely free and open source, and acts as a control hub for home IoT setups.
Flavours and Variants
AppCenter Spotlight: Beta Testers
Over the past month we’ve been beta testing the new AppCenter with a number of developers, from elementary OS contributors to backers of our Indiegogo campaign. After testing out the submission process and getting some apps into the store (and seeing rapid updates!), I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the first apps.
elementary OS to get improved AppCenter, showing off a few new applications
I have to hand it to the elementary OS guys, they have a massive focus on design and it does look quite incredible. It is easily one of the best looking Linux distributions, which I do admire. Their new AppCenter, for example, looks extremely clean and clear.
- AppCenter Spotlight: Beta Testers
- Flattiance is a Flat Fork of Ubuntu’s Ambiance Theme
- Devuan GNU/Linux 1.0.0 “Jessie” Just Around the Corner, Release Candidate Out
Mentor tips Azure IoT support and Linux-driven self-driving tech [Ed: Azure is a patent trap with back doors]
Mentor announced Azure Certified for IoT compliance for Mentor Embedded Linux, and unveiled a Linux-based “DRS360” self-driving car platform.
Samsung’s Tizen-based Breeze-Free Air Conditioners are just the thing for summer
Samsung has got many products that are powered by the Linux based Tizen Operating System, with a particularly strong focus on the Smart Home and wearable tech. Their breeze-free air conditioners are popular, especially with summer fast approaching, and consists of the wall-hanging breeze-free air conditioners and also the stand-type breeze conditioners that joined the range last year.
- Samsung’s Tizen-based Breeze-Free Air Conditioners are just the thing for summer
- Mentor tips Azure IoT support and Linux-driven self-driving tech [Ed: Azure is a patent trap with back doors]
Open Source Software: 10 Go To Solution for Small Businesses
While closed-source operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS may still dominate the OS market, not everyone can afford the high costs that they entail. For small- and medium-sized enterprises where every penny matters, taking advantage of open-source software such as Ubuntu’s Linux is a good bet to boost productivity and cost effectiveness. The fact that open-source softwares have evolved to become somewhat user-friendly and sleek also helps a good deal.
How I became a webcomic artist in less than a month with open source tools
If you are reading this, you probably care about, or are at least mildly interested in, open source. Like you, I care about and am interested in open source. Perhaps unlike you, I am also a webcomic artist. You can find my work at Herpaderp.party.
This is a story about how I came to use and, indeed, vaunt open source. I’ll also tell you about how and why I produce my comic using open source tools and infrastructure.
The story begins in 2005 when I got my first computer as an off-to-college gift. It was an iBook G4. I carefully booted it and set it up according to the manual. It worked. I didn’t feel as excited as I expected. I didn’t feel cool, or dangerous, or in control, or like I should start wearing a leather trench coat like in The Matrix five years before. I knew a place called SourceForge, which had programs that weren’t written by Apple, but I didn’t see anything I really needed there. I installed The Matrix screensaver and moved on to my next challenge.
Switch to open source model turns costs into R&D
Public administrations that switch to an open source software model and contracting for services, also transform the costs previously spent on acquisition and maintenance into budget for research, development and innovation, says Álvaro Anguix, general manager of the gvSIG association.
How to track and secure open source in your enterprise
Recently, SAS issued a rather plaintive call for enterprises to limit the number of open source projects they use to a somewhat arbitrary percentage. That seems a rather obvious attempt to protest the rise of the open source R programming language for data science and analysis in a market where SAS has been dominant. But there is a good point hidden in the bluster: Using open source responsibly means knowing what you’re using so you can track and maintain it.
An Aerospace Coder Drags a Stodgy Industry Toward Open Source
More than a decade ago, software engineer Ryan Melton spent his evenings, after workdays at Ball Aerospace, trying to learn to use a 3-D modeling program. After a few weeks, for all his effort, he could make … rectangles that moved. Still, it was a good start. Melton showed his spinning digital shapes to Ball, a company that makes spacecraft and spacecraft parts, and got the go-ahead he’d been looking for: He could try to use the software to model a gimbal—the piece on a satellite that lets the satellite point.
Melton wanted to build the program to save himself time, learn something new. “It was something I needed for me,” he says. But his work morphed into a software project called Cosmos—a “command and control” system that sends instructions to satellites and displays data from their parts and pieces. Ball used it for some 50 flight projects and on-the-ground test systems. And in 2014, Melton decided Cosmos should share its light with the world. Today, it’s been used with everything from college projects to the planet-seeking Kepler telescope.
SRT Video Transport Protocol Open-Sourced
In aiming to enhance online video streaming, the SRT video protocol has been open-sourced and an alliance forming around that for low-latency video.
SRT is short for Secure Reliable Transport and is a low-latency video transport protocol developed by Haivision. The SRT protocol is being opened under the LGPL license.
Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
Your CEO’s Obliviousness about Open Source is Endangering Your Business [Ed: Jeff Luszcz says nothing about the risk of proprietary components with back doors etc. and instead 'pulls a Black Duck']
But what caused these issues? Itis what happens when an open source component is integrated into a commercial software product and violates its open source license, or when it contains a vulnerability that was previously unknown. As technology evolves, open source security and compliance risk are reaching a critical apex that if not addressed, will threaten the entire software supply chain.
- Your CEO’s Obliviousness about Open Source is Endangering Your Business [Ed: Jeff Luszcz says nothing about the risk of proprietary components with back doors etc. and instead 'pulls a Black Duck']
TrueOS STABLE Update: 4/24/17
After testing the UNSTABLE push over the weekend, the devs are happy to release a new STABLE update and installation files today! This update consists of two parts: installer changes for those who install TrueOS fresh, and general updates for systems with TrueOS already installed.
- TrueOS 20170424 Stable Update
- TrueOS STABLE Update: 4/24/17
German states adopt open source-based security checks system
The German federal state of Thuringia will join North RhineWestphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Hesse and start using OSiP, a system for performing security checks for staff access to sensitive areas. The system, built on open source components, is set to become the default security system for all 16 federal states.
- German states adopt open source-based security checks system
GCC 6 Becoming Auxiliary Compiler In OpenIndiana
While GCC 7 is being released in the days ahead, the OpenIndiana crew continuing to advance the open-source Solaris stack has begun offering GCC 6 as an auxiliary/supplementary compiler.
LLVM Still Working Towards Apache 2.0 Relicensing
LLVM developers have been wanting to move from their 3-clause BSD-like “LLVM license” to the Apache 2.0 license with exceptions. It’s been a while since last hearing about the effort while now a third round of request for comments was issued.
How Operation Code helps veterans learn programming skills
After leaving the military, Army Captain David Molina knew he wanted to go into software development. As Molina did research on the field, he found himself overwhelmed by the vast amount of information and choices. For example: What coding language is the right one to learn? What language is the most valuable for being competitive in the job market? To add to the confusion, there are a myriad of for-profit code schools that are proliferating at an exponential rate, and each one advertises career outcomes for a fraction of the cost of a four-year computer science degree. Where could he turn for guidance on how to enter the tech industry?
- Stack Overflow: Python snakes up developer ecosystem ladder
- Almost 10pc of Dublin workers are software developers
- Which programmers work late at night
- These are the fastest growing developer technologies in the UK and Ireland
According to The Stanford Daily, Eric Roberts, emeritus professor of computer science, has been working on the transition for the past five years, writing a new textbook, creating assignments, and training teaching assistants.
Assimilate Go Programming with Open Source Books
Go is a compiled, statically typed programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. It’s a general purpose programming language with modern features, clean syntax and a robust well-documented common library, making it a good candidate to learn as your first programming language. While it borrows ideas from other languages such as Algol and C, it has a very different character. It’s sometimes described as a simple language.
- GCC 6 Becoming Auxiliary Compiler In OpenIndiana
Stop Guessing Languages Based on IP Address
Instead, Accept-Language should be used and the browser should provide appropriate methods at relevant times for specifying it.
Currently there are ways to specify Accept-Language in the major browsers, but almost nobody does it, knows about it, and leaves it as the language of their browser’s interface.
That is a UX failure, not an engineering one. That’s a shame because Accept-Language is likely more powerful than you realize.
Linguistic experts warn Icelandic language is at risk of dying out because smartphones don’t speak it
The widespread use of English in the country, both for tourism and for voice-controlled electronic devices, has slowly reduced the numbers of people speaking Icelandic to less than 400,000.
[Old] Björn Bjarnason
Minister of Education, Science and Culture: Address on the Signing of the Translation Agreement with Microsoft, 20th January 1999
Referring to the policy adopted by the Ministry in 1993 to fund only the publication of software for DOS/Windows, the booklet stated:
- Guardian US receives major grant to create change within the homelessness crisis [Ed: Bill Gates pays The Guardian again].
How The March For Science Finally Found Its Voice
They marched for science, and at first, they did so quietly. On Saturday, as thousands of people started streaming eastward from the Washington Monument, in a river of ponchos and umbrellas, the usual raucous chants that accompany such protests were rarely heard and even more rarely continued. “Knowledge is power; it’s our final hour,” said six enthusiastic people—to little response. “What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!” shouted another pocket of marchers—for about five rounds.
Scientists are not a group to whom activism comes easily or familiarly. Most have traditionally stayed out of the political sphere, preferring to stick to their research. But for many, this historical detachment ended with the election of Donald Trump.
- In Photos: Scientists Worldwide Fight Back Against Anti-Science Trump Agenda
- How The March For Science Finally Found Its Voice
Farm Workers Resist Trump’s Policies
President Trump’s promised purge of undocumented people from the United States is facing resistance from the United Farm Workers (UFW) and other groups in California that reject this rollback of civil rights and workers’ rights.
On March 31, the birthday of the late founder of the UFW, Cesar Chavez, the union kicked off a month-long series of activities to fight back against Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, which many analysts believe is designed to make life so miserable and difficult in the U.S. that people begin to “self-deport in” in large numbers.
Sanders’ Stumping for Anti-Choice Mayoral Candidate Draws Ire
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who’s now on a multi-state tour to galvanize grassroots resistance to the Trump agenda, can boast of high popularity, but he’s taking flak for backing an anti-choice mayoral candidate.
Speaking Thursday at a sold-out event at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Baxter Arena, Sanders rallied support for Heath Mello, the Democrat who’s hoping to unseat Omaha’s Republican Mayor Jean Stothert next month.
“Maybe, just maybe it’s time to change one-party rule in Nebraska,” Sanders said during the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) “Come Together and Fight Back” tour stop, the Associated Press reports. “And we can start right here by electing Heath Mello as the next mayor,” Sanders said.
- Farm Workers Resist Trump’s Policies
More Windows PCs infected with NSA backdoor DoublePulsar [Ed: Look what Microsoft’s back doors for the NSA are causing this month; recall Snowden’s leaks about it.]
Although the exact number varies among security researchers, the DoublePulsar infection rate is climbing
- NSA-linked hacking tools released by Shadow Brokers have compromised almost 200,000 Windows PCs
‘Beautiful’ NSA hacking tool DoublePulsar infects almost 200,000 Windows PCs
Tools supposedly developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) leaked early this month by the Shadow Brokers hacking group are being used in attacks on Windows PCs.
The tools, released to the open-source developer website Github, have been gratefully scooped up by malware writers of varying levels of competency and pimped via phishing emails across the internet.
And researchers at Swiss security company Binary Edge claim to have found 183,107 compromised PCs connected to the internet after conducting a scan for the DoublePulsar malware. Conducted every day over the past four days, the number of infected PCs has increased dramatically with each scan, according to Binary Edge.
Three months on, no Linksys router patches for remote holes
More than three months after being informed about remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in 25 router models, Linksys is yet to issue patches to remedy them.
[Older] Tracing Spam: Diet Pills from Beltway Bandits
Here’s the simple story of how a recent spam email advertising celebrity “diet pills” was traced back to a Washington, D.C.-area defense contractor that builds tactical communications systems for the U.S. military and intelligence communities.
Top-ranked programming Web tutorials introduce vulnerabilities into software
“[Our findings] suggest that there is a pressing need for code audit of widely consumed tutorials, perhaps with as much rigor as for production code,” they pointed out.
[Old] PHP: a fractal of bad design
PHP is an embarrassment, a blight upon my craft. It’s so broken, but so lauded by every empowered amateur who’s yet to learn anything else, as to be maddening. It has paltry few redeeming qualities and I would prefer to forget it exists at all.
The Cloud Foundry Approach to Container Storage and Security
Recently, The New Stack published an article titled “Containers and Storage: Why We Aren’t There Yet” covering a talk from IBM’s James Bottomley at the Linux Foundation’s Vault conference in March. Both the talk and article focused on one of the central problems we’ve been working to address in the Cloud Foundry Foundation’s Diego Persistence project team, so we thought it would be a good idea to highlight the features we’ve added to mitigate it. Cloud Foundry does significantly better than what the article suggests is the current state of the art on the container security front, so we’ll cover that here as well.
- More Windows PCs infected with NSA backdoor DoublePulsar [Ed: Look what Microsoft’s back doors for the NSA are causing this month; recall Snowden’s leaks about it.]
‘Every Day Things Are Getting Worse’ for Children in Yemen
Persistent attacks on health care in Yemen is severely impacting children’s well-being, civil society detailed at the launch of a report.
In the report, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, in collaboration with Save the Children, found a series of systematic attacks on medical facilities and personnel and families’ restricted access to health care across three of the most insecure governorates in the Middle Eastern nation.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warring parties carried out at least 160 attacks against medical facilities and personnel between March 2015 and March 2017 through intimidation, air strikes, and impeded access to medical supplies.
In one incident, anti-Houthi forces raided and shutdown Al Thawra hospital for reportedly treating several injured Houthi-fighers. The hospital had also previously been shelled on numerous occasions.
With Error Fixed, Evidence Against ‘Sarin Attack’ Remains Convincing
In my report published April 19 on Truthdig, I misinterpreted the wind-direction convention, resulting in my estimates of plume directions being exactly 180 degrees off. This article corrects that error and provides important new analytic results that follow from correction of that error.
When the error in wind direction is corrected, the conclusion is that if there was a significant sarin release at the crater as alleged by the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued April 11, the immediate result would have been significant casualties immediately adjacent to the dispersion crater.
NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims
In the old days of journalism, we were taught that there were almost always two sides to a story, if not more sides than that. Indeed, part of the professional challenge of journalism was to sort out conflicting facts on a complicated topic. Often we found that the initial impression of a story was wrong once we understood the more nuanced reality.
At Sea With Capt. ‘Wrong Way’ Trump
Baby boomers like me fondly remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of childhood (and adulthood, for that matter — in their grown-up jokes and cultural references they presaged The Simpsons by a good 25 years and are still pretty hilarious).
You may particularly recall one Rocky and Bullwinkle character, Capt. Peter “Wrong Way” Peachfuzz, an addled mariner so spectacular in his incompetence that even his toy boats sank in the bathtub.
At one point, Peachfuzz managed to steer his ship into New York’s financial district — and I mean into, so much so that it was given the permanent address of 17 ½ Wall Street. Now at the helm of an investment firm, his board of directors wanted to get Capt. Peachfuzz as far away as possible and found him a job counting penguin eggs in Antarctica. But a secretary mistyped the form and Peachfuzz was made head of the nation’s intelligence community.
In recent days, we’ve heard inconsistent policy statements, and not just about where the hell our ships are. There have been flip-flops on China and Russia as well as conflicting declarations when it comes to President Bashar al-Assad’s brutality in Syria and the contested referendum in Turkey that by a narrow margin gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan increased dictatorial control over his government. Trump called to heartily congratulate Erdogan on his win, yet at the same time the State Department warned the Turkish leader against ignoring the “rule of law” and urged him to respect “a diverse and free media.”
Dropping the (Non-Nuclear) Big One
After pounding “war on terror” targets for 15-plus years, the U.S. military dropped its “mother of all bombs” on some caves in Afghanistan, a show-off of its terrifying weapon, peace activist Kathy Kelly told Dennis J Bernstein.
Borussia Dortmund bombs: ‘Speculator’ charged with bus attack
Police in Germany have charged a man suspected of being behind an attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus.
Rather than having links to radical Islamism, he was a market trader hoping to make money if the price of shares in the team fell, prosecutors say.
The suspect has been charged with attempted murder, triggering explosions and causing serious physical injury.
Human rights lawyer lodges case at International Criminal Court against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for ‘mass murder’
A human rights lawyer lodged a case on Monday (April 24) with the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling President Rodrigo Duterte a “mass murderer”, and seeking an investigation into “this dark, obscene, murderous and evil era in the Philippines”.
In a 77-page complaint filed with ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, lawyer Jude Jose Sabio sought to have Mr Duterte and 11 others arrested and held in The Hague to prevent him “from further committing mass murder and from killing potential victims and witnesses”.
Istanbul law enforcement ban April 23 Armenian Genocide commemoration event
Turkish law enforcement banned the April 23 Armenian Genocide commemorative event in Istanbul’s Sisli district. The event is being held for five years.
Police told the participants of the event they “have orders from above to ban the rally”, threatening if they don’t obey, police are authorized to intervene.
The demonstrators collected the posters, which said: “Don’t forget, don’t let to be forgotten”, “As long as there is no confrontation, genocides won’t stop” and took off to the Sisli office of the People’s Democratic Party.
US ‘deep state’ sold out counter-terrorism to keep itself in business
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman outraged many readers when he wrote an opinion piece on 12 April calling on President Trump to “back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria”. The reason he gave for that recommendation was not that US wars in the Middle East are inevitably self-defeating and endless, but that it would reduce the “pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah”.
Tell Us Why We’re At War, President Trump
People speak of Afghanistan as “our generation’s” Vietnam, a quagmire, a war that goes on simply because it has been going on.
The Afghan war is dragging into being our generation’s, and soon the next generation’s Vietnam as well, over a decade and a half old. There are troops deploying now that were two years old when the conflict started. There are fathers and sons deploying together. Bin Laden’s been dead for years.
- ‘Every Day Things Are Getting Worse’ for Children in Yemen
CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks
The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.
Prosecuting Assange under Espionage Act would set dangerous precedent
Last week, news reports indicated that the Justice Department is considering whether to press charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for posting classified information on the Internet. Section 793(e) of the Espionage Act makes it illegal for anyone with “unauthorized possession” of “national defense information” to “willfully communicate” such information “to any person not entitled to receive it” if the person “has reason to believe” the information “could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” This language is incredibly broad and, if applied as written, raises serious First Amendment concerns. As Steve Vladeck noted on Twitter, using the Espionage Act in this way would set a troubling precedent.
The Trump administration is not the first to consider using the Espionage Act to prosecute those who disclose embarrassing national security information. The George W. Bush administration considered prosecuting journalists for publishing information about surveillance and other counter-terrorism activities. At the time, I co-authored an article with Michael Berry for National Review Online explaining why such prosecutions would be a bad idea (with a follow-up here).
Long before WikiLeaks, the FBI spent decades obsessing over Gavin MacFadyen
In response to the initial FOIA request for files on deceased WikiLeaks Director and Courage Foundation trustee Gavin MacFadyen, the FBI cited a litany of exemptions. These included an ongoing investigation, national security, and the need to protect the identity of a confidential informant. While the Bureau used these exemptions to withhold all of the materials on MacFadyen in their possession, they did reveal that at least four files mentioning MacFadyen had been transferred to the National Archives.
Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’
“I love Wikileaks,” candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks.
Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison.
Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous “intelligence community” sources, that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.
It might have been tempting to write off the CNN report as “fake news,” as is much of their reporting, but for the fact President Trump said in an interview on Friday that issuing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange would be, “OK with me.”
Symantec Blames Global Cyber Attacks On Secret CIA Tools
Agency spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak said any WikiLeaks disclosures aimed at damaging the intelligence community “not only jeopardise United States personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm”.
Numerous tools revealed in the WikiLeaks Vault7 cache have been spotted in the wild attacking targets in 16 countries and linked to a group operating since at least 2011, Symantec claimed. Given the close similarities between the tools and techniques, there can be little doubt that Longhorn’s activities and the Vault 7 documents are the work of the same group.
- CIA Director Says WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Has No Freedom Of Speech Protection Because He’s Not A Citizen
Wikileaks investigation could threaten freedom of the press
Late Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice is reconsidering whether to file charges against Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, for publishing classified government documents.
Potential charges against Assange and other members of Wikileaks could include conspiracy, theft of government property, and charges under the Espionage Act, according to the Post.
Why Soviet Weather Was Secret, a Critical Gap in Korea, and Other NSA Newsletter Tales
Three years after the 9/11 attacks, a frustrated NSA employee complained that Osama bin Laden was alive and well, and yet the surveillance agency still had no automated way to search the Arabic language PDFs it had intercepted.
This is just one of many complaints and observations included in SIDtoday, the internal newsletter of the NSA’s signals intelligence division. The Intercept today is publishing 251 articles from the newsletter, covering the second half of 2004 and the beginning of 2005. The newsletters were part of a large collection of NSA documents provided to The Intercept by Edward Snowden.
This latest batch of posts includes candid employee comments about over-classification, descriptions of tensions in the NSA-CIA relationship, and an intern’s enthusiastic appraisal of a stint in Pakistan.
- CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks
The Planet Can’t Stand This Presidency
What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.
French Elections: Alt-Right, Total and Gold Mines, the Story Behind the Candidates’ Environmental Policies
France, the birthplace of the Paris Agreement, is a week away from the first round of its presidential election on April 23. Throughout the campaign debates on the environment have often been side-lined, with the three leading candidates showing no sign of real climate leadership.
The backdrop to the election campaign has been full of “fake news”, Brexit and Donald Trump. It has also been mired in scandals over corruption claims and growing concerns of Russian interference.
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
One of the least understood aspects of global warming is entire countries threatened by loss of major rivers, for example, the Lancang River (70% of its headwater glaciers gone), affectionately known as “the Danube of the East” of China and the Andes river system in South America (the World Bank warning that millions threatened by loss of glacial water supplies), and the Lower Colorado River in America, at “the breaking point.”
River systems provide recreation, sport, wildlife habitat, agricultural irrigation, and drinking water for the majority of the world’s population. The loss of river system integrity and strength of its flow indubitably throws the world into utter chaos, likely leading to worldwide water wars, e.g.: India’s numerous clashes and riots over water for example in Bundelkhand (deadly clashes), Bangalore, and Munak (18 people killed and 200 injured); and, Tunisia’s “thirst uprisings”; and, 10 deaths over water rights on Iran and Afghanistan border; and, Peru farmers challenging (clashes) a corporation over water rights; and, Syria’s repeated fighting over water; and, Somalia where dozens killed over water access; and, Mexico’s 100 injured in water clashes; and, Yemen, where 4,000 die every year from water-related violence. Moreover, the list of water wars goes on and on, seemingly evermore.
The environment-hating US Chamber of Commerce is losing the support of the world’s biggest companies
The US Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of over 3 million companies and spent $104 million on lobbying in 2016, has been less than willing acknowledge the role that humans, and businesses, play in climate change.
When the Chamber’s representative was asked whether climate change was real and caused by humans in a 2014 Senate hearing, she dodged the question until finally saying that it was “an ongoing discussion.”
Following president Donald Trump’s executive actions that would gut the Obama administration’s policies to curb global warming, the chamber’s president, Thomas Donohue, said, “These executive actions are a welcome departure from the previous administration’s strategy of making energy more expensive through costly, job-killing regulations that choked our economy.”
- The Planet Can’t Stand This Presidency
Sir Philip Green could still lose knighthood, says MP
Sir Philip Green has been warned that he could still be stripped of his knighthood and faces further questions from MPs, one year after the collapse of BHS.
The veteran Labour MP Frank Field said Green had not done enough to keep his title amid lingering concerns over the £363m settlement struck between the retail tycoon and the Pensions Regulator.
“Sir Philip Green remains on the hook,” he said. “When parliament comes back from the election we need to pursue the charge sheet from the Pensions Regulator against him and what the Pensions Regulator got in return,” said Field.
Displacing the Unprofitable and Undesirable in San Jose’s Fountain Alley
The impulse to surveil this area in this manner brings up a question of San Jose’s decision-makers: who is being protected and for what motives? The individuals the police presence targets are predominantly Black and Brown folks, many of whom are homeless or poor. Some are caught up in alleged drug violence or sex work, which are not acknowledged as a symptom of larger issues – of poverty, a lack of housing, of mental illness among others – in our community, but as the problem itself. In our minds, the very people targeted are the ones who need the most assistance and protection.
In Latest Populist Betrayal, Trump Executive Order Unchains Wall Street Greed
Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for watchdog group Public Citizen, described the orders signed Friday at the Treasury Department as “nothing more than special favors for the same Wall Street banks that crashed our economy in 2008 and put millions of Americans out of work.”
According to ABC News, Trump signed “two presidential memoranda on the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which former President [Barack] Obama signed in response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.” They order two six-month reviews of what the Los Angeles Times called “pillars” of Dodd-Frank: the Orderly Liquidation Authority and the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
“Fear City” Explores How Donald Trump Exploited the New York Debt Crisis To Boost His Own Fortune
Reading this, it struck me how Trump’s entire career has been shaped by the exploitation of crisis. And that’s relevant stuff for what it tells us about what we can expect from his administration in the months and years to come. So I’m very happy to be joined by Kim Phillips-Fein, a historian of the first order, in The Intercept studios.
- Sir Philip Green could still lose knighthood, says MP
- Front National’s Le Pen can be called fascist, court rules
- French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen through to second round, estimates show – live
Far-Right Le Pen and Center-Right Macron Frontrunners in French Election
France will see the far-right, xenophobic Front National candidate Marine Le Pen face off against Emmanuel Macron, an investment banker who hasn’t held public office, in a runoff vote on May 7, as the first round of an unusual presidential election concluded with Sunday’s vote.
Russia’s Shadow-War in a Wary Europe
Last month, the combative populist Marine Le Pen of the right-wing National Front flew to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin. It was a display of longtime mutual admiration. The frontrunner in a field of 11 candidates, Le Pen shrugs off allegations of corruption and human rights abuses against Putin, calling him a tough and effective leader. Her hard-line views on immigration, Islam and the European Union win praise from Putin and enthusiastic coverage from Russian media outlets. Her campaign has been propelled by a loan of more than $9 million from a Russian bank in 2014, according to Western officials and media reports.
Remember Those Temporary Officials Trump Quietly Installed? Some Are Now Permanent Employees.
Last month, ProPublica revealed that the Trump administration had installed hundreds of political appointees across the federal government without formally announcing them.
The more than 400 officials were hired in temporary positions for what the White House calls “beachhead teams.” Government hiring rules allow them to have those positions for up to eight months.
Now some of them are getting permanent federal jobs, oftentimes with little or no public notice.
A review of federal agencies’ staffing lists, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and department websites, found the Trump administration has made at least 25 of its beachhead hires permanent. The White House and federal agencies don’t have to make public hires that don’t require Senate confirmation.
RIP United Kingdom, 1927-2017
Theresa May’s call for a snap election received overwhelming endorsement from parliament by 522 to 13, whereas the Scottish SNP abstained. It is now expected that parliament will end all business in early May in the run up to the ballot of 8 June. Why did May call an early election since her argument all along has been that the “country needs stability” and that new elections would take place as normal in 2020?
May was appointed PM in the wake of the Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016, after the country, albeit narrowly, voted to leave the EU. Commentators argue that she needed an electoral mandate to strengthen her position and image as PM. Also, her surprise move, the argument goes, was caused by a shrewd power calculus, the most important factors being the disarray in the Labour Party; the need for May to strengthen her grip on her own party and government undermining Europhile influence while boosting her parliamentary majority (currently only at 17 seats whereas polls show a Tory lead as high as 21%); and, thereby ‘strengthening the external position of the country in the Brexit negotiations’ that May herself triggered on 29 March. These arguments do not go to the bone of British, European and global politics.
Trump Inaugural Committee Falsely Lists Big Donation From “Hidden Figures” Hero
The 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, the campaign entity used to fund Donald Trump’s inauguration and related festivities, claimed in its official filing with the Federal Election Commission that it received a $25,000 donation from Katherine Johnson, the distinguished NASA mathematician and physicist. The filing listed her address at 1 NASA Drive in Hampton, Va., the location of NASA’s Langley Research Center. Johnson, who is retired at age 98, does not live at the research center.
Eugene Johnson, who described himself as a friend and power of attorney for Katherine Johnson, told The Intercept that the “donation is fake, she did not make that donation.”
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
One of the many irritating things about the dominant United States corporate media is the way it repeatedly discovers anew things that are not remotely novel. Take its recent discovery that Donald Trump isn’t really the swamp-draining populist working class champion he pretended to be on the campaign trail.
The evidence for this “news” is solid enough. His cabinet and top advisor circle has been chock full of ruling class swamp creatures like former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn (top economic adviser), longtime top Goldman Sachs partner and top executive Steve Mnuchin (Secretary of the Treasury), and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross (Secretary of Commerce). Trump has surrounded himself with super-opulent and planetarily invested financial gatekeepers – the very club he criticized Hillary Clinton for representing.
Trump meets regularly with top corporate and financial CEOs, who have been assured that he will govern in accord with their wishes. He receives applause from business elites for his agenda of significant large scale tax cuts and deregulation for wealthy individuals and for the giant, hyper-parasitic, and largely transnational corporations they milk for obscene profits
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Trump seems to suffer from a kind of attention deficit disorder.
Uncharacteristically, Trump didn’t even pause for a selfie beside the smoldering crater left by his MOAB bomb in Afghanistan, before he was rattling his sabre at North Korea, boasting about how his giant Armada was steaming toward the Korean peninsula. A few days later this robust pronouncement was obsolete, when it turned out that the mighty fleet was instead retreating 3,000 miles in the opposite direction, south to the coast of Australia. Call it the wrong-way Armada. Meanwhile, Trump had already fast-forwarded to furious denunciations of Iran.
Trump’s martial pronouncements are generally too truncated and disarticulated to ever embody something so substantial as a trope or a theme. Indeed, many of these public utterances are so garbled that they defy translation by even the most gifted linguists. They are more like the petulant bleats of an overgrown adolescent testing out a rack of video games, blasting away at one zombie invasion after another until he tires of it and seizes on another scenario. It might be said that he practices the Man-Child theory of foreign relations: belligerent, shallow, easily bored.
Group of Mental Health Professionals Warn Trump’s State ‘Putting Country in Danger’
A group of mental health professionals gathered at Yale University Thursday to discuss what they believe is their duty to warn the public of the “danger” posed by President Donald Trump.
The “Duty to Warn” event was attended by roughly two dozen people and was organized Dr. Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, the CTPost writes. Lee called the mental health of the president “the elephant in the room,” and said: “Colleagues are concerned about the repercussions of speaking.”
The Corbyn Conundrum
Having shared a platform with Jeremy Corbyn several times, I have to admit I had doubts about his leadership capacity. I had none about his heart, his motives, or his intellectual capacity. My doubts were about his interpersonal skills and charisma. I had him marked down as not very sociable and even shy.
I have just watched his interview on Marr where Corbyn performed much better than I would have imagined possible. He was calm, reasonable and even wise. He came over as an attractive personality. He was, in short, excellent.
Marr did the job his masters paid him to. He started, instantly, going for the jugular on the tabloids’ favourite attack line on Jeremy Corbyn. Having stated he was going to kick off with foreign policy, did Marr then ask whether Corbyn would continue to support the Tory policy of selling weapons to the Saudis to kill children in Yemen? Would continue uncritical support of Israel and diplomatic protection of its illegal occupation?
Equal under the Law
The Pirate Party stands for justice and equality. We believe that a person’s beliefs, preferences, and physical attributes should have no bearing on how they are treated or what opportunities they have access to.
Whistleblower exposes conflict of interest at the heart of HS2
A whistleblower exposed a significant conflict of interest at the heart of the government’s controversial HS2 project which led to the withdrawal of American firm CH2M from the contract, City AM reported yesterday.
CH2M was set to be awarded the HS2 contract when a whistleblower alerted rival firm Mace to a major potential conflict of interest involving former HS2 Chief of Staff Chris Reynolds, who had taken up a role with CH2M three months after leaving HS2. Upon questioning, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling claimed that the onus was “first and foremost” on the firms bidding to conform to the rules, rather than on the Department for Transport (DfT) or HS2 to look for possible concerns.
Nearing 100 Days In, Trump is Least Popular President in Modern History
A NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll recorded a 40 percent approval rating, and a Washington Post-ABC News poll saw 42 percent approval. Other surveys have previously put his approval rating as low as 37 percent.
“You black bastard” Offensive, friendly banter, somewhere in between or both?
The Sun publishes an article comparing a black Everton player to a gorilla. While the reporter denies that his piece could be seen as racist, The Sun issues an apology. How might the law deal with this situation? Was the original article racist, defamatory, ignorant or simply fair comment?
A Hundred Days of Trump
On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite. The hundred-day marker is never an entirely reliable indicator of a four-year term, but it’s worth remembering that Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama were among those who came to office at a moment of national crisis and had the discipline, the preparation, and the rigor to set an entirely new course. Impulsive, egocentric, and mendacious, Trump has, in the same span, set fire to the integrity of his office.
Trump has never gone out of his way to conceal the essence of his relationship to the truth and how he chooses to navigate the world. In 1980, when he was about to announce plans to build Trump Tower, a fifty-eight-story edifice on Fifth Avenue and Fifty-sixth Street, he coached his architect before meeting with a group of reporters. “Give them the old Trump bullshit,” he said. “Tell them it’s going to be a million square feet, sixty-eight stories.”
Stop It. Trump’s Lawyers Did Not Say That Protestors Have No First Amendment Right To Dissent
If you’re wondering why people who support Donald Trump can repeatedly claim that various mainstream publications traffic in “fake news,” look no further than the ongoing news coverage of a lawsuit that was filed against his campaign by three protestors. Yes, we know that reporting on legal issues by mainstream publications is bad, but the reporting on this particular case is so bad that over and over and over again it directly states, or at least implies, things that are simply not true. Over and over and over again, the press has taken fairly mundane and expected aspects of this lawsuit and taken them out of context, misreported them and generally suggested they meant things they absolutely did not. And, of course, every time, the reporting has made the President look bad. It should be quite clear by now that I’m not a fan of the President, who I think may be the least qualified person in office ever, but this particular case is a perfect case study in the kind of biased bad reporting, which will cling to anything to attack the President.
So if you’ve heard reporting recently about how a Trump supporter was suing the President for inspiring him to violence against a protestor, or how a judge said Trump incited violence at a rally, or how Trump’s lawyers claimed there’s no right to protest the President at rallies or that the President is claiming that protestors violated his First Amendment rights, then you’ve been had. None of those are accurate depictions of what’s happening. And, amazingly, these all refer to the same exact case. A case where the press can’t help themselves but to report everything in misleading ways.
Texas Lawmaker Wants To Decide Who’s A Real Journalist, Make It Easier To Sue Them
The hedge fund trader is local hero/local litigant Salem Abraham, who filed two lawsuits against bloggers who both (erroneously) reported he had been thrown out of a campaign event by Governor Rick Perry. Both were losing efforts, with Abraham ultimately being held responsible for legal fees under Texas’ declaratory judgments statute. It appears King is trying to hook his fellow Canadian (TX) resident up with additional lawsuit options as well as have the state government decide who is or isn’t a journalist. According to King’s proposed bill, real journalists shouldn’t have any political affiliations.
Facebook Briefly Suspends Account of Outspoken Chinese Billionaire
Facebook has been in a protracted and public courtship with China, which blocks the social network but has the world’s largest internet-using population. The New York Times reported last year that Facebook had developed a tool that would let third parties censor the social network as part of its attempt to gain entry into the market.
- YouTube Fixes ‘Restricted Mode’ Bug Censoring LGBTQ+ Content
- YouTube fixes Restricted Mode issue censoring LGBTQ
- Canadian team developing means to bypass Web censorship
- Waterloo researchers develop tech to evade govt censorship, named after aliens from Doctor Who
- A fraternity was told it was ‘appropriating culture.’ Administrators mum on which one.
- ‘Boujee’ is a culturally specific term. Sigma Alpha Mu co-opted it.
- Colleges Today – PROgressing or REgressing?
- What The Free Speech Debate Misses
- Fight the campus zest for censorship
- Catherine Rampell: College administrators share blame for censorship
- Oh please, no controversy on campus!
- Texas Lawmaker Wants To Decide Who’s A Real Journalist, Make It Easier To Sue Them
Homeland Security’s Inspector General Investigating Attempt To Unmask ‘Rogue’ Tweeter
As you probably recall, a few weeks ago Twitter sued Homeland Security after it received a summons from Customs & Border Patrol seeking to identify any information about the @ALT_uscis account. USCIS is the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the “alt” part is similar to many other such accounts purporting to be anonymous insiders in the government reporting on what’s happening there (whether or not the operators of those accounts truly are inside those organizations is an open question). Anyway, the issue here is that such a use of Twitter would be protected by the First Amendment, and unless the account was revealing classified info, it’s unlikely that there would be any legit means to investigate who was behind the account. And, because of that, it certainly appeared that Customs and Border Patrol decided to use illegitimate means to get the info. Specifically it sent a 19 USC 1509 summons, which is an investigative tool for determining the correct duties, fees or taxes on imported goods. As you can see, identifying a Twitter user does not seem to fit into what that law is for.
- NSA Kept Watch Over Democratic and Republican Conventions, Snowden Documents Reveal
- Japan secretly funneled hundreds of millions to the NSA, breaking its own laws
- NSA Gave Japan Access to Secret Internet Surveillance Program in 2013 – Reports
Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance
It began as routinely as any other passenger flight. At gate 15 of New York City’s JFK Airport, more than 200 men, women, and children stood in line as they waited to board a Boeing 747. They were on their way to Seoul, South Korea’s capital city. But none would ever make it to their destination. About 14 hours after its departure, the plane was cruising at around 35,000 feet not far from the north of Japan when it was shot out of the sky.
The downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007 occurred on September 1, 1983, in what was one of the Cold War’s most shocking incidents. The plane had veered off course and for a short time entered Soviet airspace. At Dolinsk-Sokol military base, Soviet commanders dispatched two fighter jets and issued an order to “destroy the intruder.” The plane was hit once by an air-to-air missile and plummeted into the sea, killing all passengers and crew. President Ronald Reagan declared it a “crime against humanity,” marking the dawn of a volatile new chapter in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Soon, tensions would escalate to a level not seen since the Cuban missile crisis, which 20 years earlier had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
LinkedIn Apologizes For Trying To Connect Everyone In Real Life
LinkedIn has apologized for a vague new update that told some iPhone users its app would begin sharing their data with nearby users without further explanation.
[Tor] Transparency, Openness, and our 2015 Financials
After completing the standard audit, our 2015 state and federal tax filings are available. We publish all of our related tax documents because we believe in transparency.
I’m sorry for the delay in posting them: we had everything ready in December, but we had a lot going on at the end of the year (if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Tor at the Heart of Internet Freedom blog post series!), and then time got away from me after the new year.
USPTO site downgrades to HTTP despite US federal government promise to adopt HTTPS on all websites
The US Patent Office’s (USPTO) website is now unusable with HTTPS as of April 21st, 2017.
Uber tried to fool Apple and got caught
Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to have Uber’s iPhone app removed from the App Store in 2015, when it learned that the ride-sharing company had secretly found a way to identify individual iPhones, even once the app was deleted from the phone, according to The New York Times.
Uber’s C.E.O. Plays With Fire
For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection maneuver that violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.
- Homeland Security’s Inspector General Investigating Attempt To Unmask ‘Rogue’ Tweeter
How tech created a global village — and put us at each other’s throats
For years now, psychological and sociological studies have been casting doubt on the idea that communication dissolves differences. The research suggests that the opposite is true: free-flowing information makes personal and cultural differences more salient, turning people against one another instead of bringing them together. “Familiarity breeds contempt” is one of the gloomiest of proverbs. It is also, the evidence indicates, one of the truest.
Saudi Arabia elected to UN women’s rights commission
[UN Watch's] executive director slammed the election, which occurred in a secret vote during the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council.
No Joke: U.N. Elects Saudi Arabia to Women’s Rights Commission, For 2018-2022 Term
The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime,” to a 2018-2022 term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”
“Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd.”
US family wins battle, names baby ‘Allah’
Their daughter, ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah, was born in 2015, but Georgia’s health department had insisted that the initial birth record should have one of the parent’s last names, or a combination thereof.
Handy and Walk’s two sons had previously been given the surname “Allah” without objection from Georgia authorities, according to the civil rights group.
Crime Lab Scandal Forces Prosecutors to Disavow Thousands of Drug Convictions
During her career as a Massachusetts lab chemist, Annie Dookhan has admitted to making up drug test results and tampering with samples, in the process helping send scores of people to prison. Her work may have touched some 24,000 cases.
On April 18, nearly five years after Dookhan’s confession, prosecutors submitted lists of about 21,587 tainted cases with flawed convictions that they have agreed to overturn. The state’s highest court must still formally dismiss the convictions.
Once that happens, many of the cleared defendants will be freed from the collateral consequences that can result from drug convictions, including loss of access to government benefits, public housing, driver’s licenses and federal financial aid for college. Convicted green card holders can also become eligible for deportation, and employers might deny someone a job due to a drug conviction on their record.
Thousands of hardline Islamists protest Bangladesh statue
Protesters want the statue of the blindfolded woman holding scales — said to represent justice — destroyed and replaced with a Koran, despite Bangladesh’s secular constitution.
- Reforming Islam: Can it be done?
- Chechen Leader Wants Gays ‘Eliminated By Start Of Ramadan’
Maldives blogger stabbed to death in capital
His blog, The Daily Panic, had a considerable following and was known for poking fun at politicians in the nation of some 340,000 Sunni Muslims.
2nd doctor, wife arrested in genital mutilation case
Nagarwala’s husband, Moiz Nagarwala, is listed as a leader of the Farmington Hills mosque, according to the mosque’s password-protected website, and records list him as having served as joint treasurer.
Here Are 11 Weird Fatwas Issued By Clerics Which Will Leave You In Splits
In 2007, Dr Izzat Atiya, head of Al Azhar University’s Department of Hadith, issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, saying that female workers should “breastfeed” their male co-workers in order to work in each other’s company.
Anti-Israel Sharia advocate to give CUNY commencement speech
Anti-Zionist who praised terrorist murderer, hailed stone throwers as ‘courageous’ tapped to give commencement address at public NY college.
UK Crime Agency’s Latest Moral Panic: Kids Modding Videogames May Be A Gateway To Becoming Criminal Hackers
In this age where having more people knowledgeable about computers and programming is important for future innovation, these kinds of scaremongering reports do a hell of a lot of damage. Lots of really smart techies got their programming chops started by messing around with video games. Having parents stop them from tinkering because of this overblown report of how it’s a “gateway” to crime could do a lot of damage.
- How tech created a global village — and put us at each other’s throats
Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
The relentless fighting over net neutrality rules needs to end, but how can it?
Leaving the matter to voluntary pledges and the Federal Trade Commission, on the other hand, would be precious close to having no safeguards at all.
Net neutrality changes would ‘kneecap’ Mass. entrepreneurs, say tech execs
The Massachusetts tech community continued its vocal opposition to the Trump administration’s policies on Friday at a press conference where a number of prominent CEOs joined U.S. Sen. Ed Markey in decrying potential changes to so-called net neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission.
Speakers argued that allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to choose which data travels fastest over their networks would give them too much control over who wins and who loses in the internet economy and would be especially damaging to startups, which can’t afford to pay ISPs for faster access to the internet.
Boston tech firms, Markey, vow net neutrality fight
Markey met with executives of 14 major companies, including General Electric Co.,TripAdvisor , Wayfair LLC, iRobot Corp., and Microsoft Corp., at the Boston headquarters of data backup company Carbonite Inc. At a post-meeting press conference, Markey said the coming fight over net neutrality “is going to create a national debate about the Internet the likes of which we have never seen before.”
Trainwreck – the danger of upending net neutrality
The anti-net neutrality crowd prefers a system in which, much like airlines, a monopolist entity can dominate a market deciding service levels and fees. Of course one of the big issues in net neutrality is giving this oligopoly the ability to set up a multi-tiered system for delivering Internet services. Another way to look at it would be institutionalizing slow Internet.
- The relentless fighting over net neutrality rules needs to end, but how can it?
Kodi and DRM
Thanks to a bunch of ill-informed idiots on YouTube posing as Kodi experts and shady vendors looking to make a quick buck off our backs and take advantage of gullible people, Kodi is generally portrayed as a piracy platform. Meanwhile, Team Kodi takes all the heat. Add to that lazy article authors on several news and media sites and we have the perfect storm. Sadly, for many article authors, hearsay is actually a credible source and click bait their living.
- Kodi and DRM
Court Ruling On IP Struggle Between Movie Producers Shows Level Of Copyright Awareness In Nigeria
A federal high court in Lagos granted an interim order on 24 March, stopping the premiere and release of a movie called the “Okafor’s Law” over copyright infringement.
The Creative Power Of Musical Borrowing And Efforts To Control It
Geoffrey Mock of Duke Today writes: To borrow from Cole Porter, Tchaikovsky did it. Beethoven did it. Even Robert Johnson and Ray Charles did it. Creative masters all, they each appropriated music from others in their works and were borrowed from in turn.
- Court Ruling On IP Struggle Between Movie Producers Shows Level Of Copyright Awareness In Nigeria
Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations
Reference: Factory alleged to have ignored warnings
Summary: How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards
IN THE last part about the fire hazard at the EPO we shed light on the continuation of this problem at the next building in the Netherlands. Why does this matter? Because the unwillingness of Dutch authorities to compel the EPO to obey the law causes the EPO to operate with impunity and potentially put a lot of lives in great danger, even consciously.
“Lately, it was the Dutch representatives taking a lot of heat or even coming under fire (pardon the pun).”Staff representatives are understandably afraid to bring this up. Each time they say the truth there is severe action of retribution from Battistelli and his goons. Lately, it was the Dutch representatives taking a lot of heat or even coming under fire (pardon the pun).
“Unfortunately,” one person explained to us, “the majority of the local staff committee as well as the local SUEPO committee have been very reluctant to take any further measures to protect our safety in case of a fire at our site. Until now they did not bother to inform [...] though some members were aware of this issue since November 2010.”
“The immunity of the EPO must be ended, and not only after a major catastrophe (one that would belatedly put the EPO in the headlines, due to a tragedy other than Battistelli).”See the effect of union-busting actions and extreme attacks on staff representatives? Even life-threatening risks (mere facts) become suppressed. We too need to be careful in what we say because we are well aware of risk to our sources. Not too long ago we belatedly kick-started a series revolving around the inadequacy of these facilities by sharing, in redacted form, anything but the most sensitive details. We feel safe to assert that this helps highlight human rights aspects (disregard for staff’s safety) and is in the public interest.
We would like to urge readers, especially Dutch-speaking readers, to forward these bits of information to the suitable authorities in Holland and urge for immediate action. The immunity of the EPO must be ended, and not only after a major catastrophe (one that would belatedly put the EPO in the headlines, due to a tragedy other than Battistelli). █
Summary: A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays
THE lives ruined by the EPO‘s management extend well beyond EPO staff and stakeholders; spouses, children, friends and peers are impacted as well. The whole European economy is negatively affected. This is why we believe that everyone in Europe (if not well beyond Europe) should pay closer attention to scandals which the media seems unwilling to cover (like it covered FIFA scandals, for instance, if not Volkswagen too, especially amid Dieselgate).
“The EPO has become a sociopathic institution which takes orders from one single person as though he is a monarch in a palace.”In part VII and part VIII of this series we wrote about whistleblowing at the EPO and absolutely zero tolerance of criticism. The EPO has become a sociopathic institution which takes orders from one single person as though he is a monarch in a palace. Nothing like this ever happened at the USPTO or any other patent office (as far as we are aware). European autocracy up on display? Certainly a reputational issue for the EU, even if the EPO isn’t an EU entity (unlike the distant ‘fantasy’ — or contrariwise nightmare — which is UPC).
“In any healthy (or functional) institution, none of this would be required and there would be an ombudsman to turn to. But not the EPO under Battistelli…”The EPO’s whistleblowers are scared; they are not always confident and occasionally they feel the need to forge details not about the story but about themselves. “We were thinking also of changing some terms and details of the story,” one person once told us regarding “nationalities, countries, disease details, sex and ages etc. — [just] enough to make sure that if they [are] still going [to point] the finger on me, it would be an open admission that they did what we relate.”
In any healthy (or functional) institution, none of this would be required and there would be an ombudsman to turn to. But not the EPO under Battistelli… █
For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining
Microsoft is the sole leading sponsor this year (same as last year)
Summary: In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions
According to patent maximalists’ tweets from Fordham, “[i]n the EPO it is easier to get a method for diagnosis patent than in the US.”
“Bristows staff — the one who ‘took over’ IP Kat — was attending this echo chamber of the patent microcosm recently.”Well, CPIP treats patent quality as a nuisance (they ask for Alice to be undermined and software patents to be back to old glory). They do not treat quality as a desirable feature; they profit not from quality. The same goes for some firms that say the EPO more easily grants software patents than the USPTO these days. Bristows staff — the one who 'took over' IP Kat — was attending this echo chamber of the patent microcosm recently. She professed admiration for Microsoft’s chief patent bully and quoted (or paraphrased) a judge as saying that “everyone is equipped to deal with science.”
“Sorry to disappoint the Honorable judge,” said one of the comments, “but that is an absurd comment, demonstrating ignorance and delusion.” An earlier comment said: “No judges from the EPO Boards of appeal present?”
“At two levels, both technical and juridical, the EPO has been unhinged and is not totally out of control.”Of course not! That would be disruptive to the echo chamber.
The attack on the appeal boards has been (in our humble assessment) intended to help mask the sharp decline in patent quality and/or suppress criticism related to that. At two levels, both technical and juridical, the EPO has been unhinged and is not totally out of control. █
“A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select die panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed -just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.” Sounds marvellously independent doesn’t it? In feet, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.”
–Microsoft, internal document [PDF]
EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO’s Decision
Union-busting in defiance of the rules of the EPO, e.g. Article 98(1) ServRegs
Summary: The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli — activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation
THE EPO has been quiet lately, even days after Easter was finished. Someone has sent us the above letter, which is dated a few days ago and is worth reproducing below. The very concept of negotiating with Benoît Battistelli should be considered laughable at this stage. It’s entrapping oneself; the prospects of negotiating with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would likely be more positive and yield much more. At least the EU occasionally dares condemn him for his actions.
“The very concept of negotiating with Benoît Battistelli should be considered laughable at this stage.”In spite being 3 pages long (with Battistelli having a copy), this letter to Members of the Board of the Administrative Council (who are aware of "a crisis," in their own words) is quite short or at least concise. It focuses not on the technical perils but on the social and juridical perils, which concern the staff representatives who are unable to properly function any longer (under rational fear from an irrational tyrant who is accountable to nobody). Here is the letter in full (original above as animated GIF).
19 April 2017
Members of the Board
of the Administrative Council
European Patent Organisation
Restart of dialogue – SUEPO’s position
Dear Sir, Madam,
One of the aims of Resolution CA 26/16 is to reach “a consensus on an MoU which would establish a framework for negotiation between social partners”. However, as the Council also noted: “…the disciplinary sanctions and proceedings against staff or trade union representatives have, among other reasons, made it more difficult to reach such a consensus…”
So far, further discussions on union recognition between the EPO and SUEPO have remained impossible for well-known reasons. Furthermore, far from improving with time as might have been hoped, the social situation has in fact further deteriorated, particularly following the dismissal of a third staff representative and SUEPO official in November 2016.
At the same time, there is now an increased level of awareness both in the public and at the highest political level1 that something must be done to move forward.
1 letter by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands dated 23 February 2017 (emphasis added):
In dit kader heb ik de heer Minnoye meegegeven dat de interne onrust te lang voortduurt en dat de situatie nu snel
verbetering behoeft. Om met spoed een begin te maken aan herstel van vertrouwen tussen het management en het
personeel, is voorgesteld de sociale dialoog constructief te hervatten en daarbij op zeer korte termijn een aantal
vertrouwenwekkende maatregelen, onder andere gebaseerd op de Social Study, door te voeren:
• Heroverweging van disciplinaire maatregelen die ten aanzien van enkele vakbondsleden zijn ingezet
In this context, I informed Mr Minnoye that the internal unrest has been going on for too long and that the situation now needs to improve quickly. In order to make a rapid start to restoring trust between the management and staff, the proposal is to resume constructive social dialogue and to introduce a number of trust-building measures in the very short term, based among other things on the Social Study:
• Reconsideration of the disciplinary measures implemented with respect to certain trade-union members.
For our part, SUEPO remains committed to fulfilling the Council’s demands as set out in its resolution. As a gesture of good will we wish to inform you that we would be prepared to participate in a first and renewed meeting providing it would be organised with the involvement of an independent mediator.
We would be grateful if the Board 28 would consider endorsing this proposal at its next meeting in April 2017. Following this we would be prepared to enter into discussions concerning the selection of a mediator and other meeting arrangements.
We look forward to your response and attach, also for your consideration, a draft agenda for such a first meeting.
SUEPO Central Chairman
On behalf of SUEPO Central and all local SUEPO sections
Annex: Draft agenda
Copy:Heads of Delegation of the Administrative Council
President of the EPO
1. Reintegration of dismissed staff and SUEPO representatives, and cancellation of other sanctions against further staff and SUEPO representatives.2
2. Aims of a negotiation scheme
3. Benchmarking some existing agreements, viz. EU-Agreement with its Unions, the SUEPO proposal, and the existing EPO-FFPE MoU.
4. MoU establishing a framework for negotiation between social partners i.e. the EPO and trade unions
5. Time framework for a global solution for normalising relations between EPO and SUEPO
2 The implementation of the Resolution is here all the more urgent since, in the meantime, it has transpired that the disciplinary measures against SUEPO officials in 2015 and 2016 (in particular Els Hardon, Ion Brumme, Malika Weaver, Laurent Prunier) have been imposed after consultation of a disciplinary committee that was improperly composed: the Chairperson was appointed without the consultation of the GCC required by Article 98(1) ServRegs. A progress on this issue would allow discussing the other points on the agenda.
That second footnote is important. The EPO’s President not only routinely and nonchalantly violates the rules of the EPC (akin to gross constitutional violations), but also violates his very own Code of Conduct. It’s probably far too optimistic to believe that Battistelli is capable of grasping the mere concept of negotiation partners. He exploits power for power’s sake; he’s a hardliner with LE PENthouse de patent maximalism. █
Why Choose Linux Operating System?
Linux is a free operating system that anyone can download and install on their computers. It’s one of the top five platforms used in the world, and yet most people don’t understand its benefits. With that in mind, this post will draw your attention towards all the advantages you can expect to encounter. With a bit of luck, you will leave this page with a better understanding of Linux and why you should consider it for your computer network. Whether you’re an individual or business owner, the same rules should apply. The best thing to do is try it out for yourself. However, I’ll try to provide some basic info before you do that.
A Window Into the Linux Desktop
“Desktop environment” is the technical term for a typical, full-featured desktop — that is, the complete graphical layout of your system. Besides displaying your programs, the desktop environment includes accoutrements such as app launchers, menu panels and widgets.
In Microsoft Windows, the desktop environment consists of, among other things, the Start menu, the taskbar of open applications and notification center, all the Windows programs that come bundled with the OS, and the frames enclosing open applications (with a dash, square and X in the upper right corner).
There are many similarities in Linux.
The Linux Gnome desktop environment, for instance, has a slightly different design, but it shares all of the Microsoft Windows basics — from an app menu to a panel showing open applications, to a notification bar, to the windows framing programs.
Ubuntu 17.04 Desktop Installation Guide with Screenshots
Good News for Linux Desktop Lovers that Ubuntu 17.04 has been released officially. Code name for Ubuntu 17.04 is Zesty Zapus, as it is not a LTS version so its support will be available for next 9 months only (Jan 2018).
The Linux Migration: April 2017 Progress Report
In December 2016, I kicked off a migration to Linux (from OS X) as my primary laptop OS. In the nearly 4 months since the initial progress report, I’ve published a series of articles providing updates on things like which Linux distribution I selected, how I’m handling running VMs on my Linux laptop, and integration with corporate collaboration systems (here, here, and here). I thought that these “along the way” posts would be sufficient to keep readers informed, but I’ve had a couple of requests in the last week about how the migration is going. This post will help answer that question by summarizing what’s happened so far.
Let me start by saying that I am actively using a Linux-powered laptop as my primary laptop right now, and I have been doing so since early February. All the posts I’ve published so far have been updates of how things are going “in production,” so to speak. The following sections describe my current, active environment.
Galago Pro: Look Inside
Look inside the Galago Pro and see how easy it is to upgrade!
- Why Choose Linux Operating System?
Docker’s Moby cast in same mold as Fedora’s Red Hat
When Docker announced the Moby Project earlier this week, it wasn’t entirely clear why it mattered—or even what it was. It sounded like Docker was trying to share its internal processes for building Docker from components donated to the community.
Linux Server Virtualization: the basics
Despite having access to ever more efficient and powerful hardware, operations that are run directly on traditional physical (or bare-metal) servers unavoidably face significant practical limits. The cost and complexity of building and launching a single physical server mean that effectively adding or removing resources to quickly meet changing demand is difficult or, in some cases, impossible. Safely testing new configurations or full applications before their release can also be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming.
- MetLife Navigates DevOps with Docker Containers
- Announcing LinuxKit: A Toolkit for building Secure, Lean and Portable Linux Subsystems
- Docker’s Moby cast in same mold as Fedora’s Red Hat
Node.js exec director: Our project is transformational
Heterogeneous Memory Management v20 Published
It’s looking less and less likely like Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM) will be mainlined for the Linux 4.12 kernel. This is the long-in-development effort by Jerome Glisse that would benefit CUDA, OpenCL, and more by allow device memory to be transparently used by any device process and for mirroring process address space on a device.
Linux Kernels 4.10.12, 4.9.24 LTS and 4.4.63 LTS Bring x86 and OrangeFS Changes
Only three days after releasing the Linux 4.10.11, 4.9.23 LTS and 4.4.62 LTS kernels, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced today, April 21, 2017, the release of a new set of maintenance updates for the Linux 4.10, 4.9, and 4.4 kernel series.
Considering the fact that nearly three days had passed since the release of the Linux 4.10.11, 4.9.23 LTS and 4.4.62 LTS kernels, the Linux 4.10.12 and 4.9.24 LTS kernels change a total of 78 files, with 993 insertions and 459 deletions for Linux 4.10.12 and 938 insertions and 441 deletions for Linux 4.9.24, while Linux kernel 4.4.63 LTS is again a smaller patch changing a total of 48 files, with 518 insertions and 216 deletions.
Btrfs Getting RAID 5/6 Fixes In Linux 4.12 Kernel
Not only is the BFQ I/O scheduler coming for mainline Linux 4.12 but there are also some more fixes to Btrfs for improving the file-system’s native handling of RAID5 and RAID6 modes.
Last year the Btrfs RAID 5/6 code was found to be in bad shape and potentially unsafe. Since then there were some partial fixes for Btrfs RAID 5/6.
- Graphics Stack
- Node.js exec director: Our project is transformational
GNU Guile 2.2.1 released
We are happy to announce GNU Guile release 2.2.1, the first bug-fix release in the new 2.2 stable release series.
- Announcing Nylas Mail 2.0 [Ed: just Electron]
Cerebro Is An Amazing Open Source OS X Spotlight Alternative For Linux [Ed: also just Electron]
You may be fed up with traditional way of searching/opening applications on your system. Cerebro is an amazing utility built using Electron and available for Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is open-source and released under MIT license.
Flowblade Another Video Editor for Linux? Give It A Try!
You may have favorite video editor to edit your videos but there is no harm to try something new, its initial release was not that long, with time it made some great improvements. It can be bit hard to master this video editor but if you are not new in this field you can make it easily and will be total worth of time.
- Get System Info from CLI Using `NeoFetch` Tool in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
Ukuu Kernel Manager Utility lets You Upgrade or Install Kernels in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
There are many ways to upgrade your Linux Kernel using Synaptics, command line and so. The Ukuu utility is the simply solution to manager your Ubuntu/Linux Mint kernels. If you want to test new fixes in the Linux Kernel then you can install Mainline Kernels released by Ubuntu team but mainline Kernels are intended to use for testing purposes only (so be careful).
10 Reasons Why You Should Use Vi/Vim Text Editor in Linux
While working with Linux systems, there are several areas where you’ll need to use a text editor including programming/scripting, editing configuration/text files, to mention but a few. There are several remarkable text editors you’ll find out there for Linux-based operating systems.
OpenShot 2.3 Linux Video Editor New Features
It’s been quite some time since we last talked about OpenShot, and more specifically when it had its second major release. Recently, the team behind the popular open source video editor has made its third point release available which happens to come with a couple of exciting new features and tools, so here is a quick guide on where to find them and how to use them.
Boostnote: Another Great Note Taking App for Developers? Find Out By Yourself
Boostnote is an open-source note-taking application especially made for programmers and developers, it is build up with Electron framework and cross-platform available for Linux, Windows and Mac. Being programmers, we take lots of notes which includes commands, code snippets, bug information and so on. It all comes in handy when you have organized them all in one place, Boostnote does this job very well. It lets you organize your notes in folders with tags, so you can find anything you are looking for very quickly.
- Splitting a git-annex repository
- Install Google Earth in Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty
- Creating personalized Ubuntu, Mint and Debian ISOs for Intel Mini PCs
- Understanding Shell Initialization Files and User Profiles in Linux
- issue #77: OpenStack, Moby, Caddy, Devuan, Linuxkit, Tmux, Jenkins & more
- Setup FreeIPA Authentication server on CentOS 7
- How to Style Gnome like Ubuntu Unity desktop
- Gotty – Control Terminal Commands via Webpage / Web Browser
- How to flush/clear the pfsense DNS forwarder cache
- ttyload: Color-coded graphical tracking tool for UNIX/Linux load average in a terminal
- Shell script to update original visitor IP for nginx when using Cloudflare
- New chapter in my GLib/GTK+ getting started guide
- Linux Backlight Brightness Keyboard Shortcuts
- How to Add New Disks Using LVM to an Existing Linux System
- 8 Linux Locate Command Examples for Beginners
- How to install Moodle on ISPConfig
- How to convert XPS to PDF – Guide
- How to Upgrade from Ubuntu 16.10 to Ubuntu 17.04
- How To Install Ubuntu Budgie 17.04
- “Open as Root/Administrator” Add Powerful Entry To Nautilus Context Menu
- How To Verify A Ubuntu ISO Image Checksum
- How To Install sK1 Vector Editor 0.9.3 from Source on Ubuntu
- How to Use Your Bash History in the Linux or macOS Terminal
- The Complete Wireshark Course: Beginner to Network Admin!
- Turn on / off Linux servers with IFTTT button
- Important 20 Tweaks/Things To Do After Install Of Ubuntu 16.04/16.10/17.04 Zesty
Wine or Emulation
Wine 2.0 Gets First Point Release to Improve Support for Many Windows Games/Apps
After more than three months, the major and stable Wine 2.0 branch got its first point release, versioned 2.0.1, which fixes a lot of issues and crashed with numerous Windows apps and games.
Wine 2.0.1 is now the latest stable Wine release, recommended for all GNU/Linux users, and besides deprecating the wineinstall component, it implements a total of 47 bug fixes, improving detection of Nvidia GeForce GT 525M GPUs, as well as support for the Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system.
- Wine 2.0 Gets First Point Release to Improve Support for Many Windows Games/Apps
Two Worlds II to release on Linux in May, along with engine upgrade & Call of the Tenebrae DLC
Topware Interactive are revamping Two Worlds II [Steam] and bringing out a new DLC named Two Worlds II: Call of the Tenebrae. Both will see Linux support on May 25th.
- Space colony building sim ‘Maia’ has another massive update
Game engine ‘Construct 3′ has come along well during the Beta
I’ve been playing with Construct 3 from Scirra on and off during the beta and I have to say I’m really impressed with it.
I’m no programmer, sure I dabble in PHP to make the code that runs this site, but I’m not very good at it. Construct 3 makes development and prototyping pretty easy, since it’s all based on event sheets.
- Two Worlds II to release on Linux in May, along with engine upgrade & Call of the Tenebrae DLC
- GNU Guile 2.2.1 released
Eyegasm: 5 awesome Linux/Unix desktop customization that will blow your mind
Everyone loves the desktop operating system. People customize their Linux or Unix desktop with themes, wallpapers, killer configuration and more. These customizations show you how cool your desktop can be!
- 10 Of The Best Linux Icon Themes Compared
K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
Okular 1.1 released!
This release was brought to you by Albert Astals Cid, Oliver Sander, Luigi Toscano, Martin T. H. Sandsmark, Tobias Deiminger, Antonio Rojas, Burkhard Lück, Christoph Feck, Elvis Angelaccio, Gilbert Assaf, Heiko Becker, Hrvoje Senjan, Marco Scarpetta, Miklós Máté, Pino Toscano, Yuri Chornoivan.
Plasma 5 for Slackware – April edition
During the past week (ever since the source tarballs for the new Applications were made available to packagers) I have been working toward an April 2017 release of my ‘ktown’ repository: KDE 5_17.04.
Kdenlive 17.04 released
We release 17.04 with a redesigned profile selection dialog to make it easier to set screen size, framerate, and other parameters of your film. Now you can also play your video directly from the notification when rendering is finished. Some crashes that happened when moving clips around on the timeline have been corrected, and the DVD Wizard has been improved.
- Uncovering 32 Qt best practices at compile time with clazy
KDE PIM update for Zesty available for testers
Since we missed by a whisker getting updated PIM (kontact, kmail, akregator, kgpg etc..) into Zesty for release day, and we believe it is important that our users have access to this significant update, packages are now available for testers in the Kubuntu backports landing ppa.
- Multithreaded Programming with Future & Promise
One week to LaKademy 2017 \o/
We were just a bunch of nice-looking guys and girls hanging wifi routers over the windows and trying not being intimidated by an unceasing rain when we had the Brazilian KDE Summit (Akademy-BR) in Praia do Forte (BA) back in 2010. This was somehow the birth of LaKademy (Latin-American KDE Summit), started in 2012 and now having its fifth edition taking place in Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais) from 29th April to 1st May.
- Updates on the KActionRunner thinkering.
- Okular 1.1 released!
- Ubuntu 17.10 Will Use GNOME By Default
[Video] Mycroft AI Assistant on Gnome Shell
Introducing Mycroft Ai on Gnome Shell.
This Theme Makes Qt Apps Feel at Home on GNOME
There are plenty of excellent Qt and KDE apps that GNOME avoid using simply because they don’t like the way Qt apps look on their GNOME Desktop. Well, that excuse is about to expire.
- Eyegasm: 5 awesome Linux/Unix desktop customization that will blow your mind
When I started arkOS back in late 2012, I was moved by the idea of creating a new and innovative software stack and operating system that could bring self-hosted server applications to a wide audience. The vision has always been the same: to give the masses the tools and education they need to properly self-host all of their software needs in one place. This project has spawned many different ideas and micro-projects from many different developers including myself, and has helped contribute (I hope!) to a renewed interest in the decentralized “do-it-yourself” internet we have seen with the rise of projects like Indieweb, Sandstorm, Mastodon and more.
[Stable] OpenELEC 8.0.2 released
OpenELEC 8.0.2 release has been published. Users running OpenELEC 8.0.0 or later with auto-update enabled will be prompted on-screen to reboot and apply the update once it has been downloaded and enabled in some hours. Users running older OpenELEC releases or with auto-update disabled will need to manually update. If you would like to update from an older OpenELEC release please read update instructions/advice on the Wiki before updating. Manual update files can be obtained from the downloads page.
- [Stable] OpenELEC 8.0.2 released
- Arch Family
openSUSE Leap 15 Will Succeed 42.3
What comes after openSUSE Leap 42.3 for SUSE’s community non-rolling distribution? Version 15.
Richard Brown announced on the behalf of the openSUSE Board and Leap Release Manager that the next version after openSUSE Leap 42.3 will be openSUSE Leap 15. Yes, that’s after pre-42 was openSUSE 13.2.
- Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (15 mails)
- openSUSE Conference 2017 Schedule Posted
- openSUSE Leap 15 Will Succeed 42.3
Red Hat Family
- Red Hat’s Paul Smith to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award in Sales
- The EVP, Products & Technologies of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is Selling Shares
- Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT): A look at Valuation Metrics
- Stock Alert: Red Hat Inc Realized Volatility Hits A Depressed Level
- Red Hat, Inc. (RHT): Getting Technical With The Stock
- Eric Shander has been named as Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) EVP and CFO
- Risk Malaise Alert in Option Market: Red Hat Inc Implied Price Swing Hits A Reduced Level
Debian GNU/Linux port for RISC-V 64-bit (riscv64)
This is a post describing my involvement with the Debian GNU/Linux port for RISC-V (unofficial and not endorsed by Debian at the moment) and announcing the availability of the repository (still very much WIP) with packages built for this architecture.
If not interested in the story but you want to check the repository, just jump to the bottom.
Debian Developers Make Progress With RISC-V Port
Debian developers continue making progress with a — currently unofficial — port of their Linux operating system to RISC-V.
There is a in-progress Debian GNU/Linux port to RISC-V along with a repository with packages built for RISC-V. RISC-V for the uninitiated is a promising, open-source ISA for CPUs. So far there isn’t any widely-available RISC-V hardware, but there are embedded systems in the works while software emulators are available.
systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0
Devuan, the effort to build a systemd-free version of Debian, has released Devuan Jessie 1.0.0, a release candidate felt to be just about the finished article.
In a mail sent to the project’s followers the self-proclaimed “Veteran Unix Admins” behind Devuan say “This Devuan Jessie release candidate is as close as we can get to a ‘long term support’ universal base distribution free from systemd, in the original spirit of Debian.”
“The final Devuan Jessie release will follow shortly and then we will turn our attention to ‘Ascii’, the current testing branch.”
Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 stable release candidate
Our April 2017 gift to you is the long-awaited release of Devuan Jessie stable release candidate (1.0.0-RC). If all goes as planned, this will be our first Devuan stable release and our first long term support (LTS) release as well.
Trying Out The New Installer Of Ubuntu Server
Ubuntu developers today have announced a “tech preview” of their new text-based installer for Ubuntu Server.
Earlier this month we heard of a new Ubuntu Server installer being worked on and it was dubbed Subiquity. Now that the 17.04 release has cleared and 17.10 development begun, the new installer was announced as a tech preview for Ubuntu Server 17.04.
Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre announced, “During the 17.04 development cycle, the Ubuntu Foundations team has been working on a new experimental installer for servers. We are now ready to get feedback from a wider audience.”
Ubuntu 17.04 Review: Except for the Horrible DNS Issue (now ‘fixed’), a Good Release. Oh and, Farewell Unity!
Apparently, the recently released Ubuntu operating system (17.04) will be the last time Ubuntu will feature its own desktop shell ‘Unity’ which was first introduced back in 2010. So, it survived 7 years, almost. It actually did not ‘survive’, in my opinion, even though I myself was too quick to criticize it (well, back then I was young, somewhat
- Trying Out The New Installer Of Ubuntu Server
- systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0
- Debian GNU/Linux port for RISC-V 64-bit (riscv64)
- arkOS Sunset
Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals
Still unleashing trolls like Intellectual Ventures at competitors that are actually successful at selling products
Summary: Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)
PATENT trolls are not just a nuisance. Sometimes they are intermediaries. For instance, Ericsson used a patent troll in order to sue in London and it won earlier this month. Microsoft does something similar and they both go after devices that run Linux, albeit they attack these not directly. They want the ‘protection’ money without all the negative publicity this entails (brand erosion).
“They want the ‘protection’ money without all the negative publicity this entails (brand erosion).”IAM has published this blog post about “Intellectual Discovery” [sic; twice even, for both words], revealing that it feeds trolls that litigate in the Eastern District of Texas. To quote: “Document Security Systems (DSS) has filed lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas alleging infringement of LED-related patents acquired from Intellectual Discovery. The assertion campaign – and its eventual outcome – could represent a major test not just for the embattled publicly traded IP company (PIPCO) model, but also for sovereign patent funds (SPFs) and third-party IP litigation funding at a time when pure-play patent monetisation has become riskier than ever before.”
Not too long ago we wrote that “Bascom Research is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lexington Technology Group, which announced its merger with Document Security Systems…”
“Microsoft would be too hypocritical to join Apple in complaints about Qualcomm (which does similar things to Microsoft on the patent front), so its meddling in complaints appear to have adopted a very familiar intermediary.”Bascom became better known for a CAFC case involving software patents (in their favour) — the very thing that CAFC usually bins straight away.
Microsoft would be too hypocritical to join Apple in complaints about Qualcomm (which does similar things to Microsoft on the patent front), so its meddling in complaints appear to have adopted a very familiar intermediary. William New covered this at IP Watch and Florian Müller had beaten him to it with this post based on a quick tipoff. To quote: “I just received–and wanted to immediately share–an open letter addressed by major automotive and information and communications technology companies to President Donald J. Trump, urging him to shield the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from political interference that could derail the ongoing antitrust litigation in the Northern District of California against Qualcomm (this post continues below the document)…”
“Nokia is commercially if not medically/clinically dead, but Microsoft ended up scattering the company’s patents into the hands of patent trolls that Microsoft is able to control.”Worth noting are the non-corporate entities in there. Notice that Microsoft’s AstroTurfing front ACT is in there too. This is a bunch of patent thugs who now devise patent trolls as a weapon against GNU/Linux and Free/libre software, as we explained this month and last month [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. They have, for example, passed Nokia‘s patents to patent trolls like MOSAID (renamed since, after a lot of negative publicity) and today we learn that the Acacia lawsuit which we mentioned here the other day (Friday) utilises a bunch of patents from Nokia in fact! As Joe Mullin put it, the Microsoft-connected Acacia “uses ex-Nokia patents to sue Apple, phone carriers…” (that’s the headline).
The largest publicly traded patent-assertion company, Acacia Research, has launched a new lawsuit (PDF) against Apple and all the major cell phone carriers.
Cellular Communications Equipment, LLC, a unit of Acacia, has sued Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The company says that the five industry giants infringe four patents related to basic cell phone technologies. All four patents originated at Nokia, which has been sharing its patents in so-called “patent privateering” arrangements for some years now.
Another company using Nokia patents, MobileMedia Ideas, won a $3 million jury verdict last year. Nokia did a major deal with another patent-licensing company, Pendrell, in 2013.
Just witness the degree of corruption and recall what Microsoft entryism inside Nokia has caused (we have a lot more to say about it in the future). Nokia is commercially if not medically/clinically dead, but Microsoft ended up scattering the company’s patents into the hands of patent trolls that Microsoft is able to control. Quite a clever strategy… if you want to be evil. █
IP Kat, which historically gave a voice to EPO workers and whistleblowers, has never been the same since the EPO's sanctions
Context (in the news this weekend and on Friday):
- The US Charging Julian Assange Could Put Press Freedom on Trial
- The Guardian view on prosecuting WikiLeaks: don’t do it
- Arresting Julian Assange is a priority, says US attorney general Jeff Sessions
- Donald Trump on US charging Julian Assange: ‘It’s OK with me’
- The Latest: Trump says charges against Assange would be ‘OK’
Summary: The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press
THE EPO‘s thuggery managed not only to silence IP Kat‘s criticisms but also, apparently, to turn it into a UPC propaganda mill, headed not by one but several firms that stand to benefit financially from excess in litigation. The EPO accomplished something similar with IAM and dividends continue to be paid. What gives?
“We are quite justified with our assertion that the blog is Bristows-run these days.”Sometimes we joke that IP Kat has become AmeriKat i.e. Bristows with its UPC agenda. Just look at the blog’s activity in the past week. The 8th post in a row yesterday was from Bristows and later came a ninth. We are quite justified with our assertion that the blog is Bristows-run these days. The Bristows worker says her “new IP idol [is] Brad Smith (Microsoft),” the man who engages in patent blackmail against Linux (we have written about his nefarious activities for over a decade). Need we remind readers that Microsoft bankrolled the event?
The only short break from the Bristows marketing was this EPO puff piece. Vardy offered a little break from the Bristows marathon and accomplished nothing but embellishment of the EPO’s image.
“Vardy offered a little break from the Bristows marathon and accomplished nothing but embellishment of the EPO’s image.”Is this the same IP Kat that wrote about the EPO last year? It has come to our attention that there is a little more going on behind the scenes. Vardy says nothing about the existential threat to the EPO and violations of the law, pretending there’s smooth sailing. So does FRKelly, which in this new piece (“Changes in European Patent Office practice following findings of lack of unity”) completely overlooks the crucial point that EPO search quality is nowadays terrible, as reaffirmed by internal leaks.
“Is this the same IP Kat that wrote about the EPO last year?”FRKelly says that “from 1 April 2017, the EPO now provides applicants with a provisional opinion on the patentability of the invention (or unitary group of inventions) first appearing in the claims together with the Partial Search Report – see notice in the Official Journal of the EPO here.”
But what good are such reports if they are prepared in a rush? Stakeholders have already publicly complained about this. One of them said that even the Spanish patent office (not particularly renowned for leadership in this area) does a better job than the EPO and at a much lower cost.
Where are those anonymous writers at IP Kat who used to write about those things? The founder has retired and the pseudonym shared by multiple people (“Merpel”) is no longer even mentioned in the blog (it used to be habitually thrown into the mix). Where are the Joe Hills and the Rosa Parks? Why do we feel like it’s mostly us, The Register and sometimes Juve that really still care about the EPO? Caring about the integrity of the Office is the opposite of caring about Battistelli’s reputation.
“Stakeholders have already publicly complained about this. One of them said that even the Spanish patent office (not particularly renowned for leadership in this area) does a better job than the EPO and at a much lower cost.”Just look what Bristows has turned IP Kat into! It’s shocking! It’s a disgrace. Even EPO workers tell us that. They are definitely not happy. The most signal that can be derived from IP Kat these days is in the comments. Responding to the EPO’s Margot and Bristows (which carried Margot’s message about the UPC), this one person wrote: “It is amazing to see what is coming out now in order to save the UPC.”
Truth does not matter at IP Kat when the chronic liars of Bristows run the show. Here is the comment in full:
It is amazing to see what is coming out now in order to save the UPC.
UPC is an agreement reserved to EU member states. This is a fact which seems conveniently forgotten.
As long as UK is member of the EU it might ratify. Once out of the EU it cannot any longer be part of the UPC, at least in the present form.
This means that:
1) the participation of UK in the UPC post Brexit will be part of the bargaining under Art 50. Any more enchanting perspective?
2) provisions have to be found how to transfer pre-Brexit judgements of the UPC into the UK legal system. This might be the easiest part, although it does not appear as simple as it may look at a glance.
3) provisions about enforcement post-Brexit of UPC judgements in the UK have to be devised. This is a point which has been conveniently dodged up to now by all proponents of the post-Brexit participation of UK.
I see here three reasons of great uncertainty. Can, in all honesty and in view of this uncertainty, any representative suggest to his client not to opt-out until any of those points are cleared?
That US industry and PAEs are interested in the UPC is pretty obvious, but should not be taken as a push to satisfy this need.
Here the Commission oversees a great danger and belittles the point of view expressed for instance by IP2P(?) about the danger of trolling. I am not convinced that the harmonisation effect heralded by the Commission will eventually be a benefit for European industry in general and SMEs in particular. In the case of patents subsidiarity might be better.
And now CH and NO should come into the UPC! Ever heard of Opinion 1/09? One should not forget that it was the death knell of EPLA!
As a commenter wrote: is this “knowledge, blind optimism or desperation”? A nice summary!
Responding in another thread — the one in which Bristows tackled those who warn about the UPC and trolls — one person wrote:
Kindly note that the UPC fee for a COUNTERclaim for revocation is between EUR 11k and EUR 20k, depending on the value of the case. Especially if the defendant in the infringement case is an SME, it is unlikely that the maximum revocation fee of EUR 20k will have to be paid, because this only occurs if the value of the case exceeds EUR 2 million.
So a business would need at least 11,000 Euros (at least!) to drive trolls away. And how many trolls would there be under a UPC-like regime? Some patent law firms earn this much in a month, sometimes per person, but for SMEs in Europe that’s a lot of money. It can cost a lot of jobs. And who benefits? Firms like Bristows and trolls. Firms that give bad advice to clients, possibly even an intentionally bad advice…
And back to the propaganda from Battistelli’s right-hand UPC woman (Margot), here is a quoteworthy new comment:
Any idea what I tell my client about UPC cases that are ongoing on Brexit day? For example, if on Brexit day there is an ongoing UPC case where infringement is exclusively in the UK, what happens?
Quite frankly, the statement that “uncertainty is unlikely because legal provision will inevitably be made to deal with the treatment of, for example, pending UPC cases on Brexit day” is ridiculous. That uncertainty already exists and will continue to exist unless and until the specifics of the assumed provision are finally decided on.
Here is another comment:
Uncertainty is not unlikely it is likely! The statement should be read correctly.
That an ongoing case in UK on Brexit day will continue is not at stake here. The uncertainty lies in the how it will happen in the UK. This might be solved if only UK is at stake.
There is however also an uncertainty, but much larger then, on what will happen if it affects not only UK but other contracting states on Brexit day, whether or not it is taken by a UPC court having its seat in UK.
This leads inevitably to the post Brexit enforcement problem.
Not everything revolves around an island bordering the North Sea. After all ridiculous for ridiculous, who is the more ridiculous??
“The UPC may have already been derailed for good, but Team UPC just won’t want to admit it…”It’s quite sad when all that’s left of value in IP Kat are anonymous comments. The blog is otherwise an utter disgrace of no value to anyone, except those in the echo chamber who love being deceived (patent maximalism is music to their ears).
The UPC may have already been derailed for good, but Team UPC just won’t want to admit it (it profits from lying to clients about it) and Luke McDonagh, a scholar from London, said that the General Election this year “will certainly delay Unified Patent Court, may even derail it…”
“Bristows staff (in various different platforms) just lies to everyone, as we have repeatedly demonstrated here over the years.”He was linking to Team UPC’s analysis, which quotes the article by Max Walters, who in turn serves as Bristows’ megaphone. Team UPC said: “In an article in the Law Gazette, Robert Burrows, partner at Bristows, says a start date of early 2018 for the Unitary Patent system could be a more realistic possibility.”
No, it can be altogether called off and it’s the most likely thing given the inherent incompatibility of UPC and Brexit. To quote the more independent view:
In the same article, Luke McDonagh of the Law School at City University London is more pessimistic: ‘It is clear there will be a delay now. Everything is likely to cease pending the election. The decision to ratify may even be up in the air.’
Be careful of anything IP Kat will say in the coming days about UPC (in light of the General Election). Bristows staff (in various different platforms) just lies to everyone, as we have repeatedly demonstrated here over the years. “Nobody said the creation of a new patent system covering all EU member states was going to be easy,” Team UPC added (after the failure). Actually, Team UPC did insinuate this, repeatedly even. Now that they’re losing all their marbles they start engaging in a bit of revisionism, too. It’s an attempt to recover some credibility and save face. █
Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications
Photo credit: Last year’s talk on “Patent Hold-Up”
Summary: Battistelli’s French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)
WE recently published quite a few articles about software patents that piggyback buzzwords like “cloud” and “AI” (or phrases like “in a car”, “on a device”, “from a phone”, “over the Internet” and so on). Another such buzzword is “IoT”, which simply means some embedded device with a IPv4/6 module built onto it. It’s nothing innovative or even new. The buzzword itself is relatively new, not the underlying technology.
“It’s rather embarrassing to watch. The EPO has been reduced to quite a circus!”The EPO seems to have hired some truly incompetent managers recently. Many of them are French and quite a few are friends of Battistelli. The degree of nepotism at the EPO is nothing to sneeze at and last year we saw Yann Ménière joining the team, replacing those who had warned about low patent quality. He was last mentioned earlier this year in relation to his rather bizarre talk wherein has been reduced to Battistelli’s shadow, just like Margot the UPC propagandist of Battistelli. It’s rather embarrassing to watch. The EPO has been reduced to quite a circus! See this new puff piece which conflates patents with invention (titled “Young Italians becoming great inventors again”); it’s nothing more than EPO parroting, distracting from the fact that EP applications are actually down, not up (the EPO tried hard to hide it if not lie about it).
“A lot of software components are typically at the core of these things and it was recently reported by IP Watch that the EPO figureheads openly promote and defend patents on those (i.e. software patents, in defiance of directives, the EPC, and common sense).”But anyway, about Ménière, IP Watch‘s Dugie Standeford, writing behind a paywall, said this: “The European Patent Office has a “tradition of looking forwards” to anticipate patenting trends, and it sees the Internet of Things (IoT) as the next challenge, Chief Economist Yann Ménière said at 20 April OxFirst webinar on the office’s contribution to the coming world of billions of connected objects.”
A lot of software components are typically at the core of these things and it was recently reported by IP Watch that the EPO figureheads openly promote and defend patents on those (i.e. software patents, in defiance of clear directives, the EPC, and common sense). In other words, it certainly sounds like Battistelli got himself a patent maximalist in the role of “Chief Economist”, spouting out things about technology which he neither practiced nor understands. That has truly become the hallmark of Battistelli appointments. They send the Office crashing and burning and it is painful to watch, especially for insiders whose job is on the line and may soon become redundant because not enough applications are coming in. It’s simple, just do the maths. The stock is running out. Battistelli ordering the issuing en masse of EPs does a lot of harm not just to existing stakeholders but also past applicants, whose patents will inevitably lose value/worth. What kind of economist would be incapable of grasping it? If the EPO was a for-profit business, it would be heading towards bankruptcy right now and even pensions would not be assured (there are rumours, based on another French hire, that these too are going to be cut soon). █
Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful
Summary: Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments
For those who used to make money from software patents, notably patent law firms, this trend may be an existential threat, so such firms just give bad advice almost every day. They interject themselves into news sites and give the impression that software patents are OK. The latest anti-Alice rant comes from the patent microcosm, as usual, and now it’s Patricia Martone who writes that the “Court declined to hold that all improvements in computer-related technology and all software patents are inherently abstract and can never pass the Step One test for patentable subject matter.”
“…a lot of software patents are being eliminated outside the courts, owing to PTAB.”The article is actually a bunch of tips for working around restrictions and patenting software. Don’t pursue these patents, however, as most such patents end up enriching nobody but patent lawyers. That is why they keep pretending that things are OK and they can work their way around Alice.
Curiously enough, as this new article points out, PTAB is at it again (squashing patents) and for a change it’s a patent aggressor behind the petition, along with a company it previously blackmailed with patents. Here is the key parts:
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit mostly affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruling that a patent challenged by technology companies ZTE and Microsoft is invalid.
IPR Licensing is the owner of the patent, US number 8,380,244, which describes and claims “dual mode” communications devices that can use cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
“For those who used to make money from software patents, notably patent law firms, this trend may be an existential threat, so such firms just give bad advice almost every day.”“How Facebook learned to love the PTAB,” IAM also wrote today, alluding to this news about all-time highs at PTAB, which even the pro-trolls sites bother to note. The author admits that patent reformers are succeeding but fails to identify patent trolls as such. “There has been much to pick over from the litigation data for the first quarter of this year,” he says. “There was the ongoing fall in the number of new cases which has dropped to levels not seen since 2011. There was also a notable spike in activity at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which according to analysis from Unified Patents made it the most active quarter ever with 561 reviews filed.”
“What’s noteworthy here is that PTAB comes handy even for patent maximalists; it serves justice faster than the courts and at a lower cost.”Notice how many of the patent holders are LLCs that are mostly likely patent trolls. To quote, “Facebook’s 21 reviews for Q1 were filed against five patent owners with three NPEs — Skky LLC, Sound View Innovations LLC and Windy City Innovations LLC — accounting for all but two according to data from Lex Machina. The company is in litigation with all five patent owners. This PTAB strategy has been seen before with Apple the leading exponent but as Facebook’s recent burst of activity shows, the social media business is a quick learner.”
Well, it shows that patent trolls are preying on such sites. Suffice to say, the patents in question would be software patents — something that Facebook too has been stockpiling and sometimes using for litigation purposes.
What’s noteworthy here is that PTAB comes handy even for patent maximalists; it serves justice faster than the courts and at a lower cost. █
Linux, PCs and Trump’s ‘Buy American’ problem
Some PCs are assembled in the U.S., but not many. This includes those from Lenovo, the China-based firm that runs a factory in North Carolina. Apple operates a Mac Pro assembly plant in Austin, but makes many of its other products overseas.
Lenovo and Apple may have an edge in selling PCs to the U.S., under President Donald Trump’s recently signed “Hire American, Buy American” executive order signed this week, say analysts.
All PCs are made with components sourced globally, but vendors that assemble products in the U.S. may gain preference. Trump’s executive order doesn’t spell out how “buying American” will work for IT suppliers — if it happens at all.
- Linux, PCs and Trump’s ‘Buy American’ problem
- 7 Major Vendor Announcements That Stood Out At DockerCon 2017
- Docker Expands Enterprise Focus as Container Ecosystem Matures
- Docker CEO Ben Golub On Powering A Partner Ecosystem And Keeping Planes In The Air
- Docker containers gain steam in enterprise as complexity issues are addressed
- Wait – we can explain, says Moby, er, Docker amid rebrand meltdown
- Why Docker created the Moby Project
Lessons Learned with Docker
Docker is great; I’ve had a lot of fun simplifying deployments by containerizing, and I look forward to exploring how we can use Swarm to make our deployments more robust and fault-tolerant.
- Microsoft’s Docker Strategy: The Future of Windows Containers [Ed: Docker appears not to have learned any lessons from #microsoft EEE-type attacks]
- DockerCon 17 Focuses on Enterprise Adoption of Containers
The Companies That Support Linux and Open Source: Doky
Open source continues to encourage and drive innovation globally, and Doky’s offerings are a perfect example of the positive loop created by open source projects leading to new products. Similar to how Linux forever changed the operating system landscape, Doky sees itself as a major catalyst for open source based software that users can access, use and collaborate with their favorite apps easily and in truly seamless and integrated way as never possible before.
I’m announcing the release of the 4.10.12 kernel.
All users of the 4.10 kernel series must upgrade.
The updated 4.10.y git tree can be found at:
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
- Linux 4.9.24
- Linux 4.4.63
Linux 4.12 Should Be Another Exciting, Featureful Cycle
If all goes according to plan, the Linux 4.11 kernel will be officially released this weekend and therefore the Linux 4.12 merge window will immediately open for two weeks. There is a lot on our radar for Linux 4.12.
Among the likely material we’ve been tracking for Linux 4.12 features are listed below.
The Grand Features Of Mesa 17.1: Vega, RadeonSI Shader Cache, Maturing Vulkan, New OpenGL Extensions
We are just a few weeks out from the release of Mesa 17.1 as the latest quarterly update to this important component to the open-source 3D Linux graphics driver stack. With “Mesa 17.1″ already having been mentioned in 102 Phoronix articles to date, here’s a look at some of the most exciting changes and new features with Mesa 17.1.
- The Grand Features Of Mesa 17.1: Vega, RadeonSI Shader Cache, Maturing Vulkan, New OpenGL Extensions
- The Companies That Support Linux and Open Source: Doky
Netflix Should Now Play Nicely On Fedora, Other Linux Distributions
Fedora, openSUSE, Debian, and CentOS has been among the distributions blocked if their names appear in the HTTP user-agent string, but fortunately this bogus/outdated check has been eliminated. GNOME developer Jiri Eischmann has pointed out that those with up-to-date versions of Chrome or Firefox on other non-Ubuntu Linux distributions should now have fine out-of-the-box access to Netflix via its HTML5 video player.
- Netflix doesn’t block Fedora users any more!
- Netflix Should Now Play Nicely On Fedora, Other Linux Distributions
Wine or Emulation
Wine Staging 2.6 Is Out for Linux Gamers Based on Wine 2.6, Adds Improvements
The Wine Staging 2.6 open-source software has landed for GNU/Linux gamers, based on the Wine 2.6 development release, bringing various improvements and bug fixes.
- Wine Staging 2.6 Is Out for Linux Gamers Based on Wine 2.6, Adds Improvements
Saints Row 2 is currently free on Steam, other Saints Row titles on sale
Saints Row 2 [Steam Link] is currently free to grab it on Steam for a limit time, so act quick if you don’t own it yet. The other Saints Row titles are on sale as well.
- Saints Row 2 is currently free on Steam, other Saints Row titles on sale
Enlightenment’s EFL Wires Up A Focus Manager
A ton of code hit the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries’ (EFL) Git tree yesterday with the latest feature activity.
Debian-Based Elive 2.9.0 Beta Finally Brings Persistence, Netsurf Web Browser
The development cycle of the Debian-based Elive 3.0 GNU/Linux distribution continues, and a new Beta milestone was launched today, April 21, 2017, for early adopters and public beta testers.
Coming three weeks after the previous Beta release, Elive 2.9.0 Beta is here to finally implement the promised Persistence feature, which lets users save their personal files, extra apps that they might install, login credentials, and various configuration files during a live session.
K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
Qt Creator 4.2.2 released
The spring has arrived, so we took our brooms and swept the bugs from under the carpets and out of the door.
We meticulously noted down all the classes, orders, families, species, and other details of what we found and removed, which you can look up in our spring cleaning log.
- Qt 5.9 Beta 2 Now Available For Testing
KDE Applications 17.04 Software Suite Officially Released, Here Is What’s New
The KDE Project was proud to announce the official release and general availability of KDE Applications 17.04, the latest and most advanced stable version of the popular, open-source software suite for KDE Plasma 5 desktops.
KDE Applications 17.04 has been in development for the past one and a half months, during which it received a Beta and an RC (Release Candidate) builds that brought various performance optimizations and new features to the KAlgebra mathematical graph calculator, Kdenlive video editor, Dolphin file manager, Ark archiver, and Minuet music educational software.
- Qt Creator 4.2.2 released
Getting to Know GNOME (From a Unity Perspective)
Unless you’ve lost all network connections over the past couple of weeks, you know the big news: Canonical announced it was dropping Ubuntu Unity and returning to its GNOME roots. Whether you think this is good or bad news, it’s happening. When the official Ubuntu 18.04 is released, it will be all GNOME. For those that have been happily using Unity for years, will this translate to a lesser experience and a learning curve for the new Ubuntu desktop?
GUADEC call for talks ends this Sunday, 23rd April
GUADEC 2017 is just over three months away, which is a very long time in the future and leaves lots of time to organise everything (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).
- Getting to Know GNOME (From a Unity Perspective)
- Enlightenment’s EFL Wires Up A Focus Manager
ROSA Desktop Fresh R9 GNU/Linux Operating System Rebased on a Newer Platform
The development team behind the ROSA GNU/Linux operating system announced today the release and immediate availability for download of the KDE and KDE Plasma flavors of ROSA Desktop Fresh R9.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R9 is the first release in more than two years to rebase the RPM-based operating system derived from Mandriva to a newer 2016.1 platform. It comes with both the KDE 4 and KDE Plasma 5 desktop environments, while the GNOME 3, MATE, and LXQt variants should be out in the coming months.
- ROSA Desktop Fresh R9 GNU/Linux Operating System Rebased on a Newer Platform
pam-python is avaliable for openSUSE
Last week I came across pam_python, a PAM module that lets you write PAM modules in Python. It seems interesting to play in this direction, but I had to install it manually. It seems that there was no official packages for openSUSE until now…
- pam-python is avaliable for openSUSE
Red Hat Family
Red Hat Virtualization 4.1 improves automation capabilities through integration with Ansible
Red Hat announced Wednesday general availability of Red Hat Virtualization 4.1, the latest release of the company’s Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)-powered enterprise virtualization platform. Providing an open source infrastructure and centralized management solution for virtualized servers and workstations and built on the enterprise-grade backbone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization 4.1 delivers expanded automation capabilities through integration with Ansible by Red Hat while new networking and storage capabilities offer a stable, flexible foundation for IT innovation.
- Red Hat Virtualization 4.1 improves automation capabilities through integration with Ansible
Welcome to Devuan Jessie 1.0 RC
Devuan GNU+Linux is a fork of Debian without systemd. The release 1.0 RC marks an important milestone towards the sustainability and the continuation of Devuan as a universal base distribution. Since the Exodus declaration in 2014, infrastructure has been put in place to support Devuan’s mission to offer users control over their system. Devuan Jessie provides continuity as a safe upgrade path from Debian 7 (Wheezy) and a flawless switch from Debian 8 (Jessie) that ensures the right to Init Freedom and avoids entanglement.
Devuan 1.0 Makes It To A Release Candidate: Debian Without Systemd
The first release candidate is now available for Devuan, the fork of Debian that rids the system of systemd.
- Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 stable release candidate
The Road to Tails 3.0 Anonymous Live OS Continues Based on Debian 9 “Stretch”
Just one day after the launch of the Tails 2.12 maintenance release to the Tails 2.x stable series of the amnesic incognito live system based on Debian GNU/Linux, the development is pleased to announce the release of the fourth Beta of Tails 3.0.
Coming exactly one month after the third Beta milestone, Tails 3.0 Beta 4 is here with all the latest and most important security updates and bug fixes ported from the repositories of the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” operating system. It also includes all the changes implemented in the Tails 2.12 release.
This is the Ubuntu 17.10 Release Date
The Ubuntu 17.10 release date is set for October 19, 2017. Ubuntu 17.10 will use the GNOME desktop instead of Unity, the first release to do so since 2011.
Ubuntu 17.10 Release Schedule Published
In addition to the Ubuntu 17.10 codename of Artful Aardvark coming out this week, the release schedule for this next Ubuntu Linux development cycle has also been published.
Ubuntu 17.10 Is Named Artful Aardvark
The next short term Ubuntu release, i.e., Ubuntu 17.10, is codenamed Artful Aardvark. While Canonical boss Mark Shuttleworth is yet to make an official announcement, the Artful repos are now in existence. In an earlier announcement, Canonical has made it clear that Ubuntu 17.10 will comes with Wayland display server by default.
Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) Hits the Streets on October 19, with GNOME 3.26
It’s probably the last thing hardcore Ubuntu fans want to know, but it looks like the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 operating system was codenamed Artful Aardvark, and a preliminary release schedule is already online.
It would be awkward for Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth to announce the codename of Ubuntu 17.10 considering what happened lately with the layoffs, etcetera, so some of our readers spotted the release schedule of the upcoming Ubuntu Linux release on the official wiki.
- This is the Ubuntu 17.10 Release Date
- Welcome to Devuan Jessie 1.0 RC
- PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family
X-ES spins Enterprise Linux BSP for its x86 boards
X-ES launched a RHEL-compatible “X-ES Enterprise Linux” distro optimized for its x86 COMs and SBCs starting with its recent Xeon/Broadwell VPX and VME SBCs.
Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES), which has supported its embedded boards with Gentoo Linux, will now offer a Red Hat flavored X-ES Enterprise Linux (XEL) board support package option as the default, with Gentoo still available as an alternative. XEL will be offered for all x86-based X-ES “embedded processing modules,” which would appear to include its Intel Bay Trail based XPedite8150 and Xpedite8152 COMs, among others. Tthe first four “featured products” with XEL are VPX and VME compliant SBCs aimed at high-end networking (see farther below).
A Look at DietPi: A Lightweight OS for Your Pi Board
DietPi caught my eye some time ago, but I really started to become acquainted with it when I reviewed the Orange Pi Zero recently. It more than deserves a good review of its own, which is what this post provides.
Moto G5 Plus video review: The best cheap Android phone!
A good, cheap smartphone. That’s been the MO of the Moto G series since the very beginning — a phone that doesn’t cost the earth, but also doesn’t come with a bunch of nasty compromises. This year, the line is led by the Moto G5 Plus — and it might just be the best inexpensive Android phone you can buy.
- Android Auto: Citroen & Peugeot Add Support
- Moto G5 Plus video review: The best cheap Android phone!
- X-ES spins Enterprise Linux BSP for its x86 boards
12 ways to maintain your existing community: How you deal with difficult conversations?
Help us collect community knowledge by blogging about the weekly community management theme. Blog posts are due the following Thursday after each new theme is announced. Next week’s challenge is Difficult Conversations.
Check out ways to recruit new community members in week #1 blogging challenge.
- Baidu To Open-Source Its Self-Driving Vehicle Platform
- Baidu launches Apollo, opens self-drive platform
- Baidu Makes Its Self-Driving Car Technology Available for Free
Uber has high hopes for its open source data visualization software
Any time a representative of car sharing service Uber Technology Inc. shows up at an analytics conference, his or her session is always packed.
People crowd into the room for two reasons. First, Uber does a lot of interesting things with advanced analytics, and getting a peak under the hood at how it all works can inspire new projects at other enterprises.
Tor Browser 6.5.2 Features Important Security Updates from Firefox 45.9.0 ESR
Tor Project announced the release and immediate availability for download of the second and probably the last scheduled point release of the Tor Browser 6.5 stable series of the anonymous web browser based on Mozilla Firefox.
Tor Browser 6.5.2 is out for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows, and it looks like it incorporates all the important security updates that Mozilla implemented in the Firefox 45.9.0 ESR (Extended Support Release), along with HTTPS-Everywhere 5.2.14 and NoScript 5.0.2.
- This Simple Tweak Will (Apparently) Make Firefox Faster
Firefox 53 Introduces Quantum Compositor, Reducing Browser Crashes
Mozilla released its Firefox 53 update on April 19, introducing a new browser engine and patching 39 vulnerabilities in the open-source web browser.
The new browser engine technology in Firefox 53 is known as Project Quantum and is a multipart effort to accelerate and improve the web browsing experience for users. The Project Quantum component included in Firefox 53 is known as the Quantum Compositor; it is designed to help reduce the number of browser crashes due to graphics issues.
- Tor Browser 6.5.2 Features Important Security Updates from Firefox 45.9.0 ESR
The new replication features in MySQL 8
This year at the Percona Live open source database conference, I will present a talk on the latest replication features in MySQL 8.0.
It was a huge amount of work to get the MySQL Group Replication plugin out with MySQL 5.7.17. Group Replication is a new plugin that gives the user some nice replication properties by resorting to group communication and state machine replication. This makes the system able to protect data against split brain situations, enables fault-tolerance and high availability, and provides coordination between servers committing transactions that change the data.
In addition to Group Replication, the team has also invested quite a bit on core replication features. Some of these features were already released, and others will be released at some point in time in a MySQL Development Milestone Release (DMR).
- The new replication features in MySQL 8
Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
- Businesses exposed to open source software risks, says report [Ed: Microsoft connected anti-FOSS firm generates these headlines. Suffice to say, Black Duck won’t mention Vault 7, Shadow Brokers and others who expose zero-days intentionally unpatched in proprietary software.]
- Has this new Black Duck report sunk Linus’s Law once and for all?
Meet Mark Hinkle, the New Executive Director for the Node.js Foundation
These days, Node.js is under the hood of everything from the web, the Internet of Things and desktop applications to microservice architectures. Node’s 15 million-plus downloads per month, and more than a billion package downloads per week, render it the world’s biggest open source platform.
The Node.js Foundation was started in 2015, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation, to support Node’s ongoing growth and evolution. The foundation represents an open governance of the Node ecosystem, with a steadily growing roster of members from every cohort, from Fortune 500 companies to sole proprietor freelancers.
- Node.js Monitoring/Debugging Tool Now Free for Open Source Projects
Announcing Free Node.js Monitoring & Debugging with Trace
Today, we’re excited to announce that Trace, our Node.js monitoring & debugging tool is now free for open-source projects.
veggies: Haskell code generation from scratch
I wish we had a formally verified compiler for Haskell, or at least for GHC’s intermediate language Core. Now formalizing that part of GHC itself seems to be far out of reach, with the many phases the code goes through (Core to STG to CMM to Assembly or LLVM) and optimizations happening at all of these phases and the many complicated details to the highly tuned GHC runtime (pointer tagging, support for concurrency and garbage collection).
- Meet Mark Hinkle, the New Executive Director for the Node.js Foundation
How Garry Kasparov Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Machines That Beat Him At His Job
I am sure that some will dismiss this as a retread of techno-utopianism, but I think it’s important for people to be focusing on more broadly understanding these changes. That doesn’t mean ignoring or downplaying the disruption for those whose lives it will certainly impact, but so much of the discussion has felt like people throwing up their arms helplessly. There will be opportunities for new types of work, but part of that is having more people thinking through these possibilities and building new companies and services that recognize this future. Even if you can’t predict exactly what kinds of new jobs there will be (or even if you’re convinced that no new jobs will be coming), it’s at the very least a useful thought exercise to start thinking through some possibilities to better reflect where things are going, and Kasparov’s essay is a good start.
Computer pioneer Harry Huskey dies aged 101
Engineer Harry Huskey, who helped build many of the first ever computers, has died aged 101.
Dr Huskey was a key member of the team that built the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (Eniac) which first ran in February 1946.
Eniac is widely considered to be one of the first electronic, general purpose, programmable computers.
Dr Huskey also helped complete work on the Ace – the Automatic Computing Engine – designed by Alan Turing.
Scientists prepare for protest: ‘the march should be a starting point’
The placards are made, the speeches prepared. On Saturday, crowds in their thousands are expected at 500 marches in more than 35 countries to remind the world, and its many politicians, that society cannot thrive without science. It will be the largest show of solidarity for science the globe has ever seen.
Arranged to coincide with Earth Day, the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, organisers hope that the mobilisation of so many can help restore science to what they consider to be its rightful place. But despite healthy support for the events – more than 100 professional societies and organisations have endorsed them – marches alone will not be enough, according to researchers who study protest movements.
- How Garry Kasparov Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Machines That Beat Him At His Job
WHO: Hepatitis Death Toll Rising, Vaccination Works But Access To Tests And Medicines Still Issue [Ed: People die from hepatitis (maybe a million dead over the years) because companies bicker over money.]
Hepatitis-related mortality is on the rise, despite the existence of an efficient vaccine for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C, according to the World Health Organization hepatitis report 2017 published today. One of the issues is that a majority of people are unaware of their condition due to limited access to affordable hepatitis testing. The price of the hepatitis C medicines has decreased in low-income countries, but still remains a barrier in upper-middle income and high-income countries, the WHO said.
Licence For A New Hepatitis Treatment, With An Eye To Affordability
The Medicines Patent Pool has received a licence to develop ravidasvir, a new treatment for hepatitis C.
The new licence is in partnership with Pharco Pharmaceuticals in Egypt, and expands upon the licence issued in March 2016 by Presidio, the original developer of ravidasvir, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).
- WHO: Hepatitis Death Toll Rising, Vaccination Works But Access To Tests And Medicines Still Issue [Ed: People die from hepatitis (maybe a million dead over the years) because companies bicker over money.]
- Security updates for Friday
- Network Firewalls: How to Protect Your Network from Unauthorized Access
The Architecture of the Web Is Unsafe for Today’s World
The Internet is based on protocols that assume content is secure. A new, more realistic model is needed.
Twenty-eight years ago, British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee proposed a system to link text documents across a computer network. It changed the way the world communicates and does business. From its humble beginnings, the Internet has become a complex, dynamic, and heterogeneous environment.
Today, the Internet revolution’s main instrument, the Web browser, exposes users to unbounded malicious content and has become unmanageable.
How did browsers become such a liability? Because they’re based on an ancient set of communication rules, protocols that assume connections are secure and content is safe. The openness and utility of the protocols led to enormous innovation. But today, with all its sophistication, the Web is still based on protocols that weren’t designed for security or enterprise-class management.
In encrypted-messaging market, open source not only key to success [Ed: Overlooked the point that easy-to-use programs whose sources code you cannot study are worse than nothing, just a trap. In this age of government-mandated back doors in programs and protocols the term "proprietary encryption" should be a paradox.]
A couple months ago, one of the oldest encrypted, ephemeral messaging apps, Wickr, decided to open up its cryptographic code for the world. By allowing hackers and developers to examine their crypto code, it reasoned, it could earn a veritable security merit badge. And the approach had already boosted the appeal of another secure-messaging app, Signal.
At least on the surface, Wickr’s open-source move appears to be paying off. Scott Stender, vice president of cryptography at NCC Group, a British company that specializes in helping clients manage cybersecurity risks, says it influenced his company’s decision to use Wickr, which incorporates end-to-end encryption, to keep its internal communications private.
Self Driving Taxis Are Going To Be A Nightmare To Secure, Warns Ex-Uber Security Researcher [Ed: Trams, trains, subways etc. go on rails; flights managed by programs nowadays. But there's a reason a pilot/driver is still crucial. Same for cars. Unless your driver/pilot is a suicidal maniac (which happens), the negative impact of accident on her/him helps secure the passengers.]
So over the last few years you probably remember seeing white hat hackers demonstrate how easily most modern smart cars can be hacked, often with frightening results. Cybersecurity researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have made consistent headlines in particular by highlighting how they were able to manipulate and disable a Jeep Cherokee running Fiat Chrysler’s UConnect platform. Initially, the duo documented how they were able to control the vehicle’s internal systems — or kill it’s engine entirely — from an IP address up to 10 miles away.
The US Charging Assange For Publishing Documents Would Be An Unprecedented Attempt To Chill A Free Press
Obama waged a war on whistleblowers during his eight-year run. Sure, it was done under a sunny facade of “transparency,” but the former president set the gold standard for whistleblower prosecutions, performing more than every other president until then… combined.
- The US Charging Assange For Publishing Documents Would Be An Unprecedented Attempt To Chill A Free Press
New York Times defends hiring extreme climate denier: ‘millions agree with him’
Amidst backlash and subscription cancellations for hiring extreme climate science denier, Bret Stephens, the New York Times offered a stunning defense: There are “millions of people who agree with him.”
With that ‘logic’, the Times could hire as a columnist former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke — or a flat earther or someone who thinks vaccines pose a health hazard. After all, millions agree with them.
- New York Times defends hiring extreme climate denier: ‘millions agree with him’
- Murder on Facebook raises big censorship questions: What should social-media companies do about violent content?
- Editorial: Despite violence on social media, government should not censor content
- Between livestream and death
- Where does Facebook Live go from here?
Libel Suit By Email ‘Inventor’ Belongs In Trash, Blog Says
The technology blog Techdirt asked a federal judge in Massachusetts on Thursday to dismiss a libel suit brought by the self-described inventor of email, saying that its posts calling the man a fraud and liar were opinions, not facts.
NY Judge Says Prior Restraint Is America’s Best Defense Against Internet ‘Chaos’
A Long Island judge is swiftly making a (terrible) name for himself with a (terrible) ruling in a defamation lawsuit. The ruling making Acting Supreme Court Justice John Galasso look like an unconstitutional idiot has nearly nothing to do with the defamation claims, but rather his granting of the plaintiff’s unconstitutional wish to have unflattering “memories” of himself pre-erased before the underlying lawsuit even gets going.
Feds Say Jewelry Company CEO Scrubbed Google Results With Fake Court Orders And Forged Judge’s Signatures
Juicing your SEO? Don’t like what turns up during vanity Googling? There are a few right ways to solve this problem and apparently about a million wrong ones.
Doing the wrong thing could easily make things worse. Bogus DMCA notices tend to result in Streisandings, which leads to even more negative comments and contents clogging up your search results. Bogus legal threats issued by stupid lawyers or using stupid, compliant lawyers’ letterhead tend to have the same result.
You could get more imaginative and start filing bogus defamation lawsuits to fraudulently obtain court orders for delisting. Again, once you’ve been rousted, the best case scenario is some more Streisanding and negative ROI. At worst, you’re looking at paying legal fees and/or possibly facing sanctions for defrauding the court.
The Hilltop Monitor’s relationship with freedom of the press and censorship
However, there is a precedent of student life ordering us to not publish content, so it would not be true to say that there is no oversight, no censorship. In our 2016 April Fools’ issue, student life ordered us not to publish two satirical articles, one that joked that Jewell students travelled to Colorado for Spring Break to buy marijuana and bring it back, and one that poked fun at “meninists,” which refers to a group that advocates for male rights.
- The Red Pill: Censorship is the pill we should all fear the most
Bill To Protect Arizona Students Journalists From Censorship Hits A Roadblock
A measure that would protect student journalists from censorship hit a roadblock in the state legislature.
House Majority Leader John Allen pulled the bill from consideration after more than an hour of debate.
The measure would declare that student editors – not administrators – are responsible for determining the content of school-sponsored media.
VIDEO: iPhones Are iSpies – Wikileaks “Vault 7” Revelations Continue To Terrify
Most of us carry smartphones and watch web-enabled TVs without much thought. But the revelations found in Wikileaks’ “Vault 7” release warn that we should consider the sinister capabilities that such devices could lend to those who might abuse them.
In Secret Court Hearing, Lawyer Objected to FBI Sifting Through NSA Data Like It Was Google
In her first appearance representing the American public before the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2015, Amy Jeffress argued that the FBI is violating the Fourth Amendment by giving agents “virtually unrestricted” access to data from one of the NSA’s largest surveillance programs, which includes an untold amount of communications involving innocent Americans.
The NSA harvests data from major Internet companies like Facebook, Google and Apple without a warrant, because it is ostensibly “targeting” only foreigners. But the surveillance program sweeps up a large number of Americans’ communications as well. Then vast amounts of data from the program, including the Americans’ communications, are entered into a master database that a Justice Department lawyer at the 2015 hearing described as the “FBI’s ‘Google’ of its lawfully acquired information.”
In Time for the Reform Debate, New Documents Shed Light on the Government’s Surveillance of Americans
The ACLU today released more than a dozen new documents concerning the government’s warrantless surveillance of millions of Americans. They were obtained from several intelligence agencies in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and relate to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law that the government relies on to conduct its PRISM and Upstream spying programs.
- Frms make sweet 8K 360 cameras using Facebook Surround’s open source [Ed: Facebook is openwashing a truly spooky and villainous surveillance apparatus; remember what Zuckerberg said]
Today, April 21st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the User Guide for CIA’s “Weeping Angel” tool – an implant designed for Samsung F Series Smart Televisions. Based on the “Extending” tool from MI5/BTSS, the implant is designed to record audio from the built-in microphone and egress or store the data.
The classification marks of the User Guide document hint that is was originally written by the MI5/BTSS and later shared with the CIA. Both agencies collaborated on the further development of the malware and coordinated their work in Joint Development Workshops.
- VIDEO: iPhones Are iSpies – Wikileaks “Vault 7” Revelations Continue To Terrify
Copyright & Censorship on Instagram: How Marie Claire Stole My Photo
I soon discovered that my photo had been picked up by a few other Instagram accounts before Marie Claire, the main one being Bumble and bumble, a company owned by Estée Lauder. The other accounts, including Bumble and bumble, at least had the decency and respect to credit me as well as the hair stylist when reusing my photo. Sadly the model wasn’t credited, which upset me quite a bit.
Singapore Court Tosses Copyright Troll Cases Because IP Addresses Aren’t Good Enough Evidence
We’ve been saying this for years, but IP addresses are not good enough evidence on which to base copyright infringement lawsuits. At some level, everyone already knows this to be true. You can tell that’s the case because the typical pretenders stating otherwise are the copyright trolls with a business model that relies on gathering large numbers of supposedly infringing IP addresses, mailing out settlement demands to the supposed pirates that own the accounts of those IP addresses, and then collecting very real money from some percentage of the recipients. On top of that, even these trolls will often claim that the onus is on the account holder of an internet connection to police their own pipe, which is a delightful end-around to the common concept of punishing true infringers as opposed to innocent third parties.
There are places with legal systems that have had enough of this practice and we can now add Singapore’s to the list. The High Court in Singapore recently threw out requests from several copyright trolls made to ISPs there to produce account information for IP addresses they claim were used to infringe on two movies, Fathers & Daughters and Queen Of The Desert.
- Copyright & Censorship on Instagram: How Marie Claire Stole My Photo
Summary: The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive
— EuropeanPatentOffice (@EPOorg) April 18, 2017
— EuropeanPatentOffice (@EPOorg) April 19, 2017
— EuropeanPatentOffice (@EPOorg) April 20, 2017
— EuropeanPatentOffice (@EPOorg) April 21, 2017
Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything
With hundreds of thousands of patents (around the world) on mobile technology, including SEPs, one is unable to operate without being sued ad infinitum
Reference: Patent thicket
Summary: The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)
THE MOBILE market (as in mobile phones, connections etc.) is a sordid mess when it comes to patents. It’s so saturated with patent thickets that one is unable to operate without being sued (or simply overtaxed) from every single direction. Simple devices now cost more than a sophisticated personal computer (where patents are expired or barely enforced anymore).
“Simple devices now cost more than a sophisticated personal computer (where patents are expired or barely enforced anymore).”As mentioned in this older post of ours, Samsung now need to pay a lot of money to Rembrandt Wireless (Rembrandt Wireless Technologies LP), which is a patent troll that relied on a jury in Texas (the capital of patent trolling). Here is one new article about it:
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit remanded part of a patent suit earlier this week, meaning that Samsung may not have to pay the full $15.7 million in damages to Rembrandt Wireless.
Handed down on Monday, April 17, the Federal Circuit’s ruling disagreed with the district court’s denial of Samsung’s motion based on the marking statute, so it remanded the issue.
Samsung is not even an American company, it is Korean.
“Will we finally see the demise of Qualcomm, which is a relic that has been reduced to just patent aggression?”To make matters worse, a ‘supertroll’, Qualcomm [1, 2], has been grabbing a lot of money (possibly billions) from Samsung and only a decade too late Judge Lucy Haeran Koh, an American judge of Korean descent, decides to look into the case. As Florian Müller put it the other day: “After last week’s joint case management statement in FTC v. Qualcomm (Northern District of California), Qualcomm filed a revised proposed schedule on Monday. Judge Koh had denied a stay of discovery and asked Qualcomm to revise its proposed schedule accordingly. Now Judge Koh has set a schedule that is materially consistent with the FTC’s proposal and a lot more ambitious than Qualcomm’s revised schedule (this post continues below the document)…”
Will we finally see the demise of Qualcomm, which is a relic that has been reduced to just patent aggression? IAM, the voice of patent trolls, says this week that “Qualcomm reveals $150 million dispute with licensee as it provides more detail on Apple lawsuit” and here is the key part:
There was plenty to discuss yesterday on Qualcomm’s call with analysts concerning the company’s latest quarterly results. On the positive side the company is in the final stages of its acquisition of NXP Semiconductors and reported that it is seeing strong sales in China, a market where it has had some well-publicised problems.
But throughout the call there was an Apple sized cloud hanging over the discussions as the company updated its position in its high-profile dispute with the iPhone manufacturer. It also revealed an additional dispute, unconnected with the Apple case, with an additional, unnamed licensee, which has resulted in an underpayment in royalties of more than $150 million.
That’s a lot of money. Apple is challenging this and we hope that Apple wins because it would also help Android OEMs if Apple got its way.
Meanwhile, as per Apple advocacy sites, patent troll Acacia is at it again. It is a patent troll with Microsoft connections and according to Apple Insider, “Apple and a handful of partner cellular carriers are the target of a new lawsuit leveled by Acacia Research subsidiary Cellular Communications Equipment, which alleges the iPhone maker infringed and continues to infringe on four patents developed by Nokia covering messaging, emergency alerts and other key cellular technologies.”
“Apple is challenging this and we hope that Apple wins because it would also help Android OEMs if Apple got its way.”A day earlier Apple Insider wrote that “Apple settles Unwired Planet patent suit for undisclosed amount” (via). Unwired Planet is a patent troll that now operates in Europe, too (it does for Ericsson what MOSAID/Conversant does for Microsoft through Nokia). It recently got its way in London and Germany is already attracting lots of patent lawsuits (many of which are initiated by trolls now), from companies that are not even German. Whose system is this? Here is a new press release titled “Motorola Solutions Files Patent Infringement Complaints in Germany Against Hytera Communications and Hytera Mobilfunk” (another case involving mobile).
Regarding the troll lawsuit in London, which we covered here very recently, this new guest post by Prof. Mark Patterson from Fordham Law (patent maximalists) covers it by promoting FRAND patent thickets. It’s mostly FRAND advocacy but it is supporting a notorious patent troll in the process. Here is the outline: “Last week Professor Jorge Contreras provided here an excellent summary of the April 5 decision of Mr. Justice Birss of the UK’s High Court of Justice in Unwired Planet International Ltd. v Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.,  EWHC 711. The case addresses the problems that arise in determining FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) licensing terms. Professor Contreras highlighted several novel aspects of the decision.”
“In China right now there is not a thicket but smog of low-quality patents.”What we have here is a disturbing passage of trolling venues into Europe (for which the EPO can be partly blamed). The same thing is happening in China, which the EPO seems to be imitating. In China right now there is not a thicket but smog of low-quality patents. SIPO’s quality control is a joke, resulting in protectionism for massive corporations that create a patent thicket in China. Here is Huawei, a government-connected company, having a go against Korea’s government-connected company and getting its way in Chinese courts. To quote government-connected Chinese press: “Huawei Technologies Co Ltd scored another point in its patent fight with its rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in China, which may weigh down on the South Korean company’s business in the world’s largest smartphone arena.” As IAM admitted yesterday, patent lawsuits in China skyrocket due to SIPO’s policy (patent microcosm profits at the expense of real workers). IAM says that “civil patent litigation cases increased by 20% compared to last year.” It also says “we’ll be getting a lot of statistical insight into China’s relatively closed court system in the coming days as the Supreme People’s Court releases white papers summing up how many IP case were filed and by whom in 2016.”
“This is anything but desirable and it’s antithetical to the patent system as it was perceived at the time of inception.”What it all boils down to is more patents and a lot more patent lawsuits over mobile devices; each such lawsuit will ultimately artificially elevate the price of phones and money will typically end up in the pockets of lawyers, not technologists. At the same time phones will have featured removed from them (intentionally hobbled), meaning inferior products available in the market. This is anything but desirable and it’s antithetical to the patent system as it was perceived at the time of inception. █
In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won’t Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)
Alice stands firm.
Software patents are being invalidated en masse using Alice. Not to be confused with Alice the software.
Summary: Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International
THE USPTO can grant as many software patents as it wants, but American courts reject these and litigation with such patents has become an unattractive, risky strategy. Even pursuing such patents in the first place may prove to be a waste of time and money, irrespective of the outcome at the patent office.
Earlier this week we spotted this press release about HEVC — certainly a massive software patents trap [1, 2] (evergreening). “This innovative product utilizes Beamr’s 29 granted patents and 18 pending patent applications to produce HEVC video encodes that are up to 50% smaller than Beamr’s market-leading HEVC software encoder, Beamr 5,” the press release stated. Wanna bet all of these patent applications, even if they got granted, would be thrown away by courts like the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), if not SCOTUS above it? This whole thing in an exercise in ‘thicketing’ — i.e. making up for the invalidity of patents by quantity rather than quality (to make legal challenges more lengthy and thus expensive). Microsoft does this quite a lot. It flings a large pile of lousy software patents at poor companies and demands that they settle (pay ‘protection’ money) or spend years in courtrooms (at the expense of millions of dollars, making settlement the cheaper option, securing the patents from much-needed scrutiny).
“Even pursuing such patents in the first place may prove to be a waste of time and money, irrespective of the outcome at the patent office.”The matter of fact is, software patents should no longer be issued by the USPTO. These contribute to extortion, not innovation. Only the law firms profit from that.
The other day we saw this new rant about Alice, courtesy of Matthew Schantz who profits from legal chaos. That’s just latest example of patent law firms promoting software patents and yearning for them. Watch the language of optimism and positivism: “Software patents have seen better times. The glory days of the 1980s and 1990s, after the U.S. Supreme Court held in Diamond v. Diehr (1981) that inventions implemented in software are not unpatentable just because they are implemented in software, continued long past the generalized expansion of patentable subject matter by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group (1998). But the Supreme Court shook the foundations of the software patent world in 2012 (Mayo v. Prometheus) and 2014 (Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International), leaving business leaders (and their patent attorneys) to wonder whether — or even hope that — software patents were dead. While the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and courts have struggled to find reasonable, “new normal” limits on software patents that are practical in application and justifiable under precedent, recent cases reflect a maturing of the law surrounding patents on software-implemented inventions.”
“The matter of fact is, software patents should no longer be issued by the USPTO.”That’s good. That’s very desirable. Just ask any software professional about it. These professionals do not want software patents, unlike those who pretend to speak on ‘their behalf’. Some of them repeatedly heckle PTAB and try to slow it down, for it invalidates a growing number of software patents these days (a lot more than courts do). Patently-O, one of the scarcely-closeted opponents of PTAB, only accentuates the negatives, not the positives, and then proceeds to looking into SCOTUS cases that have nothing whatsoever to do with software patents. The first of these says: “A newly filed petition for writ of certiorari offers a substantial challenge to the quick-look eligibility decisions that have been so popular among district courts. The challenge here is especially focused on no-evidence eligibility decisions that serve as a substitute for an obviousness determination.”
Again, he is hoping to slow down (or prevent) invalidation of bogus patents. The second of these says: “The Court affirmed that requirement in a non-patent case, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger (Apr. 18, 2017). In that case, Goodyear engaged in a years-long effort to hide key documents from the plaintiffs, who, not knowing of them, settled the case. When they sought sanctions, the district court awarded all of the litigation fees the plaintiff had incurred from the time when the scheme had begun: $2.7 million. It also held, conditionally, that $2 million was caused directly by the shenanigans.”
“Maybe we can urge some readers of ours to submit an amicus brief to explain why software patents are a bad idea and Alice already tackling the issue means that there’s no point revisiting the matter.”But this case isn’t even about patents. Why is Patently-O covering this?
The threat that SCOTUS will revisit Alice-type cases isn’t quite there, at least not yet. Watchtroll is trying to change this right now, by urging (in the form of amici) an escalation of a software patents case to SCOTUS. To quote: “BBiTV appeals from the Federal Circuit’s Rule 36 affirmance of two summary judgment decisions in which the district court found claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,631,336, entitled “Method for converting, navigating and displaying video content uploaded from the internet to a digital TV video-on-demand platform,” to be directed to the abstract idea of “using the same hierarchical ordering based on metadata to facilitate the display and locating of video content.” The following excerpts of the Petition set forth the issues presented and portions of BBiTV’s arguments. Amicus briefs in support of the Petition are due by May 15, 2017.”
Maybe we can urge some readers of ours to submit an amicus brief to explain why software patents are a bad idea and Alice already tackling the issue means that there’s no point revisiting the matter.
“Software patents are on the rocks in the United States, but this should not be taken for granted and we must never rest on our laurels knowing that the opposition, i.e. those who prey on software developers, try to overturn and cancel prior decisions.”We are no doubt going to see many more attempts like the above to crush Alice. There is in fact a whole "task force" now, led by IBM and its lobbyists (people like David Kappos), dedicated to doing just that.
Software patents are on the rocks in the United States, but this should not be taken for granted and we must never rest on our laurels knowing that the opposition, i.e. those who prey on software developers, try to overturn and cancel prior decisions. █
Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects
It’s called belief disconfirmation
Summary: The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC
READERS keep telling us (even today) that patent quality at the EPO is farcical. It’s not the fault of examiners but the fault of their superiors, who threaten them with unemployment (for ‘daring’ to do their job like they’re supposed to). We can relate to the problem as we have covered similar scenarios (elsewhere) over the years.
“The only ‘businesses’ that are guaranteed to profit are litigation firms, even if (or especially if) the litigation is frivolous.”The EPO, based on this new press release, grants yet more controversial and low quality patents while working to make litigation easier and harsher (UPC). Who benefits from that? Certainly not the average European business. The only ‘businesses’ that are guaranteed to profit are litigation firms, even if (or especially if) the litigation is frivolous. They would profit from both sides of a legal dispute over patents.
Here in Techrights we have been amicable and oftentimes collaborative with other sites that covered EPO scandals, including IP Kat, so we are deeply disturbed to see what this blog has become lately. We have begun joking that Bristows has managed to ‘buy’ the blog, so to speak. The past 7 posts in the blog, for example, are all composed by Bristows staff (this is the latest) and it’s just self promotion like this: “The IPKat’s own Annsley Merelle Ward (a.k.a. the Amerikat) eloquently introduced the philosophical question: is there an existential crisis in the equilibrium between patent filings and trade secrets? She noted that various commentators from industry have suggested an increased trend for a preference for trade secrets, leading to a decrease in innovation.”
“So they hope that the British government will change the law too, in order to accommodate the UPC, even when British companies oppose it?”She is talking about “innovation” while not practicing/championing any and also while promoting UPC and software patents. Who are these people kidding? It’s an echo chamber-like event that we have scrutinised here over the years [1, 2], even 7 years ago.
Responding to the part about UPC (echoing Battistelli’s paid-for liars), one person tackled the issue of changing national laws for Battistelli and his ilk by stating: “Regarding Unitary Patents: Couldn’t the UK Government simply legislate unilaterally to recognise the effect of Unitary Patents in the UK? No agreement with the EU or official negotiation of an agreement under Article 142 EPC required?”
So they hope that the British government will change the law too, in order to accommodate the UPC, even when British companies oppose it? All that latest propaganda from Bristows serves to reinforce our accusations from last year. Another new comment said: “And so, the summary is?? It’s hard to tell whether the ‘oh, it’ll be alright’ is knowledge, blind optimism or desperation. CH and NO seem to be complicated whereas UK is tootling along nicely (although it is still complicated?). I’m lost. 2017? 2018? 2019?…”
“It probably won’t be long before Bristows posts another IP Kat analysis spinning the General Election as “good” news for UPC.”And soon they’ll say 2020, 2021…
It probably won’t be long before Bristows posts another IP Kat analysis spinning the General Election as “good” news for UPC. Maybe they’re still working/figuring out on how to construct such a lie. Remember that infamous lie about SMEs? Or Bristows' latest spin about UPC and trolls?
Linking to pro-UPC sites, UPC proponents in Germany state: “Don’t you have a constitutional discontinuity principle in the #U.K.? Meaning: after elections all legislative processes are reset? We have.”
“Remember the swpat [software patents] directive,” Benjamin Henrion responded, “it was discussed to reset the directive because they don´t have it at the EU level.”
“It’s a lobbying strategy, designed to seduce if not actively pressure politicians to ratify. We have seen this strategy in action for over half a decade now.”They are going to try all sorts of workarounds to ensure that they can maintain the charade of UPC being “inevitable”, “unstoppable”, “just a matter of time” or whatever (all lies).
In the above, Mark Richardson should say “call off”, not delay, but for those in the business of legal attacks the UPC means a lot of money so they still pretend that the UPC is bound to happen sooner or later. That’s patently false. It’s a lobbying strategy, designed to seduce if not actively pressure politicians to ratify. We have seen this strategy in action for over half a decade now. It’s truly a classic! █